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View Diary: Contemporary Fiction Views: 'Burial Rites' and continuing on (19 comments)

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  •  especially when the "humour" is that of a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, RiveroftheWest

    completely cynical joylessness.

    I can read Dickens' darkest tales without succumbing to the doldrums.
    "Heart of Darkness" destroyed Conrad for me, and I cannot abide, to this day, either Tennessee Williams or Faulkner.

    Even Hemingway can be a depressing influence, when his insistence on his stylistic tricks isn't outright annoying.

    Want my degree back, Tech?

    I far prefer to read biographies and scientific work, and more modern fiction (Fenimore Cooper instead of Willa Cather? Count me in!) to some of the ... truly soul-crushing ... writing I'm supposed to admire.

     There are stories that don't fit this mold. Read Jack London's "To Build a Fire" sometime. Don't read it as great literature. Read it as a survival guide -- a list of things you shouldn't do, under similar circumstances. The story of the Donner Party cannot be told upliftingly, IMO. That group of young Europeans stranded in the Andes after a plane crash is a similar tragedy.

    One need not introduce additional gruesomeness into everyday life. There's plenty in it already.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 10:25:58 AM PST

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