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    Advice on reading effectively

    I have a dilemma. There are so many 'canon' books I've read significant chunks of without ever having actually finished. Here's a partial list: Cousin Bette, Madame Bovary, Swann's Way, Lost...
  2. Then again, perhaps the main thrust of literary...

    Then again, perhaps the main thrust of literary culture simply hasn't caught up with the likes of Ionesco and Genet yet, making them ahead of even our current epoch, which explains why they only...
  3. Why did modernism/avant-gardism fail to endure outside the academy?

    I often encounter people, not necessarily on this forum but elsewhere, who insist that so many modern novelists write as if we're still living in the 19th century and Ulysses never happened, and they...
  4. You mean Avallon in France? As for the American...

    You mean Avallon in France? As for the American Pastoral Landscape, perhaps any place that counts as rural or small town coastal New England would qualify. Even so, I would say the aforementoned...
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    I know this thread is like a year old, but I just...

    I know this thread is like a year old, but I just had another two cents to offer, regarding the 'hipness' of Nietzsche, Kafka, Dostoevsky et al. I think when 'we're' young, we seemingly have all the...
  6. What's interesting is that as someone who engages...

    What's interesting is that as someone who engages in creative writing, I often almost find it easier to write in French, or at least approach certain tasks related to fiction writing in French, even...
  7. Call it what you may, but I don't think novelists...

    Call it what you may, but I don't think novelists should be assessed exclusively on the basis of their ability as prose stylists. It's only one factor in my opinion. It would be like valuing Ingres...
  8. That probably depends largely on who you speak...

    That probably depends largely on who you speak to. "Leftist intellectual" types may opt for Balzac and Stendhal while the dandies may primarily go for Flaubert and Hugo.
  9. I never performed staggeringly well in high...

    I never performed staggeringly well in high school English class, and I'm not sure why. Was I just thick and am I now digging into "serious" literature to compensate for a perceived lack of...
  10. Why don't the 'classics', aside from Shakespeare...

    Why don't the 'classics', aside from Shakespeare get assigned in high school anymore? My mother would talk about getting assigned Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice in high school, but you...
  11. Who would be your idea of a great writer who...

    Who would be your idea of a great writer who lacked compassion besides Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot of course?
  12. Why aren't the French as widely read as the Russians?

    Does anyone have any idea as to why the major French novelists like Balzac, Stendhal, and Flaubert don't have as wide a readership beyond their borders as major Russian figures like Dostoevsky,...
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    Accepted !

    Accepted !
  14. Well I speak French, so I'll just read The...

    Well I speak French, so I'll just read The Misanthrope in the original! I bought it yesterday in fact.
  15. Must-reads by end of young adulthood vs. must-reads before you die...

    What are people's thoughts? I'm 27, and there's still plenty of reading I 'need' to do. My biggest priorities are as follows: Balzac (read some but not all), Proust, Tolstoy, Beckett, Dostoevsky...
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    Naturally, with any translated work I find one is...

    Naturally, with any translated work I find one is bound to come across sentences that on their own don't seem to make a lot of sense, perhaps from an effort on the translator's part to literally...
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    I never had any issues with the McDuff...

    I never had any issues with the McDuff translation of Crime and Punishment, although I do feel P&V's translation of the Brothers K, which I'm reading now, to be a tremendous improvement upon McDuff's...
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    Well of course their ideas may have helped to...

    Well of course their ideas may have helped to establish that relevance, but why should that be cause for suspicion? It's clearly for a reason that certain ideas stuck while others didn't.
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    Well of course history is bigger than that, and...

    Well of course history is bigger than that, and this rejection of religion as the key to consolation most likely find its roots in the Enlightenment, so even further back than 1830.
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    Well the creation of said intellectual and moral...

    Well the creation of said intellectual and moral milieu was largely meant as a way to cope with these new economic and social conditions. That doesn't mean one can't draw inspiration from older...
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    But what I'm essentially saying is that the 'hip'...

    But what I'm essentially saying is that the 'hip' factor is largely a product of certain writers' historical relevance. Anyone who has tried to eke out a day to day existence within a large...
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    I'm not sure. I'd say the elevation of Dostoevsky...

    I'm not sure. I'd say the elevation of Dostoevsky vis-a-vis someone like Austen can be attributed just as much if not more to the relevancy of D's work to contemporary existence. Seeing how...
  23. So...? I think "exoticism" is part of art's draw...

    So...? I think "exoticism" is part of art's draw in general. I think people seek out what might be described as 'culture' to 'awaken' themselves from the mundane nature of daily life on most Western...
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    W H Smith is most certainly still there. :) ...

    W H Smith is most certainly still there. :)

    Shakespeare and Company does appear to have an impressive collection of old and rare books, but if you just want to pop in and buy a random Faulkner or...
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    Shakespeare and Company in Paris is a tourist...

    Shakespeare and Company in Paris is a tourist trap. The selection is quite pithy. Try any of the neighborhood bookshops throughout the city for a more authentic experience. Galignani in Rue de Rivoli...
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