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  1. #1
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    Cool Your Fahrenheit 451 Book

    This could be construed as being similar to "Best book in the world", but I think maybe more fun...

    It's concerning the book that if called upon to memorize in it's entirety for posterity and teach to the next person, you would be glad to do so.

    Mine is Catch 22

    What's yours?
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; February 2nd, 2006 at 10:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

    It's short.

  3. #3
    Hubris compells me to answer Wolfe's Book of the New Sun.

    Laziness suggests maybe Animal Farm.

    I think if I really had to do it, I'd go for Lord of the Flies; short, exquisite, deserving of remembrance.

    You know Eventine, you'll have to remember Denosivich in the original Russian and English if you want to do your full service to posterity

  4. #4
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Don Quixote - massive, but a straightforward book of ridiculous adventures and therefore relatively easy to recount.

  5. #5
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    That's a darn interesting way to put that question, Arthur! Makes you think: do I memorize something that I really enjoy, so that I'll want to memorize it and repeat it numerous times? Or should the priority be on something important that will stimulate/educate the listener? Should it only be a classic work of literature that merits such attention, or can I have the hubris to judge that a more modern work would fit the bill?

    I'll have to think about that one and get back to you!

  6. #6

    Hmmmm...

    Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner


    Randy M.
    (if someone already took that then, Ghosts Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James -- now that would be fun to recite to some eager listener)

  7. #7
    black iron prison dweller Phantos's Avatar
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    tough question...

    possibly PKD's <i>The Man in a High Castle</i>.

  8. #8
    BookWyrm Archren's Avatar
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    Here's a tentative one, I'm not sure it would be my final choice:

    Flatland by Edward Abbott. Classic, has stood the test of time, short & enjoyable and teaches the important lesson that things aren't always as they seem. Also teaches visualization skills. Did I mention that it's short?

  9. #9
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    Probably "Life of Lazarillo de Tormes". It's short, a great read, and historically important.

  10. #10
    The Bible...





    Kidding!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Eventine
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

    It's short.
    Well it is short. And it's powerful. But the reason Solzhenitsyn's anticommunist work was allowed to be published is that the corrupt bureacracy wanted to smear the Stalinist era to help justify the current rule. The more typical work in this regard was that of antisemite ukranian nationalists who fabricated an engineered famine holocaust with help from Hearst, etc. I can't see any good reason to pass on such lies to future generations.

    Geez I don't know maybe Manufacturing Consent by Herman and Chomsky. But that will hopefully be dated someday. So far it isn't though at all.

    Something just for fun, not important/serious, maybe something Vancian. Beautiful prose. Something from the Dying Earth. Like Chun the Unavoidable.

  12. #12
    Yobmod Yobmod's Avatar
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    The Bible...

    Kidding!
    The bible is one of the books remembered in farenheit 451 - although i remember it as being memorised in parts by more than one person. But i wouldn't be suprised if there were a few people who knew most of it by heart already.

    I've never really believed in fiction as humanitarian education, it is too subjective (it seems to me that well-read people are no more enlightened or humane than illiterates, they just hide it better), so i'd choose something beautiful that bears repeated retelling and has useful advice for everyday life, possibly Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and other stories:

    'Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle.'

  13. #13

    Facades

    Quote Originally Posted by Yobmod
    [...]
    I've never really believed in fiction as humanitarian education, it is too subjective (it seems to me that well-read people are no more enlightened or humane than illiterates, they just hide it better),
    But, sometimes, in creating and sustaining a facade, one becomes the facade, developing into the kind of person one has been pretending to be.

    It's not that well-read people are automatically more humane and enlightened, well-read people simply increase their potential of becoming humane and enlightened. (Now, you want axioms that just don't add up, let me suggest the age equals wisdom thing; what a crock.)

    Also, I don't think fiction is any more subjective than non-fiction, especially when dealing with subjects like philosophy and theology. Then, too, fiction is only part of the conversation mankind has with itself and with its dead. For someone's full potential to be realized her/his reading has to be wider than just fiction. (And, of course, personal experience has a lot to do with all this.)
    so i'd choose something beautiful that bears repeated retelling and has useful advice for everyday life, possibly Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber and other stories:
    I'd call that a very humane and intelligent work of art.

    Randy M.

  14. #14
    Yobmod Yobmod's Avatar
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    It's not that well-read people are automatically more humane and enlightened, well-read people simply increase their potential of becoming humane and enlightened.
    I've never seen any evidance for this - maybe Ghandi read more fiction than Hitler, but i wouldn't bet money on it.

    I'd call that a very humane and intelligent work of art.
    I agree, but it hasn't made me any more humane (nor intelligent), and i wouldn't expect it to do so to others. But still beautiful and worth preserving.

  15. #15
    the puppet master ArthurFrayn's Avatar
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    I've never really believed in fiction as humanitarian education, it is too subjective (it seems to me that well-read people are no more enlightened or humane than illiterates, they just hide it better)
    All people can be slippery with regard to moral behaviour, even religious people, so there's no guaranteed manner of moral instruction. People,acting in their own interests,have a tendency to be agressive,selfish,craven and pointlessy perverse by natural inclination. It's something that diverse reading affirms.
    I think Bradbury is advocating reading in general, and reading fiction in the specific, as a way of broadening one's appreciation of the human condition,not as the guaranteed path to becoming a brahman.
    I do think wide reading might help to develop one's empathy with regard to others, which then might enable one to become more tolerant of other's weaknesses and differences.
    Of course, one has to have some inclinations in this direction.
    I also agree with him that the loss of reading would be a genuine loss.
    Last edited by ArthurFrayn; May 16th, 2006 at 01:41 PM.

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