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Old 01-20-2017   #11
Robert Adam Gilmour
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

I think trigger warnings and safe spaces might be helpful for some people. They just need to be integrated right.

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Old 01-21-2017   #12
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

The story is absolute trash. And I thought introducing young Christian students to the work of Thomas Hardy was morally questionable.

EDIT: Man, I sound like a real stick in the mud.

In all seriousness, I'm sick of conventional teaching methods, but I can't think of how to remedy the problem. Education is too much like love ; it never works out no matter what you do to keep the fire burning.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"

Last edited by Mr. Veech; 01-22-2017 at 01:12 AM..
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Old 01-22-2017   #13
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

I'd question a teacher's credentials if she forces me to read a bad story. She asked the students "'Do you find this piece controversial? Why do you think The New Yorker picked this piece to publish? Do you find anything in it offensive? Do you think the author did this for shock value or is it authentic to the piece?'"

This is Fifty Shades of Grey condensed into "ass" and "horse neck". I have no clue what politic leaning might have pushed her into thinking this piece is literature.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 01-22-2017   #14
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

I kind of wish Junot Díaz would actually lift weights instead of just writing about weightlifters. Dude is slender as a flippin' whippet! Almost as slender as his output i.e. three books in twenty-one years. All of which have the same tone, style, voice and subject matter.

I predict now that he's a certified MacArthur genius and has nothing left to prove, his next move will be a Game of Thrones tie-in novel, or else Dune 10. Or he could write the next Kevin Smith movie!
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Old 01-22-2017   #15
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

In a Politically Correct time, genuine literary criticism goes out the window.

Strange works garnish Awards. Judgement goes to Hell. It's all in the Game.
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Old 01-22-2017   #16
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
In a Politically Correct time, genuine literary criticism goes out the window.

Strange works garnish Awards. Judgement goes to Hell. It's all in the Game.
Yeah, this is where my "conservative" side surfaces. I consider myself very much opposed to the "anything goes" approach found throughout most of academia. It's perfectly fine to include the obscene in literature, but I feel it's necessary to handle it appropriately. Even Shakespeare included the occasional fart joke.

Some books, I believe, are meant to be read in private; others can be read in an open manner. I love the Marquis de Sade's Justine because it's a brilliant moral critique of theodicy (like Voltaire's Candide), but I wouldn't use it as material for a book club.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 01-22-2017   #17
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
Some books, I believe, are meant to be read in private; others can be read in an open manner. I love the Marquis de Sade's Justine because it's a brilliant moral critique of theodicy (like Voltaire's Candide), but I wouldn't use it as material for a book club.
I'd actually love to use something like that for a book club, haha.

In my experience, anybody has the potential to appreciate any taboo content in literature contained in a piece of literature. I went to a poetry reading at a local art center, which was populated exclusively by senior citizens. I got up and read an obscene poem about masturbation, because that particular poem I'm rather proud of, and they didn't seem outwardly fazed. Indeed, they complimented my work heartily after the event was over!

This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

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Old 01-22-2017   #18
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

I came to the conclusion that much of the obscene in modern literature is written for its own sake, or as a tool to call attention to otherwise mediocre or quite horrendous writing. Write enough of it today and you might with the Nobel Prize.

“Evolution cannot avoid bringing intelligent life ultimately to an awareness of one thing above all else and that one thing is futility.”
Cormac McCarthy, The Sunset Limited
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Old 01-22-2017   #19
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

Bad writers are incapable of achieving obscenity; the most they can muster is the vulgar.
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Old 01-23-2017   #20
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Re: Exposing Students to Controversial Writings

In the funny movie Henry Fool, when a critic damned the new author's work as 'scatalogical' it was considered high praise.
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