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Thread: Which pieces of literature do you think a writer can learn something from?

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    Which pieces of literature do you think a writer can learn something from?

    I am an aspiring writer and am always reading a lot and watching a lot of films, both for pleasure, but also in the hope of learning something. I'm wondering what pieces of literature you think a modern writer could learn something from and what specifically do you think a writer could learn from that piece?

    I'll give a couple of examples to demonstrate what I mean.

    #1 Dubliners

    I did not enjoy Dubliners, but I DID get something out of them as a writer. What was instructive in Dubliners was seeing the level of subtlety that you can write on. I don't think I WANT to write with as much understatement, but it did expand my idea of what is possible in that sense and I think there will be instances when I will be able to apply that.

    #2 Sweet Smell of Success

    This is a film, not literature, but it serves to explain what I mean.

    Quite simply, SSoS demonstrated to me how good dialogue can be.

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    After a certain point I was no longer influenced by literature as much. Too much literature is the same! There just isn’t enough variety in literature yet. The major publishing corporations, academia, & prestigious literary magazines all still have too much influence on literature, and have retarded its advance. The best literature of the human race is not in its past, but in its future, when the writer will be more free to do what he wants to.
    So at some point I got bored of reading so much literature that was so similar. And I became more influenced by the other arts. I read a book about modern painting, and after that I became obsessed by painting, and painting has influenced much of my literature. My writing was also heavily influenced by Afro Brazilian music, jazz, and 20th century classical music. Sculpture had some influences too, mostly modern & postmodern sculpture. Lately, I’ve been more influenced by comedy, as comedy has become a hobby. I like to get on stage and make a fool out of myself these days. I’m definitely a fool, because comedians get paid. I like the way that comedians (at least the good ones) challenge societal norms in order to get a laugh.
    Many writers are too afraid to challenge tradition & societal norms, because they’re afraid of offending the publishing conglomerates, academia, prestigious literary magazines, politically correct liberals, and born-again Christian conservatives. Hence, writers are less interesting to me. I used to read a lot. But now I don’t. I think at some point people just get tired of books being so similar to each other.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
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    Well there's two for a start Alf. Best way to "learn" about life is to live it rather than reading about it.

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Is literature more about life than it is about literature?
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
    http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Is literature more about life than it is about literature?
    Bull's-eye!
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...or=Wolf Larsen

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    The Wolf of Larsen WolfLarsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Is literature more about life than it is about literature?
    I’m not saying I completely agree. I’m just saying that was beautifully phrased. It does make an excellent point in few words.
    "...the ramblings of a narcissistic, self-obsessed, deranged mind."
    My poetry, plays, novels, & other stuff on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr...or=Wolf Larsen

  7. #7
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    A writer can get something usseful from many different pieces of writing; it largely depends on what you want to end up writing. And there have been some truly great writers who have something for most writers, including Jonathn Swift, Mark Twain, Umberto Eco, to mention just a few. And there is the matter of finding writing that matches what you would like to write. And just keep reading; you might fand something useful.

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    I think that it is 90% observation, sensitivity and evaluation of what goes on around you.

    The reading needs to be as widespread as possible, but at the end of the day, it basically provides the learning medium by which you express yourself as a writer.

    Of course; imagination, a sense of humour and even an awareness of the absurd are other mainstays.

    A respect for strong drink and hot women also helps.
    Last edited by MANICHAEAN; 06-13-2021 at 05:55 AM.

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