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  • stoat
  • The Legend

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    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11300 on: January 31, 2020, 03:09:08 pm »
Quote
But here's the real rub- Let's start comparing stuff like A Different World or Living Single or In Living Color to Seinfeld or Friends or Monty Python. What's "Great" in that case is much more defined by our cultural upbringing and what we're familiar with (on average).

I would start by saying you're making an apples and oranges comparison. You're comparing a written, scripted situational comedy show vs. a semi-reality personality show with comedic elements. Seinfeld has a plot structure, this really doesn't. They have completely different target audiences and serve completely different purposes in providing entertainment. It's a bit like comparing a 3 minute rock song to a 90 minute mass. Both music, but distinctly different audiences and goals. Wouldn't the more appropriate comparison be more something like MTV's Cribs or like, a comedic version of The Real World or something like that? Not to mention, people seem to be using this one program as a stand-in for all Korean TV. Survivor is a wildly possible show, as was The Apprentice. Same with American Idol. I mean, one might question why Western audiences derive pleasure from watching a host berate someone to the point of tears, humiliating them in front of an entire country. OR one could say that's not necessarily a representative example and that sort of show has a target audience that is looking for that sort of thing.

What I'd do is look at other shows of that type and see how well it did compared to them. I'd try and follow the Roger Ebert style of criticism which is "Did it meet the audience's expectations?"  Yes there is some consideration for the absolute, but that is when it starts to veer into "Why doesn't this exist to make me happy?" and you have to be careful. A good evaluation of content should be able to consider the target audience and what they are seeking.

I mean, you haven't even listed any evaluative criteria.

Yes of course, no two art forms are the same and there'll always be reasons why one kind of person might enjoy one more than another. My aim was just to get you to admit that it is sometimes useful or necessary to compare the quality of different art forms and agree with the principle that one piece of art can be objectively better than another. There's no point in discussing criteria until we get to that stage.   


Quote
I'd say historical influence and their popularity amongst the people of the period would be a good place to start. That's not a commentary on whether such work was "good", only that it was significant and influential and widely consumed

Do you think it'd be a good idea for people to study 50 shades of Grey and the Davinci Code on future Eng lit courses, for example? 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2020, 04:45:43 pm by stoat »


Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11301 on: January 31, 2020, 11:27:21 pm »
Do you think it'd be a good idea for people to study 50 shades of Grey and the Davinci Code on future Eng lit courses, for example?
I can't imagine any work featuring lurid tales of lust becoming a literary classic... :rolleyes:


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4621

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11302 on: January 31, 2020, 11:38:30 pm »
just so i'm getting this right... you're saying 50 shades of grey will become a future literary classic that will be studied in future lit university courses?


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11303 on: January 31, 2020, 11:41:54 pm »
just so i'm getting this right... you're saying 50 shades of grey will become a future literary classic that will be studied in future lit university courses?

I think he either misunderstood my point, or doesn't know much about English literature.


Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11304 on: February 01, 2020, 06:23:08 pm »
just so i'm getting this right... you're saying 50 shades of grey will become a future literary classic that will be studied in future lit university courses?
Ever hear of Nabokov?


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4621

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11305 on: February 01, 2020, 07:47:07 pm »
Yeah you didn't answer the question though


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11306 on: February 01, 2020, 07:57:13 pm »
Ever hear of Nabokov?

Not sure I get your point here. Lolita was about sexual perversion and was considered a classic novel, so 50 shades of Grey should be too? is this really your argument?  Even by your standards that's pretty nonsensical.

At The Eng Lit faculty meeting

'Is Moby Dick on the syllabus this year?'
Yes of course, it's a classic.
'How about 'Jaws', that's another book about someone chasing a big sea animal
Good point, stick it on the list. 


  • Cohort 2019
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Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11307 on: February 02, 2020, 02:11:47 am »
A student of mine chose Lolita for whatever reason for her lit. portfolio. It felt a bit awkward tbh.
incumbo studiis


  • JNM
  • The Legend

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    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Cairo, Egypt (formerly Seoul)
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11308 on: February 02, 2020, 03:12:56 pm »
Not sure I get your point here. Lolita was about sexual perversion and was considered a classic novel, so 50 shades of Grey should be too? is this really your argument?  Even by your standards that's pretty nonsensical.

At The Eng Lit faculty meeting

'Is Moby Dick on the syllabus this year?'
Yes of course, it's a classic.
'How about 'Jaws', that's another book about someone chasing a big sea animal
Good point, stick it on the list. 
50 Shades will be seen as important literature.

It is a great example of a commercially successful early digital self-published work, with its roots in fan-fic.

Ive never read it, or seen the movie, but I know enough about it to make the above statement.



Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11309 on: February 03, 2020, 11:38:16 am »
Not sure I get your point here. Lolita was about sexual perversion and was considered a classic novel, so 50 shades of Grey should be too? is this really your argument? 
It wasn't considered a classic at the time. It was considered obscene. It's classified as a work of erotic literature. Sure it deals with social taboos, but then so does 50 Shades. Who knows what time will do? I doubt when Lolita was first published, people expected it to be in English Lit classes. Now it is.

And I'm sure we've all read some "classics" in school that we thought were crap and poorly written.

History is not under our control or our standards. Works that would have never even been considered even 20 years ago are now being added in the name of diversity. Who knows what forces and trends will have materialized 50 years after 50 Shades?

Again, we have the recurring trend that so many on this site seem to fall into- Just because YOU don't find it interesting or significant or great, doesn't mean it isn't. I mean, I heard excerpts read on the radio and thought "Yawn". But I also recognize that just because I don't find it significant, doesn't mean that it isn't significant.

Ever notice how the people who deem stuff "great" or "deep" or "higher art" invariably put what they are into in the list?


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11310 on: February 03, 2020, 11:52:26 am »
It wasn't considered a classic at the time. It was considered obscene. It's classified as a work of erotic literature. Sure it deals with social taboos, but then so does 50 Shades. Who knows what time will do? I doubt when Lolita was first published, people expected it to be in English Lit classes. Now it is.

And I'm sure we've all read some "classics" in school that we thought were crap and poorly written.

History is not under our control or our standards. Works that would have never even been considered even 20 years ago are now being added in the name of diversity. Who knows what forces and trends will have materialized 50 years after 50 Shades?

Again, we have the recurring trend that so many on this site seem to fall into- Just because YOU don't find it interesting or significant or great, doesn't mean it isn't. I mean, I heard excerpts read on the radio and thought "Yawn". But I also recognize that just because I don't find it significant, doesn't mean that it isn't significant.

Ever notice how the people who deem stuff "great" or "deep" or "higher art" invariably put what they are into in the list?

You miss the point (as usual)

You said one way to judge the quality of literature was to look at how popular it was at the time. I said some works widely considered to be poor quality are/were very popular. You said some popular works were considered low quality at the time and were later considered high quality. That may be true but it's not a strong argument for advocating popularity as a good measure of quality is it.   Because there are still a lot of works that were popular at the time that are still considered poor quality. None of this has anything to do with what I like or dislike either, so don't try to go down that route.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 11:57:35 am by stoat »


  • CallinIn
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    • January 30, 2018, 01:57:54 am
    • USA
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11311 on: February 03, 2020, 12:13:09 pm »
Just gonna stick my toe in this puddle for fun.

I  am not a fan of 'Lolita', but just because that and '50 Shades' deals with taboos doesn't put them on the same level.

'Classics' is to vague of a term and they are broken into completely different categories (i.e. Romeo and Juliet is not a classic in the same way or for the same reason as The Great Gatsby is. Or Moby Dick in the same way as Pride and Prejudice). To me 'Classics' have always been novels that used English language in a new way or as a way of using the language to illustrate some part of society.

A Farewell to Arms is considered an American classic, but I hate it and I think the writing is absolutely horrible. BUT, it represented the mind of a WWI soldier in the Italian Army. 50 Shades did nothing new with the writing, and failed to accurately capture one of the major draws of the book (BDSM). It was riddle with problems

It may be my own bias, but Lolita would not have been so scandalous or obscene had he not managed to capture the mind of a pedo so well (to the point that I'm kinda grossed out by the author). The book is so uncomfortable to read that I still haven't finished, and still wonder if I will even bother. If the subject matter was less disturbing, the writing of it would still stand out. I cannot say the same of 50 Shades. It is written in the style of a YA Novel, but for an entirely adult audience. Accessible, sure, but there's a lot of books like that.

And yes, 50 Shades will likely be talked about down the line. But not for the excellency of the literature, but because of the commercial success, and probably the fact that it stemmed from fanfiction. They'll study it in the same way Film students might study Hallmark movies and Jaws, so that they can try to recreate the same financial success.

I also want to agree that there are a lot of book that have every right to be considered 'great' and 'high art', but 50 Shades is NOT one. And to argue that it is, just seems silly.

TL;DR Are 'Classics' the be all and end all of literature and reading? No. Is 50 Shades a good choice for any kind of academic learning? No, not really. Might as well read the source material.


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11312 on: February 03, 2020, 12:38:33 pm »
Agreed


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 2888

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11313 on: February 03, 2020, 12:47:51 pm »
It wasn't considered a classic at the time. It was considered obscene.
Wrong. "For the most part, though, American critics saw the novel for what it was: a masterpiece." -https://bookmarks.reviews/sick-scandalous-spectaular-the-first-reviews-of-lolita/


Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11314 on: February 03, 2020, 12:59:44 pm »
This is a hilarious discussion. Love it or hate it, and whether or not you have the education to see why, Lolita is a work of objective technical genius by one of the most brilliant writers of his time. Fifty Shades is pornography ... a medium that has its own uses and technical standards (which Fifty Shades also fails to meet, by most accounts), but discussing it in the same breath as Lolita is the only truly obscene aspect of this discussion. It's bizarre to me that anyone would classify Lolita as "erotic literature," and says much more about the one doing the classifying than the work itself, which is a postmodern social/psychological satire. Provocative, yes, but erotic? -- I truly believe Nabokov would be disgusted by the suggestion ... as, for instance, Dostoevsky would be horrified by the suggestion that his realistic portrayal of tortured intellectuals wrangling with positivist philosophy is somehow an endorsement of positivism.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 01:02:30 pm by carolina2korea »


  • lhelena
  • Veteran

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    • March 11, 2018, 01:57:14 pm
    • Anseong
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11315 on: February 03, 2020, 01:12:18 pm »
As an English major with a specialization in literature, I can't help but hop in on this one. I can only speak for universities in the US, but most schools also have special topics courses for literature. That is where you would find people analyzing and discussing books like 50 Shades. I took a special topic course on American haunted house literature and a friend of mine took a class that was only James Bond novels. In the same semester I've had a class where we read The Odyssey and then my very next class we were reading Ender's Game. That's the beauty of the literature department, anything can be pondered and written about. I was lucky enough to have professors that didn't really care or push onto us the argument of "Literature" vs "literature", it's what you can pull from the works that matter rather than how it ranks in prestige. I did however have a prof that called Pride, Prejudice and Zombies "sacrilege".


Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11316 on: February 03, 2020, 01:18:08 pm »
As an English major with a specialization in literature, I can't help but hop in on this one. I can only speak for universities in the US, but most schools also have special topics courses for literature. That is where you would find people analyzing and discussing books like 50 Shades. I took a special topic course on American haunted house literature and a friend of mine took a class that was only James Bond novels. In the same semester I've had a class where we read The Odyssey and then my very next class we were reading Ender's Game. That's the beauty of the literature department, anything can be pondered and written about. I was lucky enough to have professors that didn't really care or push onto us the argument of "Literature" vs "literature", it's what you can pull from the works that matter rather than how it ranks in prestige. I did however have a prof that called Pride, Prejudice and Zombies "sacrilege".

I understand (to an extent) the value of reading canonical works alongside contemporary popular work and applying particular lenses to both. And while we can call on the intentional fallacy here, for a layperson's purposes, Lolita and Fifty Shades are written to very different standards and intended for very different effects. Where I take issue is with the suggestion that Lolita is intended or ever effective as an "erotic" work in anything like the same way Fifty Shades attempts to be erotic, and is marketed and read for that purpose.


  • lhelena
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    • March 11, 2018, 01:57:14 pm
    • Anseong
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11317 on: February 03, 2020, 01:27:42 pm »
I understand (to an extent) the value of reading canonical works alongside contemporary popular work and applying particular lenses to both. And while we can call on the intentional fallacy here, for a layperson's purposes, Lolita and Fifty Shades are written to very different standards and intended for very different effects. Where I take issue is with the suggestion that Lolita is intended or ever effective as an "erotic" work in anything like the same way Fifty Shades attempts to be erotic, and is marketed and read for that purpose.

Oh I agree. I don't think they'd be studied together, they don't really belong in the same category. I'm just pointing out that even something traditionally considered lowbrow (like 50 Shades) has a place in academia.


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11318 on: February 03, 2020, 01:36:56 pm »
As an English major with a specialization in literature, I can't help but hop in on this one. I can only speak for universities in the US, but most schools also have special topics courses for literature. That is where you would find people analyzing and discussing books like 50 Shades. I took a special topic course on American haunted house literature and a friend of mine took a class that was only James Bond novels. In the same semester I've had a class where we read The Odyssey and then my very next class we were reading Ender's Game. That's the beauty of the literature department, anything can be pondered and written about. I was lucky enough to have professors that didn't really care or push onto us the argument of "Literature" vs "literature", it's what you can pull from the works that matter rather than how it ranks in prestige. I did however have a prof that called Pride, Prejudice and Zombies "sacrilege".

Well yes, you can study virtually anything at US/UK university these days in one department or another but I don't think they're doing themselves any favours. The more accessible art they study the less people will see the need to go to university to study it IMO. 


  • Mr C
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    • 2888

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: RANTING/VENTING MEGATHREAD 3.0
« Reply #11319 on: February 03, 2020, 02:46:44 pm »
Oh I agree. I don't think they'd be studied together, they don't really belong in the same category. I'm just pointing out that even something traditionally considered lowbrow (like 50 Shades) has a place in academia.
Gunter Grass said: "Even bad books are books and therefore sacred."