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Post 20

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 5:14pmSanction this postReply
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As far as contemporary literature goes, Chuck Palahniuk is good.  Trained as a journalist so in a lot of ways he fits into the assessment Rand gave Sinclair Lewis in the "Romantic Manifesto," (granted I'm not exactly sure you could call him a naturalist).

The plots are great, lots of twists, the humor is intense, the characters sometimes leave something to be desired (not so much in development but more on the scale of likeability, they're usually total losers).

It kind of represents the opposite side of romanticism, these people end up in depressing dire situations, that are entirely their own fault and could've been avoided. But the twisted assessment of them will tend to make you chuckle.

---Landon

ps I'm aware I'm in the minority in my opinion. 




Post 21

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 5:34pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah,

"Gone to Texas" by Forrest Carter.


Jeff,

I really liked that quote.

gw




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Post 22

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 6:07pmSanction this postReply
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I would be more than happy to be proven wrong, but from what I've seen Objectivists(with the stellar exception of Rand) can't write too goodly.  In the fiction and poetry departments, it's usually damned painful to read.  Now non-fiction is a different story.



Post 23

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 6:51pmSanction this postReply
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Peter:
>As a case in point, the number of people who like both Rand and Nabokov is surprising, since she hated him.

Actually, not too suprising as Rand hated almost all art and literature!

>And DID you know that as a girl she attended school with his sister?

No, there you go. Small town, that Russia....;-)

- Daniel



Post 24

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 7:59pmSanction this postReply
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Not sure on what you base the belief that Rand hated Nabokov's work.  She thought his sense of life malevolent, but regarded him as a first rate writer, as I recall.




Post 25

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 8:06pmSanction this postReply
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Jeff P.-

I agree, as steadfast and derisive as Rand could be re:SOL, she not only recognized ability when it came to writing, but went even further by saying that an individuals 'philosophy' need not cloud our judgement about their abilities as a writer.  She even praised Dostoyevsky.




Post 26

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 8:49pmSanction this postReply
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I've been thinking on this Sarah and this is the best I can do:

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and Cold Mountain by the guy or gal who wrote Cold Mountain.




Post 27

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 7:34pmSanction this postReply
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As for Rand's "hating" Nabokov, she did say that "he writes beautifully" -- and his ability to do that is, of course, the reason we're all talking about him.

JR



Post 28

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 11:37pmSanction this postReply
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Daniel: "More recently, a really beautiful and oddball novel is DM Thomas's "The White Hotel"."

Sad, tragic, evocative, the distilled essence of the 20th century in a couple of hundred pages. I don't get to read much fiction nowadays, but this one stayed with me for days.

Brendan




Post 29

Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 3:05amSanction this postReply
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I wrote:
>"More recently, a really beautiful and oddball novel is DM Thomas's "The White Hotel"."

Brendan:
>Sad, tragic, evocative, the distilled essence of the 20th century in a couple of hundred pages. I don't get to read much fiction nowadays, but this one stayed with me for days.

Of course, when I meant "recently", I meant more recent than Dickens...;-)

That book was very important to me. When it came out in the early 80s I'd pretty much given up on literature and it was all just rocknroll as far as I was concerned. I don't think I read a book between the ages of 15 and 20. Anyway, I was working doing commercial art - nothing special, just pasteup - and used to do book ads for various publishers. We'd cut the covers off for the ad, and throw the books out or give them away. Anyway, for some reason I picked this coverless book up and flicked thru the first pages. And I found there wasn't an opening chapter, just this crazy poem that went on for page after page. And then a diary, which I soon realised was just as crazy as the poem. Then the novel proper starts, told in the first person by Freud, and all the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place...and I was hooked. Books mattered again, incredibly. I agree with you, it is a very distilled, concentrated read. DM Thomas just changed the game, shook me awake. His followup, "Birthstone" is possibly even better - it had a huge impact on me too, although critically it stood in the shadow of TWH. Some of his later works, like "Swallow" and "Ararat" became a bit arch and lost me. But I owe him big time, and still try to buy whatever he writes. His Solzenhitsyn bio is very good too.

Thanks, Brendan, TWH is well overdue for a revisting.

- Daniel





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