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View Diary: Contemporary Fiction Views: Myopic male writer, meet Margaret Atwood (67 comments)

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  •  You put time and thought into this comment, and (13+ / 0-)

    made your arguments clear and level. It's past my bedtime, but you deserve a response.

    It is, of course, entirely possible that Gilmour's read more Canadian literature than bookgirl has. The problem is, your opinion began:

    You have no idea how much Canadian literature Gilmour may have read, nor how deeply he may have read it. No idea. None. Zero. Not a whit. Nary a scrap. Zilch. Nada.
    That's not an opinion: nine negatives, two italicized, all dripping with condescension. That's shoving your mouth a few inches away from someone's face and covering them in spittle. You continue in the same vein for several lines.

    Why does disagreement need to be so personal and angry? How is that a remotely enjoyable discussion? Do you want bookgirl to get fed up, and just walk away? My guess is, you read the diary, you saw attitude, and then chose to raise it 300%.

    You raise several points, and a few of them are pretty interesting. But I'm tired already, and what I've seen of your debate style is mostly grueling and very little fun. How about you just read your own thorough comments again, and tell yourself you surely won?

    Three points, before I go. First, Woolf has hard novels and stories, and easier ones. She wrote a lot, and none of it was shoddy. Gilmour said in an interview that she was his favorite, with Tolstoy and Chekhov. So if he couldn't find some Woolf worth putting on his syllabus for undergrads, he either didn't bother to look or doesn't know how to teach. It's his job to explain the stories to his students, and Woolf isn't Beckett or Kierkegaard. She has much that is accessible to undergrads, in the hands of a professor who's not afraid of thinking and working.

    Second, I have seen you argue rudely, and get comments hidden, before. You're sensitive when you're paying attention, but you (at least sometimes) lack self-awareness and kindness. You say:

    Well, I challenged the author's interpretation, and not all that pompously, and what came back was not conciliatory.
    You came into a diary that bookgirl had put some research, thought and work into, and you're first comment went:
    Sorry, but I give the brouhaha a big "whatevs". . . . To which I respond: Prove it.
    Which really was pretty pompous and belligerent, as an opening move.

    Third, in my first blockquote in this comment, with the nine negatives, you were insisting - hammering, actually - that bookgirl had "No idea. None. Zero. Not a whit. Nary a scrap. Zilch. Nada", how much Canadian literature Gilmour has read. But I know that bookgirl has read several webpages on this incident, including a few where Gilmour talks at length about what he reads, because bookgirl and I were talking about this in a diary I wrote a few days ago.

    I don't believe David Gilmour has studied literature in any depth at all. He got a BA in French, he held various jobs, he wrote several books, and he read what he likes to read. The one thing that comes through loud and clear from his interviews and his syllabus is, he's arrogant and complacent about his own tastes and opinions. He comes across as an emotional adolescent, who loves Chekhov because he was such a cool guy, goes on about his personality for paragraphs, and doesn't say a word about his stories or plays.

    Gilmour seems like exactly the kind of man who would avoid reading much Canadian fiction, because most of the people who wrote it didn't impress him as cool, they just weren't up to his standard. But I don't believe you even followed the links in this diary, let alone reading earlier, and later, and more complete interviews with Gilmour. In which case, how are you so damned sure of your position that you write a whole paragraph of negatives belittling bookgirl's?


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

    by Brecht on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 01:46:50 AM PDT

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    •  Your doubts notwithstanding, I followed the (0+ / 0-)

      links, and followed other links therefrom. I even went so far as to see if I could dig up any book reviews he might have written, but I failed. In the process, I encountered this encyclopedia entry that details his education (emphasis mine, except for the all-caps, which the encyclopedia uses to indicate hyperlinks):

      David Gilmour grew up in Toronto, where he attended UPPER CANADA COLLEGE. He did his undergraduate degree in French Literature at the University of Toronto and the University of Toulouse. He began graduate studies in Comparative Literature of the University of Toronto, and completed a Bachelor of Education.
      I had been building an impression of him as a stereotypical male enfant terrible writer, self-taught and in his own mind "uncorrupted" by the influence of a formal humanities education, but that turned out not to be the case. I suppose it's possible that he skated a degree in French literature without "having studied literature in any depth at all", and that he dropped out of his graduate program just in time to avoid studying literature in any depth -- but I doubt it.

      And whether or not there is Woolf he could be teaching isn't the point. The point is that BG triumphantly plunks down that quote from him as if it demonstrates anything in support of any argument she's trying to make, and it simply doesn't. Does she think it does? How? Why?

      And BG is free to offer any evidence she has in support of her claim. Thus far, she has offered none.

      And I do not agree that my "Prove it" challenge was pompous. It was simple and straightforward, and contained 100% of anything necessary for BG to understand the challenge and choose whether or not to think carefully about what she had written and what she would write next. She chose "not".

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 07:32:15 AM PDT

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    •  Here, have a laugh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You deserve one.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 08:03:37 AM PDT

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