Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coogan vs. Delany

I thought the writing styles between Coogan and Delany were quite interesting, when reading the essays in the Comic Book genre. Coogan used definitional criticism in his work (and defined a superhero), which gave the readers information about the subject to get a better understanding of it. Meanwhile, Delany opposed this concept. He doesn't feel that it is necessary to define the subject that you're looking at because the audience/readers can recognize it without actually defining it.

In a way, I agree with Delany about being able to recognize a subject, such a superhero, without actually giving a definition of what it is. However, I also agree with Coogan. For example, if you need to see a doctor because you're sick and don't know anything about them or their office, you're not going to feel comfortable going there. It's the same as in a novel or an essay. The reader is going to be slightly confused as to what's going on without being given a brief background of the setting and characters.

Someone's definition of a word, like "superhero," may also be slightly or completely different than another person's definition of the same word. Therefore, we sometimes need to identify what the term/subject is so the whole audience has the same understanding. For instance, with Delany's idea, you know that the subject is a car, but without Coogan's idea of definitional criticism, you don't know the origin of the car. Is it a Dodge, a Ford, or a Chevy? Is it red, black, white, etc.? Without giving the reader a specific definition, we sometimes aren't able to understand the entire concept of the subject. I can see where both of these writers are coming from, but for me, I think Coogan's essay holds more truth.

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