the subtractions

I’ve been thinking a lot about subtraction lately, and specifically about the issue of the relative contributions of adding to knowledge versus subtracting from “knowledge.” But, on the general topic, a familiar demonstration of the benefits of subtraction has been that Garfield comic strips become more evocative when Garfield‘s dialogue is removed or when Garfield is removed entirely. Now, somebody has been working on an even more poignant demonstration using a much better comic strip: the morose beauty of Peanuts with the last panel deleted.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

1 thought on “the subtractions”

  1. the original British edition of Clockwork Orange ends with a chapter where Alex basically “ages out” of being a street thug. The American edition of the novel (and the Kubrick film, which was based on the American edition) omits this conclusion and is much darker for it, not unlike the three-panel Peanuts cartoons you linked.

    there’s also a famous fan cut of “Phantom Menace” that eliminates most of Jar Jar Binks’ screen time. personally, i’d like to see the prequels with the dialog removed as well.

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