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View Poll Results: Which period has the best literature?
1900-2013 2 50.00%
1700-1899 1 25.00%
1300-1699 0 0%
500-1299 0 0%
1100BC-499 0 0%
4300BC-1101BC 0 0%
I don't care, I just like voting in polls. 1 25.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old May 19th 2013, 12:27 PM
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Default Time period - best literature

Which time period has the best literature?
I've voted for 1700-1899. Oliver Goldsmith, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, Victor Hugo, Henrik Ibsen, Dickens, the Brontes... My goodness, what brilliance.
But of course, Shakespeare and Cervantes lived in 1300-1699, and they were brilliant.

What do you think?
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Old May 22nd 2013, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

You won't be surprised but I take issue with your time periods. They're completely arbitrary and utterly unrelated to actual evolutions and key periods in literature.
What would be more interesting would be to attempt to collectively define meaningful periods in literature. For instance, there's definitely an era pre-Ulysses that's fundamentally different from the post-Ulysses era.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
You won't be surprised but I take issue with your time periods. They're completely arbitrary and utterly unrelated to actual evolutions and key periods in literature.
What would be more interesting would be to attempt to collectively define meaningful periods in literature. For instance, there's definitely an era pre-Ulysses that's fundamentally different from the post-Ulysses era.
I wanted the time periods to be arbitrary.
The most recent period is 100 years (+ 13, into this new century)
Then it's 200 years.
Then it's 400 years.
Then it's 800 years.
Then it's 1600 years. So you see it doubles all the time.

As I said, I wanted it to be arbitrary.

I also wanted the periods to get longer and longer as we went back in time, since period length would compensate for period being hazy in the memory.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
You won't be surprised but I take issue with your time periods. They're completely arbitrary and utterly unrelated to actual evolutions and key periods in literature.
What would be more interesting would be to attempt to collectively define meaningful periods in literature. For instance, there's definitely an era pre-Ulysses that's fundamentally different from the post-Ulysses era.
That's I think one of the biggest problems with art - it is always subjective no matter what. One just can't create an objective criteria that anyone but yourself will agree with. Indeed, that's why there isn't such criteria out there already.

Actually, that's not really a problem with art, that's a problem with the art-lovers who obsess over their own need to claim that their subjective taste is superior to everyone else's subjective taste.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

Looking forward to more votes
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Old May 23rd 2013, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
Looking forward to more votes
It would appear that relatively few people here are interested in literature or care about it. That would certainly describe me.

Until people recognize comic books and grafitti as literature, I consider the topic of 'literature' to be entirely artificial and extremely elitist.

Btw, there is only one objective measure of literary quality and that's sales volume.
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Old May 23rd 2013, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
It would appear that relatively few people here are interested in literature or care about it. That would certainly describe me.

Until people recognize comic books and grafitti as literature, I consider the topic of 'literature' to be entirely artificial and extremely elitist.

Btw, there is only one objective measure of literary quality and that's sales volume.
I've already said, earlier in this thread, that my list is subjective - I am profoundly uninterested in objectivity in this thread, although if other people want to discuss it, then they have my blessing.

If you had said that you considered literature, and not 'literature' to be artificial and elitist, then I would have respectfully disagreed with you, but since you put apostrophes on either side of the word, then I don't know what you mean by it, so I can't comment.

My own personal definition of literature is the following.

http://www.discussionworldforum.com/...ead.php?t=3128
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
By the way, if anyone wants to discuss 'what is literature, or what is real literature' go ahead, but I won't be joining in. Anything that is written is literature for me, including notes on the fridge.
As far as I'm concerned you can define literature however you want. And I don't think many people consider Dan Brown to be elitist, although if anyone does, then I totally respect that point of view.
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Old May 24th 2013, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

PS: I made a mistake in my last post - it was in the American writers thread that I said that my list was subjective, not in this thread. But, subjectivity is also the order of the day, as far as I'm concerned, on this thread.
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Old May 24th 2013, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

This is a very subjective post.
Thanks to this poll, I really have begun to marvel at how amazing the literature was between 1700 and 1899. All those writers I mention, and many many more, make those two centuries, utterly wonderful. There is plenty of wonderful literature from the 20 century of course, but I do think that there is something extra special about those two centuries. It is so detailed and paints such wonderful pictures, and really transfers you.

Sienkiewicz's The Deluge is for me a wonderful example. It depicts the war between Poland and Sweden in the 1650s, and how a young man is tormented by his promise to Prince Radzivill (a historical personage), who has since turned out to be a friend of the Swedes. The young man, Kmicic, finally abandons the Prince, and travels though Poland, having lost all his friends, who have abandoned him for his allegiance with the Prince. In an inn, he overhears a conversation about what the Swedes' intended attack on the monastery at Jasna Gora (a factual attack, which led to Polish victory, and was the turning point of the war).

Sienkiewicz's depiction of the trials and tribulations of being a soldier in 17th century Poland is really amazing, and makes me feel as if I'm there.
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Old May 24th 2013, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Time period - best literature

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
And I don't think many people consider Dan Brown to be elitist, although if anyone does, then I totally respect that point of view.
It would seem that several people at this forum scoff at the idea of calling Dan Brown's books "literature".

That being said, there is nothing elitist about pop-culture literature. But no literature academy on the planet even looks at pop-culture literature at all. Btw, I think "fiction" is the better term because it is far more descriptive - it is just made-up stuff.
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