Sean Collins writes, in the comments-thread:
I’m not sure I’m quite following your argument, Dave, but I believe you’re saying I’m arguing that superhero fights always represent some sort of Triumph of the Will, and they don’t, anymore than singing in operas and musicals always represents that. It’s just how they express emotion.
And here’s my snap response!
It’s the “release of the secret self” that I feel bound to resist… But you’re right–these last few posts of mine have been even more subterranean than usual…I hope to find some better (i.e. more narratively-anchored) ways of articulating my qualms…However, stripped down, it comes to this: the “self” is a public thing–always out there in the open (although it might as well wear a mask, because its function is not to express personality, but to act in the world)
Again, I don’t think this is merely semantic–the idea of a secret self implies that there’s something stable there, BENEATH the layers of intersubjectivity, that is somehow anchored to the metaground… And that kind of sure-footed “unitariness” is always an aggressive stance, perfectly set for the kind of punch that I don’t want to see thrown by characters in any genre (unless glimpsed through a heavily critical narrative frame that someone like Miller usually can’t–or doesn’t want to, which comes to the same thing–provide)…
This issue will never go away though–because it cuts to the heart of every serious discussion of superhero comics, no matter the plane (aesthetic, political, philosophical)!
thanks for checking in!
And I’m not kiddin’ ’bout that last folks! I can’t do this thing unless people call me on my nonsense!
good night (for now!) friends!