footstepsoftheelephant asked you: 2012-10-29 19:03
For many people, all we have is retrospect. Finding something out about an author’s intention when writing a story is enough to make certain things canon, like in literature, or quoting Roddenberry about the love relationship between Kirk and Spock (which I don’t even ship, but recognize nonetheless). It’s canon for some people, not for others. Some people need certain explicit on-screen words or actions to happen, to consider a relationship romantically ‘canon’. But some of us don’t. And requiring it is actually a harmful type of erasure for the many different, complex, and often unstated kinds of love that exists between people, both on-screen and off.
This is a fair point - this idea that denying certain loves or, well, anything really, as canon is a form of erasure. This exists in written literature too. I’ll verge a little off topic to mention how it relates to the concept of ‘literary canon,’ which is somewhat different to TV canon, because the principle of erasure is similar and I think that’s interesting. Certain texts in English Lit have always been given more attention than others because they are known as the ‘canon’ - ie. in very simple terms, they are the texts decreed as important, the ones schools and Universities consider ‘good’ enough and most relevant to the wider world to study. Only, surprise, surprise, for many many years (and even still today really) there were (are) very few texts in the ‘canon’ by black authors, or LGBT authors or, at one point, even female authors and about all those walks of life. This denied all of these groups a voice (that was their OWN at any rate) in literature (and is arguablt still denying them), which, of course, contributes to denying them a voice in society at large, bcause literature is a huge influence on society.
So yes - I get this is important… Hmmm….
I was in love with a guy for two years, and never kissed him, never told him so, and never acted anything other than friendly, because he was unavailable. Does that mean that, in a show about me and him, it wouldn’t be canon? How far does romantic and/or sexual love have to be acknowledged, exactly, for it to be ‘canon’?
Also curious… my gut reaction to this is to say ‘canon’ =/= ‘truth.’ Your feelings for this guy are a ‘truth,’ because they existed in the real world. In fiction there is NO TRUTH. It’s very nature as FICTION prevents that. So I’m inclined to think that something, such as romantic or sexual love, can be acknowledged in fiction WITHOUT being canon… Ah, but I’ve already said in a previous post that if it’s not canon then it can equally be DENIED, so how much use is that kind of acknowledgement really…? I’m thinking out loud here, bare with me…
What is ‘canon’? dirtyovercoats (one of my favorite tumblr users) once talked about how the term ‘canon’ comes from the catholic church, distinguishing the apocrypha from the other scriptures they considered the absolute Word of God. The problem with that being, it’s not universal. It’s just that the Catholic church held a lot of power, so what they said was authentic, was authentic. So, in other words, one person’s truth held more social power than another’s. It’s the same with media ‘canon’. The strongest, most indisputable, most widely accepted truth becomes ‘canon’. Often, in these cases, through straight-up text or on-screen (in-print) action, such as kissing or declarations of love. But there are less strong ‘canons’, that are not so widely accepted. That doesn’t mean they are less valid.
Yes, with you. This is like what I was saying about ‘literary canon’ - a higher power making somewhat arbitrary decisions on what is canon… only in this instance canon IS equated with truth, because the church are trying to define what truth is… Ack… Again this is in the real world and not a fictional story, so I’m thinking the rules are different, but…
By this time, we have declarations of love and sacrifice from Dean and Cas that are both earth-shattering, and incredibly romantic. For many, this is canon enough. Others would like input from the show creators, like the writers, and the show runner, and the actors, before they consider anything official. Still more need to actually see culturally accepted romantic gestures between Dean and Cas on their tv screen, before they’ll accept it as official. But it is still up to an opinion, to that point. It is not indisputably canon, but right now, it is arguably so. Like, I could make a huge argument for it.
Yes, yes… arguments/meta/analysis can be made and backed up and I will accept the validity of all of them! :) But… I would not consider those ‘canon’ I would call those ‘interpretations’ or ‘readings’ or ‘understandings’ because I feel like canon is something that should be indisputable, it should be FACT. Like 1+1=2. Like Sam and Dean are brothers. Like Dean went to Hell. Etc.
…rah, but I was just saying above that in fiction canon =/= truth. But actually that’s what I WANT it to mean… which brings as back to ‘who decides what is true?’ PHEW!
Wow. Okay. Okay. COULD BE I’m being too rigid with my definition of canon here! Because if canon can be equated to ‘truth,’ which it seems it CAN, then ‘truth’ is a very grey area.
Sometimes there just ISN’T a clear understanding of what is ‘true,’ especially when emotions are involved since they are notoriously tricky to read/define/acknowledge themselves (sometimes even by the people feeling them!).
In fact, by trying to support a fixed view of what canon is I’m actually trying to make canon = the author and/or Word of God, I’ve just redefined those AS ‘canon.’ But those are everything I am OPPOSED TO when it comes to literary criticism! Because ‘the author is dead’ etc etc.
Okay, damn. I think you just won, or something :P
Canon is NOT rigid. It is in constant flux, built on a variety of personal understanding/interpretation, outside interpretation, visual and written input and probably a lot more besides. Because the second you start flat out denying something as canon you are denying/rejecting different aspects of LIFE, you ARE erasing ideas and people. Canon is not a fixed, singular entity… it is multiple…
Um… I think I got dickish and faux-poetic towards the end there, but did some of it make sense?
And, okay… would it be fair to say that some concepts of ‘canon’ are more supported than others? That Dean and Cas love each other, for example, has more evidence for being canon than, say, Cas loving Meg? Although I know you CAN argue the latter is canon, because it doesn’t entirely LACK evidence.
But arguments are dumb, and we should all just be happy that Misha’s on our side. :D
Noooooo, arguments are MY LIFE BLOOD! :D (not the wanky kind of course, the ‘arguing different viewpoints’ kind).
But yes - I am happy about that :D
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