On The Sofa (6)

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This topic contains 1,013 replies, has 103 voices, and was last updated by  Craig 4 years, 10 months ago.

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    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus  Sounds to me as if Jones is an elitist goon, doing a bit of very conscious shit-stirring just for the hell of it.  Well, now *he’ll* never get knighted — the Queen is a Pratchett fan.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @ichabod @arbutus re Jones- I actually saw a petition to demand an apology from him for that article which is a really disturbing idea and probably the highest accolade a troll can achieve. I also hated the way so many responses to his ridiculous article referred to Mansfield Park as shit/chicklit of its time.

    It also made me think a little. Of course we judge books without reading them, we judge them to be something we don’t want to read. Buying a book is also casting a vote for it in a way, so if we all bought books we didn’t like the sound of just to be qualified to say we don’t think it’s good, bad authors would be the best selling authors. (Ummm….)  But of course you read a book before you judge it in print. I think 50 shades sounds an absolutely terrible book, and I base that opinion of the work of three brave souls who waded through it and thoroughly critiqued and quoted it.

    The thing that really bothers me about the Jones article is that he waded in with it at what is, really, quite an emotional time for Pratchett fans, many of whom do have some real life, if brief, experience of the man and it was just pointlessly cruel. Yes, he’s wrong about Pratchett, but the worst thing is the timing and the intent. So I can understand the idea of demanding an apology, but its completely pointless. Much better to point out that his opinion- which he is entitled to state- is ill founded, inconsistent with other opinions he’s stated, and in terms of timing, very poor form.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @arbutus  @purofilion  @ichabod

    Curiouser and curiouser!  I was idly trawling through the Guardian archive and was more than a little startled to realise that Jonathan Jones, whilst doubtless deserving of all the epithets cast in his direction, is also an out-and-out Doctor Who fan . Whether or not his fandom comes with ARSE is not entirely clear, though it would be in character.  I remember reading the articles in question, but the by-line had not registered.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Pause to answer the door bell; then check the link, which appears to be broken.  Try again .

    The door bell was the postman with a parcel which proved to contain a gorgeous sari from my sister-in-law, who has just returned from visiting family in India.  Goodness knows when or even if I will have an opportunity/excuse to wear it in public, but it was a beautiful thought.  I will have to make the choli myself, but I have another which I can use as a pattern.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @miapatrick   Well put.   It is one thing to say, ‘I’ve read the reviews and decided on that basis that this book is probably not to my taste, and another to conclude that ‘not to my taste’ necessarily equals ‘poor; of no literary merit’, especially if many highly respected writers and critics consider it excellent.   It goes even a step further than the ARSE fans who, for example, think that Moffat is a bad writer because they, personally, don’t happen to like/understand what he writes – or, for that matter, the Pratchett fans who dismiss the works of Jane Austen as ‘chick-lit’..

    I was not angered by the Jones article; I just thought it absurd – another reason for me not to take his opinion seriously, since his judgements appear to be entirely subjective.  And I was amused by his admission, made without any obvious sign of embarrassment, that he had only just got round to reading Mansfield Park.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Reverting to the subject of Mieville’s novels, word is that BBC 2 have commissioned an adaptation of The City and the City.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Mudlark- quite.

    I had gathered from the comments underneath that not all his tastes were as acceptably highbrow as the ones he mentioned in the article. It would be interesting to see him explain the difference between Who fans and Pratchett fans re: genre trash, but the man obviously has a lot of reading to catch up on even in the lit section…

    as for the taste thing- I cannot get on with Dickens. I really don’t enjoy reading him. I’ve tried, and I don’t like him as a writer. It would be ridiculous to turn around and say that he’s a bad writer (though he does seem to be the only writers whose popularity exempts him from criticism rather than condemning him to it). And because of this- abnormality of mine (given that otherwise I like a great deal of 19th and 18th century novels) I wouldn’t condemn him for not liking Pratchett.

    I can also understand why people don’t like Moffart. He has a very personal, idiosyncratic style which happens to appeal to me- lucky me 🙂

    Ania @ania

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@miapatrick : I agree with you about Moffat’s writing style, it’s also, in my opinion, a bit darker than Russell T. Davies ever was. I also agree about Dickens… Bit of a rambler in my opinion.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”></p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>On a completely different note, and galaxies away from the current topic for conversation, Doctor Who is returning in less than a month! Just thought I’d say it.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”></p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Best wishes,</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”></p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Ania</p>

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark @miapatrick

    Obviously, people have a right to their opinions and the right to read what the want. But there is a bit of responsibility that goes with having access to a public forum like the Guardian. Literary criticism is one thing, and if he had read one of Pratchett’s books and then said, “Here are my problems with this book”, then fine. His opinion, and he’s entitled to it. But this is exactly like the people that come online to state “I haven’t watched any Who since Matt Smith showed up; Moffat is crap.”

    But even more, what bothers me is the categorization of books (or any art, for that matter) as “worthwhile” or “not worthwhile”, based on broad issues of genre and style. Obviously, not all books are equal, in their intent or in their execution, and not all types of storytelling will appeal to everyone. But I can love a book because its use of language is beautiful, or its characters engage me, or its story enthralls me, or it makes me laugh out loud, or because it contains deeper truths about life, the universe, and everything. Hopefully, a book will do more than one of these, but it isn’t necessary that it be everything.

    I can love books for very different reasons. If Jones can’t do the same, then I guess that’s his loss. But he probably shouldn’t be writing about books for the Guardian.

    @miapatrick    I guess we all have a piece of received wisdom that leaves us cold. I heave a sigh every time I read another “Top 50 Films” list that puts Citizen Kane at number one.

    @ania    Yes! Two and a half weeks to go. Off to watch Time Heist now.

    Julianantony @julianantony

    Hi all, I’m a newbie

    just discovered old re runs on the Horror channel and loving the memories.

    I don’t remember Resurrection of the Daleks being so gory and good!

    Ania @ania

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@arbutus : Oh, that was a good one!</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>  @julianantony : Oh, they are re-running classic Who on the horror channel? is that in the US? Because, I’ve been meaning to watch them… Not as well-seen as I ought be.</p>


    @craig – this Sofa is past the 20 page danger zone….

    Craig @craig

    I’m sorry, but like a dodgy elder brother or sister I now have to kick you all off this sofa, but you can find a nice, new, comfortable sofa here:


    Just in time for the new series! 🙂

    Craig @craig

    @pedant Synchronicity!

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