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Thread: Things that spoil the joy of reading

  1. #1
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Things that spoil the joy of reading

    When I read a poem by William Wordsworth first comes before starting the reading the idea that he was a romantic poet. Then the whole idea of romanticism interferes with my reading starting with Rousseau. Then comes how T.S. Eliot, the whole band of modern writers creeping in. So many literary literary theories precede my reading. It may not happen to everyone. For I am the student of literature. However, it may be a matter of degrees only everyone will have a preoccupation of something prior to reading a piece of art.

    Therefore, I think that critics detract our attentions or interests from enjoying a piece of literature. There are really great poems, spiritually uplifting and loftily subtler. Wordsworth, Shelly, Keats, Blake are really immortal writers. They dedicated their entire lives to composing beautiful poems. They are really matchless and yet we try to understand them through the borrowed eyes of critics.

    Critics, not all, make a fuss over, or ruin our reading tendencies. Despite all this I never give up reading classics. I think, save a few ones, great books were written in the past. Nowadasy too some books are really greatly written and they are philosophically rich too, yet in the past there were more people dedicated to writing. Therefore some classics written in the past are never outshone in terms of their depth and philosophy.

    Can we find the interminable dedications in anyone in the degree there was in Voltaire now? War and Peace is something magnum opus, Crime and Punishment and the like. Sartre is no doubt a great writer but he follwoed in the steps of Dostoevsky. Existential quotients and even ideas of magic realism were aplenty in the works of Dostoevsky. Read the dream of a ridiculous man. The depth of imagination wherein the writer creates a character who sails across bounds of time and space in dreams link supernatural elements with realistic ones.

    All I mean to say is that pieces of art never become obsolete and unbound by any particular theory.

    For example the Pilgrim's Progress by John Buniayn is a book that inspires me timelessly and the beauty of expression and the depth of philosophy in that book sways me out of boundedness.

    Therefore I appeal: read books irregardless of their roots in a particular literary theory and never subscribe to the idea of critics, and they are hypocrites and vainglorious save a few ones.

    Great works of art transcned language, time, and theory. The Bible is always appealing and moving. Can we find a book that can be compared with the profundity of the Mahabharata for the loftiness of its philosophy, linguistic grandeur. Its ideas are so elevated spiritually, philosophically that they are matchless.

    We are indeed fortunate enough to have so many classics.
    I pray I will have infinite stretches of time so that I can revel in the grandeur s of those tour de force, all of them. But alas I have a little of it. However I want to make the most of them.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  2. #2
    One thing that spoils the joy of reading for me is when there is a large fly (or moth, perhaps) in the room and it is buzzing very loudly. Another thing is when I can hear my neighbour watching adult films through the wall, this always puts me off whatever I am reading. I'm sure there are some other things also. I am going to go and have a think about it and i'll post here again when I've had a good old think. I might not be able to think of as many things as you did, but I'll try.

  3. #3
    Registered User Granny5's Avatar
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    Nothing puts me off reading except a lousy story. I can read anywhere anytime and I read almost anything. I read if people are talking to me, I read with the tv on, I read during a thunderstorm or tornado. I read while I do laundry, cook supper, take a bath. The only thing that really stops me is a really bad story and falling asleep.
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    Registered User Lambert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    Therefore, I think that critics detract our attentions or interests from enjoying a piece of literature.

    Critics, not all, make a fuss over, or ruin our reading tendencies.
    What critics???

    Name them.

    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    Therefore I appeal: read books irregardless of their roots in a particular literary theory and never subscribe to the idea of critics, and they are hypocrites and vainglorious save a few ones.
    Irregardless!!! Please, take a minute to think about the absurdity of that word.

  5. #5
    Registered User Granny5's Avatar
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    Irregardless......is it really a word? I was taught that it wasn't.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Lambert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granny5 View Post
    Irregardless......is it really a word? I was taught that it wasn't.
    It's know as a corruption of the english language.

    Interesting article on Irregardless: Here

  7. #7
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    irregardless

    irregardless [írri grdləss]
    adverb
    △ Same as regardless
    (nonstandard)


    [Early 20th century. Probably blend of irrespective + regardless ]


    Since the prefix ir- means 'not' (as it does in irrespective), and the suffix -less means 'without', irregardless is a double negative and regarded as nonstandard. As such, it is to be avoided, in favour of irrespective or regardless.
    Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Thank you for your suggestion. I saw it used in some articles and I do not know why I got tempted to use the word even though I too was rather skeptical of the use. I wanted to see whether or not people will comment.

    Yet I think as long as the use of such words do not mar the beauty of the language I feel nothing wrong with using such words. We must have a liberal attitude toward this. English is now gaining importance everywhere and this is not the language of the UK, the USA and Australia alone. It is a means of important communications in many countries now.

    We should not run after grammar rigidly and if the use of it adds up beauty or stresses the message nothing wrong in using this structure.
    Last edited by blazeofglory; 09-10-2007 at 12:34 PM.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  8. #8
    Torchbearer Demian's Avatar
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    I think the critics had quite a bit to do with propping up the great ones as much as spoiling our 'pure reading of the text'. The critics handed the torch to the academics and the academics passed it on to us. Who knows how many wonderful artists have been relegated to the dustbin of history simply because they never received any review whatsoever?

    "When you listen to the radio you are a witness of the everlasting war between thing and idea, appearance and reality--the human, and the divine."
    -Hermann Hesse

  9. #9
    Registered User Lambert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demian View Post
    Who knows how many wonderful artists have been relegated to the dustbin of history simply because they never received any review whatsoever?
    What?

    If you’re talking about Literary Critics from the realm of academe, then you should know a part of their role is to seek out writers ignored in the history of literature. Their job is not to shun writers.

    Book reviewers are not the be all and end all of critical opinion. They’re well aware that their verdict on various works could be seen as hugely erroneous in later years. They have to take the risk and judge a work by their own standards. Some reviewers have better standards than others and readers should always be aware. The readers of serious fiction can agree with a reviewer or they can disagree. It’s their choice. If they want to spread the word of a book’s brilliance then can use a little thing called the internet.

    And why do you people constantly use this ridiculously generic term “critics” like these people are sinister domineering bogeymen and without naming a single critic to justify your case?

    Literary criticism is a narrative form in its own right and a fine one at that. Some do not succeed well in it. But those who do succeed in literary criticism, those who champion young and neglected writers in an age of mass media and mass entertainment, who give their honest, well-made, lucid opinions deserve high admiration, not scorn.

  10. #10
    Pičce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Please note that this Forum has been visited by people from all over the world,
    some of whom speak/learn English as their second or even third language.

    It is a simple act of common courtesy to keep this fact in mind when we are being critical of their use of English language
    and
    offer 'constructive' criticism when necessary.

    Thank you.
    ~
    Let there be snow!
    ~


  11. #11
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    I agree with blazeofglory, in that I find reading (actually any art or entertainment) is usually best when I come to it without preconceptions or preknowledge of what I'm getting into - some of my best finds have been suprises. I only look into literary criticism when some work of art has me reallly interested and I can't seem to delve deeper into on my own.

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    Registered User Aiculík's Avatar
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    I study literature, too... but that doesn't spoil the reading of a poem, or any work, for me. Maybe because I never value literary work by what other people think about it. I just don't see why I should. As for critical theories, I read them, and think about them - sometimes it may reveal something I neglected, or didn't understood, or viewed from the point of view of the person from the end of the 20th century... if it does, great. But that doesn't mean I won't look for my own meanings and explanations, or that I'll completely change my opinion on some work.

    I think, save a few ones, great books were written in the past. Nowadasy too some books are really greatly written and they are philosophically rich too, yet in the past there were more people dedicated to writing. Therefore some classics written in the past are never outshone in terms of their depth and philosophy.

    Can we find the interminable dedications in anyone in the degree there was in Voltaire now? War and Peace is something magnum opus, Crime and Punishment and the like. Sartre is no doubt a great writer but he follwoed in the steps of Dostoevsky. Existential quotients and even ideas of magic realism were aplenty in the works of Dostoevsky
    .

    Oh please, please not this "only-classics-are-good-literature" crap again. Sorry, but I'm beginning to develop serious allergic reaction to the word "classic". First, please, tell me - when "the past" ends and when "nowdays" begins in literature, according to you?
    Second, who decides if the author is a "classic"?
    Critics, those hypocrites we should ignore?
    Readers?
    And based on what is that decision made?
    For example, why you consider Dostoevsky classic? (I'm not saying he's not I just want to know why you think he is...)

    But I find one thing rather strange. You say we should read regardless what critics say, and then you yourself act just as a critic who knows best what should we read, tarnishing the modern literature and glorify 19th century Russian novelists and British poets.
    No offence, but I'm really tired of that kind of approach. Not that these authors aren't great. They are. Sure. Especially Blake.
    But you know what I noticed? Every time I ask someone to name "really great" authors, same few dozens of names pop up, mostly from the 19th century.
    Is that really true? Are there only few dozens of authors that are really great - from all over the world, from all times?
    I doubt it, really. So "classic" is not a magic formula for me.
    I read ancient literature, old literature, modern literatue. Renessaince authors as well as romantics. Realists and modernists, postmodernists and post-postmodernists. I don't care if authors lived in ancient Egypt or 19th century Russia or if they live now in Chile. The only thing I care about is if the book is beautiful for me, not someone else.
    For example, you say War and Peace is "something magnum opus"
    Is it really? Well, not for me, I'm afraid. I don't care what critics, academics, or anyone else says about it, for me, there was no beauty in it at all. Give me Eco or Marquez over Tolstoy anytime, thank you very much. Or Viktor Pelevin, if you want a Russian name.

    You say we should read books regardless of their roots in a particular literary theory and never subscribe to the idea of critics.
    I agree.
    But not because I think they are hypocrites or vainglories, but because I think people shoud try to form their own views, they should learn to see and feel beauty of literature by themselves. Not where other people point it out for them.
    Knowing literary and critical theories is useful as long as it helps one to achieve this. It should... give reader a pair of glasses, to be able to see better for himself.
    If all it gives the reader is the list of books he should like, together with the list of reasons what exactly he should like in the book and why, something is wrong... after all, weren't those great authors in the past trying to teach people to think indepently, to rise to a higher, fuller level of existance?

  13. #13
    Sometimes my back, or occasionally my arm or shoulder, starts itching and I find it very hard to concentrate on the book I am reading.

  14. #14
    Conqueror of Worlds Bakiryu's Avatar
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    Spoilers. There's nothing worse than when some baka-person just starts telling you whats going to happen. *Strangles!*

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    Registered User Nick Rubashov's Avatar
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    When reading your post I couldn't stop thinking of that famous saying "ignorance is bliss". The more you learn about literature and its themes, eras, authors lives, scholarly opinions, etc, the less reading may seem enjoyable. So I agree with you blazeofglory that critics can ruin a work. That's why I love picking up a book I've never heard of before and just dive right in. There are a lot of recommendations and opinions about books in the world which you absolutely do not need to enjoy literature. I don't need to see a scholarly dissection of Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" to find the poem beautiful and thought provoking. The human mind is a fascinating thing just by itself without listening to fussy critics.
    Doc awakened very slowly and clumsily like a fat man getting out of a swimming pool. - John Steinbeck

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