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Best book thrown with great force: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Lovely bitchiness I'm reading here. I'm proud to associate with you folks I think a lot of us here have Inner Dorothy Parker s. Now on to that third martini. Very dry ;. Juliette by Sade has more jokes though ;. Graves: brilliant at poetry, fiction, non-fiction Fuck, people like that make me jealous. My copy came with a paddle and rope Speaking of Dostoevsky or were we? Crime and Punishment belongs on the crime list.

The Brothers Karamazov belongs on some list, horror perhaps. Chapter 13, where Jack Snow stomps on poisonous snakes is worth the price. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is true art. I have to read The Curse of Lono sometime. It's the "fear and loathing" for the marathon set. She's a great explainer, it's well worth reading. Perhaps we need a category for authors who've topped themselves: Dr. Thompson and Papa Hemingway come immediately to mind. Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange doesn't really fit in any of the categories, but is one of the best books in the last 50 years.

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Also, the appendix to his plausibly predicts the collapse of all vowels into schwas. I hear it coming. I read another book entitled by Gyorgy Dalos. An interesting spin on the novel, since the author is Hungarian. In later years, he turned into a parody of himself. A Clockwork Orange is not Burgess' best. That'd be Earthly Powers. Ian's comment about him parodying himself is bang on. Name-dropping Bataille. Gives me goosebumps And I think Hemingway is overrated, mainly with the macho posturing manly men set. It just comes off as bland and monotonous prose. Give me some Proust , Burgess , or Vollmann at his purple prose-iest.

New term: Beige prose: "Invisible prose style. The opposite of purple prose. Macho Macho men are quite often men appealing to other men, constantly proving to themselves their virility, and turning off the man who is comfortable in his own skin. I have no interest in this. As far as I'm concerned Hemingway couldn't write his way out of a wet paper bag. But there are other schools of thought on him, so I understand there are people out there who are confused about his abilities. I would say Asimov's style was more like "invisible talent". None in evidence, in a single line he wrote.

I'm not gonna kick on Ernie Hemingway. He ain't trendy these days and I have no problem with his macho pose Men nowadays have been emasculated and are suffering an identity crisis as a result. That's apparent in the prose they write, the characters they create. Now they aren't even considered operative concepts, much less subjects suitable for great novels," as Tom Junod put it, in a ESQUIRE article on Norman Mailer another man's man with talent to burn.

As one female editor wrote to me: "I'm a middle aged woman who has trouble identifying with male protagonists". And I don't think she's unique in that view. I have no interest in the travails of women trying to grow and spread their wings in a "male dominated" world. I'm appalled by what passes for "chick lit", the assumption again, by largely female editors that women are obsessed with finding a decent life partner or their body image. I'm looking for bigger, more ambitious narratives, risk-takers and revolutionaries. I find more of them among male writers.

Just more honest There is something to Hemingway I like, but I'd be hard pressed to identify what. It may be fear. Some of Hemingway's short stories are great. The novels, I don't know, haven't tried one for years, but those short stories Ben: your remark that it's the "fear" in Hemingway's oeuvre that draws you demands further elaboration because I'm almost certain you HAVE something there.

Care to add anything? The last thirty pages The short stories are very fine too. The man beat himself up when he worked and the power and passion shines through. He also displayed, in my view, enormous courage as his mental illness spiralled out of control. His exit, while messy, was entirely in keeping with the code he kept--I have never considered suicide cowardice and would rather end my life than live on as an invalid or pale imitation of myself.

Hunter S. Thompson, methinks, felt the same way and I'm sure there are some in this group who would argue he waited far too long So even in high school I was an "effete and impudent snob. Now that would have been an exit. Like an American version of Yukio Mishima -- who was macho, militarist, gay, and committed suicide. I think the conversation has gone full circle ;. I thought I felt a chimerical nip in my nether regions. Anything you read in high school should be discounted Nothing spoils a good book so much as allowing some inept, semi-literate high school English teacher to explain it, break it down.

The mind recoils. I remember in Grade XI we were given a copy of "Hamlet", read part of it out loud and then were handed a stack of sheets with questions. Vocabulary and comprehension. That's how Shakespeare was taught when I was in high school I graduated in I had good English teachers in high school, it's just some of their mandated reading material sucked. Never got into Hemingway or F. Clarke was that interesting, I preferred the slangy precision of Neuromancer That's my biggest beef with SF: fascinating ideas, dull as dishwater prose.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress had some fascinating variations on the concept of marriage, but the prose was terrible. The book read like minutes from an Iowa farm insurance seminar. Job: A Comedy of Justice was funny, albeit talky. Heinlein simply can't kick his "paid by the word" talkiness. Blah, blah, fucking blah I'm in an SF writing group.

Yes, yes, and yes. Pynchon has his moments of steampunk and conspiracy theories -- like PKD, but more baroque and vulgar. Beckett strips down story, character, and setting so that can literally take place anywhere. The Trilogy by Beckett is more stylistically adventurous and psychologically penetrating than most s SF. Most SF is "beige prose" or a stupid in-joke. Sorry fellas, I don't have time for such pedestrian trifles. The SF novel I finished last December is like Lovecraft meets Clancy with military techno-geekery , with some Flaubertian dream sequences thrown.

I'm also looking for an editor ; My girlfriend is a big Heinlein fan. I've read 3 of his works and I'm not exactly beating a path to read anything else. Luckily we both love Dune. But somehow we make things work, literary tastes aside. Now that my snobbery is "out of the closet," it should be interesting if I can get on any panels at this year's CONvergence in Bloomington, MN. That woke people up. Then some schmuck told me to be careful of what I said and to use "precise language. Then again, I'm an anti-monarchist of almost Cromwellian intensity.

Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. No matter how many times I see that show, I howl. I'm surprised they knew who Joseph Campbell was. Wait, George Lucas name-dropped him and treated the old dude like a living god, didn't he? Had him out to the Skywalker Ranch, feted him in style. I'm not shitting on Campbell completely, there are aspects of his writings I find fascinating and attractive, the commonalities between religions and belief systems that he emphasized, the shared myths and psychological underpinnings that the extremists try to deny.

Eliade, whose the sacred and the profane was and is a terrific bit of work had defn. No less tedious than any Kirk vs. Picard "debate. Right, who gives a shit. Besides, everyone knows Kirk would kick the living crap out of Picard in a heartbeat. Trekkies, Bob. Well, Campbell in written form can be a chore but I still hold a special space in me evil, black heart for the Moyers series--although Bill, as is his wont, tried to hog too much of the limelight. I hate interviewers who put themselves front and centre.

They should be the nearest thing to invisible. Weren't the Nazi's creating a whole mythology of National Socialism? Is mythology an inherently Fascist project? I never connected the two. Campbell put in much hard work during his stay here on the planet. There's a fine story by Jim Shepard where a German expedition is sent by Himmler an occult devotee to find some evidence of the great Aryan race in the Himalayas. Fascinating stuff. But, no, I don't think mythology and fascism go hand in hand.

Not to my mind There's also Underland by Mick Farren, in which vampires track down the Nazis to an underground city in Antarctica where they live with lizard people. Cliff, there's a book about that expedition - Himmler's Crusade , Christopher Hale. And how could I forget this? I am going to check out "Iron Sky" after I get my boys off to school this morning. Christ, it looks good. Only you could unearth something like this, Sales This is also worth checking out. All these books sound great!

That also has subterranean SS zombies, fruit molestation, and conspiracy theories a-plenty. Never could get into Wilson. A lot of people compared him to P. Dick so I was curious and checked him out. He lost me in his Preface Ian: where the hell am I supposed to find time to watch this great stuff you're unearthing? Neither film has been released yet, so you have a year or two to find the time Wilson is too much of an anarchistic spirit. It's been a while since I read The Illuminatus Trilogy , nearly 15 years, but I remember it was a lot of fun.

Not for everyone, I admit. The sci fi elements seemed to be around merely to provide Wilson cover to debunk philosophies and conspiracy theories. Hemingway's worst book Islands in the Stream , oddly enough contains some of his best descriptive prose. Was the house outside Havana real?

I'd like to see it some day. The deep-sea fishing chapters with his sons were very well done. Nothing tops The Great Shark Hunt for fishing stories. Edited from the manuscript after he killed himself. I might be wrong but that sounds correct. I saw the movie over 2 decades ago and remember liking George C. Scott's performance, the relationship that develops between his character and his three estranged sons who come to visit him.

The scene where he takes them marlin fishing and his stubborn middle son refuses to give up on a big fish even as his hands and feet grow slick with blood. David Hemmings was pretty fine too. Always liked Hemmings, good character actor but he must have been a terrible drunk Nora Joyce felt that her husband might have benefitted a little from that lion-hunting thing. What a snobby comment! And damn funny too. Joyce lion-hunting. I'm trying to picture it. Man would have blown his own foot off.

Guy pushed to his limit by circumstances until a surge of violence proves his manhood. Damnit, Megan, I think you've got something here Oh yes, I think Hemingway's work definitely could have benefited from more gang rape and bar fights. Joyce was blind as a bat.

He couldn't hit a lion, much less the broad side of a barn. I know he disapproved of the Pynchon comparison but he's the only author I know of who can be mentioned on the same page as the great Tommy P. When it comes to humour, you have to go a long way to beat P. Wodehouse whether it is Bertie and Jeeves, Lord Emsworth, Psmith or the golfing stories they are all little treasures. Wodehouse is a gem. I like listening to audiobooks of his work; his stuff "sounds" terrific too. As does Jerome K. When it comes to humor, Henry Kissinger 's memoirs are pretty funny.

He's like the PG Wodehouse of mass-murdering conservative diplomats ;. I've been surprised how many women dislike Hemingway. Perhaps it's the beard growing facial hair is the one thing men can do easily, but which takes women much time or effort. Conrad may have the same problem. Many of Hemingway's books a centered on relationships between men and women - A Farewell to Arms is absolutely weepy at the end. Women abound in Men Without Women. A Moveable Feast is something of a love story; Lesbians may decry his description of Gertrude and Alice, but can have nothing to complain about his description of Sylvia and Adrienne.

As for that other hirsute man - Kurtz Heart of Darkness was a Lothario of some sort. Freya of the Seven Isles is also very romantic. Since I've tried growing a beard and ended up looking like a dissolute pimp, I have no comment on any post relating to facial hair I'll get you for that, Bob. I expect that kind of smarmy, kick-in-the-nuts comment from that swine Ian, but Hemingway is a lot like Jim Morrison "I'm drunk, I'm nobody.

I'm drunk, I'm famous. I'm drunk, I'm dead. He's like Heinlein, but he likes bullfighting. And Leary is a cheap imitation of the great Bill Hicks. There's a site a friend once steered me to that showed how much Leary had ripped off from my man, providing damning quotes. Embarrassing, it was Yes, Leary ripped off a lot from Bill Hicks. That wasn't part of my joke. In the words of Joker, "Why so serious? Not to belabor this Hemingway thing, but Fiesta was written from the POV of an emasculated man, hardly he-man material. Oddly enough, I was just re-reading Robinson Crusoe , and he was attacked by wolves and a bear just outside Pamplona, where much of Fiesta takes place.

I would not be surprised to find that He-Men who worry about the He-ness of their Man-hood spend time contemplating emasculation. I hate books about rich spoiled people and their neuroses and how important it all is. And bullfighting does not do much for me either I have heard many viewpoints on whether Hemingway is just inaccessible to women, but I like a lot of other male authors whether they are emasculated or not will have to be left up to the males on this thread. I didn't particularly like Farewell to Arms. This may have to do with having to read it for high school. I also didn't like Great Gatsby and Childhood's End for the same reason.

I enjoy books are rich, neurotic people, like Proust and Waugh.


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Being not rich, I see it as anti-slumming. I see the rich, wealthy, and otherwise cash-clogged plutocrats, aristocrats, etc. For a good book, read The Filthy Rich Handbook -- a satirical look at the monied elite. Affluenza is fascinating. One reason, among countless others, why I like The Sopranos. Tony lives in a wealthy New Jersey suburb, he's not exactly salt of the earth anymore. As far as wealth goes, there's the whole nouveau riche vs. Nothing is more entertaining than tacky new wealth and profound social dysfunction. I'm not really a fan of the "marriage-industrial complex", whether it's Bridget Jones or Pride and Prejudice.

Sorry, just don't care which pale white girl gets the guy. Maybe if I had had your attitude I would have absolutely loved Justine. I think part of my problem with some of these canonical writers is that I was simply too young to "get" them when I read them. One of my reading resolutions for this year should be to re-read one or two books I hated as a teenager. Anna: couldn't agree more, kid. Good books should be re-read. We change, grow, develop, mature most of us Which Justine?

Durrell's or Sade's? Probably should go back to them. Sade is good, an unapologetic snob and dandy. He's been trashed by just about everybody, but he's an essential part of the Western Canon. Unfortunately Camille Paglia seems to be the only academic who gave him a serious rehabilitation. Considering our violent religious age of wars and atrocities, it might be worthwhile to revisit the writings of Sade, Hobbes, and Hume. Anybody would think you lot thought I was obsessed with him I'm going to lie down.

I have a warhammer of a fucking headache after listening to this guff Gerald, Lawrence's brother. Might have to sample something by brother Larry just for contrast. That's quite the family, the Durrells. Not familiar with anything by Gerald so I defer to Mr. Sales and others who can speak with far more authority. Thanks for chiming in Gerry wrote all about catching animals in darkest jungles and setting up a private? A bit more on the humorous side than his brother. McHugh Don't have enough knowledge of the rest to give a good answer.

Or should I say fantasy. In the case of a few people here names deleted at the insistence of etc. Read one King book, The Stand , which was a serviceable potboiler, but the ending stank. Re: The King James Bible. Can a book be a bestseller even though nobody's read the thing? See Scientologists ballot-stuffing, etc. Rebel, I'd suggest wearing an asbestos suit with those selections. Unless those were meant ironically.

This crowd can get nasty. Boy, the mention of Jonathan Livingston Seagull as best literary novel sure brought out the snob in me. I don't know if it is a joke or the ultimate snobbish coup! How about a guilty pleasure for the toffee-nosed? Mayhap it was mentioned in the wrong thread?


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Oh, Hi, rebelaessedai, I didn't see you standing there. Welcome to our little group! Love Story. Or maybe it's just the shrapnel and the tear gas. But seriously, folks I don't like the notion that people are tentative about speaking up, afraid they're going to get slapped down or dumped on. Any piss-taking is impersonal and meant to provoke the wit of the group and not single out an individual. I wouldn't be a party to a group that indulged in that kind of behavior. I think snobs are, for the most part, well-behaved, civil, polite people, secure in their superiority. Bring it on.

Defend your choice, stick a pin in a few swelled heads at the same time. Hell, I'm embarrassed by some of the stuff in my basement, old books and tapes I can't bring myself to dump. Titles that would provoke whinnies of laughter and barbed attacks from the blade-wielding bastards who hang out here, steely-eyed as Caesar's assassins. Stuff like-- Oho, almost had me! You rotters Are you referring to your collection of Kevin J Anderson novels, Cliff?

Because we already know about them. It's says on Anderson's web site that you're his biggest fan. My general opinion of Irving is that he wrote one great book, The World According to Garp - everything leading up to were rough drafts on that novel's themes, everything since then has been too structured to be fully successful. Enjoyed Lonesome Dove but couldn't help thinking that McMurtry had watched a bunch of classic westerns and then written them all into a single novel. To my mind, westerns work better in film than they do in books - it could be because the genre is so strongly linked to a specific library of iconographic images.

Delurking to ask Is it the love that dare not speak its name, or are you referring to Platonic love? The whole thing was a love story. It was a love story of friendship, and it was brilliant. Garp was celebration of perpetual male adolescence Cider House Rules was a good story, but not as emotionally committing. It was as though Irving finally achieved adulthood and then wrote Owen Meany. When you look at Irving's career - with the first few novels, culminating with Garp, he is writing about what he knows, to an extent they are all autobiographical; post-Garp his works read like a writer who picks a subject - abortion in The Cider House Rules , religion in A Prayer for Owen Meany , and so - and then structures a story around the subject.

In The Cider House Rules the plot is deliberately tailored to be pro-abortion there is never any real threat of the main character staying with his anti-abortion stance ; in Owen Meany Irving just fails to handle the religious aspects well - they are either heavy-handed or wrong-headed. What matters here - to me, anyway - is not that your "one's" opinion conforms to some arbitrary set of standards that we or anybody else has just made up. What matters is the vim, the zest, the energy and the wit with which you defend your own opinions, whatever they may be.

So - Jonathan Livington Seagull! Why not? But, more pertinently, why? What religious issues did you think he was trying to handle jargoneer? You go for the throat, Monsieur Sales, I've give you that. Oh, I'll give it to you, all right Dave : you said it, pardner. Shit, if someone wants to come on here and defend Timothy Zahn and KJA, why, they should-- Actually, no, that's probably not a good idea. A talking seagull is one thing. Prose that is excreted rather than written is a whole other issue. And since then, nothing.

My wife is still a fan and she's a discerning reader. For whatever reason, I'm no longer interested. Best books by genre. Isn't this more like favorite books? I'm kind of predictable and boring. I need to read books that aren't so old and so European. I'm not sure if this list qualifies me as a lit snob, but it's my 2 cents worth anyway. I'm speechless! I always felt Jonathan Livingston Seagull was one of those spiritualist snob kinda books.

Wait, wrong thread? You're kidding me! I don't care, I'm flying wayyyy higher than you crazy trekkie bastards Oh, and I'm not sure you can count yourself a snob if you can't spell fahrenheit properly. Dunno what that says about our members. I like the diversity of offerings here, myself, and, as has been said, as long as someone's willing to defend their choices with spirit and wit and absorb a few digs in return, there's plenty of room to maneuver. I've spent some time on a couple of ugly sites of late not LibraryThing and I despised the way a few shitheads tried to close off debate and dictate terms to the others.

I loathe bullies and love a free exchange of ideas. Vive la difference! And fuck the trolls Well, yes, who would have thought that crazy old Nazi from Norway could write a romantic book. I'm not a fan of romance, and the plot is an old one, but this one was different. I thought about it for weeks. Well, let's see. I haven't seen my list for several hours. I did not realize that there were so many crazy people on it and two Nazis, too. Like Murphy, he takes off all his clothes, ties himself to a rocking chair, and rocks himself into a catatonic state.

I won't say what he does with the toilet, because it would spoil the ending. Herr Heidegger, the Nazi. Then there is Nietzsche who is so wise and writes such good books. Sade makes me laugh. And Capital is a novel, yes? The proletariat's bildungsroman? I'm serious when I say that these books have changed my way of thinking in many ways. But do you suppose there is something wrong with me? So i settled for Wallace Stevens, instead who seemed to handle a lot of what i thought Heidegger was trying to say in a lot fewer words.

That is very interesting. Which poems by Stevens? I like his work very much. My favorite work by Marx is the much earlier Economic and Political Manuscripts of ; the alienation of the worker from his labor first appears here, I think. That really affected me. It's a more humanist Marx before he becomes very systematic in his theories of political economy over twenty years later. My favorite work by Heidegger is Poetry, Language, and Thought. As was his description of the family under the stress of the new. I was thinking of Stevens in general - the poem is the object is what is seen.

Does this make any sense? Durick Jan 26, , am. Heidegger was a jerk or, according to one report, a clown. If he said anything important it is available elsewhere. The best novel is Independent People. A jerk and a clown? Are you sure you don't mean that Illinois Governor guy with the bad hair? There are many jerks. There are many clowns. There are many who are both jerks and clowns. Heidegger was among the latter. Many politicians are among the latter.

That is to say there is not only one. I think I've read all three volumes now and they are somethin' to behold. Those are three I'd like to own for my own collection got 'em from the library Blanket statements bother me overall, but they invite discussion at least. Please explain "clown", but only if you want to. I do not agree. No one wants to hear me "defend" Heidegger's ideas not the man because I'd end up looking stupid like a clown. It would be very boring, too, and I'd most likely get much of it wrong. Oh well. All blanket ideas are dumb ; Cliff, I've read all 3 volumes and I agree, they are something to behold.

And carry: I have the hardcovers -- oy! Apparently he's writing the fourth installment about LBJ's presidency and the Vietnam War -- by going and living in Vietnam. He's the De Niro of biographers Cf. While the biographies are huge and full of technical details on the process of legislation, they are actually quite readable, akin of William Manchester and Shelby Foote. In the end, Caro is a pop biographer. Wish doorstop-sized SF and fantasy could be just as readable. Too many things in that sentence.

Having said that, I think Stevens is really at times in pursuit of the completely objective, uncluttered by subjectivity, rather than going back to subjectivity in any way. Which is impossible, of course, but he had a good go at it. Or have I got this completely wrong? Heidegger was a boozy beggar anyway. Monty Python or was it Australian philosophers named Bruce had it right all along.. So my interpretations could be degrees off the mark. I don't. I've always been a 'high digger. I'll stick with the surface as did the old 'Enemy.

Durick Edited: Jan 26, , pm. The chief reason not to read Heidegger is that he is unreadable; give that burden to others. He was a jerk 1 as an expedient sell-out to the Nazis and 2 as a cad to Hannah Arendt. I take the clown epithet from authority and cannot explain it. In a bildungsroman reduced to an article, an author explained some kind of despair arising from contemplating a thought of Heidegger's.

He chased the idea around Europe. In Greece he sat to breakfast. The waiter asked him if he needed anything else. He asked the waiter for his take on Heidegger's view that The waiter replied, "Heidegger was a clown," and walked away. I assumed that the writer achieved enlightenment at that moment. I really don't get people picking The Notebook.

It was ok, but best romance ever? Like most genre fiction, those who enjoy it do so not for the high quality of the prose, the excellence of its authors but because it's reassuring, a comforting, non-challenging read.

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A warm-fuzzy blanket for the brain. Or escape. I have no truck with such notions but I suppose I understand the appeal Literary fiction titles alone can trigger my gag reflex. But this is also all part of the game with publishers and editors. Depending on the clout of the author or the marketing genius of the publishing house, a piece of commercial tripe can become a "literary masterpiece" and vice versa.


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  5. It's the "literary vs. Like sci fi, romance's bad reputation can be partially blamed on the cover "art. If you don't move a lot of units in a week, you're pulled. That plays into writing for the Lowest Common Denominator. Why do you think uber-hack John Ringo has a career? The term "literary" is the book publishing world's word for "indie" or "alternative. Show your friends how organic and earth-friendly you are by reading about amusing non-Caucasians. I'm exaggerating slightly. But at least people are reading ;. One observation on Heidegger and the Heideggerians.

    I attended several classes with a Heideggerian professor. The jist of the classes was that Heidegger's thought was so special that it needed a whole new language with which to approach it. To learn this language required a commitment to the Heidegerrian society, complete with secret handshake.

    After learning this special language what does one discover in Heidegger? That language is inherently untrustworthy for communicating deep thoughts. It was at this point that I decided, like Yossarian and his experience with the man who saw everything twice, Heidegger holds no charms for me. Then I read Bourdieu on Heidegger and found myself eminently validated in my rejection of Heidegger. Sounds like the same deal with the Cult of Foucault. Same new language discourse, space, biopower, etc.

    My response was, "He seemed groundbreaking in the 70s and 80s, but it is the 21st century. Are we going to keep doing this jargon-laden ancestor worship or are we going to do something new? I've been off feeding the cows - five metres or so of water so I've been kicking bales of hay out of the other helicopter door. Books by continents? Out of Africa Karen Blixen would be my first choice. Now, of all the activities you could have named, kicking bales out of a helicopter is, ah, unique. Have you considered commencing work on an Ark? The bales weren't pot?

    Not getting rid of contraband? Because of that, I typically enjoy "romantic" books that don't have happy endings. Hence my choice for Memories of My Melancholy Whores. I like that sense of the delusional side of romantic love. It reminds us that a good part of what we love about someone is simply the image of them we have created in our own mind. Just to join the choir on romance: If you consider the popular genre of romance, I've found it to be unreadable usually the writing style is very simplistic and characters are all Mary Sues and basically porn for women being able to write a good sex scene is great and all, but if your book consists of sex scenes with short, silly and unconvincing plot contrivances strung between them, sorry.

    If you consider literary love stories as "romance" you can call things like Posession or anything by Jane Austen "romance". It's all about definition.

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    I note that A. Byatt actually calls Possession a romance. I had to spell "Possession" with one S in order to get the right touchstone to come up. Isn't that weird? Anyone have an idea as to why? The snob in me assumes that if someone on this discussion group says they enjoyed a romance, it isn't a regular genre novel by Danielle Steele or similar - it's a regular literary - or at least fairly well-written bestseller - type of book.

    My snobbery for romance novels is similar to my snobbery for high fantasy novels. In a nutshell, "It's all the same plot, so why bother? But is there a 12 step program somewhere? I'm thinking particularly of "Stranger than Fiction" which is a very witty comedy based on If that qualifies as a chick-flick, then I guess I'm in. To go back to Byatt's Possession, I thought it was predictable, albeit well-written. I'm willing to try her again. Any suggestions?

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    Can I point out that as snobs when we discuss romance we should be discussing the medieval, early European, texts such as Le Morte D'Arthur. In this context, I can heartily recommend Tirant Lo Blanch. At least it features people in middle age having a romance. That's as rare as a fundamentalist with an open mind these days. And the st Airborne couldn't drag into anything resembling a chick-flick I'm currently reading The Leatherstocking Tales which are every bit as romantic in the Morte de Arthur sense as anything in Malory.

    Heroic men, strong women, interesting times with a sense of the sublime instilled by the wilderness. Natty as Arthur, Chingachkook, as the brave warrior, maybe Sir Galahad, as well as the noble savage, a twofer in the world of romance, the wicked French and their evil Indian allies. The wilderness against which these stories of heroism and pluck play themselves out. Oh, I find much romance in these books.

    Aw, Gene, you've pinned your big, bright heart on your sleeve again, shown your true colours. You ol' softie Porn for women, that's unfair, Terry Goodkind is porn, and it's for everybody! Almost forgot- in defense of my enjoyment of the Notebook, the damn thing made me cry for 50 pages!

    It might not be the pinnacle of literature, but if a book has that kind of effect on you, at least it touched you in some way. That's what's most important to me when I read. All the trees are underwater so a wooden Ark doesn't seem too feasible. I was trying to think of better Romance candidates than my original ones Fanny Hill and Moll Flanders when reminded me of Tirant Lo Blanc , a book esteemed by Miguel Cervantes, which ought to be enough praise for anyone. Personally, my infrequent conversations with 14 year-old girls leave me wondering Does no one still admit to owning Fanny Hill? There isn't a rude word in it.

    There's no reason to complain about the style of writing. Cleland was supposedly a friend of Alexander Pope's father, but last I heard there's no suggestion Pope wrote it. It doesn't read like Pope. I figure it's the urth C romance and i really shouldn't have titled my essay "Wuthering Heights, Re-wuthered. Science Fiction: Foundation - Asimov. You had me going until you got to Asimov. You HAD to namedrop Asimov, didn't you?

    I'll leave it up to others to correct your misapprehensions regarding the aesthetic value of that particular author's oeuvre. It's cold this morning and my family is stirring upstairs. Science Fiction: Neuromancer by William Gibson. Now that cat can write. Asimov and Heinlein are prolific typists. The only real cache with those two is that they created a lot of the dominant tropes still with the genre.

    But the same could be said of Gibson and Tolkien, both of whom were admirable writers. I never read Asimov and I have no desire to start. On that note, Flight of the Eisenstein is a rollicking fun ride. But why name a Warhammer 40K frigate after a Soviet filmmaker?

    It also means "iron-rock" in German. An interesting turn of things, considering the opposite happened with the real-life Potemkin. Nothing like reading too much into a Warhammer 40K book ;. Cliff, is it necessary for you to end every comment with " When repeated with such regularity, it comes off as the written equivalent to ending every vocalised statement with a vacant stare. Or it could be a sign for the reader to fill in the rest from their imagination. Interactive reading. Of course it could be the classic stoner response to a thought more than three seconds in length.

    I'm just saying In either case Best literary: Under the Volcano, Lowry. I picked up The Tin Drum for nothing recently - it was "buy one get one free" at a charity shop, so I bought Wallace Stevens' Collected Poems for 69p, and got the Grass free. Tin Drum, a novel about a Nazi youth, should be read in light of Grass's recent confession that he himself was a member of the Nazi youth, and later served in the Nazi party.

    Of course, like so many others, he denies having participated in "atrocities" and really doing much of anything at all. Of course it is also curious that he has waited until nearly 60 years later to announce it. February fecal feces Fed fed federal federalism federalist Federal Reserve System federate federation fed up fee feeble feeble-minded feed feedback feedbag feeding feel feeler feeling feelings feet feign feint feisty feline fell fellow fellowship felon felony felt felt-tip pen fem. Jane Doe jangle janitor January Japanese jar jargon jaundice jaundiced jaunt jauntily jaunty javelin jaw jaws jaywalker jazz jazzy jealous jealously jealousy jeans Jeep jeer jeez Jell-O jelly jellyfish jeopardize jeopardy jerk jerkily jerky jersey jest jester Jesus Jesus Christ jet jet black jet engine jet lag jet-lagged jet-propelled jet propulsion jet set jet setter jettison jetty Jew jewel jeweled jeweler jewelry Jewish jibe jiffy jig jigger jiggle jigsaw puzzle jilt jingle jinx jinxed jitters jittery jive job jobless joblessness jock jockey jockstrap jocular jocularity jog jogger jogging john John Doe join joint jointly joint venture joke joker jolly jolt jostle jot journal journalism journalist journey jovial jowls joy joyful joyfully joyfulness joyous joyously joyride joyrider joyriding joystick Jr.

    July jumble jumbled jumbo jump jumper jumper cable jump rope jump-start jumpsuit jumpy Jun. McCoy M. MS Ms.