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Thread: What do you look for in a novel?

  1. #16
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    DeLillo’s Fiber One

    Regular bowel movements. Sturdy, substantive. One thinks of unclogged drains, opened tunnels.

    Your wife asks, “How do you feel now?”

    “I’m blinking nervously, ashamed to answer.”

    “We’re married.”

    “Relieved. Light. Clean.”

    “Did you look into the bowl?”

    “It’s difficult to say.”

    “That means ‘yes.’ Was there a sense of pride, a feeling of accomplishment?”

    “Definitely, without question.”

    She smiles. “It’s the Fiber One.”
    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Are you not familiar with my ouvere?!!

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Just to say, I wasn't attacking modernist/postmodernist novels there, more reflecting on my prioritising of "wisdom" over "aesthetics". I am highly aware of this because I so love the translated stories/novels of authors like Chekhov/Tolstoy/Flaubert, where I can't appreciate what they did with language. I can appreciate other aesthetic aspects such as structure but generally I'm not in it for the language, I'm in it for how it enriches my perspective on people and "life".
    I think the brilliance of someone like Joyce is that they can do both.
    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Are you not familiar with my ouvere?!!

  3. #18
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    To get back to the original question. What I look for in a novel is not really anything specific like some do above... maybe for me it's in the name, novelty. Something I've not read before. I do love classic novels, trash novels, post-modern and experimental things. Sci-fi too I suppose, probably less into crime or war type things but if it's the only thing there I will read it. Same as music, I really feel that in the time we're in now we can dig into the whole of what's available from the history of literature and don't have to limit ourselves to this era. Of course literature doesn't have scenes in the same way imposing stuff on us (it does but not so extreme I suppose) so it's more common with books. We don't have to think things have got worse or improved, we can enjoy each on its merits. Of course we have favourites. And actually that I can make a link between how in music my favourites are things that are kinda weird but yet immediate, in the same way my favourite books tend to be those that are experimental but still hit you emotionally in the same way as a good old-fashioned sentimental classic.

  4. #19
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    I think "What do you gravitate toward?" may have been a better question as I tend to stumble across things rather than actively look for them. I find one thing and it inevitably leads to others.
    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Are you not familiar with my ouvere?!!

  5. #20
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    Well that is a different question I suppose... I think that when I open a novel I'm hoping that I don't know what will happen and how and so I'm not expecting to find something that I'm looking for.

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