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dharawal wrote in metaquotes
From the journal of targaff, on one of the more novel reasons to buy a book.

A friend of mine, when wandering around Waterstones, once picked up and subsequently bought The Communist Manifesto, not because it was something he had any great desire to read, but rather because he thought it was something one should read. I poo-pooed this concept and I still believe to this day that there is no such thing as a book you "should" that does not first come under the category of books you want to read. Frankly I've learnt more from Dragonlance books than I have from "must-read" books such as this, which is why, when the look-at-me-I'm-a-literati book meme comes around again it goes into the pile of other moronic memes that I pay no attention to.

The reason I mention this, however, is because I've just bought a copy of The Communist Manifesto on Amazon; not because I have any desire to read it, nor, naturally, because I feel that I "should" read it - it will go on the shelf unread, if the bin doesn't rush to intercept it first. But it was the first book I found that only cost a quid and buying it saved me £1.80 on Amazon shipping costs, and I'm now trying (and failing, on account of the late hour) to decide whether there's any irony involved in buying a book on communism purely to save money.

from here,

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Allow me to use a colloquial term.


decide whether there's any irony involved in buying a book on communism purely to save money.

that's just unadulterated brilliance.

That's fantastic. Also, it will come in handy should you ever need to start a fire. I've read bits of it. Suffice it to say Karl Marx is not high on my list of favorite historical figures.

i like the communist manifesto better than dragonlance.

which isn't saying much, because i thought the dragonlance books were teh suck.

I tried reading it and wound up barfing. Most defintely agreed.

The first three Dragonlance books and some other one about a lone dwarf looking for a magic sword are the only decent Dragonlance books.

Oh yeah and 'Kaz the Minotaur'. Kaz is my man.

Dude. Gulley Dwarves.

'Nuff said.

This is rather long... behind a cut, please?

Maybe it's just because I'm exhausted, but I do believe that this is the funniest thing I've ever read on this comm. Or at least the funniest thing in the last few weeks.


All I Need To Know About Life I Learned From DragonLance:

A life of heroism and sacrifice will end with a flunky stabbing you in the back and escaping.

Evil wizards cannot be redeemed with the love of a good woman. The love of a whiny brother will do the trick.

All dwarves are bastards.

Sending all three of your sons on the same patrol is SMART.

The metaquote amuses me for the content, and also for the spelling error. To "poo-poo" something does, I think, imply quite a different concept from "pooh-poohing" something. ^_^

I actually wrote pooh-poohed originally, but then a moment of self-doubt inspired me to change it just before I posted. Le sigh.

Well you could always use TCM for toilet paper.

There you go, a practical solution! Watch out for paper cuts, though.

Still, if the original poster had gone for Big Scary Literature instead of Dragonlance (which I admit to reading at the age of twelve, but not later), s/he might have known that "literati" is in fact the plural.

/pedant (it's metaquotes, pedantic snarking is compulsory)

I'm planning on a career in literature and I've always had a well-developed sense of literary guilt, so I've read a hell of a lot because I felt I ought to. Most of the time it's worth it and they're literary classics for a good reason, though I admit that I didn't really get into Clarissa until the second reading. As for the rest, at least you then know what the references are about, and can swear never to touch them again. I had a strange experience with a sleeping tablet that made me hallucinate while reading Pilgrim's Progress, and quite frankly the hallucinations were an improvement, even if they didn't feature more than revamped versions of my curtains and bookshelves.

That book meme is actually worse the more you've read, because then you have to spend even longer buggering about with HTML. The last one that popped up on my friends page was over 500 books, and I'd read far too many of them to touch it.

The problem is, there are so many books to read.

In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop pas the thick barricade of Books You Haven't Read, which were frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you. But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extend for acres and acres the Books You Needn't Read, the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written. And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid maneuver you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You'll Wait Till They're Remaindered, the Books ditto When They Come Out In Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody's Read So It's As If You Had Read Them, Too. Eluding these assaults, you come up beneath the towers of the fortress, where other troops are holding out:

the Books You've Been Planning To Read For Ages,
the Books You've Been Hunting For Years Without Success,
the Books Dealing With Something You're Working On At The Moment,
the Books You Want To Own So They'll Be Handy Just In Case,
the Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer,
the Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves,
the Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified.

Now you have been able to reduce the countless embattled troops to an array that is, to be sure, very large but still calculable in a finite number; but this relative relief is then undermined by the ambush of the Books Read Long Ago Which It's Now Time To Reread and the Books You've Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It's Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them.

- Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller

if the original poster had gone for Big Scary Literature instead of Dragonlance (which I admit to reading at the age of twelve, but not later), s/he might have known that "literati" is in fact the plural.

The original poster did in fact know this, having studied Latin at an earlier time and recognising the plural suffix, but was using it in the sense of "I am one of the literati", which is a bit more common, at least in this neck of the woods.

Reading for image purposes apart ("Oh yes, War and Peace is an absolute must, darling!"), which is what I was really getting at, I don't have a substantive issue with Big-L-Literature in and of itself - obviously I'd rather people do read something for whatever reason than read tabloidsnothing. It's the accompanying analysis ad necem that not so much enriched as sucked any possible enjoyment out of, for example, Shakespeare (later redeemed by less crusty exposure) and Austen (still unfathomably dull). Obviously that are people who do get a kick out of that sort of thing, but I'm not and have never been one of them: I want to enjoy my reading, not be accosted with constant reminders that drag me back from the immersion they provide. I don't think you can get Cliff's Notes for Test of the Twins, which suits me fine.

My English teacher, incidentally, used to mock me for reading LotR. I wouldn't be surprised to see that make its way onto the recommended texts lists some time soon, which would be a petty yet strangely sweet revenge.

(Nice quote, by the way).

My English teacher, incidentally, used to mock me for reading LotR. I wouldn't be surprised to see that make its way onto the recommended texts lists some time soon, which would be a petty yet strangely sweet revenge.

(not sure if this does anything for you, but The Hobbit one of the summer reading options for freshman at my high school, and has been for a couple of years)

The Hobbit was mandatory reading for me. Not that I minded, since it was my 2nd time through it :)

...it was fairly painful, though, listening to those in the class who didn't read very quickly, when their turn came to read a section out loud. For that matter, I was usually lost when it came to my turn, as I was by that time several chapters ahead. *sigh*

"Literati" is one of those words where you never see the singular, isn't it. That said, it would have been nice if only to save me saying "s/he" about you, Latin being gendered and all that. Does "Look at me, I'm a literata!" get you extra pretentiousness points?

I don't think you can get Cliff's Notes for Test of the Twins, which suits me fine.

I don't know, they're putting anything and everything on set text lists these days. I was shocked enough to see Anne Rice in the Edinburgh University library, and we won't discuss how White Teeth got onto the postcolonial course (shows you how trendy PoCo is), but apparently there are some places teaching...and I shiver to think about this...Virginia Andrews. We had a chap telling us that he was sure there were those of us who thought Tolkien or Rowling worthy of writing our Honours dissertation on, but he didn't expect to see any of the dissertations featuring it. I've still seen a few books on Tolkien in the library, and I think there are quite a few places where they don't mind if you write about Lord of the Rings. It's bound to get into the pop culture side of things at the least, what with being the most popular novel of the 20th century.

War and Peace was one of the ones I'm never reading again, but it's fun to boast of (since people have at least heard of it, whereas no one's heard of Clarissa which is over twice the length). I enjoyed the rest of Tolstoy, but military stuff always bores me to tears. You keep telling yourself not to skip ahead, that we're bound to get out of the army camp and into the tangled love lives of the civilians soon, and then you get 100 pages of the army and 10 pages of X proposing to Y. The last 60 (or was it 30?) pages are the worst. My flatmate dared me to give up, as she thought it would be really cool to say you'd read all of War and Peace except the last 60 pages, but that of course was the only reason I kept going. The shame of it.

I confess to adoring literary analysis - as long as it's well written. It just continues the reading process, gives you more to think about and engage with, and I really love linking different texts together, finding patterns and getting more out of them. Plenty of the lit crit I read at uni level isn't well written, though you can usually dig something useful out of it, or at least scream at its idiocy and discover you now have an argument for your essay. (Freudians are the worst.) I think it's just the appalling way literature tends to be taught in schools which puts so many people off reading both fiction and lit crit. I'm still nurturing a grudge against my school for leaving out all the queer bits and as much of the sex as they could get away with, which is a bit of a joke for the likes of Othello, but it was more their insistence on spoon-feeding and making texts seem close-ended (which doesn't sound right, but nor does "closed-ended"). You know, "there is only one way of interpreting this passage and it's what we're about to teach you and it's boring as hell." Imagery by numbers, too. *shudders*

But then I've been known to read articles on incest in Mansfield Park, or queer theory and how to stage opera that originally had castrati, just for the hell of it.

My brother went to Uni several years ago. A friend was stating at the same Uni studying English Literature. They joked that he's be doing work on Terry Pratchett books.

Some months later, they happened to meet in the library as he was indeed working on an essay about Mr. Pratchett.

Such is life.

The last line is priceless.

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