Our world has problems. [BAD BOOKS]

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Luya Sevrein, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Dyloot

    Dyloot Registered User

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    Your point is valid, but it hardly disqualifies Roland's points.

    Most of us believe, after sampling Meyer's work, that she is inferior to Rowling. I've read that same conclusion from both authors and fellow fans. Therefore, I've decided that Rowling is better based on my experiences in my own literary world.

    It could be that there are professors out there who believe her work brilliant. It could be in 100 years someone will dig Twilight out from a dusty basement and realize that her genius launched a literary movement.

    Or it could be that she's really a crappy author who happened to entertain teenage girls and grown women by reminding them what it was like to be young and innocent and falling in love. Meanwhile, Pulitzer Prize winners make a pittance of her royalties writing complicated books that most of the population find dull and/or inaccessible.

    As a side note, Rowling's first book was not very well written. She improved greatly by book two. I wonder if that's because she had more time, more experience, better editors, or all three. I did notice a huge improvement, though. Also, before we start signing Rowling's praises too loudly, she was also a formulaic writer who ran into real trouble in her final book when she left her formula and tried to write a book away from Hogswarts. I'd be interested to see how she does without the school year timeline in future books.
     
  2. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    Yeah, no need for sarcasm. The pure fact here is that everyone has an oppinion, including the people you chose to argue with. If you don't agree, I wouldn't simply slander the ways in which they use their logic because yours is 'SO MUCH MORE AWESOMES!!'

    The truth is the '-is subjective' excuse has been so overused. If art is subjective, why are there art classes? Museams, with standards? Why are there critics?

    If writing is subjective why are there writing classes, english degrees?

    Everything in the world is subjective. Ever done a Philosophy course? Do it, you learn ways to say that. Everything. 2+2=4 is a necessery truth yet, can easily be argued as subjective.

    Yet, the world has come to some order simply because we have too, to be practical.

    Your argument is wasted, because while arguing it even you slipped in how rubbish Twilight was. You're standing up for an ideal simply for the sake of the ideal.

    But that's your oppinion.
     
  3. Aether Monkey

    Aether Monkey hack-wit

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  4. Palfrey

    Palfrey Registered User

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    Years ago I would have agreed with you - I still want to agree with you - but I had to do a re-think. The reason being, I hate classical music. On an intellectual level I understand that is by many measures better than other music, but I don't care. So who am I to say that someone else has bad taste?

    I think you have high brow and low brow, and there can be good and bad in either. In other words, they can't be evaluated against the same yardstick. In the case of music, there had to have been bad, now-forgotten classical composers just as there are bad artists in any other genre. A series like Twilight might be shallow and sensationalist, but it must do a good job of being those things or it wouldn't be popular.
     
  5. Psylent

    Psylent Registered User

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    I'm waiting for Luya Sevrein to produce some of these authorities that have praised Twilight.

    Look, in most cases anything that is insanely popular will be pretty crappy. Books that are broadly popular are ones that appeals to wide demographics. American Idol is the most popular TV show in America and a big part of that is that it appeals to 7 year olds and 70 year olds. Some people in this thread seem to think that 13 year girls should be reading Pulitzer Prize winning novels. It's not going to happen. People who have read 10-20 books in their life are not going to have the same standards as folks who have read 1,000-2,000. Simple as that.
     
  6. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    I think, honestly, there is a case as well that things that become popular lose their likeable element. So, if they are of a... Standard/average quality they go down a notch. So if they're high they become meh, and if poor they become hated.

    The number of people I know who liked the first and second and third Harry Potter, then when it turned into something huge suddenly hated it was amazing. I also think if something like Twilight didn't get big, I wouldn't mind it so much. It would be that dull smut book, not that horrific butchering of literature.

    The same for Lotr, people hate it for the sake of not being in the masses. Lets all sound intellegant.

    Do I really need to spoon feed you sources? If we ignore the teenage girls and twilightmoms, all though some of them actually seem intellegant and still praise the book without logical reasons being stated. I'm talking about mainstream media. Can I also point out that because Twilight was in the example does not mean it is the sole book I am talking about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  7. Dyloot

    Dyloot Registered User

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    I mentioned Pulitzer Prize winners, but I think many of them are way beyond more audiences' reading and interest level. Some of them, like the Hours, really require context to understand the brilliance. Others, like the Shipping News and the Road, take a reader willing to stray from the norm in terms of prose and enjoy something different. And then there are novels like Middlesex, which asks the reader to embrace a hermaphrodite as the main character, that focus on subject matter that makes some uncomfortable.

    Often the best books demand something from the reader that popular fiction does not.
     
  8. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    Agreed.

    The first stories and storytellers, told their stories to teach, to show, to express something to themselves and their mind, and to let the person they told them too think. For control, for enlightenment, for something.

    There is a deffinate element of entertainment, especailly today. Though, even then that should invoke some emotion - to sooth, to excite, to worry. Alot of things today seem to be empty entertainment.
     
  9. Aether Monkey

    Aether Monkey hack-wit

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    A lot of people today are empty.
     
  10. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    I disagree.

    People a thousand years ago seemed to care about sex, money, power... That's what we're peddled as 'the most inportant'. People still get hooked by love, people are still traiters or loyal friends.

    Just there's more things to occupy us bar our thoughts and productive things.

    Just we have more empty things to do nour days which keep telling us, 'It's okay to sit and do nothing because hey, there's always hope.'
     
  11. Aether Monkey

    Aether Monkey hack-wit

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    As I said, empty. There were a lot of empty people in history. There will be a bunch tomorrow. Hell, I'm probably one of them. We are monkeys.
     
  12. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    So, if a person follows an empty persuit for a while it makes them empty?

    Flawless.

    I tend not to try and judge everyone given my current mood or life outlook.
     
  13. Aether Monkey

    Aether Monkey hack-wit

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    relativist
     
  14. Sancho

    Sancho Registered User

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    Luya, who only yesterday sought ideas on how to indoctrinate the masses to her way of thinking, now stands stalwart to that last bastion of a free society, the right to hold one’s own opinion. A remarkable transformation (and I mean that).


    As for your questions:

    If art is subjective, why are there art classes? -- Just because something is subjective, it does not mean there is nothing to learn from it, philosophy being a prime example. Debate stimulates the mind.

    Museums with ‘standards’? – Elitism.

    Why are there critics? – Silly question. As proved here, people with opinions tend to express them. Especially when the point under observation is not absolute.

    You make me laugh.

    I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it. -- Voltaire.


    And you have still to answer the question I posed you.
     
  15. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    What I was asking was for oppinions, ideas on if it could change, sparking debate, not simply offending of character, ideas and thought.

    I wouldn't quote Voltaire, if in the text both before and after you try so hard to undermine someone who speaks differently to you.

    I gave an answer. It did not live up to your standards. So, I'm sure I shall continue to fail-

    But wait, isn't having any kind of standards elitism? Hm.
     
  16. txshusker

    txshusker A mere player

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    thank you Sancho. (you're original post.. not the latest.)

    I always fine these debates interesting. Someone posted earlier that SFF doesn't normally get its critical due from the standard literature critiquers because it's gimicky or lacks nuance and a genre... and I would say that that rankles 99% of the board members. I don't want to put words into the main debaters' mouths, but I would guess it does you, too. Yet, here it is, the exact argument within the genre itself.

    I hated Catcher in the Rye in high school. What a whining arse. I love The Old Man and the Sea. For Whom the Bell Tolls? Boring.... Animal Farm - rocks. And Alas, Babylon was the best book I was ever forced to read in school

    I like The Davinci Code. I love Foucault's Pendulum. I love performing Shakespeare, find most of Twain trite but amusing, enjoyed most of the original modern vampire gateway drug that is Anne Rice and find Julie Kenner's soccer mom mildly entertaining. James Joyce bites, Harry James bores and James F Cooper absorbing.

    I find Harry Potter enjoyable and Thomas Convenant breathtaking.

    I like Mozart for reading, writing or watching my daughter sleep, and I beebop to Debbie Gibson on road trips with my wife. I think that The Beatles were as every bit as complicated and creative with production values in the Apple years as Mozart was in his short prime. I'm apathetic towards Nirvana but head bang to Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam.

    The best selling American author of all time is Harold Robbins, the second is Sidney Sheldon, and the 3rd is Danielle Steel. In Britain, after Shakespeare (but he didn't really write his own plays - we all know that, right?) is Agatha Christie followed by Barbara Cartland.

    I can't tell Luya, from your post if you've actually read one of the Meyer's series. I haven't, so I can't comment on its merits. Don't intend to, either, no matter how hard my sister and niece push. (I can't stand the sight of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.)

    Pre-teens and teens love teen romance. Always have. Always will. (It's in the hormones, I think). In their world, when they have not been introduced to much else, it is the greatest work ever. Just as my first venture into SFF was The Riddlemaster of Hed and I never thought I'd enjoy another book as much. Until I read Piers Anthony. And Michael Moorcock. And Fritz Lieber. And Donaldson, Duncan, Card, McCaffrey, Zimmer Bradley... and on into now. (Am I dating myself? in years, not in love.)

    A lot of people hate my favorite author, and I cannot understand for the life of me why. Doesn't mean it's not valid. And don't forget, many more people who have read them think they're the bees knees than hate it.. so if you're into majority rules rules, you're in the losing group. And you're the one who premise is wrong in the opening thread.

    But doesn't Meyer tell a story? Maybe not one you like. But the ups and downs of teen angst and love is a story. I don't know about the "smut" part, as you keep referring to... but if it's YA, certainly it can't be worse than anything that happens on Big Brother or the Real World or Avatar. (check out the new alien sex scene on the new DVD release!)

    As to Sturgeon applying to readers, that's plain hubris. The "authorities" tastes are as varied and prejudiced as every one on this board - there's no accounting for it, and I don't take any of them for their word unless I've read the piece myself. Reading is not a science with definitive laws, equations and outcomes. Analyze all you want, but don't think that because some (me) don't write down every sentence of symbolism and tie it to a part later in the novel makes them (me) "less" of a reader. Some remember the characters, some the climax, some the depth of the Christian overtures. Does getting one instead of another make them less? I don't think so. And it will change with every book an individual reads and every re-read of the same book.

    Publishers have a moral obligation to publish those books which make their investors money - it's why they were hired, it's why they still have a job. Saying otherwise, albeit altruistic, is simplistic and oblivious to the goals of publishing houses - make money. It'd be a nice goal, but we don't live on the set of Star Trek. I'm sure many of them try to fit a few books they like more into the works if they can; but don't think Google's free search engine and their "pro-green" marketing doesn't have ulterior motives. It's no coincidence some ride Segways around campus and that they want to try and charge every website a fee for access bandwidth. Follow the money.

    I also disagree with the thought that the best books demand something from the reader that popular fiction does not. That also is the hubris of the mainstream. Have you ever read hard core SciFi? Does the tedium, length and complicity of TWoT or ASoFaI not demand something from the reader? I've read Hemmingway and Hawthorne... they ain't complicated - even with the depth of symbolism. It's more of a matter of the reader's accessability to the material when they read it.

    I like KatG's suggestion. Promote what you can, what you like. It's why I like this board.
     
  17. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    Don't you think though that the ability to debate books such as The Old MAan and the Sea and Animal Farm happens because the books have substance. They may you think, they bring up issues that effect or could effect everyone to a deep level.

    That's kind of my point, though I really love debating with people and opening my mind. I completely accept that they exist for entertainment and if only someone could give me a logical reason why they may be... Good? Or useful, or something.

    I have read Twilight. Some of the second one, none of the others. But I was not simply talking about Twilight.

    Doesn't it speak wonders that people keep bringing up Twilight? This book must be so hated or something. D:

    There are, in my view, two ways to become 'high brow' and I'm not saying I agree with the first.
    Demand something of your reader or,
    Take up a 'morally grey' issue and/or paint everything in symbolism, so in a way, I completely agree with you there.

    At the very least you know, this has sparked alot of oppinions being given which is always healthy!
     
  18. txshusker

    txshusker A mere player

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    Certainly. I've got no qualms about that. That's not the gist I got from your original post.

    Nor, I think, was your original post what actually spurred my comments... it was other posts along the road.

    (I think people hit Twilight specifically because that's the one thing you brought out originally. Goodkind brings out this same entertaining debate all the time. As does space opera vs hard core SF. Urban fantasy vs epic fantasy).
     
  19. Dyloot

    Dyloot Registered User

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    I don't really want to get in a big debate on this tbh. WoT and ASOIAF are complicated like Lost is complicated: the authors both promise vague and intriguing elements to the plot and neither have delivered. They both require far less reading comprehension than the Scarlet Letter and lack the beauty of Hemingway's simple (yet incredibly deep) prose.

    Martin and Jordan are no Salingers, Hemingways, Faulkners. And that's fine, since that's not what most of us are looking for on a regular basis.

    BtW, I dig the fact that Frost's Fire and Ice is so memorable to readers that they continue to call Martin's work ASoFaI instead of the author's given name.
     
  20. Luya Sevrein

    Luya Sevrein Humble Grifter

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    To make it clearer then, what I think is that books that have no value other than shallow entertainment should not be getting the level of praise that they do. I also asked what people think and if they knew (theoretically) any way this could be changed. I'm not stating it can be, or that my oppinion is absolute but I'm going to defend it, it's my oppinion.

    Only Kat has pointed out a way I think might help. Some people have come in ready to tell me how wrong my oppinion is.

    ight was only an example, because it was in the article from which I quoted. Many people complain about Richard and Kahlen, that I've seen, so is it a romance thing? People seem critical of books where romance is the main theme instead of a secondary one.

    I think it's because romance is a very personal thing and you can only feel something for it if you feel something for the characters. People who do not read often and teenagers do feel something for these types of people because they can imagine themselves as the character - due to the character's blandness - and the media panda to this.