World, Writing, Wealth discussion

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message 1: by Mehreen (last edited Jun 03, 2016 09:05PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments What makes literature subversive? Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn was banned in the USA and English speaking countries for 27 odd years.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Not all literature is subversive, of course, but some of the best lit certainly is.


message 3: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Judging from all the books that have been banned in the last decade or so, it didn't feel as through they preached any thing to subvert. The aim of any great literature is to liberate the mind and to speak freely.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Literature can also be a celebration or merely an exploration. When we look at nooks labeled as subversive context is key. The thought that some books were banned in the past seems laughable when you read them today.


message 5: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments I can sympathise with that. Socrates' work was found subversive and he was poisoned subsequently on account of that. It was no subversion but politically unpopular.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Thanks to the way the internet has expanded our view many things are no longer considered to be subversive - it is difficult to be shocked even.


message 7: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Yeah. So true.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13095 comments Sometimes, the book may be much less than subversive and still banned under censorship, because for example it expresses opinions contrary to the official policy. I'm not even sure my fictional stuff would be allowed in today's Russia.
Books and movies are presumed to influence masses. In the Cold War era, why would Soviets, particularly concerned with ideology, broadcast Rambo or Rocky? Or how many Soviet movies made it into US movie theaters?
But in some cases I think that, for example, literature/art propagating faschism or pedophilia should indeed be banned.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments To this day the mention of Nabokov makes me want to weep. I can not understand why Lolita is a classic.


message 10: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments You guys should watch Tropic of Capricon, book written by Henry Miller. It was supposed to have liberated the mind through the body. But has it done so? How the vast majority perceives a book is also something to account for. This book is a classic.

Just because a book is politically unfavourable does not mean that it is subversive. A point in case is Russia Nick says. Needless to say that books promoting pedophilia, fascism and the likes thereof, should be banned.


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13095 comments Haven't read, but heard it's 'transgressive'


message 12: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2105 comments Tara wrote: "To this day the mention of Nabokov makes me want to weep. I can not understand why Lolita is a classic."

I had to read it in college, but don't remember much about it to this day. All I can guess is that the book is seen as being about the struggle over something that is taboo rather than the taboo itself.

The problem with any issue is that we view it with the limited mindset we have in the present day. Any book that is banned at any time in history, loses that shock-value once society's attitudes change. And likewise classic books of the past may seem disturbing today as their values are seen in a different light today. Just like any any non-controversial classic, the test of time comes in the writing itself and not necessarily the issues raised.


message 13: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments If enduring quality of art depends on how long a book is remembered after the death of its writer, then many 'subversive' books would probably stand the test of time than non-committal ones. I'm sure more people would remember Satanic Verses much longer than say, The Enchantress of Florence, both written by Salman Rushdie.


message 14: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2105 comments There is no doubt the people that try to ban certain books or beat them out of the social consciousness end up doing the exact opposite. We had a controversy around here where a 3rd grade teacher introduced a gay themed children's book to his class. Being a conservative region, the parents were outraged. But I would wager sales of the book skyrocketed because of the controversy, and I have to admit the name is ingrained in my head because of the attention.


message 15: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9234 comments Mehreen wrote: "If enduring quality of art depends on how long a book is remembered after the death of its writer, then many 'subversive' books would probably stand the test of time than non-committal ones. I'm su..."

Yes, but why are they remembered? Some are remembered more for the fact they caused a controversy than for their content. Other stuff is remembered simply because it was the best of its time, and there was very little in that time. I often wonder if anything from today will be remembered in, say, fifty years.


message 16: by Mehreen (last edited Jun 05, 2016 09:14PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Yeah, as 50 Shades of Grey would, I suppose. I do have a problem though with the term, 'best of its time,' Marlowe and Shakespeare, who is better or even best, I'm at a loss. If the untimely death of Marlowe gave Shakespeare a clean getaway,then I'm doomed.


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13095 comments J.J. wrote: " But I would wager sales of the book skyrocketed because of the controversy, and I have to admit the name is ingrained in my head because of the attention...."

I remember that when I told a friend of mine from marketing industry about a book I've published, he recommended that the best marketing strategy would be to kill an oligarch or get killed by one, desirably in front of scores of journalist, to blow my own car and attribute it to oligarchs or something similar -:) The more scandalous, the better. Becoming a news item is a booster


message 18: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Then let's write scandalous books. They would at least give us the notoriety.


message 19: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13095 comments Mehreen wrote: "Then let's write scandalous books. They would at least give us the notoriety."

-:) But then they can get banned for 30 years -:)


message 20: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments That's true too. But the world has to recognise it sometime! In my opinion with Anton and Satanic verses, Rushdie double dipped.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9234 comments Mehreen wrote: "That's true too. But the world has to recognise it sometime! In my opinion with Anton and Satanic verses, Rushdie double dipped."

You are worried about double dipping - after announcing our greatest literature was 50 shades? With what i suspect was multiple dipping, although since I haven't read them, I can't be sure.


message 22: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments I agree.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments There are the classics and then there are the enduring classics lol. Many do not stand the test of time while others are as inspiring and provocative as the day they were penned.


message 24: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Lol there are some that are less enduring and those that are more.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Jane Eyre forever! Wuthering Heights, not so much lol.


message 26: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Exactly my point.


message 27: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13095 comments Hope we have at least a few modern classics among us with imminent recognition potential that we'd be proud to have known -:)


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