sartorias: (Default)
Sometimes hype works.

But time passes and the hyped thing sinks in memory, its day over. Other things endure long enough to become 'classics.' Some ruminations on the Potter phenom.
sartorias: (Default)
Sometimes hype works.

But time passes and the hyped thing sinks in memory, its day over. Other things endure long enough to become 'classics.' Some ruminations on the Potter phenom.
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] brisingamen is doing a [livejournal.com profile] bittercon series of posts instead of attending Eastercon, beginning with a discussion of classics that should be (or not) and continuations of classics, threat or menace? (my words)

If you have a few extra minutes jump on over!
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] brisingamen is doing a [livejournal.com profile] bittercon series of posts instead of attending Eastercon, beginning with a discussion of classics that should be (or not) and continuations of classics, threat or menace? (my words)

If you have a few extra minutes jump on over!
sartorias: (I should infinitely prefer a book)
So I was attempting to reboot the brain by reading some Horace as I drank my tea, then I nearly snarfed my beverage up my nose when he observed how unfair it is when writing is slammed for being tasteless, or coarse, because it's modern--and honor and respect are reserved for ancient writings rather than the accusation of indulgence. You know, just because it's old. Heh!

(Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse compositum illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper, nec veniam antiquis, sed honorem et praemia posci.)
sartorias: (I should infinitely prefer a book)
So I was attempting to reboot the brain by reading some Horace as I drank my tea, then I nearly snarfed my beverage up my nose when he observed how unfair it is when writing is slammed for being tasteless, or coarse, because it's modern--and honor and respect are reserved for ancient writings rather than the accusation of indulgence. You know, just because it's old. Heh!

(Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse compositum illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper, nec veniam antiquis, sed honorem et praemia posci.)
sartorias: (Default)
Last night the power went out for several hours.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
Last night the power went out for several hours.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] starshipcat explores the har-dee-har-har "Let's type up a classic, put another name on, and see if this crap would sell/how ignorant those editors are"--and the notion of classics in science fiction, here.

This brings up such a good question: just what is a classic? (Other than the "classic means the works of Ancient Greece and Rome.")

My own simple I-have-a-headache definition is, a book that has not only endured over time, but rewards rereading.
sartorias: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] starshipcat explores the har-dee-har-har "Let's type up a classic, put another name on, and see if this crap would sell/how ignorant those editors are"--and the notion of classics in science fiction, here.

This brings up such a good question: just what is a classic? (Other than the "classic means the works of Ancient Greece and Rome.")

My own simple I-have-a-headache definition is, a book that has not only endured over time, but rewards rereading.
sartorias: (Default)
I realized from an early age that rereading meant the book would change. One knew what would happen, so the surprise was gone, but if one could anticipate favorite scenes, savoring set in.

What I had to discover as I got older and started reaching for books of previous centuries, was that surprise was not always about plot. About twenty years ago I’d just finished a protracted stint of 18th C writers, and happened to pick up Pride and Prejudice. Now, I’d been rereading P&P for years. But this time I was able to perceive, however dimly, how exhilarating that novel must have been for contemporary readers, with its new style, new approach to structure and to character.

The same goes for Richardson’s Pamela. Nowadays few read it outside of school, and for the average eighteen year old yawning through an Intro to Lit course, this story of the maid who protects her virtue despite various attempts against it until she is rewarded with love, position, wealth, and respect, seems really silly. One might even wonder why the heck it was so popular a best seller as to propel its author to the front ranks of 1740s fictioneering.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I realized from an early age that rereading meant the book would change. One knew what would happen, so the surprise was gone, but if one could anticipate favorite scenes, savoring set in.

What I had to discover as I got older and started reaching for books of previous centuries, was that surprise was not always about plot. About twenty years ago I’d just finished a protracted stint of 18th C writers, and happened to pick up Pride and Prejudice. Now, I’d been rereading P&P for years. But this time I was able to perceive, however dimly, how exhilarating that novel must have been for contemporary readers, with its new style, new approach to structure and to character.

The same goes for Richardson’s Pamela. Nowadays few read it outside of school, and for the average eighteen year old yawning through an Intro to Lit course, this story of the maid who protects her virtue despite various attempts against it until she is rewarded with love, position, wealth, and respect, seems really silly. One might even wonder why the heck it was so popular a best seller as to propel its author to the front ranks of 1740s fictioneering.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I take breaks by grabbing certain books off the shelves and opening them anywhere. I have a number of old favorites who never fail to entertain me no matter what page I land on.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
I take breaks by grabbing certain books off the shelves and opening them anywhere. I have a number of old favorites who never fail to entertain me no matter what page I land on.
Read more... )
sartorias: (Default)
Dave Trowbridge passed this wonderful site on to me. No doubt [livejournal.com profile] oursin and [livejournal.com profile] greythistle already knew of it, but I did not, so I pass it on to anyone else who loves obscure women's writing from around the turn of the century 1800--

Corvey House
sartorias: (Default)
Dave Trowbridge passed this wonderful site on to me. No doubt [livejournal.com profile] oursin and [livejournal.com profile] greythistle already knew of it, but I did not, so I pass it on to anyone else who loves obscure women's writing from around the turn of the century 1800--

Corvey House
sartorias: (Default)
One of the things recently discussed: it’s even more difficult to define what is, and is not, good literature when our fundamental definition of the purpose of literature is radically different from another’s.

That’s not to say that I believe there is a single definition. I do not. I will only go so far as to posit that my own definition works for me—for how I read, and write. In the summer of 2000 I was conversing with one of my reading friends about various books, each of us issuing summary dismissals and inclusions of this or that book in our private pantheons of Great Literature. I asked the person for their definition of the purpose of literature because though we could agree on various superficials, we did not seem to find any points of agreement on deeper questions. After some thought I was told (and this is, of course, approximate as I was not taking notes and this was four years ago) that the purpose of literature, as opposed to “mere” popular writing, was to depict the irruption of the irrational into our false perception of order.

My own definition of the purpose of literature is not just to hold up a mirror to ourselves—we are endlessly fascinating to ourselves--but to posit how we can improve this civilization by extrapolating this or that idea through the form of entertainment. Jane Austen flicks her pen in this direction in Northanger Abbey:

Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens,--there seems an almost general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them.

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