Most overrated writer/movement ever? Maybe. These guys are just fuck-ups. Silver spoon kids (mostly) with really high IQs, who lacked work ethic, selfMost overrated writer/movement ever? Maybe. These guys are just fuck-ups. Silver spoon kids (mostly) with really high IQs, who lacked work ethic, self control, and integrity/morals. Why do people suck off the Beats so much? Is it because they did so many drugs? Wow. Super. Is it because they all slept with each other and homosexuality is interesting and cool? Fuck off. Is it because they went on road trips? I went on a road trip. Is it because Kerouac wanted to fuck his mom and Oedipus complexes are so interesting and relevant? In a 20th century context, sorry, but Oedipus complexes are just disgusting.
There's a lot of revisionist history associated with the Beats. Why their lifestyle is so romanticized now is beyond me....more
"When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. If a writer can make people live there"When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. If a writer can make people live there may be no great characters in his book, but it is possible that his book will remain as a whole; as an entity; as a novel. If the people the writer is making talk of old masters; of music; of modern painting; of letters; or of science then they should talk about those subjects in the novel. If they do not talk of those subjects and the writer makes them talk of them he is a faker, and if he talks about them himself to show how much he knows then he is showing off. No matter how good a phrase or a simile he may have if he puts it in where it is not absolutely necessary and irreplaceable he is spoiling his work for egotism. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over. For a writer to put his own intellectual musings, which he might sell for a low price as essays, into the mouths of artificially constructed characters which are more remunerative when issued as people in a novel is good economics, perhaps, but does not make literature. People in a novel, not skillfully constructed characters, must be projected from the writer's assimilated experience, from his knowledge, from his head, from his heart and from all there is of him. If he ever has luck as well as seriousness and gets them out entire they will have more than one dimension and they will last a long time. A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men and without conscious application, and with an intelligence to accept or reject what is already presented as knowledge. There are some things which cannot be learned quickly and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man's life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave. Every novel which is truly written contributes to the total of knowledge which is there at the disposal of the next writer who comes, but the next writer must pay, always, a certain nominal percentage in experience to be able to understand and assimilate what is available as his birth-right and what he must, in turn, take his departure from. If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay. And this too remember; a serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl."...more
probably the worst book i've read in a few years. horrible writing. wordy. trite. no appealing characters. promising storyline turned far-fetched. lotprobably the worst book i've read in a few years. horrible writing. wordy. trite. no appealing characters. promising storyline turned far-fetched. lotta holes. pathetic.
on a positive note, this book was so bad that it inspired me. several reputable names gave this book good reviews (chicago tribune, san francisco chronicle, nytimes review). i can do much better than this....more
"It was shameless how life made fun of one; it was a joke, a cause for weeping! Either one lived and let one's senses play, drank full at the primitiv"It was shameless how life made fun of one; it was a joke, a cause for weeping! Either one lived and let one's senses play, drank full at the primitive mother's breast--which brought great bliss but was no protection against death; then one lived like a mushroom in the forest, colorful today and rotten tomorrow. One else one put up a defense, imprisoned oneself for work and tried to build a monument to the fleeting passage of life--then one renounced life, was nothing but a tool; one enlisted in the service of that which endured, but one dried up in the process and lost one's freedom, scope, lust for life....
"Ach, life made sense only if one achieved both, only if it was not split by this brutal alternative! To create without sacrificing one's senses for it. To live without renouncing the nobility of creating. Was that possible?"...more
I like this book because Kunstler's attitude about American cities is similar to mine (exacerbated by my time living in Europe). He does an excellentI like this book because Kunstler's attitude about American cities is similar to mine (exacerbated by my time living in Europe). He does an excellent job of connecting the following: urban planning; oil; cars/public transportation; health/obesity; architecture (form, function, and everything in between); unpredictable circumstance (war, finance, natural disasters); conflicting priorities of urban vs. rural; the stagnating effect of history; clash of cultures; political leadership. Among others. It's hard not to think about the issues in this book while walking around a city everyday....more
**spoiler alert** I don't understand why Anna Karenina is considered a heroine. Her greatest hardship is that she's in a not totally fulfilling marria**spoiler alert** I don't understand why Anna Karenina is considered a heroine. Her greatest hardship is that she's in a not totally fulfilling marriage and has a child to raise. Boo-hoo. She flat abandons her son. The extent of her remorse is never fully developed. I scoffed at her suicide, didn't empathize at all.
I don't like Tolstoy much. Too verbose, grandiose. He's a silver spoon guy, which would be fine if he didn't try to write about the common man. These attempts make me embarrassed for him.
He wrote a lot about late-19th century Russian class issues. He does this well I think. But in this book it doesn't add anything. Seems like he's just eager to write about it; it's thrown into the story haphazardly, in a way that doesn't advance the story.