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Thread: who is the most overrated writer ever?

  1. #61
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mister_noel_y2k
    i've a new literary writer i dislike- henry james. BOO!
    That's interesting!

    I read James' Daisy Miller at university and loved every bit of it; characters, description and since then, I have always wanted to read his books but never had the chance. Because of that one book I read, I actually consider James one of the writers I like! Maybe I should read his other books and see how I feel about his style now.
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  2. #62
    Hooray for Atheism dejosc's Avatar
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    im 100% sure that the most over rated writer is William Shakespeare, i mean come on its so dull. i dont care that its the basic for all literature ITS DULL
    They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
    Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.

  3. #63

    James: The Art of Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade
    That's interesting!

    I read James' Daisy Miller at university and loved every bit of it; characters, description and since then, I have always wanted to read his books but never had the chance. Because of that one book I read, I actually consider James one of the writers I like! Maybe I should read his other books and see how I feel about his style now.

    It is my understanding that he wrote some essays on theory of the novel, interpretation. I have looked around for those. I would like to read them. By the way, his brother, William James, was one of the last famous psychologists prior to Sigmund Freud; one of the last pre-Freudians.

    It became fashionable for literature majors to say that Henry was the better psychologist and William was the better writer, but such observations are sometimes more clever than accurate.

    http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/hopki...nry_james.html

    Quote Originally Posted by The Art of Fiction
    The critical act, for James, must first of all be a disinterested and dignified search for "truth," for "life." Like Matthew Arnold, one of his earliest critical models, James saw criticism as a means of making "truth generally accessible"; "it does not busy itself with consequences" but "takes high ground, which is the ground of theory" (717). Unlike the vulgar, "off-hand" productions of his English contemporaries, James's reviews self-consciously attempt to rise above practical matters of "rough-and-ready" evaluation (96-97) and achieve detached discrimination, analysis, and appreciation, the qualities that he felt characterized both Arnold and Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, another early critical model.

    ...

    Before the appearance of "The Art of Fiction," James wrote approximately 200 reviews almost entirely on individual works. During this same period he wrote about 20 essays (including his book on Hawthorne) on more expansive topics, literary figures, schools, or movements. After its appearance he wrote only six reviews but published almost 100 critical essays, including the 18 prefaces to the collected New York Edition of his novels (1907-9). It was in these essays and prefaces that James voiced his major aesthetic, critical, and theoretical concerns.

    ...

    Because of its crucially transitional place in James's development, it provides a synthesis of 20 years of inchoate and desultory*** thoughts about fiction and fiction writing and transforms them into a group of interrelated principles upon which most of his later criticism rests.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/word...003/06/02.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Desultory
    comes from Latin desultorius, from desultor, "a leaper," from the past participle of desilire, "to leap down," from de-, "down from" + salire, "to leap."

    http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople....=true&UID=5083

    Ezra Pound noted James’s faithfulness to the vernacular.

    http://www.cercles.com/review/r10/lodge.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge

    In Lodge’s thumbnail sketch of the history of the novel Henry James is perhaps given too much credit—and Lodge’s interest being English Literature, Flaubert none at all—but he notes succinctly and effectively how James married in his fiction the first person of subjective enquiry with the third person of objective enquiry, developing the mastery of free indirect speech that allows the novelist to locate the narrative in a character’s consciousness and yet move away from it to suggest other realities.
    http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/english/Erkan.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lioness and the Dove

    James describes Aunt Maud in The Wings of the Dove as: “ Mrs. Lowder was London, was life—the roar of the siege and the thick of the fray. There were some things, after all, of which Britannia was afraid; but Aunt Maud was afraid of nothing – not even, it would appear, of arduous thought” (24). Here is another example of a personal description about Kate:

    She would have been meanwhile a wonderful lioness for a show, an extraordinary figure in cage or anywhere; majestic, magnificent, high-coloured, all brilliant gloss, perpetual satin, twinkling bugles and flashing gems, with a lustre of agate eyes, a sheen of raven hair, a polish of complexion that was like that of well-kept china and that-as if the skin were too tight-told especially at curves and corners. (23)

    On the other hand Milly is described as a dove : “ Milly was indeed a dove; this was the figure, though it most applied to her spirit. . . . so far as one remembered that doves have wings and wondrous flights, have them as well as tender tints and soft sounds” (337). James is very successful in describing people: Kate resembles to a lioness who acts according to her interests and get the best as she can whereas, Milly is soft and helpless resembling especially to a dove.

    I have just found a link to the e-text of "The Art of Fiction"

    http://dinamico.unibg.it/rls/essays/james.htm

    which I reached through this useful looking page

    http://dinamico.unibg.it/rls/e-texts.htm


    By the way, this work by Robert Louis Stevenson looks interesting:

    http://dinamico.unibg.it/rls/essays/writing/aw-1.htm

    ON SOME TECHNICAL ELEMENTS OF STYLE IN LITERATURE
    by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-15-2005 at 03:07 PM.

  4. #64
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejosc
    im 100% sure that the most over rated writer is William Shakespeare, i mean come on its so dull. i dont care that its the basic for all literature ITS DULL
    I can understand that. There are a few of his plays that I like, but moat of them are just OK, and some aren't very good at all.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade
    I read James' Daisy Miller at university and loved every bit of it; characters, description and since then, I have always wanted to read his books but never had the chance. Because of that one book I read, I actually consider James one of the writers I like! Maybe I should read his other books and see how I feel about his style now.
    Unfortunately, I have only read Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers. Needless to say, why I never posted either James' names in this thread, I loved them both, despite The Turn of the Screw seeming very difficult to read; beneath its confusion, however, I found a genius work. Eventually, I intend on reading Daisy Miller, having heard good things, but so much to read in such a short life!
    On a side note, for an easier read, I would definitely recommend The Aspern Papers.

  6. #66
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    sche, read the turn of the screw and then decide whether hes a good writer or not



  7. #67
    Not politically correct Pendragon's Avatar
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    Red face

    I think y'all hit about every author I think is over-rated (though I did take some guff on another thread for listing The Works of Shakespeare as one of the top 10 books I could do without. And I even added "Except, mayhap ye be a thesbian"!) Oh, well! I'll add votes for The Bard of Avon, Stephen King, "Dreary" Dickens, Hemingway, etc. But I'll probably make some enimies by adding, collectively, the sisters Bronte. I just can't read any of them!
    Some of us laugh
    Some of us cry
    Some of us smoke
    Some of us lie
    But it's all just the way
    that we cope with our lives...

  8. #68
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    jack kerouac ~pukes~ Has anyone here read a book called CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE? It's funny---Capote rips into jack, gore, mailer, etc. --- a tough critic & an accurate one! I LOVE CAPOTE! Brilliant man!

  9. #69
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    oh... james's THE GOLDEN BOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How dull is THAT! I cannot believe they made a film from it.... haven't seen it...you?

  10. #70
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    Has anyone read I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith?? Very good! As for Harry Potter I do enjoy them--- overrated writers...hmmm....anything by that closet case Hemingway. Jack. K. eeewwww hmmm..... Stephen King bores me to tears!

  11. #71
    dancing before the storms baddad's Avatar
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    Mr. "I think I'll eat my shotgun" Hemingway is sure taking a beating in this thread. I am saddened to the point of a weep.....*sniff*.....

  12. #72
    precious... subterranean's Avatar
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    I too, share the same opinion. Rowling gets too much than she deserve (IMHO).

    Quote Originally Posted by scruffy_danny
    I hate to be all predictable or wotnot but (I havn't read the whole thread) but I really do have to say that the Harry Potter books aren't very good. I think Rowling is the most over rated author ever. I really do....


    "there are people in the world so hungry that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread"

    Mahatma Gandhi

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by baddad
    Mr. "I think I'll eat my shotgun" Hemingway is sure taking a beating in this thread. I am saddened to the point of a weep.....*sniff*.....
    Amen, baddad!
    This thread often makes me feel like I have painstakingly poor taste in literature; some of my favorite writers have received mention here, but I try not to take it personally, instead taking a deep breathe and counting slowly to ten.
    Personally, I cannot but give the highest praise to writers like Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, the Brontë sisters, William Shakespeare Henry James, Wilfred Owen, and Jack Kerouac, yet I realize we all have our different palates for literature; to put it in another way, I know people who like J.K. Rowling and Billy Collins.

  14. #74
    precious... subterranean's Avatar
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    Now now...some of us do acknowlege that Mr. Hemingway is indeed one of the greatest witers ever. So stop sniffing, your nose is beginning to red...

    Quote Originally Posted by baddad
    Mr. "I think I'll eat my shotgun" Hemingway is sure taking a
    beating in this thread. I am saddened to the point of a weep.....*sniff*.....
    Last edited by subterranean; 09-10-2005 at 01:20 AM.


    "there are people in the world so hungry that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread"

    Mahatma Gandhi

  15. #75
    In libris libertas Aurora Ariel's Avatar
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    I agree that Virginia Woolf is an exceptional writer.This year I've managed to read quite a few of her works such as Mrs.Dalloway, The Waves and Orlando.
    The Waves is an outstanding piece.It's deeply poetic and a breathtaking read.
    As for Henry James: I've read Washington Square and last year read The Awkward Age.I've yet to read The Aspern Papers or The Turn of the Screw but both these works are on my read next list.I've got copies of both here and plan to come to these in time-I hope I get a chance to read these two really soon!And Bronte is fantastic-one of my favourite books from that era is Wuthering Heights.I've also read the poetry and gone over this book on innumerable occasions.
    Last edited by Aurora Ariel; 09-10-2005 at 01:38 AM.
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    -Virginia Woolf

    “I want to write a novel about Silence,” he said; “the things people don’t say. But the difficulty is immense.” He sighed. - Night and Day

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