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Thread: Things that spoil the joy of reading

  1. #16
    dum spiro, spero Nossa's Avatar
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    What spoils my reading time the most is when my mom keeps calling on me to do stuff around the house..or if someone is shouting in the street or fighting or whatever. ANY noise or sounds, maybe besides music or something that has a rythm, can totally ruin my reading time.
    I'm the patron saint of the denial,
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  2. #17
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Rubashov View Post
    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.
    In point of fact all I want to say is when you read without a preoccupation of something the joy of reading is totally different.

    A piece of art is something that demands of the creator his great devotion and in fact it involves his great part of life. And it is not that easy to go across people with your ideas unless they are highly convincing and greatly messaging something of value.

    A reader expects in a piece of literature everything. And the writer dedicatedly works hard to meet what the reader wants in substance. All I want is there is no role of a critic, the reader is the judge. Today readers are highly conscious.

    This is an appeal to the critic let the reader be the judge for himself. Let him have the joy of reading.

    “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.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    In point of fact all I want to say is when you read without a preoccupation of something the joy of reading is totally different.

    A piece of art is something that demands of the creator his great devotion and in fact it involves his great part of life. And it is not that easy to go across people with your ideas unless they are highly convincing and greatly messaging something of value.

    A reader expects in a piece of literature everything. And the writer dedicatedly works hard to meet what the reader wants in substance. All I want is there is no role of a critic, the reader is the judge. Today readers are highly conscious.

    This is an appeal to the critic let the reader be the judge for himself. Let him have the joy of reading.
    I'm going to repeat what I said earlier:
    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?
    Name the critics! I want to know the name of a critic who has gone deliberately out of their way to spoil your reading.

    It's obvious the only reason you mention critics like this is because you want to perpetuate this image of critics as “elites” and to idealise and romanticise this idea of the “reader”. Readers as a whole are more fallible than critics when it comes to judgements of literature because of a lack of range in their reading and their tendency towards literary populism.

  4. #19
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambert View Post
    I'm going to repeat what I said earlier:


    Name the critics! I want to know the name of a critic who has gone deliberately out of their way to spoil your reading.

    It's obvious the only reason you mention critics like this is because you want to perpetuate this image of critics as “elites” and to idealise and romanticise this idea of the “reader”. Readers as a whole are more fallible than critics when it comes to judgements of literature because of a lack of range in their reading and their tendency towards literary populism.
    In fact naming a critic is to speak something against a person and I do not criticize a person. There are critics who frame writers within a frame of particular thought. Like if somebody composes poems in praise of the beauty of nature wihtin the Wordswothian frame, he will be critiqued as being along the romantic stream, not following the modern way.

    I do not think critics are justifiable to categorize writers in terms of a particular school of thought like idealism, romanticism, classicism and criticize them thinking that they do not write in compliance with a particular model.

    Let the writer be open to what they think best, and do not frame them within certain frames.

    When it comes to reading, let readers decide on his own without letting critics
    shape his reading, that means to say, critics at times comment upon books or on a piece of art. At times all they do is they simply say that they lack this thing or that thing. For instance, James Joyce was kind of criticized for not giving natural reflections.

    Ayn Rand' book the Fountain head was so many times returned by publishers thinking that her books would not interest readers. But the publishers or the ones who were judgmental of her books failed, she got very big readership. So
    were George Orwell' s Animal Farms. It is the readers who can judge, not the citic the beauty or the profindity of a book.

    “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.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    In fact naming a critic is to speak something against a person and I do not criticize a person. There are critics who frame writers within a frame of particular thought. Like if somebody composes poems in praise of the beauty of nature wihtin the Wordswothian frame, he will be critiqued as being along the romantic stream, not following the modern way.
    That’s incorrect. Critics only put writers into particular artistic movements for context, to show how each individual writer reflected the period in which he/she lived. This adds new depth and fecundity to a writer’s work that the average reader would not have been able to discern before. But critics also show how a writer may have moved away from particular movements in literature and began to look forward by developing their style and focus in new ways. Here critics can show the importance of a writer where previously that writer was ignored (eg. Melville, after Moby Dick, readers shunned his work and wasn’t until the early twentieth century that critics began to show how ahead of his time he was.)

    I do not think critics are justifiable to categorize writers in terms of a particular school of thought like idealism, romanticism, classicism and criticize them thinking that they do not write in compliance with a particular model.
    Critics use these categories to show readers the broad arc of literature when discussing writers in a historical sense. It is in no way a hierarchical system which demeans or debases a writer’s work. Critics do not dislike a writer’s work for not being in compliance with a particular school of thought’s form. They praise original style and ways of thinking. If you read enough literary criticism, you would know that.

    When it comes to reading, let readers decide on his own without letting critics
    shape his reading, that means to say, critics at times comment upon books or on a piece of art. At times all they do is they simply say that they lack this thing or that thing.
    Critics try to determine what a writer was attempting to convey and make a judgement on how well that writer accomplishes that goal. They have to have high standards. If they judged literature wholly at the standards of the general reading population, then the mediocre would be seen as great, and the great would be shunned.

    It is the readers who can judge, not the citic the beauty or the profindity of a book.
    That’s totally and utterly dubious. It’s been well recorded that readers as a mass group have a notorious reputation for judging what’s best. This is why critics get such a hard time from people like your self. Critics are disliked for scorning what the reading public considers great even when it isn’t. Just look at what Harold Bloom has had to put up with ever since he slammed the Harry Potter for having a prose style filled to the brim with clichés.

    If you read as much literary criticism as I have, you would know how it can greatly broaden your tastes in literature and make you more able to articulate your opinions in a lucid and, ultimately, self-developing manner.
    Last edited by Lambert; 09-18-2007 at 12:29 PM.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    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.

    This idea you have about immortal writers and texts is actually a very Romantic notion itself, which highlights the point I would like to make - it is impossible to escape what you call "literary theory." Do not let it spoil literature for you, but don't hold silly objections either; if the "classics" are as good as you say then you don't have to worry about them being ruined, they can withstand it.

  7. #22
    Registered User Ranoo's Avatar
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  8. #23
    Lead me in the Dark farnoosh's Avatar
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    something that spoils my reading is my sister. when she comes home she opens the hose of water in the garden and because i didn't go down and say hi to her she pours the water from my window on to me!!and my books get wet!!
    i like too read ON my desk in front of my window but when my sister (negin) comes along the alarms ring to get away!
    Her heart is played like well worn strings; in her eyes the sadness sings; of one who was destined for better things.

  9. #24
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    the things that spoils your reading is the breaking of your concentration!

  10. #25
    Lead me in the Dark farnoosh's Avatar
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    maybe..but still sometimes i like it
    Her heart is played like well worn strings; in her eyes the sadness sings; of one who was destined for better things.

  11. #26
    Thinking...thinking! dramasnot6's Avatar
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    Too much homework! Gah! Everytime I sit down for a pleasure read I feel guilty and get a mini stress attack. Thank goodness for compulsory reading for Lit class...but still....
    I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.


    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

  12. #27
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    Many of the responses to the original question were quite good, especially those of Lambert and Nick Rubashov.
    Obviously, we should read the original works first, and then if we want clarification we can go to the critics for more insight. But it also true that literary criticism as its own genre can be valuable and entertaining in its own right.
    This Literature Network Forum and its various topics is so addictive! So many fine minds contribute to it. I feel fortunate to be able to participate in my tiny way.

  13. #28
    Registered User Takeahnase's Avatar
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    Noisy neighbours! There's nothing quite as annoying as settling down with a nice book to be whisked off to some far away setting/period, only to instead find yourself disturbed by the sudden start up of thump-thump-thump bursting forth from next door's stereo (which usually ensues for a number of hours therefrom)...

    Also, studying a piece of writing just ruins the joy of reading, for me. I do know a small handful of people who find it doesn't detract anything from their reading enjoyment or for whom it greatly enhances the experience, as it opens up new paths of thought or paves the way for new discussions/introduces them to hidden depths of the novel etc. but it really does drain away most of the magic when I'm forced to analyse every line of a text or spend countless hours searching for hidden themes, symbols or what have you... I prefer to be swept along by the story naturally and perhaps leave some things to mystery or at least more open to different possibilities of which I'll come to in my own time. I think there's a great danger in over-thinking, over-analysing things... tends to spoil the adventure.

    At the moment, I'm hurriedly trying to work my way through Dickens' Hard Times before we launch into class discussions. May as well get going with it whilst I still have the motivation! I'd just like to let it soak in first and enjoy the story for what it is before peeling back the layers and becoming immersed in the more critical side of things. Though, that said, with many poems and plays (for instance, we're currently doing Hamlet at college) I do find my classes essential for my understanding of what's going on as I'm not very familiar with Shakespeare or such like at all, as of yet. Perhaps as I begin to get my head around it all it may just ignite a passion in me to read some of his other works... on the other hand, it might just put me off, as with the novels I've previously been required to study... we shall see.
    Last edited by Takeahnase; 09-17-2007 at 03:22 PM.
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  14. #29
    The Word is Serendipitous Lote-Tree's Avatar
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    Things that spoil the joy of reading?

    Writers! ;-)
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    Some letter of that After-life to spell:
    And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
    And answer'd "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell :"


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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    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.
    ...
    To prevent a spoiler of the kind I never read anything about the book before I start... I just open it at the beginning and start reading. If I like it - ok, if I sense something interesting in the first several pages - perfect. Rarely do boring openings prove to grow into books worth reading.

    Of course, when I was studying English literature I had to read the critics, and all their complex and ponderous musings but I tried to do it after I already had an opinion and just compared...
    Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow.

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