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Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray

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Peter T. 10 Aug 03 - 11:20 AM
Amos 10 Aug 03 - 11:23 AM
Rapparee 10 Aug 03 - 11:44 AM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 03 - 01:22 PM
Bill D 10 Aug 03 - 01:26 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Aug 03 - 01:27 PM
Amos 10 Aug 03 - 01:34 PM
KateG 10 Aug 03 - 01:58 PM
Amos 10 Aug 03 - 02:01 PM
Desdemona 10 Aug 03 - 02:15 PM
Rapparee 10 Aug 03 - 02:34 PM
Peter T. 10 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM
Peg 10 Aug 03 - 02:57 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 03 - 03:04 PM
fat B****rd 10 Aug 03 - 03:11 PM
Art Thieme 10 Aug 03 - 03:15 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 03 - 03:15 PM
Art Thieme 10 Aug 03 - 03:17 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 03 - 03:24 PM
Peter T. 10 Aug 03 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,heric 10 Aug 03 - 03:44 PM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 03 - 04:07 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 03 - 04:25 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 03 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,heric 10 Aug 03 - 04:49 PM
Peter T. 10 Aug 03 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,heric 10 Aug 03 - 05:55 PM
SINSULL 10 Aug 03 - 06:41 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 03 - 06:57 PM
Amos 10 Aug 03 - 07:02 PM
Art Thieme 10 Aug 03 - 09:21 PM
Helen 10 Aug 03 - 09:40 PM
Amos 10 Aug 03 - 09:41 PM
mack/misophist 10 Aug 03 - 09:52 PM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 03 - 10:12 PM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 03 - 10:20 PM
SINSULL 10 Aug 03 - 11:03 PM
Amos 11 Aug 03 - 12:23 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Aug 03 - 01:03 AM
katlaughing 11 Aug 03 - 02:56 AM
Mr Happy 11 Aug 03 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,John Hardly 11 Aug 03 - 07:30 AM
Kim C 11 Aug 03 - 08:38 AM
Sam L 11 Aug 03 - 09:31 AM
Peg 11 Aug 03 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Kaleb 11 Aug 03 - 10:38 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Aug 03 - 10:52 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Aug 03 - 12:12 PM
Little Hawk 11 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM
Amos 11 Aug 03 - 12:51 PM
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Subject: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 11:20 AM

El Swanno and I were having a discussion about "Cannery Row", and I remembered that one of the basic things about the book is that it was hugely influential on the beats and hippie movement, promoting the dangerous seductiveness of a world of deadbeat down-and-outers. Like Kerouac's "On The Road", you just want to get up and go. Thinking about it, I am surprised that it is allowed in schools or libraries: it remains very dangerous, more dangerous than "Building A-Bombs for Dummies."
I was wondering if any other books -- of the "Catcher in the Rye", etc., persuasion, have been dangerous in that way to Mudcatters.....

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 11:23 AM

Atlas Shrugged, surely -- completely subversive.

A


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 11:44 AM

CAN you be led astray if you're not willing to go astray anyway?


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 01:22 PM

When I was 18 or 19 I tried to read either "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged" (can't remember which) and simply couldn't wade through it. I detested it with every fibre of my being for some reason. I loved H.G. Wells and H.Ryder Haggard and Conan Doyle and Mark Twain and C.S. Forester at the same age. Does that make sense, Amos? I never again attempted to read Ayn Rand.

I read "Catcher in the Rye" and was underwhelmed.

Actually, most modern American bestselling authors seem to leave me cold. I don't think I like the dominant values of this society very much at all. What is presently thought to be "cool" just isn't, to me.

I do like the modern comic "Liberty Meadows" a lot. Great humour and a great love story too.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 01:26 PM

The ones that led ME astray, (thank goodness) were by Walter Kaufmann...
"Critique of Religion and Philosophy" and "Faith of a Heretic" ...it's been all uphill from there..(thank goodness)


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 01:27 PM

Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are not really novels at all. They are political tracts, thinly disguised as novels, with characters about one millimeter thick, who do things, whatever they are, for only one reason: Because Ayn Rand says so. No psychological verisimilitude, no inevitability. No novel.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 01:34 PM

Dave-O,

They came from a time when the deconstructed abstraction was an acceptable form of art -- I am thinking of art, from the same period, that graces the ceilings of Mexican halls and public buildings capturing the spirit of the agrarian worker, and all those over-muscled worker-images from the socialist movement of the thirties. In anycase, they were both compelling stories for a certain kind of public -- cartoon-like or not. I wonder how many copies thyey have sold? Certainly there is no argument they are successful books, whether "novels" or some other sort.

A


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: KateG
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 01:58 PM

Lord of the Rings - It got me into Old Norse language and literature and from thence into early Medieval/Viking archaeology. Lots of fun, but hardly the basis of a remunerative career. Naturally, what I do now has nothing to do with any of it, which is why I'm still a wage slave while my more sensible classmates are planning their early retirements.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:01 PM

LH:

Le coeur as ses raisons, que le raison ne connait pas. Of course it makes sense.

A


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Desdemona
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:15 PM

I was blessed in that my parents' bookshelf was filled with such a catholic (in the small "c" sense) variety of literature that before I was 10 I'd been reading quite literally all over the map, and no-one ever seemed bothered about *what* I read, but only glad *that* I read so much. I do recall an auntie, when I was about 9, glimpsing me deep in "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" & wondering aloud if that were suitable for someone my age, but my mother pointed out that since I'd already finished with the Bronte sisters & Mark Twain I was probably all right!

D.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:34 PM

I honestly can't think of any.

I tried to read Ayn Rand but bogged down in what I thought was sententious silliness. I read "Tropic of Cancer" and such (Henry Miller) and thought it both hopeless and pointless. Stuff like "Steal This Book" and "Revolution For the Hell of It" struck me as too self-consciously determined to shock. Karl Marx is out of touch with human nature. The Existentialists and the rest made for good, deep, thought-filled conversation in the Student Union but little else (although Buber's "Daniel" is something I still re-read from time to time).

Maybe I was born with a attitude that prevents me from taking too seriously those who take themselves sooooo seriously. If so, it's a great protection from various forms of swill.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:47 PM

Travel books seem to me to be dangerous -- I have a friend whose marriage was wrecked by reading Joshua Slocum's book about sailing alone around the world. He took up with that most demanding of all mistresses, a boat, and his wife eventually left him (boats bored her, and in the end so did he). I know because she took up with me for awhile.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Peg
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:57 PM

yeah, I was gonna mention Ayn Rand too. One of my professors in college laughed when I said I was reading   them and referred to her as a Fascist. I think these books can have a profound impact on young adults, if not politically or ideologically, then    at least for their example of strong people who live according to their principles. But one needs to separate that from the fascistic elements I suppose! ;)

I disagree the afore-mentioned books are not novels; I actually found the stories and writing very compelling as well as the characterizations. The characters do sorta turn into mouthpieces   eventually, especially John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, with those many-paged speeches on money, but to say these are not novels suggests one hasn't read them the whole way through.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:04 PM

'The Creature From Jeckyll Island'

About the US Federal Reserve. Did you folks know that NONE of our (America's) income tax goes to the running of the US? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Your income tax is payable to the Federal Reserve, which is a privately-chartered bank. Mostly European banking interests. They pressured the US congress to allow the bank to be set up in the US, then to pass the income tax law, and ever since we have been giving a portion of our paychecks to the Rothschilds / Saxe-Coburg-Gothas. The US Federal govt is funded primarily by usage taxes and interest earned from investments.

And all countries with a 'central bank' like the Federal Reserve are in the same boat. The central banks are answerable to the World Bank, which is currently in the process of taking over the world (Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia...)

Subversive enough for you?


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: fat B****rd
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:11 PM

"Been Down So Long, It Looks Like Up To Me" by Richard Farina. Sex, drugs and Jazz.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:15 PM

WHEW !!!

Peter T and all,

This has to be a troll thread. If you are serious, all I can say is that I feel extremely sorry for you.   I would be proud to say that some or all of the volumes you find so terrible are some of my favorite books. I am proud of that. They are also great books and belong at the top of my list of books I would suggest to anyone.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:15 PM

In no particular order:

Diary of Anais Nin

Tropic of Cancer

Fear of Flying

Milagro Beanfield War

Civil Disobedience (Thoreau essay)

Folk and fairy tales--not the Disney crap

At Play in the Fields of the Lord

The Red Pony

In the Night Kitchen

To Kill a Mockingbird

Hiroshima

Slaughterhouse Five

(the above two books probably did more to undermine my naivete and faith in the US government as a force for good in the world, than any other books I've ever read)

Anarchist Cookbook

A Doll's House

Mama Day

Silent Spring

Ceremony

Rules for Radicals

Global Reach The Power of the Multinational Corporations (published in 1976)

Mythology and astrology books (of the latter, those that talked about the mythology of the heavens and constellations in different cultures in an historic context) which opened me to challenging the Christian monopoly on the dominant, homogenous Anglo American worldview, and taught me that the world of religion wasn't monolithic, static, or stable, even though that was what the church and political fathers wanted us to believe was Truth. And that religion was more often sadisticly seductive than enlightening, uplifting, or compassionate.

Siddhartha

A Room of One's Own

Lysistrata

Leaves of Grass

The Rights of Man


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:17 PM

Bible


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:24 PM

As a mythology lover, I found the bible pretty dull by comparison to other mythology books as a youngster. But once I got older, I realized it was the King James version I had trouble with.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:28 PM

Gee, Art, I thought it was obvious I meant "dangerous" in a positive sense.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 03:44 PM

I wish I had let Siddhartha carry me astray. I thought about it long and hard, and had a woman persuading me down that path (she took it) but I chose the road more traveled. I'm going to read that Joshua Slocum thing and try again.

But same guest, how did Mockingbird screw you up?? Did you develop a penchant for spitting at people?

And on dangerous in the positive sense: There is a sponge bob episode on point, where he pontificates at length for the Flying Dutchman what meaning one should take from "good and scary."


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 04:07 PM

Darn good list of books there, GUEST.

Art, "Subversive" or "dangerous" in the context of this thread means: that which enlightens you to the fact that things are not quite the way the government and your schools tried to brainwash you into believing that they are.

In other words..."subversive" and "dangerous" are good, if you want to live as a free being instead of a duped, compliant slave.

I am getting a better and better understanding of why Ayn Rand's writing revolted me...

- LH


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 04:25 PM

Thanks LH. There are many more actually, but I thought I'd wait and see what other people listed.

If you want to read something really scary though, go here:

Ayn Rand Institute

You can even take an introductory course on objectivism.

Personally, my favorite explanation of The Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged objectivists was in a Simpsons episode, where Maggie is sent to the Ayn Rand School for Tots. Signs on the wall read "Helping is Futile". Maggie plots an escape for herself and the toddlers, sucking intently on the pacifier/Nuk as she leads the babies up the drain pipes, into the heating ducts...hilarious.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 04:40 PM

To Kill a Mockingbird was subversive for me in a lot of ways. One way it inspired me was the realistic depiction of girls as tomboys, and the hell they go through when forced to conform to society's views of "proper young ladies". Harper Lee nailed that experience with the character Scout.

Another character that was quite subversive was Boo Radley. I read this book when I was probably nine or so years old, and I couldn't believe the amout of compassion Harper Lee showed for him.

I also read the book around the time of the Selma church bombing that killed the four girls, a real life event I was tremendously influenced by as a youngster. I feared something similar could happen to me at church. I also read Hiroshima on the sly for the first time about then. My mother had forbidden me from reading it, when I found it one summer among my grandfather's books. So I got it from a friend's house, and consumed it as fast as I could. I never told my mother that, though. This was also during the era of 'Duck and Cover' school drills in the US, which I, like all the millions of other schoolchildren at the time, took part in. So reading that book struck a personal chord with me as an impressionable youngster too. I was afraid Japan would get nukes and bomb us back.

Funny how the mind of a child works, eh?


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 04:49 PM

Thanks for the explanation, I really was hoping for that. The book has many obvious moral lessons, but it sems to have a power that surges from something beyond the obvious.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 05:18 PM

There is an interesting interview with Sissy Spacek in a series the New York Times did of stars and movies -- they had the star sit and watch, and talk about, a favourite movie of theirs while it was running. She talks about "To Kill A Mockingbird" and (she grew up in a small Texas town) she makes the point that the first half of the story is so rooted in a child's life -- she herself had a cigar box full of treasures -- that the second half, the woes of the larger world, sneaks up on you the way it would for a child in real life. It only gradually reveals itself. You never really lose your sense that you are watching the film from a child's eye view, and the discovery that your father is enmeshed in something big, and is playing a larger role than you dreamed of, is deeply powerful. I thought it was a very wise set of comments.

yours,
Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 05:55 PM

Very insightful (and helpful.) Conicidentally, I let my kids watch it recently, and the six year old's phrase of the week became: "I'm little but I'm old."


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 06:41 PM

"Black Rain", the story of survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. Simple people whose lives were filled with suffering, shunned by society, and surrounded by reminders of their former lives. "Hiroshima", to me, had a voyeuristic quality about it like not being able to pass a traffic accident without looking. "Black Rain" documents the years that follow. There is a movie version - not nearly as vivid perhaps because in reading I formed my own images of the characters.

"Atlas Shrugged". I re-read it every couple of years. "To each according to his need; from each according to his ability." The very idea is an obscenity.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 06:57 PM

when the wind blows


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 07:02 PM

In all honesty I am not sure it is an obscenity in itself -- it is just wildly incomplete, so that any implementation would end up reinforcing all the victim hood and penalizing all the productivity. If it were done with a complete syntax of coherent, related policies it could be quite workable, but as written it is scary.

A


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 09:21 PM

Oh !

Sorry. I agree with you then.

I must be getting dense or something.

How about THE RZOR'S EDGE ---Somerset Maughm (Larry Derroll is surely 'dangerous'.

Art


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Helen
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 09:40 PM

O agree about To Kill a Mockingbird being subversive. And Sissy Spacek's comments make a lot of sense to me.

Hermann Hesse's books: it's hard for me to pin down why I think they are "subversive" except that they are gentle and express so much care and concern for human day-to-day life. In the face of Nazi Germany's events at that time I can see why he would have been considered dangerous.

DH Lawrence was subversive about sexuality, and in a funnier alternative JP Donleavy did much the same for me. It probably led me into a lot of trouble I *could* have done without, questioning small town morality about the proper place and behaviour for girls. (Talking about small town morality - our town has a very dominant, very vigorous Dominican Catholic atmosphere which pervaded the view of the non-Catholic (like me) population. Very hell-fire and brimstone view of life, the universe and everything, expecially anything related to sex.) That was subversive in a negative way, in my opinion. I can still pick people who were educated in those schools even if I have never met them before.

Is this thread creep? Sorry. But it is based on certain people's interpretations of a set of beliefs and literature and tradition.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 09:41 PM

Odd--I just finished reading The Razor's Edge!! Maybe we do live on the same planet after all!! :>)   --Yes, Larry is dangerous, but the whole context is so removed from currency that it would take an unusual young person to relate to it.

A


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: mack/misophist
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 09:52 PM

At his trial, Bluebeard (the real one, Gilles de Retz, Joan of Arc's right hand man), said he had beed lead to murder, sodomy, and devil worship by a book: Suetonius' Lives of The 12 Noble Caesars. I rather enjoyed it, myself.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 10:12 PM

I'm not sure what you mean, Sinsull. Please elaborate. For instance, is not a happy and successful family based upon mutually providing each member with what they genuinely need and having each member at the same time contribute according to their ability to do so? Its the basic premise that cooperative tribal units (like many Native Americans) operated upon. It's the essence of helpful cooperation and effective community. It's the basis on which Captain Bligh got his boat of desperate sailors (after the mutiny) mostly alive to Australia, against all odds of anyone surviving. Each got what he needed (on an equal basis) and each contributed as best he could, according to his ability. That's brotherhood.

Like I said, please elaborate as to what you find obscene and why.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 10:20 PM

And why do you re-read "Atlas Shrugged" every 2 years? Because you like it or because you are a masochist? Enquiring minds want to know. :-)


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 11:03 PM

Read the book Little Hawk and I will be happy to discuss it with you. By your own admission you haven't and therefore do not understand the meaning of the statement.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 12:23 AM

The BIG difference, LH, is between the principle in play as a voluntary evolved organizing principle, as in a family, with a fundament of affinity and help informing it, and an abstract guideline on which enforced codes are then built. The former is the pattern in the familial example you cite, and the latter is the reason for the failure of Marxism.

The latter is an obscene distortion of a truth which is itself seen in, but not completely articulated by, the former.

A


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 01:03 AM

To suggest someone can't have an opinion about a book that they have evaluated and found wanting, thus choosing to not read it, doesn't disqualify them from the discussion. Their reasons for NOT reading it are as valid as any reasons for reading it. I'm afraid I have to side with LH on this--I was probably 4/5 of the way through The Fountainhead and it just finally choked me to the point I put it down and left it. I didn't bother with any of her others after that.

Dangerous books in my world were The Monkey Wrench Gang by Ed Abbey and the short story "Rain" by W. Somerset Maugham in East and West; the collected short stories of W. Somerset Maugham.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 02:56 AM

Very early on: the Jungle Books, Nancy Drew..laugh if you will but I loved the unconventional living style of Mowgli and communication with the critters; Nancy Drew stories, though now they sound old-fashioned, still for me as a very young girl, brought out the "I can do anything you can do" in me and fed my love of solving mysteries; Mark Twain's books, esp. in treatment of racism and rebellion.

In early motherhood, the Afternoon Women, comfirmed my pro-choice views.

Our reading was never censored at home, the complete home library was open to us as was the public one. My list of influential books could get pretty long.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 05:27 AM

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists:Robert Tressall


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 07:30 AM

At least from a pop perspective (to a pop audience), Barbara Kingsolver may be the most successful current propagandist/novelist. Her writing sucks you in to such a degree -- and her characters are so compelling, that you almost forget their improbability. She's very adept at making her worldview believeably superior.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Kim C
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 08:38 AM

I can't say that books have ever led me astray. Books I read that I didn't like, I forgot quickly. Books I read that I liked, I managed to take something inspirational from.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Sam L
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 09:31 AM

Huck Finn messed me up seriously, making me feel I led a sheltered life and that my experiences weren't valid and meaningful. I felt I had to get outside the lines and into trouble. I probably read it too young.

I seem to remember in 6 Degrees of Separation the young man's bogus thesis involved various murderers and miscreants attributing their motivations to The Catcher In The Rye. People always seem to forget the part about his dead little brother, and it seems to just be about everything, the saddness of the world.

I've never been able to read Ayn Rand--nothing about her philosophy, but if someone wants to preach at me they ought to do their job to hold my attention. She doesn't. No convincing details, none of the basic stuff of life, just a dull sock-puppet show.

Our Bodies Ourselves messed me up a bit. I think I could see what it was meant to be in a general way for many young women, but I couldn't see it without a young male prurient voyeurism.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Peg
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 10:02 AM

Sorry but I cannot agree that "evaluating" a book is the   same as   actually READING it. So I am with Sinsull, you   can't discuss it with her   unless you've read it. Discussing the books of Rand's you HAVE   read, that is another story (or at least, the one you   partially   read). I would recommend finishing The Fountainhead some day; it's got some cool twists in the end. :) There is a great (but corny) film version starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. Also there was an episode of Barney Miller where an architect is accused of following the lead character's example and blows up his own building.

I remember in grad school, when I worked for a women's newspaper, there was all sorts of brouhaha about whether we shoudl review Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae. Many of the women did not want to give it any space. But they were judging it without having read it. One woman said "I've read parts of it" which, to me, doesn't empower someone to discuss it in a critical manner, unless they are commenting in a very limited fashion (say, on the writing style, or on that particular section). I ended up reviewing it because I was the only womaqn on the staff willing to read it. And while I disagreed with a great deal of what the author was saying (and to this day I find her to be a strident, arrogant weirdo), I thought the book deserved some recognition for its iconoclastic attempt to address feminist assumotions in literary criticism. Subversive, yes. Dangerous?   Only if you think she's right about everything.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: GUEST,Kaleb
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 10:38 AM

Daniel Quinn's Ishmael.


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 10:52 AM

Peg, stories and literature are part of our cultural milieu, and whether we know about them by review, by reputation, by movie, or by actually hearing them as recorded books or reading them, we know about many stories. To suggest that we must waste our time reading stories we know we aren't going to like in order to discuss them with you or Sinsull is nonsense. There are lots of stories I would like to read some day, on my very long list of "books to read." Why do I want to read them? Because I know what is in them. There's so much cultural baggage attached to stories by Rand that anyone who wants to discuss her philosophy can pick up the essence of it without reading the entire novel. They won't be discussing it as deeply, based on specific citations from the text, but given free-will and creative thought, the philosophy of Ayn Rand can be discussed without reading the dogma.

My son was disappointed when a kid at school raced through the latest Harry Potter novel and announced to his friends a piece of the story about someone dying. Dylan had read only a few chapters but now feels he knows enough about the novel, disappointed as he is, that he doesn't want to read it any more. I told him that even with this knowledge of the story, reading it is still a journey and he'll still enjoy the book. For you, reading those novels is a journey you enjoy, but for the rest of us who want to cut to the chase, that is a legitimate option of not reading the book.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 12:12 PM

P.S. I should have said "makes no sense" not "nonsense" when describing the approach to reading above. It comes closer to what I was trying to say.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 12:17 PM

I typed a lengthy reply on the other computer and tried to send it 3 times with absolutely no success. Bleuagh!!!

Okay, thanks for the intelligent and useful explanation, Amos. I detest Big Brother and his "enforced codes" of behaviour whether or not he is corporate/capitalist, communist, socialist, Baptist, Catholic, fascist or any other such conformity-based authority system.

Obviously, that's not what I have in mind when I say that I believe in "to each according to his need, from each according to his ability". I believe in individual freedom...coupled with mutual responsibility and caring...which is what one sees in a healthy family or a healthy tribal unit. You don't do things because you are under coercion to...you do them because they are obviously helpful and useful for all concerned and because you love people and respect them. Fer chrissake...it's pretty bloody obvious, isn't it?

Sinsull, you have got me curious. I will attempt to read "Atlas Shrugged", although I approach it with a feeling of horror.

Now let's see if this one "sends"...

- LH


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Subject: RE: Dangerous Books That Lead You Astray
From: Amos
Date: 11 Aug 03 - 12:51 PM

Fer chrissake...it's pretty bloody obvious, isn't it?


Sure, as long as you're talking to people capable of observing the obvious, which is not everyone, by a long shot.

A


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