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Thread: The Book Thread

  1. #781
    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Ugh.
    But Isn't style the most beautiful part of literature? The book starts off with the most basic of language("moocow coming along the read met little tuckoo") and develops into beautiful, flowing yet uncomplicated( "The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails."). For the gradual development of language alone, this book is a masterpiece. Not to say, the 'substance' in it is not ruddy brilliant though, The socially awkward young teenager phase and the Angry yet emotionally sensitive young man phase are beautifully portrayed and I do not know how you can think it is a piece of trash, or maybe it is because of my age(17) that I like it so much and I can relate to it so well. I have not read any Hemingway books and will probably start and finish all his books after I finish all of Joyce and Fitzgerald.
    Last edited by Teja.; 22-06-2010 at 12:12 PM.

  2. #782
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    But Isn't style the most beautiful part of literature?
    No, not to me. Styles go in and out of fashion, and in and of themselves, mean nothing. Ideas stay forever. Again, that's just what I prefer in my novels, it's obviously a very subjective thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    The book starts off with the most basic of language("moocow coming along the read met little tuckoo") and develops into beautiful, flowing yet uncomplicated( "The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails."). For the gradual development of language alone, this book is a masterpiece. Not to say, the 'substance' in it is not ruddy brilliant though, The socially awkward young teenager phase and the Angry yet emotionally sensitive young man phase are beautifully portrayed and I do not know how you can think it is a piece of trash, or maybe it is because of my age(17) that I like it so much and I can relate to it so well. I have not read any Hemingway books and will probably start and finish all his books after I finish all of Joyce and Fitzgerald.
    If you peeled away all the literary crap, you'd be left with a story that could be condensed into a novel of about 25 pages, and it'd be a middling book at best.

    I don't think it's because of your age - many people enjoy it immensely (some call it the greatest novel of the 20th century). I just start rolling my eyes pretty quickly at that sort of thing.
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  3. #783
    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    No, not to me. Styles go in and out of fashion, and in and of themselves, mean nothing. Ideas stay forever. Again, that's just what I prefer in my novels, it's obviously a very subjective thing.



    If you peeled away all the literary crap, you'd be left with a story that could be condensed into a novel of about 25 pages, and it'd be a middling book at best.

    I don't think it's because of your age - many people enjoy it immensely (some call it the greatest novel of the 20th century). I just start rolling my eyes pretty quickly at that sort of thing.
    Fair enough. Not a big fan of poetry I assume?

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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Ideas stay forever.
    A scientist did not just say that?? Surely....
    "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher." - Ambrose Bierce
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpr View Post
    A scientist did not just say that?? Surely....
    Haha, data changes, so ideas must change. If nature of human beings change, then the ideas in literature should change...hasn't happened yet. That's why good novels from hundreds of years past still have such an impact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    Fair enough. Not a big fan of poetry I assume?
    I do enjoy a bit time to time, but not particularly, no.

  6. #786
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpr View Post
    There was an article on BBC's website about To Kill a Mockingbird the other day, pushing me to want to re-read it. Problem is it is a book I can't stop once I've started. I have read it in a single sitting before..... and I don't want to waste my week off!
    Haha, that's a new excuse. Not wanting to read a book because it's too absorbing.

    I feel the same way though, I can't put a good book down either...

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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Haha, data changes, so ideas must change. If nature of human beings change, then the ideas in literature should change...hasn't happened yet. That's why good novels from hundreds of years past still have such an impact.

    Whilst I wont argue with the last sentace (some of my favourite books are 150 years old or more). The nature of humans has changed, mentally as opposed to physically, and thats been reflected in literature. Hence from poetic morality tales of Dante, through swashbuckling and romance of Dumas, into dystopian nightmares of Huxley. Human nature has changed and has been reflected by the writing of the era, and the way the works are written (Dante wrote in Canto's, Dumas made sure every few chapters had a cliffhanger, as most literature was serialised in the press at the time). Its still literature as we know it, but the style's and idea's, not only on paper, but in the processes of getting it to paper, have changed.


    Thought I'd be cruel and point to the anomaly in your comment though

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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    Haha, that's a new excuse. Not wanting to read a book because it's too absorbing.

    I feel the same way though, I can't put a good book down either...

    Yeah, can easily lose too much time in a book if i'm into it. Can happily forget to eat for a day or two......

  9. #789
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpr View Post
    Whilst I wont argue with the last sentace (some of my favourite books are 150 years old or more). The nature of humans has changed, mentally as opposed to physically, and thats been reflected in literature. Hence from poetic morality tales of Dante, through swashbuckling and romance of Dumas, into dystopian nightmares of Huxley. Human nature has changed and has been reflected by the writing of the era, and the way the works are written (Dante wrote in Canto's, Dumas made sure every few chapters had a cliffhanger, as most literature was serialised in the press at the time). Its still literature as we know it, but the style's and idea's, not only on paper, but in the processes of getting it to paper, have changed.


    Thought I'd be cruel and point to the anomaly in your comment though
    That's just different cultures - different cultures have different tastes, and things like cultural norms, morality, etc changes, and of course the way that they are expressed are different. If you live in a Christian setting, the characters will behave based on that cultural background, which might be different from novels based in ancient China or India. That's not really human nature changing - those are fashions and/or cultural settings which may shape people's actions but it is still in the end a slave to the essence of what is universally human.

    But people are and have always been greedy, lustful, power-hungry, etc. The basic essence, and in my opinion, the driving reasons behind people's actions the great novels, don't. Things like King Lear, Moby Dick, Old Man and the Sea, etc reflect a very universally valid view of human nature.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 22-06-2010 at 02:12 PM.

  10. #790
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    I'm just waiting for an opening to go on a rant about so called "literary fiction."

    All we need is a typical English Literature academic to come in here and see how much fantasy and sci fi we read....I'm tempted to go on a snob hunt at absolutewrite in the tumble weed filled LitFic section.
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  11. #791
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    I just laugh at them because they are brutally dragging themselves through another one of those books which everyone buys but no one finishes (thanks Ebert!), like Finnegan's Wake, because they're the elite and that way they can circle jerk each other while making fun of scifi...while we actually enjoy our books.
    Last edited by silentstriker; 22-06-2010 at 06:13 PM.

  12. #792
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentstriker View Post
    I just laugh at them because they are brutally dragging themselves through another one of those books which everyone buys but no one finishes (thanks Ebert!), like Finnegan's Wake, because they're the elite and that way they can circle jerk each other while making fun of scifi...while we actually enjoy our books.
    I feel the same about art. Half the time at museums I just stare at the painting wondering what I have to appreciate there. I find many celebrated art pieces plain bad.

  13. #793
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    Yea, it's very personal. I have no problems if you actually like A portrait of an artist as a young man, or Finnegan's wake, or art by Duchamp. None at all. But I find it hilarious that people pretend to like it because they are supposed to, and worse, are snobs about it and look down on anyone who prefers something else.

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    Literary fiction doesn't even exist as a genre. There's modern contemporary, and fantasy, and sci fi. and romance etc.

    Literary fiction defines itself as.....um.....

    Exactly. You get a different definition every time.

    The one common ground is it is fiction with a high literary merit.

    First problem: art is subjective. There is no exact answer like a maths equation. Who gets to decide what has high literary merit, and why do they have that right?

    Generally its a bunch of university career academics. The only reason the genre-that-doesn't-even-think-it-is-a-genre-and-it-actualy-isn't-but-for-different-reasons-than-they-think survives is because of its popularity (lol, contradiction much) in universities.

    I can almost guarantee that the two most remembered authors of our time (and the two most jizzed over authors of our time by future litfic people) will be JK Rowling and Stephen King. They write filthy genre fiction, and Rowling suffers from adverb spam, but this will be largely ignored. They ignored it with Tolkien and Dickens.

    Literary fiction is trying to be to fiction what punk was to rock music. Except they won't because it has no legs to stand on other than being anti everything popular and snobby.

    LitFic, if I had my way, would be chucked in the modern day genre.

    Rant over.

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    Anyway, for the big plane trip to Vietnam, I brought The Stand by Stephen King, and I still have Game of Thrones to finish on the plane. Have barely had time to read it so I'm saving it for when I need it.

    I'm looking forward to the new Artemis Fowl out very shortly too.



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