Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan> Post by P. Taine Post by Kevrob Post by Moriarty Post by D B Davis Post by P. Taine Post by D B Davis Post by p. pinto
- hi; the fourth wall is broken conceptually, at least, and
from rather a different direction - in the wonderful fredric
brown's "double standard" (_playboy_ 4/1963, in judith merril-
edited "_(the best of sci-fi) 9th annual s-f_" mayflower dell,
1967, 70, in "_paradox lost_" fredric brown, robert hale, 1975;
- and again, and again°, in classically beautifully intensively
recomplicated fashion, in daniel galouye's "_counterfeit world_"
(gollancz 1964, hamlyn paperbacks 1983) (aka "_simulacron-3_"),
arguably intangibly but nonetheless very really for more than
one of the created world('s/s') characters.
You broke a fourth wall when you went through the looking glass to
examine the characteristic fourth wall within that only applies to a
character and not the all seeing audience. (OK, that sentence was too
cute by half, but who can resist such things? Your further indulgence is
Now that you've liberated us, we can speak of the fourth wall
implicit in _Hamlet_'s "The Mouse Trap." But, it's unsatisfying because
_Hamlet_'s not pure literature, it's a play.
We need pure literature along the lines of _simulacron-3_. PKD liked
to focus on the fragile nature of reality. There ought to be something
apropos in his opus, something popular. Let's see... Got it!
_Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep_ breaks the fourth wall of a
character named Rachel Rosen by disclosing to her that she is an
android. Rosen naturally becomes quite upset and despondent.
Now that my jury-rigged structure's in place, we can finally talk
about the almighty audience's literal fourth wall. How does the fourth
wall manifest itself in literature?
In a play it's easy to see. A character merely talks directly to the
audience. How does that happen in literature? (An example speaks a
Will a non-SF novel do? Tristram Shandy. The book (over 250 years old)
includes a marbled page which the author states, in the book,
complete with sid
Post by Kevrob Post by Moriarty Post by D B Davis
Post by P. Taine
loops and angle, which the reader is told show the digressions in
Post by Kevrob Post by Moriarty Post by D B Davis Post by P. Taine
chapters. In a number of other places the reader is addressed directly.
Will that do?
Excellent! FWIW, here's my take on your answer: a narcissistic book, if
you will, breaks the fourth wall when it talks about itself. Although
talking about itself in the first person is a delicious prospect,
addressing itself in the third person also works, as does non-SF.
Intriguing. It's time for me to ruminate.
A narcissistic book? I like the term. Plenty of Robert Rankin's books
are like that. In one, a character gets excited that "his" author is
writing another novel and as a result he, the character, will get out
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Rambo Bloodaxe is idling the time away and sees a giant pen and a
pint flying through the air. "It's Rankin, he's in the pub again and
Post by Kevrob Post by Moriarty
From "They Came and Ate Us". I think. It qualifies as SF since the
main characters are Elvis Presley and a time travelling Brussels sprout
Post by Kevrob
Who remembers Max Fleischer's "Out of the Inkwell" cartoons?
Koko the Clown, played by Max's brother, Dave, regularly "escaped"
the drawing board.
Betty Boop started as a "player" in Koko cartoons.
In which she was also a canine-American. Betty is at least as
responsible for furry fandom as Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck, since while
she came after Mickey, she also appeared before those two.
She also introduced Popeye The Sailor to the silver screen.
The Fleischers introduced SUPERMAN to the screen,though
there was no cameo in their other cartoons. The Man of Tomorrow
did have to deal with a villain Funnyface, whose schtick was
releasing comics characters from the Daily Planet's pages
into "real world" Metropolis.
Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
From SUPERMAN 19, NOV-DEC 1942, reprints noted, here:
The same issue had "Superman: Matinee Idol,"
The GCD link above notes:
"Clark and Lois decide to go to the movies, but when Clark discovers
that it's the the latest Fleischer Superman cartoon, he has to think
fast to keep Lois from discovering that he is Superman."
The Cartoon Research article says:
"It is never explained why he never worries that the rest of the
audience as well as audiences around the country can be privy to
this information about his secret identity."
When Barry (The Flash) Allen met his predecessor,
Jay Garrick, it was in the alternate world Central
City's speedster designated "Earth-Two."* Barry knew
about Jay's secret life from comics published on "Earth-One"
that he read as a kid, and had saved.
Barry was perhaps the original "ascended fanboy."
In-story, it was suggested that the imaginations of the
E-1 comics scripters like Gardner Fox somehow "tuned-in"
to the alternate reality where Jay-Flash's adventures took place,
and manifested as dreams or daydreams which they used for stories.
* The JSA started adventuring 2 years before the JLA. Since they
had seniority, shouldn't their world have been "Earth-One?"
I probably read "Flash of Two Worlds," if not in its
original 1961 release, (FLASH 123) then in a 1965 reprint
(80-Page Giant #9.) I would have been 8, waiting to get my
hair cut at Larry's Barber Shop. My dad kept my brothers
and I in crew cuts, so I got to read a lot of comics at the
barber that I couldn't afford to buy.