RARA-AVIS: Re: Historical analysis books...

From: Mark D. Nevins (nevins_mark@yahoo.com)
Date: 21 Feb 2009

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    Well, Ron, your "intended message" was not at all "clear in my mind," and furthermore your "puffery" comment caused your post overall to come across to me as small-minded, thoughtless, unintelligently generalizing, and potentially of a "trolling" nature.

    Your equivocating in your follow-up post below, i.e., that you didn't really mean the comment the way it seems to have been taken by all of the members who have responded thus far, and that you hadn't read the books you were dismissing in such a disparaging way anyway, does not seem to helping your case much.

    Mark Nevins
    (Who remains curious about what exactly constitutes a non-"real-world discussion.")

    Ron C wrote:

    I'm frankly a bit surprised anyone took offense at my benign, quantitative remark. Rather than seeing it as uncalled for and blindly ghettoizing a type of analytical work and, for that matter, even the fundamental purpose of this group, I do wish it had been read in the context in which it was intended.

    I clearly indicated I had not read any of them, so am not passing judgment on any of works, nor am I calling that type of analytical work or analytical discussions "puffery" in general. Quite the contrary...I respect and
    *enjoy* works and discussion of that sort, hence my reason for starting a discussion about them, and for remaining a member of Rara-Avis for more years than I can recall.

    My comments were instead meant to quantify that A). that specific, narrow type of puffery -- elitist, indulgent puffery that adds little value to any real-world discussion -- exists, and B). those works, from what very little I've read of them, seem to smack of it. My comment was not intended to cast aspersions on literary discussions, nor was it intended to paint the entire breadth of written genre analysis with that an indiscriminate brush.

    I'm regret you took offense at my comment, but I do hope that my intended message was more clear in the minds of the other members; I hope, too, that I've clarified it for you. I don't intend to clutter the email boxes of the RA members any further on this subject, so that's my final comment on the matter. Happy reading everyone.

    Ron C.

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