tolkienfan2759 t1_j696zfw wrote

well, I think "write what you know" is for people that want to be great artists... people that are reading fantasy romance novels aren't necessarily interested in "great art." I haven't read that many myself, but I have read a few, and people there are looking for great fantasy. Besides, it doesn't really work that well even for the really good authors... did Frank Herbert write what he knew? He wrote Dune. Not sure what he knew had to do with it. Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. Not sure what he knew had to do with it. I'm thinking that "write what you know" is one avenue to becoming a good writer; there are others.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j2fxo1q wrote

I read a description of LOTR a long time ago that stuck with me: "British tourists in a Norse fairy tale." I thought that summed it up pretty well - but of course there's so much more to say because the books are, as you say, wonderful. It just kinda hops over that part.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j2fx7aw wrote

I actually didn't like it either.

"The clue to the book's [MYORAR] essential falsity is the fact that it IS powerfully engaging. The ending was quite a letdown - if I'd been a bit more alert I would have seen it coming 150 pages off - but even if I'd known, I might have read the whole thing anyway. The author is trying to simulate someone who can't take it anymore, this world of ours, but she describes that same world so well that it's clear she loves it well. Which makes the book nothing but a bad update of Catcher in the Rye, a book I've hated ever since I discovered that it's about a guy who spent three days in New York City and had NO FUN while he was there. I'm sorry, I've lived in NYC and it's WONDERFUL. There are people there who have no fun, but they are creatures without imagination. They don't read; they don't go to shows; they don't notice what goes on around them; it would be senseless to make one the protagonist of a novel. "


tolkienfan2759 t1_j2foob9 wrote

Well... it's not the world's anti-intellectualism that bothers me, but its political and moral insanity. I feel like the German citizen in 1936 (or so) who felt he or she was surrounded by werewolves. (I read about the example a long time ago so I don't recall the details, sorry.) The left hollers "Racist" at the top if its lungs, without the least idea what racism really is... the right tries to pretend racism isn't a thing any more. The left calls a border wall "far right" - the right claims people who don't want you using the n-word are against free speech. The left has embraced diversity, equity and inclusiveness training... in spite of the fact that we've been DOING that for sixty years and it hasn't worked. The right maintains DEI is a product of Critical Race Theory... only none of them have actually read any. I'm actually living in a lunatic asylum, and there are no keepers... and there is no exit.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j1m2rwu wrote

huh... never been addicted to anything so it is actually kind of hard to relate, sorry. Maybe take up drinking, instead? lol but seriously, read Brandeis, by Melvin Urofsky, or Tinderbox, the past and future of Pakistan, by M.J. Akbar. Read something that teaches you something and I bet you'd a) slow down and b) find that your mind is a different shape afterwards - maybe enough different to let you take control.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j1lxjdr wrote

PACING. Yes. This is one of the main reasons Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is still a masterpiece - pacing. He knew what he had was worth the wait, and he kept a slow and steady beat till you got to the end. He was right. It was wonderful. Novels these days are just crack-addicted. Well, they're in competition with TV and social media. Real life isn't enough for people any more. The evening I was walking with a friend, thought we were having a conversation, looked around and found her deep in her phone... to me, that was the moment.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j1lwjf6 wrote, sorry to burst your bubble here, but Sagan was not a great mind. He was a pretty pedestrian scientist - I mean, he taught at Cornell, but Thomas Sowell taught at Stanford - someone has to. They hire thousands and keep some, often for reasons that have little to do with intellectual achievement or capacity.

Now, I don't mean he was an idiot; he wasn't. He was a very bright guy. But one of humanity's greatest minds... not even close, sorry. Linus Pauling, maybe. Francis Crick, maybe. These were scientists who dominated their fields and maybe could have dominated any scientific field they chose to go into. They were smart. And they didn't even make (or, for all I know, even attempt) any significant achievements in the field of morality, which is where humanity really needs to improve.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j1lviyv wrote

Your environment is a big part of who you are. If you move to New York City, you wll in some sense become the city. But there's more to it than that. If you listen to a particular kind of music that you enjoy with others who enjoy it, you won't notice anything... but if you listen to it with people who don't enjoy it, you won't enjoy it as much either. Not as a reflexive thing, not because you don't enjoy sitting with people who aren't enjoying what they're listening to, but more immediately: because you're part of that new community and because that community doesn't like that kind of music.


tolkienfan2759 t1_j1iicn0 wrote

yeah, I don't think it's possible to lose all hope in humanity. If you live, you are required to hope. That's just the way it is. And that leads to a certain amount of insanity, to add to the load you're already carrying, but fuck it, you know, he ain't heavy... I call this a big fail by Liu. Sorry.