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Tuesday, October 3

Giggles, Umberto Eco and the Law of Transgression

Well, here’s a factoid. This post has been written mid-air on-board flight 9W 462 Chennai - Bombay. The day had been a bit lack luster as the pitch presentation was to an uninspiring and confused client!

However, the trip was more than made up by the chance visit to Giggles, the biggest little book shop (as they call themselves) tucked away in a tiny corner of the Taj Connemara 100 ft from my first place of work, HTA Chennai on Commander-in-chief road. (Funny, how with the passage of time, even the worst phases of life acquire a nostalgic glow!)

I stocked up ‘Umberto Eco on literature’ (a book on the redemptive properties of good writing) and another Eco book titled ‘How to travel with a salmon and other essays’.

In-flight flipping through the pages of ‘How to travel…’ I discovered an essay titled ‘How to recognize a porn movie!’ and inside it the great insight of the ‘Law of Transgression’. It solved a 15 year old conundrum of mine!

Now, if you have ever watched a porn movie, you would have wondered why before every ten minutes of action, there are large sequences of men climbing into their cars and driving for miles on end, couples who waste an incredible amount of time signing at hotel desks or women who take eternity unhooking their uncomplicated lacy under-garments! At least I did, when I was graduating in Computer Engineering on the weekly diet of two pondy movies, one normal and the other XXX!

Therefore, it was a QED moment when Eco explained that for any transgression to work (here of course we are talking of sexual transgressions,it must be played against a back-drop of normality.
This way the transgression keeps the interest of the audience. Eco expounds that no-one can bear with an hour and a half of motorised action and hence the passages of wasted time are essential.

Okay, I admit this post doesn’t fit in my mash of diverse stuff under IndiAdRants.
Guess, it was one part boredom, one part beer and two parts the elation at the elegant/ logical solution of a 15 year old conundrum!


harshal said...

Excellent learning there.

And yes, please carry on with more such posts! Umberto's a great writer and I'm an unabashed fan of his earlier work.

Haven't really managed to read too much of his non-fiction work though. I understand he's a teacher of semiotics, as a matter of fact.

Is there any chance we could set up a book exchange program?

meraj said...

the postings are spicing up with time...good going!

allow me to tell you about another porn movie observation which used to puzzle me till i found the solution, not from a literary giant but an expert friend on the subject:

observation/question: why do the women in porn flicks never take off theirs high-heels?

because, full-nudity aint allowed.


harshal said...

Nice one, Meraj!

Rather astute observation. I also suspect the more rational reason is cause high heels change the way women walk. Accentuate the hips & bust a bit.

Ah well, was a womyn once, but of course, that's prior to the operation..