Industrialist or Auteur?


I found the following quote in Anthony Lane’s New Yorker article about Walt Disney, "Wonderful World", Decmeber 11, 2006 (p. 69). It turns out after Snow White, Disney was "still fretting over the shortcomings of his heroine", saying "’The bridge on her nose floats all over her face’". Lane goes on to say:

He [Walt Disney] became an industry, but the one thing that links the industrialist, whatever the product, with the auteur, whatever the form, is obsessive pedantry — the will to get things right, whatever the cost may be.

By the criterion of "obsessive pedantry", I’m clearly an auteur. In other words, you can take the boy out of academia, but you can’t take the academia out of the boy. I’ve had auteurial leanings since an early age; the first creative work I ever sold was a claymation film I made with friends (they did the art, I handled the technical details); I sold it for $100 (a princely sum to a 9th grader in 1978) to the TV show Kidsworld, which was designed to showcase kids’ work.

In case academic English isn’t your first language, here’s a American Heritage Dictionary definition of "pedantry":

1. Pedantic attention to detail or rules. 2. An instance of pedantic behavior. 3. The habit of mind or manner characteristic of a pedant.

and here’s "pedantic":

1. Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details.

If you need proof, check out two blog posts ago on Jaro-Winkler string comparison.

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