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Greatest Novel of All-Time

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by EStreetJoe, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    I think the English department smartsmarties do just that. Especially in AP classes.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Read parts of most of them, but being a little too smart for my own good, I figured out early on in my academic career that if I paid attention and took excruciatingly detailed notes, I didn't have to actually read.

    Hell, I took an American Lit class in college, didn't read a single word and made an A.

    Of course, probably because of this, I'm not a big fan of novels and I never gained an appreciation of American literature. I always found world lit classes much more engaging.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Is it because you at least felt like you were learning about something different at the same time you were enjoying the story itself? I can see reading an American novel and saying, "Aw, hell, I already know about New York City!"
  4. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    Can I just say that one of the reasons I love this board is that we have a literary discussion on the greatest novel of all time *and* a discussion on Kate's boobs going simultaneously.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Why I never became a "reader" is one of the big mysteries of my life. My father had a personal library that filled up an entire wall, my mother probably reads three books a week and my wife is constantly reading books. I've been surrounded my entire life by people who truly appreciate reading and it just never rubbed off on me. I read a lot and deal with words in some form or fashion constantly, but rarely do I have the desire to read an entire book. For whatever reason, my mind doesn't work well in "book mode."
  6. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    I wish I had parents like that when it comes to reading. My parents were never big readers so while I liked reading in school, I never thought to do any reading on my own time. I only really discovered reading for pleasure in college. Now I feel like I'm constantly playing catch up with my friends who started reading for fun when they were like 10. I envy them a lot.
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    From Hemingway: I woke early that morning, dressed and then made my way to the quarter. The waiters were already at work, setting tables and filling breadbaskets for the coming breakfast crowd. There were many open seats. I sat down at one and watched as a maître-d' wrote the day’s specials on a chalkboard. A woman one table over was reading the news on her laptop, and I could see the “Greatest Novel of All Time” brackets posted. As I stirred cream into my coffee, I looked to see where “The Sun Also Rises” would be seeded. It wasn’t there. As I buttered my toast, I thought “What the fuck?”

    From Faulkner: I had endured many pains, many sorrows on my journey through this veil of tears, my back burdened by generations unseen, bowed as that of the Israelites on their two-score meanderings through the desert, yet as the August light fell over the murmuring Yoknapatawpha, my work’s absence in the brackets as obvious as the funereal gaps of so many family trees, limbs and even branches that stand out more in their missing as in their presence, I knew, as a condemned man knows with each day’s passing the narrowing yet still unbridged distance between him and his destiny’s dance, surely this would be the worst.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    That is not nearly inscrutable enough for Faulkner. There are not three characters mentioned in the paragraph who we have no context for.
  9. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, you can get burned out if you began reading heady stuff early.

    By reading what I thought I was "supposed" to read at ages 9-15 and slogging through things like Dickens' interminable texts, The Odyssey without any context, Moby Dick at far too young an age, it became work. I went through about a half decade where I didn't read anything substantial because I was conditioned to think of it as work. Faulkner, as great as he is, still engenders that same kneejerk feeling in me as I'm reading his stuff.

    I had to find great authors who took me to a place where pages flipped without me thinking about it.
  10. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    That was Faulkner writing for a newspaper.
  11. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Surprised it took me six pages to remind everyone that we have to define 'greatest.'

    And I applaud dq's morning fiction.
  12. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    The methodology for the bracket of 16 seemed pretty simple.
    Certainly more empirical than 'I like Faulkner.'
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