Monday, October 17, 2005

Okay so I guess I did comment.

From: Ben
Subject: List! (Care to comment?)
Date: October 17, 2005 10:51:17 AM PDT
To: Josh


Time Magazine Top 100 Books (Since 1923)
http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html

From: Josh
Subject: Re: List! (Care to comment?)
Date: October 17, 2005 12:10:36 PM PDT
To: Ben


No. These lists are stupid. The critics are clearly
trying to cram in as wide an array of literature as
possible, and show their soft side (Judy Blume!) and
give nods to contemporary writers (Infinite fucking
Jest? Are you kidding me?) while stacking the deck
with big prize winners and no duh's -- The Confessions
of Nat Turner seems safe, even though it caused a huge
scandal when it won the Styron the Pulitzer, because
it's about slave revolution. "A Death In The Family"
is in the same category. Recognized as great chiefly
because it won the Pulitzer, and James Agee is a fine
writer, but come on. This list is so calculated and
boring. I mean, okay, I was pleased to see "Red
Harvest" on the list but it seems to me that anyone
seriously interested in particular aesthetics will be
pissed off -- I mean does it seem possible that the
same crtiics actually liked all of the following
novels:

1. Gravity's Rainbow
2. Mrs. Dalloway
3. The Corrections
4. Death Comes For the Archbishop
5. Tropic of Cancer
6. An American Tragedy
7. Deliverance
8. Never Let Me Go [which is actually a bold choice
--it was just released this year, or late last]
9. The Lord of the Rings
10. Are You there God, It's Me Margaret

?

Really? I just don't buy it. Or I do, in that these
guys are clearly hacks who care more about appearing
to love literature than actually loving it. Lists of
100 are unwieldy anyway, and the impulse to recognize
the entire spectrum is strong, but I'd much prefer a
really strong list of great novels that cohere and
make a solid statement. This is, like, English
Language Literature 101. Snoozers.

Okay so I guess I did comment. Oops.

6 Comments:

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Dashiell said...

they put "watchmen" on there. that's weird, i mean, not to say that it doesn't belong on there, it's certainly better than "to the lighthouse", but just weird that it would be on the list. they really did just compile "the best" from different genres which is a bit lame.

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Boris said...

The list is bullshit, but it's nice to see Appointment in Samarra get some credit. That said, Judy Blume is in way over her head. And so is that bastard responsible for Infinite Jest.

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Boris said...

The list is bullshit, but it's nice to see Appointment in Samarra get some credit. That said, Judy Blume is in way over her head. And so is that bastard responsible for Infinite Jest.

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

Brennon says the following about the inclusion of "The Watchmen":

"Problem #230943 with Time's List: they put a fucking comic book on it. I like graphic novels. They're entertaining and they can be very smart. But when you're dealing with literature from the past 80 years and you put a fucking comic book on there, you're just trying to be edgy. Seriously. Time Magazine thinks they need to reach the hip youngsters with The Watchmen so they slap it in, sit back, and watch the skater boys with hands on their dicks write in to say they want a subscription."

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Dashiell said...

you should read "watchmen" it's better than many of the books on there and has more words than "the stranger". it's amazing.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who doesn't love "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret"?
Also, who has actually read "Light in August" without skimming? C'mon, seriously. Same for anything from Pynchon.

 

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