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 Post subject: Fierce Invalids Question #23 - Full of Neuroses
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:24 am 
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Pg. 31. “I am looking for the novelists whose writing is an extension of their intellect rather than an extension of their neurosis.”

What do you think he is specifically referring to here? Do you think that an odd thing for Switters to say, being that he appears to be full of neuroses himself? Do you think this is just a personal opinion of Robbins?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:08 am 

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Well, experts always say write about what you know, so if you've got neurosises (es???), write about'em. Think it makes for alot more interesting reading, characters with more depth, unusual story lines, than reading (albeit well written books) stories with straight story lines situated in a well researched time period or perfectly written paragraphs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 10:17 am 
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Charlene wrote:
Well, experts always say write about what you know, so if you've got neurosises (es???), write about'em. Think it makes for alot more interesting reading, characters with more depth, unusual story lines, than reading (albeit well written books) stories with straight story lines situated in a well researched time period or perfectly written paragraphs.


Neurotic storylines (notice that I'm getting around having to use the plural form) definitely make more interesting reading--at least for me. On the other hand, intelligent writing, if done well, can be interesting. I think Robbins includes both in his writing.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:44 am 
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I'm gonna have to think about that one - and I'm not doing real well at that this week. However, I can tell you that the plural of 'neurosis' is 'neuroses'!



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:31 pm 
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Just had to share this, although it's not really answering the question.

I'm in the midst of reading another book for my hometown book club. It's entitled Tales of Burning Love by Louise Erdrich. Today in my reading I came across the following and started laughing out loud:
:lol:

" 'Here we are.' Jack's voice was flat, tired. We were stiff from the long train ride. He walked over to the bed and threw himself face down across it. He kept trying to impress me. I'd seen him flip through novels on a rack and in a fit of CRUELTY I'd bought him a copy of Finnegan's Wake and said earnestly that it had been my favorite book ever since I got it for my tenth birthday. His eyes crossed every time he opened the pages, and his head soon fell to one side. The book numbed his brain, put him instantly to sleep."

I wonder if this is an extension of Ms. Erdrich's neuroses or intellect.....or both.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:39 pm 

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Liz, that it too funny. Has anyone ever picked up a copy of Finnegan's Wake? Is like old english and impossible to understand what they are saying?

Wow, that is such a good idea that young woman had to ward off men too impressed with themselves. What a riot.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:44 pm 
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Charlene wrote:
Liz, that it too funny. Has anyone ever picked up a copy of Finnegan's Wake? Is like old english and impossible to understand what they are saying?

Wow, that is such a good idea that young woman had to ward off men too impressed with themselves. What a riot.


This particular female character has a reputation for being sadistic. And I've never read Finnegan's Wake. I think I'll order it from the library.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:22 pm 
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After re- reading this part I believe it was Hector Sumac that uttered those words and Switter's reply was " Good luck to you , pal. That's a search these days." This was after Hector told Switters that he logged on to the computer for five or six hours a day but he was happy when he had the chance to read a good book. The discussion started when Switters confessed that he used the computer only when it became unavoidable for efficiency's
sake.
If this is the case Hector might have just been trying to impress Switters with the fact that he didn't just sit in front of the tv or computer all day but also read alot and not just books with lots of psycho babble but works of real substance.
Just my take on the whole thing :eyebrow:
:bounce: GO JOHNNY GO JOHNNY :bounce:
axelsgirl



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:42 pm 
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Liz wrote:
Charlene wrote:
Liz, that it too funny. Has anyone ever picked up a copy of Finnegan's Wake? Is like old english and impossible to understand what they are saying?

Wow, that is such a good idea that young woman had to ward off men too impressed with themselves. What a riot.


This particular female character has a reputation for being sadistic. And I've never read Finnegan's Wake. I think I'll order it from the library.


I don't know if you've checked, Liz, but you can read excerpts from Finnegan's Wake at amazon. We had a discussion during the Tidbits about it, but unfortunatelythe discussion got lost in netherspace at about midstream. After reading the excerpts, I have to say I have no interest in reading the whole book. I'd love to know what you think.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:00 pm 
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lumineuse wrote:
Liz wrote:
Charlene wrote:
Liz, that it too funny. Has anyone ever picked up a copy of Finnegan's Wake? Is like old english and impossible to understand what they are saying?

Wow, that is such a good idea that young woman had to ward off men too impressed with themselves. What a riot.


This particular female character has a reputation for being sadistic. And I've never read Finnegan's Wake. I think I'll order it from the library.


I don't know if you've checked, Liz, but you can read excerpts from Finnegan's Wake at amazon. We had a discussion during the Tidbits about it, but unfortunatelythe discussion got lost in netherspace at about midstream. After reading the excerpts, I have to say I have no interest in reading the whole book. I'd love to know what you think.


That must have been the one the board ate when we were having technical problems. But thanks for the heads up on Amazon. I will check it out after I finish this current book.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:54 pm 
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I don't think intellects and neuroses are mutually exclusive. Doesn't :capnjack: have something to say about that one? Along similar lines, anyway.

It could be just a tongue in cheek comments about novelists. Later in the book, when he is talking to Suzy about drafting and editing a term paper, Switter says, "Some novelists even write books that way. The more dronish ones". But I think it is a reference to the fact that the two are part of the whole. Liz, I haven't read FW - just a tiny bit to get a flavour - but I have been doing some background reading in an effort to understand why it is mentioned so often and I think your reminder about it is right, from what I can tell. That's my guess, anyway. Very funny, BTW!


Charlene, it is written in at least 40 languages, apparently. Joyce also used other tactics such as combining words and writing them backwards, which add to the difficulty. Some of it is recognisable. But not easy.
:-/

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: Congratulations, Johnny!



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:19 pm 
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Finally getting a chance to check in today. I must say I don't have an answer for this one.

Quote:
suec wrote: It could be just a tongue in cheek comments about novelists.


Quote:
axelsgirl wrote: If this is the case Hector might have just been trying to impress Switters with the fact that he didn't just sit in front of the tv or computer all day but also read alot and not just books with lots of psycho babble but works of real substance.


I wonder if it was an inside joke to other novelists or as axelsgirl wrote an attempt by Hector to impress Switters? Good ideas both.



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:27 pm 
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Doesn't our favorite actor make a career out of portraying damaged folks? slightly neurotic, under dog characters?

A friend of mine shared a meditation of sorts today that compared the history of civilization to a river. There is lots of action going on in the river stream, all the politics and wars and big events of the time, which are dutifully recorded by historians. But it really is the people on the banks, who love and marry and raise families and go to work every day who keep a civilization going. The ones on the banks keep up the mundane business of life and actually keep civilization alive. But how interesting would history be if those were the only things that were recorded?

Books are kind of like that in my opinion -- the average people aren't very interesting as characters, but the neurotic off-kilter types make for exciting reading.

Adding my congratulations to Johnny on a much-deserved nomination! :cool:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:22 am 
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Neurotic storylines (notice that I'm getting around having to use the plural form)

Neuroses is the plural for neurosis.



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:24 am 
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Liz wrote:
Charlene wrote:
Well, experts always say write about what you know, so if you've got neurosises (es???), write about'em. Think it makes for alot more interesting reading, characters with more depth, unusual story lines, than reading (albeit well written books) stories with straight story lines situated in a well researched time period or perfectly written paragraphs.


Neurotic storylines (notice that I'm getting around having to use the plural form) definitely make more interesting reading--at least for me. On the other hand, intelligent writing, if done well, can be interesting. I think Robbins includes both in his writing.


The book Perfume comes to mind.........



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