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If Mort Divine ruled the world

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by Zephyrus, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. CiG

    CiG Zen Arcade

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    I like how at some point the replies devolve into Jordan Peterson shit-talk lmao it's that side of Twitter with all the whiny anti-mansplaining cat ladies.
     
  2. CiG

    CiG Zen Arcade

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    gsgs.jpg

    OY VEY U WOKE GURL! She said "white guys" lmaooooo holy fuck savage!
     
  3. Dak

    Dak mentat

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  4. CiG

    CiG Zen Arcade

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    AntiFa and their soy-filled orbiters are trash, but what kind of retard takes his daughter to an event like this in the first place? Irresponsible piece of shit tbh.
     
  5. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Dragging this over here. Who bequeathed to literary academics the right to determine what "fails" or "succeeds" "aesthetically"? I should be clear when I speak of politics I'm speaking in the broadest of terms, not simply "are they a republican" or whatever.
     
  6. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Seriously? I mean, that’s part of what literary scholars do. Asking this would be like me asking who bequeathed to psychologists the right to determine whether a person is of sound mind.
     
  7. Oblivious Maximus

    Oblivious Maximus I am the worm

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  8. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    I mean, I guess you could argue that being of sound mind is subjective, and I would agree that there is some grey area to discuss there. But beyond that art criticism departs significantly. Psychology depends on group norms significantly to determine norms (basically by definition), which is almost functionally the opposite of art criticism. Group norms in terms of aesthetic acceptance render most art, from a critic's stance, to "not art" or "failing" aesthetically. In the most basic sense, see the divergence in many cases of critic scores for movies vs box-office receipts/public ratings, or the popularity of Thomas Kincade works with the general public even while being widely maligned by fine art critics. Duchamp's fountain "fails aesthetically" to the public. To the critic, it's a masterpiece.
     
  9. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Aesthetics also depends on norms to determine norms--it just doesn't determine the norms of the same object that psychology does (i.e. people). A painting is cubist, or impressionist, or romanticist, or realist, a landscape painting or a portrait, a still life or an assemblage, depending on whether it conforms to certain visual tropes and makes use of certain techniques.

    Aesthetics isn't reception theory (although some reception theorists discuss aesthetics). It's not interested in what the masses think. It's also not interested in telling people what they should like (although it used to be, in Samuel Johnson's day). It's interested in how artistic/literary movements are shaped and how they evolve. It's the study of forms, styles, and techniques. That's not something you just feel; it's something you have to learn through years of work.

    The reason Ayn Rand's books are crappy novels is that they're manifestos masquerading as fiction; but they actually have no interest in their fictionality beyond its utility in conveying a moral message. They have very little (if any) interest in being novels.
     
  10. HamburgerBoy

    HamburgerBoy Active Member

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  11. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Well it's one thing to categorize, and another to claim something "fails" or "succeeds" aesthetically. I have no issue with a field of academia attempting to order things into categories.

    I disagree that Rand had no interest in spelling out an idea in the form of a novel. Otherwise she could have have just used some other format.


    You know, I've seen and heard enough stuff personally that many people would say is beyond plausible that I'm not entirely dismissing it. People are fucking weird.
     
  12. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    https://www.city-journal.org/democratic-candidates-racism-crime

    Data is racist.
     
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  13. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    The point is that something can't be a successful epic poem if it tells its story in prose. It can't be a succession tragedy if it's a romantic comedy. It can't be a novel if it's a manifesto.

    Atlas Shrugged is a bloated manifesto. Any novelistic characteristics it has are window dressing, and carry no formal significance beyond that fact. It fails as a novel because it offers nothing of substance beyond the manifesto at its core.
     
  14. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Well I can't respond in an informed way to this critique of Rand's novels because I haven't read them. Playing a bit of a "devil's advocate" here, isn't it possible the disagreement with the "manifesto" means that any other "substance" is thrown out with the proverbial bathwater?
     
  15. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Rand probably thinks so--but no, not at all. Additional substance--whether it be formal, stylistic, conceptual, etc.--would potentially invite skepticism and additional contemplation on the reader's part beyond any point of view depicted in the text. It would make possible the activation of irony, defamiliarization, ambiguity, and other fictive notions that would move a work like Atlas Shrugged beyond manifesto and toward novel.

    I'll do a comparison with a novel by an author whom I know you don't like: Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. I choose that novel because it's possible to read (and many have read) the character of Judge Holden as the mouthpiece of the novel, and to read the novel's basic stance as being that of the judge. The judge speaks significantly more than any other character, and his lines are by far the most memorable and quotable.

    Yet the judge is also a psychopath. He murders children and drags along a mentally handicapped person as a king of gimp. He might make some poignant observations about modern culture and history, but overall his philosophy is detestable. It inspires disagreement and discomfort in and among readers.

    But Blood Meridian isn't interested in pushing a point of view on anyone, especially not the judge's. It invites readers to throw out the judge's manifesto(s), but not the text's formal arrangement, its stylistic flourishes, its narrative perspective, and other non-thematic elements. The playfulness and interaction of those novelistic elements facilitate readings beyond content, beyond the deplorable specifics of the judge's rhetoric (and of the novel's relentless violence generally speaking). A novel shouldn't have a singular moral or thematic view, for which it is the only purpose of its formal components is to reinforce. Novels permit us to doubt the moral systems of their characters by virtue of their formal elements, and not only through recourse to our personal feelings or reactions.
     
  16. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    I'm not sure why you think I think that he is an author I don't/wouldn't like. I haven't read his novels but not out of spite but out of time's sake. I did enjoy NCFOM (movie) and I would read that and other books at this point had I the time.I don't know how, though, some novelist setting up the main protagonist as the presumable villain is somehow an argument. It's just an approximation of the opposite approach to the same thing re:values.

    This take is why we disagree so much on so many things.

    Edit: Is why = is an example, anyway.
     
  17. CiG

    CiG Zen Arcade

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    A 12-year-old African-American girl who claimed three white classmates pinned her down and cut her dreadlocks has admitted the claims were fabricated, her school said.
    Kids and their wild imaginations, this definitely isn't learned behaviour or anything.
     
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  18. rms

    rms Active Member

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    Reading blood meridian now! Watch the spoilers!!
     
  19. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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  20. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I thought I recalled a conversation in which you said you didn't like his prose. Carry on.

    I have no idea what Cormac McCarthy's values are, so I can't see the judge as the opposite of them.
     

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