Skip to comments.Why Tom Clancy doesn't write literature
Posted on 04/10/2012 2:14:07 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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“That might get me to actually watch her for once - out of curiosity.”
Don’t bother. When I retired 15 years ago I sat myself down and watched Oprah——twice. That was it for me.
Unfortunately even A Christmas Carol is losing its universality: The more I’m acquainted with modern welfare society, the more I like the pre-conversion Scrooge. “Are there no poor houses...”
“It is a classic from 1931.”
Freshman English summer reading!
Interestingly, poor houses were one of the first components of what was to become welfare state socialism.
That's not to say that all ‘great’ literature is bad, obviously it is not. But so much of it motivated by Marxism, Freud, and such is garbage, whose pages aren't fit to use as toilet paper. I don't have a PhD in lit, although I do have a PhD, and I've read enough of the stuff to know.
I am now too old to read what I do not like, and so I don't.
Service is good. I also recommend Henry Herbert Knibbs
Although the stories are trvial, P. G. Wodehouse has a marvelous mastery of language and humor
Agreed. I think P.G. Woodhouse is a great writer. I read the Jeeves stories first, but the Blandings Castle novels are even better.
The Allegory of Love is indeed a great book. I never read anything by Lewis that I didn’t enjoy or profit from.
I like all his fiction, including Narnia and the SF trilogy, but I think that Till We Have Faces is his greatest novel.
Hard to say which is better.
I loved “The Great Sermon Handicap”, I think the name of the story was, and who can forget the time Bertie was treed by the swan?? And Bertie’s good aunt, Aunt Dahlia, and the famous cow creamer?
All good stuff. I can’t say that I cared particularly for the Psmith tales. But the golf stories are hilarious.
I never meant that people here didn’t understand the complexities—I wasn’t trying to offend any Freepers. I just hear my own area of expertise attacked often as being “outdated” and that literature is constantly moving forward, so we need to lump past epochs of literature into one massive conglomeration.
Someone in my field is expected to know 1,000 years of medieval lit and history and you’d damn well better know Renaissance lit and dabble in some other area as well.
Yes, a lot of literature is based off of Marxist literature, but really only in the last one hundred years or so. There have also been many reactions against Marx. I am a staunch New Historicist (as many medieval scholars are—it may be a dead critical theory in other eras of literature, but not for us), so I reject Marx by default as anachronistic. I also reject feminist theory on the same grounds. Anyways, a bit of a rant, but I do think that canonical works are canonical for a reason. With that said, I am more conservative than many of my liberal colleagues who completely reject putting literature into some sort of categorical chronology. Accepting canonical works of literature is a decidedly conservative stance to take.
Mark Twain’s “On The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper” was hilarious!
However, so many of the English and Literature people that I have met seem to think that if you say that you don't like a certain book, or a certain writer, then you must not understand it. Maybe, maybe not.
But at least we understand enough to know that the writer is trying to offend everything that we believe, so why waste time being miserable? Life's too short. Unless we are still searching for the answer. I've found it, at least for me.
On another note, what do the New Historicists think, what are their theories??
One of the changes that I have seen is that many of the pieces of great literature of the past had their share of action and conflict. The modern great novel is not great but simply intellectual musings set to paper. Boring as all get out.
Modern Great Literature = chic lit. Usually involves chamomille tea and internal doubts and questions.
Junk literature = guy literature. Usually involves “Arkon the Gratiutously Cruel” and some big bombs...in other words, real conflict.
I’ll take the latter and leave the former to the remainder bin.
Wedding song: “I like big T_ts!” Ala the old favorite “I like big butts......et al”....
Agree completely. Stoicism was just fine before Christ. But we’re living in A. D. I was furious that Wolfe’s Man in Full read Marcus Aurelius for his moral guidance. And I hated the ending.
Bombs, cruelty, conflict . . . sounds like Ernest Hemingway or Ian Fleming, neither of which I'd put in the "junk literature" category. Heck, even Life of Pi is a shipwreck story with some rather graphic animal-on-animal violence. I'd hardly put it on the chamomile-and-lesbians stack, either.
I think there's a lot more muscular literary fiction out there than you give credit for. The reason we tend to hear more about the effeminate stuff is, I suspect, thanks to the influence of Oprah and similar media mavens.
Here in Canada, the CBC runs an annual competition called "Canada Reads," in which well-known Canadian personalities defend a Canadian novel they think everyone should read. Sure, there's a fair share of feminist sludge, but two notable winners in the mid-2000s were Rockbound by Frank Parker Day, and The Last Crossing by Guy Vanderhaeghe. The former is a 1928 novel about a feud between two fishing families living a harsh life on a remote Nova Scotia island; the latter is a turn-of-the century Western/survival story. (It begins with a man stuffing himself into the warm carcass of a dead horse to keep warm during a blizzard—as far as I'm concerned, anyone who cribs from The Empire Strikes Back for a period Western will get my vote too.)
I think there's a lot more meaty literature out there than much of this thread gives credit for.
Ah, The Good Earth. Read it many, many years ago, while I was in high school. It wasn’t assigned, I just picked it up in the library. One of those books that really makes an impact. I was talking about it just the other day.
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