1. Azurisy
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    Azurisy Member

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    Subtext, at last...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Azurisy, Apr 30, 2014.

    Hi,

    For years I was in the process of developing a writing style which I wanted as subtle, deep and implicit. Finally, I've discovered the best term, which is subtext. I should have realised this at the age of 12 years, but missed it somewhere along the lines of literary textbooks.

    Subtext is a beautiful term for subtlety and deep, implicit meaning.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think you'll find that word, subtext, can mean a few different, related phenomena. For example:

    The original two seasons of the Jonny Quest show from the late 60's were completely devoid of any female characters.

    [​IMG]

    When watched through the eyes of a person with modern sensibilities, it looks like an adventure show starring an enviably handsome gay couple, Dr. Quest and his husband, Race Bannon, and their two children, Jonny and Hadji. The subtext that this is a gay adventure show is so strong that it gets spoofed in the contemporary show, The Venture Brothers. When watched through that lens, this show from the 60's looks as cutting edge as you could ask for, though I am sure the original producers did not intend that interpretation.

    So, you can have subtext that you attempt to imbed in what you write and hope that your reader picks it up, or you can have unintentional subtext that the audience reads into the work, whether you intended it to be there or not because, as they say, the author is dead once the work is published. You don't get to control how people do or don't interpret your work.
     
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  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me, subtext is an essential part of almost every bit of dialogue I write. Normal conversation often has all sorts of motivations, and people often don't mean exactly what they say, there's a lot of autocensoring going on between brain and mouth, so in order to write dialogue that isn't lame and contrived, most of the time it's wise to include a degree of subtext, an emotional charge of some kind, to make it compelling.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    So someone who sees it as just a single dad raising his son, and having an employee of the same gender, is somehow behind the times? ;)
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    LOL :) Touché, I must admit. ;) I should have used the subjunctive. "When watched through the eyes of a person with modern sensibilities, it could look like an adventure..."
     
  6. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    Any fans of south park? There's an episode in which Broadway musicals are revealed to be a conspiracy to benefit married men who take their wives to these shows - the subtext running through all them is quite simply "blowjob."
     
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  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    For a while there, I think all the South Park episodes had either an acknowledged internal subtext or an externalized polemic subtext meant for the audience. The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! spoofed this fact by doing the same thing to South Park that South Park was doing to current events.
     

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