Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings

Expand Messages
  • dianejoy@earthlink.net
    I can give you a good example of what David means (as I understand him, though I may not understand him as well as I think). Now, I loved the first two
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 22, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      I can give you a good example of what David means (as I understand him,
      though I may not understand him as well as I think).

      Now, I loved the first two Victoria Strauss books, but I just finished *The
      Burning Land.* Now, I don't know if David would think it "trash," but it
      has a very peculiar quality.

      Here she creates this incredibly complex religious system, with a
      fascinating theology, two very complex societies, and very well-rounded
      characters, has a great idea . . .

      . . . all to conclude that it's best to not believe in religion at all,
      just live for today with your beloved, and not bother to try to attribute
      any significance to your life. She builds up this lovely castle, then like
      a petulant child, knocks everything down at the end.

      Now, this is an extremely well-crafted book. That's part of the problem:
      it draws you in, keeps you reading, then jerks everything away.

      Anyone else have this reaction? ---djb

      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: David Bratman dbratman@...
      Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 23:26:50 -0800
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 1727



      At 07:41 PM 11/21/2004 -0600, David Lenander wrote:

      >I also find that much that I might want to label as "trash" actually
      >will yield some treasure if I read it carefully and sympathetically.

      When I do read it, that's what I get: trash with some interesting points.
      There's a huge gap between that and great work that has flaws. I used to
      think it was sometimes worth the trouble to find those interesting points,
      but I've long since given up.

      I hope it's clear that I'm not using "trash" as a synonym for "light
      reading" or anything like that. Light reading can be fun. I mean just
      plain lousy books, most of which are very heavy reading indeed.

      David Bratman




      The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      Yahoo! Groups Links








      --------------------------------------------------------------------
      mail2web - Check your email from the web at
      http://mail2web.com/ .
    • David Bratman
      I haven t read Victoria Strauss, but from Diane s description, it sounds as if she lacks secondary belief in her own fiction, and thus tends to undercut it.
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 22, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        I haven't read Victoria Strauss, but from Diane's description, it sounds as
        if she lacks secondary belief in her own fiction, and thus tends to
        undercut it. This kind of insincere writing is very frequent in trash
        fantasy. I see it in authors who write endings that defy all the
        principles they'd set up earlier (hello, P. Pullman), in authors who think
        eucatastrophe means the simple undoing of earlier tragedies (D. Duane's
        first novel was an early encounter with that), and in authors who are at
        pains to proclaim their lack of secondary belief, or their protagonist's
        lack of primary belief (S. Donaldson).

        Read these books and point out their flaws? No thanks: I've been there and
        done that. Two of the three crashing disappointments mentioned above came
        to me highly recommended over 25 years ago. I've been burned too often.
        True, a cat that sits on a hot stove lid will never sit on a cold one again
        either, but I defy you to show me a recently produced cold lid (i.e. good
        mythopoeic fantasy). The frequency with which the red-hot Pullman has been
        proclaimed to be the cold lid we've all been waiting for ... this has only
        confirmed my skepticism.

        David Bratman
      • dianejoy@earthlink.net
        Strauss does seem to create societies in which she surely would *not* want to live. Strauss s own comments on her Web site shows that she created a character
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 23, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Strauss does seem to create societies in which she surely would *not* want
          to live. Strauss's own comments on her Web site shows that she created a
          character very much like herself in the person of Axane (pron. Ah-SHANE),
          which undercuts the whole scenario. Axane is skeptical of the society in
          which she lives, and feels cut off from it. Like Strauss? Umm . . . .
          maybe.

          I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood
          disconnect. From her Web site, I learned a great deal about Strauss:
          She's a vegetarian, has been one for 25 years, moved a lot growing up, went
          to Vassar, her mom wrote novels, her father was a prof. These factors are
          not inherently dire, but such markers might explain a tendency or
          gravitation toward skepticism; Strauss analyzes, dissects, and holds
          herself aloof from belief, even in her own fiction. Religion has an
          anthropological interest for Strauss, but to actually *believe* in one?
          Umm . . . . no. Sad.

          There is a sequel (untitled; in progress), so at least for now, the jury's
          still out, but David is right in that *The Burning Land* is a different
          version of literary bait-and-switch reminiscent of Phillip Pullman.
          However, it's worth noting that perhaps some readers might enjoy the
          scenery, while recognizing the giant flaws. I hope the sequel will not be
          as bad as Pullman's were!

          And no, I won't be nominating this one for an MFA. ---djb

          Original Message:
          -----------------
          From: David Bratman dbratman@...
          Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 20:12:53 -0800
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings



          I haven't read Victoria Strauss, but from Diane's description, it sounds as
          if she lacks secondary belief in her own fiction, and thus tends to
          undercut it. This kind of insincere writing is very frequent in trash
          fantasy. I see it in authors who write endings that defy all the
          principles they'd set up earlier (hello, P. Pullman), in authors who think
          eucatastrophe means the simple undoing of earlier tragedies (D. Duane's
          first novel was an early encounter with that), and in authors who are at
          pains to proclaim their lack of secondary belief, or their protagonist's
          lack of primary belief (S. Donaldson).

          Read these books and point out their flaws? No thanks: I've been there and
          done that. Two of the three crashing disappointments mentioned above came
          to me highly recommended over 25 years ago. I've been burned too often.
          True, a cat that sits on a hot stove lid will never sit on a cold one again
          either, but I defy you to show me a recently produced cold lid (i.e. good
          mythopoeic fantasy). The frequency with which the red-hot Pullman has been
          proclaimed to be the cold lid we've all been waiting for ... this has only
          confirmed my skepticism.

          David Bratman




          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
          Yahoo! Groups Links








          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          mail2web - Check your email from the web at
          http://mail2web.com/ .
        • alexeik@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote: Diane, Do
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 23, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote:

            <<I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood

            disconnect. >>

            Diane,
            Do bear in mind that quite a few of us live on the East Coast.
            Alexei
          • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
            lol but maybe some of us should read that book. I feel anything but connected with my (Paul, Locke, Clayton) Anglo debutante forebears, personally. *snif*
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 23, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              lol but maybe some of us should read that book. I feel anything but
              connected with my (Paul, Locke, Clayton) Anglo debutante forebears,
              personally. *snif*

              Isn't L'Engle's character Poly a more sympathetic portrait of a fair child
              of intellectual types?

              Reading _That Darn Squid God_ for diversion... but it is distractingly full
              of adjectives and typos. The idea of a satirical comedy take on the
              Chthulhu mythos is irresistable however.

              Lizzie

              Elizabeth Apgar Triano
              lizziewriter@...
              amor vincit omnia
              www.lizziewriter.com


              > [Original Message]
              > From: <alexeik@...>
              > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
              > Date: 11/23/2004 1:53:06 PM
              > Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings
              >
              >
              >
              > In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote:
              >
              > <<I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood
              >
              > disconnect. >>
              >
              > Diane,
              > Do bear in mind that quite a few of us live on the East Coast.
              > Alexei
              >
              >
              >
              > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Berni Phillips
              From: alexeik@aol.com In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote:
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 23, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                From: alexeik@...


                In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote:

                <<I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood

                disconnect. >>

                Diane,
                Do bear in mind that quite a few of us live on the East Coast.

                Yes, but what color is your blood? 8-)

                No one would ever accuse you (or the other East Coast mythies) of being disconnected from life/reality.

                Happy Thanksgiving!

                Berni
              • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                No offense meant. There s also a West Coast disconnect, but it has a different flavor. ---djb ... From: alexeik@aol.com Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:53:06 EST
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  No offense meant. There's also a West Coast disconnect, but it has a
                  different flavor. ---djb

                  Original Message:
                  -----------------
                  From: alexeik@...
                  Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 13:53:06 EST
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings




                  In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote:

                  <<I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood

                  disconnect. >>

                  Diane,
                  Do bear in mind that quite a few of us live on the East Coast.
                  Alexei



                  The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                  Yahoo! Groups Links








                  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                  mail2web - Check your email from the web at
                  http://mail2web.com/ .
                • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                  Poly is very sympathetic, but I consider L Engle to be of the Kate Hepburn East Coast independent types. No disconnect! [Hepburn was not religious, AFAIK,
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Poly is very sympathetic, but I consider L'Engle to be of the "Kate Hepburn
                    East Coast independent" types. No disconnect! [Hepburn was not religious,
                    AFAIK, but neither was she disconnected.

                    *Burning Land* is worth reading, but I do find that undercutting of
                    secondary belief disturbing to my focus as a reader; made it more
                    difficult to absorb. ---djb

                    Original Message:
                    -----------------
                    From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@...
                    Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 14:20:09 -0500
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings



                    lol but maybe some of us should read that book. I feel anything but
                    connected with my (Paul, Locke, Clayton) Anglo debutante forebears,
                    personally. *snif*

                    Isn't L'Engle's character Poly a more sympathetic portrait of a fair child
                    of intellectual types?

                    Reading _That Darn Squid God_ for diversion... but it is distractingly full
                    of adjectives and typos. The idea of a satirical comedy take on the
                    Chthulhu mythos is irresistable however.

                    Lizzie

                    Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    lizziewriter@...
                    amor vincit omnia
                    www.lizziewriter.com


                    > [Original Message]
                    > From: <alexeik@...>
                    > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Date: 11/23/2004 1:53:06 PM
                    > Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > In a message dated 11/23/4 4:24:44 PM, Diane Joy Baker wrote:
                    >
                    > <<I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood
                    >
                    > disconnect. >>
                    >
                    > Diane,
                    > Do bear in mind that quite a few of us live on the East Coast.
                    > Alexei
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >






                    The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    Yahoo! Groups Links








                    --------------------------------------------------------------------
                    mail2web - Check your email from the web at
                    http://mail2web.com/ .
                  • WendellWag@aol.com
                    In a message dated 11/23/2004 11:24:29 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Are people on the East Coast more skeptical? I m not really sure. I d have to think
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      In a message dated 11/23/2004 11:24:29 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                      dianejoy@... writes:

                      > I see Strauss as a woman with a large dollop of East Coast blue blood
                      > disconnect.

                      Are people on the East Coast more skeptical? I'm not really sure. I'd have
                      to think about it. I can see arguments for either way. Anyway, I'm pretty
                      dubious about that claim.

                      Wendell Wagner


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • alexeik@aol.com
                      In a message dated 11/24/4 2:52:13 PM, Diane wrote:
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        In a message dated 11/24/4 2:52:13 PM, Diane wrote:

                        <<No offense meant. There's also a West Coast disconnect, but it has a

                        different flavor. ---djb

                        >>

                        And to be fair, there's a Middle States disconnect. ;-)
                        Alexei
                      • Beth Russell
                        ... From: alexeik@aol.com [mailto:alexeik@aol.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 12:34 PM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: Re: Re: [mythsoc]
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: alexeik@... [mailto:alexeik@...]
                          Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 12:34 PM
                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: Re: Re: [mythsoc] Readings and re-readings



                          >>

                          >>And to be fair, there's a Middle States disconnect. ;-)
                          Alexei


                          And the South had a great big disconnect a long time ago.

                          I think this is a non-problem today: we are really so connected that we
                          have the luxury of niggling over the details of a disconnect.

                          Happy Thanksgiving!

                          Beth Russell




                          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                          Yahoo! Groups Links
                        • Berni Phillips
                          From: dianejoy@earthlink.net ... Diane, could you please describe what you mean by disconnect ? If we re being insulted, we d like
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            From: "dianejoy@..." <dianejoy@...>

                            >No offense meant. There's also a West Coast disconnect, but it has a
                            >different flavor. ---djb

                            Diane, could you please describe what you mean by "disconnect"? If we're being insulted, we'd like to know exactly how, please.

                            Berni (no smiley here)
                          • Stolzi
                            ... From: ... have ... pretty ... SEE how skeptical you re being? Diamond Proudbrook
                            Message 13 of 14 , Nov 24, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: <WendellWag@...>

                              >
                              > Are people on the East Coast more skeptical? I'm not really sure. I'd
                              have
                              > to think about it. I can see arguments for either way. Anyway, I'm
                              pretty
                              > dubious about that claim.


                              SEE how skeptical you're being?

                              Diamond Proudbrook
                            • Mike Foster
                              It s a good idea to be skeptical of skepticism. Maybe. Happy Thanksgiving, that most hobbitish of holidays, he said unskeptically. Mike ... [Non-text portions
                              Message 14 of 14 , Nov 25, 2004
                              • 0 Attachment
                                It's a good idea to be skeptical of skepticism.

                                Maybe.

                                Happy Thanksgiving, that most hobbitish of holidays, he said unskeptically.

                                Mike

                                Stolzi wrote:

                                >----- Original Message -----
                                >From: <WendellWag@...>
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >>Are people on the East Coast more skeptical? I'm not really sure. I'd
                                >>
                                >>
                                >have
                                >
                                >
                                >>to think about it. I can see arguments for either way. Anyway, I'm
                                >>
                                >>
                                >pretty
                                >
                                >
                                >>dubious about that claim.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >
                                >SEE how skeptical you're being?
                                >
                                >Diamond Proudbrook
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.