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Great Authors who are ignored probably because they haven't been on a reality show

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Showing 76-100 of 152 posts in this discussion
Posted on 24 May 2013 22:01:34 BDT
M. Dowden says:
gille, a great writer. His poetry was modernist before the expression was used. He wrote really well about the sea and life on the old sailing ships, although I think he has a bad rep because he did become quite experimental and also a few of his books are very ambiguous. Admittedly in the US he is much more admired than over here.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2013 22:07:15 BDT
monica says:
No he isn't.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2013 22:11:28 BDT
gille liath says:
I don't know what it is, 'classic American literature' doesn't do anything for me, and he certainly doesn't.

I guess that's where - without retracting what I said just now :) - you do have to acknowledge that universities, school curriculums and (in this case) even national culture have a role in perpetuating certain books, which may perhaps not deserve it. Or at least, it can be hard to tell whether they deserve it or not.

Without dredging up every old argument that's ever been had on this forum, I think Austen for her part may owe her resurgence in popularity partly to the fact that her books lend themselves very well to screen adaptation.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2013 22:12:09 BDT
gille liath says:
Fair enough - you must've kept that one pretty quiet.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2013 22:17:20 BDT
monica says:
Thanks--I'd forgotten he'd written poetry & will have a look at some of it.

And then I'll probably buy a volume of it to keep on the coffee table next to the oh-so-knowingly-ironic-but-nonetheless-pricey set of miniature garden gnomes carved from semi-precious stones. Simply to let visitors know what a snob I am, you know.

And for whomever mentioned inverted snobbery, displaying it has never seemed to me anything other than a defense mechanism (as well as a tacit if involuntary admission of envy) employed by the insecure.

Posted on 24 May 2013 22:19:51 BDT
M. Dowden says:
When Jane Austen became popular was due more or less to her family pushing her works, after bringing out a biography of her after her death, but I would agree with you that a lot of it these days is definitely helped by dramatisations. The other Christmas when the BBC put on two Dickens dramas I read an article on how much the two books were selling from before they were shown. If I remember correctly they showed new adaptations of Great Expectations, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Apparently with the latter the sales nationally increased from about one a week, to five copies a day. : )

I do get annoyed with the telly and films, because they always seem to use just a handful of books, where there are others that can easily be adapted and would make good period dramas.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2013 22:21:48 BDT
gille liath says:
That'd be me, though I wasn't referring to myself.

I think it's basically a reaction to common or garden snobbery - it wouldn't exist if that didn't. But still, it's a form of prejudice.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2013 22:25:49 BDT
gille liath says:
Yeah, she's a bit like Mozart though. Remember how, before Amadeus, Beethoven was always the official 'Best Composer in the World'? Not that she'd never been heard of or anything; but I do think she owes her elevation to top of the charts to those hit TV series / movies.

And as I say, I think the reason they keep coming back to her is that few others translate to the screen, and suit modern (sense and) sensibility so well.

Posted on 24 May 2013 22:32:43 BDT
M. Dowden says:
I will admit that although I am always complaining about yet another adaptation of the usual suspects, at the end of the day I am usually sat in front of the screen watching them. I like your pun at the end. : )

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 00:22:23 BDT
TomC says:
The effect of TV serialization is huge. I have an old Penguin copy of Brideshead Revisited printed in 1981, the year the serial was released. It has a list of reprints on the flyleaf; from its first Penguin publication in 1951, it had a total of 17 printings up to 1979. In 1980, it had two; in 1981 it had eight.

Posted on 25 May 2013 00:30:55 BDT
M. Dowden says:
lol..... suddenly really popular. If I think about it though most people I know have read it, I think mainly due to the tv series. I remember reading once somewhere that Waugh wished he had never published it and didn't like it, although I can't remember anyone that I know not liking it.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 09:29:04 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
Pot meet Kettle ;) (goes for both of us)

And I too liked Melville, having recently read MD but you missed that conversation. The 'Establishment' ignore his humour.

And I second (third) that this conversation has got interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 09:36:41 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
That is why I started reading Lytton, Dickens for whatever reason has never appealed, nor has Austen or the Brontes. I keep meaning to check out Scott but distractions, distractions.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 09:45:49 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 25 May 2013 10:04:42 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 11:55:50 BDT
I'm glad some good came of it, and I have learned that 99% of the people on here are reasonable.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 12:16:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2013 12:17:42 BDT
M. Jolliff says:
It is in my case, though I'm getting better at controlling it. The thing is, the more classics and 'Lit' stuff I read, the more justified I find my previous reactionary stance. Tis only with the rise of geekdom and the adjustment of the critical establishments stance to those works I have always considered good that I find myself altering my attitude. So saying, finding myself intensely attracted to, my taste may be somewhat suspect in some eyes.

Reposted cos

Posted on 25 May 2013 12:19:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2013 12:19:20 BDT
However bad a book is, or how much you dislike's better than watching a moronic reality show on television.

Posted on 25 May 2013 19:01:47 BDT
M. Dowden says:
monica, I just noticed your post, with regards to your priceless gnome collection. I was glad to see that my mum has had a gnome culling. It was getting embarrassing, you go to sit outside there are all these gnomes are staring at you. : ) As for displaying things it made me think of my dad, at my parents you go to hang your coat up and there is a bookcase facing you full of volumes of sermons and religious texts. You would think that he was a minister or a theologian, but in fact he got them dirt cheap and my mum says he has never looked in them. One day I am going to have to take a peep inside one of them, it is my theory that they only have blank pages. Whereas with me when you see the first bookcase all you notice is that it is chock full of Agatha Christie and the Disc World novels.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 19:16:41 BDT
TomC says:
I remember a remark - in one of Orwell's essays I think - that there are, or were, booksellers in London who would sell you books by the yard.

Posted on 25 May 2013 19:26:47 BDT
M. Dowden says:
M. Jolliff, thanks for the trailer link. It looks like it may be good. People laugh because I like Hudson Hawk. I know it isn't a great film or anything special, but if I am feeling down it always manages to make me laugh.

Brian, mentioning reality shows, I recorded something the other day and I had caught the end of the programme beforehand, it looked like people going around to each other's houses and scoring them. Bizarre.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 19:30:48 BDT
M. Dowden says:
Tom C, I don't know about that, but I can believe it. Years ago I used to go into this secondhand bookshop and they used to just have piles of books all tied up ready for sale. So you could just pick up say an Alistair MacLean pile and pay a pound or whatever it was and walk out with a massive set of his books.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 19:33:01 BDT
I don't think they exist any more, Tom, but that was certainly the case, as far back as the 18th century. Lots of the nouveau riche were building nice big houses and needed/wanted to incorporate a library; so booksellers would enquire how many yards of bookshelves they wanted to fill, and voila! Later on, and I assume this was more the case in Orwell's time, booksellers would go to house clearances and buy up the deceaseds' book collections - by the yard - which they would then sell on in the same way.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 19:34:21 BDT
I Readalot says:
M Dowden, I have noticed a marked increase in sales of 'The Great Gatsby' I am not tempted to see the new film, Di Caprio is no Robert Redford. Apart from that the reviews seem a bit mixed to say the least!

Posted on 25 May 2013 19:37:47 BDT
M. Dowden says:
Marcus, you are probably right, loads of nobs used to buy the books in bulk like that to fill libraries in their grand houses.

I Readalot, I saw the trailer for it and it has made me not want to see the film. I read a review online from a US paper and they didn't think much of it. I've got the impression that it may be a bit of style over matter.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013 19:45:04 BDT
I Readalot says:
That's about the impression I got from glancing at reviews. Think I will stick to the 1974 version.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  152
Initial post:  19 May 2013
Latest post:  28 May 2013

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