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Greatest Passage in the English Language

dylancatlow
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3/21/2015 12:43:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
My nomination:

To be, or not to be, that is the question -
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep -
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law's delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would these Fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn
No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their Currents turn awry,
And lose the name of Action.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 1:42:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If we're going to go Shakespeare I think that Julius Caesar has better writing or MacBeth.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest"
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men"
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
- Marc Antony

---

To be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus.--Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares;
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said,
Mark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him: then prophet-like
They hail'd him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list.
And champion me to the utterance!
-Macbeth
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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3/21/2015 2:26:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 1:34:24 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
So stereotypical... lol

I mean it's good, but the greatest? Idk.

It's only stereotypical because it's fking amazing :P
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 2:45:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 2:26:43 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/21/2015 1:34:24 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
So stereotypical... lol

I mean it's good, but the greatest? Idk.

It's only stereotypical because it's fking amazing :P

Well it's true. It got famous because it's good.

Though I don't think most people know the context... lol
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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3/21/2015 2:47:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Sounds like somebody just finished AP English and is all excited.
"You assume I wouldn't want to burn this whole place to the ground."
- lamerde

https://i.imgflip.com...
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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3/21/2015 2:52:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 2:47:46 PM, Maikuru wrote:
Sounds like somebody just finished AP English and is all excited.

lol no. I'm not even in high school, and haven't read Hamlet in over two years.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 4:35:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 2:52:59 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/21/2015 2:47:46 PM, Maikuru wrote:
Sounds like somebody just finished AP English and is all excited.

lol no. I'm not even in high school, and haven't read Hamlet in over two years.

Reading Hamlet once was enough for me.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/21/2015 4:50:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'll forgo Shakespeare and stick to modern literature.

"Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes -- a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning --

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

If poetry is included, then most of The Wasteland.

My favorite excerpts:

"What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

"Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you."

"Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
-- But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the roof-tree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
DA
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
DA
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
DA
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?

London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam ceu chelidon
-- O swallow swallow
Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo"s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata."
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 4:50:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
I'll forgo Shakespeare and stick to modern literature.

"Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes -- a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning --

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

If poetry is included, then most of The Wasteland.

My favorite excerpts:

"What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

"Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you."

"Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
-- But who is that on the other side of you?

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal

A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the roof-tree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder
DA
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment's surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
DA
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
DA
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?

London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam ceu chelidon
-- O swallow swallow
Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo"s mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata."

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/21/2015 5:04:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.

I understood it completely differently, as an archetypal story of America itself, a framing which is finally explicitly laid out in the closing words.

What did you think the message was? I didn't think that it really had one. Most of my favorite great works (Anna Karenin, Sons and Lovers, The Great Gatsby) don't.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 5:06:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:04:20 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.

I understood it completely differently, as an archetypal story of America itself, a framing which is finally explicitly laid out in the closing words.

What did you think the message was? I didn't think that it really had one. Most of my favorite great works (Anna Karenin, Sons and Lovers, The Great Gatsby) don't.

Message wasn't the right word. The themes is what I meant.
And I understood it much the same as you. I just didn't like it much.

My favorite piece of modern literature is Catch-22.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/21/2015 5:09:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:06:16 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:04:20 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.

I understood it completely differently, as an archetypal story of America itself, a framing which is finally explicitly laid out in the closing words.

What did you think the message was? I didn't think that it really had one. Most of my favorite great works (Anna Karenin, Sons and Lovers, The Great Gatsby) don't.

Message wasn't the right word. The themes is what I meant.
And I understood it much the same as you. I just didn't like it much.

My favorite piece of modern literature is Catch-22.

I've actually never read it. My one literally inclined friend went that round, while I was enthralled by Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle is one of my favorite novelistic treatments of religion ever.) I also very much like Conrad, Nabokov, Hemingway, Faulkner, and D.H Lawrence.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 5:11:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:09:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:06:16 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:04:20 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.

I understood it completely differently, as an archetypal story of America itself, a framing which is finally explicitly laid out in the closing words.

What did you think the message was? I didn't think that it really had one. Most of my favorite great works (Anna Karenin, Sons and Lovers, The Great Gatsby) don't.

Message wasn't the right word. The themes is what I meant.
And I understood it much the same as you. I just didn't like it much.

My favorite piece of modern literature is Catch-22.

I've actually never read it. My one literally inclined friend went that round, while I was enthralled by Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle is one of my favorite novelistic treatments of religion ever.) I also very much like Conrad, Nabokov, Hemingway, Faulkner, and D.H Lawrence.

Oh its quite good. It's very absurdist which I really enjoyed.

I've never really read Vonnegut actually. But I concur with the rest of the names presented.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/21/2015 5:16:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:11:01 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:09:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:06:16 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:04:20 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.

I understood it completely differently, as an archetypal story of America itself, a framing which is finally explicitly laid out in the closing words.

What did you think the message was? I didn't think that it really had one. Most of my favorite great works (Anna Karenin, Sons and Lovers, The Great Gatsby) don't.

Message wasn't the right word. The themes is what I meant.
And I understood it much the same as you. I just didn't like it much.

My favorite piece of modern literature is Catch-22.

I've actually never read it. My one literally inclined friend went that round, while I was enthralled by Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle is one of my favorite novelistic treatments of religion ever.) I also very much like Conrad, Nabokov, Hemingway, Faulkner, and D.H Lawrence.

Oh its quite good. It's very absurdist which I really enjoyed.

I've never really read Vonnegut actually. But I concur with the rest of the names presented.

Ooh, I'll have to pick it up then. Camus is another favorite.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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3/21/2015 5:37:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 5:16:11 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:11:01 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:09:15 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:06:16 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:04:20 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 5:00:45 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:59:04 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 4:54:41 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Ugh I hate the Great Gatsby.

Cause you were forced to read it? If so, I can understand that. I felt the same way about The Scarlet Letter until I reread it. I think that forcing people to read literature as if it's a tawdry little checklist is very counter productive. I see good literature as a pinnacle of human achievement, which one must be prepared to take on of one's own volition, not a chore.

If that's not the case, then why? I find it an enthralling work.

Partly yes but not entirely. I reread it myself like a year ago.

I mean I get the message and the themes and such but I found the writing flat and the message almost just as flat. It just didn't do anything for me.

It did do a good job conveying the stifling atmosphere of the time but that's about it. But that's just me.

I understood it completely differently, as an archetypal story of America itself, a framing which is finally explicitly laid out in the closing words.

What did you think the message was? I didn't think that it really had one. Most of my favorite great works (Anna Karenin, Sons and Lovers, The Great Gatsby) don't.

Message wasn't the right word. The themes is what I meant.
And I understood it much the same as you. I just didn't like it much.

My favorite piece of modern literature is Catch-22.

I've actually never read it. My one literally inclined friend went that round, while I was enthralled by Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle is one of my favorite novelistic treatments of religion ever.) I also very much like Conrad, Nabokov, Hemingway, Faulkner, and D.H Lawrence.

Oh its quite good. It's very absurdist which I really enjoyed.

I've never really read Vonnegut actually. But I concur with the rest of the names presented.

Ooh, I'll have to pick it up then. Camus is another favorite.

Yeah I actually enjoyed the Stranger quite a bit.
bossyburrito
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3/21/2015 7:22:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it, and I-I am the man who has granted you your wish."

Obviously.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
sadolite
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3/21/2015 7:31:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I nominate "Dyin ain't much of a livin"
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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3/22/2015 2:49:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 7:22:30 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
"You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it, and I-I am the man who has granted you your wish."

Obviously.

I prefer her remarks on "half-wit retarded children".
DetectableNinja
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3/23/2015 10:26:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Although I AM a huge fan of The Great Gatsby (I mean, I'm studying comparative lit in college right now), one of the most chilling passages for me in any work of English literature is actually the ending to the YA novel Feed, by MT Anderson (http://www.amazon.com...). Admittedly, some of the emotional impact depends on reading the whole novel, but just so you know, the italicized text is coming from the narrator's feed (basically the Internet in his mind):

And I whispered, "Violet...Violet? There's one story I'll keep telling you. I'll keep telling it. You're the story. I don't want you to forget. When you wake up, I want you to remember yourself. I'm going to remember. You're still there, as long as I can remember you. As long as someone knows you. I know you so well, I could drive a simulator. This is the story."

And for the first time, I started crying.

I cried, sitting by her bed, and I told her the story of us. "It's about the feed," I said. "It's about this meg normal guy, who doesn't think about anything until one wacky day, when he meets a dissident with a heart of gold." I said, "Set against the backdrop of America in its final days, it's the high-spirited story of their love together, it's laugh-out-loud funny, really heartwarming, and a visual feast." I picked up her hand and held it to my lips. I whispered to her fingers. "Together, the two crazy kids grow, have madcap escapades, and learn an important lesson about love. They learn to resist the feed. Rated PG-13. For language," I whispered, "and mild sexual situations.

I sat in her room, by her side, and she stared at the ceiling. I held her hand. On a screen, her heart was barely beating.

I could see my face, crying, in her blank eye.

***

Feeling blue? Then dress blue! It's the Blue-Jean Warehouse's Final Sales Event! Stock is just flying off the shelves at prices so low you won't believe your feed!

Everything must go!

Everything must go.

Everything must go.

Everything must go.

Everything must go.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Skepsikyma
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3/25/2015 1:49:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/23/2015 10:26:34 PM, DetectableNinja wrote:

That is chilling! Wow, I think I'm going to add that to my list. What's the most memorable opening to a book that you can recall? Mine is probably Beloved: "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom."
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
dylancatlow
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3/25/2015 11:51:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If we're going for chilling, then Nietzsche takes the cake:

In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of world history -- yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.
YYW
Posts: 36,252
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3/26/2015 12:00:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
David Mitchell; Cloud Atlas:

"Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules; only outcomes.

What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts.

What precipitates acts? Belief.

Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind"s mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history's Horroxes, Boerhaaves & Gooses shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the "natural" (oh, weaselly word!) order of things?

Why? Because of this:"one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul. For the human species, selfishness is extinction.

Is this the doom written within our nature?

If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe that leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president"s pen or a vainglorious general"s sword.

A life spent shaping a world I want Jackson to inherit, not one I fear Jackson shall inherit, this strikes me as a life worth the living.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
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3/26/2015 1:48:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/26/2015 12:00:18 AM, YYW wrote:
David Mitchell; Cloud Atlas:

"Scholars discern motions in history & formulate these motions into rules that govern the rises & falls of civilizations. My belief runs contrary, however. To wit: history admits no rules; only outcomes.

What precipitates outcomes? Vicious acts & virtuous acts.

What precipitates acts? Belief.

Belief is both prize & battlefield, within the mind & in the mind"s mirror, the world. If we believe humanity is a ladder of tribes, a colosseum of confrontation, exploitation & bestiality, such a humanity is surely brought into being, & history's Horroxes, Boerhaaves & Gooses shall prevail. You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided our luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the "natural" (oh, weaselly word!) order of things?

Why? Because of this:"one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul. For the human species, selfishness is extinction.

Is this the doom written within our nature?

If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe that leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president"s pen or a vainglorious general"s sword.

A life spent shaping a world I want Jackson to inherit, not one I fear Jackson shall inherit, this strikes me as a life worth the living.

Greatest in the English language?...Really?
Skepsikyma
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3/26/2015 6:59:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/25/2015 11:51:24 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
If we're going for chilling, then Nietzsche takes the cake:

In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of world history -- yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.

Yeah, or HP Lovecraft:

"Even the dry tips of the lingering hedge-mustard, grey and blighted, and the fringe on the roof of the standing democrat-wagon were unstirred. And yet amid that tense godless calm the high bare boughs of all the trees in the yard were moving."
http://en.wikisource.org...
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
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3/26/2015 8:07:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I remember Bossy asking about Wuthering Heights, and one of my favorites is also from that book:

"One time, however, we were near quarrelling. He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly. That was his most perfect idea of heaven's happiness " mine was rocking in a rustling green tree, with a west wind blowing, and bright white clouds flitting rapidly above; and not only larks, but throstles, and blackbirds, and linnets, and cuckoos pouring out music on every side, and the moors seen at a distance, broken into cool dusky dells; but close by great swells of long grass undulating in waves to the breeze; and woods and sounding water, and the whole world awake and wild with joy. He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive, and he said mine would be drunk; I said I should fall asleep in his, and he said he could not breathe in mine."
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -