Form Over Substance

When considering a work of art, there are three questions you can ask: Who, What, and How. These questions represent, respectively, the three main features of art–Who’s it about (characters), What happens (plot), and How is the story told (form)?

Some people seem to think that characterisation is the most important part of art. Some people say, no, plot is the best part.

I disagree. I say that form is the best–how the story is told. No, I don’t mean whether it’s film or music or literature or poetry, I mean the more technical aspects–call it style, art direction, metre, whatever you want to, but it’s all the same.

Sure, characters are still important–you can’t tell a story without them (unless you’re James Joyce)–and plots are a good idea, too, but they’re not the reason I say “I like these books or these films”. No, whenever I dub something Stranezza-approved, it’s for one reason and one reason alone: It’s because I can look at page and I can roll the words around on my tongue and feel them, or because I can look at the screen and say “Oh my god, this is so British/campy/French/absurd/whatever.”

So, snub characters, snub plots, snub everything–give me some good syntax and I’ll be happy all day.

~~La Stranezza

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