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    Ok literature fans.

    Ive been looking at my latest assignment sheet for Lit and my topic is "You are presenting a proposal for an academic paper at a conference. The central focus of this conference is 'an in-depth consideration of the ways that current understandings of reading practices have called into question historical notions that literature is a corpus of highly reguarded texts'"

    And the theme? Literature- Whats it all about.

    Now, I was confused about this but In a nut shell we have to either prove or disprove that Literarure is a body of highly reguarded texts.

    Which has lead me to ask you all this question.

    Is literature a body of highly reguarded texts.

    My obvious answer is yes, but then I thought about it for a bit. What is Literature? Literature is anything that is written right? So now I was thinking that it isnt. I mean, what stops something like the old Goosebumps books, that have no substantial subject matter being as highly reguarded as something like The Odyssey ? So now im thinking that some of it is and some isnt, the only problem with this is that Im not sure that I can be in two minds in my speech.

    So what do you all think? Or am I just driving myself insane?
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    (Original post by Everdawn)
    Ok literature fans.

    Ive been looking at my latest assignment sheet for Lit and my topic is "You are presenting a proposal for an academic paper at a conference. The central focus of this conference is 'an in-depth consideration of the ways that current understandings of reading practices have called into question historical notions that literature is a corpus of highly reguarded texts'"

    And the theme? Literature- Whats it all about.

    Now, I was confused about this but In a nut shell we have to either prove or disprove that Literarure is a body of highly reguarded texts.

    Which has lead me to ask you all this question.

    Is literature a body of highly reguarded texts.

    My obvious answer is yes, but then I thought about it for a bit. What is Literature? Literature is anything that is written right? So now I was thinking that it isnt. I mean, what stops something like the old Goosebumps books, that have no substantial subject matter being as highly reguarded as something like The Odyssey ? So now im thinking that some of it is and some isnt, the only problem with this is that Im not sure that I can be in two minds in my speech.

    So what do you all think? Or am I just driving myself insane?
    Well it depends on your definition of the word literature; because as its crudest definition literature is 'printed matter'. If you take it to mean what most academics (the people who this is meant to be aimed at) will understand it as use 'written works such as fiction, poetry, drama, and criticism that are recognized as having important or permanent artistic value'.

    If you define your definition of literature at the start I think it might make the task alto easier.
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    (Original post by Scottus_Mus)
    Well it depends on your definition of the word literature; because as its crudest definition literature is 'printed matter'. If you take it to mean what most academics (the people who this is meant to be aimed at) will understand it as use 'written works such as fiction, poetry, drama, and criticism that are recognized as having important or permanent artistic value'.

    If you define your definition of literature at the start I think it might make the task alto easier.
    I know that but im asking what you all consider it to be.
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    (Original post by Everdawn)
    I know that but im asking what you all consider it to be.
    I consider literature to be 'work of artistic, social or cultural value, that have shaped society or have provided a milestone in litereatre or are just purely artistic which add to our cultural heritage.'
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    (Original post by Scottus_Mus)
    Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred And Profane Memories Of Captain Charles Ryder.
    You forget the deleterious aspects of the book: the way it is permeated with snobbery and religiosity and grossly over-written. It also lacks Waugh's great virtues- his wonderful style and his sense of humour. It is one of Waugh's tries at writing a "major" book, and it doesn't- in my eyes at least- work. Read A Handful of Dust and some of his other pre WWII books.
    Caught your later ref to homosexuality: obviously Waugh had to be very careful in his references to homosexuality when he wrote BR. Other books that are interesting are J R Ackerley's My dog Tulip and We think the World of you- also very funny.
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    (Original post by Everdawn)
    I know that but im asking what you all consider it to be.
    Well, the texts in question are thought worth examining, either because they reveal something about the writer, their readers, and the society they were written in, or because of their effects on later readers etc. In short, they have survived because people regarded them highly enough to read them and to persuade or make other people read them.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    You forget the deleterious aspects of the book: the way it is permeated with snobbery and religiosity and grossly over-written. It also lacks Waugh's great virtues- his wonderful style and his sense of humour. It is one of Waugh's tries at writing a "major" book, and it doesn't- in my eyes at least- work.
    I think that the snobbery and religiosity are what is so great about the book. It is Waugh's look back on him own life and of his aristocratic links before WWII. It speaks volumes of a lifestyle that demised, and of a man discovering of Christianity. The book doesn't demonstrate his sense of humour apart from in a few selected scenes where you get Charles’s sheer cynicism that cuts through so many characters.

    I didn’t expect comedy or humour from it though, because it is a tragedy. It is a about a man who was no one yet met Sebastian who was some one. It’s about a man who looses his first love, about Sebastian’s demise to alcohol and the fact that Charles is left alone and loveless.

    The book is meant to be a moving and emotional description of a man’s past. You get to the end of the book and see why he tried to block out the memories of the past. Even thought it isn't humorous you must admit that it is moving and heart-rendering.

    I think that you could call it over-written and even Waugh said so himself. But in my eyes all that description doesn't go wasted on the sights, sounds and smells of the roaring 20s. I think you underrate the book on its sheer artistic merit.
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    Well, no, I don't find it heart-moving. a Handful of Dust is both funnier and more tragic. Perhaps you have to share Waugh's view that the Flyte family are "someones" because of their ancestry, not because of themselves. Waugh took the same view in his life. It is a curious thing about Waugh as well as his characters that an able intelligent man, at the least a very good writer, thought so highly of people whose only supposed quality lay in their ancestry, who had achieved nothing compared with himself. They should have been sucking up to Waugh, not the other way round.
    Ryder says the Flytes have qualities we- OK, I- do not perceive in them in the book, so that his fascination does not seem justified. A study of a snob who attributes such qualities to people without justification would be interesting but Waugh seems to share Ryder's assumptions of the family's qualities and interest so he does not see the need to make us interested in them.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Well, no, I don't find it heart-moving. a Handful of Dust is both funnier and more tragic. Perhaps you have to share Waugh's view that the Flyte family are "someones" because of their ancestry, not because of themselves. It is a curious thing about Waugh as well as his characters that an able intelligent man, at the least a very good writer, thought so highly of people whose only supposed quality lay in their ancestry, who had achieved nothing compared with himself. They should have been sucking up to Waugh, not the other way round.
    I think the whole point Waugh makes is that they are 'somebody' in Charles’ impression because he is young and naive. I don't think you could really say Waugh sucks up to them, I mean the family is dysfunctional. But I think he makes the point that it is sad that the lifestyle that he personally enjoyed was killed by the war.

    I think a lot of the story goes back to Waugh’s youth. I mean he did go to Oxford and he was a practising homosexual. I think that he draws upon some of his own life for the basis of people like Charles. That's what makes it more moving I think; that it also comes from Waugh.
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    Edited and expanded BH message. How do you get on this thread, out of interest. Itseems to have vanished from General Discussion?
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Edited and expanded BH message. How do you get on this thread, out of interest. Itseems to have vanished from General Discussion?
    It's under Academic
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    (Original post by drago di giada)
    Did you like the book Catcher in the Rye?

    Umm.. I know what you mean by getting lost in the lives of the characters.
    There's this book over here, its called "Go Ask Alice," I don't know if you've ever read it, but I highly recommend it. When I finished that book, it was amazing, I couldn't read another book for like.. 3 months, that one changed me ALOT.
    umm.. another one that changed me.. A Farewell To Arms, but then again, war changes everyone.

    i've read Go Ask Alice...i agree, it's an amazing book, but not exactly great literature.

    I read it in a day when i was about 13 and i swear i still haven't forgotten it. I am constantly alluding to it, although usually in instances of social (as opposed to literary) discussions.

    Since we're on the topics of life-altering literature, i would have to say Herman Hesse's "Steppenwolfe" and Camus' "The Outsider" are works which have altered my outlook.
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    Has anybody here read any Yann Martel? 'Life of Pi' being the most obvious, but 'Self' being worth note as well. Strange, graphic book, which fullfilled all my expectations from the hazy reviews i'd read.

    At the moment i'm reading 'Brave New World' by Huxley. It seems somehow more modern than i expected it to be considering when it was wirtten. A pleasant surprise. The actual novel itself seems to be a little slow starting.

    Anywho, enough of that. Lets go back further... does anyone like Milton? Book IX, 'Paradise Lost' - the joy of my AS level English.

    Further... Old English literature? Beowulf, Sir Gawain etc. The roots of the language!
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    (Original post by symun)
    Has anybody here read any Yann Martel? 'Life of Pi' being the most obvious, but 'Self' being worth note as well. Strange, graphic book, which fullfilled all my expectations from the hazy reviews i'd read.

    At the moment i'm reading 'Brave New World' by Huxley. It seems somehow more modern than i expected it to be considering when it was wirtten. A pleasant surprise. The actual novel itself seems to be a little slow starting.

    Anywho, enough of that. Lets go back further... does anyone like Milton? Book IX, 'Paradise Lost' - the joy of my AS level English.

    Further... Old English literature? Beowulf, Sir Gawain etc. The roots of the language!
    I'm in the process of starting to read either 'Life of Pi' or 'Brave New World' both great charity shops buys at 35p each.

    Not read Beowulf myself but and going to borrow it from my friend Kristy. Her copy has the preface by Seamus Heaney. I quite admire Beowulf from what little extracts I read for its use of kenning. My most favourite probably being bone-yard to denote graveyard
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    I read Beowulf a while ago, it was very facinating.
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    (Original post by Everdawn)
    I read Beowulf a while ago, it was very facinating.
    I want to read it! I might go and collect it from good old Kirsty 2mora
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    Can I join? I'm not very good at Literature as a subject (I'm expected a C because I always mess up my exams but my coursework was A/B standard...) but I love it outside of studying in school etc.
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    There are dozens of versions of Beowulf. Heaney's isn't very good actually- Alexander's in Penguin classics and Crossley-Holland are better. There's a very good novel, Grendel by John Gardner, which tells it from the monster's view. If you have time, get it in Old English with a glossary- it's actually easy to teach yourself- I think Tolkien did a version if you're a hobbit fan.
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    (Original post by Everdawn)
    I read Beowulf a while ago, it was very facinating.
    I wrote a paper on Tolkien and I had to read it for that (based alot of his works on it, not to mention loved the story itself), but I found it dull.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    There are dozens of versions of Beowulf. Heaney's isn't very good actually- Alexander's in Penguin classics and Crossley-Holland are better. There's a very good novel, Grendel by John Gardner, which tells it from the monster's view. If you have time, get it in Old English with a glossary- it's actually easy to teach yourself- I think Tolkien did a version if you're a hobbit fan.
    i read bits of beowulf when i was involved in a stage production of it a few years ago. It is a brilliant story and teaching yourself bits of old english is actually fun (you can impress peopleb with it too!)
 
 
 
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