Wednesday, June 15

To the book depository

For anybody who considers themselves a Heinlein fan. I got 8 of the 20 wrong. which is not great. There are some books they ask about that i have never read, and there are a lot of personal questions that i really just had to guess on. So, give it a shot.


Blogger Aras said...

That's exactly how many I got wrong, but I had to guess on most of them too. Do you remember which ones you got wrong? These were my wrong ones:


7:07 AM  
Blogger Trashcan said...

mine were 5, 6, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20. So we match on 5 of the 8. I don't remember now which those were (just found my post it with the answers.) But i think that there a segment of his writing that neither of us have gotten to, and a segment of his personal biography that neither of us has been interested in. I'd be happy to look into more of his books, but frankly, i don't particularly care to know more about his personal biography.

It's like the simpsons, i know/remember a lot from the episodes but if you ask me trivia about the writers/directors/guest stars, i don't know nor do i really care. It's the great lines/jokes that are worthwhile to me, not the silly trivia about how many spikes bart has on his head. Who cares about that.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Aras said...

There are two theories on literature. One is that a writer's life is meaningless, because if you can't get 100% of the value out of his stories just from the stories themselves, then they are not worthwhile stories.

I subscribe to the other theory: more data never hurts. When I teach literature I require students to know the basic biographies of the authors. I am confident that putting stories into context--what was going on around the author when he was writing--will often add another layer of meaning to the stories. And, if not, it was just a little waste of time.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Trashcan said...

I don't like that theory. Once the book is published the author no longer has any rights to it. My theory about the words are just as relevant as his. Like J. K. Rowling claiming now that dumbledore is gay and was always gay. Nope. If you wanted that you should have put it in the book. You didn't, and you don't get to change it now because you wanted to include it but didn't have the guts before. The story speaks for itself. An author is free to explain his thoughts about various symbols/motifs he included, but it is up to me the reader to decide if i care to accept them or not. If it was well written i will be aware of them without any explanation, and if it was poorly written then why should i care what a crummy writer has to say anyway.

And along the same lines as the authors thoughts not being relevant, his motivations/inspirations are not relevant. They may be amusing anecdotally like there may be some funny trivia about the simpsons writers, but said trivia does not affect my enjoyment of the simpsons episodes (neither raising, nor lowering it.)

12:53 AM  
Blogger Aras said...

No, I certainly wouldn't let an author change the story post publishing, that would be retarded.

And no, I wouldn't say knowing the motivations of an author changes how I enjoy his story.

But it can be very interesting to compare the works of different authors who had the same motivation and discuss various products of the same predicament, for instance--there's a lot of interesting things you can do with that data.

3:45 AM  

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