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This is where your own rethoric defeats you... DomA Send a noteboard - 23/02/2012 06:38:54 AM
.....there are many better works of art at the Louvre and even better works at the MET and Philly Museum of Art.

Over-hyped to the nth degree here. very underwhelming in person. There is much, much better art than that, so why bother trusting the "experts" or "elites", they are often wrong.

I don't know if you've ever visited the Louvre, but anyone who has will have seen the insane crowd pushing and shoving to catch a glimpse of that tiny little painting, while far superior works are lucky to have one or two people near it at any given time (I didn't even bother to go look at it, myself).

But then, the Mona Lisa's reputation is to a large extent due to popular memory more than the experts' opinion - I dare say most experts would agree that there are better and more interesting paintings than the Mona Lisa, or at the very least that it gets an absurd amount of attention compared to other classic works. It's not the experts' fault if that whole crowd stands jostling in front of that one painting while ignoring everything else.

You brought this up as an example of how the elites hype things that don't deserve to be hyped.

Ask most art experts/critics/historians about the Mona Lisa and they'll roll their eyes and say it's a fairly minor Da Vinci that excite the masses that don't know much about art because of the popular hype surrounding the mysterious smile.

The first thing anyone a bit knowledgeable would tell you about visiting the Louvre is "please don't go wasting time on the Mona Lisa if you don't go there for a few days, there's tons of far more important masterpieces to see".

That's not the elites who hype the Mona Lisa, it's a pop culture phenomenon.

That's much the same with books. You spit on the "literary elites", but you obviously don't know much of what they have to say about books, or by "literary elites" you mean the mass media and their stars critics or the stupid snobs for who it's far more important to be seen reading books and commenting on books than actually reading them, not the actual scholars of literature, and those passionate about literature.

The true elites don't just "hype" classics as if they were masterpieces from page 1 to the last and in every aspects of literature, nor do they recommend books to all readers. Their commentaries have a great deal more nuances than that. All you have to say about this or that great author, they've said before, and better. The difference is that they're able to see why despite obstacles and flaws the books are still important and why they deserve to be still read.

The snobs in the mass media make a sport of spitting on popular literature, but the best scholars in the domain, and the best commentators in the media usually don't. They're as capable as you to tell that this or that popular writer is an excellent storyteller who provides a very good time to his readers even though as far as literary art is concerned, they're worth shit. When they discuss works meant to entertain, they discuss their entertainment value, not their artistic value, at least barely more than mentionning in passing stuff like the quality of the prose is really ordinary.

You sound just as bad and wrong-headed as the worst snob in your "literary elites" when you judge writers like Dostoyevsky not as literary art but strictly on the basis on their entertainment value. This is as stupid as devoting an essay just to bash the prose of Dan Brown or Brandon Sanderson or the shallowness of the psychology of their characters, or the pauperity of their themes. In their works, that's strictly secondary, they work them so they don't get in the way of their storytelling, and most often they're perfectly conscious they're writing for audiences who want their entertainment to be as little literary as possible.

You might be surprised how many excellents authors, classics and contemporary, consider the plot of their novels quite secondary to what they're trying to accomplish stylistically, or thematically, and who even at times keep it as simple and straighforward as possible so that it doesn't get in the way and distract the readers from what they're trying to accomplish with the novel.

You're into books strictly for their entertainment value, and you dislike books that don't provide that, or where the storytelling doesn't follow the standards of entertainment literature, and you find artistic literature mostly boring. So you prefer "fluff", aka fluffy, aka light stuff. That's your tastes, fine. When you go call what you find overdone or heavy-going in classics or artistic literature "fluff" you just sound like a moron.

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