Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: willie or not

From: Patrick King (
Date: 15 Dec 2006

Well, Jacques, we're different types of people. I only enjoy reading while I'm assessing the work I read. I don't find it difficult at all. There's no 'test,' and I enjoy using my mind this way. I'm not sure I could behave any other way. I agree with you that most books suck, however. I do find it funny that you started out calling me an elitist and now you dismiss academics, who have actually taken the time to try to comprehend in depth the work in which they're interests lie, as not having the foggiest idea of how a good book comes to be written. I'm guessing you're of the good-books-by-accident school of thought. If that's the case, though, how can Ruth Rendell and Frederick Forsyth be so consistently good? Different strokes for different folks, Jacques. You may be right for you, but you're not universally correct. Believe me on this!

Patrick King
--- Jacques Debierue <> wrote:

> --- In, 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.
> Best,
> MrT

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