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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Who is the Greatest Woman Novelist since 1950? (294 comments)

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  •  "Favorite" is a cleaner, simpler question. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Youffraita

    Unless you're neurotic, you can figure out your favorites in a category just by paying attention to it and feeling the strength of your response.

    "Great" is my most-overused word; it is resonant, but one of the least definite. It seems like it points to a smooth marble edifice, but in practice it gets stuck between "I like most", "It meets my highest intellectual standards" and "It must be Great, because the critics and professors all say so".

    In your field you're slightly inoculated against the tides of groupthink, but not immune. You also have more critical tools, and have spent longer dwelling on the relative greatness of different books.

    Sorry, you know all this. It's just been buzzing in my head.

    I have a lot more reading to do post-1950 before I'd even venture a favorite.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:31:21 PM PDT

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