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Author Topic: Terrible, well renowned novelists  (Read 40153 times)

Ozymandias

Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #100 on: 08 Sep 2009, 12:06 »

I never really noticed any christian undertones in Narnia when I read it as a kid. Really

Of course you didn't. I didn't either, and I'm willing to bet that 90% of the kids who read it or had it read to them by their parents didn't. The problem with the "Narnia as Christian propaganda" argument is that it only works if the child reading the Narnia books is familiar with the Bible in the first place (and I'm not talking about children and not adults because they're children's books and most people read them first when they're children). If you don't know anything about Christianity or the Bible then the Narnia series is just a bunch of stories about a talking Lion and a bunch of kids who turn out to be Princes and Princesses in a fantasy land with an evil witch and fauns and dwarves and stuff. Let's not forget, kids tend to take things pretty much at face value and of their own accord they don't generally seek out deeper meanings or moral lessons in stories.

This is exactly right. I have lots of problems with the Narnia books and I think I've ranted about them many times in Meebo but I'd still be totally fine with my kids reading them because they'd never notice or absorb the problems I had with the books. They're just neat little fantastical stories for a kid.
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jimbunny

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #101 on: 08 Sep 2009, 18:14 »

Yeah, actually all the smart kids cracked the code. So...  :roll:

Actually, I still don't get it.
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BeoPuppy

Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #102 on: 09 Sep 2009, 00:57 »

Just trust us when we say that it's badly written dross intended to make kids into weak little god fearing spineless twats. With a lion.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #103 on: 09 Sep 2009, 19:25 »

And if the kids turn out not to be twats, what happens to the intent, I wonder?
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WriterofAllWrongs

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #104 on: 09 Sep 2009, 19:57 »

Just trust us when we say that it's badly written dross intended to make kids into weak little god fearing spineless twats. With a lion.

Actually, considering that C.S Lewis was just writing a story with a biblical allegory and not an actual Christian agenda, it was probably written with the intent of C.S Lewis writing a story that had parallels to something he cared about and believed in but also was quality and a good fantasy novel in general.  I mean, I'm not the biggest fan or anything, but that sort of statement is a bit silly. 
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #105 on: 10 Sep 2009, 00:16 »

I wonder if people would be as butthurt about the allegorical aspects of the Narnia series if Lewis didn't write all those apologist tracts as well? I mean, Narnia is hardly unique in it's religious content, yet nobody seems to bitch out, say, The Matrix.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #106 on: 10 Sep 2009, 03:02 »

The Matrix isn't a kids film. For a lot of people the problem isn't the Christianity, it's Christianity aimed at children. And remember that in some places Christianity is a lot more institutionalised than others. When my Mum was avoiding giving me Lewis to read it was when I was going to a Church of England primary school and singing prayers every day. Also there's the whole misogyny thing, something Philip Pullman picked out as part of his criticism and has bothered a lot of other people.
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BeoPuppy

Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #107 on: 10 Sep 2009, 05:16 »

... besides, I'd bitch about the Matrix and it's messiah complex if this was a thread fit for that.

And I stand by my previous statement.
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Zingoleb

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #108 on: 10 Sep 2009, 21:14 »

I wonder if people would be as butthurt about the allegorical aspects of the Narnia series if Lewis didn't write all those apologist tracts as well? I mean, Narnia is hardly unique in it's religious content, yet nobody seems to bitch out, say, The Lord of the Rings.

Seems to fit better.
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WriterofAllWrongs

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #109 on: 10 Sep 2009, 21:57 »

Lord of The Rings wasn't aimed at children either, you know.  I mean, I'd be impressed with a kid if s/he could get through and fully comprehend a chapter of that book, because it is just so rich and so incredibly verbose.  Plus, there's only Christian sentiment in that book.  No allegory (Tolkein hated the stuff), which makes it even fuzzier than Narnia in regards to sending a Christian message.  I don't mean to be all sorts of contrary and rude, but The Matrix was probably a much better fit.
« Last Edit: 24 Sep 2009, 15:22 by WriterofAllWrongs »
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #110 on: 10 Sep 2009, 22:08 »

In retrospect, Narnia seems a bit like The Power Rangers. A bunch of kids fighting X thing.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #111 on: 24 Sep 2009, 14:09 »

I grew up reading those books & only really noticed the blantent references when I saw the film. which is weird as I was I was brought up to question everything from science to religion, in everything I read and watched.

I liked fighting bears & badgers. I liked the talking mouse. These were my agendas as a child, talking animals.

I think they are pretty well written, but I'd need to go back & re-read them now. I haven't for maybe 10 years?
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #112 on: 24 Sep 2009, 14:36 »

I noticed the Christian allegorical aspects of Narnia when I read them as a child, but only because I was told that Aslan is supposed to be like Jesus (I didn't really understand what allegory meant).
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #113 on: 25 Sep 2009, 12:14 »

Well, which ones did you read?  Because a few of his books are pretty slow (Galapagos), but they are generally really quality books all the same.

The Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, Slaughter-House Five, and Timequake. His ideas are ok, but I can't stand his rambling style.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #114 on: 07 Oct 2009, 16:43 »

I'm going to go ahead and take a dump on Joseph Conrad real quick, because Heart of Darkness straight up put me to sleep within 5 pages, no matter where in the book I tried to read it from.  I haven't read anything else by him but goddamn is that book overrated.

I don't know what it was about it, maybe I'll revisit it sometime and find out that he's actually worth reading for some reason, but seriously, that book sucked ass.

I enjoyed that book. Surprisingly.
It was a slough though. I admit.

an author I loathe with a passion is Ayn fucking Rand.
a) because Objectivism is retarded
b) her novels were only written to push that retarded philosophy
c) Due to this she doesn't develop her characters really. They're just representative of things she hates - flat characters. And her prose is friggin awful.

How her books attained their status, I have no idea.

One book I thought was just a mess was Slaughter-House 5.  Now, I found the idea interesting. And some of it did stick with me. But god, it felt like the author wrote a linear story, and then cut and pasted random bits back and forth until it was a convoluted knot. maybe that is how he approached it. I don't know. I won't say Vonnegut is a bad author though, I need to read at least one more of his to make that decision.

a lot of people find Les Miserables by Hugo a hard read. I friggin loved it.
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kraemandrummer

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #115 on: 07 Oct 2009, 16:45 »

Lord of The Rings wasn't aimed at children either, you know.  I mean, I'd be impressed with a kid if s/he could get through and fully comprehend a chapter of that book, because it is just so rich and so incredibly verbose.  Plus, there's only Christian sentiment in that book.  No allegory (Tolkein hated the stuff), which makes it even fuzzier than Narnia in regards to sending a Christian message.  I don't mean to be all sorts of contrary and rude, but The Matrix was probably a much better fit.

does our parents reading it to us count?
My dad read every book from start to finish to my sister and I when we were like 6 years old
« Last Edit: 07 Oct 2009, 16:59 by kraemandrummer »
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #116 on: 07 Oct 2009, 17:09 »

another author that I find overrated is H.P. Lovecraft. (NOOOO NOT THE CTHULHU MYTHOS)
well to be honest, I haven't read any of the cthulhu mythos yet. Nor have I read any of his poetry.
I read The Lurking Fear and other Stories

I found his "horror" stories to be awful. Mainly because he relied on such repetitive description. I cannot remember exactly what the exact examples are, but it annoyed the hell out of me. At the beginning of every "scary story" his character (first person) says that they are on the brink of insanity and describes what they have seen as some unfathomable, indescribable, impenetrable horror.
EVERY
BLOODY
TIME.
it's friggin ridiculous. "Horror that no man should see", and other such phrases are littered about like used candy wrappers when he should be throwing them in the garbage bin.

On the other hand, I found his stuff based less on horror and more science fiction/fantasy to be quite excellent. "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" is a beautiful story and a favourite.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #117 on: 07 Oct 2009, 19:22 »

So you read pulp short stories HP Lovecraft wrote when he was like 20 and you think he's a shit novelist.

Okay whatever works for you I guess.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #118 on: 07 Oct 2009, 19:23 »

Also he never even wrote any novels.
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Jace

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #119 on: 07 Oct 2009, 19:28 »

Shakespeare was a terrible novelist.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #120 on: 08 Oct 2009, 18:41 »

Homer never wrote a good screenplay in his life.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #121 on: 08 Oct 2009, 22:19 »

That joke was pretty cornea.
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kraemandrummer

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #122 on: 14 Oct 2009, 04:45 »

So you read pulp short stories HP Lovecraft wrote when he was like 20 and you think he's a shit novelist.

Okay whatever works for you I guess.

Also he never even wrote any novels.

kay I'm sorry I mentioned a short story writer. I never claimed he was a novelist. I apologize for thinking that we could branch out to other forms of writing (also I kinda forgot that it was novelists, I was going for writers in general :P)
and The Shadow over Innsmouth was one of the last stories he wrote (age 41), it was included in the collection. So it isn't just his early stuff. I admit that a large amount of the stuff in this collection is, but not all of it. And the date really has nothing to do with it, I like "The White Ship", it's an early release.
AND I said I found his horror to be rather repetitive. I also said that I enjoyed his other stuff immensely. I never said that he was a completely awful writer. I just didn't like the way he approached his horror stories. It seemed kinda like a cut and paste job.

As I said with Slaughter-house 5, I plan on reading more Lovecraft before I make a final judgement. Maybe my first impression is wrong.

So please, don't get angry or insulting because I disagree with you about an author.


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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #123 on: 14 Oct 2009, 14:43 »

kay I'm sorry I mentioned a short story writer. I never claimed he was a novelist. I apologize for thinking that we could branch out to other forms of writing (also I kinda forgot that it was novelists, I was going for writers in general :P)
and The Shadow over Innsmouth was one of the last stories he wrote (age 41), it was included in the collection. So it isn't just his early stuff. I admit that a large amount of the stuff in this collection is, but not all of it. And the date really has nothing to do with it, I like "The White Ship", it's an early release.
AND I said I found his horror to be rather repetitive. I also said that I enjoyed his other stuff immensely. I never said that he was a completely awful writer. I just didn't like the way he approached his horror stories. It seemed kinda like a cut and paste job.

Man, see, the thing about Lovecraft is that the horror isn't meant to be scary in the sense of, Oh there are evil monsters who want to kill us AAHHHHHH!  It's more nihilistic than that.  The point of his later stories is that what we think of as the world is an insignificant speck in the cosmos, and there are forces out there (which he depicts as his Great Old Ones) that could blindly and arbitrarily destroy the entire history of humanity at any moment.  His protagonists can no more comprehend or oppose the beings they come across than they could comprehend or oppose, say, our sun's eventual engulfment of the earth.

Incidentally, if you like "The White Ship," you'll probably like the early works of Lord Dunsany, particularly The Gods of Pegana.  Others: link 1 link 2 link 3
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kraemandrummer

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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #124 on: 14 Oct 2009, 15:19 »


Man, see, the thing about Lovecraft is that the horror isn't meant to be scary in the sense of, Oh there are evil monsters who want to kill us AAHHHHHH!  It's more nihilistic than that.  The point of his later stories is that what we think of as the world is an insignificant speck in the cosmos, and there are forces out there (which he depicts as his Great Old Ones) that could blindly and arbitrarily destroy the entire history of humanity at any moment.  His protagonists can no more comprehend or oppose the beings they come across than they could comprehend or oppose, say, our sun's eventual engulfment of the earth.

Incidentally, if you like "The White Ship," you'll probably like the early works of Lord Dunsany, particularly The Gods of Pegana.  Others: link 1 link 2 link 3

I understood the implications of his stories. From Beyond made that extremely obvious. It's not the stories themselves, or their message I have a problem with. It's the way they were written. He certainly created some astounding ideas. But it takes more than a good idea to make a good writer.

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll take a look. I also bought another Lovecraft short story collection recently, we'll see if I change my mind.
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Re: Terrible, well renowned novelists
« Reply #125 on: 16 Oct 2009, 15:42 »

Fair enough.  I will not argue that his prose is not exactly the most readable thing in the world.
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