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Thread: Writers/books you grew into/out of

  1. #31
    Nevermind Lotuslander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UHID
    I started reading Alias Grace a couple of years ago, but I found it boring, so I put it aside. A picked it up again about a year later, and really liked it. I don't really know why that is. I was probably just paying more attention the second time.

    On another note, nausicaa, I was wondering if you are an Infinite Jest fan? I just noticed that you used the term 'whingeing' and was curious. If not, are you from Quebec?.....if so, I didn't realize that it was an actual term.

    ......yeah.....I'm kind of a dork. Can you tell??
    Her books start off slow, and then take off. I hated the beginnings of Alias Grace and The Blind Assasin, but loved them after the first few chapters.

  2. #32
    CCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by nausicaa
    The bottom line however, is that by picturing Hamlet to be really young, people tend to fall into (what I see as) the trap of pidgeonholing his suffering as “teen angst” or something equally awkward and inchoate, and since I refuse to see Hamlet’s anything as teen angst, I refuse to acknowledge him as an adolescent (or even an early twentysomething.) And judging by how profoundly Hamlet has prefigured our modern protagonists, from Raskolnikov to the absurdist heroes, I would say he’s Shakespeare’s best and most resonant protagonist. (No offense to Lear, who also rocks my world. )
    I think you (and others) do a disservice to the teenagers of the world by dismissing their struggles as "teen angst." Just my opinion, of course.

    J1NVUPatricia - I've never read James Patterson but it seems that I see a new book by him every time I'm in the bookstore (which, unfortunately for my bank account, is quite a bit). He must really churn them out!

  3. #33
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    I used the term "teen angst" because someone else used it in reference to Hamlet. Notice I didn't dismiss teen angst as being callow or superficial - only implied that the term itself is too inchoate and anaemic to be attached to what Hamlet experienced and the depth of his feeling. So I'm not sure what the problem is, actually.
    Last edited by nausicaa; 01-31-2005 at 03:13 PM. Reason: the original post was a little too caustic, didn't want to give wrong impression

  4. #34
    FORT Fogey Salome's Avatar
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    Hm, I think I'm the one who brought it up initially; sorry about that.
    nausicaa, I think it's just that you initially implied a midlife crisis, and then used "pidgenholding" to describe the use of the term "teen angst" when I brought it up, like it is somehow less deep and nuanced of a lifetime stage. My thoughts were similar to CCL's, but now I see that you merely meant the nature of his complex is more mature.

  5. #35
    CCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by nausicaa
    , My intuition tells me that the way Hamlet thinks through these issues and projects his feelings is much deeper than how a teenager would.....people tend to fall into (what I see as) the trap of pidgeonholing his suffering as “teen angst” or something equally awkward and inchoat
    I bolded the above. I just meant that a lot of people dismiss teenagers' feelings and thought processes as being insignificant (not "deep," or fully formed, if you will). They are often portrayed as if they are incapable of feeling and expressing themselves in the same terms as an adult. Which I disagree with, personally. In the same vein, I disagree with Salome's post wherein she interprets your (nausicaa's) view as being " the nature of his complex is more mature." Complexes are complexes; a 60 year old can suffer from the same complex as a 16 year old. Often people label complexes according to the age (or other criteria) of the sufferer but, if you break complexes down to their basic elements, you find that different, age-appropriate labels are often given to what are, in essence, the same complexes.
    May I add that I don't mean to come off negative in any way - I'm just stating my opinion vis a vis other posters' posts.
    Last edited by CCL; 01-31-2005 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Edited to end with a smilie.

  6. #36
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Oh jeezus, a flux of diarrheic posts later, and I’m still on this damned horse. Just goes to show you I have the curse of loquaciousness without the accompanying gift of clarity.

    Anyway, CCL, now that I’m clear on where you’re coming from, I guess we’ll just have to resort to a cliché and “agree to disagree”, because I guess I am an ageist in some ways. I just don’t believe all age-groups filter experiences in the same way, so if you want to say I place higher value on the potential capacity of an adult to decant his/her experiences into meaning – or, at least, into meaningful prose/poetry - than an adolescent, because an adult is comparatively wiser, more learned, more exposed to the world than a teenager, I guess you can.

    (Still, I readily admit that some of the most beautiful, sublime lines in all of Shakespeare are between the young lovers like Romeo and Juliet, or Lorenzo and Jessica. I acknowledge my Swiss cheese holes. )

    I wonder, though - if you’re gonna argue for commonality between the young and the old, why is it that you were predisposed to think Hamlet’s rashness, his propensity for violence, as being symptomatic of his “juvenile side”, as in the quote below? Aren’t you making the same error that you’re accusing me of making, only in reverse?

    Quote Originally Posted by CCL
    Also, his whole struggle with action/inaction - one could argue that this is his juvenile side (rash, prone to violence) dueling with his adult side (logical, usage of words/arguments to eliminate his enemies).
    Anyway, because this has gotten way off topic (through no fault of anybody else), I just want to clarify that way back when I’d proposed a middle-aged Hamlet, it wasn’t to snot or to nitpick anybody’s points or start vanity conjectures on this topic. All I wanted to do was to convey the idea that maybe Hamlet’s not just a “young man’s play”, because I’d hate to see this play labeled with an expiration date, like “Best read before…[insert one’s age]”, later to be “grown out of”. By arguing for an older hero, I'd hoped for everyone to see his struggles as being more universally relevant, even in one's later life.

  7. #37
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    (skipping back)

    I read Catcher in the Rye during the summer, and I loved it. I think the charm of it isn't that people can relate themselves directly to Holden, but rather that they can look at Holden's self-assuredness and say 'I want that'. I'm too young to grow out of it for now (unfortunately?) but I think the large portion of people looking to it as their Bible relates to being an adolescent and being in highschool. Everyone is insecure and want to be like Holden. When they get older, and more self-assured themselves, people realize that maybe wearing a hat just for the sake of being different makes him more of an ass than an endearing character. At least thats my theory. For now, I'm still reading it like my Bible.

  8. #38
    CCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by nausicaa
    I wonder, though - if you’re gonna argue for commonality between the young and the old, why is it that you were predisposed to think Hamlet’s rashness, his propensity for violence, as being symptomatic of his “juvenile side”, as in the quote below? Aren’t you making the same error that you’re accusing me of making, only in reverse?
    I didn't argue for exhaustive commonality - hence my use of the word "often." But, fair enough, I should be more careful with my word usage re juvenile etc. And I didn't mean to come off as "accusing" in any way, just dissenting. And I understand why you don't want Hamlet to be seen as solely a young person's play. I do, however, think it is interesting and meaningful that so many young people have taken to it.

    I wonder if anyone has gone back and read old Nancy Drew mysteries as an adult? Do they hold up over time?
    Last edited by CCL; 02-01-2005 at 12:56 PM.

  9. #39
    Laughing like a fool UHID's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCL
    I wonder if anyone has gone back and read old Nancy Drew mysteries as an adult? Do they hold up over time?
    I never read Nancy Drew, so I couldn't say. But I loved The Boxcar Children series when I was a kid, and something tells me that if I enjoyed it at all today, it would be only due to nostalgia.
    -Other People can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid.- Infinite Jest

  10. #40
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    I re-read some Narnia and it holds up. Those books are damnn good.

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