Re: RARA-AVIS: letting time sort it out

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 23 Jun 2006

With more and more publishers using POD technology to keep backlist titles in print, eveything's going to survive.


  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 6:52 PM
  Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: letting time sort it out

  Kerry wrote:

  "Sorry Al, I can't answer this. Like I said off the top, to me
  "literature" is both the definition of all things written, or the name
  for another genre."

  John Carey starts his book, What Good Are the Arts?, with the premise
  that art is anything anyone has ever said was art. And he makes a very
  convincing argument that there are no rational reasons that one person's
  definition, no matter how accredited that person, is better than

  However, the second half of the book is Carey's argument that literature
  is the greatest art. He offers standards by which literature is better
  than other arts, usually compared to music and/or painting and
  sculpture, mainly in its ability to argue and debate. Unfortunately, he
  never provides a rationale for why those are, or should be, the
  standards by which art is judged. Although he occasionally throws in a
  caveat that this is only his opinion, he seems to be doing just what he
  criticized everyone else of doing in the first half of the book.

  And Kerry, like you, I've been trying to think of some crap that has
  survived. Although I hated Dickens in high school, I'm not ready to
  dismiss him (and keep meaning to reread something by him to see if I
  just didn't get him at the time). The closest I can come is something
  that has survived because it is historically important to the
  development of a genre, but, at least for me, pretty hard to slog
  through -- Carroll John Daly.



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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 Jun 2006 EDT