Utah's picture
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Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry January 31, 2012 - 10:30am

No, seriously, somebody's about to come along and go, "Yeah, didn't you guys know?  Faulkner was Chuck before Chuck was Chuck!" 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters January 31, 2012 - 10:31am

You hurt my heart with that. 

Utah's picture
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Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry January 31, 2012 - 10:31am

You know these are not my words.

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water January 31, 2012 - 10:32am

That's only because we all sound like Chuck.  It's important to being a writer.

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry January 31, 2012 - 10:32am

Flashback humor.  I like that.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters January 31, 2012 - 10:33am

I think 'transgressive' is a hipster word - there I said it.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch January 31, 2012 - 10:49am

How hipster is it that I'm late for work?

Have fun.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. January 31, 2012 - 10:56am

You know who was really transgressive was Jane Austen, her women characters were always so violently independant and brash. Her men were roguish creeps, she really skated the edge of 20th century lit and what it meant to be a feminist in America. 

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry January 31, 2012 - 11:05am

And don't forget she had that one underage girl character that did a lot of coke and drove too fast, got in a wreck with a stop sign and wound up blowing that cop to keep from getting arrested.  Love me some Jane Austen.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 11:48am

transgressive? he was a muther Faulkner.

@Popeye: keep your emoticon usage up to date

I'd check out Octavio Paz, but if I remember correctly, he's a poet, and poetry just doesn't work in my brain. Also, it relies so much on the meaning of words that reading it in translation seems less genuine that learning the language and reading the original... where I would miss all subtlety.... egads.

For Native writers go with Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King (I know, broken record, everybody just read it already) & Three-Day Road by Joseph Boyden (who's currently teaching creative writing at the University of New Orleans). Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko is the one that shows up on most university curricula, and there are aspects of it I really appreciate, but it's a dense read.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters January 31, 2012 - 11:53am

Those emoticons are fantastic.  Everyone memorize them, because I plan to use them often.  Often.  That and my catch phrase.

 

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 1:17pm

@Averydoll -

:%I

 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. January 31, 2012 - 1:21pm

>:)----Z----<

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters January 31, 2012 - 1:23pm

@postpomo -  ;%)

 

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water January 31, 2012 - 2:18pm

@postpomo -

First, [>: (

Second, I can see what you're saying about poetry from a foreign language.  It's too bad really because Latin America has such an awesome poetic and literary tradition (Paz, Cernuda, Neruda, etc).  That being said, Paz also wrote some excellent essays that are worth reading.  The Labyrinth of Solitude is probably his best-known essay collection.  If you're interested in post-colonial reading and/or Mexican culture, it's definitely worth checking out.

Third, thanks for the reading recs.  I'll definitely check them out. *winks with delight*

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 2:43pm

that's one thing I noticed when reading up on Latin American authors - they tend to write essays, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, they're involved politically, socially, culturally. It's really overwhelming.

But Paz is held up as the man, and he's long overdue. Will look him up.

; D <~winking with delight, or flirty slack-jawedness

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch January 31, 2012 - 3:50pm

Julio Cortazar rocks! (if you like weird). And of course I'm in awe, as other said, with Marquez.

Generally, I guess South America is more inviting of political writing because of how troubled the history is, of most countries there.

If you think Ceremony is dense, read Silko's Almanach of the Dead. It's longer, denser, I guess more like an almanach of stories? But in some places it gave me goose bumps (i.e. I cried!! - ok, if you want to know what scene made me cry, it was when several sisters were traveling together and in desperation one of them set another one up to be eaten by some other character? Don't remember much context or exact events, but anyway, having grown up with sisters, it messed me up reading that).

I need an emoticon indicating I'm going to write a long, rambling parenthesis. ($^#&%$#&%!!!)

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz January 31, 2012 - 4:44pm

This thread makes me feel stupid when it's back on topic.

-Aliensoul

That is exactly how I feel. Except I also feel stupid when it is off topic. Let's face it, I feel stupid when I breath.

Also, I just realized no one has mentioned Frankenstein yet.

- Razorsharp

Thank you. As for the 'why' it is canonical (oops, used a Nick-banned word) not to mention timeless (another qualifier) it so succinctly describes humanity's over-reaching drive and how that yields both beautiful and catastrophic results. It's also Lidia Yuknavitch's favorite book and she should be added to that LR List of prerequisite reading for anyone on this site or they should be banned. 

My own general idea of the canon is a book that, if we deleted it's existence - if it had never been written or the author never born - literature would not be the same today. 

-Averydoll

Like this a lot. Particularly because it is non-exclusive. The more writing the merrier.

I agree that "canon" is a word that should be locked up in the conversations of Star Trek geeks and never heard from outside of that discrediting venue.

-Nkwilczy

Locking up words Nicky? Hmmmm.

- I'd canonize Louis Armstrong long before Elvis, but your point is still valid. I get it (but can't help being a contrarian).

-Postpomo 

Two words, one name: Chuck Berry...

-R.Moon 

Just want to throw Robert Johnson's name in there for posterity.

Redheads are supposed to disappear in a few decades. Endangered and needin love!

-Liana

 

Yum, Gingers. There would be more if so many hadn't been burned at the stake through the centuries.

I should go back to reading some good science fiction.

-Liana

(See below)

I have a vague recollection that you made this exact same joke like a month ago. Then I told you that it was the wrong Popeye and then you said, oh, and that was the end of that conversation.

-PopeyeDoyle

I think that was me. Again, great movie.

So...To Kill a Mockingbird.  Great book, or the greatest book?

-Averydoll

I don't know but I long to discover a first edition.

Let me end by saying you are some intelligent Mutha-Faulkners. Very interesting conversation. You all deserve honorary canonization. So many amazing works listed above and so, so many I haven't read. I would like to add a couple that I feel are important and I don't think were mentioned in this nitrous-fueled thread:

  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.: I always recommend this book because it is so overlooked. Someone mentioned 1984 as being ahead of its time and this would fit into that category. Prescient is the term I'd use to describe it. Disturbing in its inevitable likelihood.
  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl: "What is to give light must endure burning." Important because it finds hope in the darkest places and the world is frequently dark.
  • Frankenstein (aforementioned) by Mary Shelley: I continue to be 'awed' by this book. Written by a 19-year-old female at a time when women writers were still somewhat fettered? And Science Fucking Fiction? I could go on and on as to why I feel this book is so prevalent to this day. And I believe it is quickly proving itself to be prescient as well.
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison: This book really took the idea of a novel and re-invented it. It also shed light in a very dynamic way on the Black Struggle that remains to this day an epidemic in many parts of the world; though Ellison's surreal world is uniquely American.

I don't know if these are canons or not but they are some books I like. One thing that they all have in common is that they weren't created by prolific writers. There is something very fascinating about these authors who only write a couple of books and spend years (in the case of Miller, Frankl or Ellison) doing it. Or in the case of Shelley, a purported 24 hours.

But I will always be blown away by a writer like King's prolificity. And that is with several years off. Damn.

 

 

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water January 31, 2012 - 4:44pm

@Chester - That was an amazing post...

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz January 31, 2012 - 4:48pm

Thanks Man, give my love to Olive Oil. At least Brutus never had to use lubrication as she was always pre-lubed.

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest January 31, 2012 - 4:49pm

Chester... Pulling a midnight cram session?

Nicely done.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 4:49pm

@LIana: I read Almanac of the Dead before Ceremony. Found it in a "free stuff" box. Talk about a score. The details escape me, except for the character of Stirling and the tangent about the Maya Calendar.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz January 31, 2012 - 4:51pm

I can't remember a post growing so fast. This must be the fastest LR thread I've ever scene. And it was so fucking good I felt like I had to read everything or miss out on some genius shit.

Postpomo should be canonized.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 4:53pm

the word you're looking for is "cannoned"

 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz January 31, 2012 - 5:01pm

@postpomo: 'Prophet Joe Pomo:

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters January 31, 2012 - 5:06pm

"And it was so fucking good I felt like I had to read everything or miss out on some genius shit."

I'd sort of like you to add an asterisk to this with some disclaimer about the section where people were mean to me, and how that wasn't genius.

"There would be more if so many hadn't been burned at the stake through the centuries."

True enough.

 

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 5:18pm

I found that article about postmodernism ending with 9/11. (although I've had this handle much longer).

For many, the events of 11 September signalled the death of postmodernism as an intellectual current. That morning it became clear that "hostility to grand narratives", as Jean-François Lyotard defined it, was a minority pursuit, an intellectual Rubik's cube for a tiny western metropolitan elite. It seemed most of the world still had some use for God, truth and the law, terms which they were using without inverted commas. Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, was widely ridiculed for declaring that the attacks signalled "the end of the age of irony", but his use of the po-mo buzzword proved prescient. If irony didn't vanish (though during the crushing literalism and faux-sincerity of the Bush-Blair war years it seemed like a rare and valuable commodity), postmodernism itself suddenly seemed tired and shopworn.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 5:20pm

@Chester - genius

@: I

Mick Cory's picture
Mick Cory from Kentucky is reading everything you have ever posted online and is frankly shocked you have survived this long January 31, 2012 - 5:47pm

postpomo, the link does not appear to be working. Would you mind posting more info on the article cited?

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 6:23pm

very strange - how about now?

from the Guardian UK

Postmodernism: from the cutting edge to the museum by Hari Kunzru Sep 15 2011

Mick Cory's picture
Mick Cory from Kentucky is reading everything you have ever posted online and is frankly shocked you have survived this long January 31, 2012 - 6:23pm

Working fine. Thank you.

razorsharp's picture
razorsharp from Ohio is reading Atlas Shrugged January 31, 2012 - 7:19pm

I don't even know what postmodernism means. I'm pretty sure no one else does, either.

So...To Kill a Mockingbird.  Great book, or the greatest book?

Great book. This is one every American should read before graduation. I think there should be a list of books like that. Instead of just allowing English teachers to pick the books, there are certain titles they should be required to teach alongside their person choices. The world would be a better place if everyone had read To Kill a Mockingbird.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters January 31, 2012 - 7:28pm

I completely agree, Razor. I think it should be taught to everyone. Because I don't trust everyone just read it and really get it. You should have to read it and then talk about it.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 7:49pm

@razor - postmodernism is an evasive bricolage of pastiches, so yeah, nobody knows what the hell it is, or was. But I know it when I see it, and I like it (most of the time).

To Kill a Mockingbird was pretty damned good.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch January 31, 2012 - 8:11pm

I have to read the Mockingbird book already! I had a mockingbird in my tree a couple of years ago, with 3 babies. They were scared of the mower. Will I like the book, with that in mind?

If you look at postmodernism as just a quirky style claiming to submerge the real, but without having much substance, maybe the fad is over. But I think after 9/11 those who hurried to declare postmodernism dead were just happy because they thought they could say "from now on we don't have to be politically correct, or inclusive, or promote diversity because we were under attack and it's clear they were enemies, Other, someone we can hate without restraint." I've read a couple of articles at the time, with that in mind. So I don't buy the 9/11 connection to the death of postmodernism.

Is it so popular anymore, to overuse irony in literature, books that suggest there's no real, no meaning, etc? Probably not. But that wasn't all that postmodernism was (is). The substance of it still has an impact today, in how we approach identity, gender, many more things. It includes my favorite theories... sorry I was gonna mention the D word and I stopped. I'll say poststructuralism instead.

I feel stupid because I used to know these things pretty well at one time. Now they ring a bell.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words January 31, 2012 - 8:27pm

@Liana - the article was written 10 years after the fact. People can still write postmodern literature, just as they can in any other form, but the form itself is past its period. Happens for everything. It has its life. I don't think the end of postmodernism undermines the theories, it just makes them less relevant.

I always thought of postmodernism (in literature anyway) as a means of questioning accepted conventions, experimenting with them, and challenging meaning. With a tongue firmly in cheek.

If 9/11 didn't kill irony, then hipsters certainly have.

 

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 31, 2012 - 10:12pm

(the comment box has gone all spartan)

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 31, 2012 - 10:30pm

RE: that article -- The tendency to attribute epoch-ending significance to an event before its effects can be fully measured is a symptom of postmodernism.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters February 1, 2012 - 5:51am

"Will I like the book, with that in mind?"

@Liana - I think so, yes.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. February 1, 2012 - 8:56am

Didn't Harper Lee say that "To Kill a Mockingbird" was mostly the story told from the kid's perspective because it was related to a real event in her hometown when she was 10 years old?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters February 1, 2012 - 9:05am

Alien - yeah. She was Scout. And Truman Capote was Dill.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin February 1, 2012 - 10:04am

@Chester: You make me want to get defensive and split hairs. Something about how I think it's a fine word when it refers to which episodes of Voyager "count" (answer, none of them), but outside of that context it is a little big for it's britches and arrogant of a term. Then I throw in some flowery and impassioned language about how words describe how we think and the idea of canon and it's connotations of authority are more insidious and dangerous than the word when the two are misapplied.

But I already have been contributing to the "list" and I hardly take this position all that seriously, I just want to find a third or maybe a fourth position to take on the issue. Whatever would be the most contrary.

-

To Kill a Mockingbird

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words February 1, 2012 - 10:11am

canon as indoctrination - alright nkwilczy - go!

PopeyeDoyle's picture
PopeyeDoyle from Rio Grande Valley, TX is reading Chronology of Water February 1, 2012 - 10:15am

I'll take the "indocrination is good" side.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like February 1, 2012 - 10:23am

good doctrine, good indocrination

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words February 1, 2012 - 10:49am

you lot are awesome.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz February 1, 2012 - 4:02pm

@Nick: I was totally just havin' fun with you. 

Rachel Harris's picture
Rachel Harris from Cumberland Basin is reading mindless fluff (god, its so hard to get through, ugh) February 8, 2012 - 12:50pm

Stanislaw Lem- Solaris

Ewald Murrer- Dreams at the End of the Night