Typewriter Talk

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



21-1-2017 14:00:48  #31


Re: Books, books and more books!

Repartee wrote:

misteraitch wrote:

I very seldom read novels or short stories more than once, but, as the years pass and my memory worsens, perhaps I will do that more often!

For me to reread a book it must have given me a certain kind of pleasure which I hope to rekindle. I read "Out of the Silent Planet" at least three time - there is something about his treatment of Merlin  - but probably will not again, I enjoyed some Dostoevsky and Tolstoy but they will not be getting even a second pass and despite our enlightening discussion of Madame Bovary I definitely will not be rereading it! I just cannot dredge up enough interest to decide for myself if it is a great and pathbreaking work in novelistic realism or a colossal scam job. When I hear "important" I reach for my Submarine Attack comic, and when a book loses my interest in midstream I don't hesitate to drop it half-read -- there is no virtue of completing it as if it were an obstacle course, it's just a species of entertainment.

 

Re- reading can be tricky. As far as my experience goes, going back to a book just to see if something you've heard about it is true doesn' t end up well. most probably you'll give it up, because the key is to enjoy the ride.

Then, I completely agree: this is entertainment. There are layers upon layers of technique, historical imprtance and a blizzard of details waiting for you in each book (not the same amount in all of them, of course), but if you don't like it... In fact I have a good tally of half-read books, one of them being the "best" novel in Spanish: Don Quixote, or El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (the full original title sounds just great). But that's definitely in my to-do list, to see if it really is the best our language has to offer.


TaktaktataktaktakcluccluctaktaktaktaktakDINGtaktaktaktakCREEEEEEEEECtaktaktak...

(Olivetti Linea 98)
 
 

21-1-2017 19:27:08  #32


Re: Books, books and more books!

We are, Javi, unfortunately in complete agreement (because that means one of us is unnecessary  ).

"Entertainment" has a bad connotation with some as if all were on the level of Vaudeville acts or Roman circuses (though I never saw Vaudeville so perhaps it was highly nuanced), but I agree entertainment can incorporate "layers upon layers of technique, historical importance and a blizzard of details". But it's still not castor oil, physical conditioning or religious instruction that is good for you even if unpalatable, and if it does not give you pleasure after a reasonable trial it can be put down without a qualm.

Now it can be told: I do not like the Iliad!  That endless tale of randy gods, intermittent slaughter and a sulking hero has no charm for me. At least, not much: I once penetrated as far as Aphrodite donning armor and fighting and then running to Zeus like a whining child because some mortal had the audacity to wound her, she after all being in a battle. Even funnier I believe Ares himself suffers the same fate: he thinks war is cool as long as he can slaughter the mortals without fear of reprisal but also whines to Zeus when he gets hurt! That's good stuff, but not enough to justify the place in the pantheon this repetitive and long winded screed enjoys. I think it enjoys the reputation it does only because there is a long standing cultural need to have an iconic epic seated in lofty glory above all later works, and that's the one we have.

 


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

21-1-2017 22:12:05  #33


Re: Books, books and more books!

Repartee wrote:

That's good stuff, but not enough to justify the place in the pantheon this repetitive and long winded screed enjoys. I think it enjoys the reputation it does only because there is a long standing cultural need to have an iconic epic seated in lofty glory above all later works, and that's the one we have.
 

It is repetitive because it follows certain formulas, patterns, and sequences that were a tradition in ancient storytelling. The story was likely a patchwork pieced together from oral tales; the formula, along with it being in verse from, was part of what allowed it to be memorized, recited, and passed along for ages before it was written down. While I can understand why it might not be massively entertaining (the Illiad is extremely formulaic compared to the Odyssey,) it is incredibly important for understanding ancient history, culture, the heroic tradition, the arts, as well as having a massive influence on Western Culture that has and will continue to span millennia.

 

 

21-1-2017 22:22:38  #34


Re: Books, books and more books!

SoucekFan wrote:

(the Illiad is extremely formulaic compared to the Odyssey,)
 

I should have said the Iliad is "extremely repetitive" compared to the Odyssey.

 

21-1-2017 22:37:49  #35


Re: Books, books and more books!

--And now representing the groundling classes--ol' Texas cowpoke "pennystinker" me.  Though I do appreciate the classics, and their importance for being and for education, I like to keep my reading material short and sweet.  Bathroom readers, newspapers, magazine articles, and if I have to visit the classics--Cliff's Notes.  That's how I got through "Jane Eyre" when I was a senior back in '87. 

And now to that area completely opposite of the classics where the library is better known as the checkout aisle--yes--you guessed it--the scandal-sheets!!!   Yeah!!! What interesting reading, and few honest facts to get in the way--but a whole bunch of juicy LIES!!!  You can see who is at death's door--the next superstar to go.  Oh, these people make 'em all look like Emperor Palpatine.  One time, I read the cover of one years ago, and I'm not making this up.  But it read: "Statue of Elvis Found on Mars."  It was sooo bad, I had to get a copy.  And who could forget the saga of Batboy?  Peeeyew, what a stinkeroo that one was.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

22-1-2017 13:22:22  #36


Re: Books, books and more books!

Repartee wrote:

Now it can be told: I do not like the Iliad!  That endless tale of randy gods, intermittent slaughter and a sulking hero has no charm for me. At least, not much: I once penetrated as far as Aphrodite donning armor and fighting and then running to Zeus like a whining child because some mortal had the audacity to wound her, she after all being in a battle. Even funnier I believe Ares himself suffers the same fate: he thinks war is cool as long as he can slaughter the mortals without fear of reprisal but also whines to Zeus when he gets hurt! That's good stuff, but not enough to justify the place in the pantheon this repetitive and long winded screed enjoys. I think it enjoys the reputation it does only because there is a long standing cultural need to have an iconic epic seated in lofty glory above all later works, and that's the one we have.

HOW DARE YOU!

Just kidding . The Iliad is no easy read. In fact the effort needed to go through it renders the Iliad practically impassable, and for sure I wouldn´t recommend it. It´s a fundamental (or even better, foundational) work of western literature, it´s Beautiful in Capitals, but there´s a big "but". It´s too damn dense. Not an enjoyable trip for the crushing majority of readers.

I, however, don´t think it´s kept in high regard just because of that cultural inertia you mention. I had to read it twice because I didn´t fully get it on the first go, and if I didn´t get it I was going to fail the blasted exam. Ditto for The Odyssey, but that´s a different story. Thing is that after the second round I more or less was able to "glimpse" how beautiful it is. Our teacher kept telling us that she wished we could read it in the original Homeric Greek, because that would blast away from our heads the stupid idea of the Iliad being boring. The version I read was plpagued with notes which threw some light on the form, more than in the content. Bear in mind the Iliad is a poem, so the form is as important as the content. Chant XVIII if I´m not mistaken is the best example, with the shield of Achilles. It may be boring for our current tastes, but looking at it as a poem and (if possible) reaching a bit into the original text turns it into... just that! A shield made of verses, pure poetry made of metal. If you don´t want to sit through the Iliad again, just check that chapter and let yourself be carried away by the text. Don´t expect anything, just let it flow.

As for the Gods, totally, absolutely, definitely agree. They´re a bunch of spoily kids, the worst of all being Ares. The mighty God of War, you say? He´s a spineless coward!

I should say I have a degree on Classical Languages, so I´m a bit into Greece and Rome. I suppose that makes me even weirder


TaktaktataktaktakcluccluctaktaktaktaktakDINGtaktaktaktakCREEEEEEEEECtaktaktak...

(Olivetti Linea 98)
 
     Thread Starter
 

23-1-2017 07:09:48  #37


Re: Books, books and more books!

Javi wrote:

I should say I have a degree on Classical Languages, so I´m a bit into Greece and Rome. I suppose that makes me even weirder

Yes. You are the only person I have seen who has used both the    emoticon and the  emoticon (?) , That's weird.   I have never seen anybody use the blank face though. 

You are even handed in revealing your classical education and defending the Iliad against my low brow scurrilous attack, only hinting that there is beauty there I do not see.  As ancient epics go I sort of like the Mahabharata, which I think I mentioned I got through 2/3 of, or maybe three^H^H^H^H... eight Iliad equivalents. (Three was my off the cuff estimate but I fact checked it because I thought I was exaggerating). It is beautiful in its wordy inflation and as soon as I unpack that Touchmaster Five I am going to write the sequel! 

(Cor, I think he's going to do it! Get the children inside).


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

Typewriter Talk