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The Literature Thread

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  • TaniaTania Member Posts: 257 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Amunet said:
    I just finished reading The Book Thief and Reading Lolita in Tehran for my contemporary literature class. Both were quite good; I'd highly recommend them, though Reading Lolita in Tehran didn't seem to appeal to people (read: everyone else in the class) who weren't familiar with the books that Azar Nafisi and her students were studying. If anything, it served to highlight the near-illiteracy of recent high school graduates and only further emphasized the differences between my classmates and myself. It's no longer a gully that separates us; it's an effing chasm. We actually got into a debate last week over the Twilight series - the professor, a hipster, and I derided Stephenie Meyer's prose as a crime against literature, while a small claque of rabid Twi-hards argued that Bella Swan's battle to choose between committing necrophilia or bestiality was the greatest love story since Orpheus harrowed the Underworld to resurrect his Eurydice. I suddenly understood the hatred some adults bear for teenagers.
    Not gonna lie, if it's "real literature" and it wasn't assigned in high school, I haven't read it. But then, I've been a science major and an accounting major, and neither of those gives a good goddamn if I can tell you what the author was trying to say about racism or modern values and I would rather slit my wrists than ever take another English course.

    Although I do have The Book Thief waiting to be read.
  • TaniaTania Member Posts: 257 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited October 2012
    Amunet said:
    You don't need to be a literature snob to realize that Twilight and all of its related media is terrible.
    Good god, no. I attempted to read the series so I could understand why my brother and sister and even my mother enjoyed them, and ended up throwing the second book at the wall when the pages went blank to indicate Bella's life having no meaning without her corpse lover. Absolutely no literary merit, and nothing resembling a real plot. Just some creepy dead stalker morphing into an abusive relationship. Ugh.
  • TaniaTania Member Posts: 257 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I can't fix the weird quote.
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,132 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I read the Twilight books when I was at summer camp, out of books, and bored out of my mind during the last two days. They were a waste of time,  but I was trying to waste time.
    I know some genuinely intelligent people (including my old biology teacher) who liked the books and/or movies for reasons I don't understand. To each their own.
    ________________________
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."
  • DetheaDethea Member Posts: 115 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I'm not a fan of Twilight, but I did read them/give them a chance. I read *one* compelling article about the merits of the series (it was actually an academic article), but I can't remember for the life of me the title of it. It had something to do with giving young women a shot at experiencing a sexual fantasy safely (I think, I could be confusing this article with someone's blog). I'll try to dig it up.
    Alyssea
  • DetheaDethea Member Posts: 115 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Tania said:
    Dethea said:
    I'm not a fan of Twilight, but I did read them/give them a chance. I read *one* compelling article about the merits of the series (it was actually an academic article), but I can't remember for the life of me the title of it. It had something to do with giving young women a shot at experiencing a sexual fantasy safely (I think, I could be confusing this article with someone's blog). I'll try to dig it up.
    The only problem I have with that argument is that there is a ton of good, YA fiction out there for young women, and most of it is better than Twilight, and most of it also explores budding sexuality. Twilight's emphasis on purity and "waiting for the right time" can be an incredibly damaging message to young women, not to mention fantasizing about a man with so many signs of an abuser while still young enough to internalize the idea of the man who wants you all for himself as being sexy and appealing instead of warning signs to get out before he starts to hit you.

    Yeah, the last bit of your post is why I didn't really like the series. Also I couldn't find the article anyway. D:
  • AyodeleAyodele Member Posts: 8
    edited October 2012
    Really enjoyed Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death recently - Afrofuturistic speculative fiction with brilliant themes. Unfortunately the ending kind of falls flat. But still well worth the read.

    I'm a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, the Abhorsen Trilogy, His Dark Materials, etc.

    Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is brilliant...it's YA and can be a bit over the top with the star-crossed lovers thing, but her writing is just gorgeous. 

    Also, anything by Octavia Butler. Especially Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. And Mike Resnick's books are hilarious - I especially love Santiago. And Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
  • DetheaDethea Member Posts: 115 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Ayodele said:
    Really enjoyed Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death recently - Afrofuturistic speculative fiction with brilliant themes. Unfortunately the ending kind of falls flat. But still well worth the read.

    I'm a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, the Abhorsen Trilogy, His Dark Materials, etc.

    Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is brilliant...it's YA and can be a bit over the top with the star-crossed lovers thing, but her writing is just gorgeous. 

    Also, anything by Octavia Butler. Especially Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. And Mike Resnick's books are hilarious - I especially love Santiago. And Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

    Have you read Akata Witch (also by Nnedi Okorafor)? I feel like it's a better Harry Potter :\
  • AyodeleAyodele Member Posts: 8
    Dethea said:
    Ayodele said:
    Really enjoyed Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death recently - Afrofuturistic speculative fiction with brilliant themes. Unfortunately the ending kind of falls flat. But still well worth the read.

    I'm a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, the Abhorsen Trilogy, His Dark Materials, etc.

    Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is brilliant...it's YA and can be a bit over the top with the star-crossed lovers thing, but her writing is just gorgeous. 

    Also, anything by Octavia Butler. Especially Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. And Mike Resnick's books are hilarious - I especially love Santiago. And Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

    Have you read Akata Witch (also by Nnedi Okorafor)? I feel like it's a better Harry Potter :\
    I haven't yet! I would like to. Thanks for the rec :)
  • AthanasiusAthanasius Member Posts: 17 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Patrick Rothfuss' Kvothe novels and Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series has me hooked for now. Can't wait for the third book of either series to come out (hopefully soon, but it's probably going to be a while). Planning on reading Jeff Vandermeer's Finch next. His very Orphean Veniss Underground was brilliant!

    In non-sff fiction, I just got done reading Milan Kundera's The Joke and loved it. 

    For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
    and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
  • ChryenthChryenth Member Posts: 1,323 @ - Epic Achaean
    I have been waiting for the third GB book for so long.

    Could be five years now. Maybe four. IDK.

    :(
  • JhaeliJhaeli Member Posts: 541 @ - Epic Achaean
    Just received word not too long ago that Brandon Sanderson is finally working on #2 of the Stormlight Archives. Finally. I like the WoT, but am so much happier for him to be working on his own stuff and The Way of Kings was his best novel yet.

    Also, have been getting hints that hubby picked up Christopher Hitchens' last book, Mortality, as a Christmas gift. Admittedly, his death still makes me tear up a little if I dwell on it, so I'm expecting an emotional yet fulfilling ride when I finally get the chance to read it.

    "Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that [everlasting] life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man." 

    ChryenthJiraishin
  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,900 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Patrick Rothfuss' Kvothe novels 

    So good.
    Athanasius
  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Just read Dynamics of Faith as a primer to Paul Tillich's work before I dive into Systematic Theology. Gotta love neo-orthodox theology influenced by German existentialists!
    image
    Salvar
  • JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,697 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tvistor said:
    Patrick Rothfuss' Kvothe novels 

    So good.
    I got this recently off the Book Depository as well because it was cheap, didn't know what to expect. Then later in the day I saw someone over at the next table in a restaurant I was in reading that exact same book, so I thought it must be a sign that it's at least somewhat good!

    Wasn't disappointed. :D I have to get the other books as well though when I have time.
    If you like my stories, you can find them here:
    Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

  • GildenlowGildenlow Member Posts: 13 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Hitchens' MORTALITY is depressingly short. He couldnt finish it, for obvious reasons, but his writing was crystal clear.

    I am currently enjoying the poetic prose of HEART OF DARKNESS by Conrad - on my reading list is Hemingway, Tolstoy, Dawkins, and the authors of the Humble Indie Bundle.

    I recently finished PIRATE CINEMA, part of the Humble Indie Bundle of books. I didnt know until the end that it is YA fiction but it was OK. It is a lightweight, speculative look at a future strangled by copyright laws.

    I also reread SIDDHARTHA by Hesse, and four days later I am still elated. That book sings to me in the best possible way.
    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
    Jhaeli
  • AthanasiusAthanasius Member Posts: 17 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    Gildenlow said:
     I also reread SIDDHARTHA by Hesse, and four days later I am still elated. That book sings to me in the best possible way.
    Siddhartha has been on my to-read list for ages now along with a re-read of Rilke's Duino Elegies. Must find for the time for this soon. 
    For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
    and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
  • SalvarSalvar Member Posts: 30 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited November 2012
    Amunet said:
    I just finished reading The Book Thief and Reading Lolita in Tehran for my contemporary literature class. Both were quite good; I'd highly recommend them, though Reading Lolita in Tehran didn't seem to appeal to people (read: everyone else in the class) who weren't familiar with the books that Azar Nafisi and her students were studying. If anything, it served to highlight the near-illiteracy of recent high school graduates and only further emphasized the differences between my classmates and myself. It's no longer a gully that separates us; it's an effing chasm. We actually got into a debate last week over the Twilight series - the professor, a hipster, and I derided Stephenie Meyer's prose as a crime against literature, while a small claque of rabid Twi-hards argued that Bella Swan's battle to choose between committing necrophilia or bestiality was the greatest love story since Orpheus harrowed the Underworld to resurrect his Eurydice. I suddenly understood the hatred some adults bear for teenagers.
    @Amunet As a prof. of lit, I can't help but want to know what you're reading in the contemporary lit class (I'm always looking for good new contemporary literature).  I just started reading Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay on the recommendation of a friend and it's decent.   

    Also, you are correct; the level of literary knowledge coming from recent high school graduates is not where we (higher ed. educators) would like it to be. But, it's not really their fault, in the end. The problem ends up being systemic with our HS teaching colleagues being mandated to teach certain things to receive funding from the gov't.  It's a ::headdesk:: situation all around.  You're in a unique position, being considerably well read, to help expose your less literary classmates to the wider variety of literature and its importance. 

    edit: typing is hard, yo.
    Argys
  • ErasarielErasariel Member Posts: 757 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Rise from your ashes, o dead literature thread!

    My English class is using modern plays as a focus. Currently reading Clybourne Park. It really feels different from novels - the emotion and interaction is way more concentrated and raw, and way more details are left to the imagination. I especially like that one aspect of the play - the stage, the voices, the faces..they're all for you to imagine. I love the extra imaginative work!


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  • OceanaOceana North SeaMember Posts: 897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Just finished Le Passager from J.C. Grangé. Very captivating, and the ending... well, read it!
  • TylorTylor Member Posts: 15 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited February 2013
    One of my favourite authors, J.G Ballard - Concrete Island and High Rise. Such great work to repeatedly reference back to in any future paper I write or lesson I teach.

    Edit: Seconded, this thread should be 'phoenixed'.
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