Harold Smithson (Suicide punishable by Death)’s Profile

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Brighton Rock
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Catch-22
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The Third Man
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progress:  Jan 10, 2013 06:17AM

 

Harold's Recent Updates

The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss
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Who the Devil Made It by Peter Bogdanovich
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Eager by Helen Fox
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Death by Neil Gaiman
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Broxo by Zack Giallongo
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The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
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The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
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4339
Interviewer ...In the case of "American Psycho" I felt there was something more than just this desire to inflict pain--or that Ellis was being cruel the way you said serious artists need to be willing to be.

DFW: You're just displaying the sort of cynicism that lets readers be manipulated by bad writing. I think it's a kind of black cynicism about today's world that Ellis and certain others depend on for their readership. Look, if the contemporary condition is hopelessly shitty, insipid, materialistic, emotionally retarded, sadomasochistic, and stupid, then I (or any writer) can get away with slapping together stories with characters who are stupid, vapid, emotionally retarded, which is easy, because these sorts of characters require no development. With descriptions that are simply lists of brand-name consumer products. Where stupid people say insipid stuff to each other. If what's always distinguished bad writing -- flat characters, a narrative world that's cliched and not recognizabl...more
David Foster Wallace
6658211
"Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. "
The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin
The Killer's Cousin
by Nancy Werlin (Goodreads Author)
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More of Harold's books…
Virgil
Fléctere si néqueo súperos Acheronta movebo - If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell.”
Virgil, The Aeneid

Carl Sagan
“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

“I don't need anybody to tell me how to be alive.”
Klaus Kinski

Roger Ebert
“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try.”
Roger Ebert

David Foster Wallace
“Interviewer ...In the case of "American Psycho" I felt there was something more than just this desire to inflict pain--or that Ellis was being cruel the way you said serious artists need to be willing to be.

DFW: You're just displaying the sort of cynicism that lets readers be manipulated by bad writing. I think it's a kind of black cynicism about today's world that Ellis and certain others depend on for their readership. Look, if the contemporary condition is hopelessly shitty, insipid, materialistic, emotionally retarded, sadomasochistic, and stupid, then I (or any writer) can get away with slapping together stories with characters who are stupid, vapid, emotionally retarded, which is easy, because these sorts of characters require no development. With descriptions that are simply lists of brand-name consumer products. Where stupid people say insipid stuff to each other. If what's always distinguished bad writing -- flat characters, a narrative world that's cliched and not recognizably human, etc. -- is also a description of today's world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. You can defend "Psycho" as being a sort of performative digest of late-eighties social problems, but it's no more than that.”
David Foster Wallace

My top ten (Select)
1 chapters   —   updated Jan 24, 2013 09:33PM
Description: My top ten
Beginning to Mystery (Select)
1 chapters   —   updated Jan 22, 2013 03:44PM
Description: Like this, Ellie?
Perfection (Science Fiction & Fantasy)
2 chapters   —   updated Oct 30, 2012 02:59PM
Description: A work in progress. (Cover suggestions appreciated)
32418 *Exclusively YA Book Club* — 1312 members — last activity 14 hours, 45 min ago
For those who love reading YA and reading challenges. TEENS AND ADULTS ARE WELCOME!!! Just because it's YA it doesn't mean it's not for everyone ^_^ *It...more
1112 Young Adult Fiction for Adults — 6003 members — last activity Jul 23, 2014 08:14AM
Whatever your age is, if you love reading young adult fiction, then I want to know what you are reading! Let's exchange ideas of good reads, nice idea...more
78213 Reviews for the Literary Inclined — 293 members — last activity Jun 16, 2014 08:47PM
This group is for reviews on books, series, characters, authors, theme, etc of any genre. Within this group nobody is right or wrong so feel free to b...more
70863 David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite! — 2566 members — last activity 18 minutes ago
A Group for all things YA and David Estes
93710 Goodreads Debate Club — 5 members — last activity Feb 28, 2013 12:42AM
For all of your debating needs.
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