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Point Counterpoint

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  • hecon_99
    I hope a number of people will joint in the September group read. It will take me about another week to get a copy, but I plan to start then. I found an
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 1, 2004
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      I hope a number of people will joint in the September group read. It
      will take me about another week to get a copy, but I plan to start
      then.
      I found an interesting site on Huxley. http://somaweb.org/
      The group seems to be getting more lively. I know I've been enjoying
      the comments on TSAR. (and very nice to have you back Winston.)I hope
      that is a trend.
      Henry
    • winstonsmith_99
      Henry, It ll will be my pleasure to read PCP (an unfortunate abbreviation) along with the group. Winston ... It ... enjoying ... hope
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 1, 2004
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        Henry, It'll will be my pleasure to read PCP (an unfortunate
        abbreviation) along with the group.

        Winston

        --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, hecon_99
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > I hope a number of people will joint in the September group read.
        It
        > will take me about another week to get a copy, but I plan to start
        > then.
        > I found an interesting site on Huxley. http://somaweb.org/
        > The group seems to be getting more lively. I know I've been
        enjoying
        > the comments on TSAR. (and very nice to have you back Winston.)I
        hope
        > that is a trend.
        > Henry
      • winstonsmith_99
        Hmmm. . . It ll will. . . Blame it on my scorching headache! W. ... modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, winstonsmith_99 ... start
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 2, 2004
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          Hmmm. . . "It'll will. . ." Blame it on my scorching headache!

          W.

          --- In
          modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "winstonsmith_99"
          <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
          > Henry, It'll will be my pleasure to read PCP (an unfortunate
          > abbreviation) along with the group.
          >
          > Winston
          >
          > --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, hecon_99
          > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > I hope a number of people will joint in the September group read.
          > It
          > > will take me about another week to get a copy, but I plan to
          start
          > > then.
          > > I found an interesting site on Huxley. http://somaweb.org/
          > > The group seems to be getting more lively. I know I've been
          > enjoying
          > > the comments on TSAR. (and very nice to have you back Winston.)I
          > hope
          > > that is a trend.
          > > Henry
        • Henry McFarland
          Everybody makes typos, Winston. Anyway I hope your headache is better. Glad you ll be in on this book. Too bad about the book s initials. I hope we don t end
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 2, 2004
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            Everybody makes typos, Winston. Anyway I hope your
            headache is better. Glad you'll be in on this book.
            Too bad about the book's initials. I hope we don't end
            up in a Fox news expose "Group doing PCP on the
            Internet."
            Henry
            --- winstonsmith_99 <winstonsmith_99@...> wrote:

            > Hmmm. . . "It'll will. . ." Blame it on my scorching
            > headache!
            >
            > W.
            >
            > --- In
            > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
            > "winstonsmith_99"
            > <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
            > > Henry, It'll will be my pleasure to read PCP (an
            > unfortunate
            > > abbreviation) along with the group.
            > >
            > > Winston
            > >
            > > --- In
            > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
            > hecon_99
            > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            > > > I hope a number of people will joint in the
            > September group read.
            > > It
            > > > will take me about another week to get a copy,
            > but I plan to
            > start
            > > > then.
            > > > I found an interesting site on Huxley.
            > http://somaweb.org/
            > > > The group seems to be getting more lively. I
            > know I've been
            > > enjoying
            > > > the comments on TSAR. (and very nice to have you
            > back Winston.)I
            > > hope
            > > > that is a trend.
            > > > Henry
            >
            >




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          • winstonsmith_99
            I hope we don t end up in a Fox news expose Group doing PCP on the Internet. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!!!!! Very good, Henry!
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 2, 2004
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              "I hope we don't end up in a Fox news expose "Group doing PCP on the
              Internet."" HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!!!!! Very good, Henry!

              --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, Henry McFarland
              <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
              > Everybody makes typos, Winston. Anyway I hope your
              > headache is better. Glad you'll be in on this book.
              > Too bad about the book's initials. I hope we don't end
              > up in a Fox news expose "Group doing PCP on the
              > Internet."
              > Henry
              > --- winstonsmith_99 <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
              >
              > > Hmmm. . . "It'll will. . ." Blame it on my scorching
              > > headache!
              > >
              > > W.
              > >
              > > --- In
              > > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
              > > "winstonsmith_99"
              > > <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
              > > > Henry, It'll will be my pleasure to read PCP (an
              > > unfortunate
              > > > abbreviation) along with the group.
              > > >
              > > > Winston
              > > >
              > > > --- In
              > > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
              > > hecon_99
              > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > > > > I hope a number of people will joint in the
              > > September group read.
              > > > It
              > > > > will take me about another week to get a copy,
              > > but I plan to
              > > start
              > > > > then.
              > > > > I found an interesting site on Huxley.
              > > http://somaweb.org/
              > > > > The group seems to be getting more lively. I
              > > know I've been
              > > > enjoying
              > > > > the comments on TSAR. (and very nice to have you
              > > back Winston.)I
              > > > hope
              > > > > that is a trend.
              > > > > Henry
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > __________________________________
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
              > http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
            • hecon_99
              Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of the way through. One of the characters describes going to a party as like cutting through a jungle, and we
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 6, 2004
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                Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of the way through.
                One of the characters describes going to a party as like cutting
                through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of characters. The
                structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments) between a man and a
                woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part of the message),
                but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                Henry
              • winstonsmith_99
                My copy has yet to arrive. Is there an e-text somewhere on the web? W. ... through.
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 7, 2004
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                  My copy has yet to arrive. Is there an e-text somewhere on the web?

                  W.

                  --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "hecon_99"
                  <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                  > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of the way
                  through.
                  > One of the characters describes going to a party as like cutting
                  > through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of characters. The
                  > structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                  > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments) between a man and a
                  > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part of the message),
                  > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                  > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                  > Henry
                • Kathy Vidovich
                  I just got my copy of the book, and expect to start reading it by Thursday. I ll look for the structure you mention, Henry. Sorry Winston, I did a quick search
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 7, 2004
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                    I just got my copy of the book, and expect to start reading it by Thursday.
                    I'll look for the structure you mention, Henry.

                    Sorry Winston, I did a quick search and found etext for "Brave New World"
                    "Chrome Yellow" and "Doors of Perception", but no "Point Counter Point".
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: hecon_99 [mailto:hecon_99@...]
                    Sent: Monday, September 06, 2004 9:08 AM
                    To: modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [ModernLibrary 100 Greatest Books] Point Counterpoint


                    Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of the way through.
                    One of the characters describes going to a party as like cutting
                    through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of characters. The
                    structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                    exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments) between a man and a
                    woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part of the message),
                    but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                    I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                    Henry




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                  • elizabeth davis
                    I have started the book and didn t really like the opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell ad can t out it down to
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 10, 2004
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                      I have started the book and didn't really like the
                      opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                      "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it down
                      to do my "required" reading.

                      --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@...> wrote:

                      > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of
                      > the way through.
                      > One of the characters describes going to a party as
                      > like cutting
                      > through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of
                      > characters. The
                      > structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                      > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                      > between a man and a
                      > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part
                      > of the message),
                      > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                      > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                      > Henry
                      >
                      >
                      >


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                    • winstonsmith_99
                      Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening chapter, and I thought it was fascinating. Didn t you feel the tension between Marjorie and Walter? Haven t you
                      Message 10 of 15 , Sep 10, 2004
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                        Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening chapter, and I thought
                        it was fascinating. Didn't you feel the tension between Marjorie and
                        Walter? Haven't you ever had someone try to manipulate and pressure
                        you into an untenable position? I had something of a claustrophobic
                        feeling as I read. It's ironic how Walter and Marjorie could in such
                        close proximity to each other, and yet be so apart even while they
                        have a common bond. From this first chapter, my initial impression is
                        that the story will one of extreme contrasts between people who are
                        inescapably linked to each other, though they have no business being
                        so linked. I expect the main vehicle to be extreme contrast. Now,
                        contrast is usually the reason for motion in literature. However, the
                        title leads me to think that the contrasts will be equal and
                        opposite, and therefore canceling. There will be tension without
                        motion (or catharsis), resulting in frustration.

                        Btw, I think Walter is a coward.

                        Winston

                        --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, elizabeth davis
                        <emd233@y...> wrote:
                        > I have started the book and didn't really like the
                        > opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                        > "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it down
                        > to do my "required" reading.
                        >
                        > --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of
                        > > the way through.
                        > > One of the characters describes going to a party as
                        > > like cutting
                        > > through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of
                        > > characters. The
                        > > structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                        > > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                        > > between a man and a
                        > > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part
                        > > of the message),
                        > > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                        > > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                        > > Henry
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        > __________________________________________________
                        > Do You Yahoo!?
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                      • elizabeth davis
                        I think my real issue is that I m in love with the romantic notion of love. I have reality love in real life and I escape to fiction for the damsels in
                        Message 11 of 15 , Sep 10, 2004
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                          I think my real issue is that I'm in love with the
                          romantic notion of love. I have reality love in real
                          life and I escape to fiction for the damsels in
                          distress and the knights on white horses. I also love
                          reading long descrptive passages about places I
                          haven't seen. I'm hopelessly stuck in the 18th and
                          19th centuries. I'll keep reading, but I love these
                          discussions to better understand why some classics I
                          don't like are called classics.
                          --- winstonsmith_99 <winstonsmith_99@...> wrote:

                          > Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening
                          > chapter, and I thought
                          > it was fascinating. Didn't you feel the tension
                          > between Marjorie and
                          > Walter? Haven't you ever had someone try to
                          > manipulate and pressure
                          > you into an untenable position? I had something of a
                          > claustrophobic
                          > feeling as I read. It's ironic how Walter and
                          > Marjorie could in such
                          > close proximity to each other, and yet be so apart
                          > even while they
                          > have a common bond. From this first chapter, my
                          > initial impression is
                          > that the story will one of extreme contrasts between
                          > people who are
                          > inescapably linked to each other, though they have
                          > no business being
                          > so linked. I expect the main vehicle to be extreme
                          > contrast. Now,
                          > contrast is usually the reason for motion in
                          > literature. However, the
                          > title leads me to think that the contrasts will be
                          > equal and
                          > opposite, and therefore canceling. There will be
                          > tension without
                          > motion (or catharsis), resulting in frustration.
                          >
                          > Btw, I think Walter is a coward.
                          >
                          > Winston
                          >
                          > --- In
                          > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
                          > elizabeth davis
                          > <emd233@y...> wrote:
                          > > I have started the book and didn't really like the
                          > > opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                          > > "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it
                          > down
                          > > to do my "required" reading.
                          > >
                          > > --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one
                          > third of
                          > > > the way through.
                          > > > One of the characters describes going to a party
                          > as
                          > > > like cutting
                          > > > through a jungle, and we certainly have a
                          > thicket of
                          > > > characters. The
                          > > > structure so far seems to a series of back and
                          > forth
                          > > > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                          > > > between a man and a
                          > > > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is
                          > part
                          > > > of the message),
                          > > > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                          > > > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                          > > > Henry
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > __________________________________________________
                          > > Do You Yahoo!?
                          > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                          > protection around
                          > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                          >
                          >




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                        • hecon_99
                          I certainly agree Walter is a coward, Winston. His other bad qualities are readily apparent too. In fact, the book reminds me of Seinfeld a bit, the characters
                          Message 12 of 15 , Sep 11, 2004
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                            I certainly agree Walter is a coward, Winston. His other bad qualities
                            are readily apparent too.
                            In fact, the book reminds me of Seinfeld a bit, the characters are
                            generally ineffective and small-minded, and self-absorbed. (Walter may
                            lead the pack in the self-absorbed category.) The Seinfeld characters
                            weren't as nasty though.
                            (Minor spoler from fairly early (first half of the book, but I'll
                            leave a space anyway.)
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            s
                            ss
                            s
                            s
                            I find Walter a pale imitation of his father, and I wonder at their
                            relationship. Interesting that Walter ends up in bed with the daughter
                            of his father's former mistress.
                            --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
                            "winstonsmith_99" <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
                            > Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening chapter, and I thought
                            > it was fascinating. Didn't you feel the tension between Marjorie and
                            > Walter? Haven't you ever had someone try to manipulate and pressure
                            > you into an untenable position? I had something of a claustrophobic
                            > feeling as I read. It's ironic how Walter and Marjorie could in such
                            > close proximity to each other, and yet be so apart even while they
                            > have a common bond. From this first chapter, my initial impression is
                            > that the story will one of extreme contrasts between people who are
                            > inescapably linked to each other, though they have no business being
                            > so linked. I expect the main vehicle to be extreme contrast. Now,
                            > contrast is usually the reason for motion in literature. However, the
                            > title leads me to think that the contrasts will be equal and
                            > opposite, and therefore canceling. There will be tension without
                            > motion (or catharsis), resulting in frustration.
                            >
                            > Btw, I think Walter is a coward.
                            >
                            > Winston
                            >
                            > --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, elizabeth davis
                            > <emd233@y...> wrote:
                            > > I have started the book and didn't really like the
                            > > opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                            > > "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it down
                            > > to do my "required" reading.
                            > >
                            > > --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of
                            > > > the way through.
                            > > > One of the characters describes going to a party as
                            > > > like cutting
                            > > > through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of
                            > > > characters. The
                            > > > structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                            > > > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                            > > > between a man and a
                            > > > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part
                            > > > of the message),
                            > > > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                            > > > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                            > > > Henry
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > __________________________________________________
                            > > Do You Yahoo!?
                            > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                            > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                          • kamonkey2001
                            Winston, I m a little further in PCP, but not as far as Henry s spoiler (I accidentallly read the spoiler Henry, but I could see that coming from the start of
                            Message 13 of 15 , Sep 14, 2004
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                              Winston, I'm a little further in PCP, but not as far as Henry's
                              spoiler (I accidentallly read the spoiler Henry, but I could see that
                              coming from the start of the novel anyway - heh). But I have noticed
                              the pattern you mention. The book is set up on contrasts, and not
                              just between men and women but also between science and the business
                              world, solitary thought vs. social interaction, sensuality vs.
                              romance, etc.

                              Somehow Huxley has also made it entertaining. Looks like in my last
                              message the word-of-the-day was "acid", and yep, I think Huxley can
                              be pretty acid too. It says on the back of my copy that he was
                              satirizing some well-known people of his day. I wondered about that,
                              since Huxley's own grandfather, a famous biologist and contributor to
                              evolutionary theory, resembles Lord Edward Tantamount. What must the
                              rest of his family have thought about that? I can't imagine that
                              everyone else parodied in the book was well-pleased with Huxley
                              either, so it must have taken some nerve to publish this.


                              --- In
                              modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "winstonsmith_99"
                              <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
                              > Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening chapter, and I thought
                              > it was fascinating. Didn't you feel the tension between Marjorie
                              and
                              > Walter? Haven't you ever had someone try to manipulate and pressure
                              > you into an untenable position? I had something of a claustrophobic
                              > feeling as I read. It's ironic how Walter and Marjorie could in
                              such
                              > close proximity to each other, and yet be so apart even while they
                              > have a common bond. From this first chapter, my initial impression
                              is
                              > that the story will one of extreme contrasts between people who are
                              > inescapably linked to each other, though they have no business
                              being
                              > so linked. I expect the main vehicle to be extreme contrast. Now,
                              > contrast is usually the reason for motion in literature. However,
                              the
                              > title leads me to think that the contrasts will be equal and
                              > opposite, and therefore canceling. There will be tension without
                              > motion (or catharsis), resulting in frustration.
                              >
                              > Btw, I think Walter is a coward.
                              >
                              > Winston
                              >
                              > --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, elizabeth
                              davis
                              > <emd233@y...> wrote:
                              > > I have started the book and didn't really like the
                              > > opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                              > > "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it down
                              > > to do my "required" reading.
                              > >
                              > > --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of
                              > > > the way through.
                              > > > One of the characters describes going to a party as
                              > > > like cutting
                              > > > through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of
                              > > > characters. The
                              > > > structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                              > > > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                              > > > between a man and a
                              > > > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part
                              > > > of the message),
                              > > > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                              > > > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                              > > > Henry
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > __________________________________________________
                              > > Do You Yahoo!?
                              > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                              > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                            • winstonsmith_99
                              Elizabeth, You ve said a couple of things that interest me, but I m fascinated by what seems to be a disconnect you place between literature and real life.
                              Message 14 of 15 , Sep 14, 2004
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                                Elizabeth, You've said a couple of things that interest me, but I'm
                                fascinated by what seems to be a disconnect you place between
                                literature and "real life." While I fully understand and appreciate
                                the escapism value of literature, I also fully believe that the
                                ultimate purpose of literature in particular and art in general is to
                                place us deeper into "real life." The way the author/artist does this
                                is by focusing our attention, by minimizing the superfluous to draw
                                the essential into higher relief. The purpose of the author/artist is
                                to help us see the detail so that we can see how the details make up
                                the whole.

                                Let me offer an example from a wonderful book called *How Proust can
                                Change Your Life* by Alain DeBotton (I could not recommend a book
                                more highly. It actually does live up to its title. Please lay hold
                                of a copy as soon as you can). The 19th century French painter Jean
                                Baptiste Chardin was famous for his still life paintings of everyday
                                objects, clay pots, pieces of fruit, kitchen utensils, home scenes.
                                He painted these things at a time when most painters were offering
                                portraits of royalty, of palaces, elegant things. However, people
                                couldn't get enough of Chardin. They saw their own lives and their
                                own possessions in his paintings. They saw an earthenware pot on a
                                table. The pot is sturdy, perfect for its office, and its colors are
                                rich, bright, and the glazing beautifully patinaed. The table upon
                                which the pot sits is of rich brown wood, not highly polished, but
                                rubbed smooth with honest use. Most poor and middle-class people had
                                such things in their own homes, and they didn't really pay them much
                                mind because they were lost in the jumble of other household objects
                                as well as in the needs of the moment, being used for household
                                chores. However, these very items were the precise inspiration for
                                works of art that are beautifully simple and simply beautiful. People
                                could go back to their homes and say, "I have a bowl like what
                                Chardin painted! My table looks just like the one in the Chardin!",
                                and they would realize that their quotidian lives were filled with
                                the stuff of art. They had only to open their eyes to the beauty that
                                surrounds them. It took and artist to open their eyes.

                                We are in the same position as the viewers of Chardin's paintings.

                                You say that you have "reality love in real life," and that you
                                indulge in the romantic notion of love, expressed by the damsel and
                                knight model, through fiction. Please grant me that I don't know the
                                particulars of your situation, but I submit that if you consider your
                                life very carefully, you will see that the damsel-and-knight romance
                                that you hold in such high esteem (rightly so, I say!) is available
                                to you in your "reality love in real life." Certainly, the setting is
                                different. But is it realistic to expect your signifigant other (I
                                hate that term, but again, I don't know your situation) to don a suit
                                of armour and mount a steed? Are such acoutrements even available to
                                the object of your affection? I doubt it, unless you're both involved
                                in something like SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism. Check it
                                out - you might be interested in it). My point is that literature can
                                open your eyes to the "romantic notion of love" that is all around
                                you. The writer's you enjoy reading can write about only that with
                                which they are familiar, that which they have seen. Love has never
                                changed. The love about which your 18th and 19th century authors
                                write is the same love that we experience today.

                                How does this relate to *Point Counter Point*? Well, firstly, if
                                literature can open our eyes to the good and beauty around us, it can
                                also open our eyes to the sad and ugly. The people in *PCP* are
                                miserable wretches. I have no doubt that our man Aldous knew folks
                                like those in *PCP*. I know that I know people like them - mismatched
                                lovers, political antagonists, societal sowers of dragon's teeth,
                                etc. You know them, too. Perhaps we don't know them in such a
                                concentration as in *PCP*, but they're there. The story reflects how
                                empty and miserable they are, and serves as a warning to us that we
                                shouldn't be fooled by the trappings of self-satisfied self-
                                proclaimed exemplars of urbanity. Secondly, aren't you happy that you
                                aren't like those people? Aren't you happy to see that your love
                                relationship isn't anyhting like what Marjorie and Walter are
                                experiencing? There are Walters and Marjories all over the place. We
                                know this because Aldous could write about them only if he had seen
                                them. But you're not one of them, and neither am I.

                                I could go on, but I'm at work, and lunch time is over. I hope you
                                get the idea. If not, I'm certain it's because I didn't explain it
                                well. Please let me know what you think, and do keep reading. And DO
                                get a copy of the DeBotton book and read the chapter "How to Open
                                Your Eyes". You'll thank me.

                                Btw, I'm hopelessly stuck in my boyhood fantasy of being the captain
                                of a 19th century sailing ship. Alas, the best I could do was
                                thirteen years as an electronics technician in the Submarine Force.
                                But I found it very satisfactory, with a little help from Patrick
                                O'Brian and Jimmy Buffet. After all, I was on a ship at sea, complete
                                with danger and occasional sea sickness. A great life, if I do say so
                                myself.

                                Winston

                                --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, elizabeth davis
                                <emd233@y...> wrote:
                                > I think my real issue is that I'm in love with the
                                > romantic notion of love. I have reality love in real
                                > life and I escape to fiction for the damsels in
                                > distress and the knights on white horses. I also love
                                > reading long descrptive passages about places I
                                > haven't seen. I'm hopelessly stuck in the 18th and
                                > 19th centuries. I'll keep reading, but I love these
                                > discussions to better understand why some classics I
                                > don't like are called classics.
                                > --- winstonsmith_99 <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening
                                > > chapter, and I thought
                                > > it was fascinating. Didn't you feel the tension
                                > > between Marjorie and
                                > > Walter? Haven't you ever had someone try to
                                > > manipulate and pressure
                                > > you into an untenable position? I had something of a
                                > > claustrophobic
                                > > feeling as I read. It's ironic how Walter and
                                > > Marjorie could in such
                                > > close proximity to each other, and yet be so apart
                                > > even while they
                                > > have a common bond. From this first chapter, my
                                > > initial impression is
                                > > that the story will one of extreme contrasts between
                                > > people who are
                                > > inescapably linked to each other, though they have
                                > > no business being
                                > > so linked. I expect the main vehicle to be extreme
                                > > contrast. Now,
                                > > contrast is usually the reason for motion in
                                > > literature. However, the
                                > > title leads me to think that the contrasts will be
                                > > equal and
                                > > opposite, and therefore canceling. There will be
                                > > tension without
                                > > motion (or catharsis), resulting in frustration.
                                > >
                                > > Btw, I think Walter is a coward.
                                > >
                                > > Winston
                                > >
                                > > --- In
                                > > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com,
                                > > elizabeth davis
                                > > <emd233@y...> wrote:
                                > > > I have started the book and didn't really like the
                                > > > opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                                > > > "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it
                                > > down
                                > > > to do my "required" reading.
                                > > >
                                > > > --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one
                                > > third of
                                > > > > the way through.
                                > > > > One of the characters describes going to a party
                                > > as
                                > > > > like cutting
                                > > > > through a jungle, and we certainly have a
                                > > thicket of
                                > > > > characters. The
                                > > > > structure so far seems to a series of back and
                                > > forth
                                > > > > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                                > > > > between a man and a
                                > > > > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is
                                > > part
                                > > > > of the message),
                                > > > > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                                > > > > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                                > > > > Henry
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > > >
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > __________________________________________________
                                > > > Do You Yahoo!?
                                > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                                > > protection around
                                > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                                > >
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
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                                > Shop for Back-to-School deals on Yahoo! Shopping.
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                              • winstonsmith_99
                                Kathy, The more of *PCP* I read, the more I m convinced that the Huxley s purpose in writing it was to show the paralyzing effects of bull-headed extremism,
                                Message 15 of 15 , Sep 15, 2004
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Kathy, The more of *PCP* I read, the more I'm convinced that the
                                  Huxley's purpose in writing it was to show the paralyzing effects of
                                  bull-headed extremism, and his method was via extreme contrasts.
                                  Everyone in this story are at opposite poles, and yet there's very
                                  little movement. Normally, literary contrast is the vehicle for
                                  movement (I told one of my students that a story is a differential
                                  pressure device, like a wing or a drinking straw or a sail. It sets
                                  up a well-defined difference, like a wing sets up high pressure below
                                  it and low pressure above it, that produces movement.), but not so
                                  *PCP*. I don't know that the story even has a real plot. It's more
                                  like a very long picaresque showing us the banality of a segment of
                                  nouveau riche types who have way too much free time and the
                                  frustrations of lower-class types who have more zeal than money or
                                  wisdom.

                                  Btw, Walter's brother-in-law Phillip is kind of an interesting
                                  character. Early on he seems sort of like a one-man Greek chorus.

                                  In any case, I agree with you that it must have taken some guts on
                                  Huxley's part, as every author, even sci-fi authors, can write about
                                  only that which he or she has seen. I've said as much to my friends
                                  and students (an odd differentiation), and when they read my latest
                                  (and best) short story, it caused quite a stir. They saw many
                                  similarities between the story and my life. I had a difficult time
                                  extricating my poor self from it. It was a lesson learned.

                                  Winston

                                  --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "kamonkey2001"
                                  <kvidovich@e...> wrote:
                                  > Winston, I'm a little further in PCP, but not as far as Henry's
                                  > spoiler (I accidentallly read the spoiler Henry, but I could see
                                  that
                                  > coming from the start of the novel anyway - heh). But I have
                                  noticed
                                  > the pattern you mention. The book is set up on contrasts, and not
                                  > just between men and women but also between science and the
                                  business
                                  > world, solitary thought vs. social interaction, sensuality vs.
                                  > romance, etc.
                                  >
                                  > Somehow Huxley has also made it entertaining. Looks like in my
                                  last
                                  > message the word-of-the-day was "acid", and yep, I think Huxley can
                                  > be pretty acid too. It says on the back of my copy that he was
                                  > satirizing some well-known people of his day. I wondered about
                                  that,
                                  > since Huxley's own grandfather, a famous biologist and contributor
                                  to
                                  > evolutionary theory, resembles Lord Edward Tantamount. What must
                                  the
                                  > rest of his family have thought about that? I can't imagine that
                                  > everyone else parodied in the book was well-pleased with Huxley
                                  > either, so it must have taken some nerve to publish this.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In
                                  > modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, "winstonsmith_99"
                                  > <winstonsmith_99@y...> wrote:
                                  > > Elizabeth, I, too, just finished the opening chapter, and I
                                  thought
                                  > > it was fascinating. Didn't you feel the tension between Marjorie
                                  > and
                                  > > Walter? Haven't you ever had someone try to manipulate and
                                  pressure
                                  > > you into an untenable position? I had something of a
                                  claustrophobic
                                  > > feeling as I read. It's ironic how Walter and Marjorie could in
                                  > such
                                  > > close proximity to each other, and yet be so apart even while
                                  they
                                  > > have a common bond. From this first chapter, my initial
                                  impression
                                  > is
                                  > > that the story will one of extreme contrasts between people who
                                  are
                                  > > inescapably linked to each other, though they have no business
                                  > being
                                  > > so linked. I expect the main vehicle to be extreme contrast. Now,
                                  > > contrast is usually the reason for motion in literature. However,
                                  > the
                                  > > title leads me to think that the contrasts will be equal and
                                  > > opposite, and therefore canceling. There will be tension without
                                  > > motion (or catharsis), resulting in frustration.
                                  > >
                                  > > Btw, I think Walter is a coward.
                                  > >
                                  > > Winston
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In modernlibrary100greatestbooks@yahoogroups.com, elizabeth
                                  > davis
                                  > > <emd233@y...> wrote:
                                  > > > I have started the book and didn't really like the
                                  > > > opening chapter. Does it get better? I just got
                                  > > > "Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell" ad can't out it down
                                  > > > to do my "required" reading.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- hecon_99 <hecon_99@y...> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > > Anyone have any early impressions? I am one third of
                                  > > > > the way through.
                                  > > > > One of the characters describes going to a party as
                                  > > > > like cutting
                                  > > > > through a jungle, and we certainly have a thicket of
                                  > > > > characters. The
                                  > > > > structure so far seems to a series of back and forth
                                  > > > > exchanges(frequently dialogues often arguments)
                                  > > > > between a man and a
                                  > > > > woman. The dialogues often seem empty (that is part
                                  > > > > of the message),
                                  > > > > but there is a lot of insight behind them.
                                  > > > > I'd say it is well worth the read--so far.
                                  > > > > Henry
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > __________________________________________________
                                  > > > Do You Yahoo!?
                                  > > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                  > > > http://mail.yahoo.com
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