Time for another "what book are you reading?" thread...

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Doc Ephraim, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Ah, you are right there. I was thinking of living people.
    For those who are deservedly six feet under, we should not continue to hold them up as icons of their field. That way they can slowly disappear into the obscurity they have earned.
    There are indeed people who I don't want inside my head. Fascists, murders, child molesters and sadists are among them. :eusa_doh:

    Regards,

    J
     
  2. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    That was the theory in the 1980s, but that is losing favour. (Except among academics who wrote their dissertations in the 80s and 90s.)

    I think you have to take a more holistic approach. Obviously the work itself is the major consideration, but the author is an intrinsic part of that work as are the social and economic conditions as well as the hostorical moment. The author's intentions vis-a-vis the work in question are what is irrelevant.

    "He," however, is certainly dead. LONG LIVE HE! [huh]
     
  3. These are interesting arguments to have. I ponder over them considerably.

    My general guiding principle with literature is to dissociate, so much as possible, the writer from the work. The experiences of the author affect what and how he writes, but the political and moral standpoints of the author in no way corrupt the work, from my perspective. For example, i cannot stand the political stance of Christopher Hitchens, but i enjoy his writing immensely.

    Let's say, hypothetically of course, that we were to find out that Shakespeare was a child molester, raper and murderer (after torture and dismemberment). Would that make him any less a great writer?

    bk
     
  4. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    Is raper a word?
     
  5. One who rapes ...

    Rapist would probably be correct, but hey ... i'm in America. Land O' neologisms :p

    bk

    Will S. was inta making up words too, after all ...
     
  6. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    It is actually.
     
  7. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    yup.

    DERIVATIVES
    raper
    noun ORIGIN late Middle English (originally denoting violent seizure of property, later carrying off a woman by force): from Anglo-Norman French rap (noun), raper (verb), from Latin rapere ‘seize.’
     
  8. Zepp

    Zepp New in Town

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    I didn't see the series, but after a quick perusal of Amazon.com it's certain that I'll be reading this series. Thanks for posting this!
     
  9. Tony in Tarzana

    Tony in Tarzana My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Cadfael is a great TV series. It stars Derek Jacobi, whom I've enjoyed in everything I've seen him in, including I, Claudius.
     
  10. RedPop4

    RedPop4 One Too Many

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    Thank you Zepp, I do hope you enjoy them.
    Remember though, that The First Chronicle..."A Morbid Taste for Bones" moves a bit slower than the rest of them. However it is still quite readable.
     
  11. Then I would treat his literature the same way I treat Robert Stroud's or Carroll Louis'. Yes, it would make him less of a writer, human being and someone whose ideas I would not want running around in my head even for a minute.
    Shakespeare is overrated to me as it is so it wouldn't be a great leap for me to break cleanly with the guy anyway. Cicero and Plato I can't easily break cleanly with but Shakespeare yes.

    Regards,

    J
     
  12. Oh, well. Each to their own opinions.

    Cadfael is great. Never read the books but the Jacobi series is great.

    bk
     
  13. Dontcha love archaeisms?

    bk
     
  14. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    That's almost precisely my problem with Celine. His work is fantastic, funny, insightful, and perfectly acheived, but he was a facist. At points (but only a few points) in Journey to the End of Night you can see his racism, his sadism, his disdain for humanity... and these may be elements of his political stance. Am I a bad man for enjoying his work when he is such a scum?

    Shakespeare and William Tyndale (translator/writer of the King James Bible) are the, I mean THE, most important figures in the English language. Between them they invented it! Shakespeare can't be rated highly enough and to "break with the guy" would be to break with most of how we express ourselves. So, let's say, hypothetically, that he was a bad dude, a Stagger Lee, a Carravagio, an Ethan Edwards, a Travis Bickle, a Dr Cripps and an Ed Gein all rolled into one. Does that negate or even diminish his accomplishment?

    That's all I have to say on the subject. ;) :rolleyes: :eusa_clap

    BTW right now I'm rereading The Devils and catching up on a back log of High Adventure pulp reprints.
     
  15. Only Justine. Didn't think much of it.

    bk
     
  16. Well, at least we are making some progress. :p

    Regards,

    J
     
  17. Ah but would he have been the same person if he was as described by BK? Likely he would have drifted into obscurity as the Marquis did. As you mentioned about Celine, his debauchery would have drifted into his writings for sure.
    I am glad you differentiated in the English language at least. I am sure we could express ourselves just fine without him. He didn't invent the language he was just, like the rest of us, a user of the preexisting language.

    Regards,

    J
     
  18. mysterygal

    mysterygal Call Me a Cab

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    I really don't think you can seperate the two: the author's political and moral standpoints and his/her work. It will reflect into their work, just like us, what we believe, will outflow in our choice of words in conversation and our actions. Just because an author or artist is dead, does not then make them great and then forgetting their downfalls. Dead or alive, if a person is a molestor, rapist, ect., I will have no part in reading their literature or admiring their art, thier sick views will seap through eventually, and with reading their work, you are opening your mind to their sickness...like the example of Celine, how his disdain for humanity became apparent.
     
  19. But only by encountering such things can we argue about them. I choose to read some of the most outlandish, disgusting, morally repugnant drivel. Why? Because i'm not scared of it. By reading it, i can better form arguments against it (only by reading what a fascist or racist has to say can one argue effectively against him/her. "It's just wrong" is not an argument. To know why it's wrong one must have read what was written). If i ignore it (for any reason), i can't say anything about it. Who knows, a person who's a child molester may have important things to say. The fact that he/she is a child molester has no bearing upon whether he or she can write well. Personaly, i'd be interested to read a book by a child molester who said clearly, consisely, and in a literate manner, why they would do such things. Reading about it does not pollute me, or make it more likely that i would do such things.

    Should we avoid Poe because he married his young cousin? Or Twain because of his views on religion? Or Wilde or Whitman because of their liking for young men? Or X because he's right wing? Or Y because he's left wing? Or Z because he's not caucasian? By limiting what we read based upon our personal morals, we make our minds that little bit more closed. We force ourselves to be a little more ignorant of viewpoints that we may find interesting, would we simply read them.

    We're going in circles so i'll leave it there.

    bk
     
  20. mysterygal

    mysterygal Call Me a Cab

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    I'm thinking this should probably be moved to a different thread since this has gotten way off topic.
    What can a child molestor possibly have to say that could be important? what can you gleam from such a person as that other than what could of made a person go there or act is such a way? Their writing will reflect thier thoughts and behavior, I know enough about human nature to know this, they are not going to write about flowers and butterflies. To read thier work to find out the 'why's' of what is wrong with what they do...that is what our brain is for...we are using the example of a child molestor, rapist, ect. , I do not have to read to know the why's..you see the crying child, actually, I counsel MANY women who have gone through these horrible crimes, I only need to listen to them to know the why's. It is to put yourself in the other's shoe, so to speak...imagining what the recepient of the abuser had to go through does enough for me not to have to read why what they did was wrong, I am VERY capable of figuring that one out on my own and I hope it is the same for others
     

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