The Power of Point of View

Tag: empathy

S.B.L. Book Review Session on “Perspective Criticism” (part 5)

by MATTHEW WHITLOCK   It is appropriate to respond to Gary’s work with a quote from the crafter-of-point-of view-in-chief, Marcel Proust: “Only by art can we emerge from ourselves, can we know what another sees of this universe that is not the same as ours and whose landscapes would have remained as unknown to us as… Read More ›

S.B.L. Book Review Session of “Perspective Criticism” (part 4): Response to Black Critique

by GARY YAMASAKI   Steve Black’s review of Perspective Criticism reflects a keen grasp of the fact that the essence of point of view relates to the perspective through which readers are led to experience the events described. This is nowhere more evident than in his treatment of the Mark 1 account of Jesus’ baptism, where Steve… Read More ›

Linguistics influencing Point of View: Trying to make a ‘Police Shooting’ Palatable

by GARY YAMASAKI   This post demonstrated how readers can be led to experience events through a Neanderthal point of view simply by linguistic manipulation, specifically, the avoidance of transitive clauses. This post goes a step further to explore how manipulation of transitivity can even lead readers to adopt the point of view of a particular… Read More ›

Sympathizing with a Most Unexpected Character in Mark

by STEVE BLACK   It has been argued that point of view can be used as a means of getting the reader to sympathize with a given character. Yamasaki argued additionally “if readers are led to have a subjective experience of a character—another way of saying ‘viewing the events of the story line through a character’s point… Read More ›

Unmixing Our Metaphors, Media, and Methods: A Response to Phil Ruge-Jones

by LEON SEAMAN   Gary Yamasaki’s work on point-of-view dynamics is rooted in literary criticism, but draws on the analogy of camera angle in film to illustrate these dynamics. When I read his first book, Watching a Biblical Narrative, its title suggested the interaction between reading text and watching film or live performance. Yet it might… Read More ›

(quarter)YEAR in REVIEW. . .and a look ahead to a New Year of Perspective Criticism

by GARY YAMASAKI   This blog was launched three months ago, and from the beginning, it has been intended as a site for the collective development of biblical scholarship. Specifically, it exists as a venue for dialogue on the interpretive significance of the point-of-view crafting in biblical narratives. So, week after week, ideas on this topic… Read More ›

Another Take on the Crafting of a Performance of Mark 6:47-52 – PHIL RUGE-JONES

I’ve been invited to chime in out of my own performance experience. I do think that the audience is supposed to empathize with the disciples in order to see themselves in the complex responses of the disciples and think about their own responses. They have been tossed about by storms; they have been haunted as… Read More ›

Further Comment on Mark 6:49-52 – ROBERT TANNEHILL

I agree with Gary Yamasaki (Responding to How Seaman Would Craft a Performance of Mark 6:49-52) that it is a mistake to present the disciples in Mark 6:49-52 from an external (“objective”) perspective, because, as he pointed out, there is a cluster of inside views of the disciples in this passage. Furthermore, this passage shows clearly… Read More ›

Rejoinder to ‘How Perspective Criticism Actually Works (demonstrated by an SBL paper on the point-of-view crafting of Mary at the Tomb in John 20)’ – ROBERT TANNEHILL

It is good to ask whether the different planes of point of view reinforce each other or limit each other, as Gary Yamasaki argues in the post entitled How Perspective Criticism Actually Works contrasting the spatial point of view of following with the psychological and informational. However, in doing this I think Yamasaki fails to… Read More ›

Synching Minds: “Butch Cassidy” and the Informational Plane of Point of View

by GARY YAMASAKI   The classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid makes for an intriguing study in  point-of-view crafting. Such a study could explore any of the three planes of point of view developed in earlier posts, but it is the informational plane that will be the focus of this post. The Oct 25/2012 post… Read More ›

NEW BOOK on “Perspective Criticism”

Now available from Cascade Books, Perspective Criticism: Point of View and Evaluative Guidance in Biblical Narrative, a full-length treatment of this methodology of point-of-view analysis. This book is designed as an introduction to analyzing point-of-view crafting in biblical narratives, setting out the full range of storytelling devices used in the manipulation of point of view. One… Read More ›

How might “Live Performances” of Biblical Passages be influenced by Awareness of Point-of-View Dynamics? – GARY YAMASAKI

I have been a fan of live performances of biblical passages for a long time. My first such experience was about 25 years ago, and it was not actually a live performance, but rather, a video-recording of a live performance: David Rhoads as storyteller for the whole Gospel of Mark. As I remember it, he… Read More ›

“Am I to approve or disapprove of this biblical character?” Point-of-View Crafting Provides an Answer – GARY YAMASAKI

Have you ever had the experience of sitting in a movie theatre, and becoming so engrossed in the movie that you forgot you are in a theatre? This happens to me often. . .this becoming lost in the story world of a movie. And this dynamic isn’t restricted just to cinematic stories. This can happen… Read More ›

“Why do we pull for Jesus in the gospels?” One Unexpected Reason – GARY YAMASAKI

In a story, there will often be a single character who attracts the spotlight. This, of course, is the case in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, with Jesus occupying that role, though the degree to which the spotlight stays on Jesus in these stories is noteworthy. Take the Gospel of Mark as an example. From… Read More ›

Point-of-view crafting as the engine that drives “Anti-Hero” movies – GARY YAMASAKI

The genre of “anti-hero” films is especially relevant in a discussion of point-of-view dynamics. In fact, the very nature of an anti-hero movie is totally dependent on the workings of point of view. With movies of this genre, the protagonist is given characteristics not ordinarily associated with heroes, but with villains, a characterization that would… Read More ›

Who says, “You have to be objective”? Not biblical storytellers! – GARY YAMASAKI

The posts to this point have set out some of the basics of point-of-view analysis, but they have not addressed the “So what?” question. Sure, it may be that the point-of-view crafting of a certain text is leading the readers to view the action from this angle as opposed to that angle, but does this… Read More ›