Expressing Content

Begins: 1:21pm

As Eco points out, aesthetic texts produce overcoding on the expression and content planes.  The expression continuum has a direct effect on the content continuum such that an increase in the organisation of the former leads to an increase in the latter. (p 269)

According to Eco, someone looking at a work of art has a twofold impression of what they see.  They ‘guess’ that there is a ‘surplus expression’ but cannot full analyze it (although there are a few who may).  At the same time there is a vague sense of a ‘surplus of content’, the latter aroused by the surplus on the expression plane. (p 270)

The often cited quote: “A rose is a rose is a rose.” (Gertrude Stein) although grammatically correct, stimulates a sense that new meaning is created with each rendering of the word ‘rose’. (cited p 270)  The sentence deviates stylistically from the norm and produces ambiguity because of “excesses in redundancy”.  But it is these excesses which “increase informational possibilities”. (p 270)

[SS There’s that rose again!]

[OS Sorry, but I love that rose]

[SS Yeuch.  The three most overused words in the English language: sorry, love, rose.  Which rose do you love?]

[OS Exactly Eco’s point – the /rose/ in Stein’s quote brings to light more and more meanings that “might be connected with different connotative subcodes”. (p 270)  So there are many roses all wrapped up in one.  I like them all!]

[SS Why are you quoting Eco in our private/ ‘internal converations’?]

[OS Because it is this ‘internal’ conversation which helps us process the content of Eco’s work so we can present it on the ‘expression plane’.  His text is hard to understand and we use our conversation to decode it.  Maybe the mediatory role of our conversation is starting to show results.]

[SS Maybe.  But for Eco’s grandslam comment on aesthetic art, let’s get back on to the page.]

“A work of art communicates too much and therefore does not communicate at all.”

[SS I don’t agree!]

Ends 2:51pm

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