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Old 01-23-2012, 06:04 PM   #61
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Re: The Quote Thread.

“When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” Larry Ellison – Oracle Corporation Founder and CEO
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:45 PM   #62
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Re: The Quote Thread.

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Some outtakes from Wiki...



I can see why you might not prefer Nabokov, but worst mainstream novel you've read...really?
I don't really want this thread to be a debate thread, or for that matter, I don't want to debate art at all, but I will respond briefly.

I've done some searching on Nabokov, and I agree he's very popular with most who have read him, including Lolita - but not universal.

My problem with Lolita is I was so respulsed by the content I frankly couldn't tell you much about his style, literary technique, etc. I have read some excerpts from some of this other works and can see he had a great deal of talent with words - very, very impressive, given Russian is his main language - though not quite as impressive as Conrad, since Nabokov was raised in a multi-lingual family(as I recall) - still, not chopped liver.

I recently read 3 novels by Waugh, generally considered his best 3 (Scoop, Handful of Dust, and Brideshead). I saw something of his talent in the first two but didn't much care for the stories, for different reasons. The only reason I went on to read Brideshead is I've seen the BBC production with Jeremy Irons and consider it in the top 5 of all TV shows ever produced (having both Olivier and Gielgud in the series didn't hurt any - smiling right now thinking of Gielgud's performance). Anyway, I did read Brideshead and loved almost all of it. Interesting note, Waugh thought it was his best when he wrote it, then 5 years later when he re-read it said he was appalled. For that matter, after Tolstoy's conversion, he basically repudiated all his novels, and there are those who think he's the all time greatest. One other fact - I saw that Nabokov disliked Dostoevsky and loved Tolstoy, but there was a copy of Karamazov by Tolstoy's death bed. The point - there is much that is subjective about art appreciation, and one's tastes change for different reasons - there's just no right or wrong on this subject - at least above a certain level.

If Rembrandt had painted a picture of a large, steaming pile of human excrement, and had used his best technique, artiste's may well praise it, but I wouldn't want it hanging on my wall, and would probably miss the artistic value.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:58 PM   #63
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Re: The Quote Thread.

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I don't really want this thread to be a debate thread, or for that matter, I don't want to debate art at all, but I will respond briefly.

I've done some searching on Nabokov, and I agree he's very popular with most who have read him, including Lolita - but not universal.

My problem with Lolita is I was so respulsed by the content I frankly couldn't tell you much about his style, literary technique, etc.
I think this only speaks to his greatness. Objectively, Lolita's content barely stands out on the landscape of literary horrors. Kidnapping, rape, murder? <yawn> Wake me up when there's a genocide to report.

But as Martin Amis said: "Nabokov is the laureate of cruelty. Cruelty hardly exists elsewhere; all the Lovelaces and Osmonds turn out, on not very much closer inspection, to be mere hooligans and tyrants when compared to Humbert Humbert."

Weaker eyes see only the banality of evil. Not Nabokov. Imo the psychological insight alone makes Lolita an almost peerless tour-de-force. (Whether this insight could be displayed without Nabokov's artistic powers is another question, but perhaps incidental to the greatness of the book.)
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:12 PM   #64
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!

- George Carlin



I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

- George Carlin
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:39 AM   #65
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Re: The Quote Thread.

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I think this only speaks to his greatness. Objectively, Lolita's content barely stands out on the landscape of literary horrors. Kidnapping, rape, murder? <yawn> Wake me up when there's a genocide to report.

But as Martin Amis said: "Nabokov is the laureate of cruelty. Cruelty hardly exists elsewhere; all the Lovelaces and Osmonds turn out, on not very much closer inspection, to be mere hooligans and tyrants when compared to Humbert Humbert."

Weaker eyes see only the banality of evil. Not Nabokov. Imo the psychological insight alone makes Lolita an almost peerless tour-de-force. (Whether this insight could be displayed without Nabokov's artistic powers is another question, but perhaps incidental to the greatness of the book.)
My memory of the book is somewhat spotty because, though I haven't consciously tried to forget it, I've made no effort to remember it, either.

However, as I recall, Lolita herself never suffered. She WAS a nymphet, perhaps even sexually active before Humbert (not sure about that) but did not seem to mind the sex at all, other than the fact is was with an old man. Maybe that's part of what I found repulsive - was Lolita really a victim? If not, was Humbert really cruel? Even the seemingly minor cruelty when Emma insulted Miss Bates shocked me more than the sex in Lolita - I wasn't shocked by it, just repulsed (disgusted) by the way it was handled, whereas I really felt the anguish of Miss Bates.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:34 AM   #66
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Re: The Quote Thread.

"QUIT CONVERSING IN THE QUOTE THREAD DAMMIT" - kb coolman
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:44 AM   #67
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Re: The Quote Thread.

It is better to remain silent and appear stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

-Unknown

Last edited by Pooter; 01-24-2012 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Unknown to me not academia I am sure.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:15 AM   #68
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Quotes from Brother Lawrence's The Practice Of The Presence Of God:

"God alone is capable of making Himself known as He really is. We search in reasoning and in sciences, as in a poor copy. What we neglect to see is God's painting Himself in the depth of our soul."

More here:
http://www.practicegodspresence.com/...-lawrence.html
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #69
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Ego is a social fiction for which one person at a time gets all the blame.

- Robert Anton Wilson
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:28 PM   #70
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Re: The Quote Thread.

The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them.
- Letters from the Earth
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #71
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotReady View Post
My memory of the book is somewhat spotty because, though I haven't consciously tried to forget it, I've made no effort to remember it, either.

However, as I recall, Lolita herself never suffered. She WAS a nymphet, perhaps even sexually active before Humbert (not sure about that) but did not seem to mind the sex at all, other than the fact is was with an old man. Maybe that's part of what I found repulsive - was Lolita really a victim? If not, was Humbert really cruel?...
The fact that Lolita was raped at least twice a day for almost two years was a pretty major plot point, actually.

But it seems you're only saying that Lolita is your least favorite major novel; not that it's the worst in any meaningful sense. So carry on.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:03 PM   #72
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Le Carre

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Quote:
I thought of telling him that now we had defeated Communism, we were going to have to set about defeating capitalism, but that wasn’t really my point: the evil was not in the system, but in the man.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:12 AM   #73
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Religion is a rubber crutch for the weak.

-Pooter
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:23 AM   #74
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Re: The Quote Thread.

Quotation, n.: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another. The words erroneously repeated. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #75
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Re: The Quote Thread.

"Peace, in nation's terms, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting."

- Ambrose Bierce
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