Saturday, September 12, 2009

Right, Irony

Uh, ok. To review:

The art of narrative is based exclusively upon ironic juxtapositions. The four types of irony, verbal, situational, dramatic, and cosmic, (and sometimes historical) are combined and arranged into a kind of ironic superstructure, which is the story within a work of narrative art. Such structures of irony underline both Comedy and Tragedy. If a work is not a Comedy or Tragedy, it is a History, which will use historical irony in place of some of the other forms.

Stories can be considered in terms of their ironic density and ironic height. Ironic Density is simply the frequency of the occurrence of ironic moments.

Ironic height is the degree which a particular irony shocks the audiences expectations. The greater height, the more power it to the work. The funnier the comedy, the sadder the tragedy, the greater sense of importance to the here and now granted to a history.

Note: all ironies, of whatever height, must ultimately make sense on some level. If the irony is not, ultimately, logical, it is not an irony, but an absurdity. Absurdities, are not ultimately interesting to the audience, although they can be used effectively as set-ups to irony. The way in which an irony ultimately makes sense could be called the ironic return. It is the way in which an irony subtly makes some broader point about the world. Any comment a work has to make, pertaining to politics, religion, culture, whatever, should be tied up in an ironic return. Otherwise the point is simply polemic, and times spent upon it dilutes the ironic density of the narrative.

The denser the ironies in a story, the better. The higher the ironies, the better. Multiply the density of the ironies (d, let's say) by the highest irony (h, let's say) and you get the "objective" quality of a narrative (N, let's say). So: d x h = N, or dh=N.

However, works of narrative art are not merely stories, but also the format in which the stories are relayed. Multiply objective quality of a narrative by the degree to which it's form accentuates it's ironies (F, let's say), and you get the "objective quality" of a a work of narrative art (A, let's say). So, NF=A.

Of course, irony is largely dependent on context both to be recognized and to be appreciated at a certain height. As context changes from person to person and culture to culture, the value of N, and thus A, fill fluctuate from person to person. Which account why have such a hard time agreeing upon which works of art are superior to which. However, within a defined time or place, the rough values of such should be calculable, so that you can say that, at least, Shakespeare is superior to Michael Bay. Or Shakespeare is superior to Marlow, or Tarantino is superior to Bay, if you want a more a focused time and place, and an identical artistic medium, for the purpose of your comparison.

But make no mistake, the value of a work of narrative art can be judged, and, though inaccurately, measured, by studying it as a structure of ironies.