Author Topic: "Classics" of christian Literature  (Read 617 times)

donkeyhoty

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"Classics" of christian Literature
« on: December 07, 2006, 04:52:09 AM »
I'm speaking of Dante's Inferno(and the whole Divine Comedy) and Milton's Paradies Lost.

First off, while the Divine Comedy is technically proficient, I found it unbearably naive in its views.  I never got around to finishing up the Comedy because of this.  It's considered one of the greatest pieces of Western Lit., but is it simply because of the overwhelming Christian belief system, or am I missing something?

Secondly, Paradise Lost still has the, "Yay God!" aspects of Inferno, but is, I found, much more sophisticated.

Have you read either, both, neither?  Thoughts on either one being overrated because of Christianity?  Any other comments on Literature and Christianity, but not fucking C.S. Lewis?
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Whitney

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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2006, 11:08:18 PM »
I haven't read either of them.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Whitney »

donkeyhoty

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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 11:14:42 PM »
Does no one read the classics anymore?
Fucking Harry Potter and his devil magic have corrupted our young.
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Tom62

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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2006, 08:04:34 AM »
Didn't read them either, since I'm not interested in mindless, outdated, boring drivel. My favourite classics are Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver's  Travels, Sherlock Holmes, and most works of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft  and Charles Dickens.
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donkeyhoty

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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2006, 08:41:44 AM »
Dante=drivel, but not Milton, and outdated, well Alice, Gulliver, Sherlock, Poe, and Dickens are all "outdated", whatever that means.  I think you're being a little closed minded like the bible-thumpers that ban books and try to edit the "bad" stuff out of movies.
They might be blinded by the light but these god lovers have some decent stories, I mean a dude walking on water that could also turn it into wine.  That could be straight outta Alice.
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ahmewife

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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2006, 02:05:17 PM »
I have always felt that the Bible is an amazing work of literature, with some great fables and many pearls of wisdom.  It's one of those works that I refuse to "throw the baby out with the bath water" when I regard it.  I wouldn't not read Harry Potter because I don't believe in wizardry.

I guess my (indirect) point is the classics are considered classics for a reason.  They are time honored stories that have interest that has upheld for generations.  I'm not going to disregard one just because it deals with religious undertones.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by ahmewife »

Tom62

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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2006, 09:01:40 AM »
Quote from: "donkeyhoty"
Dante=drivel, but not Milton, and outdated, well Alice, Gulliver, Sherlock, Poe, and Dickens are all "outdated", whatever that means.


With "outdated" literature I mean the kind of books that  that look impressive on your bookshelves (like "War and Peace"), but are so unreadable that they only collect dust there. Books like Alice and Gulliver on the other hand are timeless jewels that your can read again and again, without loosing their "magic".

Anyone who wants to read Milton's Paradist Lost, must be a masochist.
Here follows an excerpt, please tell me why you don't think that this is mindless drivel.

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Tom62 »
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McQ

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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 11:54:05 AM »
..."Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He’s a little bit long-winded, he doesn’t translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible. ..."

(think about it and you'll figure out who said it)
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donkeyhoty

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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2006, 12:48:13 AM »
It's from Animal House, who hasn't seen that?

And Shakespeare doesn't translate well and is unreadable to many.  
Masochists are those that read James Joyce.
Mark Twain found Poe unreadable.
I think Alice is nice, for children.  Evidnetly there is no accounting for taste.

Taking anything out of context makes it drivel.
Quote
I had intended "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" to be the last of those exploits of my friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, which I should ever communicate to the public. This resolution of mine was not due to any lack of material, since I have notes of many hundreds of cases to which I have never alluded, nor was it caused by any waning interest on the part of my readers in the singular personality and unique methods of this remarkable man. The real reason lay in the reluctance which Mr. Holmes has shown to the continued publication of his experiences. So long as he was in actual professional practice the records of his successes were of some practical value to him; but since he has definitely retired from London and betaken himself to study and bee-farming on the Sussex Downs, notoriety has become hateful to him, and he has peremptorily requested that his wishes in this matter should be strictly observed. It was only upon my representing to him that I had given a promise that "The Adventure of the Second Stain" should be published when the times were ripe, and pointing out to him that it is only appropriate that this long series of episodes should culminate in the most important international case which he has ever been called upon to handle, that I at last succeeded in obtaining his consent that a carefully-guarded account of the incident should at last be laid before the public. If in telling the story I seem to be somewhat vague in certain details the public will readily understand that there is an excellent reason for my reticence.
Wow, that A.C. Doyle is a genius.

And talk about unreadable, see Dickens:
Quote
Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many
reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to
which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently
common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and
in this workhouse was born; on a day and date which I need not
trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible
consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all
events; the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head
of this chapter.

For a long time after it was ushered into this world of sorrow
and trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of
considerable doubt whether the child would survive to bear any
name at all; in which case it is somewhat more than probable that
these memoirs would never have appeared; or, if they had, that
being comprised within a couple of pages, they would have
possessed the inestimable merit of being the most concise and
faithful specimen of biography, extant in the literature of any
age or country.

Also, you're confusing simply purchasing books to place in a study or on a shelf, i.e. War and Peace(also considered phenomenal, I wouldn't know haven't read it) and actually reading something.  This is a phenomenon taken to new heights by Oprah and her "book club".  Although it has been present in the upper-middle classes(yuppies) "leather bound" books for years, Gulliver's Travels is among the many that have been wrapped in sweet, sweet cow.

I'll leave you with an example from your children's book Alice as to why there's no accounting for taste:
Quote
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”


And not to be glib, but it doesn't really bother me that you don't like Milton or Dante or anybody for that matter, if everyone liked the same thing, and had no variations in taste or thought, well we'd all be theists.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by donkeyhoty »
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McQ

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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2006, 01:14:27 AM »
I happen to enjoy Dickens and don't find him unreadable. Shakespeare is not only easily "translated" (kind of a weird thing to say since he wrote in modern English, albeit with 16th century style), but he is also very topical in many aspects.

Milton is boring to me, as is Conrad (heavens! I said Conrad is boring, I'll be kicked out of the Book-of-the-Month Club!). Poe. Ok, he was weird, but his imagination was wild.

Dumas, Verne, Wells, R.E. Howard, E.R. Burroughs = great storytelling. Lots of others too, but the ultimate point is that much of this is a matter of taste, as has been noted already. Many of the real classics haven't even been touched upon yet either. A very short list of authors of some of the greatest writings in human history:

Plato
Thucydides
Sun Tzu
Homer
Confucius
Thomas Aquinas
Pascal
Spinoza
Hume
von Clauswitz
DARWIN
Kafka
Paine


Plenty of things to read, and plenty of classics to pore over. If you find something boring, move on, or take a course in the author, time period, or the book itself.

Trying to read as much as possible of everything I can.....
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by McQ »
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parrotpirate67

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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2006, 04:32:32 AM »
When I was in high school,I read The Metamorphosis in German class. tried it later in English-something was lost in the translation.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by parrotpirate67 »