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In core values, if there is a negation of the negation, then is there a positive of the positive? - Question/Answer Now Playing

In core values, if there is a negation of the negation, then is there a positive of the positive?

Jun 27, 2011

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In core values, if there is a negation of the negation, then is there a positive of the positive? - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion

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oysteinbrager: Another thought.
at Mar 22, 2017 - 4:11 AM
It also strikes me that the negation of the negation is either made through something masquerading, or turning it inward. Does that mean that "perfect" should be love masquerading as hate? McKee argues somewhere that the ultimate act of ice is the one given anonymously. (I.e. an act of love demanding no reward).

On the their hand: If the consept of masquerading belongs to the negation of the negation as something inherently problematic in a story, must the positive of the positive do the opposite: Complete revelation. No more masks what so ever? This again ends up sounding very much like a religious concept, because who can you open up more fully and completely to than a God? Can perfection - complete honesty and nakedness - be achieved other than through some transcendent experience?

The ultimate evil does exist and is very real, but perfection is unattainable...

When it comes to the idea of the negation of the negation turning inwards, does that then mean the positive equivalent turns outward? Like Charlie's suggestion of altruism as perfection?
oysteinbrager: Earning good
at Mar 22, 2017 - 4:02 AM
Thanks, Charlie, that's really interesting. I'm curious though if you can build a (non-interesting) progression through these positive charges. If love is good, what is better? More love? What is best? All the love in the world? Perfection might be Altruism, as you say, or perhaps a better quality of love?

This is not a way to build a story, of course, but it might be worth considering in terms of where you end up. If you haven't been to the negation of the negation, perhaps you haven't earned ending up at best or perfect. Perhaps the reward of a sorry needs to be in relationship to how bad it's gotten, that you have to earn the relative quality of good in your ending.
cestu7: The Tragic Positive
at Jun 28, 2011 - 1:20 AM
This idea had intrigued me in the past after attending the Story Seminar in 2009. But as McKee says, is probably OF NO USE TO THE WRITER. But fun for conceptual contemplation :)
I'd contemplated the concept of a "positive of the positive" as you say, an extreme injection of the positive value - but instead of 'perfect' as McKee describes in his positive mirrored progression, as a negative contradiction of itself. For example, take Love (Positive), Indifference (Contrary), Hate (Contradictory), Self-Hate (Negation of the Negation). The extreme positive would take Love into the realms of Consummate Obsession. Love reaches perfection (if requited) but at risk of life. In this instance, it's a Tragic Positive, or an Ironic Positive.
Further examples - Charity (Positive), Self-Preservation (Contrary), Greed/ Self-Interest (Contradictory), Addiction/ Self-Destruction (Negation of the Negation). The Tragic Positive would be, I suppose, Altruism, or Self-Sacrifice. Charity sustains self and others, Self-Preservation sustains self, Greed sustains self at cost of others, Addiction destroys self at cost of others and Altruism sustains others at cost of self.
I think the concept works best as an heroic ideal - a self-sacrificing value, where the value becomes more important than life, whether it be Altruism, Consummate Love/Obsession, Compulsive Candour (Honesty/Deception) or Transcendence (Life/Death). I'm sure there are many more possibilities.
I think this way of thinking is at least beneficial in helping the writer have an awareness of the ironic possibilities in the charges and combinations of values.
Hope that sparked some curiosity!
Charlie (Melbourne, Australia)

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