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

Re: Worthy vs. Fun

Expand Messages
  • tuhonbillmcg
    ... I felt that way about the Thomas Covenent series and The Kite Runner; both very well written works whose main character I frequently wanted to strangle.
    Message 1 of 14 , Mar 30, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Alana Joli Abbott <alanajoli@...> wrote:
      >
      > >
      > > I guess that's a sign of good book, when you take the characters that
      > > personally.
      > > ,___
      > >
      > I feel that way, too. I'm writing a review of a book that had a whole cast
      > of fully realized characters that I despised. There's no question in my
      > mind that the author has created well-thought and well-drawn characters. I
      > just didn't like *any* of them.
      >
      > -Alana
      >

      I felt that way about the Thomas Covenent series and The Kite Runner; both very well written works whose main character I frequently wanted to strangle.

      Regards,
      Bill McGrath
      www.theswordoffire.com
    • Westermeyer GS11 Paul W
      I think being able to recognize a good, well written book that is not to one s taste is an important but sadly rare skill. I find myself constantly debating
      Message 2 of 14 , Mar 30, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        I think being able to recognize a good, well written book that is not to one's taste is an important but sadly rare skill.

        I find myself constantly debating this point with fantasy fans, often in relation to the Harry Potter and Twilight series. In both cases, people often attack the series reflexively, without real thought, and often viciously as well. People who really should know better all but call for those books to be burned, when their real sin is merely that they do not appeal to all types.

        Of course, Tolkien's work has long suffered this problem as well. To the extent that I judge people by their reactions to Tolkien. I do not require that people love his work, or react to it in the same intense way I (and I guess many here) do. But if someone espouses the belief that Tolkien's writing is 'childish' or something similar I dismiss them as intellectual light-weights. (Michael Moorcock's famous attack on Tolkien was the first example of such that I encountered).

        I'm faced with a similar dilemma on the scholarly side. I've finally been able to get some of ST Joshi's works on Lovecraft through inter-library loan, but I am no longer as keen to read them as I once was. I've discovered that Joshi seems to be just the sort of strident atheist that really annoys me. Even when they are logically correct, the manner in which their points are made gets beneath my skin. The best example for me was Christopher Hitchens, if he had presented an argument in favor of 2+2=4 I would have had to exert a massive amount of self-discipline not to write a long diatribe against him explaining why 2+2=5. An unnatural prejudice, I readily admit. I'm hoping I turn out to be wrong about Joshi, I've only seen small bits of his work to date, but it does make me nervous.

        Anyway, I don't think one should ever apologize for taste, as long as you recognize the difference between taste and quality. Choose what you read professionally or for education (formal or self) based on quality, and what you read for enjoyment on taste. :)

        Of course, when taste and quality meet, as in Tolkien for me, that is when the reading experience becomes sublime. ;)

        Paul Westermeyer
        paul.westermeyer@...

        "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
        J. R. R. Tolkien, _The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring_
      • WendellWag@aol.com
        Paul, there is a 5.6 KB file attached to your message. You don t make any mention of it in your message. Is that a file you were sending to all of us, or
        Message 3 of 14 , Mar 30, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          Paul, there is a 5.6 KB file attached to your message.  You don't make any mention of it in your message.  Is that a file you were sending to all of us, or is it a virus that got attached by some hacker that will destroy all our computers?
           
          Wendell Wagner
           
          In a message dated 3/30/2012 2:53:07 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, paul.westermeyer@... writes:
          I think being able to recognize a good, well written book that is not to one's taste is an important but sadly rare skill.

          I find myself constantly debating this point with fantasy fans, often in relation to the Harry Potter and Twilight series. In both cases, people often attack the series reflexively, without real thought, and often viciously as well. People who really should know better all but call for those books to be burned, when their real sin is merely that they do not appeal to all types.

          Of course, Tolkien's work has long suffered this problem as well. To the extent that I judge people by their reactions to Tolkien. I do not require that people love his work, or react to it in the same intense way I (and I guess many here) do. But if someone espouses the belief that Tolkien's writing is 'childish' or something similar I dismiss them as intellectual light-weights. (Michael Moorcock's famous attack on Tolkien was the first example of such that I encountered).

          I'm faced with a similar dilemma on the scholarly side. I've finally been able to get some of ST Joshi's works on Lovecraft through inter-library loan, but I am no longer as keen to read them as I once was. I've discovered that Joshi seems to be just the sort of strident atheist that really annoys me.  Even when they are logically correct, the manner in which their points are made gets beneath my skin. The best example for me was Christopher Hitchens, if he had presented an argument in favor of 2+2=4 I would have had to exert a massive amount of self-discipline not to write a long diatribe against him explaining why 2+2=5. An unnatural prejudice, I readily admit.  I'm hoping I turn out to be wrong about Joshi, I've only seen small bits of his work to date, but it does make me nervous.

          Anyway, I don't think one should ever apologize for taste, as long as you recognize the difference between taste and quality. Choose what you read professionally or for education (formal or self) based on quality, and what you read for enjoyment on taste. :)

          Of course, when taste and quality meet, as in Tolkien for me, that is when the reading experience becomes sublime. ;)     

          Paul Westermeyer
          paul.westermeyer@...

          "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
          J. R. R. Tolkien, _The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring_



        • Westermeyer GS11 Paul W
          ... Sorry, it s a digital signature that work adds automatically. I ll try to remember to turn it off when posting to this list. Paul Westermeyer Historian,
          Message 4 of 14 , Apr 3, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            > 1c. Re: Worthy vs. Fun
            > Posted by: "WendellWag@..." WendellWag@... wendell_wagner
            > Date: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:03 pm ((PDT))
            >
            > Paul, there is a 5.6 KB file attached to your message. You don't make any
            > mention of it in your message. Is that a file you were sending to all of
            > us, or is it a virus that got attached by some hacker that will destroy all
            > our computers?

            Sorry, it's a digital signature that work adds automatically. I'll try to remember to turn it off when posting to this list.


            Paul Westermeyer
            Historian, History Division
            Marine Corps University
            Paul.Westermeyer@...
            http://www.history.usmc.mil

            "The first law for the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice." Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore, II.XV,62
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.