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One-Sentence Literature Confessions

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One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Wood Goblin on Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:02 pm

With few exceptions, I don't care for magical realism.

With even fewer exceptions, I hate the genre James Wood labels hysterical realism, because the authors tend to be over-pleased with their own cloying interesting-ness.

In Cold Blood is cornpone bullshit.

I'm starting to think Fitzgerald may have been better than Faulkner, though maybe not.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Pockets on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:07 pm

I used to enjoy reading books by Dick Marcinko.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby sulfur)addict on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:29 pm

I revisit Salinger's whole oeuvre every few years and grow fonder of it each time.

Hemingway's underrated as a novelist, though overrated as a short story writer. Credit where it's due, he seemed to have revitalized the American short story.

DFW is indeed full of shit. Great writer, horrible stories.

I had to put down Pylon because it was too Faulkner for me. I do plan to revisit it.

Shirley Jackson's best writing was her warm quasi-memoirs about her family. I've never met someone who's read them!

I feel sad that there are people who didn't grow up reading A Series of Unfortunate Events. Those books broke open a whole world of postmodern fiction.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Gantry on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:42 pm

If it's fiction and it's written before 1920 or so, the odds of me liking it are 0.000001%
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby lemur68 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:43 pm

I can count on one hand the number of books I manage to read in a year. And I am shamed by those who knock one or more out per week.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby lemur68 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:49 pm

I own a copy of The Fountainhead but I keep it around only if I need a doorstop or spacer.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Major on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:58 pm

I have a Bukowski tattoo.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Incandenza on Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:16 pm

I will never, ever understand Marilynne Robinson's appeal.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby brisket on Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:36 am

I'm taking a long, long holiday from American books.
the whole 'hierarchy' of American 20thC fiction is fucked.
the whole 'big man' lineage approx. Hemingway--> De Lillo (Franzen?), massively overrated. Phillip K Dick alone is better than the lot of them. And the Latin Americans, and American women, were writing circles around them the whole time.

sorry, that's not one sentence.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Robot McGearman on Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:59 am

Sylvia Plath's journals are ten times better than her poetry or novel.

I think the works of Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller are bullshit.

John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley is an underrated masterpiece.

Anais Nin's writing destroys 69% of all literature.

I rank the comics Cerebus and the first run of Battle Angel Alita up there with classics like Great Expectations.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby ERawk on Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:48 am

Old Man And The Sea: A celebration of manliness written in style of a children's book passing as canonical literature.

Fuck Hemingway
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby 1009 on Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:55 am

As someone once enrolled in a PhD program, I was constantly shamed by all I had not read. I also never cared for adopting the blase pose and acting as if I had read things that I hadn't. I think I was the only one in my department who would always admit to not having read things.

This might account to some degree for my failure to fit in.

Probably the most "shameful" confession I can make is that I think I've only read one of Dickens' novels and none of Austen's. I don't care for fiction generally, and I was able to avoid British fiction in my graduate coursework somehow. (I was one of three students in "Contemporary Experimental Asian-American and African-American Poetry" though.) I'm prepared to respect both authors, but I'll never read them unless forced.

In terms of stuff I like, I'm a little ashamed I still got a lot of pleasure out of Wallace Stevens. What a sad, lonely, frightened (racist, misogynist) man. So often the poems seem like thin explorations of solipsism, but sometimes there is something else, something not there.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby Clyde on Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:29 am

Wood Goblin wrote:With even fewer exceptions, I hate the genre James Wood labels hysterical realism, because the authors tend to be over-pleased with their own cloying interesting-ness.


James Wood is okay sometimes but I find his insistence that novels remain more or less in staid 19th century mode so conservative and boring.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby jimmy spako on Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:37 am

i will go to bat for henry miller. he is proto-beat. i fell in love with him & never fell as deeply in love with them, though i really need to read more later burroughs. anyways, it is now really funny to think how important miller was to me when i was nineteen. like inspired me to quit school & see some of the world (like an asshole) important. yeah, proto-beat, dudes knew what they owed him. i think kerouac made the pilgrimage out to big sur but got too drunk & was afraid & chickened out. i may be misremembering this.

also, fuck a paul auster. that guy just teases half-digested beckett & kafka. yeah, we want to read the red notebook, buddy, we don't care about that other stuff give us the real thing. well, the new york trilogy is still a pretty good book to read in a language you are trying to learn, especially the detective story in the present tense, i will give him that.

I HAVEN'T READ HALF OF THE BOOKS ON THAT SHELF OVER THERE.
Last edited by jimmy spako on Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby small talk on Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:40 am

I gave up halfway through V, a third into Gravity's Rainbow (twice), and devoured Inherent Vice only to learn that it was "Pynchon lite". Blow me, literature.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby i am the smud on Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:13 pm

I love Delillo but I get the sense that his work isn't as esteemed as it once was. Maybe because of how loose and "readable" it is? Not every novel has to be a hermeneutic task, guys.

DFW could not write fiction. He had no gift for it.

Admit it, most of Moby Dick is nigh unreadable and is salvaged by moments of transcendent prose.

The only author to make me laugh to the point of tears is George Saunders. What I've read past Civilwarland has been pretty forgettable though.

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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby ErikG on Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:26 pm

It has taken me 15+ years to read about 50 pages of Ulysses, yet I finished most of Mankell's Wallander books in about a year.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby i am the smud on Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:30 pm

big_dave wrote:Beckett is literature's greatest optimist.


Elaborate. I found Waiting for Godot depressing.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby ldopa_chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:04 pm

I could not finish Lolita. I would like to try other Nabokov, perhaps Pale Fire, but the second half of Lolita was intensely boring and I was not sufficiently compelled by the first half to power through.

And I finished Infinite Jest no problem.
Shit, even if you don't like his novels, DFW writes a motherfucker of an essay. All of Consider the Lobster is fantastic.*






*Assuming you're into foot/endnotes.
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Re: One-Sentence Literature Confessions

Postby biscuitdough on Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:51 pm

ldopa_chicago wrote:Pale Fire

foot/endnotes


You and Pale Fire. This is a match made in heaven.
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