RARA-AVIS: Re: willie or not

From: Jacques Debierue ( matrxtech@yahoo.com)
Date: 14 Dec 2006

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Patrick King <abrasax93@...> wrote:
> So, Jacques, are you saying that readers who analyze
> plots are kidding themselves; they're not really
> analyzing the plot? Oscar Wilde said "Books are
> well-written or poorly written," in defense of
> so-called "immoral books." Are you denying that a book
> can be poorly written and that someone may notice the
> fact? Are you arguing that all books hold the same
> value? One kills time working on the stock exchange or
> for world peace just as well as reading a book. Some
> people read a book, notice story twists and language
> usage, apply it to their own ideas and write other
> books. I think that's the general academic opinion of
> how good books come to be written.

I don't think academics have the foggiest idea of how good books come to be written. Neither do writers, in my experience. As to value, I don't think all books are equally good; in fact, most books suck. I was, however, saying that while reading a book, whatever theories you may have about books and writing have to be put on hold. Otherwise you're not reading but studying for a test.

Everybody who has done it knows how hard it is to read a book (or watch a film) solely in order to review it. It's not enjoyable because there is interference. The memories of it are memories of one thinking conceptually, rather than memories of the book itself.

All of that said, there can be intelligent analysis of books and film, of course. If the analysis is good enough, it can be read as a sort of narrative in itself, even if one hasn't read the book or books in question (or seen the film). There was a music critic and composer called Virgil Thomson who was so good at writing reviews of concerts that the reviews were often better than the concerts.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 14 Dec 2006 EST