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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:42 am

    So what you're telling me is, in other words, you don't like to work? That's terrible man. You're opinion of literature no longer counts. Case dismissed.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:52 am

    Thats not what I said, even a little. How did you even get that?

    Edit: Know what? Never mind. I don't care. Have fun with your literature.


    Last edited by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:57 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:54 am

    Forum Pirate wrote:It doesn't, other that the subtitles of literature (like allagory) are lost on me and entirely outside what I in any way need to enjoy a book. Going out of ones way to force it isn't endearing to me.

    What you're saying here is that for a narrative to be presented to you, where something is expected of you, some form of analysis, in order to better understand the plot of that narrative, than you don't like to bother with it, or, in the case of LotR, will label it boring or not worth wading through. That doesn't make the book boring, it just means you're not willing to do the work to unlock what's amazing about the book.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:06 am

    No, I'm fine with having to work to understand something. What I'm not ok with, (asside from being told off because I don't understand something) is the pretentious and dry presentation of LOTR in this instance and shoving mossy allagory at me instead of just telling me the story presented ALONG WITH the mossy allagory doesn't exactly make me happy.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:08 am

    I'm not telling you off? I'm trying to help you to understand how that integration is the beauty of the art, and I think you're cheating yourself by disregarding it. I'd love to use Dark Souls as an example. It's plot is entirely articulated through allegory and subtlety. Do you think the narrative would be at all enhanced if we were just spoon fed the whole thing instead? I apologize if my scathing sense of humor is hurting your feelings, it's not my intention.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:21 am

    Art, as I said, is beyond me.

    I can enjoy it, but not for its own sake. My enjoyment (for music, games, cinema and books as painting is entirely beyond me) is purely in how it sucks me in and inspires feelings, which is determined (for me) by a believable world and characters. Artistic flaring, especially when separate from the story (like moss allagorys, writing in Iambic pantameter, weird camera angles or lighting, a strange or rapidly fluctuating tempo in music) is distracting and detracts from my ability to enjoy it.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:23 am

    Again, I'd say, while you're entitled to your own perspective, it doesn't dictate the validity of a book, only your own perspective of it. LotR is not boring, you are simply not into that kind of reading.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:33 am

    I never argued against the validity of the books. If anything, I fail to see why any real effort in such a field should be considered invalid. Isn't art about expression? Why then, are there rules that dictate its validity? To argue that any effort at expression in the form of art is not valid would be incredibly pretentious as I see it.

    Boring is perspective, thus I am justified in saying so. Its obviously my opinion, so that it may not be true for others is implied.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Tolvo on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:39 am

    I think I'm done posting in the Off-topic until I notice people actually start reading the posts of others.
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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:11 am

    Forum Pirate wrote:
    Tolvo wrote:To be fair I also don't like LOTR.
    Boring as crap.

    That statement implies that there's something wrong with the book, but I'd say after our discussion, that it's just your opinion of heavier literature that dictates that perspective of it.

    Forum Pirate wrote:Boring is perspective, thus I am justified in
    saying so. Its obviously my opinion, so that it may not be true for
    others is implied.

    That I won't argue with, but I do wish, for your own sake, that if you've never read the entire thing, that you give it another shot. It's so worth it.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:55 pm

    No it doesn't. I'm sure its great for what it is, but I don't like what it is. What it is bores me senseless.

    I read book 1. Stopped there. It got a fair shake.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:59 pm

    Book one as in the Hobbit? Or Fellowship?


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by Forum Pirate on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:02 pm

    Fellowship. I've read the hobbit to actually, didn't like that either. Though If I remember right it wasn't as dull.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:11 pm

    Most of Fellowship is just setting up for when the action really starts in Two Towers and Return of the King. It's because Tolkien's publishers insisted on splitting his book into 3, because they didn't know if fantasy would sell, and because it was such a new idea they didn't think it was a good idea to publish such a large text. I've never agreed with that decision. The way they split it sort of forces the narrative into smaller compartmentalized events, and does it in places that sometimes don't make a whole lot of sense. I know at this point I'm probably not going to convince you to give it another shot anyway, but I stand by what I've been saying. Maybe not with LotR, because you seem to be pretty set in your opinion of it, but there's a lot of great literature out there that's written in ways that beg for analysis and contemplation, that I hope you check out at some point. If I was pressed to recommend something, that can be enjoyed either way, but would inspire contemplation on top of face value, I'd recommend The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It's probably my favorite piece of American literature.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by BIG TIME MASTER on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:22 pm

    Plastic, I'll probably never take the time to read LOTR, I rarely read fiction anyhow. I read your post though and am interested in what the literary merit of the trilogy is.
    Is it possible that you could summarize what you got out of it?
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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:25 pm

    I could, but I feel like if I did I would be cheating you, and others who might at some point decide to read it, out of the pleasure of experiencing it for themselves. For me, part of the beauty of literature like it is the magic of discovery


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by BIG TIME MASTER on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:30 pm

    I have trouble committing to long fiction novels.

    I read a lot of nonfiction, I like to learn practical skills even if I don't use them.
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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:32 pm

    I like the occasional non-fiction too. I just recently read In Cold Blood for the first time, after seeing Capote. I'd recommend it if anyone's ever interested. It's based on extremely brutal events, and is written in such a way that the experience of it is pretty haunting. I enjoyed it. I read a lot Stephen Ambrose too, which is all non-fiction. Love learning about the war.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by The Letter X on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:34 pm

    I think I have learned a lot from reading fiction. Even if it wasn't directly, fiction normally gets my mind turning so I can use it better for other things. And Calvin and Hobbes is the bomb-diggity.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by BIG TIME MASTER on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:36 pm

    Ever read Stephen Pressfields historical fictions about ancient Greece? Good stuff there for folks interested in timeless themes related to soldiering and war. Romance too, for women.

    Gates of Fire
    Last of the Amazons
    Tides of War
    The Afghan Campaign

    Thats my list of favorites from greatest to least. Check em out if you haven't already.

    One caveat, I really enjoyed these books before I was in the army, now that I'm not quite as interested in the mystery of the soldiers life, I might not like them as much, who knows. I do remember that they definitely sensationalized things a bit, which might annoy me a bit now, but there I remember some outstanding monologues about the nature of fear from Gates of Fire that I consider priceless. Also, I don't think the author is a veteran, but he seemed to have a pretty good understanding of the nuances of long ruck marches.


    Last edited by BIG TIME MASTER on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:36 pm

    The Letter X wrote:I think I have learned a lot from reading fiction. Even if it wasn't directly, fiction normally gets my mind turning so I can use it better for other things. And Calvin and Hobbes is the bomb-diggity.

    I'm actually sort of just getting into reading graphic novels. Some of them really are written well enough to be considered real works of literature, as opposed to just junk food. At least in my opinion. I read The Watchmen not long ago. Really thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great piece of writing by any standard. In fact, Rorschach may very well be my favorite fictional character ever. He's such an amazingly written character, on so many different levels.

    ^Never heard of it BTM, I may check it out though. I consume books pretty readily, and am about to graduate from college and have my recreational reading time back.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by BIG TIME MASTER on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:45 pm

    PlasticandRage wrote:
    The Letter X wrote:I think I have learned a lot from reading fiction. Even if it wasn't directly, fiction normally gets my mind turning so I can use it better for other things. And Calvin and Hobbes is the bomb-diggity.

    I'm actually sort of just getting into reading graphic novels. Some of them really are written well enough to be considered real works of literature. At least in my opinion. I read The Watchmen not long ago. Really thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a great piece of writing by any standard.

    ^Never heard of it BTM, I may check it out though. I consume books pretty readily, and am about to graduate from college and have my recreational reading time back.


    I normally trash old books, so I would just send them to you, but I have a feeling I will want to reread these someday.

    If you like ancient history and think you got enough room in your brain to fill it with a metric **** ton of wisdom from the ancient world, pick up "The Landmark Herodotus, The Histories". It is the original history book, written by Herodtus circa 560ish b.c. It is a massive book that will take years to read, but if you just sit down and read a few sections here and there you will learn so so much. It's like having your grandpa sit down and tell you a story everday, sometimes entertaining, sometimes intriguing, sometimes horrifying, and a lot of times something that is powerful enough to alter your character and the way you understand things.
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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by BIG TIME MASTER on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:59 pm

    To further add to my account of how awesome Herodotus's "The Histories" is, there is a story in there, I don't remember the time frame but it was well before the Greek/Persian war, in which a King who takes the throne by force orders for the child of the king he disposed to be killed although it is only a baby. He obviously doesn't want the child to grow up and become his enemy.
    So he entrust the baby slaying to one of his trusted henchmen, but the guy doesn't have the stomach for it and shirks the responsibility by dumping the baby off on some farmers and tells them that the king commands them to off the baby. The farmers, being simple folk, of course arent going to kill the baby so they send it away to a new family.

    Years pass, I'll skip a really interesting part of the story because it is long, but in short the boy who would have been king is discovered to still be alive, and is nearly a man now. The King finds out but keeps his knowledge a secret, and decides to hold a feast, and invites his henchman who had obviously claimed to have carried out his duties so many years ago. What the henchman doesn't know is that the king found out, and captured the henchmans own son before the feast, killed him, and had him chopped up and prepared along with the lamb as a dish to be eaten. The henchman unknowingly eats his own son! At the end of the meal the king ask the henchman if the meal was to his liking, and he proclaims that it very much was, and then a servant presents the henchman's sons head and he learns the horrible truth. Crazy **** and this ain't fiction!
    It gets better though. The henchman, who has just learned that he was just fed his own son, doesn't lose his cool! He politely thanks the king for the feast and then departs. He later collaborates with the deposed would-be king in another city-state, and many many years later finally gathers an army and destroys the king. This is just one of thousands of cool little stories that really give you an appreciation for how easy modern life is, and how cruel people with absolute power can be.
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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by skarekrow13 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:01 pm

    Plastic, I have an autograph from Rorschach (well the actor from the movie). Watchmen is pretty amazing. The ending with the villain doing the logical thing instead of the "comic book villain" thing (no spoilers) blew my mind.


    On a historical note and soldiering note I would recommend Meditations written by Marcus Aurelius. It's somewhat more of a diary of musings than a "book" but I think it sheds light on what an emperor with his army thinks about from day to day.

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    Re: Random Off-Topic

    Post by PlasticandRage on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:18 pm

    skarekrow13 wrote:Plastic, I have an autograph from Rorschach (well the actor from the movie). Watchmen is pretty amazing. The ending with the villain doing the logical thing instead of the "comic book villain" thing (no spoilers) blew my mind.

    Oh man. That's awesome. I thought they really pulled off the movie. While they obviously had to skip a lot of important plot points, I felt they still captured the essence of the book. The whole prison sequence really made Rorschach for me. Both his explanation to the psychiatrist of who he really is, and his reaction to the inmates trying to kill him. One of his lines there is actually one of my favorite literary quotes I've ever read. This one:
    Spoiler:
    Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent
    new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and
    knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night.
    Looked
    at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The
    cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives,
    lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion;
    bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is
    nothing else.
    Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we
    imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose
    to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical
    forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers
    them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It is us. Only us. Streets
    stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions
    to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on
    this morally blank world


    His part in the ending is so amazingly fitting too. I've been thinking about reading V for Vendetta next. It's written and illustrated by the same people, and I've heard it's just as good. After seeing the film, I kind of doubt it could be anything short of spectacular.


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    Re: Random Off-Topic

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