Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

More on the weird specular identification/distanciation between audiences and performers

You might want to read the entry below first, esp. the "Pleasures of performances & other minds" stuff, first. That's the weirdest thing about experiencing blogs—they're totally chronologically inverted. Well, not literally. sdrawkcab meht daer ew ekil ton s'tI. You know what I mean. They're broken up into chunks, and the order of the chunks is inverted, overhand-shuffled. The fabulous Memento/ Betrayal structure, where the big payoff comes in at long last getting to the surprise beginning . . . . That'd be something to blog about another day.

But I was rereading what had written about the relation between audience and performer and I thought of another way of formulating it.

The audience is trying-but-failing to know what it would be like not to find the performer amazing and the performer (bored with, accustomed to, his/her own talent) is trying-but-failing to know what it would be like to find him/herself amazing; and both are taking pleasure in the contradictoriness of the trying-but-failing. The performer, even provisionally, cannot wipe out the knowledge (certainly not at the very moment of employing it) of the fact of having honed his/her talent and the audience cannot wipe out their ignorance of that talent. The audience finds its delight in the tragedy of its unsatisfied desire to be the amazer and the performer in that of her lost innocence, her tragically satisified desire, her inability to be amazed. They both depend utterly on the other's otherness. And the wider the gap, the better. The more talented the performer and more cloddish the audience, the better for both to experience the hopelessness of the wish to see the performance with the other's eyes. Then things really crackle.
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