Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NO SOUP FOR YOU

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." - Mark Twain.

Well that didn't take long. All one has to do is suggest that there might be a certain standard in literature for it to achieve greatness and the controversy begins. Perhaps it is time for some controversy. Readers keep being led to mediocre books (those written by the Greek master 'Mediocretes'), without ever being shown that there might be something better or (dare I say it?) more valuable. Oh sure, everyone is exposed to a good book or two in their High School lit class, but that is often considered a violation of the reader's 'free will'. To actually pick up a great work of literature and read it and to come to understand why it might be considered great... that seems to be a thing of the past. Or, perhaps it has always been so. Perhaps greatness is always reserved to an exclusive few while the masses always continue to lust after that which is worthless.

Let me be clear, here, so as not to upset any future readers. This is a blog that concerns itself with literary greatness. (Thus the name: 'Literary Greatness'). We will not, here, concern ourselves with literary mediocreness nor with literary trashiness, nor with literary okayness. No, greatness is our goal and we shall not deviate from it. If, in these pages, certain readers are made uneasy by our directness, we make no apologies for it. If readers of these pages become outraged that we do not accept the flat terrain of the internet, so be it. (The internet seems to make everyone believe they have something to say, and that it is important because they want to say it, and that it is worthwile reading because they have said it. I assure you, I don't have time left in my life to share with you what I had for breakfast (oatmeal), nor do you have the time to spend reading such hogwash). I see that anyone and everyone may 'vote' their preferences on certain book sites. In that way Harry Potter is 'great', while 'Great Expectations' might be considered too long and, you know, like, totally boring. If that is the site for you, please go there.

This is the last I am going to say on the matter. From here we will continue to wade into the deep waters of great literature - both the reading and writing of it - and we will not detour because certain writers or readers think we should lend our attention to more mundane affairs.

I agree with Robert Frost... "People who read me seem to be divided into four groups: twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; twenty-five percent like me for the wrong reasons; twenty-five percent hate me for the wrong reasons; twenty-five percent hate me for the right reasons. It's the last twenty-five percent that worries me."

Well, No Soup For Them...

Jim

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