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Wrageowrapper
Apr 30, 2009

DRINK! ARSE! FECKIN CHRISTMAS!

I'm pretty sure a number of the authors mentioned so far like Chandler are genre writers as well tbh.

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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Wrageowrapper posted:

I'm pretty sure a number of the authors mentioned so far like Chandler are genre writers as well tbh.

http://www.en.utexas.edu/amlit/amli...handlerart.html

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



Lmao imagine readng a book

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



Mister Kingdom posted:

It's more fun to talk about the bad.

I remember literature classes in high school (a looooong time ago) and hating dissecting every loving word. No, Mr. Jones, I don't know what the author meant by the scene with the three-legged dog and, frankly, I don't give a gently caress.

Hello Mister Kingdom, you can read good literature and simply enjoy the words as they are presented to you on the page for being well constructed and beautiful and not even think about any meaning to yourself/the human peoples of the world. However, the very best books of all just cause you to think about them even when you are not reading them and you spontaneously engage in your own analysis and think about whether you believe the Don Quixote of Pierre Menard is the same as the Don QUixote of Miquel de Cervantes or if you think a man running across Europe trying to stop a bomb being launched by black Nazi commandos might bear some relevance to your own life. You don't need to sit and analyse every aspect but you will catch yourself thinking about the book on a level above "I hope Arya dies next".

Please read good books the Book Barn I recommend to you Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavic it is very enjoyable, has some really great words, is interestingly written and is largely an analogy for modern Serbia but you don't even need to think about that if you don't want to (I didn't)

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004



If you read genre fiction you're a child and only non genre stuff is allowed to have deeper meanings. Alif the Unseen may have seemed like an exploration of the balance between tradition and technology over the backdrop of a criticism of Western concepts of intellectual freedom but that's only because you're a child reading books about genies by comic book authors go suck a diaper you nerd

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

TBB sucks because there's not a book version of SMG.

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004



computer parts posted:

TBB sucks because there's not a book version of SMG.
Let's all send SMG some novels

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



Whalley posted:

If you read genre fiction you're a child and only non genre stuff is allowed to have deeper meanings. Alif the Unseen may have seemed like an exploration of the balance between tradition and technology over the backdrop of a criticism of Western concepts of intellectual freedom but that's only because you're a child reading books about genies by comic book authors go suck a diaper you nerd

I must have missed the discussion on this one while looking at the 1 000 000 000 page Harry Potter thread

Street Soldier
Oct 28, 2005

An egotistical being like myself can't be allowed to live...

computer parts posted:

TBB sucks because there's not a book version of SMG.

Does Super Mario Galaxy really need a novelisation?

Whalley
Mar 5, 2004



CestMoi posted:

I must have missed the discussion on this one while looking at the 1 000 000 000 page Harry Potter thread
It's a genre book about modern Arab youth written by a Muslim woman, not White Guy's Laser Sword; discussion went on for a post and a half before someone asked when the next Caucasian Space Knights novel was coming out. I don't know what I'm arguing for right now.

Street Soldier posted:

Does Super Mario Galaxy really need a novelisation?
http://supermechagodzillaposts.blogspot.com/

He's the best part of Cinema Discusso

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

Serious post though: It's not the fact that there's so much genre fiction exclusively. Just look at CD, the front page is the following:

- lovely movie thread

- An animated movie sequel

- Transformers

- A Tom Cruise Scifi film

- A comic book movie megathread

- Godzilla

- Star Wars

- TMNT

- The Lego Movie

- Anime(tion) megathread

All of these are the movie equivalent of "genre books". The reality is probably just that people (read: goons) don't read all that much, and when they do they don't really like discussing it online. It doesn't really help that there's not a coordinated ad campaign for most books so you don't even have a shared experience for a large number of people.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

computer parts posted:

All of these are the movie equivalent of "genre books". The reality is probably just that people (read: goons) don't read all that much, and when they do they don't really like discussing it online. It doesn't really help that there's not a coordinated ad campaign for most books so you don't even have a shared experience for a large number of people.

This is basically why I've been excluding genre fiction from the Book of the Month selections. There's only so much I can do though -- to mangle Dorothy Parker, I can lead the goons to culture, but I can't make them think. Frankly, it's a minor miracle that goons read books of any kind at all.

We do have some threads for discussion of things that aren't warhammer ( http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3608062 ; http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3503637 ; http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3625363 ). The best way to encourage more discussion of things that aren't warhammer or dragons is to make more posts about things that aren't warhammer or dragons.

Effectronica
May 31, 2011


Fallen Rib

Whalley posted:

If you read genre fiction you're a child and only non genre stuff is allowed to have deeper meanings. Alif the Unseen may have seemed like an exploration of the balance between tradition and technology over the backdrop of a criticism of Western concepts of intellectual freedom but that's only because you're a child reading books about genies by comic book authors go suck a diaper you nerd

The distinction between genre and high literature hasn't had anything to do with subject matter since The Turn of the Screw and Red Harvest were accepted as lit-fic. I get why you're hostile, but the fact is, most sci-fi authors complaining about the sci-fi ghetto simply aren't very good.

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



CestMoi posted:

Hello Mister Kingdom, you can read good literature and simply enjoy the words as they are presented to you on the page for being well constructed and beautiful and not even think about any meaning to yourself/the human peoples of the world. However, the very best books of all just cause you to think about them even when you are not reading them and you spontaneously engage in your own analysis and think about whether you believe the Don Quixote of Pierre Menard is the same as the Don QUixote of Miquel de Cervantes or if you think a man running across Europe trying to stop a bomb being launched by black Nazi commandos might bear some relevance to your own life. You don't need to sit and analyse every aspect but you will catch yourself thinking about the book on a level above "I hope Arya dies next".

Please read good books the Book Barn I recommend to you Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavic it is very enjoyable, has some really great words, is interestingly written and is largely an analogy for modern Serbia but you don't even need to think about that if you don't want to (I didn't)

Tarranon posted:

Engaging the text actually owns tho, and it is easy and everyone can do it, and then you get to enjoy your favorite faustian book three times

enjoy the devil book on the surface

enjoy thinking about what the devil book meant to your personally

and then discuss the matter with your close friends and share your perspectives/ideas

what would this world be if all you ever talked about was wasn't it cool when faust made that bargain, and then he got everything he asked for...or did he!!?

These are some insanely good posts on the matter and heck, while I don't have anything that could really be added to those statements I just want everyone to see them again, for emphasis. Especially for the people that think that in order to read non-genre stuff you *have* to analyze themes and subtexts and other things they tell you about in high school lit class.

Talmonis
Jun 24, 2012
The fairy of forgiveness has removed your red text.

Honestly after being forced to read things called "high literature" in public school, a lot of folks simply don't want to be bored on their own time. If you're not reading for enjoyment in fiction, or to educate yourself in non-fiction, what's really the personal incentive to do so?

That's not to say that all "high literature" are boring, but it just seems that way when Twain and Austen are held in such high regard. It doesn't help matters that "popular fiction" is derided for the very sin of being created for entertainment.

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

Srice posted:

Especially for the people that think that in order to read non-genre stuff you *have* to analyze themes and subtexts and other things they tell you about in high school lit class.

But if I do read those types of books and I don't "get" the subtext, then I'm judged as some kind of imbecile.

I guess we can expect similar threads in the other sub-forums telling us what kind of music we should be listening to, or what TV shows and movies we should be watching.

Effectronica
May 31, 2011


Fallen Rib

Talmonis posted:

Honestly after being forced to read things called "high literature" in public school, a lot of folks simply don't want to be bored on their own time. If you're not reading for enjoyment in fiction, or to educate yourself in non-fiction, what's really the personal incentive to do so?

That's not to say that all "high literature" are boring, but it just seems that way when Twain and Austen are held in such high regard. It doesn't help matters that "popular fiction" is derided for the very sin of being created for entertainment.

High literature is, generally, much more pleasurable to read than genre fiction. One of the defining lines is in the power and quality of the prose. The sex scene in The Name of the Rose is infinitely more beautiful than any sex scene in Game of Thrones. The Sound and the Fury's most difficult passages are the most rewarding because of the beautiful way in which Faulkner conveys detail through deliberately distorted writing. Of course, you have to acclimate to it, and need something to compare to.

discount cathouse
Mar 25, 2009


i dont know why you people care about the state of tbb. but count my vote for the tasteshaming of goons, anyday.

My advice to all fantasy readers is: read "The city of Dreaming Books" by walter moers

Mintergalactic
Dec 26, 2012



Has anybody told you nerds to read gravity's rainbow yet

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



Mister Kingdom posted:

But if I do read those types of books and I don't "get" the subtext, then I'm judged as some kind of imbecile.

I guess we can expect similar threads in the other sub-forums telling us what kind of music we should be listening to, or what TV shows and movies we should be watching.

You seem to have a hangup about that stuff, I suggest following the advice in the things I quoted!

Surface-level enjoyment of that stuff is fine, nobody in here is saying you're a monster for not going past that when reading non-genre stuff. Don't make up some strawmen, tia.

A lot of the people posting in here just want folks to eat healthy stuff every once in awhile instead of McDonald's, basically!

Srice fucked around with this message at 15:36 on Jun 18, 2014

Stravinsky
May 31, 2011



Mister Kingdom posted:

But if I do read those types of books and I don't "get" the subtext, then I'm judged as some kind of imbecile.

Here's the thing, if you do not get something there are people who read it that did and they will tell you what you missed. Maybe even here on this very forum.

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

Srice posted:

You seem to have a hangup about that stuff, I suggest following the advice in the things I quoted!

Surface-level enjoyment of that stuff is fine, nobody in here is saying you're a monster for not going past that when reading non-genre stuff. Don't make up some strawmen, tia.

If the story interests me, I'll give it a shot, if not, I won't.

If nothing else I've learned after 20+ years of posting on internet message boards is that everything you like is horrible and everything you hate is wonderful.

Stravinsky
May 31, 2011



Stravinsky posted:

Here's the thing, if you do not get something there are people who read it that did and they will tell you what you missed. Maybe even here on this very forum.

Let me put a caveat here, I'm going to call you an idiot if you do it in a way that would fit in with the books you couldn't get through thread.

Srice
Sep 11, 2011



Mister Kingdom posted:

If the story interests me, I'll give it a shot, if not, I won't.

If nothing else I've learned after 20+ years of posting on internet message boards is that everything you like is horrible and everything you hate is wonderful.

Typically yeah, but:

Stravinsky posted:

Here's the thing, if you do not get something there are people who read it that did and they will tell you what you missed. Maybe even here on this very forum.

There might not be many threads for non-genre books in the 'barn, but the people in them are definitely more than willing to help out with that stuff. They won't mock you for giving something outside of your comfort zone an earnest shot!

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Talmonis posted:

That's not to say that all "high literature" are boring, but it just seems that way when Twain and Austen are held in such high regard. It doesn't help matters that "popular fiction" is derided for the very sin of being created for entertainment.

Twain and Austen can be extremely entertaining, they just take more work.

Well, actually, for Twain, he wrote a lot of stuff and some of it really is crap, there's Huckleberry Finn on one hand and Tom Sawyer Abroad on the other, but when he was on form he was brilliant and funny and hilarious and really easy to read, too. Start with The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.My favorite Twain though is actually his nonfiction, especially his autobiographical sketches -- Roughing It and of course the autobiography (though I still need to read the new un-cut edition).


Austen is harder to get into and I understand why people have a problem there. She was probably the greatest prose stylist before the 20th century and her stuff is brilliant, But there's a huge but to her work: she was writing exclusively for 18th & 19th-century upper class British aristocrats and spends absolutely zero time explaining setting or context. As a result, if you don't have a detailed knowledge of everything an 18th century British aristocrat would know, if you don't have (for example) a detailed knowledge of exactly what the differences are between a gig, a phaeton, a curricle, a barouche, and a landau, you'll miss three-quarters of her jokes. Hell, Northanger Abbey is *hilarious* -- if you've the read ten or fifteen other gothic novels that Austen was parodying. If you haven't, though, you just won't get the joke, so she'll come across as really boring.

Think of it like reading Tolkien if Tolkien never explained what an elf or an orc or a wizard or a hobbit was because all his readers already knew -- you'd have to go read some horrible nerd website to figure all that stuff out before you could enjoy the story. You gotta do the research to get the context of what's going on.

There's a neat book that came out recently, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, that'll help you get a lot of the necessary context to read Austen and Dickens and enjoy them. Alternatively, don't be afraid to watch a few BBC or film productions of the works first, just to get a sense of the time period and the socioeconomic context of it all, before diving into the prose.

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 15:56 on Jun 18, 2014

Loomer
Dec 19, 2007

A Very Special Hell

Winter's Bone is legitimately one of the finest works I've read. I stick it up there with drat near anything by Faulkner, the Brontes, or Bradbury. Even Woodrell's mere 'genre works' (such a thing is silly. Most of our most beloved Literature with a capital L was a genre work originally!) are drat fine reads with genuine artistic value.

Talmonis
Jun 24, 2012
The fairy of forgiveness has removed your red text.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Twain and Austen can be extremely entertaining, they just take more work.

Well, actually, for Twain, he wrote a lot of stuff and some of it really is crap, there's Huckleberry Finn on one hand and Tom Sawyer Abroad on the other, but when he was on form he was brilliant and funny and hilarious and really easy to read, too. Start with The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.My favorite Twain though is actually his nonfiction, especially his autobiographical sketches -- Roughing It and of course the autobiography (though I still need to read the new un-cut edition).


Austen is harder to get into and I understand why people have a problem there. She was probably the greatest prose stylist before the 20th century and her stuff is brilliant, But there's a huge but to her work: she was writing exclusively for 18th & 19th-century upper class British aristocrats and spends absolutely zero time explaining setting or context. As a result, if you don't have a detailed knowledge of everything an 18th century British aristocrat would know, if you don't have (for example) a detailed knowledge of exactly what the differences are between a gig, a phaeton, a curricle, a barouche, and a landau, you'll miss three-quarters of her jokes. Hell, Northanger Abbey is *hilarious* -- if you've the read ten or fifteen other gothic novels that Austen was parodying. If you haven't, though, you just won't get the joke, so she'll come across as really boring.

Think of it like reading Tolkien if Tolkien never explained what an elf or an orc or a wizard or a hobbit was because all his readers already knew -- you'd have to go read some horrible nerd website to figure all that stuff out before you could enjoy the story. You gotta do the research to get the context of what's going on.

There's a neat book that came out recently, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, that'll help you get a lot of the necessary context to read Austen and Dickens and enjoy them. Alternatively, don't be afraid to watch a few BBC or film productions of the works first, just to get a sense of the time period and the socioeconomic context of it all, before diving into the prose.

This is a fantastic post. Thanks for the insight on how to actually "get" Austen.

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



Talmonis posted:

That's not to say that all "high literature" are boring, but it just seems that way when Twain and Austen are held in such high regard. It doesn't help matters that "popular fiction" is derided for the very sin of being created for entertainment.

Normally I just sit back and enjoy this thread but if you think Twain and Austen are boring, have your heard examined, they're both hilarious. Even if Austen is a bit of work because she doesn't explain herself for people reading two hundred years later, you could read, you know, an annotated edition or something.

And if you're going to watch an Austen adaption, watch the BBC one.

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


I have recommended Salman Rushdie to everyone I know, including strangers, cats, plants, and dead people.

I might make a thread on him one of these days, probably not because effort

Ratedargh
Feb 20, 2011

Wow, Bob, wow. Fire walk with me.


Oxxidation posted:

I have recommended Salman Rushdie to everyone I know, including strangers, cats, plants, and dead people.

I might make a thread on him one of these days, probably not because effort

I'm debating on starting Midnight's Children soon...I haven't read Rushdie yet but I picked up a copy. I have a couple other books lined up first, but is that a decent place to start with his work?

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

House Louse posted:

Normally I just sit back and enjoy this thread but if you think Twain and Austen are boring, have your heard examined, they're both hilarious. Even if Austen is a bit of work because she doesn't explain herself for people reading two hundred years later, you could read, you know, an annotated edition or something.

And if you're going to watch an Austen adaption, watch the BBC one.

Part of the issue is that there's a natural language drift (even with 50s Sci-fi or whatever it's pretty clear that people don't talk like that any more), it makes it kind of hard to follow.

This is doubly true if you're relying on cultural context that isn't present in the modern day (i.e., the whole nobility thing is pretty foreign for American readers).

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

computer parts posted:

Part of the issue is that there's a natural language drift (even with 50s Sci-fi or whatever it's pretty clear that people don't talk like that any more), it makes it kind of hard to follow.

I think that's the biggest turn off for Shakespeare. You're constantly looking at the footnotes to know what's being said. Then you have to figure out what he means.

Oxxidation
Jul 22, 2007


Ratedargh posted:

I'm debating on starting Midnight's Children soon...I haven't read Rushdie yet but I picked up a copy. I have a couple other books lined up first, but is that a decent place to start with his work?

Midnight's Children is sort of Rushdie's work writ large - lots of historical fiction, identity crises, magical realism, etc, etc - but it's also one of his densest, and I've chewed through pretty much his whole bibliography. If you're in the mood for a loving battleship of a novel then full speed ahead, but if you'd rather start with something lighter then Fury or The Enchantress of Florence might be better, even though the prose of the former isn't as impressive and the latter's completely historical fiction instead of a timeline-jumper like a lot of his other books.

Pretty much all of Rushdie's books deal in part with Indian expats angsting their way through British society, so if you haven't educated yourself on that particular social complex then you sure as poo poo will have been by the time you finish a few of his novels. Midnight's Children is literally the entire history of India as a nation personified in the life of a single man, so you'll be running into that identity commentary a lot.

Smoking Crow
Feb 13, 2012

*laughs at u*


Mister Kingdom posted:

I think that's the biggest turn off for Shakespeare. You're constantly looking at the footnotes to know what's being said. Then you have to figure out what he means.

I understand Shakespeare fine but that might be because I was forced to read Shakespeare every year of school after 5th grade.

Effectronica
May 31, 2011


Fallen Rib

Mister Kingdom posted:

I think that's the biggest turn off for Shakespeare. You're constantly looking at the footnotes to know what's being said. Then you have to figure out what he means.

Shakespeare wrote plays, largely in verse. Reading it aloud will help you get a handle on what's being said.

SleuthDiplomacy
Sep 25, 2010


No one has even mentioned Vonnegut yet. Y'all makin' me sick.

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

Effectronica posted:

Shakespeare wrote plays, largely in verse. Reading it aloud will help you get a handle on what's being said.

Well that's the other thing, Shakespeare wrote in a manner that was explicitly not in a natural fashion (he did a bunch of contractions to keep iambic pentameter, for instance).

Also going back to culture he wrote a lot about issues that just don't ring with audiences today (Othello's background is about being a hero of Venice over the Ottomans which is roughly equivalent to US v Russia today).

SleuthDiplomacy posted:

No one has even mentioned Vonnegut yet. Y'all makin' me sick.

I never read Vonnegut as a kid because my dad apparently hated his writing for reasons unknown.

Ratedargh
Feb 20, 2011

Wow, Bob, wow. Fire walk with me.


Oxxidation posted:

Midnight's Children is sort of Rushdie's work writ large - lots of historical fiction, identity crises, magical realism, etc, etc - but it's also one of his densest, and I've chewed through pretty much his whole bibliography. If you're in the mood for a loving battleship of a novel then full speed ahead, but if you'd rather start with something lighter then Fury or The Enchantress of Florence might be better, even though the prose of the former isn't as impressive and the latter's completely historical fiction instead of a timeline-jumper like a lot of his other books.

Pretty much all of Rushdie's books deal in part with Indian expats angsting their way through British society, so if you haven't educated yourself on that particular social complex then you sure as poo poo will have been by the time you finish a few of his novels. Midnight's Children is literally the entire history of India as a nation personified in the life of a single man, so you'll be running into that identity commentary a lot.

Thank you! This has been very insightful and I'll keep the information in mind when I read it. Your description of it as a "loving battleship" actually makes me want to go to it more than anything.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?





College Slice

SleuthDiplomacy posted:

No one has even mentioned Vonnegut yet. Y'all makin' me sick.

Vonnegut ruled and the best part about having spent 4 years living in the Hamptons was that I got to meet him a few times, just out and about.

Before his death.

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Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I'm currently reading and loving Candide, but it's fairly short so I'll be in the market for a new book pretty soon. A Confederacy of Dunces is pretty much my all-time favorite book, so I'm hoping there's other novels out there featuring terrible/naive people in horrible situations while the Just World Fallacy crumbles around them.

Leaning towards Catch-22 but also open to suggestions from actual well-read people.

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