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Post-modern literature 
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Post Post-modern literature
GaryG48 wrote:
Suzanne wrote:
Wow, I must really like PoMo fiction because Proulx, Delillo, McCarthy, Jin, and of course, Virginia are some of my favorite authors. Virginia Woolf is considered PoMo?


I have never really delved into the different types of writing styles that I enjoy reading, I just know what I like. Thanks to both of you, you have given me something to look into in more depth. And it is a joy to discuss books with those who are so well read. :)


Sorry to be unclear, I cited Virginia Wolfe as a counter-example, a writer who is NOT post modern but is complex and "difficult." Wolfe is often used as an example of "high modernist" along with T.S. Eliot and James Joyce. If I ever have to pick a favorite novelist, it would be Wolfe. Just to continue my contrariness, I prefer Mrs. Dalloway to To the Lighthouse (but I really like them both).

The labels: realist, naturalist, modernist, post modernist, and so forth aren't important. They are just handles that help us talk about kinds of styles. For people like us, people who love to read, each novel or short story stands or falls on its own merit. So I should not be so surprised that I liked Wind-up so much--but I am.

It is off-topic but let me recommend Blood Meridian to anyone who likes McCarthy. It isn't as macho as some of his other novels but it is still a good story.


@Suzanne: What is your favourite book by Ha Jin? I've been thinking of reading something by him but I've never been able to decide which. Honestly I'm not that compelled by any of the descriptions of his books, but I'd still like to give it a go. I get the impression his style is something I would enjoy.

As to Grass, I have the Tin Drum on my shelf as well. I was put off because a friend of mine recently read it but said it was terribly dull. You would argue his stance, I assume? :)

@Gary: I'd not heard of "Blood Meridian" though a quick wiki read assures me that I'm an ignoramus. It certainly doesn't SOUND less "macho". I don't avoid much in the way of fiction - mainly just books about war or westerns. Do you think someone who really dislikes that sort of thing would be able to enjoy this book? I even hated Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven", which I'm told is a crime because it's the most amazing movie, blah blah. I find westerns all about testosterone and boring standoffs where I just hope everyone will die.


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Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:39 am
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Theomanic wrote:
@Gary: I'd not heard of "Blood Meridian" though a quick wiki read assures me that I'm an ignoramus. It certainly doesn't SOUND less "macho". I don't avoid much in the way of fiction - mainly just books about war or westerns. Do you think someone who really dislikes that sort of thing would be able to enjoy this book? I even hated Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven", which I'm told is a crime because it's the most amazing movie, blah blah. I find westerns all about testosterone and boring standoffs where I just hope everyone will die.


Hum, let's put it this way, if you didn't like Shane there is nothing in this genera for you. :wink:

It has been a while since I read Blood Meridian. I remember it as an excellent story; McCormick is an excellent story teller. However, the generally accepted critique about Blood Meridian is that it is McCormick's first deep dive into post-modernism.
It is not as macho as his later stuff.


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Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:41 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Theomatic, are you interested in doing a reading of the Tin Drum? I am.

I also enjoyed reading Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman some years ago, I believe it can be accurately classified as post-modern.



Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Theomanic wrote:
@Suzanne: What is your favourite book by Ha Jin? I've been thinking of reading something by him but I've never been able to decide which. Honestly I'm not that compelled by any of the descriptions of his books, but I'd still like to give it a go. I get the impression his style is something I would enjoy.


I know Ha Jin for his short stories. Here is a link to one of his short stories, this should give you a little insight into whether or not you want to invest your time in a novel.

http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/featur ... ntPage=all

Theomanic wrote:
As to Grass, I have the Tin Drum on my shelf as well. I was put off because a friend of mine recently read it but said it was terribly dull. You would argue his stance, I assume?


No offense to your friend, but the phrase, "terribly dull" means many things to many people. It can sometimes be a catch phrase for, "I don't understand a word I'm reading". "The Tin Drum" can be confusing, and it is not an easy read. I read Grass's autobiography reccently, "Peeling the Onion", and I find this phrase captures many of Grass's works. It takes time, it can be slow, but eventually, the core will reveal itself. And if you take the time to peel back the layers of the pungent onion, you may find the sweet inner message.

Grim wrote:
Theomatic, are you interested in doing a reading of the Tin Drum? I am.


I am too. It has the potential to be a great discussion. Shall we think about it for our next fiction pick? Or should we add it as an additional fiction pick. What do you think Grim and Theo? I would hope Gary would also join us.

So nice to hear from you again Grim! :)



Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:23 am
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
I dl'd Tin Drum this evening. So I'm ready when everyone else is.


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Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:46 am
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
I would love to read Tin Drum - from your description Suzanne, it sounds like it would be a great book to put forth as the next pick. I don't know about an "additional pick", I think that idea is kind of weird, and more for people who find the main pick too complex or challenging. It seems like Tin Drum will be pretty complicated. I don't think we're choosing until August though - can we wait that long? I've recently enrolled in a fairly difficult Modern Architecture class with lots of reading, so I can wait. I hardly have time for anything these days! But I don't want everyone to lose interest because they waited so long......

@Grim: I think we can safely categorize all of Murakami's novels as post-modern, and most of his short stories as well. Did you like the stories in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman? The short story I posted in this forum (The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day) is my favourite of his short stories, and is in that collection.

@Suzanne: I liked that short story, but I don't know if I would want to read much more. Something about his style reminds me of a Chinese Richard Russo. By which I mean, his style has the pacing I've noticed in other Chinese novels (I'm thinking of Su Tong specifically), but his manner of dealing with everyday lives reminds me more of Russo. Have you read Tong or Russo?

@Gary: I will keep Blood Meridian in mind when I hit the bookstores next. I'm certainly willing to give it a try.


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Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:00 am
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Theomanic wrote:
It seems like Tin Drum will be pretty complicated. I don't think we're choosing until August though - can we wait that long?


I can wait. I'm taking a class as well. Modern architecture sounds interesting, I hope you like it. I'm taking statistics, and I'm not having fun.

Theomanic wrote:
Have you read Tong or Russo?


I have not read Tong, but I have read, "Empire Falls", by Russo. I liked it, so I was excited to read his next one. I was dissapointed in his newest novel, I can't even remember the title.



Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:24 am
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
No problem holding off on Tin Drum for a while. I have so many things started, I could use a little time to finish one or two.


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Last edited by GaryG48 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:10 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Russo's latest was something about Cape Cod. I was very disappointed. It felt like it was rushed for publishing and not his usual level of writing.



Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:39 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Is it worth nominating it as an official book selection?



Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:18 am
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
I've been reading through the last posts in this thread, and the discussion does sound as if we have officially chosen, "The Tin Drum" as the next selection. I don't want anyone to believe that this is true, "The Tin Drum" will only be one of several sugessions. And yes, Grim, I do believe it is worthy as a book sugession, but the comments of members will determine whether or not it goes into the offical poll.

If "The Tin Drum" is not selected as the next fiction pick, it can always be added as an additional fiction selection, if there is enough interested members.



Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:27 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Why would it not be worth it?


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Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
It's a little bit thick is all...



Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:24 pm
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Post Re: Post-modern literature
Grim wrote:
It's a little bit thick is all...


Ah, don't sell yourself short Grim. You can overcome "thickness"! :P



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Post Re: Post-modern literature
That's exactly what I said about Don Quixote....



Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:29 pm
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