02 November 2006

Random thoughts and questions

So this is really a trailor for upcoming posts (cue the music).
Postmodern literature. Charis Connection did this post on postmodern literature. This is something that I would like to learn more about. What are your thoughts on postmodern literature? (Note: in the comments, the issue took a detour to the emerging church. I do not wish to discuss that issue here. Of course, you are always free to post whatever you like, even if the comment has nothing to do with the subject of the post but everything to do with, say, the genius that is Heather. My preference, let's save the emerging church discussion for another day.) I'm cheating really. I'll post an official post on this subject hopefully next week, but for now, I'd like to learn from your thoughts on the matter. So fill-er up!

Random observation: I went to a Christian bookstore yesterday and roamed the fiction shelves. I've read more Christian fiction these past two months than I have my entire lifetime. But that's not my observation. Here's my observation: this particular store shelved Dostoyevsky's The Brother's Karamazov under historical fiction. I found this amusing. I think of this work as a classic, not as a book written today but set in the past.

Coming up: Jeanne Damoff at The Master's Artist did a piece on romance fiction v. love stories. In light of um, some, well, "learning experiences" in marriage, my mind whirls with these concepts, so next week (when my eye is hopefully better and can take more computer time), I will enlighten you all with these thoughts. Aren't you just in a tizzy to here my words of wisdom?


L.L. Barkat said...

Sorry, I can be of absolutely no help whatsoever. I never did get into following all the lit labels. I just know a good book when I read one. (I know, this is a shameful way for a writer and former English teacher to conduct herself in the world of books!)

Jeanne Damoff said...

Here's one thought on postmodern literature. It's written for an audience that loves story but doesn't like to be told what to think. (I didn't read the Charis discussion. They probably covered that golden nugget.)

Dostoyevsky as historical fiction? Does that make Jane Austen's books historical fiction, too? These authors wrote contemporary stories in their day, but they persist, which makes them CLASSICS. You get a gold star.

As for the genius that is Heather, well, you posted a link to my piece at MA. What further criteria do we need, folks? Behold the genius with a gold star on her forehead.

What's wrong with your eye? I hope one of your "learning experiences" didn't involve a left hook from hubby.

Get better soon. Meanwhile, we who wait in tizzy mode will look forward to your wise words.

Erin said...

Don't you find that your genius causes your mere mortal flesh to stumble, upon occasion? Can't keep the body in sync with the lightning-fast synapses. I think that must be what you're doing in your profile pic- looking for that runaway brilliance so your self can catch up.

What were we talking about?

Oh, postmodern literature. Jeanne's words save the day, once again. I can work with that definition. Wow, the line you postmodern writers have to toe for your audience! "Tell me a story, tell me Truth; but don't tell me what to think." You definitely earn your keep.
I prefer an audience that I can spank or send to their room if they argue with me. I keep my genius in-house. ;)

As for books, I just started Dickens' Bleak House. I don't think he's postmodern, or contemporary, or historical fiction. But he's just plain GOOD, so yeah, classic describes him. Which does not pertain to anything.

So, Heather and Jeanne give each other gold stars. Can I get a pat on the head for showing up?

Heather said...

Oh, good heavens, no, the eye problem is definitely not related to the "learning experiences." (Did I really just say "good heavens"?) After a year and a half of marriage, about 95% has been bliss, and 5% has been "learning experiences," i.e. what language are you speaking? It's funny, I'm learning how much my husband loves me when he can still put his arms around me and tell me he loves me and mean it (the key) when he simultaneously wants to reboot my system and pull out his hair. But, alas, that's next week.
Jeanne, you are a gold star.
Erin, you're more swirly stars.
As far as Jeanne's definition: I can relate. I think I'm a little bit like that. I like questions. Not a big fan of answers.

Pamela said...

books are like wine

I either like it or I don't.

I should be more discerning? (:

T. Suzanne Eller said...

I love your site, and the discussions you are igniting.

Thanks for stopping by my site, Heather. I'm writing a new book for 20-something women (for Harvest House) and many of the women in my focus group are saying much of what you are sharing. Very cool.

Suzanne Eller

Christianne said...

Hi Heather,

I'm really enjoying your site! Thanks for stopping by mine so that I could find yours and have a new page to explore each day. :)

Just curious: How come you're reading more Christian fiction in the past two months than you have in your entire lifetime? Has something sparked the accelerated consumption?

Jeanne Damoff said...

I'm going to buy a T-shirt that says, "I am a gold star. My words saved the day." Everyone will be jealous of me, and rightly so.

(Thanks, Heather and Erin. Can you tell I like compliments?)

Heather, I've posted another example of shining dialogue on my livejournal. Come be inspired in your craft. Or, if not inspired in your craft, perhaps encouraged in your clear superiority of gold-star-studded genius. It's all good. www.livejournal.com/~ellezymn

Mike Duran said...

Hi Heather! Because postmodernism relies so heavily upon relativism, it de-emphasizes objective facts and over-emphasizes subjective experience. I wonder that this is one of the reasons that memoirs have become so popular. We tend to elevate people's experiences to such a point that facts are blurred with fiction. But even Oprah had to concede that Frey's "creative non-fiction" was a bit too creative. Just as postmodernism has led to historical revisionism -- rewriting history -- I think it's also called into question long-held definitions / boundaries for literature, ala Dostoyevsky as historical fiction.

Heather said...

Actually, Mike, while so much of postmodern is a reaction against modernism, it is also the logical conclusion to modernism. The subjective experience is a natural end to Descartes, who came to the conclusion (after spending days isolated in his oven, of all places) that the only thing we can know is what we experience for ourselves. So out with Aristotle's authoritative book on Physics, in with experimenting on our own, scientific method, etc. Postmodernism comes in and says, hey, maybe, if you are coming to different conclusions than I am, maybe it's not always necessarily a you-are-right-I-am-wrong thing, but perhaps our conclusions are affected by our biases and perspectives.
As far as the million little pieces contraversy, everyone is upset that he duped Oprah and the United States, passing that off as true.

Claudia said...

I tried to post on this yesterday and blogger wouldn't let me!! Anyways, it's been so long since I've taken a lit class, that those classifications boggle me! I go with the bookstore ones...sci-fi, fiction, non-fiction, etc!! not much help, eh??