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12-15-2012, 05:57 PM
Big McLargehuge
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Originally Posted by Jaded-Fan View Post
Heh, sounds like we are arguing over semantics, but not really. The difference is between not caring for a book or liking an author and making a statement that he is a 'awful writer'. I do not especially care for Hemmingway. 'I ate the hamburger. It was a good burger. A manly burger. Then we went to war and killed men in manly ways.' No I do not care for his writing, but I can appreciate his writing. And even if I could not the rest of the world does, so if my opinion differs from the rest of the educated world, if I really even care to do so, I would need to really understand what he is doing and why they appreciate his writing before I can put myself way out on that limb to say that he is an 'awful writer'. And I had better have a lot of well reasoned arguments to support my premise that flies in the face of the better part of a century of literary critics who say otherwise. There is a huge difference between not liking something and saying that it is awful. Stephanie Meyers is a 'good story teller' who is an 'awful writer'. I can support that statement. Well the awful writer part, good story teller maybe not. Harry Potter books as well. Without much effort at all. The Tolkien one? Not so much.
I'm not alone in thinking the way I do about Tolkien, the vast majority of professors I've had didn't think highly of him and I've read a ton of critical stuff about his paper - in academic circles he's not exactly revered as an example of a fine writer in most situations. You'll find some who will say otherwise...but yeah.

He was a linguist who rambled. That puts him well above all-around useless drivel like Stephanie Meyers, but from a technical standpoint he was lousy.

Mind you I am a huge fan of Hemingway's style. I love authors who could get their point across without taking 15 pages to describe a damn bridge. I was also a writing student. There was a huge split in the English Department at Montana when it came to certain authors - just about every student in the Literature path adored Tolkien (and Potter) while just about every student in the Writing path (and the professors there) saw him as nothing more than a technically challenged stream-of-conscious mediocrity.

Like I've said before...I appreciate his stories, at least, The Lord of the Rings movies are very good...but The Hobbit ranks above only Atlas Shrugged when it comes to the worst book I've read since I was 14.

“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent. If we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death, our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” - Stanley Kubrick

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