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Will anyone be watching Wolf Hall tonight? watch

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    (Original post by samba)
    It's a well known dictat originating from the Annales school/Braudel. It's not that it isn't 'real' history though, it's that it's insignificant and superficial history
    That's interesting, I didn't know that it originated from Braudel, but that is probably a better way of saying it. I can't deny that I do find it interesting though!
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    (Original post by seaholme)
    Genuinely didn't enjoy the book at all, in fact I'm confused by how much people DO love it, I thought it was pretty dire and badly written. It was all over the place to me, I had no idea who half the characters were 90% of the time. People died and I had to go backwards through the book to try and figure out who on earth they were from when they were first introduced, because she hardly ever called them by identifying names. I only finished it because several people had recommended it to me and I kept thinking it was going to turn the corner and become some kind of masterpiece.

    Still! Going to watch the first episode of this later on catch-up as I rather like Damian Lewis/the Tudor age in general.
    It sounds more as if you did not pay enough attention/are not sharp enough to catch on than that there was any fault with Mantel's writing.
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    (Original post by samba)
    It's a well known dictat originating from the Annales school/Braudel. It's not that it isn't 'real' history though, it's that it's insignificant and superficial history
    What? The reign of Henry VIII is one of the most important historical periods in this country - how can anyone possibly say of it that it is 'insignificant and superficial'?
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    It sounds more as if you did not pay enough attention/are not sharp enough to catch on than that there was any fault with Mantel's writing.
    Indeed, you have to be much more of an attention to detail reader than I am in order to enjoy this novel. Possibly even make notes as you go along! Or read all in one sitting and not spaced out, so you're more likely to remember who is who and which Thomas is the Thomas we're now talking about.
    However it does say something about her writing style that this is the case. I've never had this problem before.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    What? The reign of Henry VIII is one of the most important historical periods in this country - how can anyone possibly say of it that it is 'insignificant and superficial'?
    I'm not saying it's not. I'm saying there is a well established school of thought that divides history - I'll just quote wiki as I cba explaining: The first level of time, geographical time, is that of the environment, with its slow, almost imperceptible change, its repetition and cycles. Such change may be slow, but it is irresistible. The second level of time comprises long-term social, economic, and cultural history, where Braudel discusses the Mediterranean economy, social groupings, empires and civilizations. Change at this level is much more rapid than that of the environment; Braudel looks at two or three centuries in order to spot a particular pattern, such as the rise and fall of various aristocracies. The third level of time is that of events (histoire événementielle). This is the history of individuals with names. This, for Braudel, is the time of surfaces and deceptive effects. It is the time of the "courte durée" proper and it is the focus of Part 3 of The Mediterranean which treats of "events, politics and people."
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    (Original post by samba)
    I'm not saying it's not. I'm saying there is a well established school of thought that divides history - I'll just quote wiki as I cba explaining: The first level of time, geographical time, is that of the environment, with its slow, almost imperceptible change, its repetition and cycles. Such change may be slow, but it is irresistible. The second level of time comprises long-term social, economic, and cultural history, where Braudel discusses the Mediterranean economy, social groupings, empires and civilizations. Change at this level is much more rapid than that of the environment; Braudel looks at two or three centuries in order to spot a particular pattern, such as the rise and fall of various aristocracies. The third level of time is that of events (histoire événementielle). This is the history of individuals with names. This, for Braudel, is the time of surfaces and deceptive effects. It is the time of the "courte durée" proper and it is the focus of Part 3 of The Mediterranean which treats of "events, politics and people."
    Your quotation does nothing to make clear what you said about the reign of Henry VIII being 'insignificant and superficial'. Perhaps you should try to explain what you meant yourself.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    Your quotation does nothing to make clear what you said about the reign of Henry VIII being 'insignificant and superficial'. Perhaps you should try to explain what you meant yourself.
    Read the original question I responded to. "I was in a pretty heated debate recently with my brother who proposed that monarchal history (particularly of the Tudor period) is not 'real' history because the actions, psychological mindsets, physical attributes etc. of a few important historical figures does not relate to the 'wider spectrum' that real social and political events did for history"
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    (Original post by samba)
    Read the original question I responded to. "I was in a pretty heated debate recently with my brother who proposed that monarchal history (particularly of the Tudor period) is not 'real' history because the actions, psychological mindsets, physical attributes etc. of a few important historical figures does not relate to the 'wider spectrum' that real social and political events did for history"
    I did. Once again, perhaps you should just try to explain in your own words what precisely you meant rather than copying and pasting irrelevant passages from the internet.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I did. Once again, perhaps you should just try to explain in your own words what precisely you meant rather than copying and pasting irrelevant passages from the internet.
    I'll make it nice and simple for you.

    [to that school of thought] actions of agent culminating in events, psychological mindset, physical attributes of important historical figures, and indeed anything focusing on agent and monarchic figures is irrelevant, as it's considered superficial and deceptive....

    Comprehendi?
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    (Original post by samba)
    I'll make it nice and simple for you.

    [to that school of thought] actions of agent culminating in events, psychological mindset, physical attributes of important historical figures, and indeed anything focusing on agent and monarchic figures is irrelevant, as it's considered superficial and deceptive....

    Comprehendi?
    I very well comprehend your purple prose, but it does nothing to justify your viewpoint, entirely because it says nothing of substance at all. Try again.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I very well comprehend your purple prose, but it does nothing to justify your viewpoint, entirely because it says nothing of substance at all. Try again.
    You're a lost cause then.I literally can't be bothered. Perhaps if you read the irrelevant passages from the internet you'd understand 1. it's not 'my' viewpoint, and 2. [that viewpoint is] that history is about systems built upon systems and not individuals or events.
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    (Original post by seaholme)
    Genuinely didn't enjoy the book at all, in fact I'm confused by how much people DO love it, I thought it was pretty dire and badly written. It was all over the place to me, I had no idea who half the characters were 90% of the time. People died and I had to go backwards through the book to try and figure out who on earth they were from when they were first introduced, because she hardly ever called them by identifying names. I only finished it because several people had recommended it to me and I kept thinking it was going to turn the corner and become some kind of masterpiece.
    I totally agree.

    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    It sounds more as if you did not pay enough attention/are not sharp enough to catch on than that there was any fault with Mantel's writing.
    Writing is good if the writer does the most work, not the reader.

    Writing is bad if the reader does the most work, not the writer.

    A writer can demand more of her readers if the subject matter is complex, there are lots of things going on and so on. But she should explain what is happening as clearly as possible.

    Mantel's writing reminded me of the awful academic writing you get in the humanities where being obfuscatory seems to be a boon.
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    2 questions

    i) Does the series cover Bring up the Bodies?

    ii) Was Bring up the Bodies any good?
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    I totally agree.



    Writing is good if the writer does the most work, not the reader.

    Writing is bad if the reader does the most work, not the writer.
    This is complete rubbish for the simple reason that a reader's ability to comprehend what's going on varies enormously between individuals. The novels have been met with critical acclaim and broken records for the awards they have received from the brightest minds in literary culture and understood and appreciated by legions of others - I think that makes the reason for those who are not able to keep up clear enough - they lack the mental ability to do so.

    A writer can demand more of her readers if the subject matter is complex, there are lots of things going on and so on. But she should explain what is happening as clearly as possible.

    Mantel's writing reminded me of the awful academic writing you get in the humanities where being obfuscatory seems to be a boon.
    It was explained perfectly clearly to me. As above, consider that you simply lacked the mental clarity to keep up with the rest of us commoners and the esteemed literary juries of our time. Perhaps it is you, and not the vast majority who disagree with you, so to speak.
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    This is complete rubbish for the simple reason that a reader's ability to comprehend what's going on varies enormously between individuals.
    That's not quite what I'm saying.

    I mean that if you can convey the same content more clearly, then it's better writing.

    There may be plenty of content that you just have to be smart enough to get, and the best writing in the world isn't going to help a dumb reader.

    I think one of the reasons people like "complex" writing is because they can pat themselves on the back about how clever they are, and look down on others. Now where might we see that attitude...?

    It was explained perfectly clearly to me. As above, consider that you simply lacked the mental clarity to keep up with the rest of us commoners and the esteemed literary juries of our time. Perhaps it is you, and not the vast majority who disagree with you, so to speak.
    Hehe. Maybe you need a first class degree and a PhD to get it. Oh wait...
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    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I very well comprehend your purple prose, but it does nothing to justify your viewpoint, entirely because it says nothing of substance at all. Try again.
    This is odd to say, but I think Samba forgot his own meaning

    Essentially, the idea is not that the Tudor period is insignificant, it's that to look at history from the perspective of monarchs is to focus on the minutiae and the superficial considerations.

    The theory posits that the considerations of court life are often far less important than the systemic forces affecting societies. While I can see some merit there, it also underrates the importance of the monarch in such societies; without Henry VIII, how would the English reformation have occurred?

    And I entirely agree with your comments about the value of Mantel's work and your rebuking of chazwoman; while I accept the principle of de gustibus, to some degree, I also think some works are objectively meritorious and millions have clearly seen the same thing (or something very similar) in Mantel's work. Given that fact, the fault in failure to get it probably lies more with the reader than the author
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    (Original post by samba)
    I'll make it nice and simple for you.

    [to that school of thought] actions of agent culminating in events, psychological mindset, physical attributes of important historical figures, and indeed anything focusing on agent and monarchic figures is irrelevant, as it's considered superficial and deceptive....

    Comprehendi?
    Your explanations of the Annales school seems perfectly clear to me for what it's worth.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    This is odd to say, but I think Samba forgot his own meaning

    Essentially, the idea is not that the Tudor period is insignificant, it's that to look at history from the perspective of monarchs is to focus on the minutiae and the superficial considerations.

    The theory posits that the considerations of court life are often far less important than the systemic forces affecting societies. While I can see some merit there, it also underrates the importance of the monarch in such societies; without Henry VIII, how would the English reformation have occurred?
    I didn't forget it, I just didn't bother expounding as he was being deliberately obtuse! The information was there for him to read. Thanks for explaining to him though.

    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Your explanations of the Annales school seems perfectly clear to me for what it's worth.
    Objective beauty :moon: Or perhaps he needs a PhD to get it....
 
 
 
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