His Dark Materials

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jdege
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:12 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:Don't get me wrong, I love LOTR, but from all I learned in English Literature it says that really it is not an amazing book.


That's exactly the point - the intellectuals hate it, because it explicitly rejects everything they stand for.

But the hobby-horses of the intellectuals don't endure. Tolkien's work will be here, long after the current batch of intellectuals are gone and forgotten.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:17 pm UTC

That's exactly the point - the intellectuals hate it, because it explicitly rejects everything they stand for.


Really? I just hated it because it was dreadful and unreadable and kindof bland, and the writing style put me to sleep.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Jesse » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:40 pm UTC

jdege wrote:
Jesster wrote:Don't get me wrong, I love LOTR, but from all I learned in English Literature it says that really it is not an amazing book.


That's exactly the point - the intellectuals hate it, because it explicitly rejects everything they stand for.

But the hobby-horses of the intellectuals don't endure. Tolkien's work will be here, long after the current batch of intellectuals are gone and forgotten.


My friend, come down from your high horse. There is a difference between an enjoyable story and good literature. Sometimes the two combine, sometimes they do not. Or are you saying that we should embrace Dan Brown's work as great literature because it sold incredibly well? I apologise, but I cannot subscribe myself to that viewpoint.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:01 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:My friend, come down from your high horse. There is a difference between an enjoyable story and good literature.

Good literature is always an enjoyable story, but enjoyable stories aren't always good literature. Good literature endures.

Jesster wrote:Sometimes the two combine, sometimes they do not. Or are you saying that we should embrace Dan Brown's work as great literature because it sold incredibly well?

And who is reading Dan Brown, today?

Who was Victor Hugo? Who was Alexandre Dumas? The most popular writers of trash filler for the newspaper serials of their day. But their writing endures, despite the lack of respect they had from the intellectuals of their day.

There is difference between an enjoyable story and good literature, but our literary academics are those least capable of discerning it.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:06 pm UTC

Good literature endures.


No. Good literature *matters*.

If, two hundred years from now, insipid upper-middle-class home decorators are still hanging Thomas Kinkaide paintings in their hallways, that doesn't make him a good artist. That just means he created extremely enduring crap.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:23 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Good literature endures.

No. Good literature *matters*.

If people don't read it, they can't be affected by it, and it doesn't matter, period.

Belial wrote:If, two hundred years from now, insipid upper-middle-class home decorators are still hanging Thomas Kinkaide paintings in their hallways, that doesn't make him a good artist. That just means he created extremely enduring crap.

If, two hundred years from now, anyone is still hanging Thomas Kinkaide paintings in their homes, it means that Thomas Kinkaide is still reaching them, and still affecting them. Which will not be true of the myriad artistic frauds who are infesting today's art galleries.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Jesse » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:28 pm UTC

This is more of an aside, but jdedge, you are saying the exact same things I used to spout at my literature teacher in college. It is frightening. Fortunately for me, I came to understand and enjoy the role of both literature and criticism today. How much have you looked into professional literary criticism by the way? It is a surprisingly exciting field.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:35 pm UTC

jdege wrote:
Belial wrote:
Good literature endures.

No. Good literature *matters*.

If people don't read it, they can't be affected by it, and it doesn't matter, period.


If a then b.

Therefore, If b then.....inconclusive.

It has to endure to matter, but it doesn't have to matter to endure.

If, two hundred years from now, anyone is still hanging Thomas Kinkaide paintings in their homes, it means that Thomas Kinkaide is still reaching them, and still affecting them. Which will not be true of the myriad artistic frauds who are infesting today's art galleries.


Or insipid meaningless fluff is equally called for regardless of time period.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Robin S » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:48 pm UTC

Good literature endures.


No. Good literature *matters*.
It has to endure to matter
Therefore, it endures. Jdedge was saying that good literature endured, not that all literature which endured was good.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:58 pm UTC

Therefore, it endures. Jdedge was saying that good literature endured, not that all literature which endured was good.


Not to have an argument about what someone means while they're present, but I'm going to do just that and say that, no, when taken in the context of everything else he's saying, it would seem that he is in fact saying that, just because it endures, it's good literature by default.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:43 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Therefore, it endures. Jdedge was saying that good literature endured, not that all literature which endured was good.


Not to have an argument about what someone means while they're present, but I'm going to do just that and say that, no, when taken in the context of everything else he's saying, it would seem that he is in fact saying that, just because it endures, it's good literature by default.


The question is why it endures.

If it endures because it continues to have a market, it continues to touch people. Therefore it is good literature, regardless of the opinions of the overeducated.

If, on the other hand, it endures only because there's some small dedicated cult working hard to keeping it from dying (think "Battlefield Earth" and "Finnegan's Wake"), it's crap, regardless of the opinions of the overeducated.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby The Spherical Cow » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:58 pm UTC

jdege wrote:
Belial wrote:
Therefore, it endures. Jdedge was saying that good literature endured, not that all literature which endured was good.


Not to have an argument about what someone means while they're present, but I'm going to do just that and say that, no, when taken in the context of everything else he's saying, it would seem that he is in fact saying that, just because it endures, it's good literature by default.


The question is why it endures.

If it endures because it continues to have a market, it continues to touch people. Therefore it is good literature, regardless of the opinions of the overeducated.

If, on the other hand, it endures only because there's some small dedicated cult working hard to keeping it from dying (think "Battlefield Earth" and "Finnegan's Wake"), it's crap, regardless of the opinions of the overeducated.


I'm sorry, the what? The "overeducated"? Is there such a thing?

Just because someone disagrees with the masses does not make them wrong, or "overeducated". You seem to see good literature as being marked by the number of people who read it, which is a rather arbitrary way of seeing it - if everyone started reading Battlefield Earth, would it become good literature? Or if people stop reading Tolkien in 300 years time, does it pass from being good to bad literature for you?

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:39 pm UTC

The Spherical Cow wrote:Just because someone disagrees with the masses does not make them wrong, or "overeducated".

Someone who believes that his opinion matters more than the guy standing there with a grubby wad of cash in his hand is wrong.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Robin S » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:48 pm UTC

The problem with this debate is the lack of definitions of things like "good", "bad", "right" and "wrong". In fact, I think a lot of hassle in many threads would be saved if we agreed on working definitions for the purpose of the thread before beginning the discussion, and introduced new definitions, as unambiguous as possible, where necessary as we went along.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby The Spherical Cow » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:52 pm UTC

jdege wrote:
The Spherical Cow wrote:Just because someone disagrees with the masses does not make them wrong, or "overeducated".

Someone who believes that his opinion matters more than the guy standing there with a grubby wad of cash in his hand is wrong.



I'd suggest that someone who has studied literature and criticism has a right to believe that their opinion carries more weight. Doesn't negate the fact that the average guy with the cash likes a book and feels that it speaks to them, but if he were to comment on its literary value, I'd be inclined to place more weight with the learned man. Or, at least, a collection of learned people.

But how about the changes in popularity in books though? Like I asked before, does a book go from being bad to good if its readership goes up?

To me, it clearly doesn't - whether a book is "good" or "bad" is independent of its popularity, whether popular or not.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:56 am UTC

The Spherical Cow wrote:
jdege wrote:Someone who believes that his opinion matters more than the guy standing there with a grubby wad of cash in his hand is wrong.

I'd suggest that someone who has studied literature and criticism has a right to believe that their opinion carries more weight. Doesn't negate the fact that the average guy with the cash likes a book and feels that it speaks to them, but if he were to comment on its literary value, I'd be inclined to place more weight with the learned man. Or, at least, a collection of learned people.

But how about the changes in popularity in books though? Like I asked before, does a book go from being bad to good if its readership goes up?

To me, it clearly doesn't - whether a book is "good" or "bad" is independent of its popularity, whether popular or not.

I disagree.

I'm not going to claim that a book is good, simply because it is popular. But a popularity that endures over generations is a good sign. And generally, the books that were written generations ago that the academe considers to be classics were books that were popular when they were written, rather than those that were critically acclaimed at the time.

My general take is that a couple of decades of popularity is a far better indicator of what will be considered a classic in 100 or 200 years, by both the public and the academics, than is the reaction of a book's contemporary critics.

At least that's the way it has turned out, so far.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby 22/7 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:46 pm UTC

I having trouble swallowing this idea that a book's literary value can be determined based on how popular it is simply because it does not transfer to any other medium. Take music, for instance. I doubt that many people would argue with me that a lot of what sells the most is "quality music". Same goes for movies and television.

Of course, I thought that Citizen Kane was *hugely* overrated when I saw it. It's been about 5 years, but I'm not sure I'd have a change of heart if I saw it again now.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby The Spherical Cow » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:41 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:I having trouble swallowing this idea that a book's literary value can be determined based on how popular it is simply because it does not transfer to any other medium. Take music, for instance. I doubt that many people would argue with me that a lot of what sells the most is "quality music". Same goes for movies and television.

Of course, I thought that Citizen Kane was *hugely* overrated when I saw it. It's been about 5 years, but I'm not sure I'd have a change of heart if I saw it again now.


You're right - it doesn't really transfer well to other mediums. But my biggest problem is that fact that books can change in popularity over the years - even if it's popular for a hundred years, it can fall out of favour. If we take popularity as a marker of quality, then the book's quality will change over time. Which I don't accept - I see literary value as independent of popularity, as an intrinsic thing a book has. The only hope is that books that have this quality become popular.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Vaniver » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:09 am UTC

Jesster wrote:Don't get me wrong, I love LOTR, but from all I learned in English Literature it says that really it is not an amazing book.
What makes a book amazing? Its technical construction, or its cultural impact? Tolkien's style is dry. But someone who dismisses Tolkien's contribution to literature because his prose was far from stellar is rigging the test against Tolkien.

While jdege probably uses language that's a bit harsher than literary intellectuals deserve, it is an incredibly valid point that they don't decide what will become a classic.

22/7 wrote:I having trouble swallowing this idea that a book's literary value can be determined based on how popular it is simply because it does not transfer to any other medium. Take music, for instance. I doubt that many people would argue with me that a lot of what sells the most is "quality music". Same goes for movies and television.
I can't agree with this. If a piece of music is forgotten in a decade, can we call it great or classic? People still listen to Stairway to Heaven for a reason. If a movie is only shown in art houses, can we really call it great or classic?

Now, one confounding factor (with movies, at least) is that novelty in technique garners significant attention from critics and the general audience. Citizen Kane is important pretty much only because of Welles' technical innovations- which don't age well. What do the stage tricks of sixty six years ago hold for modern and future audiences?
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Jesse » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:18 am UTC

I fear my inebriated posts were poorly constructed and did not get across my intention very well.

Vaniver, I was not dismissing Tolkien's cultural impact, of course that was immense. What I was trying to say is that his writing style is dry and his pacing is so badly off that I feel it harms the story and is terrible from a technical point of view. I balance this with Don DeLillo's Underworld, which has some of the most, beautiful and amazing prose I have ever seen, and yet I find the story lacking completely. Better writing, much less of a cultural impact and I hold it no higher than I hold LOTR.

I think my kneejerk reaction came a lot from arguing with other people previously about the worth of symbolism in books, or even analysing books at all. And I'll admit, I find the current field of criticism incredibly exciting, there's a whole new zeitgeist around it. Darwinian Criticism (for those interested).

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby seudramaqueen » Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:10 pm UTC

Good points jdege.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Jesse » Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:11 pm UTC

I think having seudramaqueen agree with you instantly invalidates every point you've ever made...

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Jc1991 » Sat Nov 03, 2007 11:33 pm UTC

On the topic of literary criticism in general: I've always disliked literary criticism simply because it is an attempt to classify a story as objectively "good" or "bad" when, in my opinion, these two qualities are subjective.

For instance, I do not think that Tolkien's writing style is either dry or tedious. I wouldn't say that he is "the best English language writer of the 20th century" but I would put him on my top ten list, and no number of literary critics can convince me that I don't think that Tolkien's writing isn't good simply because it doesn't follow their list of rules. Belial's opinion is equally valid ("I just hated it because it was dreadful and unreadable and kindof bland, and the writing style put me to sleep."), but it has no impact whatsoever on my personal opinions of Tolkien's work.

On the other hand, I have no problem with literary criticism as "this is good literature, based on a list of standards that we have determined to be mostly accurate for a large number of people" just as long as everyone involved remembers that their classifications are entirely arbitrary and only apply to a set group of people.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Jesse » Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:33 am UTC

Literary criticism is not just an attempt to give a book the label of 'good' or 'bad'. They attempt to understand literature, and explore it from different angles (Like the new ideas of looking at books through a Darwinian slant). Yes, there are critics who write for papers and say "Hay guys, read this book plz" or "No ready this book, 'tis bad." but the field of literary criticism itself goes far beyond that to a place that is both exciting and interesting.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby 22/7 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:57 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
22/7 wrote:I having trouble swallowing this idea that a book's literary value can be determined based on how popular it is simply because it does not transfer to any other medium. Take music, for instance. I doubt that many people would argue with me that a lot of what sells the most is "quality music". Same goes for movies and television.
I can't agree with this. If a piece of music is forgotten in a decade, can we call it great or classic? People still listen to Stairway to Heaven for a reason. If a movie is only shown in art houses, can we really call it great or classic?

Now, one confounding factor (with movies, at least) is that novelty in technique garners significant attention from critics and the general audience. Citizen Kane is important pretty much only because of Welles' technical innovations- which don't age well. What do the stage tricks of sixty six years ago hold for modern and future audiences?


Well, that's discrediting the fact that, at the time Stairway came out, Led Zeppelin was *hugely* popular, that the main way that people listened to music was on the radio, and that *lots* of stations played this track over and over again. I'm not saying it's not a good cut, it most certainly is, but to say that it's survived because it's "good" is not accurate. Perfect example is "Spirit In They Sky." Ever crank that song? It's a *horrible* cut. Very little if anything is clean, very little of it is particularly tight, and the sound quality is piss poor. However, people still listen to it, it still gets on the radio, it still goes on soundtracks. So the quality of the song itself is no good, but it's still "popular." Also, there's a lot of good blues out there, especially Chicago and Delta blues from the early 1900's (some from before that) that rarely gets played and generally to very small audiences. Does that mean it's no longer any good? What about an indie band that never gets signed? Is there music not any good, or does it have more to do with what was selling at the time and got support to get on the radio? Do you see what I mean here? Stairway isn't still around because it's a great cut. It's still here because it was released by a brand name band, at a time when that kind of music was very popular, and it had backing from a label that got them played (over and over and over) on the radio and *became* popular.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Vaniver » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:24 am UTC

Jesster- of course. I was raised on that style of prose, so I don't find it off-putting (although I gave up reading the Fellowship of the Ring several times before I finally got through it, back when I was in middle school). Literary criticism is a valuable art insomuch as it focuses on the study of technical ability; when it approaches the more subjective realm of value as a book, it loses much of its value.

22/7- Popularity and quality are obviously not the same for any definition of quality. My point is just that a definition of quality that is not influenced by popularity is flawed.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby lesliesage » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:30 am UTC

The Spherical Cow wrote:If we take popularity as a marker of quality, then the book's quality will change over time. Which I don't accept - I see literary value as independent of popularity, as an intrinsic thing a book has. The only hope is that books that have this quality become popular.
Ha! If a book is written in a forest and no one reads it...

So what do you reckon. Should we get a white male to write a computer program to read books for us and stamp them with an objective score for literary value? You've already biased it, though, by disvaluing that in books which speaks to the author's contemporaries. Are timeless cannons of humanity the only good plots? Are books that speak volumes to the present, and are fatally decontextualized by the future, of no worth?

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby william » Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:43 am UTC

lesliesage wrote:
The Spherical Cow wrote:If we take popularity as a marker of quality, then the book's quality will change over time. Which I don't accept - I see literary value as independent of popularity, as an intrinsic thing a book has. The only hope is that books that have this quality become popular.
Ha! If a book is written in a forest and no one reads it...

So what do you reckon. Should we get a white male to write a computer program to read books for us and stamp them with an objective score for literary value? You've already biased it, though, by disvaluing that in books which speaks to the author's contemporaries. Are timeless cannons of humanity the only good plots? Are books that speak volumes to the present, and are fatally decontextualized by the future, of no worth?

We might be able to find its worth if it has enough political punch, but we won't be able to find its value as literature because the one thing people in the present can't do is predict the future.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby The Spherical Cow » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:32 pm UTC

lesliesage wrote:Should we get a white male to write a computer program to read books for us and stamp them with an objective score for literary value?

Oh, very good. Play the whole "stuffy white men" card. Lazy. Race and sex have no place in a discussion like this and by bringing it in, you're trying to undermine those who argue for literary criticism by implying a racist, elitist element.

lesliesage wrote:You've already biased it, though, by disvaluing that in books which speaks to the author's contemporaries. Are timeless cannons of humanity the only good plots? Are books that speak volumes to the present, and are fatally decontextualized by the future, of no worth?

I don't think I have. In fact, I think I've said quite the opposite.

"If we take popularity as a marker of quality, then the book's quality will change over time. Which I don't accept - I see literary value as independent of popularity, as an intrinsic thing a book has"

In essence, the popularity argument made by jdege said that a book's quality can be measured by how long it is popular. If it ceases to be popular, it loses its worth - thus rendering a book "that speak volumes to the present" worthless.

By decoupling the ideas of popularity and quality, I have in fact said that a book has an intrinsic worth regardless of how popular it is. That's not to say a popular book can't have quality, and that a quality book can't be popular - it just means that the two are independent of each other.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:44 pm UTC

The Spherical Cow wrote:By decoupling the ideas of popularity and quality, I have in fact said that a book has an intrinsic worth regardless of how popular it is. That's not to say a popular book can't have quality, and that a quality book can't be popular - it just means that the two are independent of each other.

I agree that they are separate concepts, but I disagree that they are unrelated.

A quality book has to speak to people. Absent that, it's worth nothing.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby lesliesage » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:49 pm UTC

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby jdege » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:21 pm UTC

lesliesage wrote:You say a book has an intrinsic literary value... to whom? If you say "to no one," then you should probably look up "value."

Well, if you're a Marxist, the value of something is the labor that went into producing it. Which is why Marxist societies usually starve to death.

To anyone who understand show the world actually works, the value of something is the labor that somoene is willing to trade for it. That is, how much people are willing to spend for it - the demand.

It's the accumulation of the individual subjective choices of everyone participating in the market.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby lesliesage » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:43 pm UTC

jdege wrote:To anyone who understands how the world actually works, the value of something is the labor that someone is willing to trade for it. That is, how much people are willing to spend for it - the demand.
I agree, but I think that's an incomplete model. Plenty of things have value that cannot, even metaphorically, be entered into a market system, like the upbringing parents give their children, or the sense of community people get from cultural institutions.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby SpitValve » Fri Nov 30, 2007 3:19 pm UTC

Dark matter is people!

People!!



How on earth is that supposed to make sense?

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby TheSwaminator » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:27 am UTC

Belial wrote:If, two hundred years from now, insipid upper-middle-class home decorators are still hanging Thomas Kinkaide paintings in their hallways, that doesn't make him a good artist. That just means he created extremely enduring crap.



Exactly. Very very true.
I really want to relate this to Chemistry, but this isn't the place.
My point, is that enduring things are not necessarily good.
Any good person is going to try to make good things endure, but it won't always work.
For example, our language English. We all agree that it's horrible. Why does it endure?
#1 too many people were raised with it and couldn't or wouldn't learn a whole new language.
#2 everyone that everyone wanted to talk to only knew English (the bandwagon wasn't moving)
#3 Those who spoke English became really smart and really powerful. (Mainly USA, but also UK) Others wanted to go there, wanted to get a better education, wanted to read their books, or were in general forced to by their oppressors(second and third world, formerly oppressed nations).

So now, many people speak English, but who on earth sits and considers whether or not it is good?



I read the whole Dark Materials series, and now I've re-read the first two.

It is a cool series, but I really hate all of his anti-religion stuff, at least what's in the first two, because I can't remember the third really well.
As for the movie, I don't like people ripping random pages out of a book and calling it a movie.
They only do that to use the fact that the book is popular.
Still, I don't want Pullman going out their converting everybody, though it would be their fault as much as his.



Did any of you guys consider that Pullman might be similar to transcendentalists?
Remember how Lyra opened the door from the underworld to that other world?
Her description of what would happen to the dead who went through that portal sounded really transcendental to me.
She said that they would disapate and become part of the world.
Transcendentalists believe that God() is a part of everything, and everything is God().
They like nature, and dislike society and "Authority."
Still, transcendentalists are theists and they go to church.
Pullman is not transcendentalist, because he doesn't believe in God(), but they're similar in their "all is one" ideas.

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Malice » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:09 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Now, one confounding factor (with movies, at least) is that novelty in technique garners significant attention from critics and the general audience. Citizen Kane is important pretty much only because of Welles' technical innovations- which don't age well. What do the stage tricks of sixty six years ago hold for modern and future audiences?


Bullshit.

First of all, Citizen Kane's technical innovations aged pretty well, for the reason that people don't use them anymore. I'm hard-pressed to name even a single modern film which uses deep-focus cinematography--and certainly none the way CK uses it (that is, all throughout). Others haven't so much "aged" as "become standardized" (for instance, overlapping dialogue, and achronological narratives).

Second of all, if Citizen Kane were just a bag of old tricks, nobody WOULD watch it 66 years later. Citizen Kane endures because of its central mystery (which entered the popular culture) and, more importantly, because it's one of the best and most complex character studies ever filmed. These "tricks", as you call them, are important because they were put in the service of exploring that character. Example? There's a shot in there which shows Kane walking from the foreground to the wall (all in deep-focus), where we realize the window in the wall (which looked small before) actually dwarfs Kane. Is that just an interesting optical illusion? No--it's also a commentary on the character himself and how people perceive his power/greatness.

Third of all, Citizen Kane flopped when it first came out and was resurrected decades later, at which point it was, by your standards, no longer a novelty at all.

---

All in all, I think literary quality is objective. If those of you saying it is subjective actually looked at the numbers involved, you would probably agree that you act, at least, as if that is true already. (Is "Harry Potter" the greatest novel ever written? Is "Titanic" the best movie of all time?)

Stuff which disappears from popular use doesn't suddenly cease to be "good". When was the last time you turned on the radio and heard swing music? Does that mean that there was never a single good swing song?

Timelessness points to quality, though it does not determine it. And the measure of timelessness is not whether a work continues to be popular or continues to be touted as the best by the people or the critics. It's whether a work still has the ability to move. A good enough work will hold onto that power for a very long time.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Lord Bob » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:24 pm UTC

I'm reading this, and I have a question. What time period does this take place in? The closest thing I've found is a bottle of wine from 1860 or so I THINK. It's bothering me, because one second they are talking about arrows and the next they are talking about trucks and movies! So what is it? Thanks.
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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Belial » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm UTC

It's an alternate universe in which history (and technological development) played out very differently. Even if you could get an exact year or time period, it probably wouldn't help you.

My guess is that it's the equivelent of present-day.

Also, for reference, the arrows are mostly a witch and skraeling (Native American) thing, from what I remember. That's hardly the height of ballistic technology at the time.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby 22/7 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:31 pm UTC

I put it at maybe the 1950's as far as the height of their technology goes, but of course there's magic, dust, etc. that kind of complicates the "technology" end.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: His Dark Materials

Postby Lord Bob » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:46 pm UTC

ok, the alternate universe thing makes a lot more sense :D
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