71 Comments

  1. My best guess is that he’s giving Dostoyevsky a chance to put him to sleep. Safer than chemicals, and just as effective.

  2. Ah, “Lord of the Flies”, the book with a major plot point that you can start fires with negative diopter lenses. No, I didn’t read it, but I’ve read *about* it.

  3. Wow! I received the honor of posting the 10,000th comment (since the reboot) AND this is the first time anyone’s ever acknowledged and responded to one of my comments! Double delight! Too bad the responder only did so because he takes everything literally. Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.

  4. Brian, the original Asimov “I, Robot” is not really a novel, but a collection of linked and consistent short stories.

    There are plenty of good books like that. For probably okay reasons, sometimes they get labelled as a novel, the “chapters” get numbers and lose the titles they had as published stories, and maybe there is some rewriting or added bridge material. But the book’s copyright page may well say what the original publications were.

    A really great book with that sort of genesis is Pnin by Nabokov. Some critics are so impressed by the unity and patterning of the book (e.g., the chapters sort of alternate with relatively private and relatively public concerns), that they claim he wrote it as a novel all along, but made sure there was enough closure to each episode that he could sell them as freestanding stories to The New Yorker.

  5. Bill: Personally, I don’t put the blame on anything my English high school teachers did. For me, it was just the fact that I was required to read a book that made it work, rather than enjoyable.

    The Bad Seed: Do you seriously mean that no one has ever responded to any of your comments? That seems surprising, and maybe I’m taking you too literally. Anyway, if so, here is a third response.

  6. Sometimes they do “fix-up” novels, where the author uses the original shorts but makes some changes and/or provides linking passages to improve continuity.

  7. I agree with Winter Wallaby: I’m sure that I’ve replied or commented upon a “bad seed” item at some point or another, but I have no idea how to find it now.

  8. Kilby: You replied to TBS here. So I guess I took their comment too literally?

    Anyway, TBS, now you have a bunch of comments in a thread, and a whole discussion just about you! Happy Birthday!

  9. Getting back off the subject: I think DanV was exceptionally lucky. When my English teacher assigned us a book by Tolkien, I was really looking forward to it, but soon discovered that his “Sir Gawain & the Green Knight” was an incredibly tedious translation of an ancient English poem into modern English.
    One aspect that I still hold against Fitzgerald is that he (supposedly) wrote “Gatsby” with the express intention that it was to become “great literature”. I ran into this pretension again when reading “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell, and again when I read his biography. He himself was not the offender, but rather his brother, Lawrence Durrell, who is quoted on more than one occasion as stating that he was working on “great literature”, and complaining about “disturbances” that were keeping him from it. I’ve never been able to find any evidence that would suggest that I would enjoy anything that Lawrence Durrell wrote. I much prefer the unpretentious, and very amusing works by Gerald Durrell.

  10. It appears to work fine, even though it still has the colors & design of the old site. Perhaps Bill could install a link to it here (or on the “random comments” page)?

  11. Yeah, I still use that. I prefer to search for “everyone” and scroll down to the last followed link the open threads that have been updated since.

  12. As do I. Would be helpful if the coloration could be changed slightly so visited links are more prominent 🙂

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