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paolo
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27 Nov 2008, 4:20 pm

Why do we read books of fiction? I am not a theorist of fiction, but I may say some few things to explain why I don’t succed reading much anymore. Fiction is didactic (you should learn the morale of the fable) and ersatz life (surrogate life): people who read thrillers or scifiction read out of need to experience emotions they will never have in their real life. Same for sentimental stories and adventure, The more you are ASD (and the more you advance in age, the more you are cut out from really being the possible real actors. It is for this reason that I am less and less interested in “stories”. Stories also decline in postmodern literature. If there are actors, they are losers, not winners. The only books I can read now are the stories of losers, like Kafka’s, Richard Yates’ , Thomas Bernhard’s, Robert Walser’s, Beckett’s characters.


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pakled
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27 Nov 2008, 4:29 pm

ok. There's as many reasons to read as there are people to read. Sometimes you can explore situations or emotions you won't find in real life. But to each his own, if you read for enjoyment, you'll find something there to read.



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27 Nov 2008, 4:53 pm

Quote:
Same for sentimental stories and adventure, The more you are ASD (and the more you advance in age, the more you are cut out from really being the possible real actors.


I completely disagree. I am absolutely fascinated with fiction, and the whole art form of telling a story, and have only become moreso with age.

Storytelling is one of the oldest artforms in the world, starting with cave paintings of our ancestors going out on thrilling hunts, to the epics of greek theatre, and the works of Ovid and Homer, to Shakespeare, to Lovecraft, to Beckett and Burroughs, I find it enthralling.



zghost
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27 Nov 2008, 5:43 pm

I just love it. If it's true, I can't enjoy it as much, but if it's fiction.... I can get so deeply involved in a book that I'm no longer aware of what's going on around me. Way back in school, I even missed the bell and classes changing a few times. The teacher would notice I'd never moved, and come tap me. How embarassing.

But seriously, I just love to read. And it's like I'm watching a movie in my head when I do.
In fact, sometimes I have trouble remembering if something in my head was in a book or on TV.



AlexandertheSolitary
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27 Nov 2008, 6:11 pm

I enjoy historical, fantasy and science-fiction when the author writes well enough to create a plausible world which combines the strange and the familiar, enabling my mind to transport across time, space, and the Void between worlds.


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Exile
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27 Nov 2008, 6:40 pm

Most fiction is, as you say, predictable. Marketing means that patterns that reify get precedence. Hence; genres.

You have to look hard to find something that doesn't fit, usually because it doesn't sell well. Stuff that makes you think--not what most are looking for in a pleasant read.

Try R. A. Lafferty. He's published in a number of languages worldwide. One of the few American authors who is. Almost unknown at home, he is widely read elsewhere. His stuff is not patterned or predictable. It is not morality play nor drama nor action/adventure nor romance. His characters are not winners or losers. They are archetypes for/of the modern world. Reminds me of Swift. A little.

It is philosphical/lyrical/otherworldly tall tales.

I am VERY well read, all the way back to Gilgamesh. Lafferty is like no other writer ever.

He's not for everyone though.

Good luck finding any of his stuff.



AlexandertheSolitary
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27 Nov 2008, 7:09 pm

Exile wrote:
Most fiction is, as you say, predictable. Marketing means that patterns that reify get precedence. Hence; genres.

You have to look hard to find something that doesn't fit, usually because it doesn't sell well. Stuff that makes you think--not what most are looking for in a pleasant read.

Try R. A. Lafferty. He's published in a number of languages worldwide. One of the few American authors who is. Almost unknown at home, he is widely read elsewhere. His stuff is not patterned or predictable. It is not morality play nor drama nor action/adventure nor romance. His characters are not winners or losers. They are archetypes for/of the modern world. Reminds me of Swift. A little.

It is philosphical/lyrical/otherworldly tall tales.

I am VERY well read, all the way back to Gilgamesh. Lafferty is like no other writer ever.

He's not for everyone though.

Good luck finding any of his stuff.


In all the intervening millennia? Did you read Gilgamesh in Sumerian, Akkadian or English? My Akkadian is pretty much confined to Enuma Elish (the opening words not the whole creation epic!) i.e. "When on high," and Ludlul Bel Nemeqi ("I will praise the Lord of Wisdom,"; the work bearing this title resembles Job and Ecclesiastes).


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pakled
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27 Nov 2008, 7:11 pm

hyperbole is a companion to some fiction...;) an innocent slip, I'm sure...