Re: [mythsoc] Re: Worthy vs. Fun
- 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 WagnerIn 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. ;)
"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_
> 1c. Re: Worthy vs. FunSorry, it's a digital signature that work adds automatically. I'll try to remember to turn it off when posting to this list.
> 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?
Historian, History Division
Marine Corps University
"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