Re: Sense of and Ending - Julian Barnes
Posted by Steven on 21/2/2012, 9:40:12, in reply to "Re: Sense of and Ending - Julian Barnes"
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: I value originality, but I hate it when an author
: tries to sell crap disguised as creativity
It seems the more I read the less confident I feel in distinguishing between brilliance and crap.
Maybe originality is overrated anyway. I've been reading some early Greek prose works. The dating on these works is speculative, but Callirhoe by Chariton may be the oldest surviving work of literature that could legitimately be called a novel. It was written sometime between 50 BC and 200 AD, most likely around 100 AD. The plot is the story of a pair of lovers who are separated by mischance and meander all over the Mediterranean, victims of pirates, slave auctions, accidental burial, crucifixion, and war. There's jealousy, seduction, piety, nobility, etc. It is marvelously entertaining and, to get to the point: timeless. Change the name of the deity and it could pass as a medieval romance from 1000 years later. Move the setting to the West Indies and it is a novel from the Romantic era. Replace triremes with spaceships and it could be a piece of pulp science fiction from the 1920s by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
: I will hide little confession here:
You're not hiding it very well . Since you've already read it, I may go ahead and start it early, especially if the others are interested in doing so as well. Then maybe we can squeeze something else in during the month of March.
Other comments I've read indicate people are very impressed with Room, even if they found it a disturbing book to read.
: By the way, with my ladies reading group, we are
: reading Out Stealing Horses, which may be, I heard, a
: little like The Sense of and Ending and The Sea.
I may have been one to mention this, at least with regard to the similarities between Out Stealing Horses and The Sea. I read them the same summer. The basic themes are quite similar. Out Stealing Horses has more of an historical framework than the other two. In terms of writing style and depth it probably lies midway between the two. I hope you enjoy it.
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