Turn on thread page Beta
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    I don't know if you remember anything about it, but the scene with the BJ, in which Faulks writes that Isabelle 'catches' a certain something in a certain area, 'out of a sense of cleanliness', made me laugh so hard I was actually in pain...
    :laugh:

    I remember reading that in the common room and having trouble explaining to others why I was having laughing fits - I couldnt eat all day
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I like books that are funny.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    No you've misunderstood how Orwell's definition of 'working class' differs from the Victorian Gentry's definition of 'working class'.

    But I could not be happier that this sub-debate is ending
    Listen, you're talking to a person who works on the Victorian period for a Doctoral degree. Yes I might just be a historian but I think I have a very good understanding of how the Victorian gentry defined the working class. For a start there was no working class to them, there were working classes since some were more respectable than others. Frankly, the purpose of Dickens' work was not to educate the gentry but rather the new industrial middle class who wielded the power in the cities. The gentry are a rural class and had little to do with the cities. I suppose you know about the division of Victorian parliamentary seats into boroughs and counties?

    I give up.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DeepStar)
    :laugh:

    I remember reading that in the common room and having trouble explaining to others why I was having laughing fits - I couldnt eat all day
    You don't understand how long it's taken me to find someone else who gets why that's funny! Expect rep tomorrow! :woo:
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    You don't understand how long it's taken me to find someone else who gets why that's funny! Expect rep tomorrow! :woo:
    No one found it funny?! :eek:

    How can you not laugh at that :confused: I mean, I was pretty down that day looking at the books I needed to read but that part just made my week
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by oriel historian)
    Listen, you're talking to a person who works on the Victorian period for a Doctoral degree. Yes I might just be a historian but I think I have a very good understanding of how the Victorian gentry defined the working class. For a start there was no working class to them, there were working classes since some were more respectable than others. Frankly, the purpose of Dickens' work was not to educate the gentry but rather the new industrial middle class who wielded the power in the cities. The gentry are a rural class and had little to do with the cities. I suppose you know about the division of Victorian parliamentary seats into boroughs and counties?
    I give up.
    No but patronising people who don't obviously gives you real satisfaction in life and the 'division of Victorian parliamentary seats' is once again irrelevent, aside for a way for you to try and make a highly pathetic point. Thank you for reminding me who I'm speaking to, I almost forgot :rolleyes: Though my use of the word 'gentry' was misguided, your arrogance is astounding. Regardless of whether there were multiple working classes, Joe as a blacksmith is a member of a 'working class', and though (again) my labelling of Dickens' peers was incorrect, he was trying to educate those with power to reform/rethink their treatment of the working class/es.

    I have never tackled such a fickle and vacuous line of argument before. You have chopped and changed your stance so many times that your doctoral work on Victorian society actually shocked me on mention.

    We will make no further headway in this pointless debate, therefore let us end it now.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    We will make no further headway in this pointless debate, therefore let us end it now.
    Yes yes okay. I bow to a 'superior' intellect. :eek:

    To clarify: the division of parliamentary seats into boroughs and counties was fundamentally important because after the 1832 Reform Act the increase in borough representation introduced more of the industrialists to parliament - precisely the people whom Dickens and his fellow social reformers endeavoured to educate as to the plight of the industrial cities. The reason why Hard Times is set up North is to play on those connections. Thus, it's an important connection in the wider scope of social criticism and political activism.

    I haven't changed my stance at all. For the record. I'm merely responding to what you write.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by oriel historian)
    Yes yes okay. I bow to a 'superior' intellect. :eek:
    Again, arrogance taking the place of logical remonstrance.

    But yes, wise choice young man, wise choice. :rolleyes:

    Now I have to edit. You employed the information simply to prove a point which was demonstrated by the fact that you made no effort to explain it at all and although I recognised the errors in my argument, the addition of that information makes no fundamental change to the picture of Dickens as educator of the rich that I was attempting to paint. Which btw you mocked with vigour in your first post, demonstrating just one of your logical 'swaps' in this argument.

    As I said, let us finish.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    Again, arrogance taking the place of logical remonstrance.

    But yes, wise choice young man, wise choice. :rolleyes:
    Sarcasm. Like a fine wine, it improves with age. I'm not arrogant, I assure you. But it seems you have a genuine interest in this sort of thing - the Lit Crit I mean - so I wonder if you'll accept some reading hints from one you seem to dislike? Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton are both really helpful when trying to see the left-wing critique of Dickens and his works of social criticism.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by oriel historian)
    Sarcasm. Like a fine wine, it improves with age. I'm not arrogant, I assure you. But it seems you have a genuine interest in this sort of thing - the Lit Crit I mean - so I wonder if you'll accept some reading hints from one you seem to dislike? Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton are both really helpful when trying to see the left-wing critique of Dickens and his works of social criticism.
    I am passionate and obviously so are you which is why this debate has gone on for a freakishly long time
    Thank you for the references, I start my English degree in September and I shall use them when I start to study Dickens.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    I am passionate and obviously so are you which is why this debate has gone on for a freakishly long time
    Thank you for the references, I start my English degree in September and I shall use them when I start to study Dickens.
    Btw, Marxist literary criticism is full of small contradictions so it's not surprising it seems like there are swaps. The point is that We - the Marxists - tend to criticise Dickens for the fact that he didn't speak to the workers, who are the true agents of social change. That was what lay behind my point in the first place.

    I just wondered how far you'd get before I had to admit that
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4548226.stm

    Just wondered what you all think about this....

    Personally I saw this a lot with my A-Level Lit class, I know people will think I'm just saying this to be a t***, I'm not, but I was the only person in my class to have read a pre-21st Century novel by choice. I understand that people have completely different tastes and that Dickens etc is certainly not for everybody, but in my class of nine, six of us are doing literature degrees!

    For example with our coursework we had to read 'Birdsong', not exactly a complicated novel but I suppose fairly 'lengthy'. The two other girls who were going to really strong universities (Newcastle and Nottingham) to do English didn't even read the entire book! They explained that they couldn't be bothered because it was too long...

    How are they going to cope with 'Paradise Lost'?! :confused:
    Speaking as someone who has read quite a lot in the past, including the "classics" of the literature world. And someone who has a lot of extra curricular stuff, maybe just maybe people don't have that much time to pick up a *****ing 1000 million page novel and read it cover to cover. PS , i didn't read the article, like I said time issues.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by oriel historian)
    Btw, Marxist literary criticism is full of small contradictions so it's not surprising it seems like there are swaps. The point is that We - the Marxists - tend to criticise Dickens for the fact that he didn't speak to the workers, who are the true agents of social change. That was what lay behind my point in the first place.

    I just wondered how far you'd get before I had to admit that
    For some reason or other I've always found post-structruralist crit the hardest to apply and fully appreciate...

    Your point of 'hero writer/historical figure' coming under mass Marxist crit for not engaging with the proletariat is valid (which took strength to admit ) I've just had a similar experience after reading Hague's biography of Wilberforce. The great emancipator suddenly develops a vehement disdain towards the working class which I wasn't taught in my mum's makeshift heritage classes as a little girl!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Afton Lawson)
    Speaking as someone who has read quite a lot in the past, including the "classics" of the literature world. And someone who has a lot of extra curricular stuff, maybe just maybe people don't have that much time to pick up a *****ing 1000 million page novel and read it cover to cover. PS , i didn't read the article, like I said time issues.
    All correct, apart from the fact that many of these people are now taking literature degrees.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pipkinlove)
    All correct, apart from the fact that many of these people are now taking literature degrees.
    Ah point taken I guess, but literature degrees are no longer what they once were. You can listen to lectures from companies on books and read plot lines on the internet now days. Also literature seems to be one of those cool degrees to take, because it makes one look worldly and cultured.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Afton Lawson)
    Ah point taken I guess, but literature degrees are no longer what they once were. You can listen to lectures from companies on books and read plot lines on the internet now days. Also literature seems to be one of those cool degrees to take, because it makes one look worldly and cultured.
    That's it, people think they can get by on plot summaries from the internet and just reading the York Notes a few times....
    I take your point on not having the time, but it angers me when people who don't have the time choose to take it to an advanced level thats all
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Piano Thing)
    Firstly, I never said that the people in my class didn't like the book. Doubtless, that was the case for some of them, but mostly I reckon it's laziness.
    Fair enough, I don't know the people in your class.
    There seems to be a kind of pride in this statement. I just don't understand. This doesn't have any importance.
    Your post seemed to be suggesting that not reading a set text was a mark of laziness and unwillingness to read - I'm sure it is for some, but I just wanted to point out that having no interest in a book you've been told to read doesn't mean you have no interest in other reading materials.
    The Streetcar comment is telling... and as to the second statement: how could you know? Unless you have done the most which is required of you, how can you possibly tell if you have done your best?
    .
    And of course if I'd tried my best and read all the texts inside-out I may have done better, but my God Of Small things was the best of my A grade modules so reading it wouldn't have improved my grade. I can't actually remember if Jane Eyre was for Lang or Lit, if it was for Lit then reading it may have potentially improved my grade by a shiny star, but to be honest I'd rather have spent my time as I did than reading a book that held no interest for me. I guess I must have got slack markers or perhaps it's more a comment on how you can get by doing **** all on some courses - neither of those were the short stories the article suggests are to blame, but my 'reading stamina' wasn't improved by being set them as texts.

    And to add to the original article, I would definitely include non-fiction in there as well. Obviously if the information is out of date the reasons for reading it are diminished, but factual books also offer great insight into whole societies.
    Absolutely agree with you here. Vastly outdated books can be amusing and a great exercise in discernment and comparison. I love my dad's school science books and my mum's old first aid guides - seeing what's now 'wrong' and wondering what we might laugh at as way off the mark in years to come.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Seven_Three)
    Sorry, but if you read the Harry Potter books as an adult and 'enjoyed' (how you managed to enjoy that mental abortion I don't know) them, you are completely dead on the inside and nothing can save you.
    Admittedly I haven't read Harry Potter as an adult, but I fail to see why it's so much worse than most books that are aimed at adults. Almost all fiction is trashy.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Seven_Three)
    Sorry, but if you read the Harry Potter books as an adult and 'enjoyed' (how you managed to enjoy that mental abortion I don't know) them, you are completely dead on the inside and nothing can save you.
    Edit: I'm not going to go into this in any great depth.

    Suffice it to say - again - that there's nothing wrong with adults enjoying kids' books.

    I've spent the better part of the last six months making my way through the reasonably-sized pile of Victorian classics I still had yet to read/needed to re-read, in preparation for the English degree I'm starting this October. I also have a fondness for Camus, Plato, Orwell and Dostoyevsky.. so I'm afraid your 'scathing attack' is little more than unfounded ad hom. I just happen to like unwinding with something more light-hearted from time to time; is that so hard to understand?

    I really, really loathe this kind of literary snobbery.. and unless you have anything more valid to say, I can't see the point in responding again to someone whose attitude I dislike so much. Oh, well.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Yay! I'm special. While I wouldn't suggest that it's great literature, that doesn't mean that it can't be very enjoyable for many people. Harry Potter is cliched and lacks depth, but that doesn't mean that it can't be good. There's no point judging a fantasy book aimed at children in the same way that you'd judge serious literature aimed at adults (unless it's something like the Alice books by Carroll of course).
    Good luck reading the phrase "anyone over 12". It is a book aimed at CHILDREN, it is NOT great literature, so anyone who thinks it IS great literature has either lost all sense of taste or is simply a nitwit.

    And why do you assume that a person who enjoys a particular novel rates it as "great" literature, rather than just appreciating it for what it is?
    The problem is too many people think of it as some great work of art. They DONT appreciate for what it is(a kids book) and instead over-hype it with titles like "the greatest book I have ever read" and "what a fine read". Sorry, its a kids book, filled with cliches and over-exaggeration, you might enjoy it as a kids book(your choice really), but what bugs me is when people start telling me how its the greatest book they have ever read and how this is the best fantasy book of all time. These people then go to reading forums and post "Harry Potter", "Eragon" and "Hardy Boys" in the "Your top 5 books" thread and make topics like "Which character from this book would you like to date?". Too many people will tell you Harry Potter nowadays when you ask them "What books do you read?" or "What is your favorite book?" and that is what I was trying to point out.
 
 
 
Poll
Black Friday: Yay or Nay?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.