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Thread: Literature Ramble

  1. #211
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Well, if Shakespeare had left England at 22, he would not likely have become our Shakespeare. The same goes for Whitman and America. Both men appeared at critical historical moments and remade their nations' linguistic cultures. In Whitman's case, the moment was the American Civil War, a time when boys who had never left their farms discovered the geographic enormity of America, and brought their ways of speaking and thinking together. Whitman was in a special position to receive this as a volunteer nurse during the war and afterwards as an interviewer of former Confederates. The vast nation was brining its ideas and language to him, and it was his genius to hear and to render--to forge what he received into an American English future generations. Melville was also reflecting language he heard, but he lacked Whitman's vantage point and (perhaps) his scope of vision. But as I said before, Melville for his daring, Whitman for his genius.

    Shakespeare, of course, appeared at the "Tudor moment" (as it were), when England was establishing itself as a nation state primarily. Since we know next to nothing about his life, it is difficult to say more, but his uncanny ability to think like a soldier, a lover, a man, a woman, a prince, a truant, a killer, a drunkard, a "vile politician", an aging magician, etc., suggest a man who knew what he was talking about. But I suspect Shakespeare was a literary genius who had to make a living, and that meant knowing his audience, or at least their self-perceptions, as well as he knew himself. Actor's have to see through other eyes, right? Those are almost always English eyes (even in plays set in Europe). And could an actor who left England at 22 have pulled that off?

    Cervantes did not write at a "Tudor moment" exactly, but at a time when the reality of New Spain was (ironically and retroactively) giving birth to the theoretical notion of an old Spain. I suppose Cervantes was like Whitman in that he received the language of old Spain (via balladry from the Reconquista) and rendered into something new. But I don't read Spanish and confess my ignorance . I haven't even read Don Quixote in translation since college. I'm more of a Tom Jones man.

    Anyway, my point is not that Joyce did not have something important to say about Ireland, even though he spent only a fraction of his life there and his books focused on Dublin. Joyce did live at an "Irish moment"--he (and his father) were both Irish Nationalists, and his writings have become part of Irish identity. My point was that Joyce's broader authority as the Irish "poster boy" in Europe was based on racialist thinking (He's ethnically Irish so he must know what he's talking about--that sort of thing). It's an important concern the Irish who didn't emigrate still had to deal with the things Joyce was fleeing: the sad history of the Troubles, for example, and the austerity of Irish Catholicism--which are also part of Irish identity. So Joyce as authoritative because of his DNA doesn't really work. But then I'm skeptical of icons.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Look at the romans (and the greeks, we even think them as a single culture, classical culture of all the things! There could be anything less classical than greeks with their tribal concerns, petty cities rivalirities, obscure religious mash-ups, rough cultural experimentation? And even romans, you think classical and you basically think of Virgil (literature wise) and some vague mix-up of the good emperors periods, even if they were appart by centuries. Virgil was sucking balls of a dinasty that didnt last a century after his death, the guy had no idea who Jesus was, and well, this dinasty, lets be frank, went fast out of the highway and hardly resemble the kind of public man Augustus was. Yet, there is. Virgil and his heroic ethos is everything roman.
    The Classical was originally thought of as an aesthetic--power through simplicity of form, that sort of thing. We use use a similar concept when we speak of Classical music (as opposed to Romantic or Baroque). Greeks of the Classical period were probably guilty of Classicism in that general way--at least the sculptors and architects were. The "Greco-Roman" identification is really a product of 2nd century Antonine Philhellenism--when even the Roman emperors needed to grow beards and read Plato. But both terms are more or less functional as broad designators of western antiquity--as long as you don't take them too seriously. I mean, they're no worse than Medieval.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I guess, in case of literature, it is about language in the end. All those national guys, novels, poems, plays, turn out to be part of the day-to-day language.
    It's about language because language gives ideas their home. "Nationalist guys" like Melville and Whitman give people homes to live in and ships to sail in. European wannabes like Poe give them strange and beautiful edifices that on closer examination turn out to be marble tombs.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Now, think about what right Sophia Loren has to be an authority on what an italian woman should be and things get fishy...
    Sophia Loren? Isn't she First Lady? ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    yeah, but that is a bias you choose. It is not something odd, you may question every male author writting about a female. You can (and should question) when we assume this given author is more an authority about women than women writers, this role thing is all over now and well, ethics and aesthetics are two different things.
    It seems to me that sex and ethnicity need to be approached somewhat differently. If an Irishwoman named Joyce James left Ireland at 22, there might or might not be some question about her later authenticity as Irish--but it would not affect her authenticity as a woman. Still I agree with you that a member of one sex does not carry the same level of authority when writing in the persona of another, especially if writing about the experience of the sex.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I see this a lot among young brazilian writers, under influence of X american/english best-seller (be Tolkien, Rowling, Martin, King or watever worst) to write stories in england or united states. Many even claim to make research, sure, but how far they can go and find a genuine voice. The best of them would be sniffed by you from miles as not genuine, I am sure.
    The best should be able to write in a way that small mistakes could be scrubbed by an editor. The problem, of course is that such erode realism. But they are more funny than anything else. (See my review of Ian McEwan's The Innocent).

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    When they found out Jesuits were teaching natives here to read and even coming with a dialect mixing portuguese with their language to teach the bible, the portuguese went all dom quixote against windmills and screwed the jesuits, persecuted the natives and forbid the use of any language but portuguese here.
    Yes, I know about the Jesuit missions and the fate of the poor Indians who trusted them. Really heartbreaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    and this leads to one thing: we are very musical.
    Well, I'll say this for Portuguese: its rich assonance gives it a sweet, romantic quality when crooned. And since it's not a Germanic language, the consonants aren't as harsh as in some languages. So it's good for a certain kind of love song. Also good for Jazz, in which the instruments can be doing the less sentimental work in any case. Jazz singing has never been that heady.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    The african heritage pretty much create a variety of musical styles and expressions (pretty much like they did over there with jazz and blues). Popular music was everywhere and it happened that our modernists were very interessed in creating a national identidy that mixed the 3 heritages together (africans, europeans, the natives), so they embraced popular culture. Even our best classical composer went traveling to learn and use props and sounds not used in europe, etc. And since the tradional poetry in portugal and here was preserved in popular forms, the musicians had a good source for lyrics and even some poetic knowledge. So, lots of popular poets became famous with music and lots of musics became famous as poets, reading or not.
    Sounds like a healthy conservation of culture. I say with some affection (and not a little shame) that most of what I know about Brazil you have taught me. What I have heard up here is that Brazil is a place with vast resources and great potential but that it has historically lacked a unified sense of itself. Maybe that's not such a valid position after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    So, when Vinicius and Tom Jobim started to partner, they are kind like following a tradition here. There was a demand for good lyrics. They werent exactly popular, but middle guys guys in a urban setting, but they knew it and they raised the bar. While Bossa Nova is a genre more sophisticated, it is widely respected and many of their songs are widely popular (Garota de Ipanema is probally the most played brazilian music of all time) and Vinicius was a easy going guy, that liked to sit at the beach, drink bear, watch the sunset and girls in bikini, so nobody disliked him. (he also have a big production for kids, so everyone know him early).
    Ah The Girl from Ipanema. I remember her well, or I remember at least an English language version with Joao Gilbralto, Antonio Jobim, and American saxophonist Stan Getz. The lyrics were sung by Gilberto's wife (who I think later left him for Getz). That song is a bit of a cliche these days, but personally I like it. Gilberto's wife was a little hesitant with the English, which gives her voice a slightly shy quality that complements the sexy intent of the song nicely (that was what men liked at the time in any case). And Getz's breathy sax is like a masculine response to what she's singing. But the music was later overplayed--as elevator music and that sort of thing--and it got an unfair reputation for being kind of mindless. But you can still close your eyes and see the girl when you hear it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Their influece was huge and our music was powerful enough, with this huge focus in good lyrics, until the 70's. The dictadorship persecution of artists and their meddling in our education system made the damage and left us open for taking exactly when MTV was raising. By the 80's the brazilian popular music was taken by rock/pop bands who seemed like copies of punk/new wave bands and the
    rest is history...
    Yes, MTV, where you no longer need to close your eyes to see the girl. And the song is only an advertisement for itself. And the girl is gyrating her *ss and thrusting her pelvis because she's part of what your being sold. So--TV, then cable/MTV, then the Internet, then nihilism and narcissism on an international scale. Maybe Nietzsche was right about the Last Man.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-10-2018 at 10:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, if Shakespeare had left England at 22, he would not likely have become our Shakespeare. The same goes for Whitman and America. Both men appeared at critical historical moments and remade their nations' linguistic cultures. In Whitman's case, the moment was the American Civil War, a time when boys who had never left their farms discovered the geographic enormity of America, and brought their ways of speaking and thinking together. Whitman was in a special position to receive this as a volunteer nurse during the war and afterwards as an interviewer of former Confederates. The vast nation was brining its ideas and language to him, and it was his genius to hear and to render--to forge what he received into an American English future generations. Melville was also reflecting language he heard, but he lacked Whitman's vantage point and (perhaps) his scope of vision. But as I said before, Melville for his daring, Whitman for his genius.

    Shakespeare, of course, appeared at the "Tudor moment" (as it were), when England was establishing itself as a nation state primarily. Since we know next to nothing about his life, it is difficult to say more, but his uncanny ability to think like a soldier, a lover, a man, a woman, a prince, a truant, a killer, a drunkard, a "vile politician", an aging magician, etc., suggest a man who knew what he was talking about. But I suspect Shakespeare was a literary genius who had to make a living, and that meant knowing his audience, or at least their self-perceptions, as well as he knew himself. Actor's have to see through other eyes, right? Those are almost always English eyes (even in plays set in Europe). And could an actor who left England at 22 have pulled that off?

    Cervantes did not write at a "Tudor moment" exactly, but at a time when the reality of New Spain was (ironically and retroactively) giving birth to the theoretical notion of an old Spain. I suppose Cervantes was like Whitman in that he received the language of old Spain (via balladry from the Reconquista) and rendered into something new. But I don't read Spanish and confess my ignorance . I haven't even read Don Quixote in translation since college. I'm more of a Tom Jones man.
    Yeah, of course People are who they are, which means, a product of their time and circunstances. But they certainly are not everyone in their country.

    Anyway, my point is not that Joyce did not have something important to say about Ireland, even though he spent only a fraction of his life there and his books focused on Dublin. Joyce did live at an "Irish moment"--he (and his father) were both Irish Nationalists, and his writings have become part of Irish identity. My point was that Joyce's broader authority as the Irish "poster boy" in Europe was based on racialist thinking (He's ethnically Irish so he must know what he's talking about--that sort of thing). It's an important concern the Irish who didn't emigrate still had to deal with the things Joyce was fleeing: the sad history of the Troubles, for example, and the austerity of Irish Catholicism--which are also part of Irish identity. So Joyce as authoritative because of his DNA doesn't really work. But then I'm skeptical of icons.
    In the end, nobody can be the only authority about an entire country, no matter why. Funny thing, in a footbal forum there was a thread about the french football team. You may look the amount of players with african descendency there and a guy (with an obvious nationalist-racist view) complaining they do not represent the french nation, since less than 10% of french population is made of citzens with african descendency. That is in the end irrelevant, Joyce or the french players didn't choose to be the icon, it us that placed them up there.


    The Classical was originally thought of as an aesthetic--power through simplicity of form, that sort of thing. We use use a similar concept when we speak of Classical music (as opposed to Romantic or Baroque). Greeks of the Classical period were probably guilty of Classicism in that general way--at least the sculptors and architects were. The "Greco-Roman" identification is really a product of 2nd century Antonine Philhellenism--when even the Roman emperors needed to grow beards and read Plato. But both terms are more or less functional as broad designators of western antiquity--as long as you don't take them too seriously. I mean, they're no worse than Medieval.
    Yes, but obviously when someone think of rome, the classical representations of greece and rome domain. Nobody is classical for 6 centuries. People would go mad.


    It's about language because language gives ideas their home. "Nationalist guys" like Melville and Whitman give people homes to live in and ships to sail in. European wannabes like Poe give them strange and beautiful edifices that on closer examination turn out to be marble tombs.
    Marble tombs are a sort of house, no?

    Yes, but those vallues cling in the culture and remain there because of that. Sometimes it make no sense, is there anyone less German than Goethe? Or less Jew than Jesus? Yet, obviously they are both very german and jewish, or they would be impossible, we just choose to pick with iconography is more relvant. Or better, we pick but this choice is often made by history flow.

    It seems to me that sex and ethnicity need to be approached somewhat differently. If an Irishwoman named Joyce James left Ireland at 22, there might or might not be some question about her later authenticity as Irish--but it would not affect her authenticity as a woman. Still I agree with you that a member of one sex does not carry the same level of authority when writing in the persona of another, especially if writing about the experience of the sex.
    Yes, they are not the same thing, even because the kind of prejudice based on gender do not alienate women from a culture, rather alienated them inside that culture. Etnicy tries to keep the members of "other races" in their own living room. It is silly to consider one voice to be a voice of millions, even more when there is plenty of representive examples to be also followed. (With all honesty, I always faced Yeats "to be more irish" than Joyce, even if both have in their work something of that flowing language which made the voice distinct from english authors and for example, from Oscar Wilde, but obviously your experience is different and more "qualified" than mine).


    The best should be able to write in a way that small mistakes could be scrubbed by an editor. The problem, of course is that such erode realism. But they are more funny than anything else. (See my review of Ian McEwan's The Innocent).
    Saddly, this new generation equates the work of an editor as something doing by evil agents prone to to disrrupt their creativity and artistic freedom... people copying J.K.Rowling, a clear product of those power

    Yes, I know about the Jesuit missions and the fate of the poor Indians who trusted them. Really heartbreaking.
    In this case, the Jesuits were more "victim" when they went down from grace in europe and the kings started to try to control the education system. Not that jesuits view was exactly the best, but the mission in São Paulo, where most of this happened, was slighty benign compared to the missions in south, near Argentina and Paraguay, where the natives were trully explored.

    Well, I'll say this for Portuguese: its rich assonance gives it a sweet, romantic quality when crooned. And since it's not a Germanic language, the consonants aren't as harsh as in some languages. So it's good for a certain kind of love song. Also good for Jazz, in which the instruments can be doing the less sentimental work in any case. Jazz singing has never been that heady.
    Yes, it is a very classical language, with definied structure and really suited for some melody.

    Sounds like a healthy conservation of culture. I say with some affection (and not a little shame) that most of what I know about Brazil you have taught me. What I have heard up here is that Brazil is a place with vast resources and great potential but that it has historically lacked a unified sense of itself. Maybe that's not such a valid position after all.
    Well, considering since the independcy there is little territorial change (we lost Uruguay in a war, which make sense as they spoke spanish) and took Acre from Bolívia (and most of people there talked portuguese), despite the variety expected in a country with this size and ethinic formation. What Brazil lacks in this sense (the sense of itself) is more relative to geopolitics, despite our size, the "colonial behaviour" still present, the whole mindset that europe/usa is better is rarely absent. Happens with World Cups, but even so, this is fading...

    Ah The Girl from Ipanema. I remember her well, or I remember at least an English language version with Joao Gilbralto, Antonio Jobim, and American saxophonist Stan Getz. The lyrics were sung by Gilberto's wife (who I think later left him for Getz). That song is a bit of a cliche these days, but personally I like it. Gilberto's wife was a little hesitant with the English, which gives her voice a slightly shy quality that complements the sexy intent of the song nicely (that was what men liked at the time in any case). And Getz's breathy sax is like a masculine response to what she's singing. But the music was later overplayed--as elevator music and that sort of thing--and it got an unfair reputation for being kind of mindless. But you can still close your eyes and see the girl when you hear it.
    Like the poems that are very representative, this music represents well an attitude: the carioca love for the beach, women and good evenings with friends enjoying some drinking. It was a symbol of Rio de Janeiro for so long, now a remind of that time that swetter, with less crimes and all.

    Yes, MTV, where you no longer need to close your eyes to see the girl. And the song is only an advertisement for itself. And the girl is gyrating her *ss and thrusting her pelvis because she's part of what your being sold. So--TV, then cable/MTV, then the Internet, then nihilism and narcissism on an international scale. Maybe Nietzsche was right about the Last Man.
    Right was Huxley and his distopya made of mass consume. MTV managed to put punk rock in a plastic bag to sell. Really, one of the most damaging things of the last decades culture wise and look that they only arrived here by the end of 80's.
    #foratemer

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, of course People are who they are, which means, a product of their time and circunstances. In the end, nobody can be the only authority about an entire country, no matter why. Funny thing, in a footbal forum there was a thread about the french football team. You may look the amount of players with african descendency there and a guy (with an obvious nationalist-racist view) complaining they do not represent the french nation, since less than 10% of french population is made of citzens with african descendency. That is in the end irrelevant, Joyce or the french players didn't choose to be the icon, it us that placed them up there.
    Well, I didn't do it. And I'm pretty sure you didn't either. And I won't accuse Joyce of self-promotion, although I doubt he much resisted playing the Irishman to the European literary elites. The ugly truth is that racialism was a fairly normal way of looking at things in the early 20th century.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Nobody is classical for 6 centuries. People would go mad.
    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, [Portuguese] is a very classical language
    And so, without recourse to racism, we have determined the reason Brazilians are crazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, but those vallues cling in the culture and remain there because of that. Sometimes it make no sense, is there anyone less German than Goethe? Or less Jew than Jesus? Yet, obviously they are both very german and jewish, or they would be impossible, we just choose to pick with iconography is more relvant.
    Was Jesus both Jewish and not Jewish? No, he was a Jewish radical in a well established Prophetic tradition. He does not seem Jewish today because modern Judaism differs significantly from Second Temple Judaism (and because of two millennia of propaganda from gentile Christianity).

    Goethe I'll have to take your word on (although German identity is a notorious can of worms). It is notable, I suppose, that Nietzsche had a generally low opinion of Germans (something his proto-Nazi sister conveniently edited out of The Will to Power). But then Nietzsche had a low opinion of most people, or rather he didn't distinguish most from "the herd". But was he both German and not German? No, he was a German.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Or better, we pick but this choice is often made by history flow.
    Well, someone's doing the picking, and I don't think it's history's flow. The whole concept smacks of propaganda, as Andy Warhol understood perfectly well when he popularized it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    In this case, the Jesuits were more "victim" when they went down from grace in europe and the kings started to try to control the education system. Not that jesuits view was exactly the best, but the mission in São Paulo, where most of this happened, was slighty benign compared to the missions in south, near Argentina and Paraguay, where the natives were trully explored.
    I was thinking of the Indian converts in the Jesuit lands abutting Argentina and Paraguay. They had been somewhat protected by Spanish Jesuits during a long period of conversion and education, but when the area was ceded to Portugal in the mid-18th century, other Europeans sold them into slavery. It's just heartbreaking to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    What Brazil lacks in this sense (the sense of itself) is more relative to geopolitics, despite our size, the "colonial behaviour" still present, the whole mindset that europe/usa is better is rarely absent. Happens with World Cups, but even so, this is fading...
    So the question becomes what is rising while that is fading. My opinion is that Brazil ought to be proud to be Brazil. I'm not sure BRICS is the way, but that's for Brazilians to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Right was Huxley and his distopya made of mass consume. MTV managed to put punk rock in a plastic bag to sell. Really, one of the most damaging things of the last decades culture wise and look that they only arrived here by the end of 80's.
    Huxley got a lot of his ideas from Nietzsche. An important change is that the World State in Brave New World is controlled by a few oligarchs who are in effect enslaving everyone else. Most of the slaves are happy about it (or can be made happy), but ultimately someone else is doing it to them. But the Last Man's psychology (which is otherwise similar) is self-enslaving: "No herdsman and one herd." Huxley's slaves, however pathetic, are ultimately victims of the pleasure principle. But Nietzsche's slaves are dangerous: their hedonism leaves them unfulfilled, and they live to bring others down with them. These sound like the punks (and especially the cyber-kiddies), so perhaps Nietzsche was the better prognosticator. But perhaps if Huxley were writing now the World Staters would have worshipped Zuckerberg instead of Ford.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, I didn't do it. And I'm pretty sure you didn't either. And I won't accuse Joyce of self-promotion, although I doubt he much resisted playing the Irishman to the European literary elites. The ugly truth is that racialism was a fairly normal way of looking at things in the early 20th century.
    Well, we do not do it straightfowardly, but let's face it, both you and me choose to follow/consume a literary culture that has Joyce as a central figure. I, for once, like a lot about what he wrote and read from his children story, finnegans, exiles, poems. The guy talent is imense. But we would not even read, we kind support this "literary tradition" and when we do it, Joyce is supported, either we or other read him or not (A strong tradition is the one that survives even if ignored). So, in a way we "do "it. Albeit, I know not in the way you mean, making him be the cornerstone is irishism in the world.


    And so, without recourse to racism, we have determined the reason Brazilians are crazy.
    Hah! But that is portuguese the language as Camões defined long ago. In Brazil there must be 2 or 3 states that use it like Portugal. In my state, for example, we basically ended with the second person (not meaning we do not have dialogue directly with someone, meaning all the verbal modes from second person were gone and we use the third person) and we speak fast, like an arab or maybe irishman, with a lot of orality, eating sylabes and mixing words. No wonder, the "brazilian joyce", Guimarães Rosa is from here and he wrote using a local portuguese that we have trouble to figure out until we start to recite it out loud and hear the words. Brazilians are quite baroque sometimes.


    Was Jesus both Jewish and not Jewish? No, he was a Jewish radical in a well established Prophetic tradition. He does not seem Jewish today because modern Judaism differs significantly from Second Temple Judaism (and because of two millennia of propaganda from gentile Christianity).
    But we are talking about icons, right? Of course, Jesus was quite jewish or as jewish as he could be. But, not only because of the changes in Judaism, but because he was "adapted" beyond blue eyes to Europe.

    Goethe I'll have to take your word on (although German identity is a notorious can of worms). It is notable, I suppose, that Nietzsche had a generally low opinion of Germans (something his proto-Nazi sister conveniently edited out of The Will to Power). But then Nietzsche had a low opinion of most people, or rather he didn't distinguish most from "the herd". But was he both German and not German? No, he was a German.
    Goethe had this world-wide idea of universal culture and not some specific nationalist culture that took place in the Germany formation. Schiller was more like this, but Goethe never had a saying: he was in the end german enough to not be a german symbol of culture. Like Kant. Kant the german is also a Kant that is rather universal. Nietzche was of course a very inch a son of Schopenhauer. Albeit Schopenhauer was a funnier grump man, so it was hard to misundertand him to create nazi philosophy. But let's give Nietzche a break, he had an awesome moustache.



    Well, someone's doing the picking, and I don't think it's history's flow. The whole concept smacks of propaganda, as Andy Warhol understood perfectly well when he popularized it.
    I think propaganda is more those mills that make some of the water run over and over in the same place before joining Heraclitus metaphor. The river is there however and there is stuff that neither you or I (Or our culture) can change about it. That is something the post-colonial critics never got right, it is not a decision of actual white bald men that make so many white man from the past is read, things were done in many ways before. No matter how great we discover a new tradition, the one that lead us from virgil to dante will still be there, great as it is.


    I was thinking of the Indian converts in the Jesuit lands abutting Argentina and Paraguay. They had been somewhat protected by Spanish Jesuits during a long period of conversion and education, but when the area was ceded to Portugal in the mid-18th century, other Europeans sold them into slavery. It's just heartbreaking to think about.
    Yes, like in the Mission movie from 1986. Those are Brazilian south (albeit of course similar stuff). The point is Jesuits education was also preventing the exploration of natives as slaves. Another point is that, when Spain and Portugal split the new world, Brazil was quite smaller. Since there was no imediate gold here, Spain and Portugal didn't mind it much and let the colonies in jesuit lands. So, to add the persectuion to the jesuits that happened, those in the south, near Paraguay and Argentina were spaniards, so, they didn't had the option "return to europe", they were massacrated and the natives that were by their side too. It is not like Jesuits were always "good hearts" , Voltaire will never let you think it, but rather... Portugal wasn't trying to do something in the place, so took their out. They had no plan. They just didnt want anything to grow there and one day be a risk.


    So the question becomes what is rising while that is fading. My opinion is that Brazil ought to be proud to be Brazil. I'm not sure BRICS is the way, but that's for Brazilians to say.
    Of course, albeit this pride manifestation became ridiculous. Brazil of course can do what he needs to do, no other country but USA managed to host in 2 years a World Cup and Olympics with sucess like we did, despite all negativity that was expected. No other country would let all facilities build for olympics be wasted in 2 years like we did as well. Well...

    BRICS were a way, but the cup that happened in 2014 sadly is motivated by international interference (mostly american, but not only) and the backlash have been a sell out of brazilian resources and destruction of self-esteem to counter the 2002-2014 period with a big economic growth and also international boasts of confidance. Right now, we would be unable to host a boy scout meeting.


    Huxley got a lot of his ideas from Nietzsche. An important change is that the World State in Brave New World is controlled by a few oligarchs who are in effect enslaving everyone else. Most of the slaves are happy about it (or can be made happy), but ultimately someone else is doing it to them. But the Last Man's psychology (which is otherwise similar) is self-enslaving: "No herdsman and one herd." Huxley's slaves, however pathetic, are ultimately victims of the pleasure principle. But Nietzsche's slaves are dangerous: their hedonism leaves them unfulfilled, and they live to bring others down with them. These sound like the punks (and especially the cyber-kiddies), so perhaps Nietzsche was the better prognosticator. But perhaps if Huxley were writing now the World Staters would have worshipped Zuckerberg instead of Ford.
    Yeah. Huxley was basically, coming from a intelectual family and all, afraid of masses and how they would make everyone "average" and all the communist thing. He was writing a book against this communism (albeit it was a weird communism, of course, he had no notion of the strugles like Orwell for example had). I guess in the end, for some motive, the book lead him to discover some worst things to fear. Or just that in a liberal world an intelectual like him would never be welcome and at home and the XX century would really belong to the masses. A good insight, because only with Nazis social sciences would be interessed in mass culture and consume to understand the mechanisms of social control that it implies and he "felt" it before. But in in the end, he was a bit afraid for himself having to read penny dreadfuls instead of Trackeray. (I have no idea if he liked Trackeray, I guess he was more "continental" about his tastes).
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Well, we do not do it straightfowardly, but let's face it, both you and me choose to follow/consume a literary culture that has Joyce as a central figure. I, for once, like a lot about what he wrote and read from his children story, finnegans, exiles, poems. The guy talent is imense. But we would not even read, we kind support this "literary tradition" and when we do it, Joyce is supported, either we or other read him or not (A strong tradition is the one that survives even if ignored). So, in a way we "do "it.
    Face it, we are not collectively guilty of things that happened before we were born. Not with Joyce anyway. And Original Sin is probably just a metaphor for natural selection (or maybe something like the Wille zum Leben, since we talk about Schopenhauer later).

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Albeit, I know not in the way you mean, making him be the cornerstone is irishism in the world.
    Well, you were the one who called him a poster boy. I just meant that some awarded him that so-called icon status for his DNA rather than his adult experience of Irish life. But we are probably beating a dead horse at this point. Yes, Joyce was a giant--one especially important for his advancement of the common man in literature. I haven't read nearly enough of him.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Hah! But that is portuguese the language as Camões defined long ago. In Brazil there must be 2 or 3 states that use it like Portugal. In my state, for example, we basically ended with the second person (not meaning we do not have dialogue directly with someone, meaning all the verbal modes from second person were gone and we use the third person) and we speak fast, like an arab or maybe irishman, with a lot of orality, eating sylabes and mixing words.
    Interesting. So instead of saying, "How are you?" you would say "How is he?" That's not too different, I suppose, from saying "How's my brother?" (as I sometimes say to mine). My Taiwan in-laws use the 3rd person instead of the first, but only in situations of familial closeness. So I might say: "Your elder sister's husband [that's me] is leaving now." In American English, we mostly do that when talking with a child: "Grandma is so happy to see you!"--that sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    No wonder, the "brazilian joyce", Guimarães Rosa is from here and he wrote using a local portuguese that we have trouble to figure out until we start to recite it out loud and hear the words. Brazilians are quite baroque sometimes.
    Yeah, I'm that way with Chaucer. I can understand about 60%-70% of what he's saying by ear (even if I have to read him out loud and listen to my voice for the meaning), but understand much less if I only look at the text. Shakespeare I can just read, but I usually read him out loud anyway, just for the glory of hearing his words.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Nietzche was of course a very inch a son of Schopenhauer.
    Well in some ways, Nietzsche would have been a weird old crank (albeit a smart one) without having Schopenhauer for a foundation. But he failed to follow Schopenhauer's magnificent pessimism, and that's important. Nietzsche actually believes that humans (at least some) can make themselves godlike in the absence of God, and they can do this through self and will. But Schopenhauer knows about human will --what it wants and where it leads. In fact, for him, the herd is enslaved to will. He agrees that only a few remarkable individuals are able to permanently escape the common predicament, but only through an asceticism that (he says) must eventually give way to mysticism. In other words, Schopenhauer ends up prescribing the things Nietzsche sought to purge in The Antichrist (although a rather Asiatic version of them). So yes, a son, but in some ways a bad son.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Albeit Schopenhauer was a funnier grump man, so it was hard to misundertand him to create nazi philosophy.
    True. When he was a grouchy old man in Frankfurt, the local children are supposed to have nicknamed his poodle "Mrs Schopenhauer." But Schopenhauer could not have been mistaken for a Nazi. He was too pessimistic for the idea of a master race. And he was just too--Schopenhauer? I mean he was too honest for that sort of self-aggrandizing bullsh*t.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    But let's give Nietzche a break, he had an awesome moustache.
    Agreed. :-$ I wonder how the guy even brushed his teeth.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Brazil of course can do what he needs to do, no other country but USA managed to host in 2 years a World Cup and Olympics with sucess like we did, despite all negativity that was expected. No other country would let all facilities build for olympics be wasted in 2 years like we did as well. Well...
    Well, if it's any consolation, I think most of them end up like that. The Olympics are a big, short-term infusion of money that never much gets to the people and that leaves these crumbling ghost town villages in its wake. Olympic ruins. It would make an interesting photo essay.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah. Huxley was basically, coming from a intelectual family and all, afraid of masses and how they would make everyone "average" and all the communist thing. He was writing a book against this communism (albeit it was a weird communism, of course, he had no notion of the strugles like Orwell for example had). I guess in the end, for some motive, the book lead him to discover some worst things to fear. Or just that in a liberal world an intelectual like him would never be welcome and at home and the XX century would really belong to the masses. A good insight, because only with Nazis social sciences would be interessed in mass culture and consume to understand the mechanisms of social control that it implies and he "felt" it before. But in in the end, he was a bit afraid for himself having to read penny dreadfuls instead of Trackeray. (I have no idea if he liked Trackeray, I guess he was more "continental" about his tastes).
    Well yes, he obviously came from a famous family, but you will find a similar view of the masses in Nietzsche and Schopenhauer (in a certain way) and in some of the Pre-Socratics who influenced them. I think there is more to Huxley's dystopia than just Commie jitters. The World State is a consumerist oligarchy where Henry Ford is worshipped in place of Jesus (as I said, today it would be Mark Zuckerburg). Its a capitalist dystopia in that way. But I think it's mostly supposed to be the kind of society/psychology Nietzsche warns is coming: one in which the slavish herd loses themselves in a kind of hedonistic Nihilism (the world of the Last Man in Zarathustra). That is why I find Huxley's World Leaders, (including Mustafa Whatshisname) so interesting. For Nietzsche, the herd was supposed to be self-enslaving with "no shepherd". So who are they? Huxley is writing in the mid-1930s, so he is probably reflecting the genuine dystopias that existed at the time. But for me, the necessity of including these figures gives the lie in a certain way to Nietzsche's vision. What exactly happens to the self-deified few who rise above the herd? Do they go off and live in Ayn Rand's hidden mountain utopia and leave the Nihilists to their own devices? Or, since there just happens to be a surplus of inferior people... In other words, to what extent were the historical Fascists NOT mistaken in their view of Nietzsche?
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-15-2018 at 08:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Face it, we are not collectively guilty of things that happened before we were born. Not with Joyce anyway. And Original Sin is probably just a metaphor for natural selection (or maybe something like the Wille zum Leben, since we talk about Schopenhauer later).
    Ah, no guilty. We are not doing anything wrong about this. But well, I may not be the reason why Shakespeare is where he is, since he was already there before I was born. But when I look aside, what do I see? A complete works of Shakespeare that I occasionally open and read there and there when I feel like it. Dante is there also. heck, yesterday I was in a library (where I saw the nobel fever waned and a cheaper editions of Ishiguro started to pop, so I can say the bull is coming to drink in the river where the crocodile lies), and there was an edition of Joyce (Two books, Portrait and some ramblings which they gave a more marketable name, so we do not sue them) and what did I? Started to flip the pages to see what ramblings are those. When, in 100 years, people come to read this rambling they will see us being part of this literary tradition that have Joyce as one the main icons, even if do not mention his name 3 times to not summon him.

    Well, you were the one who called him a poster boy. I just meant that some awarded him that so-called icon status for his DNA rather than his experience adult experience of Irish life. But we are probably beating a dead horse at this point. Yes, Joyce was a giant--one especially important for his advancement for of common man in literature. I haven't read nearly enough of him.
    Poster boy of a image of a country with a rich literary culture (along with the others). How many time we see people talking with some admiration of Ireland with a small population but a handful of great writers, etc. As for the irishman as a whole, of course, it is more like you say. Which is a funny Joycean paradoxal "failure". He did want to represent the average irishman but he is anything but average. He never could do like Dickens (we can return to a territory of more liking, because in Many aspects Joyce was dickesean in his dealing of dublin and the many characters he found around), but since he was some weird dude, not a normal guy like Dickens, he never really managed to be as lively. His language was too extraordinary, hence i have no illusion, few read in this world, even fewer read joyce.



    Interesting. So instead of saying, "How are you?" you would say "How is he?" That's not too different, I suppose, from saying "How's my brother?" (as I sometimes say to mine). My Taiwan in-laws use the 3rd person instead of the first, but only in situations of familial closeness. So I might say: "Your elder sister's husband [that's me] is leaving now." In American English, we mostly do that when talking with a child: "Grandma is so happy to see you!"--that sort of thing.
    Kind like, because of course makes a lot of sense USA also have similar stories, both countries being colonies with continental dimensions. But it is the lines, you talk with you brother, He is fine? about your brother. And to complete, the pronoum was a new word, "você" came from the "vossa mercê", which is "Your mercy", so it is like we say "yourcy is fine?"



    Yeah, I'm that way with Chaucer. I can understand about 60%-70% of what he's saying by ear (even if I have to read him out loud and listen to my voice for the meaning), but understand much less if I only look at the text. Shakespeare I can just read, but I usually read him out loud anyway, just for the glory of hearing his words.
    Same with Chaucer here. Bewoulf was more complicated.

    The thing about Rosa is that when he published Grandes Sertões Veredas, Manuelzão and Miguilim (not sure if this was published in english with a similar name) all the strange language made people compare him to Joyce (and he had a similar perfil, able to understand several languages, etc). However, after he died, someone found a dude from the small city he was born, the guy was Manuelzão and he talked like in the book (of course, like the book pretended to be, since it was written) and it was not a language invented by Guimarães Rosa, but the way those guys (countryside cowboys, oral storytellers, I am sure you know someone similar) talked.


    Well in some ways, Nietzsche would have been a weird old crank (albeit a smart one) without having Schopenhauer for a foundation. But he failed to follow Schopenhauer's magnificent pessimism, and that's important. Nietzsche actually believes that humans (at least some) can make themselves godlike in the absence of God, and they can do this through self and will. But Schopenhauer knows about human will --what it wants and where it leads. In fact, for him, the herd is enslaved to will. He agrees that only a few remarkable individuals are able to permanently escape the common predicament, but only through an asceticism that (he says) must eventually give way to mysticism. In other words, Schopenhauer ends up prescribing the things Nietzsche sought to purge in The Antichrist (although a rather Asiatic version of them). So yes, a son, but in some ways a bad son.
    I think it is safe to say Schopenhauer is the best character dickens never created




    Well, if it's any consolation, I think most of them end up like that. The Olympics are a big, short-term infusion of money that never much gets to the people and that leaves these crumbling ghost town villages in its wake. Olympic ruins. It would make an interesting photo essay.
    Yeah, of course nobody will be able to use every sports, not even you guys. But we are talking here about even football stadiums. In Brasil.



    Well yes, he obviously came from a famous family, but you will find a similar view of the masses in Nietzsche and Schopenhauer (in a certain way) and in some of the Pre-Socratics who influenced them. I think there is more to Huxley's dystopia than just Commie jitters. The World State is a consumerist oligarchy where Henry Ford is worshipped in place of Jesus (as I said, today it would be Mark Zuckerburg). Its a capitalist dystopia in that way. But I think it's mostly supposed to be the kind of society/psychology Nietzsche warns is coming: one in which the slavish herd loses themselves in a kind of hedonistic Nihilism (the world of the Last Man in Zarathustra). That is why I find Huxley's World Leaders, (including Mustafa Whatshisname) so interesting. For Nietzsche, the herd was supposed to be self-enslaving with "no shepherd". So who are they? Huxley is writing in the mid-1930s, so he is probably reflecting the genuine dystopias that existed at the time. But for me, the necessity of including these figures gives the lie in a certain way to Nietzsche's vision. What exactly happens to the self-deified few who rise above the herd? Do they go off and live in Ayn Rand's hidden mountain utopia and leave the Nihilists to their own devices? Or, since there just happens to be a surplus of inferior people... In other words, to what extent were the historical Fascists NOT mistaken in their view of Nietzsche?
    Huxley comments about his concerns reggarding the communist ideology, I know think about it, after we talked about about Kipling and Lawrece, Huxley was one more brit and I think his fear of United States got bigger than fear of communists leveled down all culture. Anyways, have you read the Island, that book that is sold out as a return to brave new world, he wrote years after, already under the counter-culture influence and with all doors of perception open? This brave new world is a hippie paradise, there is of course the drug use, but it also goes badly kind like because of outsiders influence. The guy changed but not so much.
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Ah, no guilty. We are not doing anything wrong about this. But well, I may not be the reason why Shakespeare is where he is, since he was already there before I was born. But when I look aside, what do I see? A complete works of Shakespeare that I occasionally open and read there and there when I feel like it. Dante is there also. heck, yesterday I was in a library (where I saw the nobel fever waned and a cheaper editions of Ishiguro started to pop, so I can say the bull is coming to drink in the river where the crocodile lies), and there was an edition of Joyce (Two books, Portrait and some ramblings which they gave a more marketable name, so we do not sue them) and what did I? Started to flip the pages to see what ramblings are those. When, in 100 years, people come to read this rambling they will see us being part of this literary tradition that have Joyce as one the main icons, even if do not mention his name 3 times to not summon him.
    The Ramble won't be read in freshman literature classes for at least 1000 years. As with the story of the Giant Rat of Sumatra, the world is just not prepared. But to the point--it is not necessary to adopt the icon paradigm is to experience the western literary tradition (even as mere ramblers). I do not entirely reject it as an approach to art, although even then I find it somewhat manipulative. My IPad cover reproduces Jasper Johns' famous painting of a rather dingy American flag. I understand what he was doing. The flag is preloaded (as it were) evoke powerful emotions. It's appearing a little dirty ups the emotional ante. Some are going to be outraged at disrespect shown to an emblem for which many (maybe family members) have died. Others (like me) will find it a moving symbol for a republic that, as Whitman put it, "has weathered every wrack". Still others will approve of it as an anti-American allegory. (It was painted during the McCarthy era and remained popular during the Vietnam War protests). But in fact, it's just a painting of an old flag Johns found in a drawer somewhere.

    I think Warhol is doing something similar with his art at about the same time. So we have images from advertising or Hollywood or Communist iconography. Here's Marilyn Monroe, okay, but what happens inside you if we make her hair reptilian green or her teeth blood red? Same image, but with those (and other) changes. What does that do to her prepackaged emotional impact? What if we make Mao's face indigo blue? How about sky blue? Dark red? I get it, but it seems a bit manipulative to me. A bit superficial.

    I start to object when an image is politically prescribed and I am told how I am reacting to it (typically expressed as how "we are" reacting to it). In other words, it doesn't matter how I react because the icon is controlling the groupthink. (Many examples come to mind, but LitNetters are asked to avoid political discourse and I try to respect that). This in any case, is a bridge beyond what Warhol was doing. It is in fact a throwback to the iconic propaganda that intrigued Warhol in the first place.

    This is what I meant when I said that the icon paradigm smacks of propaganda. It also fuels the celebrity culture in which supposed icons from the sports, entertainment and other industries have "brands" that extend into the political groupthink. Are literary icons immune? Unfortunately, no. In 2014, the Man Booker Prize changed entry criteria from British, Irish, and Commonwealth authors to any Novel or book of stories from any country as long as it was published in Mother Britain (some things never change). Diversity, it was then believed, was good. But imagine the dismay of the compassionate when last year's prize was stolen by a dirty Yank--and a white male at that! How is that diverse?

    I wish I were only indulging in lame polemics. But a letter circulated by 30 publishers actually states that including American authors "risks a homogenised literary future." Did you get that? Exclusion is diversity. And according to The Guardian, iconic authors Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, and (Canadian) Margaret Atwood, along with "an overwhelming majority of the folio community" want the Man Booker Prize "to revert to admitting UK, Irish and Commonwealth writers only." Julian Barnes considers letting American authors in the club to have been "straightforward daft" in the first place. Alastair Niven, literary elite and 2014 Man Booker judge, tried to defend the decision but lacked the moral courage to do so without his own anti-American snub: "Surely we don’t want to encourage a Britain First mentality here."

    Literary celebrities have a right to political views (or they do in my country in any case), but I have to ask myself: why the uniformity and (near) unanimity of this particular bigotry? Would there be less if there weren't iconic celebrities telling everyone else what was politically expected? The only real dissenter I could find--the only icon with a backbone--was Kazuo Ishiguro. GO CROCODILE!

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Kind like, because of course makes a lot of sense USA also have similar stories, both countries being colonies with continental dimensions. But it is the lines, you talk with you brother, He is fine? about your brother. And to complete the pronoum was a new word, "você" came from the "vossa mercê", which is "Your mercy", so it is like we say "yourcy is fine?"
    Ah, well you see my brother has no mercy, so we'd be sh*t out of luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Same with Chaucer here. Bewoulf was more complicated.
    Yes, Old English is a different language. It might as well be Elfish.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think it is safe to say Schopenhauer is the best character dickens never created
    He's a character all right. My favorite atheist by far. And he's only partly that since he ends up with mysticism--talking about things like redemption and grace. He just can't see God anywhere he looks. And as far as he's concerned, he's seen past the Kantian prohibition. The nature of reality was there, and guess what? It turned out to be a blind, hungry demon. That's it. He rejects philosophy professors as much as he does priests. He sees both as more or less charlatans (especially Hegel). They'll all sing you a happy song, he says, if that's what you want. But otherwise music's nice, he says. And pets.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Huxley comments about his concerns reggarding the communist ideology, I know think about it, after we talked about about Kipling and Lawrece, Huxley was one more brit and I think his fear of United States got bigger than fear of communists leveled down all culture.
    Well, he couldn't have been too frightened of us since he emigrated (to Hollywood no less!) about the time Brave New World was published. That doesn't mean that the book wasn't inspired in part by American consumer culture (note that the savage reservation is in New Mexico), but I think it is principally a syncretism of the consumer society with Nietzsche's ideas about the future of Nihilism. As such, it is somewhat prescient (so is that part of Zarathustra). What doesn't work for me--as someone who came of age in the 1970s --is that the promiscuity he describes would not be mistaken for happiness. In that way, I think Nietzsche was closer to the truth with his notion of the herd, bored, restless, and unsatisfied, despite its addiction to pleasure. It is interesting, too, that Kierkegaard would have had no trouble recognizing this type as the vulgar aesthete, whose detachment ultimately produces only boredom and angst. Schopenhauer, oddly, was the most compassionate of the bunch. He thought boredom and angst was just the way it went.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Anyways, have you read the Island, that book that is sold out as a return to brave new world, he wrote years after, already under the counter-culture influence and with all doors of perception open? This brave new world is a hippie paradise, there is of course the drug use, but it also goes badly kind like because of outsiders influence. The guy changed but not so much.
    No, I haven't read it. I think Huxley got the future of mind-controlling drugs wrong, at least in the bourgeois democracies (the Bolsheviks used to use them until late in the Soviet period). They are of course prevalent and socially acceptable today (I mean Prozac-type drugs), but the situation is not at all what Huxley predicted--at least for the time being. I'm ambivalent about them, but I they're no dystopian nightmare.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-17-2018 at 05:55 PM.
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    Oh, I double posted.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-17-2018 at 07:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    The Ramble won't be read in freshman literature classes for at least 1000 years. As with the story of the Giant Rat of Sumatra, the world is just not prepared. But to the point--it is not necessary to adopt the icon paradigm is to experience the western literary tradition (even as mere ramblers). I do not entirely reject it as an approach to art, although even then I find it somewhat manipulative. My IPad cover reproduces Jasper Johns' famous painting of a rather dingy American flag. I understand what he was doing. The flag is preloaded (as it were) evoke powerful emotions. It's appearing a little dirty ups the emotional ante. Some are going to be outraged at disrespect shown to an emblem for which many (maybe family members) have died. Others (like me) will find it a moving symbol for a republic that, as Whitman put it, "has weathered every wrack". Still others will approve of it as an anti-American allegory. (It was painted during the McCarthy era and remained popular during the Vietnam War protests). But in fact, it's just a painting of an old flag Johns found in a drawer somewhere.
    Who knows, the original Rambler was in literature classes quite fast

    I do not think there is a problem with art working with Idols, after all most of art is about manipulation of a language and their symbols and idols work this way. It is not really a big problem that we reduce for example, Renaissance as a handful of artists - or at least the periods we do not understand well. Of course, there is not a problem when we do another approach, but when we talk about a tradition, any, it is formed by a complex web of approches. If one day you get distracted and stop think of Jesus from the religious point of view and leave just me thinking as a literary character and someone as a historical dude, all those things will probally bring up your attention again. But, well, moving aboard...

    I think Warhol is doing something similar with his art at about the same time. So we have images from advertising or Hollywood or Communist iconography. Here's Marilyn Monroe, okay, but what happens inside you if we make her hair reptilian green or her teeth blood red? Same image, but with those (and other) changes. What does that do to her prepackaged emotional impact? What if we make Mao's face indigo blue? How about sky blue? Dark red? I get it, but it seems a bit manipulative to me. A bit superficial.
    Yeah, but that is the kind of work wwith iconography that is superficial as part of the message. Religious iconography, for example, Mary multi-representations are using the icon but are multi-layered. I would also consider it manipulative, but well... We would end discussing the vallue of Duchamps fountain here and post-modernism attempts to devallue anything complex that could be only acessible to handful few. Honestly, I prefer Warhol work as rock and roll patron, he helped to give the world both Velvet Underground and Pink FLoyd (as anti-rock and roll they became) and a bit of the entire David Bowie performatic career in the end. Much better than soup cans.

    I start to object when an image is politically prescribed and I am told how I am reacting to it (typically expressed as how "we are" reacting to it). In other words, it doesn't matter I react because the icon is controlling the groupthink. (Many examples come to mind, but LitNetters are asked to avoid political discourse and I try to respect that). This in any case, is a bridge beyond what Warhol was doing. It is in fact a throwback to the iconic propaganda that intrigued Warhol in the first place.

    This is what I meant when I said that the icon paradigm smacks of propaganda. It also fuels the celebrity culture in which supposed icons from the sports, entertainment and other industries have "brands" that extend into the political groupthink. Are literary icons immune? Unfortunately, no. In 2014, the Man Booker Prize changed entry criteria from British, Irish, and Commonwealth authors to any Nobel or book of storied from any country as long as it was published in Mother Britain (some things never change). Diversity, it was then believed, was good. But imagine the dismay of the compassionate when last year's prize was stolen by a dirty Yank--and a white male at that! How that diverse?
    Well, there is no way we are not doing politics right now. Of course, there is smart politics and just manipulative politics, which is what you mean (and would be similar if you try to use our talks about Jesus to "convert" me, which would of course destroy/derail the rambling as it happens in those religious threads over there). I understand the veto to politics because most people cannot deal with controversial topics and became a routine of troll-feast, but how do we even avoid politics when something like Sistine Chappel is ultimately a political banner about Rome mighty? Anyways, I graduate in Social Communication, the specialization was propaganda (to work with it, but I am cured), so one of the things that most annoyed me was the "propaganda is art". Of course, they use movies, music, literature to reach prople. The use of icons they learnt and took from art. And since I avoid to say "art is/is not" because of the initial purpose or the naturel of the object, I can see some pieces of propaganda that achive cultural significance and impact that can be art. But mostly, the arrogance was enourmous, because most of it was empty/narrow and often a lie. Not the good artistic lie, but a blatant lie to sway people. I think it is unavodaible, the nobel is after all a promotional prize, it does not produce good art or even critical insights, it produces a shinning halo over the writer and his country head.

    I wish I were only indulging in lame polemics. But a letter circulated by 30 publishers actually states that including American authors "risks a homogenised literary future." Did you get that? Exclusion is diversity. And according to The Guardian, iconic authors Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, and (Canadian) Margaret Atwood, along with "an overwhelming majority of the folio community" want the Man Booker Prize "to revert to admitting UK, Irish and Commonwealth writers only." Julian Barnes considers letting American authors in the club to have been "straightforward daft" in the first place. Alastair Niven, literary elite and 2014 Man Booker judge, tried to defend the decision but lacked the moral courage to do so without his own anti-American snub: "Surely we don’t want to encourage a Britain First mentality here."
    I didnt paid much attention to that, but i can see, that despite the humanist view that some of those authors have, the nationalism and the barriers come to mind often. Mankind is too complex, I would even say, God is more simple with only a Trinity.

    Literary celebrities have a right to political views (or they do in my country in any case), but I have to ask myself: why the uniformity and (near) unanimity of this particular bigotry? Would there be less if there weren't iconic celebrities telling everyone else what was politically expected? The only real dissenter I could find--the only icon with a backbone--was Kazuo Ishiguro. GO CROCODILE!
    And there may be his roots talking. A man that is not exactly from one country would find weird such cultural barreir being imposed. England sometimes... They forgot their empire went overseas long ago, i guess the spirit never left them. During the world cup it was overwhelming the number of pundits moralizing the footballers performaces (you know, those guys who should never be a model of ethics and moral in first place, but of athletica performance) by their "high" standard, just to see their own National Team having sucess after a long time using all unfair play tricks, but that was called streetwise and not cheating. I suppose England identidy is something slipping thru their fingers.


    He's a character all right. My favorite atheist by far. And he's only partly that since he ends up with mysticism--talking about things like redemption and grace. He just can't see God anywhere he looks. And as far as he's concerned, he's seen past the Kantian prohibition. The nature of reality was there, and guess what? It turned out to be a blind, hungry demon. That's it. He rejects philosophy professors as much as he does priests. He sees both as more or less charlatans (especially Hegel). They'll all sing you a happy song, he says, if that's what you want. But otherwise music's nice, he says. And pets.
    Yeah, but he liked music quite a lot

    Yeah, Schopenhauer grumpism made Voltaire pessimism in a new artform. The german version is almost like Diogenes. He should have tried to live in some barrel, but I guess he would hate it... but then, what he didn't hate. He is complicated to be understood, some people see him as an ulimate elitist (ok, most great philosophers are, happens when you are great at thinking a lot)... He mistrusts any easy path/answer in such way that is amazing he didnt became a nihilist like Nietzche. I suggest that his abyss was his mother and he never wanted to became her.


    Well, he couldn't have been too frightened of us since he emigrated (to Hollywood no less!) about the time Brave New World was published. That doesn't mean that the book wasn't inspired in part by American consumer culture (note that the savage reservation is in New Mexico), but I think it is principally a syncretism of the consumer society with Nietzsche's ideas about the future of Nihilism. As such, it is somewhat prescient (so is that part of Zarathustra). What doesn't work for me--as someone who came of age in the 1970s --is that the promiscuity he describes would not be mistaken for happiness. In that way, I think Nietzsche was closer to the truth with his notion of the herd, bored, restless, and unsatisfied, despite its addiction to pleasure. It is interesting, too, that Kierkegaard would have had no trouble recognizing this type as the vulgar aesthete, whose detachment ultimately produces only boredom and angst. Schopenhauer, oddly, was the most compassionate of the bunch. He thought boredom and angst was just the way it went.
    Yeah, but the fear of his blindness was probally bigger. It is just... well, despite all, his dystopia is nice, not brutal, not violent, abuside. If you are smart and think, you are sent o Hawaii or somewhere else. And Huxley seemed to never lost his faith on progress and USA was where progress was.


    No, I haven't read it. I think Huxley got the future of mind-controlling drugs wrong, at least in the bourgeois democracies (the Bolsheviks used to use them until late in the Soviet period). They are of course prevalent and socially acceptable today (I mean Prozac-type drugs), but the situation is not at all what Huxley predicted--at least for the time being. I'm ambivalent about them, but I they're no dystopian nightmare.
    Nor is what Orwell predicted. Both had to exagerated to explain the world, Huxley drugs and the promiscuity you mentioned are off the mark by miles. But I thik SOMA can be replaced by anything that brings conformism and remove individual identidy... You can replace by Pokemon games on mobile for example (it was funny when the game was released, sundenly hordes of teen walking in parks and squares here, where they never went, heads down with their mobiles chasing pokemons, complete unaware of their surroudings. Then the local library was close by, they would enter there and ignore books... ) The idea is there.

    Of course, the thing he was more off mark, i think he noticed, was the the counter-culture that used drugs and sex with freedom a lot, were anything but conformists. The Island shows the paradise had the same tools but different means, but ended badly as well. Like I said, some changes, but not so much.
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Honestly, I prefer Warhol work as rock and roll patron, he helped to give the world both Velvet Underground and Pink FLoyd (as anti-rock and roll they became) and a bit of the entire David Bowie performatic career in the end. Much better than soup cans.
    I used to listen to Velvet Underground, especially Loaded (although I think that was post Warhol). I don't dislike Andy Warhol particularly (as I said, I get him), but I worry about where some of his ideas have led. And I liked early David Bowie--"Ziggy played git-ah"--but I gave it up with much other pop culture when the 1980s pitched up like an uninvited guest.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Well, there is no way we are not doing politics right now. Of course, there is smart politics and just manipulative politics, which is what you mean (and would be similar if you try to use our talks about Jesus to "convert" me, which would of course destroy/derail the rambling as it happens in those religious threads over there). I understand the veto to politics because most people cannot deal with controversial topics and became a routine of troll-feast, but how do we even avoid politics when something like Sistine Chappel is ultimately a political banner about Rome mighty?
    I understand it, too. Okay, maybe the moderators only show up briefly for World Cup and at Christmas, but it's still someone else's house. Better to leave our muddy boots outside. Sometimes there is some overlap between the political and literary worlds, though. And the lords of LitNet are usually cool if an intelligent political discussion discreetly breaks out (or maybe they just don't notice ). You're right about the troll factor, though. The Ramble got its first spambot the other day. Can trolls be far behind?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Anyways, I graduate in Social Communication, the specialization was propaganda (to work with it, but I am cured), so one of the things that most annoyed me was the "propaganda is art". Of course, they use movies, music, literature to reach prople. The use of icons they learnt and took from art. And since I avoid to say "art is/is not" because of the initial purpose or the naturel of the object, I can see some pieces of propaganda that achive cultural significance and impact that can be art.
    Of course. All the statues of the Roman emperors were propaganda, including great masterpieces like the Prima Porta Augustus. So too is most Mesopotamian and not a little Egyptian art. In the our age, sometime propagandists like Diego Rivera were also perfectly legitimate (and sometimes great) artists. Even scary old crap from the Soviet Union at least deserves to be preserved, as do statues of Robert E. Lee and the boys. Propaganda is good art, propaganda is bad art. What defangs it is the human intellect and morality. When that stops working is when I fuss.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I didnt paid much attention to that, but i can see, that despite the humanist view that some of those authors have, the nationalism and the barriers come to mind often. Mankind is too complex, I would even say, God is more simple with only a Trinity.
    I don't think it's a question of nationalism. The literary world is not in a very nationalistic mood these days (note the Canadian Margaret Atwood among the British Yank haters). The real problem, it seems to me, is a narrow political-artistic orthodoxy that is betrayed, in this case, by near unanimity of prejudice (and this from writers whose job, I've trusted, was to challenge orthodoxies and encourage people to think for themselves). It is not an illness that is likely to heal as long as diversity is conceived of in racialist or nationalistic terms as opposed to diversity of thought among individuals of diverse cultures. It is, of course, deeply ignorant to assume (as they seem to be doing) that American culture is in itself monolithic. But even if it were, excluding anyone for the sake diversity is just too Orwellian for words.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, Schopenhauer grumpism made Voltaire pessimism in a new artform. The german version is almost like Diogenes. He should have tried to live in some barrel, but I guess he would hate it... but then, what he didn't hate.
    Well, he would have complained about it in any case. I can hear him now:

    Man, held prisoner in the refuge of his barrel, finds himself at the mercy of a sky that may drown him with rain today or kill him with drought tomorrow.

    Heh heh. That could pass for authentic.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    He is complicated to be understood, some people see him as an ulimate elitist (ok, most great philosophers are, happens when you are great at thinking a lot)... He mistrusts any easy path/answer in such way that is amazing he didnt became a nihilist like Nietzche.
    He seems complicated to us because he is working with Kantian metaphysics and epistemology. But I don't think he mistrusts the uncomplicated approach-- far from it. He believed Hegel (whom he thought a charlatan) to be hiding high sounding nonsense behind a smokescreen of technical jargon and ambiguous language. Consequently he is at odds to express himself as clearly and succinctly as possible. And as he asserts, his own philosophy (including the whole of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung) can be seen as the explanation of a single idea: "The world is my representation." His essays are quite straightforward (and really fun to read). I think Schopenhauer is best understood as someone who was trying to be honest about the world--even if it hurt. Now whether his conclusions were right is another story.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I suggest that his abyss was his mother and he never wanted to became her.
    It's an interesting idea. You probably know that his mother wrote bad bestsellers and maintained a famous intellectual salon. Schopenhauer despised society, though, and wanted nothing to do with it. He's supposed to have had words with his mother once when she criticized his doctoral thesis as unreadable (it was, but he later rewrote it). But all that happened when he was in his early 20s, I think, so I'm not sure how much can be inferred from it. His father is sometimes said to have committed suicide when Schopenhauer was a teenager. If that's true, it's bound to have had an effect on the boy's development. But I don't know what the evidence for the story is, and I became a little skeptical of after reading Schopenhauer's essay on suicide (it's just not angry enough). Anyway, it's always tempting to psychoanalyze someone like Schopenhauer, but it's hard to be sure of much from this distance. He strikes me as someone who didn't have much experience with family love, though, I'll say that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, but the fear of his blindness was probally bigger. It is just... well, despite all, his dystopia is nice, not brutal, not violent, abuside. If you are smart and think, you are sent o Hawaii or somewhere else. And Huxley seemed to never lost his faith on progress and USA was where progress was.
    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Nor is what Orwell predicted. Both had to exagerated to explain the world, Huxley drugs and the promiscuity you mentioned are off the mark by miles. But I thik SOMA can be replaced by anything that brings conformism and remove individual identidy... You can replace by Pokemon games on mobile for example (it was funny when the game was released, sundenly hordes of teen walking in parks and squares here, where they never went, heads down with their mobiles chasing pokemons, complete unaware of their surroudings. Then the local library was close by, they would enter there and ignore books... ) The idea is there.
    Yes, it's easy to make fun of Huxley: Take this man to Iceland and force him to have sex with Icelandic women! Heh. But there s in fact something terrifying happening (no offense to Icelandic ladies ). Skinner was already doing his work at Harvard in the mid-1930s, and one of his more surprising findings was that pleasure is a more effective means of control than pain. I'm not sure how much of Skinner was getting to Huxley (obviously some was, so we have babies getting electrical shocks to give them a negative experience of books and nature). He either knew the rest or intuited it. Obviously it raises the philosophical/ethical question of whether one enslaved by pleasure--that is, one accepting slavery to get the pleasure--is really a slave. It also gets at some of what you mentioned--Pokemon, computer games, virtual reality. If Huxley had known about such things, he would have filled his Brave New World with them. Perhaps Nietzsche and Kierkegaard would have recognized them, too.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-18-2018 at 04:01 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    I used to listen to Velvet Underground, especially Loaded (although I think that was post Warhol). I don't dislike Andy Warhol particularly (as I said, I get him), but I worry about where some of his ideas have led. And I liked early David Bowie--"Ziggy played git-ah"--but I gave it up with much other pop culture when the 1980s pitched up like an uninvited guest.
    Oh, yeah, there is good pop and bad pop (not talking a about popcorn here). Wharhol was not really that good with pop, I mean, his rock and roll groups were no beatles, mostly the dark side of the counter-culture... I mean, Velvet big success was a music about Lou Reed in love with a travestti. But he hand some sense of making things happen and what is happening around the world, perhaps a better critic than artist, if that is really a reliable distinction. As such, I do not think he made anything happen, I mean, Beatles are there before him (and those funny Beatle movies are more close to the MTV than those live shows with naked people dancing Wharhol came up in the factory), The Who and Woodstock made possible (together with the Marshall amplifier) the mega-shows, Hollywood was already Hollywood, exploring a pretty woman face like Nico (since you are a late Velvet fan, He made her be a back vocal for Velvet first album, a beautiful european model, nice voice too, and suffered a lot having to deal with Lou Reed, who was a genial musician, but a jerk with Schopenhauer humor but a mysognist mind beyond control) was something even Goddard would do. In many aspect I think he surfed on the top of the art culture in USA, rather than caused the wave. Well, at least, he is part of a amazing period of experimentation in american art, the kind of good pop, quite different from the 80's onwards, which was basically recycling this culture (and the last waves of this in the 70's) and the plastification of everything. In this case, the iconography of the minutes of fame is closest thing of that OT sin. There is some good jewell here and there, but the mud is the industry is already so up to our neck that is harder to locomote.


    I understand it, too. Okay, maybe the moderators only show up briefly for World Cup and at Christmas, but it's still someone else's house. Better to leave our muddy boots outside. Sometimes there is some overlap the political and literary worlds, though. And the lords of LitNet are usually cool if an intelligent political discussion discreetly breaks out (or maybe they just don't notice ). You're right about the troll factor, though. The Ramble got its first spambot the other day. Can trolls be far behind?
    I think we are safe because people do not read here. It is basically a two minds blog

    The politics... I am an admin in a Football Site for a decade or so, once one of the 10 biggests football forums around. So, lots of traffic, more than here and of course, football is something that will bring more conflict, nationalist, etc. We had a lot of trouble with politics (and religion). Sometimes we banned that alltogether from the entire forum, sometimes we allowed, sometimes we let a single forum with controled posting... The load of work was imense and the results never satisfactory. Greeks would fight because Macedonians are not Macedonians and they used the Star of Vegina, a symbol from true Macedonia from Alexander time, sebians and croats would fight over a croatian religious gesture, that also had national importance for croats (basically, raising up two fingers while thanking god for a goal or for killing a bunch of serbians), an american libertarian would fight because some aussie was pro-gun ban... there goes... Right now, even with the forum activity quite reduced, we are discussing again because a SJW thread (naturally, overpopuled by right wing ideas)... Sometimes it is not just easy to say no, it is the only possibility.


    Of course. All the statues of the Roman emperors were propaganda, including great masterpieces like the Prima Porta Augustus. So too is most Mesopotamian and not a little Egyptian art. In the our age, sometime propagandists like Diego Rivera were also perfectly legitimate (and sometimes great) artists. Even scary old crap from the Soviet Union at least deserves to be preserved, as do statues of Robert E. Lee and the boys. Propaganda is good art, propaganda is bad art. What defangs it is the human intellect and morality. When that stops working is when I fuss.
    Yeah, it is not different, like Harold Bloom and his "center of western canon" Shakespeare cult (something old enough to deserve Shaw mockery). At some point, it is understandable to use shakespeare as icon (and something as western canon) to defend good literature, etc. At somet point, Bloom because an obsolete critic, unable to accept the shift in society (and academy itself) and his entire knowledge/intelect because pure idolatry and Shakespeare as a center of Canon is just a way to smoother other writers to the point sometimes we have to stop and say "hold the water boy" with the Shakespeare enthusiasm as if we do not admire the guy.

    I don't think it's a question of nationalism. The literary world is not in a very nationalistic mood these days (note the Canadian Margaret Atwood among the British Yank haters). The real problem, it seems to me, is the narrow political-artistic orthodoxy betrayed, in this case, by a near unanimity of the prejudice (and this from writers whose job, I've trusted, was to challenge orthodoxies and encourage people to think for themselves). It is not an illness that is likely to heal as long as diversity is conceived of in racialist or nationalistic terms as opposed to diversity of thought among individuals of diverse cultures. It is, of course, deeply ignorant to assume (as they seem to be doing) that American culture is in itself monolithic. But even if it were, excluding anyone for the sake diversity is just too Orwellian for words.
    Atwood is meddling in some weird polemics recently (not saying she is wrong, irrelevant to what matters), like the one with #metoo. I dunno, she seems to be working hard to not be identifiied with those popular movements (which are mostly americans, another day talking about the nobel polemics of this yes, to a group of nobel fans in another site, I suggested that letting a commerical group like Hollywood lead the discussion and awareness about such topic while the Swedish academicy was supposed to think in academic terms was a mistake, because at the momment the public shifts the interest, this progress will be swept under the rug)... I suspect her anti-yankism is stronger than just the Booker. (Plus, Canada still brit, right? not the 51th state yet ). Maybe, just maybe, Atwood is trying the best to surround herself by those marfim walls that lead to the marfim tower and she identifies american culture as popular culture...

    Anyways, Atwood apart (i may be very unfair with her. Good writer, Handmaid's tale is really a good book, she has a intesting sense of humor), I feel england is struggling to find her identidy... London is super-multi-cultural, yet, they went all hipy for one more royal wedding. In Football (yes, but football is so global that is a good mirror) they decided to reinforce the NT stabilishing rules about players developed in the clubs (to reduce the hiring of international stars, something they did a lot in the past, specially during Tatcher years) and the clubs are discussing that winning the National League is more relevant than winning the european league (with the federation raising the prize the grant this), something quite the contrary they did in the last 3 decades (when they came out of a international ban). Then the Brexit thing which is clearly a nationalist turn...They may be an island but the whole sittuation with refugees hit them too...

    Also, for sometime, England is kind the Watson of USA Holmes. As you said, it may be (it is) a silly prejudice to equate all american culture to a pop/mass culture (because you know, Harry Potter is from Michigan) and bring this speech. It sounds like some "afirmative" cultural reaction... We are good, our culture is from Shakespeare dude, lets protect this from evil americans! There is some national pride in this and a bit of intelectual bias against a culture that may be more popular... (And that is silly, it is not a prize that will protect the local production in england, they would need to stop using english altogether to achive such effect).


    Well, he would have complained about it in any case. I can hear him now:

    Man, held prisoner in the refuge of his barrel, finds himself at the mercy of a sky that may drown him with rain today or kill him with drought tomorrow.

    Heh heh. That could pass for authentic.


    He seems complicated to us because he is working with Kantian metaphysics and epistemology. But I don't think he mistrusts the uncomplicated approach-- far from it. He believed Hegel (whom he thought a charlatan) to be hiding high sounding nonsense behind a smokescreen of technical jargon and ambiguous language. Consequently he is at odds to express himself as clearly and succinctly as possible. And as he asserts, his own philosophy (including the whole of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung) can be seen as the explanation of a single idea: "The world is my representation." His essays are quite straightforward (and really fun to read). I think Schopenhauer is best understood as someone who was trying to be honest about the world--even if it hurt. Now whether his conclusions were right is another story.
    Well, he is complicated (He is not as much as Kant, but that is hardly a parameter). Good philosophy is like that, even the philosopher may have talent to come with beautiful axioms, but perhaps I expressed myself. Schopenhauer has a pop status. you know? Not as big as moustache man, but he has. I told you about the group of young writers, so, sometimes they share those books about writting... of course, they do not go Northop Fry, Eliot, Derica, Barthez, etc. They go often to Stephen king (yeah, his book about writing horror literature is often the bible of those young writers). Well, there is here a publication of Schopenhauer writtings about literature (dunno if there is elsewhere), it is of course something simple (he does not really brings any philosophical discussion, albeit he will mention the terms, but not bothering to define them, as those papers werent really for publishing), few pages with the mislead title "The Writing Art". As if Schopenhauer is really a great advisor for writers after formulas. So, when they want to mention a more "sophisticated" book, this book that is cheap, easy acesss book, come alongside with Stephen King. Of course, without the basis from Schopenhauer philosophy, many things can be easily simplified. The guy reads "will" and think it is only about his endurance to finish a project. Of course they had no idea Schopenhauer during a huge shift in literature, with the novels coming up and a lot of new readers, etc.Schopenhauer was a elitist, no doubt, he was writting against all this. Not how to write at all! So, he is seem as complicated because obviously, people are expecting him drops of wisdow...


    It's an interesting idea. You probably know that his mother wrote bad bestsellers and maintained a famous intellectual salon. Schopenhauer despised society, though, and wanted nothing to do with it. He's supposed to have had words with his mother once when she criticized his doctoral thesis as unreadable (it was, but he later rewrote it). But all that happened when he was in his early 20s, I think, so I'm not sure how much can be inferred from it. His father is sometimes said to have committed suicide when Schopenhauer was a teenager. If that's true, it's bound to have had an effect on the boy's development. But I don't know what the evidence for the story is, and I became a little skeptical of after reading Schopenhauer's essay on suicide (it's just not angry enough). Anyway, it's always tempting to psychoanalyze someone like Schopenhauer, but it's hard to be sure of much from this distance. He strikes me as someone who didn't have much experience with family love, though, I'll say that.
    Yes, Schopenhauer and his mother would be a perfect Monty Phyton sketch. But yeah, he was obviously someone that would complain every happily living in a tower with a single window where he would deal with ideas and not people. Which is good, this distance from society keep him to be a good model for Nazis. His final solution would be "leave me alone", not a worth idea for politicians.


    Yes, it's easy to make fun of Huxley: Take this man to Iceland and force him to have sex with Icelandic women! Heh. But there s in fact something terrifying happening (no offense to Icelandic ladies ). Skinner was already doing his work at Harvard in the mid-1930s, and one of his more surprising findings was that pleasure is a more effective means of control than pain. I'm not sure how much of Skinner was getting to Huxley (obviously some was, so we have babies getting electrical shocks to give them a negative experience of books and nature). He either knew the rest or intuited it. Obviously it raises the philosophical/ethical question of whether one enslaved by pleasure--that is, one accepting slavery to get the pleasure--is really a slave. It also gets at some of what you mentioned--Pokemon, computer games, virtual reality. If Huxley had known about such things, he would have filled his Brave New World with them. Perhaps Nietzsche and Kierkegaard would have recognized them, too.
    I think those pre-second war intelectuals are a bit Naive. They still seem to be playing by the old rulebook and turned their heads aside. We had the hollywood Frankenstein version bringing fear of science (playing god and such), but most of them still swallowed the progress propaganda happily. It was easier to blame sex as a form of control (again the intelectual idea that sex will lead you to be some sheep without personality and ability to think) than torture, but heck, they all knew about torture. Melville knew at least and pointed the finger at this problem. The second war ended all of this. The XIX philosophers were more aware and cynical, they could see that coming, or at least, they would discuss humankind and not language, so they would talk about it.
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Oh, yeah, there is good pop and bad pop (not talking a about popcorn here). Wharhol was not really that good with pop, I mean, his rock and roll groups were no beatles, mostly the dark side of the counter-culture... I mean, Velvet big success was a music about Lou Reed in love with a travestti. But he hand some sense of making things happen and what is happening around the world, perhaps a better critic than artist, if that is really a reliable distinction. As such, I do not think he made anything happen, I mean, Beatles are there before him (and those funny Beatle movies are more close to the MTV than those live shows with naked people dancing Wharhol came up in the factory), The Who and Woodstock made possible (together with the Marshall amplifier) the mega-shows, Hollywood was already Hollywood, exploring a pretty woman face like Nico (since you are a late Velvet fan, He made her be a back vocal for Velvet first album, a beautiful european model, nice voice too, and suffered a lot having to deal with Lou Reed, who was a genial musician, but a jerk with Schopenhauer humor but a mysognist mind beyond control) was something even Goddard would do. In many aspect I think he surfed on the top of the art culture in USA, rather than caused the wave. Well, at least, he is part of a amazing period of experimentation in american art, the kind of good pop, quite different from the 80's onwards, which was basically recycling this culture (and the last waves of this in the 70's) and the plastification of everything. In this case, the iconography of the minutes of fame is closest thing of that OT sin. There is some good jewell here and there, but the mud is the industry is already so up to our neck that is harder to locomote.
    Oh, I know who Nico was ("And vat costume shall za poor girl vare --to all tomorrow's pah-r-ties?"). I listened to that music, too, or it was around anyway. But a lot of the earlier Velvet Underground (Venus in Furs, Heroin, etc.) just wasn't, as was said in those days, my bag, baby. I guess their later work wasn't really my style, either, but by that time they had grown a sense of humor. But typically I only liked the first one or maybe two albums any band or artist would put out. I refused to be a fan. And I despised the big shows. I took a girl to a YES concert once (though later that night she said NO). I remember being really put off by the lemming-like adulation I was expected to participate in (toward the band--not her). I went to a few other concerts, too, I suppose. Donavan and Dylan anyway, although they were both major-league has-beens by then (I think Donovan opened for YES if that tells you anything). Rock concerts were also very much not my bag.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think we are safe because people do not read here.
    I'm afraid that's rapidly becoming LitNet's motto: people do not read here. That may sound like a snobbish thing to say, but it's not. Anyone can pick up a book and read.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Atwood is meddling in some weird polemics recently (not saying she is wrong, irrelevant to what matters), like the one with #metoo.
    She's wrong. And #metoo (to the extent that it adversely affects lives without due process and a presumption of innocence) is a form of McCarthyism. We shall overcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I dunno, she seems to be working hard to not be identifiied with those popular movements (which are mostly americans, another day talking about the nobel polemics of this yes, to a group of nobel fans in another site, I suggested that letting a commerical group like Hollywood lead the discussion and awareness about such topic while the Swedish academicy was supposed to think in academic terms was a mistake, because at the momment the public shifts the interest, this progress will be swept under the rug)...
    I'm not sure I got your point, but in my opinion turning to Hollywood for moral guidance is even better than excluding Americans in the name of diversity. Unlike the latter, it is at least side-splitingly funny. I don't know about the Nobel Prize committee. Some of its ideas about America (those concerning Barack Obama or Bob Dylan, for example) seem pretty out of touch to me. But they can think what they like. That's still legal in Sweden, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I suspect her anti-yankism is stronger than just the Booker. (Plus, Canada still brit, right? not the 51th state yet ).
    I suspect you are right about her bigotry. I should mention that Man Booker officials apparently told the Yank haters to get over themselves, so the situation is not as grim as it sounds (rule Britannia! ). As far as the 51st state goes, aside from Quebec doing a little flirting a few years back about wanting to come in, it really hasn't been an issue since January 8, 1815, when Britain and America finally made friends during a drunken weekend in New Orleans. But before that, granted, we invaded Canada twice and got our *sses handed to us both times. My 4th great grandfather fought on the Canadian front during the War of 1812. I used to tell Clopin (a Canadian patriot and UKIP-ish type LitNetter) that if my grandpa had been a better soldier, Canada would have free speech already.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    (i may be very unfair with her. Good writer, Handmaid's tale is really a good book, she has a intesting sense of humor)
    I haven't read it so I can't judge. When it came out in the 80s, a woman I thoroughly respected (and who also said NO) rolled her eyes at it and said it had nothing to do with her experience of being a woman. It has a strange political cult following these days among (as it seems to me) women who seek special victim status. There is a subgroup of activists who like to dress up in Handmaid's Tale costumes and turn up en masse (maybe that's what you were talking about above). This, it seems to me, is having a reverse effect from the one intended because: 1) the costumes look like uniforms, something that alarms the vast middle American voting bloc (aka the Silent Majority); and 2) the whole thing is just weird and creepy looking, something else that will cost votes. I'm sure the activists are enjoying themselves (dressing up is always fun), but someone may want to consider the optics before the next election. Perhaps orange plastic Halloween baskets would help...

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Also, for sometime, England is kind the Watson of USA Holmes.
    After the Second World War (in other words after Britain lost her wealth and empire) there was some talk on that side of the Atlantic that Britain would be playing Athens to America's Rome. Britain would be the keeper of our shared culture (such as it was) while America would take the lead in keeping the barbarians at bay. It was mostly a British rationalization for a hard military reality that existed anyway. It saved some face, but it was also a little humiliating. It got both sides through the Cold War, but many British emerged, it seems to me, with a reservoir of latent resentment.

    At the same time (and more significantly), Britain had by then entered a post theistic era that would have been foreign (not to say shocking) to the generation that fought the war. It was natural enough that (I suppose) that the face-saving conceit of being more cultured than the dumb Americans came to be replaced with one of being more scientifically educated than those ignorant, backwood rubes. But the change had important implications, both in post Christian America (mainly on the progressive left, which sees itself as better educated than the new, Populist right); and especially in post theistic political Britain, covering, as far as I can tell, much or most of the left, center, and right--though obviously some faith persists, too.

    I want to be very clear about this: a major change has been the replacement of strong, divinely/scripturally sanctioned works theologies (which long dominated the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church) with a powerful secular ethos of similarly unquestionable and ostentatiously demonstrated political correctness. That is why the virtual unanimity regarding the logical absurdity that excluding Americans will promote diversity is so notable. The new creed includes dogma about Americans as progressively retrograde, and that outweighs even so blatant and embarrassing a contradiction.

    Incidentally, from a strictly personal point of view, I don't care whether American books are included in the Man Booker Prize. I use the Booker shortlist to generate ideas for purchasing "literate fiction." I do the same with Pulitzer Prize finalists, so I would learn about American authors either way. I also believe the 2018 Man Booker Prize should not have gone to George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo, not because Saunders is an American, but because his book wasn't good enough. I would probably have voted (with some reservations) for Emily Friedlund's History of Wolves. Friedlund is also an American, but at this point the moral of the story is--who cares? The winner of the Booker Prize is usually not the best book nominated in any case. Do you really care who wins first prize in Man Booker? I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    As you said, it may be (it is) a silly prejudice to equate all american culture to a pop/mass culture (because you know, Harry Potter is from Michigan) and bring this speech. It sounds like some "afirmative" cultural reaction...
    I was talking more about a genuine (or convenient) ignorance about the heterogeneity of the American tapestry itself. In the state in which I live (not an especially diverse one in comparison to some), there are multi-generational ethnic/cultural enclaves from Portugal and the Azores, Haiti and Dominica, Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Russia (among others). There are also significant Irish, Italian, English, African, Polish, Jewish, and French Canadian subcultures (again, among others). And Massachusetts constitutes only a tiny proportion of America's rich diversity. The idea that including American authors in Man Booker competition is "risking homogeneity" is really just too ignorant for words.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Well, he is complicated (He is not as much as Kant, but that is hardly a parameter).
    I didn't mean that Schopenhauer is uncomplicated in comparison to Kant, but that Kantian metaphysics (which he was trying to fix) are what make his ideas complicated, and that he consequently sought to make his language as clear as possible. In doing so he was consciously contrasting himself to Hegel, whom he didn't like personally (and of course for his optimism), and whom he thought intentionally talked over people's heads. Schopenhauer was no less rigorous (he would have said he was much more rigorous), but he wanted to knock off the high-sounding mumbo-jumbo. Schopenhauer's pessimistic but somewhat bemused earnestness is one of the really delightful things about his writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Schopenhauer has a pop status. you know? Not as big as moustache man, but he has.
    You're trolling me.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Schopenhauer was a elitist, no doubt, he was writting against all this.
    I don't see Schopenhauer as a much of an elitist. Yes, he talks about the herd, as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard do, but Schopenhauer is mostly referring to conformists and those who don't or won't examine their lives. That's similar to what Kierkegaard seems to mean, too, except that Kierkegaard wonderfully consigns "Christendom" (as opposed to Christianity) to the mindless herd. He also sees full emergence into selfhood as a more involved process than does Nietzsche (a true elitist), for whom the herd are rather dangerous and largely inferior people. The superior types will rise like suns through their will and blah blah blah...

    The reason Schopenhauer wasn't really an elitist is that he saw human beings as less able to change/improve than Kierkegaard did, and that he saw them as slaves to will rather than able to be liberated by it (as Nietzsche thought). Most people can't change, Schopenhauer believed, because the Wille zum Leben is just too strong. The intellect is a secondary phenomenon and normally much weaker. There are a few remarkable individuals (on the model of Asian sages) who are able to reject the Wille zum Leben, he believed, but they must be prodigies (geniuses) or they will never stand a chance. So Schopenhauer was an elitist to the extent that believing a very few people may be much more intelligent than the majority is an elitist position. But that's a fairly defensible view, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think those pre-second war intelectuals are a bit Naive. They still seem to be playing by the old rulebook and turned their heads aside.
    I agree about the generational naïveté generally (although in Huxley's case he may have had an eye on future rule books). And you are certainly right that the 19th century was no teddy bear's tea party. The First World War was not the untried hymen that many later claimed it to be. There was already a taste of mechanized warfare in the Crimea and two really dirty guerrilla wars in South Africa, not to mention the ghastly (if reciprocal) horrors of the Indian Mutiny, the bloody debacle of Elphinstone's retreat from Afghanistan, fun and games with the Zulus, etc., etc. Someone posted a still shocking verse of Kipling's in here a few weeks back:

    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

    What was significant about the First World War is that it led Huxley's generation, or more properly, P.G. Wodehouse's generation, or if you must, the Jazz Age, to bury it's happy head in the sand for 21 years (24 if you lived in America) and not think about who might be coming out to cut up what remained. After the Second World War, the scales fell. Orwell's world of control by violence seemed more real than Huxley's vision of control by pleasure. But which is closer to the way we live now? In North Korea, it's surely still 1984. But where I live, the New World is getting brave.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-20-2018 at 07:00 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Oh, I know who Nico was ("And vat costume shall za poor girl vare --to all tomorrow's pah-r-ties?"). I listened to that music, too, or it was around anyway. But a lot of the earlier Velvet Underground (Venus in Furs, Heroin, etc.) just wasn't, as was said in those days, my bag, baby. I guess their later work wasn't really my style, either, but by that time they had grown a sense of humor. But typically I only liked the first one or maybe two albums any band or artist would put out. I refused to be a fan. And I despised the big shows. I took a girl to a YES concert once (though later that night she said NO). I remember being really put off by the lemming-like adulation I was expected to participate in (toward the band--not her). I went to a few other concerts, too, I suppose. Donavan and Dylan anyway, although they were both major-league has-beens by then (I think Donovan opened for YES if that tells you anything). Rock concerts were also very much not my bag.
    C'mom, Dylan was a few decades away from his major glory, the Nobel


    I'm afraid that's rapidly becoming LitNet's motto: people do not read here. That may sound like a snobbish thing to say, but it's not. Anyone can pick up a book and read.
    If we reduce the posts to one or two lines, they will read. That is even worst.


    She's wrong. And #metoo (to the extent that it adversely affects lives without due process and a presumption of innocence) is a form of McCarthyism. We shall overcome.
    The problem is that we do not live in the best or of the worlds possible nor in the worst... It gets harder to identify what is bad, wrong, or good. In a perfect world, #metoo would never happen, or if happen, they would be followed by every democratic process, etc. I suspect Atwood goes with good intentions...

    I'm not sure I got your point, but in my opinion turning to Hollywood for moral guidance is even better than excluding Americans in the name of diversity. Unlike the latter, it is at least side-splitingly funny. I don't know about the Nobel Prize committee. Some of it's ideas about America (those concerning Barack Obama or Bob Dylan, for example) seem pretty out of touch to me. But they can think what they like. That's still legal in Sweden, right?
    Oh, it is better. I mean, it is something more positive than not. Eventually changes must happen there too. The anti-americanism is just plain silly. Ok, I understand because Brasil does it too. We have awards just for Brazilian production. I understand also, that we have some protectionism and American Pop culture is very powerful and can have massive effects on local production. In countries like Brazil the damage can be huge, but England? Literature? It is just plain snobbery.

    As Hollywood, the adoption of diversity in Hollywood is mostly positive, the overal public will accept it, the minorities will find work, etc. Ok, but why they adopt it? Most of those studios give a cent about it except as a form to sell more tickets. Of course artists (art has a liberal tendency, so most artists, even right wing, somehow will dance with the tune) are probally being honest about it, but studios are opening the market. I do not think - as worst as the backlash is those days - they will come back. But Hollywood is aiming to two big markets, China and India, they will come with all the bias and those huge market have very strictly organization, "democracy", notion of race and culture. What Hollwyood will do? Considering it is not a ideology, but a market choice, they will turn the eyes and soon the changes (because they are happening, but this does not mean it is perfect) will stop. Meanwhile, the so called intelectuals, those who are able to think the matter, are doing what? Refusing to take a stance or this silly anti-yank bias. It is like they are just unable to see the world as it is. Again, maybe...



    I suspect you are right about her bigotry. I should mention that Man Booker officials apparently told the Yank haters to get over themselves, so the situation is not as grim as it sounds (rule Britannia! ). As far as the 51st state goes, aside from Quebec doing a little flirting a few years back about wanting to come in, it really hasn't been an issue since January 8, 1815, when Britain and America finally made friends during a drunken weekend in New Orleans. But before that, granted, we invaded Canada twice and got our *sses handed to us both times. My 4th great grandfather fought on the Canadian front during the War of 1812. I used to tell Clopin (a Canadian patriot and UKIP-ish type LitNetter) that if my grandpa had been a better soldier, Canada would have free speech already.
    I joke with a canadian elsewhere, that Trudeau is USA prime minister and Trump Canada President, but to the mexican there, Piena Neto still just Mexico governor.


    I haven't read it so I can't judge. When it came out in the 80s, a woman I thoroughly respected (and who also said NO) rolled her eyes at it and said it had nothing to do with her experience of being a woman. It has a strange political cult following these days among (as it seems to me) women who seek special victim status. There is a subgroup of activists who like to dress up in Handmaid's Tale costumes and turn up en masse (maybe that's what you were talking about above). This, it seems to me, is having a reverse effect from the one intended because: 1) the costumes look like uniforms, something that alarms the vast middle American voting bloc (aka the Silent Majority); and 2) the whole thing is just weird and creepy looking, something else that will cost votes. I'm sure the activists are enjoying themselves (dressing up is always fun), but someone may want to consider the optics before the next election. Perhaps orange plastic Halloween baskets would help...
    I don't think the woman is wrong, the book seems more about mysogny and religious bigotry than something about being a woman, as if the sittuations were more directed to male readers, "this is what you think we do" kind of stuff. And it is creepy, as it was intendend. I saw those people, after the tv show, adopting the visual (pretty much like Annonymous adopted Guy Fawkes mask after V for Vendette for the chagrim of the author Alan Moore -an anti-conformist anti hollywood radical dude - or the netflix series from Spain Papper house). It is the risk of idolatry ironically being used against a culture of idols. The book is interesting (the tv series is good in many aspects, but because it is tv, they had to change a little) because it is all open. There is only a thin hope and it is not about the individual (the handmaid of the story) being able to avoid anything or escape, so more in line with the Orwell/Huxley distopias where society is too big too be avoided.



    After the Second World War (in other words after Britain lost her wealth and empire) there was some talk on that side of the Atlantic that Britain would be playing Athens to America's Rome. Britain would be the keeper of our shared culture (such as it was) while America would take the lead in keeping the barbarians at bay. It was mostly a British rationalization for a hard military reality existed anyway. It saved some face, but it was also a little humiliating. It got both sides through the Cold War, but Britain emerged, it seems to me, with a reservoir of latent resentment.

    At the same time (and more significantly), Britain had by then entered a post theistic era that would have been foreign (not to say shocking) to the generation that fought the war. It was natural enough that (I suppose) that the face-saving conceit of being more cultured than the dumb Americans came to be replaced with being more scientifically educated than those ignorant, backwood rubes. But the change had important implications, both in post Christian America (mainly on the progressive left which saw itself as better educated than the new, Populist right); and especially in post theistic political Britain (covering, as far as I can tell, much or most of the left, center, and right--though obviously some faith persists, too).

    I want to be very clear about this: a major change has been the replacement of strong, divinely/scripturally sanctioned works theologies (which long dominated the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church) with a powerful secular ethos of similarly unquestionable and ostentatiously demonstrated political correctness. That is why the virtual unanimity regarding logical absurdity that excluding Americans will promote diversity is so notable. The new creed includes dogma about Americans as progressively retrograde, which outweigh even so blatant and embarrassing a contradiction.

    Incidentally, from a strictly personal point of view, I don't care whether American books are included in the Man Booker Prize. I use the Booker shortlist to generate ideas for purchasing "literate fiction." I do the same with Pulitzer Prize finalists, so I would learn about American authors either way. I also believe the 2018 Man Booker Prize should not have gone to George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo, not because Saunders is an American, but because his book wasn't good enough. I would probably have voted (with some reservations) for Emily Friedlund's History of Wolves. Friedlund is also an American, but at this point the moral of the story is--who cares? The winner of the Booker Prize is usually not the best book nominated in any case. Do you care who wins first prize in Man Booker? I don't.
    Well, have you seen Gnus crossing a river full of crocodiles? Winning the race means little, sometimes the crocodile picks one in the middle

    But that is the problem of political correctness. It is not the little african-american girl complaning because the word n----er in a Mark Twain book. That is just natural, he references. It is when someone has the brilliant idea to replace it for a less "offensive" word instead of working out with the little girl references. In the end, PC (not what most people call PC, that sometimes is just attempts to avoid disrespect and aknowledging that we humans are able to be racists and offensive quite easily) is a conservative toy. Specially if you use it blindly. England manages to have a muslim as mayor of London and have an anti-yank bias, because in the end, the muslim in london is nice but means little. It is like that old "i am not homophobe, i know a gay person" excuse. It make them sleep tight at night. The real respect is the dialogue with muslims everywhere, in places where they have power (and not just to get their money) and this is hardly what happens. I mean, they had Tatcher in power for how long and that is hardly a big victory for feminism.



    I was talking more about a genuine (or convenient) ignorance about the heterogeneity of the American tapestry itself. In the state in which I live (not an especially diverse one in comparison to some), there are multi-generational ethnic/cultural enclaves from Portugal and the Azores, Haiti and Dominica, Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Russia (among others). There are also significant Irish, Italian, English, African, Polish, Jewish, and French Canadian subcultures (again, among others). And Massachusetts constitutes only a tiny proportion of America's rich diversity. The idea that including American authors in Man Booker competition is "risking homogeneity" is really just too ignorant for words.
    Of course, matter of fact, a country made by imigrants deals with diversity (well or not) more often than old european societies. But I mean, if their fear that allowing USA culture to stay in (and they are obviously aiming at mass culture like Hollywood) is a danger for diversity, then what they will make when one of the main mass culture product of literature (lets be frank, the main) is actually brit. It is a a big hipocricy (not different from when they complain about "third world public corruption" when they see no problem to have deals with those governaments and protect the massive bank corruption over there. It is too much white man burden...



    I didn't mean that Schopenhauer is uncomplicated in comparison to Kant, but that Kantian metaphysics (which he was trying to fix) are what make his ideas complicated, and that he consequently sought to make his language as clear as possible. In doing so he was consciously contrasting himself to Hegel, whom he didn't like personally (and of course for his optimism), and whom he thought intentionally talked over people's heads. Schopenhauer was no less rigorous (he would have said he was much more rigorous), but he wanted to knock off the high-sounding mumbo-jumbo. Schopenhauer's pessimistic but somewhat bemused earnestness is one of the really delightful things about his writing.
    Yeah, I know. Much of his attacks against Hegel and the likes is because of how to explain Kant correctly. But the guy liked Voltaire, so some of pessimism is pure style (and a good style, of the german philosophers, he is one with the best texts).


    You're trolling me.
    If I had, I would try to examine what would be the final product of a book written following at sametime Schopenhauer and King.



    I don't see Schopenhauer as a much of an elitist. Yes, he talks about the herd, as Nietzsche and Kierkegaard do, but Schopenhauer is mostly referring to conformists and those who don't or won't examine their lives. That's similar to what Kierkegaard seems to mean, too, except that Kierkegaard wonderfully consigns "Christendom" (as opposed to Christianity) to the mindless herd. He also sees full emergence into selfhood as a more involved process than does Nietzsche (a true elitist), for whom the herd are rather dangerous and largely inferior people. The superior types will rise like suns through their will and blah blah blah...

    The reason Schopenhauer wasn't really an elitist is that he saw human beings as less able to change/improve than Kierkegaard did and saw them as slaves to will rather than able to be liberated by it as Nietzsche thought. Most people can't change, Schopenhauer thought, because the Wille zum Liben is just too strong. The intellect is a secondary phenomenon and normally much weaker. There are a few remarkable individuals (on the model of Asian sages) who are able to reject the Wille zum Liben, he believed, but they must be prodigies (geniuses) or they will never stand a chance. So Schopenhauer was an elitist to the extent that believing a very few people may be much more intelligent than the majority is an elitist position. But that's a fairly defensible view, isn't it?
    Ah, yeah. When reggarding his ideas or humankind he is pretty fair: he despised everyone equally, no matter the social status. I mean a cultura elitist. Novels and prose? Habit of buying books? Newspapers? Nothing of that worked for him or anything "Popular". In this sense, I have no idea how his ideas about literature can even serve as guidance at sametime a best-seller writer like King would do. It is not mixing different style, classic and barroque, it is that one want to write about everything, all the time, aiming a very average "reader", the other ignore the readers, mass culture and would rather say "write nothing and your text will have no mistake for you to be ashamed off". Schoepenhaur was not giving tips about writing, rather about thinking about texts. Sounds like trolling, but it happens.



    I agree about the generational naïveté generally (although in Huxley's case he may have had an eye on future rule books). And you are certainly right that the 19th century was no teddy bear's tea party. The First World War was not the untried hymen that many later claimed it to be. There was already a taste of mechanized warfare in the Crimea and two really dirty guerrilla wars in South Africa, not to mention the ghastly (if reciprocal) horrors of the Indian Mutiny, the bloody debacle of Elphinstone's retreat from Afghanistan, fun and games with the Zulus, etc., etc. Someone posted a still shocking verse of Kipling's in here a few weeks back:

    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

    What was significant about the First World War is that it led Huxley's generation, or more properly, P.G. Wodehouse's generation, or if you must, the Jazz Age, to bury it's happy head in the sand for 21 years (24 if you lived in America) and not think about who might be coming out to cut up what remained. After the war, of course, the scales fell. Orwell's world of control by violence seemed more real than Huxley's vision of control by pleasure. But which is closer to the way we live now? In North Korea, it's surely still 1984. But where I live, the New World is getting brave.
    Yeah, both filled the rule book of dystopia because they gave us a side of the coin, if we think of the whole poltical spectrum. I think in Huxley case, writting Brave New World was a shifting experience for him. No joke about opening his door of perception for the future. His previous work (Point counter point) was more conventional, it does not have this "prophetic" power of BNW.
    #foratemer

  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    If we reduce the posts to one or two lines, they will read. That is even worst.
    I suspect that is an effect of Twitter, which is symptomatic of worse things--ubiquitous corporate propaganda, political and commercial sloganeering, and iconic thinking/manipulation in general. Big Brother isn't watching anymore, but he'll text you.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    The problem is that we do not live in the best or of the worlds possible nor in the worst... It gets harder to identify what is bad, wrong, or good. In a perfect world, #metoo would never happen, or if happen, they would be followed by every democratic process, etc.
    There has never been a convenient time for democracy. And there have been far less convenient times than now. But I suspect democracy may be able to remove this threat the way an immune system can sometimes destroy the first tiny cancer cell. #metoo is aggressively metastatic. It finds a new male witch to burn with every call for due process. Like Dr Strangelove's Doomsday Machine, it is designed to detonate if any attempt ever made to disarm it. I have already gone too far. I am defending sexual predators. That is utter humbug, of course, on several levels: calling for due process is not a defense, an accusation alone does not make one guilty, and the idea that even those who are guilty of some kind of misconduct are all "sexual predators" is unproved and frankly ridiculous. Even so, my comments above could very well have cost me a career if I had made them on Twitter or YouTube, and if I were not happily retired in any case.

    And that's the point: most men are not in my position, and a very good many of them are not nearly as innocent as I am. During the hedonistic 1970s, touching a lady without an invitation was a relatively common way of coming on to her on to her. No, trust me, it was. She had the option of slapping your face (which would have been comically old fashioned) or otherwise saying no, in which case the rule was to back off. I'm not saying this was right, just that it was very common--with the implication that one hell of a lot of older professional men are now seriously sweating out #metoo. Confession is suicidal and opposition only draws attention. So heads are kept low and nodded in judgment if necessary.

    And there are also plenty of men who are sexually aggressive *ssholes or narcissists who assume their physical advances will be welcomed. Daring egotism is often valued in the working world, so younger men (or particularly stupid older ones) sometimes get drunk on themselves and imagine they are really impressing the lady. But there is also a multitude of innocent men, young and old, who now have to live in fear they will be falsely accused. They're sweating, too.

    "Great!" I hear the #metoosies saying, "They'd better sweat!" And politically speaking, that is surely an effective way of jazzing up the progressive base (that is, those who are going to vote for progressive candidates anyway). But the problem with using a tyranny like #metoo is (even against someone who deserve it) is that democracy is not as puny as it looks. All those silent, sweating men get to vote. And because democracy insists on an anonymous ballet, it will be their only chance to defend themselves without drawing extreme social censure--those innocent and guilty men; those men from the right, left, and center of the electorate; those men at bay.

    I may be wrong. I am only describing the situation in the United States in any case, and I am aware that #metoo is an international phenomenon. But it seems to me this movement that has so excited the progressive left may come to haunt it in the (all important) Congressional midterms. These almost always go against the party in power. If the Democrats can recover the House and Senate, they will be able to obstruct almost all of Trump's political agenda, block his (also all important) Supreme Court nominees, and even potentially impeach and remove him from office (which is what the Russia collusion nonsense has been about from day one). In theory, the Democrats should be way ahead in the polls, but they are already down from a once comfortable trajectory, and for the moment it is unclear which party will control the House and Senate. Under these circumstances, it would be a bitter irony for the left if #metoo turns out to be what sinks them in November. But there are many other factors in play. It will be an interesting election, though I imagine an especially cutthroat one.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I suspect Atwood goes with good intentions...
    That road has a bad reputation. I'm not carrying her luggage.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    The anti-americanism is just plain silly. Ok, I understand because Brasil does it too. We have awards just for Brazilian production. I understand also, that we have some protectionism and American Pop culture is very powerful and can have massive effects on local production. In countries like Brazil the damage can be huge, but England? Literature? It is just plain snobbery.
    Well, I think Brazil ought to have its own award. But if there were also a Portuguese language award based in Lisbon, and Portuguese intellectuals started to say it should only be for the likes of Angola and Mozambique because including Brazil would threaten diversity, it would be as ridiculous as what the Booker authors say they want. For them, I don't think it's a matter combatting American pop culture as much as keeping the (admittedly obnoxious) American publishing industry in its place. But that's just a matter of finding judges with integrity. I can see the British dilemma. Perhaps Ishiguro's free.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    As Hollywood, the adoption of diversity in Hollywood is mostly positive, the overal public will accept it, the minorities will find work, etc.
    Don't believe their lies.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I joke with a canadian elsewhere, that Trudeau is USA prime minister and Trump Canada President, but to the mexican there, Piena Neto still just Mexico governor.
    I think this guy Amlo may be in charge of Canada by now. (That's fine as long as they stop persecuting pronouns).

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    And it is creepy, as it was intendend. I saw those people, after the tv show, adopting the visual (pretty much like Annonymous adopted Guy Fawkes mask after V for Vendette for the chagrim of the author Alan Moore -an anti-conformist anti hollywood radical dude - or the netflix series from Spain Papper house).
    See, this is going to cost 'em votes, too. The boring, elderly, non-activist, and essentially non-partisan voters, the ones who decide elections, get angry and scared (yes, scared--they're old people and they get scared) when demonstrators cover their faces. It reminds them of terrorism and the KKK and Jesse James. I think the handmaiden ladies only cover the sides of their faces (with long blinkers, yes?), but it has a similar effect. Old people who are angry and scared always vote against you. So see you maidens in November.

    [QUOTE=JCamilo;1354710]Well, have you seen Gnus crossing a river full of crocodiles? Winning the race means little, sometimes the crocodile picks one in the middle

    Over here we say that to survive a bear attack it is not necessary to be the fastest member of your group. It is only necessary not to be the slowest.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    In the end, PC (not what most people call PC, that sometimes is just attempts to avoid disrespect and aknowledging that we humans are able to be racists and offensive quite easily) is a conservative toy.
    When I use the term I mean political dogma of any stripe. That is, something that is accepted simply because (supposedly) it is so, or correct, or what right-thinking people believe; or in its inverse form, when a belief or position is anathema to right-thinking people and therefore breaks off any meaningful discussion or even respect (whether or not these things are openly admitted). You can see how closely this aligns in form with religious dogmas and how dangerous its political version must be to democracy, which requires constant dialectic and tolerance of dissent.

    What I do not mean by political correctness is left wing politics as opposed to right wing politics (although I do find political correctness presently overrepresented on the left). But conservatives have PC, too, and "virtue signal" to one another all the time. An example of conservative PC (in my country, anyway) is the unquestionable position that veterans should receive entitlements (including, in some cases, hiring preference) over non-veterans. Please note I am not arguing either way on the issue, I am only citing it as an example of conservative political correctness. And there are many others, although it pisses the right off to hear about them.

    Examples from the left are so common and blatant that they hardly need mentioning, but for the record I oppose abortion and so-called affirmative action; both positions get me cast into the outer darkness all the time by people who seem genuinely perplexed that they could ever have mistaken me for a decent person. These are not simple issues, and they deserve thoughtful discussion. They don't get that when merely owning an opinion breaks off respect and replaces dialogue with prefabricated polemics.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    If I had, I would try to examine what would be the final product of a book written following at sametime Schopenhauer and King.
    Okay, I haven't actually read It (the novel), but I have, alas, absorbed something of the plot from general cultural context. That sounds like the Schopenhauer-King collaboration to me. It (the monster) is like the Wille zum Leben. It (the pronoun) is primordial, malign, and secretly underlying all things. Maybe some of the town kids could have been brainy nerds who managed to battle the monster, while the other kids would have lived lives of futile striving before being eaten alive. That's pretty much the story already, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Ah, yeah. When reggarding his ideas or humankind he is pretty fair: he despised everyone equally, no matter the social status. I mean a cultura elitist. Novels and prose? Habit of buying books? Newspapers? Nothing of that worked for him or anything "Popular". In this sense, I have no idea how his ideas about literature can even serve as guidance at sametime a best-seller writer like King would do. It is not mixing different style, classic and barroque, it is that one want to write about everything, all the time, aiming a very average "reader", the other ignore the readers, mass culture and would rather say "write nothing and your text will have no mistake for you to be ashamed off". Schoepenhaur was not giving tips about writing, rather about thinking about texts. Sounds like trolling, but it happens.
    I think you are talking about an essay Schopenhauer wrote about mid century (late for him) called "On Authorship and Style." As I recall, he draws a distinction between books written primarily for money (which he says to throw out) and those written for the sake of their subject. I suppose that could be taken as elitist since he is clearly talking about the novel (though I think there were some novels he liked). I disagree with him about popular literature, of course, especially the kind Dickens was writing at the time. No doubt Schopenhauer's life would have been more fulfilled if he had been able to see humanity as more than a bundle of animalistic drives. He could have used some time with the Ghost of Christmas Present. But against the charge of elitism, I will point out that he does not (as far as I remember) advise his readers against books written for money because reading them is the sort of thing that inferior people do, but explicitly because their authors are wasting the readers' time in order to enrich themselves. That is not strictly speaking an elitist position.

    Don't mistake me, though. I'm not an apologist for Schopenhauer, although I am fond of reading him. In addition to his inability understand the humanity expressed in some novels, Schopenhauer has no sense of history as important to the human experience (again, contra Hegel). For Schopenhauer, people don't change enough for history to matter. He likes to compare philosophical ideas from various ages and civilizations, but the bloody pageant of history only shows that we are no different than animals at any time--and in fact just a little worse. I part company with Schopenhauer on these issues, and of course on his atheism. I am also agnostic about the idea that he got around the Kantian prohibition, although I am open to the idea. And I find him a font of wisdom regardless.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-23-2018 at 07:27 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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