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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Jane Austen's 'Emma' (271 comments)

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  •  Thoroughly enjoyed this, Brecht! (16+ / 0-)

    To me, arguments on who is the "greater" writer are as useless as the arguments as to whether cats are better than dogs or vice versa.

    There is an author for every mood. I don't always want to read wide, sweeping narratives of blood, guts, and war.  Sometimes I just want to ponder the intricacies of human nature and that's where Austen comes in. She was the absolute mistress of the art.

    But in a different mood I want something passionate, something jars me out of everyday life, and that's when I want to reread Jane Eyre.

    There are books I can read only once--for example, Les Miserables. Likewise, I could only read Emma once, although I enjoyed watching a couple of BBC versions of it on television.

    This is a really good diary and discussion, for which many thanks!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 03:48:35 AM PST

    •  I couldn't agree more (10+ / 0-)

      'an author for every mood.'  And sometimes I want an 800-page novel; other times I just want to read a volume of short-stories, two at a time.

      The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

      by micsimov on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 08:56:37 AM PST

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    •  Hello, Queen of the Morning, from the sluggard of (6+ / 0-)

      the afternoon.

      15 years ago, I started asking my friends "Who are the 10 greatest rock bands?". I thought I'd figure out who the greatest bands were. I soon learned that there's no definitive answer (though I'd happily give you one, and defend it in a filibuster). The most interesting thing I found in the answers was, I could infer how each of my friends defined rock music in their own minds.

      I enjoy lists of "greatest novels" not because I find factual truth there, but because they lead to interesting debates about the essential elements of Greatness, and Novels, and also about the boundaries we imagine around those concepts.

      I end up with a whole mess of titles, qualities, and ideas in my head. But I enjoying analyzing the mess, both to figure out which books I should explore for new horizons, and to help sort which of the books I've already read mean the most to me.

      "There is an author for every mood." Absolutely. I find, after all my thrashing and sorting, I have a larger and more distinct map of the different moods and flavors in books, and which of my literary appetites they each feed. I can never just let things rest in a simple, natural state. I guess it's just how I like to fuss.

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

      by Brecht on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 01:56:56 PM PST

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