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Thank you, Matthew! :)

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  • Scott
    Matthew, Thank you for the intelligent, polite response. Thanks for explaining the purpose of the list to me. Now I understand. :) Perhaps my letter came from
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 1999

      Thank you for the intelligent, polite response.
      Thanks for explaining the purpose of the list to me.
      Now I understand. :)

      Perhaps my letter came from the feeling that people
      were arguing about which authors were 'better' than
      others and which authors were fit to wear the title,
      "Master." I see this as opinion.

      Anyhow, I see your point - that argument can lead to
      growth. I feel this is true, if done constructively,
      on a non-personal level. Perhaps I felt that the
      original letter was intended to insult. If not, I
      apologize to all.

      With the letters reg: "Masters" and the "Mars" debate,
      my e-mail box was getting filled with, what I would
      consider, the kind of debate that does not stimulate
      growth or learning. (BTW, I very much valued the
      original mars comment and felt it was something that
      was appropriate to share.) ;)

      I look forward to seeing the train get back on track
      and start chuggin'! Thank you again for your kind
      letter. God bless!

      Scott :)
      Annapolis, Maryland, USA

      --- Matthew Winslow <mwinslow@...> wrote:
      > From: Matthew Winslow <mwinslow@...>
      > Scott [strand73@...] wrote:
      > > In my humble opinion, art and artists should not
      > be
      > > compared. There is not one author who is
      > 'better,'
      > > 'worse' or 'equal to' another. We are all
      > individuals
      > > who express ourselves in different ways and enjoy
      > > different authors and books. Comparing our art is
      > > like comparing ourselves. Aren't we all equal?
      > > Different, but equal? Let us allow the same God
      > given
      > > right to our cherished authors and books! :)
      > There are a few things here I'd like to respond to
      > -- hopefully tying it all
      > into fantasy literature by the end.
      > First, I don't think anyone has implied that one
      > should not be allowed to read
      > what one wants. That's not really the issue here and
      > is just a straw man.
      > Rather, what we're discussing is the idea of
      > quality: are the works of some
      > authors better than the works of others? Scott's
      > assertion (above) is that,
      > no, they're all equal in quality, using the old
      > adage of 'different but
      > equal.' However, one must look at that a little more
      > deeply. Scott, are you
      > *really* insisting that all people are
      > un-comparable? That we cannot say that
      > Hitler was more evil than Ghandi? If so, then the
      > argument stops here coz we
      > cannot even give a value-judgment to David Bratman
      > who started this whole
      > thread with his comment about Tolkien, LeGuin and
      > Eddings. If we are equal,
      > then David's opinion is equally valid and we find
      > ourselves in a recursive
      > argument that spirals into oblivion.
      > But if we *can* discern different levels of quality,
      > then we must ask, 'what
      > *are* those aspects that make a work 'better' than
      > another work?' That's
      > really what most structuralist or formalist
      > criticism comes down to:
      > discovering why a work is more effective as art than
      > another piece. Without
      > such distinctions, my 3-year-old's drawing of
      > 'Daddy, Granddad, and Mummy' is
      > as equally 'good' as Picasso's Guernica.
      > What we've had so far on the list has been a lot of
      > expression of opinion --
      > and let's face it, a lot of folks in the Society
      > don't like Eddings (and let's
      > not even get started with Jordan). But recent posts
      > have also brought us into
      > the realm of actually discussing the reasoning for
      > those opinions. I see only
      > good of this if we realize one thing: just coz it's
      > our opinion doesn't mean
      > it's inviolate.
      > Let's take a case in point that's occuring in
      > another MythSoc forum. In
      > Butterbur's Woodshed, David Bratman and I commented
      > in almost perfect
      > opposition about the effectiveness of a book. I
      > didn't like it. David did.
      > That's all fine and well. However, we also commented
      > on whether it 'worked' as
      > a piece of literature, and came up on diff't sides.
      > Now, we could just back
      > down and say, 'can't we all just get along?' but of
      > what value would that be?
      > We'd have missed a great opportunity to actually
      > analyze our presuppositions
      > about literature and perhaps grow a bit. I'm quite
      > willing to say, 'I was
      > wrong. This book really *is* better than I thought,'
      > or 'I was wrong. This
      > book is much worse than I thought.' That's part of
      > growth, and one of the
      > purposes of literature is to cause us to grow.
      > If we just sit back and say, 'well, that's your
      > opinion and this is mine' and
      > never examine those opinions, then we just become a
      > mutual admiration society
      > and our discussion becomes 'This book rocked!' and
      > 'No! This book sucked
      > eggs!' Instead, since joining the Society I have
      > been challenged many times to
      > re-examine my opinion about a book and in the
      > process re-examine my ideas
      > about what 'good' literature is. And I think I've
      > grown from that.
      > So let's not sweep our differences under the carpet.
      > Instead, let's look at
      > them, discuss them, and hopefully learn from them.
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