fiction files redux discussion

Reading Our Own > Love Songs in Minor Keys by Joseph Cavano

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message 1: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jazzman) I'm relatively new to this group, but I have made a very large number of lengthy comments in TNBBC and African American group etc.All this is to beg your indulgence and allow me to mention that I'd appreciate it greatly, if some of you checked out my Author site(Cavano) and read my review of Love Songs in Minor Keys which came out last night in Charlotte.
Sure, it's my book,and my review, BUT it merely details what the book is about and offers what several eminent critics have written about it.
I think that kind of summary might give you a good idea if the book would be of interest to you.
If you are interested in checking out a fellow Goodreads member who almost never refers to his own works, please take thirty seconds or so to check it out.Love is something everyone has an opinion about and this book does a pretty good job of studying it from some strange but interesting angles.
Thanks. Hope I'm not out of order for this thread.

message 2: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
Well, it does looks like this fiction files in GoodRead is more flexible and you do seem very earnest. Will check it out.

message 4: by Maureen, mo-nemclature (last edited Apr 22, 2009 08:55PM) (new)

Maureen (modusa) | 683 comments Mod
i don't think it's any different than in the old files. if joseph wants to talk about books with us, eventually somebody may decide to read his book and they'll post about it here. we've had authors who have only posted a handful of times and never come back after they've talked about their books before. people get busy, too.

i tend not to read our own. it's nothing personal. i bought the skipper's book because i liked the voice in his posts and i was curious as to how it would translate to fiction, without all those ellipses. :P

so joseph, it's my personal opinion that this thread is warranted, if precipitous. i probably won't read your posts in the other groups: it's hard for me to make enough time to read everything here and in inner workings. :)

message 5: by Joseph (last edited Apr 23, 2009 06:30AM) (new)

Joseph (jazzman) My thanks to Maureen, Margaret and Patrick.I certainly appreciate the fact they took the time to get back to me.I agree we may be getting perilously close to that proverbial "slippery slope."

I understand all about time constraints too.They are an unfortunate but daily fact of life.Still,having to choose to read this or that book or check out this or that comment is not that unpleasant a task.We could all be forced to make tougher choices. Best.

message 6: by Joseph (last edited Apr 23, 2009 07:12AM) (new)

Joseph (jazzman) I have just begun to read Finn which was writter by John Clinch. I can tell already he is an accomplished writer and his book will be a good read. However;

As a writer, I find myself somewhat conflicted.It has something to do with fairness and intellectual property and such. I wonder how Redux members feel.

Do you find the idea of a writer "appropriating" another writer's literary characters, somewhat upsetting? I think such an appropriation is too similar to the way Twain's younger self,"appropriated" a watermelon from his neighbor's yard.It just doesn't seem right.

Pap Finn is one of the most wonderful character's in American fiction.Even though a minor character in Huckleberry Finn, he is pretty fully drawn.Twain has already placed him into several situations which have been very well chosen. Who of us couldn't fill-in some background on what Pap felt or did or considered, while he was being "reformed" by the new liberal judge? How tough would it be to add to Twain's already perfect short chapter, "Pap Wrestles with the Death Angel?"

The problem to me is thatTwain has done all the heavy lifting.Can you imagine how fortunate any of us would feel if we met an old hermit who told us a story about a beautiful lady who gets pregnant by a minister, bears a devil child, and is forced to wear a red letter A for adulterer?
I think I might wait for the old hermit to die and then write a book about it and give it a title.The Scarlet Letter seems about right.
I really do look forward to finishing Clinch's novel. I love that time period. those deep- dark woods and moonshiners and hints of murder and curiousity about why Pap Finn was murdered in the first place. My only problem is it was Twain who imagined all those things.Shouldn't we leave it at that. Let Huck and Jim and Pap rest in well -deserved peace. Why not allow what is arguably America's greatest novel, just the way it is,expanding, growing, taking on new meaning as our times change and we find exciting new applications?

Call me crazy, but beginning anything with a carefully stacked deck, seems a kind of cheating.It doesn't matter if you are playing a game of cards or writing a novel.

What do you think? Best.

message 7: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Apr 23, 2009 09:36AM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
I think that's an interesting point. I thought that the concept of minor characters becoming major characters is a interesting concept, and it would be a challenge to make that character sympathic. Most stories are not really orginal and many of these stories can be traced back to ancient times of Homer, Virgo. Dickenson based some of his literacy themes on fairy tales he read and loved.

I heard about Clinch through an interpreter I met during the sleep lab and seemed like he is becoming more and more known as a writer.

message 8: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jazzman) Patrick,
I like your point about Homer etc. Of course , you're right. What about Shakespeare and the Hollingshead Chronicles?

Still, Huck was based on Twains boyhood friend, Tom Blankenship and I've a feeling there was a Blankenship Sr. who inspired Pap.

Still, that's a lot different than "appropriating" the way Homer did or borrowing the life of a real Scottish king and calling it, MacBeth.
And, both of those are very different than what Clinch did. I'm still wavering on this one. Best.
I enjoy your thoughtful comments.

message 9: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 641 comments Mod
Hi Joseph,

Welcome to the group. For me personally I think that you are slightly over the line with this post. Let me explain why. The fiction files is a group of people who gather here to talk about books and book culture. Self promotion is okay as a secondary and somewhat passive goal to have in this group.

Show us through your insightful comments, show us that you have something fresh and intelligent to say. If you do this you have already done all the promoting you will need. One of us will eventually pick up a copy of your book and word will spread quickly. It is reciprocating relationships that last in these parts.

You have mentioned your "lengthy comments" that you have made in other groups both here and in the "Welcome" thread but it is highly unlikely we are going to track down your posts just to see what you think. You also do not fail to mention your book in either thread.

Lastly, you post about reading a book by John Finch in your own Author post which, unless it has something to do with your book, doesn't make a ton of sense. I think it may be better placed in the "What are you Reading" thread or in starting a John Clinch Author thread. To me it just seems that you are bolstering your own thread (I may be wrong on this I submit).

We are usually pretty tough on the self promotion bit quickly resulting in profanities, humiliation and silliness but since you seem earnest I thought a more thoughtful response appropriate.


PS I also am digging your posts on Clinch and the idea of appropriating characters. One of our members David Liss writes historical fiction and would probably have some pretty good insights.

message 10: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Apr 23, 2009 09:59AM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
Yeah, well said, Dan.

Mr. Cavano,if you have any chance, you can check out some of the email version of lynchings, public humilations, and even one ironic love in for PFL in myspace. Also, I was yelled at for whining about lack of respect for self published writers by Jon Evision in myspace version of the fiction files, and my first novel was laughed out of fiction files by Nick and everyone else and it took me more than a year to win friends from the fiction files. And that was ONLY because I complained about his rule, even though I was snotty about it. I got burned but I learned. Beside, it was really funny now that I look back on it.

It took me two years to have at least one fiction filer become a fan of mine and for her to post Reading Our Own which I am really grateful for and it gives me more credibility here on Good Read.

It would have been more gracious to join in the discussion and not do a drive by posting your thoughts to bolster your book sales and never come back again. That was kind of cold. But will check out only your posting on John Clinch if you are still interested in discussing him in another thread.

I did check your book out, but it would be a while before I get a chance to read it because I got a lotta books to go through for now.

message 11: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments Well said, Mr. Newton!

message 12: by Joseph (last edited Apr 23, 2009 12:09PM) (new)

Joseph (jazzman) Well,
I've read all the comments so far and understand where you are coming from. I hate spammers and self-promoters. We had a few of them on TNBBC and they were quickly chewed up and digested as they should have been.
I think what we have here is ,in the immortal words of Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke, "A failure to communicate." I'll take the brunt of the blame for that one.
The reason I led off with my request to read my many,many detailed comments was simply to show that my interest in Goodreads had everything to do with discussing books and the magic of writing, and very little with self-promotion.I'm afraid I rushed because my new book(it shall remain nameless) came out only two days ago. I suspect I let my excitement get the better of me.
As regards my comments on the other sites, while I certainly don't believe they are more important than anyone elses, I think a perusal of them would reflect a seriousness of purpose and an insight borne out of a lifetime studying and teaching literature(I studied English at the college and graduate school level)and a new career as a writer whose two books have been selected for publication in just about two years. I'm only now cool- headed enough to listen to what teachers had encouraged me to do since grade school. I'm afraid my family life as a child, like a lot of others was far from ideal and helped create someone who never trusted anybody, especially authority figures.
In all fairness, I do detect a lot of anger in some of the comments, and while I can understand them, I think there has been a rush to judge and an attempt to paint a lot of writer's with the same rush.
At any rate,I've tried to explain the situation as honestly as I can.Most who know me know me as an all-around good guy who cares for others.Good-guy or not, I am still a man and I will not play scape-goat for what I perceive as misguided anger. My brother is a psychiatrist and I've learned a lot about that.If you have expected anything more than an explanation of the circumstances 'I'm certain some of you will be disappointed. Power, even when misused can be intoxicating. I'm hoping there are those of you who are fair-minded and clear headed. If not, so be it. That's life.

P.S. I admit complete ignorance of computers and such,and don't quite understand where it is and where it is not appropriate to post. I'm only now starting to understand what a thread is.

message 13: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments What are your novels...I'm assuming there novels...called?

message 14: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jazzman) Martyn,
I'm not sure I should be posting about my books here, but since you asked here is the info.

Both are collections of related short stories.

Half-Past Nowhere(2008). The book is patterned after Hemingways seminal 1923 collection In Our Time which traces his alter ego,Nick Adams, as he progresses from "Innocence to Experience."

Love Songs in Minor Keys. Another collection that looks at several "kinds" of Love.(Not only Romantic Love).Each story functions as do minor chords in Jazz, which is to say, they are unusual or surprising ,sometimes a bit discordant ,even upsetting, but never in a graphic way.

Thanks for asking, Martyn. best

message 15: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments Why not graphic? Are you some kind of moralist? Anyway, I suppose it's quite weird that you posted in 'Reading Our Own' as Dan pointed out. Who do you publish with? Do you have international deals and all that stuff?

message 16: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 641 comments Mod
Joseph wrote: "Well,
I've read all the comments so far and understand where you are coming from. I hate spammers and self-promoters. We had a few of them on TNBBC and they were quickly chewed up and digested a..."

No one is going to (they shouldn't anyway) fault you for not knowing. The guidelines we have aren't really spelled out in an obvious place like they have been before. Don't be hesitant to reply to threads or post new ones, after all all we really want is to talk books with thoughtful people. So join in on the conversations, post. If you ever have any questions feel free to ask any of us.

message 17: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jazzman) Thanks, Dan.
That's very kind of you.I'm starting to see that what I've been told is really true. Most everyone in Fiction Files is a class act.

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