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  1. The Harvard books are a pretty thorough list of...

    The Harvard books are a pretty thorough list of reading for any one who wants to get "smarter". They are worth reading and owning, although you can find the entire transcript of every volume online...
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    It can probably be easily applied that way if you...

    It can probably be easily applied that way if you look at certain details and psychological aspects. But Shakespeare has so much rich activity and nuance in his work you could just as easily say it's...
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    Or one of my favorites: The creatures outside...

    Or one of my favorites:

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. -Animal Farm. George...
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    The man in black fled across the desert, and the...

    The man in black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed. -Stephen King's Dark Tower VII.

    Not only was it the first line of the epic and a recurrent theme, the fact that it wrapped up...
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    One of the overlooked aspects of great works is...

    One of the overlooked aspects of great works is subtle thematic repetition. People subconsciously look for patterns in everything. Some of the best and most successful authors knew this and used it...
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    Damn autocorrect butchered my post.

    Damn autocorrect butchered my post.
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    There are so many great lines from the bard that...

    There are so many great lines from the bard that resonate. Favorite play is Hamlet but hard to narrow that down. King Lear, R and J, 12th Night, MacBeth.

    Favorite sonnet "that time thou mayest in...
  8. Thread: My Philosophy

    by Dono
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    I said your philosophy is flawed in a number of...

    I said your philosophy is flawed in a number of ways, foremost that your own prejudice of what a god ought to be and do is reason enough for discounting its existence. You spend an awful lot of time...
  9. Thread: My Philosophy

    by Dono
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    A flea is born and struggles to survive in a...

    A flea is born and struggles to survive in a harsh and brutal world. Somehow in its struggle it finds its way to the back of a passing dog and begins its flea destiny of feeding and procreation. In...
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    They didn't necessarily make me LOVE the...

    They didn't necessarily make me LOVE the southwest desert of the USA really, but the Crossing trilogy by Cormac McCarthy made me appreciate it a little more than I had. And the account of the Nez...
  11. Thread: Time Travel

    by Dono
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    It's not precisely a Time Travel story but Piers...

    It's not precisely a Time Travel story but Piers Anthony did a series about the avatars of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and one of the characters lived backwards. I think he was "death" and...
  12. Thread: Cormac McCarthy

    by Dono
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    Some authors just have a distinctive and...

    Some authors just have a distinctive and overpowering voice in their works. Hemingway was one and McCarthy is another.
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    If no one has mentioned it before now, the...

    If no one has mentioned it before now, the "american" selection wouldn't really be culturally complete without something from our native people. I'd recommend "I will Fight No More Forever" or "Black...
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    Unlike real life, literature must make sense and...

    Unlike real life, literature must make sense and words must drive the story. Profanity in most cases is a useless filler, and generally shows the writer to be an amateur who can't shut off his or her...
  15. Thread: simply words

    by Dono
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    These may not technically qualify yet as words...

    These may not technically qualify yet as words but I have heard them uttered on news television, radio, and by seeming professionals. Both inspire me to murder most foul.
    Chillax and Ginormous
    The...
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    The correct sequence is as follows: I was here...

    The correct sequence is as follows:
    I was here after the end of June.
    I was here following the end of June.
    I was here staring at the end of June.
    June has filed a restraining order.
    The end of...
  17. One of the best character studies I ever saw in a...

    One of the best character studies I ever saw in a movie was Falling Down with Michael Douglas. We start out firmly on the side of this hardworking, stressed out guy who just can't catch a break. And...
  18. The key to the protagonist character is...

    The key to the protagonist character is remembering that the line for good/evil is not important, but the line for empathy/growth is paramount. You can have the best and most noble character in the...
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    "I know it's late," said the funeral director,...

    "I know it's late," said the funeral director, hoping the tremor in his voice wasn't evident. "But I need the coffins by tomorrow. Thirty. Plain white. Infant size. Caskets..." he felt the color...
  20. For modern classics try the works of Cormac...

    For modern classics try the works of Cormac McCarthy (border trilogy), Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner or a Thousand Splendid Suns), or Yann Martel's Life of Pi. You cannot go wrong with anything by...
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    Shakespeare's works for starters, and Twain's...

    Shakespeare's works for starters, and Twain's Letters from the Earth. Robert Frost. The Odyssey/Iliad, and Paradise Lost trilogy. Lord of the Rings. The Shining.
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    Maybe look at it a different way. Holmes as the...

    Maybe look at it a different way. Holmes as the egomaniacal, intellectually perfect but shallow and one-dimensional caricature has a following of one: Watson is the quintessential...
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    Ophelia was pretty wretched, driven to madness...

    Ophelia was pretty wretched, driven to madness and suicide by her dalliance with royalty...come to think of it her whole family was pretty star-crossed to have been a part of Hamlet's little family...
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    Poll: 3. That perception of sympathy or deserved...

    3. That perception of sympathy or deserved punishment is why the pendulum analogy doesn't work. You're trying to tell a story about seven sinners and their deaths. Some are facing a world-ending...
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    Poll: 2. Regarding show, don't tell. When writing...

    2. Regarding show, don't tell. When writing characters you want to convey a certain attribute to, as you are attempting with these sinners, it is unnecessary and kind of a cop out to define them with...
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