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  1. #3361
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    Primal Fuel
    A few years back took a local CC class on Shakespeare for S&Gs.

    I found that early on, I was relying heavily on footnotes to understand every reference and allusion, and kind of saw the trees rather than the forest. By the time we were reading Othello and Lear, that shit was page-turning. Literally had hairs on the back of my neck raise up over some of those passages.

    I too hated, HATED Moby-Dick when I read it (gonna say... 20? for "fun"), but have often wondered if I missed something.

    Drssgchic, you're spouting a revised version of Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence.

  2. #3362
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    Quote Originally Posted by drssgchic View Post
    Ah, but you see if it were anything less it wouldn't have gotten such a strong reaction from you (I need to try it again, now that I'm old enough to really understand it) I mean- Twilight will fade into anonymity (please, please, praise Diety make it fade) because it's NOT going to inspire such loathing. Oh. Wait. Nevermind.
    Hmm... I have to agree somewhat. MD is tiresome, it seems to go on forever, but then so is being aboard a working fishing vessel and so does their hunt! And in the end I was so fed up with the obsession that I was sucked in full force thinking "HELL YES!!! EAT THEEEMMMMM ALLLLLLLLL!"
    So, score one Melville.
    But I still don't ever want to read it again.

    Twilight didn't even tell a compelling enough story to get me through he first book, and I tried TWICE. It was just awful and weak, and did I mention weak. Weak characters, weak writing. Weaksauce all around.
    It WILL fade away... it was a pop moment... 5 years from now people will say, "Oh yeah, you remember that Twilight thing" kind of like they talk about tacky 80's legwarmers.

    It's no MD, it's no Anna Karenina, it's no Lolita.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    I found that early on, I was relying heavily on footnotes to understand every reference and allusion, and kind of saw the trees rather than the forest. By the time we were reading Othello and Lear, that shit was page-turning. Literally had hairs on the back of my neck raise up over some of those passages.
    I am this nerd. I dive in!
    When I did a Chaucer class, the class was assigned specific stories to read, examine, all that jazz.
    I read the WHOLE thing gleefully!
    The Canterbury Tales are really rather fun.
    Last edited by cori93437; 06-12-2012 at 12:30 PM.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
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  3. #3363
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    Drssgchic, you're spouting a revised version of Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence.
    Thank you Google . . . . but, ah, what? In other words, there's nothing new under the sun or whatever that quote is?

    See- that's why I'm no poet.

    Er, wait, no, I'm not a poet because I can't write poetry. Yeah, that's why.
    http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

    Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

    And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

  4. #3364
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    * embarrassed to be reading about great literature and music in this journal while writing a totally lightweight story and listening to Katy Perry *

  5. #3365
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    Quote Originally Posted by cori93437 View Post
    Hmm... I have to agree somewhat. MD is tiresome, it seems to go on forever, but then so is being aboard a working fishing vessel and so does their hunt! And in the end I was so fed up with the obsession that I was sucked in full force thinking "HELL YES!!! EAT THEEEMMMMM ALLLLLLLLL!"
    So, score one Melville.
    But I still don't ever want to read it again.

    Twilight didn't even tell a compelling enough story to get me through he first book, and I tried TWICE. It was just awful and weak, and did I mention weak. Weak characters, weak writing. Weaksauce all around.
    It WILL fade away... it was a pop moment... 5 years from now people will say, "Oh yeah, you remember that Twilight thing" kind of like they talk about tacky 80's legwarmers.
    It's no MD, it's no Anna Karenina, it's no Lolita.
    Hmph- I had the same reaction at the end of The Horse Whisperer (the book). "Good for you, buddy- suicide by stallion is the appropriate reaction for being a dick and knocking up a married woman- and, btw, fucking with a traumatized horse's recovery." Yes, messing with the horse so he could fuck the woman is the part that pissed me off the most.

    If I hadn't read it in one night, I might have had more trouble. I'm STILL struggling with 50 Shades of Gray. I WILL finish it! I will! It sucks! (Sadly their popularity both explains so much about the "average" person's thought processes and makes me sad for the glorification of abuse. There is a difference between a dominent man and an abusive man. Christian and Edward are both abusive.)
    http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

    Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

    And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

  6. #3366
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    Quote Originally Posted by canio6 View Post
    Yes, but then you get into the big Bach/Handel debate and things get ugly
    I play the organ (I've heard all the jokes...), so I am firmly on Team Bach.

    Actually, I love music from all eras, but then, once upon a time, I was a music major.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  7. #3367
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gay Panda View Post
    * embarrassed to be reading about great literature and music in this journal while writing a totally lightweight story and listening to Katy Perry *
    What was Twain's quote about his stories being like water rather than wine because all men like water?
    http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

    Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

    And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

  8. #3368
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    I think there are just some authors with which one will never click. I couldn't stand Ethan Frome and thus have completely lost interest in reading any of Wharton's other works.

    Also, the only experience I have of 50 Shades of Grey is the delightful reading of it by Gilbert Gottfried. I do not intend to add it to my reading list anytime soon.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  9. #3369
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    Quote Originally Posted by drssgchic View Post
    Thank you Google . . . . but, ah, what? In other words, there's nothing new under the sun or whatever that quote is?
    Bloom's a fucking trip is what he is. But you won't find anyone who knows Western Lit better.

    I enjoyed Anxiety of Influence and Map of Misreading, which kind of lay the foundation of his theory of criticism. The Western Canon is worth going over to see what you missed (got me to read Blood Meridian and a bunch of others), and Shakespeare: the Invention of the Human is a very nice overview of the Bard, with Bloom's strong opinion interjected. Oh, and Book of J is really fascinating: the J texts are culled from the Torah (J being one of the Biblical source writers, along with E and D and P and, later, Q) and re-translated by David Rosenberg; then Bloom goes all lit crit and comes up with the idea that the J writer was actually a woman living at the time of David (never quite offers proof, but who am I to argue with Bloom?).

    So, his theory involves all sorts of interesting/musty-dusty stuff, depending on viewpoint. Central is the notion of agon, Greek for contest, which is how he sees literature. The young bucks all read Shakespeare and Hemingway and Eliot and think, I can do better, right? So no, it's not about literature having nothing new to say, it's about taking the old and shaking it up, and seeing whether you measure up or fall short. Bloom's exegesis of this involves stuff from the Kabbalah and it gets very funky after that. Sort of like this.

    Writer cogitates over established piece of lit, thinks its bones are still strong but it falls short of remaining relevant today, or could be updated and called something new. Writer updates the old work, influenced by it but trying to establish his own voice. As the writer grows stronger and more insightful, he pours out all the old influences (kenosis, a word that comes up in the Gospels), steps back from his older work and influences, and then experiences daemonization, which as best I can explain is the filling up of inspiration after the emptying out of influence. The superior writer will be able to incorporate influence seamlessly, "subsuming" earlier writers and in some way rendering them obsolete and dated. But until some young writer can knock you off your hill, there you sit, challenged but eternal.

    His contention that Shakespeare is the center of the canon means that while Shakespeare has influenced plenty of writers, there's been no bigger fish to gobble him up.

    Anyway, there's some phrase Bloom uses, I think it may be reaction-formation (Freud?), that made me think of the reaction to Moby-Dick and, well, Twilight. If it pisses you off, write something better and bury it in time's trash-heap, right? The "anxiety" in the Anxiety of Influence comes when you look Shakespeare eye-to-eye and you blink.

  10. #3370
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    Handel is marvelous.

    Bach is godlike. Bach is a drug to me. There was a reason they sent the Brandenburg Concerto into space.

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