Boring shit!

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Boring shit!

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Muokkaaja: lokakuu 23, 2011, 11:03 am

The Boring Shit List (TBSL) or vitriol can be fun.

Dedicated to all the "dead wood" in literature and art.

The mention of Dickens, Hugo and Tolstoy sends me into a coma.
Life is too short for boring soap operas.

How about Salinger, Ben?


lokakuu 15, 2011, 6:46 pm

Ayn Rand
Joel Osteen -- turning the Mysteries of Christianity into a middlebrow get-rich-quick scheme.
Mitch Albom -- who knew the Antichrist could be so bland?

lokakuu 15, 2011, 6:57 pm

Well Tros, I will start this post by saying everyone's taste will be slightly different and go on to say:

I have enjoyed any Dickens or Hugo I've read. Not haven't read any Tolstoy I cannot comment further on him.

In relation to Salinger: I found The Cather in the Rye to be one of the most disappointing books I've every read.

In terms of other authors I find to have written "Boring shit!", as you so elequently describe it, I would include:

James Joyce, whose work I have read and found to be pointless; and yes, I do know all the reasons people like it, and all the "wonderful" things people say about it. Yes he was one of the earliest writers to use a "stream of consciousness", and all credit to him for that, but it doesn't stop his work being boring or pointless.

I avoid Stephen Donaldson's work, not because it is boring shit, but simply because it is shit. That is the result of my reading his two Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever trilogies.

Dan Brown writes formulaic, easy Summer reads; anything but boring, but terribly trivial. I've read three of his five novels and, while I have the other two, I shy away from reading them because they will be exactly the same as the other three.

P.D. James disappointed me with The Children of Men. It was so boring I don't want to see the movie, even though I am told it is much better than the book.

Joseph O'Connor writes the greatest load of school boy drivel I have come across in years.

Julian Barnes's latest book which is on the shortlist for the Man Booker Award turned me off in the first half page. He describes watching a mixture of liquids, including semen, disappear down the plughole of a sink. If he has to use pathetic, cheap shock tactics like that to get attention, then I doubt if what follows is going to be worthwhile.

Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin put me off his work for ever. It was well written; it presented real emotions; it was pointless. To compound the flaws, he tampered with the thread of reality that he was using to link all his various strands. It seemed to be a litany of misery and angst. That's not what I want from a book

Do the above comments represent the type of thing you were looking for in this thread?

By the way, when I am attacked by various LTers will you defend me to the last drop of your blood?

Great thread idea. I think it will generate many threats and much name calling. :-)

lokakuu 15, 2011, 7:42 pm


By the way, when I am attacked by various LTers will you defend me to the last drop of your blood?

I'm probably going to be pilloried by all the DHT fans, so don't count on me.

Great thread idea. I think it will generate many threats and much name calling. :-)

Beats deathly silence. We're all adults, right?

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 15, 2011, 8:45 pm

With regards to Salinger - I know many people who are in awe of the man and his abilities, and some among these many I hold in good esteem. That got out of the way, I can't stand The Catcher in the Rye. It was like reading a sustained whine. Obviously, per the forementioned, it has some merits - none of which are available to me.

Dickens and Hugo I have enjoyed quite a bit (particularly Bleak House and Drood - and Notre Dame de Paris). Tolstoy as well; Tros - give his short stories a try (if you haven't already) - particularly The Kreutzer Sonata.

Julian Barnes does not appeal either... all very prim and postmodern. I prefer the Peters Ackroyd and Vansittart among contemporary English novelists (Paul West as well, though I think he is technically yanqui these days)). Patrick McGrath had a few good ones as well - but it has been some time since I've indulged the produce of the living.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 15, 2011, 8:53 pm

2: Mitch Albom... Christ what a happy clown. Someone gave me an autographed copy of his book. Throwing out a book is to me what drowning kittens or failing to recycle (terrible things, I am given to understand) is to many others. I sent this one straight down the chute to heaven.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 15, 2011, 10:03 pm

I found Catcher in the Rye disorienting and so enjoyed it for that, though it is certainly not a touchstone work for me.

I love me some Dickens but it's like eating popcorn -- only occasionally does he rise to the level of a good steak.

I rather like Joyce, he reminds me of Flann O'Brien...

Tolstoi -- I've only read Anna K, and there is certainly some boring shit in there -- the harvest, the election, etcetc. In the end I liked it but I kept thinking it would have been better it it were written by a dour economical writer like William Trevor and come in at 300 rather 900 pages.

And maybe I'm not cut out for Russians. since I spent most of Crime n Punishment yelling at Raskolnikov to grow up. Come to think of it I spent most of Tess of the D yelling at Tess.

And then there's Moby-Dick - I know I'm supposed to love it but I could not bear the pompous periphrastic style. I do like some folks' periphrastic or ingrown styles -- Faulkner, Cabell, Sterne -- just couldn't stomach Melville's.

And Hemingway! snxxxxxx... for tough give me Hammett or Chandler, for plain give me the aforementioned Wm Trevor but keep Ernie away from me....

As for stuff like Dan Brown, Mitch Ablom etc, why even talk about it? Ben, you could have sold that signed Ablom though and bought a rock...

lokakuu 15, 2011, 10:14 pm

Hey Crypto, you beat me to Hemingway. Ditto Ayn Rand, Dan Brown, etc.
A lot of the so-called "classics" are over-rated.
Haven't read much Joyce except the short stories. Haven't read U. but did cut to the chase and read Molly's soliloquy. Does that count? ;-)

lokakuu 16, 2011, 12:59 am

I loathe James Joyce.

Great thread. I'm starting a list. I have a lot of hate to give.

lokakuu 16, 2011, 6:53 am

#9 DavidX

Oh! Feel the hate, bothers and sisters. Feel the hate.

#7 Crypto
I rather like Joyce, he reminds me of Flann O'Brien...

Funny you should mention that. When reading At Swim Two Birds I felt O'Brien was mocking Joyce and his pompous self-esteem.

I feel the need to go on about O'Brien's pieces about "The Brother", The Third Policeman and The Poor Mouth, but that would be to start discussing things I like and that is not the intenion of this thread. This thread is obvioulsy dedicated to the sharing of hatred to the benefit of all mankind, except the authors whose work we hate.

I love me some Dickens but it's like eating popcorn -- only occasionally does he rise to the level of a good steak

Great analogy. I find it useful to remember that much of Dickens's work was produced as instalments in magazines, and that his stories were the equivalent of the popular soap-operas of the time with people in their thousands awaiting the issue of the next instalment. Today's fiction magazine publishers must be very envious of the thousands and thousands of magazines every issued sold.

#4 Tros

We're all adults, right?

Do you always make such gross assumptions? :-)

lokakuu 16, 2011, 8:35 am

I gotta think that a lotta the bile unloaded on Joyce in various corners of LT is a knee-jerk anti-authoritarian reaction to his canonization. Nobody could live up to the academic worship he's subjected to. He does a pretty good job of taking the piss out of himself in both Ulysses and Portrait. Certainly a lot of 20c fiction would be very different without Ulysses -- the good writers who owe debts to it are legion -- Faulkner, Beckett, Pynchon, Dude Fester Walrus just to name a few pillars...

But everything ain't for everybody...

lokakuu 16, 2011, 8:45 am

Tros, HELP! It's started.


lokakuu 16, 2011, 9:34 am

>10 pgmcc:

And speaking of your man The Brother... do you know what I'm going to tell you? I'm about halfway through the Best of Myles and I don't think I've laughed out loud so frequently in the course of a single book. I've already ordered in Further Cuttings from Cruiskeen Lawn. But this thread is supposed to be about boring shit we hate... ummm...historical fiction/mysteries that make Elizabethans sound like they were born in 1965, or medieval women sound like they went to Smith?

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 16, 2011, 11:30 am

Wyndham Lewis has a hilarious essay on Hemingway called "The Dumb Ox".
Can't beat WL in the sarcasm dept.

lokakuu 16, 2011, 11:18 am

I got completely bored with Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, my only experiences with them being high school English classes. The macho manly stuff, combined with the drinking and sporty sportsing, just got tedious in Hemingway. That's when I discovered the effeminate, claustrophobic, amoral deliciousness of Huysmans and the psychotic ranting of Maldoror Hemingway is so much weak beer compared to those two literary comets.

Speaking of weak beer, Robert Heinlein just came across as weak with Stranger in a Strange Land While enjoyable to a degree, the novel's critique of organized religion couldn't hold a candle to DAF Sade (Nor can Hitchens hold a candle to Sade's grandiloquent take-downs.)

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein is the literary equivalent to getting a root canal.

Never read any Mitch Albom and never plan to. Life is too short to waste on pretentious middlebrow shit about dying professors and meeting a predetermined amount of people in Heaven. That's what happens when sportswriters try to be profound, see: Hemingway, Ernest.

Also, the NFL is incredibly boring. More 9th-rate country-pop dingbats should start calling Obama a Hitler, since that would at least keep me awake part of the time.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 16, 2011, 3:09 pm

#13 Crypto

The Best of Myles was my introduction to O'Brien and I particularly liked the services provide to library owners. :-)

lokakuu 16, 2011, 3:15 pm

#15 kswolff

Robert Heinlein just came across as weak with Stranger in a Strange Land

I felt he was extremely misogynistic and was preaching all the time in Stranger in a Strange Land. It is another classic that I can do without, but I say that from a position of knowledge. I suffered for my opinion.

lokakuu 16, 2011, 5:44 pm

17: Not sure about the misogyny, since his work is so incredibly wide-ranging, from Stranger's proto-hippie leanings to the neo-fascist Starship Troopers A damning critique would be: He was paid by the word and it shows. I don't mind dialogue in novels, but yeesh! his characters were talky. Like getting trapped in the elevator with the women from The View.

lokakuu 16, 2011, 7:02 pm

Anatole France. I really tried to read The Gods are Athirst to broaden my horizons, but I just couldn't do it. If I'm missing something, please tell me I should pursue him further.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 16, 2011, 7:12 pm

Dickens is a bit more substantial than popcorn. I have always found his novels to be distinct and interesting worlds - his characters and their names are memorably bizarre (and I wonder if Alexander Theroux was under his influence in creating characters like Crucifer, etc). There is a lot of odd and interesting English to be picked up in them as well. For what it's worth, Arthur Machen ranked the Pickwick Papers alongside the Odyssey.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 16, 2011, 10:11 pm

"Literary fiction" that explores, chiefly, the relationships of families or couples? Boring!

Agree withthe immediate above re Dickens. Uses language, English at least, better than just about anyone else.

lokakuu 16, 2011, 11:46 pm

but i love popcorn!

lokakuu 17, 2011, 8:31 am

And at the movies, it's about the same price as a decent steak ;).

lokakuu 17, 2011, 10:47 am

Dickens' scruffy but cute characters with cute names are annoying. The serial format encouraged long bloated novels. Profit was probably the main motive in dragging out the story.

David Copperfield just about ended my interest in reading when I was young.
Fortunately I discovered Sherlock Holmes and recovered. No thanks to Dickens.

Catcher in the Rye meant a lot more to me when I was young than David Boring Copperfield! I doubt I'd have the same enthusiasm for Salinger now, though.

There seems to be a lot of cultural brain-washing. Reputations in art and literature
inflate until the become unquestionable. Bollocks!

lokakuu 17, 2011, 5:21 pm

". . .a knee-jerk, anti-authoritarian reaction
to (Joyceʻs) canonization. . ." (11)

exactly the impression I get of the anti-Joyce syndrome; I, an
old Joyce fan couldnʻt have decribed it beter myself!

I think there will always be readers, bad, indifferent, and even good (e.g. Virginia Woolf )* who get nothing out of Joyce. I have
the same feeling as their Joycean feelings about other "canonized" authors, e.g. Marcel Proust, whom Iʻve tried in French, and
in English translation, and still have never really gotten started on.
Curiosity? -- Who is "Dude Fester Wallace"?

*Woolf was primarily a creative writer, not a critic, but I think she must have been a more astute than average reader.

lokakuu 17, 2011, 7:32 pm

That's "Dude Fester WALRUS" or just DFW to his fans. David Foster Wallace, genius flavor of the decade. But I'm just being a wise-ass - I don't seriously mean to put him down, just finnegandering his name. I have several of his books and folks I respect assure me he's the dude, but along with several quadrillion other things I orta read I just haven't got there yet...

lokakuu 17, 2011, 8:16 pm

One could start a thread on the Janus-like concept of populist snobbery (and its reverse). Despite one's hipsterish championing of, say, Proust, or one's "of the people" middlebrow snobbery of, say, Dan Brown, it all boils down to posturing. But both the working class yobs and the aristocratic Mitford clan loved them some Oswald Mosley

Then again, I'm forever a skeptic, contrarian, and ne'er-do-well. I enjoy my Evelyn Waugh and Lawrence Durrell as much as my Warhammer 40K novels and Andrew Vachss crime novels.

lokakuu 17, 2011, 9:41 pm

the proust is in the pudding...

lokakuu 18, 2011, 2:56 am

Thanks, kswolff, for the explanation of D F W.
Wallace, (11, 26) of whom Iʻve heard a lot* of, but read nothing of, was the first one that
came to mind on reading the name "Dude Fester WALRUS" --
so much so that I even read "Walrus" as "Wallace!" --Sorry.

"The Proust is in the pudding" (28)

I agree, and, but for what seems to be an allergy, would taste more of the pudding.

*almost as much as we used to hear of Irving Wallace in the
old days; no other affinities, though, I assume, between the two Wallaces.

lokakuu 18, 2011, 6:56 am

I say, d'you like Irving?

Dunno, mate, I've never irved...

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 21, 2011, 10:06 am

varielle, I did enjoy Anatole France's Revolt of the Angels, though a great article by Brian Stableford in the excellent journal Wormwood helped, and a lovely edition from The Bodley Head illustrated by the estimable Frank C. Pape certainly didn't hurt. The farcical humour hasn't aged particularly well, but satire still seems astute and the book contains a history of the world from the devil's point of view which I thought was just an excellent piece of writing. Haven't gone out of my way to investigate his other titles, but I'd certainly be happy to pick up others published in the same format if I come across them.

lokakuu 21, 2011, 10:08 am

As far as other Decadent writers go, I was distinctly underwhelmed by Rachilde's Monsieur Venus, though a poor or Bowdlerised edition may have been at issue.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 21, 2011, 1:58 pm

The only reason I made it through Swann's Way was because it was required reading for a college lit. class. I doubt I could wade through ROTP even confined to a cork-lined bedroom.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 21, 2011, 2:54 pm

Of books and mirrors.

I enjoyed Proust - human time as a vegetal cycle and the vanishing mysteries of it blenched and smothered under the accreted rot of habit and opinion- and was motivated to the read by Samuel Beckett's monograph. Of interest here, maybe, Proust was associated with figures such as Jean Lorrain, Robert de Montesquiou, Henri de Regnier (whom he lampooned), etc.

(A testament to my nose-to-the-grindstone aptitude: At my last job someone came out of the men's room holding a book announcing, "who left Remembrance of Times Past in the bathroom?" After the first flower has faded, these things take time. )

So beyond the greasy grind of the sour cud and the iron stool and onto the long sonata of the passed and pinched off: all of this so-called boring shit informs the less imposing, if more entertaining, scyballa we ruminate upon here. Reading is High Mass in my book (in all senses, as any who have ever sat through such a thing might concur), gotta nod to all the saints, in between naps.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 21, 2011, 2:04 pm

Pape illustrated several of France's novels for the Bodley Head.

M. Venus was a quick and interesting read. Considering the time in which it was written - and the circumstances of the writer - it must have produced a good shock not only among her readers, but among her fellow "decadents" as well. The book is a good (and garish) companion to Against the Grain, and certainly more daring (and substantive) than the sensational novels of Jean Lorrain. Track down the Majeska illustrated edition.

lokakuu 21, 2011, 2:00 pm

So beyond the greasy grind of the sour cud and the iron stool and onto the long sonata of the passed and pinched off: all of this so-called boring shit informs the less imposing, if more entertaining, scyballa we ruminate upon here. Reading is High Mass in my book (in all senses, as any who have ever sat through such a thing might concur), gotta nod to all the saints, in between naps.

Well said.

lokakuu 21, 2011, 2:01 pm

I hope all is in ordure now....

lokakuu 21, 2011, 2:26 pm

Not boring: The Dark Labyrinth by Lawrence Durrell.

lokakuu 21, 2011, 2:38 pm

> 38

Wishlisted! I totally enjoyed Tunc and Nunquam (as my LT reviews attest).

lokakuu 23, 2011, 2:42 pm

Although I do own a few novels of Mr. Durrell, this is the first time I've read any of his stuff. For contemplative philosophical novels, he sure makes them interesting, populated with compelling characters, beautiful descriptions, and a unique post-Einsteinian quasi-Buddhist worldview.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 15, 2011, 5:57 am

Picasso! Primitive, childsh art is BS!

lokakuu 30, 2011, 3:59 pm

All religious literature from all religions.

Self-help books, pathetic scams to enrich the authors.

Call me a cynic, but that sounds redundant.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 30, 2011, 7:21 pm


All religious literature from all religions.

Oh, I don't know. If you count The Questions of King Milinda as a religious text (and there's no reason why we shouldn't), and go to the "35th Dilemma" (that of suicide), the list of exquisite tortures described therein (including The Rahu's Mouth, The Snake Strips, the innocuous sounding Pennies, and the frightful Brine Slits) can hardly be described as "boring".

lokakuu 30, 2011, 9:02 pm

Like the "Hell of Being Cut to Pieces." The Chinese have a lot of Hells ... and what the Hell is Gracie Law doing here?

lokakuu 31, 2011, 2:44 am

Was it Anne Rice* who accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of proving that pornography can be boring?
Or had the Marquis de Sade already done that?

*writing under the name Roquelaure

lokakuu 31, 2011, 10:19 am

45: Riddle me this: If Sade is in fact boring, why do people want his work banned? That never made any sense to me. His juxtaposition of long philosophical treatises amidst the sexually explicit carnage creates a transgressive style that pushes the limits of language to its breaking point.

You want to read something boring, try Atlas Shrugged

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 1, 2011, 12:23 am

"IF Sade is, in fact boring. . ." (46)

I was just asking, not stating (45). I can't, of my own knowledge say that he's boring, or that he is worthy of being banned either. (I don't believe in banning books, anyway, or even in Miltonian (Areopagitica) variation on censorship of publications ("GET them BEFORE, they're published!"
I wasn't in fact aware of any movement to ban Sade --not in the past few decades, nor in English-speaking countries. I do know though that France is a less permissive society, in the matter of publication/censorship, than
it has the reputation of being.
As for the "why" of your question, (IF that's the way it is), I can only speculate on a possible reason: a perceived generally low morality in Sade --about sex and many other issues.

I'm sort of in the position of the late Dick Williams controversial baseball manager, who said of a Jim Bouton book:
"I DIDN'T read it, and I'm AGAINST it!"

lokakuu 31, 2011, 9:43 pm

47: My mistake, I stand corrected.

Barthes said that people want to ban Sade's work, not necessarily because of the perverse sex, but because his work and philosophy condone "criminality." Probably the same reason there is no Library of Congress reference number for Steal This Book!, because, obviously, Congress -- and by extension all those working in the US government -- are nothing but morally righteous, upstanding, virtuous people who are totally married to their first wives and have never accepted a bribe, er, campaign contribution from special interests. Nah ...

Sade, like Heath Ledger's Joker, had the balls to say that civilization rests on a thick layer of bullshit, backed up by moral hypocrites keeping the herd in line with violence and a morality of convenience.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 21, 2012, 5:59 pm

I started reading one of Alain Robbe-Grillet's short novels (La Jalousie) since I rather enjoyed Last Year at Marienbad (film), and while the style was interesting I couldn't help but feel bored as all hell. Is there something I'm missing, or is all this "Nouveau Roman" stuff unreadable?

helmikuu 21, 2012, 10:11 pm

Thanks for the warning. Hipsters keep recommending Robbe-Grillet to me. Boring shit must be in fashion.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 2012, 1:33 pm

50: A hipster got to me to read Jerzy Kosinski's The Devil Tree because I showed interest D'Esseintes type characters. Needless to say it was a deplorably boring book. Lesson: don't take recommendations from hipsters.

PS: I can't comment on Kosinski's other novels as I have not bothered with them after reading The Devil Tree.

helmikuu 22, 2012, 2:17 pm

Stieg Larsson and his ridiculous plots.

helmikuu 22, 2012, 8:18 pm

51: The only thing one should take from hipsters is the coffee you ordered and pray that is actually what you told them.

They're almost as bad as hippies and just as smug as Tea Party patriots.

helmikuu 23, 2012, 6:11 pm

#53 kswolff

Your poster made me think of the start of Snow Crash and the rip-off about management science and the whole total quality approach applied to fast food establishments.

helmikuu 25, 2012, 12:03 am

50: Have never read any Robbe-Grillet and while I understand the place of the Nouvelle Roman in the history of French literature, I can't help but think that Beckett did it better: he stripped fiction of character, narrative, plot, etc. Yet the Unnameable is actually exciting to read as opposed to R-G, who, from the random passages I've gleaned, comes across as either a boring technocrat or the listing of the Omaha Yellow Pages. The key seems to be that R-G castrated "the voice" of the story, turning things into bare description, while Beckett keeps the voice, even as it rages and spews into the vile nothingness of existence.

R-G seems closer to Gertrude Stein, another influential innovator whose novels I find all but unreadable.

But don't flaneurs like to be bored?

huhtikuu 12, 2012, 3:27 pm

Anything Bronte, Austen, Dickens, Melville, Hemingway et al. have too terrible a reputation for being boring as shit to bother delving into.

huhtikuu 12, 2012, 3:57 pm

A matter of taste, obviously. Bartleby the Scrivener is a favorite - along with The Pickwick Papers and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

huhtikuu 12, 2012, 4:06 pm

I'm a big fan of Moby Dick, even the eggregiously abridged edition I read in high school. I want to make a point of reading Pierre, or the Ambiguities and the naval homoeroticism of Benito Cereno Melville is anything but boring.

56: Agree with you on Hemingway. Or to paraphrase Denis Leary's biography of Jim Morrison: "I'm drunk, I'm nobody. I'm drunk, I'm famous. I'm drunk, I'm dead." Just add shotgun.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 2012, 4:12 pm

I do think fondly on The Sun Also Rises (along with Lowry's Under the Volcano) as one of the best alcoholic novels of my acquaintance.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 10, 2012, 5:33 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

huhtikuu 12, 2012, 4:15 pm

Talent agents, that is.

huhtikuu 12, 2012, 4:20 pm

> 59

Can't say I'm a fan of alcoholic novels as such (I prefer my letters subject to other intoxicants), but Under the Volcano is certainly a good one.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 2012, 9:52 pm

Not so much a fan - reading of the detailed binges nearly put me off my feed. I observe a strict catholicism when it comes to intoxicants.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 2012, 12:24 pm

How about we add Margaret Atwood to the list of shit? Her overhyped presence in the media is a testament to the obsession with mediocrity of literature in Canada.

huhtikuu 25, 2012, 3:33 pm

The Handmaid's Tale was boring. I only made it part way,
but The Blind Assassin and the short stories are excellent.

huhtikuu 25, 2012, 6:17 pm

I read a poem by her once and it impressed me as pretty good. Something about frogs.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 2012, 10:57 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

huhtikuu 25, 2012, 8:07 pm

66: Aristophanes?

65: I didn't find The Handmaid's Tale boring, although a majority of the book involves Offred being bored. Then again, I found it compelling because of recent political events in the United States and our culture's fetish for theocracy (at least during election cycles to appeal to the prole idiots when they go to the polls).

toukokuu 16, 2012, 2:14 pm

I find Heinlein's novels really boring.

toukokuu 16, 2012, 3:39 pm

"a poem . . .about frogs. . ." (66)

The poet famous (at least among poets and critics) for a poem about frogs
is Elizabeth Bishop.

But I donʻt suppose that slickdpdx has them confused.

"Aristophanes?" (68)

Yes, he has a great lyric passage
sung BY a Chorus of frogs in his comedy "The Frogs.* Other than that, no connection with poem in 66.

*Saw this play in the Theater of Dionysus, Athens, in 1977, done
in Modern Greek.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 16, 2012, 4:34 pm

70: The Atwood frog poem was in Paris Review #117, I think. It may have (and probably did) appear elsewhere. Doesn't Basho have the most famous frog poem?
30 translations

toukokuu 16, 2012, 4:42 pm

"The Atwood frog poem. . ."

I didnʻt doubt that you had the
author right. Just musing about
the last frog poem I knew of.
Yes, come to think of it, a haiku by Basho about a frog is famous and comes into a lot of introductions and short mentions
of Basho.

toukokuu 16, 2012, 11:39 pm

The Aristophanes reference went right past me!

toukokuu 17, 2012, 4:27 am

I was about to leap to my keyboard to remind one and all of Basho's frog haiku, but slickdpdx beat me to it.

toukokuu 20, 2012, 5:59 pm

Can probably add Fifty Shades of Grey to this list. I'm sure this group knows where to find quality tales about erotic supernatural romances.

lokakuu 5, 2012, 9:34 am

For some reason, assuming Reason rules anywhere on those planets I visit, this past Spring I was "treated" to two of the most pretentious modern novels I have ever read. On the off-chance that I may end-up having dinner again with one of the authors, I will, with some ambivalence, refer to her only as JM. But I have no problem naming the other: Howard Norman, whose THE BIRD ARTIST is a reminder of the wisdom of Stailn's dictum that paper will put-up with anything printed on it. Norman has attempted to carve out a niche for himself as the self-appointed Official Literary Explainer of the Canadian Maritimes. Nice try: that pretense, plus a couple of bucks might just get him a shot of Newfie Screech -- but that's about it. Then too, there is something embarrassing in reading the work of an adult man who so shamelessly flaunts his phantasies, at-least when the phantasies are so juvenile. I am reminded of the Country song --was it by Jerry Lee Lewis? -- about the guy who's "middle-aged crazy/ trying to prove he still can". Anyway, the only marginally interesting character in the work is a woman who is continually drunk, yet never so drunk that she can't swive the ears off a naive young man (and sundy others, one assumes). Puh-leeze.
While I'm at it, though I suspect most Chapel-oids don't read (and wisely so) popular piety, there was this twenty-minute hit THE SHACK a couple of Summers ago. The only reason I don't get downright indignant about it is that I'm not convinced it was meant seriously; if it was, one of those mill-stones referred-to in the Gospels has certainly been reserved for the perpetrator of that little pile. . .
At the risk of seeming to schmeichel some of you old-time Chapel-oids, you may add me to list of those who experience -- in the immortal words of Sir William Schwenck Gilbert -- "modified rapture", over Austen, Atwood, Hemingway, and Joyce. Also, much of contemporary art history and supposedly revolutuonary social criticism and labour history written by grant-sucking phonies safely ensconced in the academy (esp Chomsky).
And finally, to those who have weighed Anatole France and found him wanting: I Can understand that, depending on the reading and/or life-experience you bring to his work. I am a greaT fan of his, but sometimes think that he would be amzed to thinK anybody was making much of a flap, one way or the author, always his work generations later. Sadly, it's hard somethime to put aside the fore-taste and the associations from most of the pictures published by the various old illustrators (Pape, Nachsen, et al): derivative Zichy and Rops, and proto-ZAP KOMIX are pretty silly. But of-course, that's not AF's fault. Take a turn around the block with AT THE SIGN OF THE QUEEN PEDAUQUE, or REVOLT OF THE ANGELS. No Money-Back Guarantee at work here -- well, yes there is, because it's Free Advice.

lokakuu 5, 2012, 11:01 am

I once attempted The Bird Artist and contrary to normally finishing everything I start I only made it about 20 pages. Good to know it's just as bad as I thought. Nice cover art though. ;)

marraskuu 28, 2017, 10:26 pm

Anything written by Jonathan Franzen His meandering, navel-gazing commentary in The Kraus Project totally ruined the verve and fireworks usually associated with Karl Kraus's prose. It was mainly about his time in Germany and his Oedipal issues of getting out of Thomas Pynchon's shadow. Franzen deserves a drink from a large glass of Shut the Fuck Up Already!

Also, whenever Ira Glass opens his mouth, I get really, really bored.

Despite being comfortable with the label "progressive" or "liberal," I find NPR to be utterly unlistenable.

And am I the only one getting a "crazy cult" vibe from TED Talks? It reeks of Scientology through a STEM filter coupled with hard sell monologuing straight of Glengarry Glen Ross

marraskuu 29, 2017, 3:30 am

>78 kswolff: I found the early TED Talks great. In recent years I have come across many big corporations having their "gurus" give TED Talks and then providing links to their performance as part of their service promotional collateral. Like the Internet, the medium of TED Talks is subject to abuse; I get the impression some companies just see it as an additional marketing channel.

marraskuu 29, 2017, 7:54 am

79: Here's an interesting article from the BBC on TED Talk's cultishness:

"The basic idea of smart ideas being presented in a way that's accessible is a great one, but all you get from TED are the ideas of Silicon Valley," Nathan Jurgenson says. "It has a cultish feel to it. The speakers use a lot of terms like 'magical' and 'inspirational'. It's almost the religion of the knowledge class."

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