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Old 12.23.2014, 08:55 AM   #3681
lucyrulesok
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I meant more suffering on the part of the author? this idea of the tortured artist.

plus i always think characters and stories that are so black and white are too artificial - you need a bit of both.
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Old 12.23.2014, 09:25 AM   #3682
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about 50 pp into this

 
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Old 12.23.2014, 10:10 AM   #3683
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
Because you're working through an issue, I won't give you too much shit. But this doesn't make sense to me.

yeah! you tell him!

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyrulesok
maybe i misunderstood but i thought !@#$%!'s post was saying that literature should be able to appeal to people both outside and inside the 'in group'. i.e. that it should be able to appeal on some basic level to lots of different groups of people, and that if it can't then it's rubbish. so not saying that middle class american literature CAN'T do this but that it's a bit crap because it often doesn't.

you didn't misunderstand. thank you for reading for comprehension. you're wonderful.
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Old 12.23.2014, 10:23 AM   #3684
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Dodge all you want. You, sir, have a prejudice.
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Old 12.23.2014, 10:27 AM   #3685
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
Dodge all you want. You, sir, have a prejudice.

i said exactly the opposite of what you're fighting about and i'm not in the mood to argue silliness. really, i just woke up and i have bigger problems than this today.

ps- maybe you didn't read db's link to the criticism of infinite jest ("alas, poor wallace"), which is what provides context for the discussion of writing only for the in-group. whether this is true or not of DFW, that's the framework i was using to (maybe) understand.
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Old 12.23.2014, 10:53 AM   #3686
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Yes, this is silly.

You keep running to books that are written by the in-group for the in-group to make the in-group feel good.

Off the top of my head I can't think of a single example of such a book.

So, we're reading different things apparently.

Meanwhile, I can count on one hand the number of disappointing books I read in 2014 and you seem to have trouble finding things that don't suck.

BTW, clicked link, read two or three very stupid things, didn't finish.
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Old 12.23.2014, 11:01 AM   #3687
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i promise to argue with you on a less shitty day for me, but this morning i've checked out of internet conflict
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Old 12.23.2014, 11:13 AM   #3688
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Man. I didn't mean to contribute to anyone's shitty day. I fucking hate the internet.
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Old 12.23.2014, 11:27 AM   #3689
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it's certainly not your fault im having a shitty morning, it's some asshole from a different part of my life renting space in my head right now, so i'm sticking to play on the internets as a form of relief.

honest, i love a good argument most days, we've had them before, and you've seen me have them, but today my conflict quota is consumed with Real Rage™.
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Old 12.24.2014, 11:41 AM   #3690
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
BYet before all that I identify as Jewish (less than 2% of the US population) or even vegetarian (about 6% I think). Am I in or out? Especially at CHRISTmas time, I feel a bit out.

hey, cousin, you wanna stick it to the man on xxxmas morning? let's argue this shit out then, from the internet of some chinese restaurant. (i lie. there's no chinese restaurants worth visiting around here, but if you have nothing to do... i certainly will be trying very intently to do nothing).

the issues have been solved on the other end of things so all my rage is available to counter your unfair accusations and mischaracterizations. ha ha ha!

okay, completely seriously now, i started reading some sumerian hymns and letters yesterday. they're so modern it cracks me up. checkit:

http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/edition2/etcslbycat.php

here a sample:

Lady of all the divine powers, resplendent light, righteous woman clothed in radiance, beloved of An and Urac! Mistress of heaven, with the great diadem, who loves the good headdress befitting the office of en priestess, who has seized all seven of its divine powers! My lady, you are the guardian of the great divine powers! You have taken up the divine powers, you have hung the divine powers from your hand. You have gathered up the divine powers, you have clasped the divine powers to your breast. Like a dragon you have deposited venom on the foreign lands. When like Ickur you roar at the earth, no vegetation can stand up to you. As a flood descending upon (?) those foreign lands, powerful one of heaven and earth, you are their Inana.
13-19. Raining blazing fire down upon the Land, endowed with divine powers by An, lady who rides upon a beast, whose words are spoken at the holy command of An! The great rites are yours: who can fathom them? Destroyer of the foreign lands, you confer strength on the storm. Beloved of Enlil, you have made awesome terror weigh upon the Land. You stand at the service of An's commands.
20-33. At your battle-cry, my lady, the foreign lands bow low. When humanity comes before you in awed silence at the terrifying radiance and tempest, you grasp the most terrible of all the divine powers. Because of you, the threshold of tears is opened, and people walk along the path of the house of great lamentations. In the van of battle, all is struck down before you. With your strength, my lady, teeth can crush flint. You charge forward like a charging storm. You roar with the roaring storm, you continually thunder with Ickur. You spread exhaustion with the stormwinds, while your own feet remain tireless. With the lamenting balaj drum a lament is struck up.


fun stuff! i've always been in awe of Inana.
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Old 12.25.2014, 10:04 AM   #3691
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Destroyer of the foreign lands, you confer strength on the storm. Beloved of Enlil, you have made awesome terror weigh upon the Land.

Enlil loves the US military?


----

So the shitiness passed? He/she/them/the situation was fucked and you didn't deserve to deal with that.

---

Remember this? Right on the cusp of being a really fun thread.

http://www.sonicyouth.com/gossip/showthread.php?t=87866

Anyway, I direct your attention to your first post, the second in the thread.

Regarding Cheever's short story "The Swimmer:" i read this in college. i wasn't very highly impressed but then again i was coming from latin america so i didn't really care much for first world problems at the time (i've gone rotten since then).

But now you think...

Well, it doesn't matter. It seems you haven't developed and cemented a fixed position, which is great. Who says we're supposed to have everything settled in our heads? I don't trust anyone who has a strong point of view on everything.

So, at first I was reacting to the general dismissal of "first world problems" in contemporary discourse. I get it: one can always say, "Who cares about X when there are starving Africans" and that's certainly true. What can I say?

(Although it's worth pointing out that neither of us are going to work with lepers or sign up for the Peace Corp anytime soon.)

Then you contextualized it through an essay I found ridiculous.

I tend to find two types of book-chat essays online: those that claim literature will bring about world peace and clear up acne, and those that claim literary culture is a big con and you're a sucker. This essay belongs to the latter.

If his whole point is that INFINITE JEST was written by the in-group for the in-group to reaffirm the in-group's belief system or whatever, I can't really respond because I haven't read it. If his point is larger, that this is an epidemic, then I find it annoying he'd use Wallace as an example. I think he's going after a sacred cow to ruffle feathers and garner more attention for his ideas. It's cheap.

But in either case I would ask: how the fuck does he know how "outsiders" read the book, or books in general? Did he interview anyone who doesn't belong to the in-group to work out how little they got from the book? Maybe that bit comes at the end. Seriously, I'm not reading this whole thing.

It smacks of a certain type of arrogance. He's figured out who reads what and how and why, and I'm saying, "Bullshit. Show me some research."

That bit about blurbs was what made me loose all interest in the piece. He doesn't give examples, but I suppose he means if I go into a bookstore and read a blurb on the back of a book by an "establishment" figure and I then buy that book, I've just fallen into a trap. Maybe this works for some people. For me, not really. If I read a blurb by someone who I like--let's say Philip Roth--why wouldn't I take their opinion into consideration? I know he declines blurb offers, so when he takes one and says something kind, I weigh that when deciding what to read. And there are some establishment figures--Dave Eggers, for example--who I don't really care about, so their blurb doesn't really move me. Am I the exception? Or are there other readers out there who can, you know, think?

What really bothers me is that literary journals are very receptive to "outsider" voices. If I work up the energy, I'll go through the most recent issues of Ploughshares or AGNI or Gettysburg Review or maybe just the most recent Best American Short Story volume and I'm sure I'll find a wide variety of voices and experiences. Yes, I'll find some "first-world" stories as well, but to me that just rounds things out since I am able to take the problems and pains of a millionaire seriously (at least in fiction).

---

Now, if your whole point is you keep running into fiction that is hermetically sealed from your life experience and anything you might be interested in, then what can I say? I don't think you're lying. So maybe that ends things right here.

I will say I am a very generous reader. I am on the lookout for reasons to like what I'm reading. I think you're a bit more critical and on the lookout for reasons to bail from a piece of fiction.

It could be I'm just more gullible. So I swallow fiction easily. And maybe Literary Culture has taken over my mind and I'm hopelessly deluded. Whatever. Life's short and I have many more satisfying reading experiences than miserable ones, so I'm not bothered.

---

The only good thing about Christmas: a whole year until the next fucking one.
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Old 12.25.2014, 11:02 AM   #3692
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mang, you sure are an early riser-- or wait, you're on east coast time.

i'll start from the end: yes! ixxxmass is awful but if you use it to your own ends it can be a good time because nobody writes or calls about work. i have an excuse to stay in bed all day-- like an extra sunday. also, one (not me) can get a paid holiday and dedicate it to worshipping the devil, for example-- i'm all about cultural appropiation. take their holiday and turn it into whatever you want.

 


and yes thanks the existential turd has been flushed so i'm way way less stressed and can have play fights again.

anyway, as for the generous/critical-- you are absolutely right. i am a burned out reader. i was forced to read too many things i didn't like, and now i bore very quickly. i'm like a tired and jaded old whore who has seen it all and chews gum while servicing the johns.

if you want to preserve your love of reading, don't turn it into a job by things like attending grad school. (my love of film, by the way, exploded in grad school-- it was a way to get stories and shirk my duty.)

but reading was my first love, so i continue to look for something that will make me feel something, anything, in spite of my cosmic ennui. i fail most times, but i keep digging. so i'm not ungenerous in that sense-- i haven't dismissed writing.

now i'm hungry and i need coffee and some food and i'll return to pester you with a response to this whole "first world problem" thing, which is not really about first world problems i think, but maybe more to do with various provincialisms... but COFFEE FIRST, DAMMIT. it's barely 9am here.

meanwhile, i leave you with this...

 


haaa haa haaaaa
haaa haaa haaa haaaa

(i'm sorry)
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Old 12.25.2014, 12:25 PM   #3693
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Old 12.25.2014, 07:24 PM   #3694
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Three stars for reality
By thisnameisalive on 9 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
Out in the world I noticed that the resolution seemed to be much higher than 1080p and that I could actually walk around. My studio monitors are pretty good but even though the sounds out there in the streets were discordant and scattered scraps, their fidelity still managed to impress. Rather than emerging from two speakers sound travelled towards me from all over the place. Each leaf on each tree that I passed seemed to have its own speaker and each spot up to the horizon also seemed to have its own speaker system, creating a remarkable feeling of immersion. I could also feel the wind on my face and I think that this had something to do with the sense of touch that I had heard about. I wasn't as impressed by this feature and considered asking for my money back but I hadn't paid any and besides I wasn't sure which company was providing this sensation. In terms of audio visual quality the world out there superseded even the most expensive high definition equipment. The software didn't seem to be much good though and I'm not even sure if there was any running. The programme seemed to involve people walking around and lots of cars driving about. It was a bit like GTA4 but without any explosions, gunfire or action of any sort. If the programmers rustle something up I might try 'the world out there' again. I'm sure that they will ask for a fee once reality has a killer app but hopefully there will be an option to pay as you go. I also sensed a rasping emptiness threatening to draw us all down into its acidic embrace but the manual didn't make mention of this so maybe I had received a defective batch of reality. I have half a mind to contact trading standards about this fault because it was mildly terrifying. I noticed that Amazon have a good deal on mass psychosis at the moment and so I would suggest giving delusions of grandeur a whirl instead because the 'world out there' is having a few teething troubles.
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Old 12.26.2014, 10:51 AM   #3695
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Hilarious. Although the user might have had a better experience if he took full advantage of the marijuana accessory. Some say it interferes with reality's functionality, but others report the THC option is an enhancement and some say it's a vast improvement.

---

Symbols, man. Christ and KFC? What a thoughtful gift.
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Old 12.26.2014, 11:04 AM   #3696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
Christ and KFC? What a thoughtful gift.

colonel sanders is THE main figure of japanese christmas. wasn't i just talking about cultural appropriation?

the manger scene... just for laughs (it gives me laughs. so corny.)

anyway it's another early morning here (9am).

how was yesterday's ma po tofu? good?

and will you stick around a bit or no?
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Old 12.26.2014, 11:09 AM   #3697
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I finally picked up J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories. After all these years, I'm finally getting around to this one.
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Old 12.27.2014, 01:25 PM   #3698
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!

how was yesterday's ma po tofu? good?

and will you stick around a bit or no?

Christmas had pleasant weather so I did yard work most of the day. Had Indian for dinner actually.

Anyway...

I went to college for almost a year and left, and when returned a few years later I thought I had read it all. So I focused on critical theory. I consider this to be an utter waste of time and money and I feel sick thinking about it. Which is why I can't really participate in any critical theory discussion around here however interesting or illuminating. I studied it formally and that killed it.

But the return to fiction was and continues to be a source of great pleasure.

Is this close to the flip-side of your experience?

Full disclosure: I haven't really read anything in months. That part of my brain hasn't really been firing too well lately or something.
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Old 12.27.2014, 02:01 PM   #3699
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yes, it's the opposite-- i had massive reading lists for my comprehensive exams. fortunately my department was slightly backwards and the faculty was populated by poets & novelists & original thinkers, but the rest were silly eggheads i tried to avoid whenever possible. actually i shouldn't say eggheads--they were posers, quoting fashionable critics they didn't even understand, always rushing to publish or perish, true products of the MLA and the American academic system (what a horror). But regardless, it was thousands of pages of reading due every week, plus the research, plus the philosophy, plus plus plus. indigestion.

so i quit reading for years and devoured movies instead. last i was there was 2004.

funny enough though, maybe thanks to this discussion, i went to my storage and uncrated books which i'm now sorting on shelves. maybe i am recovering from all that PTSD. i got my stendhals back. i dug out my quijote. i fished out some balzac novels. i think i'm going to reread the quijote, such a funny book.

and those online sumerian texts are pretty cool-- the correspondence is some of the most surprising. reads like office emails between some branch manager the corporate office.

but anyway, that article you so hated-- i didn't embrace the whole thing and every point he makes. but his thing about communities of readers/writers resonated with me and provoked some other thoughts. again it's not that i agree with the thing about blurbs, etc-- it's just that the idea unstucked my head.

i'd bring it to the old discussion of the universality of art. things that can reach everyone. for example, i am not an old russian member of the nobility but i can enjoy tolstoy. i am not a dead bronze-age grek but i enjoy the illiad and the odissey (parts of them anyway, some of the lists in the illiad can be zzzzzzzz). i am not an israelite from 2500 years ago and i am antirreligious person but the book of job is a total mindfuck. and then there's shit written yesterday that does nothing for me.

some old-fashioned postmoderns might say that these books are considered great because the empire imposes them upon us blah blah. but that is some bullshit.

so i suppose that my "problem" (it's not a problem really) reading the vast expanse of modern american fiction has more to do with the fact that it's still unsorted-- it's a local conversation, in the local code, with local assumptions, and some may be the next odisseys and the next brothers karamazov, but most will be a flash in the pan soon rendered irrelevant. so when confronted with the large mass of modern publishing it's hard to sort things. not that i don't enjoy the occasional flash in the pan-- some are quite good. but one has to connect with them.

by the way, speaking of minorities or whatever-- i find this "minority" genre to be highly annoying. the only "minority" writer i have ever liked so far is jhumpa lahiri. the latinos (i'm supposed to "relate" to them i guess) are thoroughly eclipsed by their counterparts south of the border. okay maybe except francisco goldman-- "the long night of the white chickens" was a beautiful novel. but see, he doesn't write "look at me vato, i'm such a latino, tacos, abuelitas"-- he just writes a novel about some shit going down in boston & guatemala. so i don't think about him that way.

i don't know really-- i'm tired and bitter and ungenerous. don't blame the authors for my shortcomings. at the same time, i'm not saying my crippled perspective in not valid-- it's valid to me anyway-- but it's definitely crippled and damaged and overly demanding.

anyway, here's to mental rehabilitation. i might read regularly again some day and grow kinder in my old age.
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Old 12.27.2014, 02:21 PM   #3700
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