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View Diary: Books Go Boom! How 'Lord of the Rings' is Not a Very Good Book - and Yet, is a Great One (296 comments)

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  •  Interpreting contemporaneous narrowly: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, WB Reeves, Radiowalla

    1816: Emma (Jane Austen); Adolphe (Benjamin Constant)

    1818: Frankenstein (Mary Shelley); Nightmare Abbey (Thomas Love Peacock); The Heart of Midlothian (Sir Walter Scott); Persuasion (Austen)

    1819: Ivanhoe (Scott)

    1820: The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (w. "Rip Van Winkle" & "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - Washington Irving); Melmoth the Wanderer (Charles Maturin)

    1822: The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr (E. T. A. Hoffmann)

    1824: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (James Hogg)

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

    by Brecht on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:52:17 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Being raised in the South, I've had an aversion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, Brecht, RiveroftheWest

      to Sir Walter Scott since childhood.

      See Twain's comments on Scott's influence if you'd like to know why.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 11:45:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've seen Twain blame the US Civil War on Scott (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves, RiveroftheWest, poco

        and he may have invented the phrase "Great Scott" to insult him:

        Another possible source comes from Mark Twain's hatred for Sir Walter Scott and his writing, which popularized historical fiction and romanticized war in general. Twain's disdain for Scott is evident in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), in which the main character repeatedly utters "great Scott" as an oath, and in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), where he names a sinking boat the Walter Scott.
        I find Scott OTT and cliched (in fairness, he did invent many of those cliches). But he was immensely popular and influential. He took world culture by storm, and inspired dozens of other authors tried their hand at historical romances.

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

        by Brecht on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 04:01:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scott's pernicious influence continued down to my (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, poco

          own life time. My maternal Grandmother had a much treasured volume of The Black Arrow, an over sized tome with color plate illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. What I would give to have it now. Never could get through it when I was a child though.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 02:56:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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