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Old 02-09-2016, 03:29 PM   #13441
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I find a lot of it is also learning how to read it. Jargon aside, what makes some writers difficult to read is the syntax and lack of emphasis on words implied by the text (italicisation etc) which can make a sentence read like some feverish nightmare word salad.

problem with philo is knowing where to start. It seems like a lot of courses are REALLY exclusionary to big chunks of history and very subject-focused which is a big ball of meh

idk

anyhow I'm working through Camus still. I've got Emil Cioran next, who was quite a cheery fellow

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Old 02-09-2016, 03:35 PM   #13442
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And many authors feel the need to write sentences with two or three parentheticals, lots of dependent clauses, and they go on for like half a page.

takes me forever to figure out what is still one thought at times.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:59 PM   #13443
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I can understand that long compound-complex-compound-etc. style when it's a stylistic choice that has a function (i.e., stream-of-consciousness in Modernist fiction), but as far as nonfiction, where the content is (or should be?) of more importance than the style... I don't get it it's done that way. lucidity ftw

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I agree with the sentiment that philo courses seem too subject-focused. I guess it's kind of difficult to get around that with thousands of years of relevant material.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:57 PM   #13444
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part of the argument (at least for deconstructive theory) is that the lack of clarity is there because the theorist/writer doesn't want to give the impression of having a firm position, always needing to show that unstable nature of their thinking in the writing itself. Sounds like a bullshit excuse ye, but makes sense in some cases

my uni was great for lit theory. Theyve even started introducing a lot of it in first year, whereas i only really got properly exposed to it in my 3rd year
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:09 PM   #13445
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I guess that makes sense to some degree, though an educated audience would kind of assume from the get-go that the author's thinking isn't static.

O me of little faith.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:52 PM   #13446
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hey! so with my current job i get alot of free time to read. ive recently finished 3 books by christopher moore; Lamb, island of the sequined love nun, and lust lizard of melancholy cove
gotta say the first 2 are the better ones with lamb being by far the best of the 3. i plan to read a couple more or his books.has anyone else read his books before?
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:56 PM   #13447
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How hard is it for you to read books that have a good plot/are interesting but where the writing itself is not that great?

I'm currently reading a really interesting book about Disneyland and I don't regret purchasing it but I have to take breaks every so often to let off steam because the writing is bad and the authors are sexist. Not so much that I would stop reading, as I have done in the past, and not so little that it would be dumb to make a huge deal out of it, but just enough for it to be mildly infuriating.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:45 AM   #13448
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part of the argument (at least for deconstructive theory) is that the lack of clarity is there because the theorist/writer doesn't want to give the impression of having a firm position, always needing to show that unstable nature of their thinking in the writing itself. Sounds like a bullshit excuse ye, but makes sense in some cases

my uni was great for lit theory. Theyve even started introducing a lot of it in first year, whereas i only really got properly exposed to it in my 3rd year

we'd be more like that if one or two faculty members had more pull. Others want more specialized studies based on race and gender. That stuff is cool, but I feel like literary theory and criticism strengthens those areas where the inverse isn't true.

Lit Crit changed my life for the better, but it's only offered every two years or so. grad level theory didn't even make like a year ago.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:01 AM   #13449
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How hard is it for you to read books that have a good plot/are interesting but where the writing itself is not that great?

I'm currently reading a really interesting book about Disneyland and I don't regret purchasing it but I have to take breaks every so often to let off steam because the writing is bad and the authors are sexist. Not so much that I would stop reading, as I have done in the past, and not so little that it would be dumb to make a huge deal out of it, but just enough for it to be mildly infuriating.


I think I know what you mean. Sometimes it does bother me a lot. I remember reading some of Comte's writings on the law of three stages, thinking it was racist teleological gibberish, and having to force myself to read it anyway. I guess it's better to read and digest it rather than reject it outright.

I'm reminded of Chuck Palahniuk's books. They tend to have plots which appeal to me, but his writing style is kind of bland. And the dialogue is usually inane.

Maybe it's easier to continue if there's an outside incentive (class work or something) than reading for my own amusement. I get that feeling worse with television news and that kind of thing.

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Old 02-10-2016, 04:05 AM   #13450
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Originally Posted by Aeolian Harmony
I'm reminded of Chuck Palahniuk's books. They tend to have plots which appeal to me, but his writing style is kind of bland. And the dialogue is usually inane.

I find Palahniuk's prose very engaging, he also foreshadows many plot points through subtle shifts in writing style. His writing appeals to me more than the plot; sometimes it's in the mundane where we find the sublime.
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:07 AM   #13451
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Originally Posted by guitarxo
How hard is it for you to read books that have a good plot/are interesting but where the writing itself is not that great?

I'm currently reading a really interesting book about Disneyland and I don't regret purchasing it but I have to take breaks every so often to let off steam because the writing is bad and the authors are sexist. Not so much that I would stop reading, as I have done in the past, and not so little that it would be dumb to make a huge deal out of it, but just enough for it to be mildly infuriating.


I actually can't think of a time when this has happened to me

MAYBE Catcher in the Rye, but I'm pretty sure I hated that plot as well
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:10 AM   #13452
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Started reading Serena by Ron Rash last night. Anyone pick this up? Does she stab anyone?
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:39 AM   #13453
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I find Palahniuk's prose very engaging, he also foreshadows many plot points through subtle shifts in writing style. His writing appeals to me more than the plot; sometimes it's in the mundane where we find the sublime.


I remember this occurring in Rant. The epistolary approach probably made it more obvious (i.e., one character's account of events signals the direction in which the action will go).

Now that I think about it more, Pygmy was stylistically interesting. And a great example of technique fitting well with the plot.

Maybe I'm put off because Snuff was so eh. I should probably read Fight Club sometime
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:08 AM   #13454
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Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi was amazing and I wasn't expecting much at all. Great fun.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:21 PM   #13455
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I read Old Man's War a few years ago and have another of his sitting around somewhere. Pretty good SF from Mr. Scalzi.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:59 PM   #13456
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ahhh, I forgot about Old Man's War. Thanks for reminding me.

That book was hilarious and awesome.

I've been meaning to check out more from that author...

Sunk my teeth into Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood the other day.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:01 AM   #13457
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Can't believe I still haven't read Old Man's War. That's going to the top of my list
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:31 AM   #13458
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so I had to read some Derrida for class. didn't really get a goddamn word. We talked about it in class. Suddenly deconstruction makes sense because I had one of those light bulb moments where everything because clear

which is basically part of deconstruction. and that's infuriating.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:45 PM   #13459
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What is it you didn't previously understand?


Not to imply that I do, as I still barely comprehend the whole relational, self-fulfilling aspect of meaning in deconstruction.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:44 PM   #13460
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What is it you didn't previously understand?


Not to imply that I do, as I still barely comprehend the whole relational, self-fulfilling aspect of meaning in deconstruction.

I just couldn't wrap my head around what exactly it was or how exactly it was done. One of my main instructors is like a serious Deconstruction dude.

Like, knowing how to find ruptures and their horizons and what they really did to a text. I'm just now starting to really grasp how the parts fit together. Still need to reread that exert from Of Grammatology we were assigned to see if it makes sense now.
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