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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   'Elizabeth Costello' - J. M. Coetzee on the Problem of Evil (54 comments)

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  •  you've given me so much to think about (10+ / 0-)

    and I'm still sorting out my thoughts.

    Pico (I think) mentioned the other week that some things can be harder to take as the years add up. I have problems with sexual, a/o predatory violence, especially if in the writer's hands it becomes exploitative. Or for want of a better word, heartless. Not at all sure I can articulate what I mean by that.

    I had a hard time with Disgrace where I felt a sense of characters dancing at the end of the writer's strings. I liked Foe, and Waiting for the Barbarians very much, but had an almost visceral dislike for Disgrace.

    You might have made me curious enough to take a look at Elizabeth Costello, though.

    •  Yeah, that was me: (8+ / 0-)

      I'm a big horror movie fan, but I'm finding it harder to enjoy fictional sadistic violence as I get older.

      This may sound really weird, but I prefer my violence to have fun behind it.  I want geysers of too-red blood and clever uses of makeup and other DIY special effects.  I want to sense that the filmmakers are giggling behind the camera.  You don't get that with humiliating, "realistic" torture violence.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:22:40 PM PDT

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    •  I have problems with sexual a/o predatory violence (6+ / 0-)
      especially if in the writer's hands it becomes exploitative. Or for want of a better word, heartless. Not at all sure I can articulate what I mean by that.
      I know what you mean, I think. Very tricky stuff to handle at all. Especially in our culture, which is so messed up about sex in every way.

      A writer could honestly portray a horrifying rape, and I'm sure there are some men in this country (in most countries?) who would read it and enjoy it. Sexual hungers can be so irrational, and so apparently inhuman.

      But it's fine with me if we don't talk about it.

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

      by Brecht on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:32:15 PM PDT

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      •  I wound up needing to write (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, RiveroftheWest

        a coercive sexual situation and spent a solid afternoon afterwards getting out of my character's head and into my own.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:21:14 PM PDT

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        •  Sometimes we bravely walk into darkness (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alexandra Lynch, RiveroftheWest

          and, in the thick of it, we find it's more sharp and cold than we ever guessed.

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

          by Brecht on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:00:32 PM PDT

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          •  It wasn't that. It was the logical thing to do. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht, RiveroftheWest

            It was in some ways the kindest thing to do, given the alternatives and his overall goals.

            That's a deeply seductive viewpoint, to use others for their own good, as defined by you.

            When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

            by Alexandra Lynch on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 05:43:16 AM PDT

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