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Old 2012-09-29, 20:10   Link #61
GDiddy
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Interesting topic

My picks:

Neil Gaiman

Margaret Atwood

Stephen King...like it or not, he is probaly the closest to Poe.

George R Martin....American version of Tolkien?

As for Rowling.....it was the success of Harry Potter that ushered in all of these fantasy series that have saturated the market nowadays, including Twilight.
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Old 2012-09-30, 07:15   Link #62
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
She also wasn't just prolific, but best selling!
Doesn't mean a thing. There are many best selling authors, even phenomenons, from previous centuries, who are now unknown. The one I know is Amadis de Gaul. It's obviously difficult to give examples because they're now obscure. Popularity alone is no guarantee of becoming a "classic".
Quote:
Did Christie write literary masterpieces, absolutely not. But I would argue she is important to the mystery genre.
She'll certainly merit a mention in any article discussing the mystery genre, but no one will actually read her books. It's only the "literary masterpieces" that tend to have any staying power, and as you said, she didn't really write any.
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The thing is Sherlock Holmes is definitely popular genre fiction too. Yes Doyle should get credit for the creation of Holmes (a new kind of detective) but we don't often study "Holmes" as literature either.
I'm on the fence with Holmes, but I think there's a lot more going for Sherlock Holmes lasting then there is for any of Christie's works. Mostly because Sherlock Holmes himself is a highly unusual character, and makes for interesting reading. It's easy to spend a lot of time trying to understand his character. Also, there's a lot more variety in how Sherlock Holmes was written. Murders only made up a minority of the mysteries he solved.

It's still difficult to describe Sherlock Holmes as "Art" though, so it's difficult to say what will happen to him. In terms of entertainment value, however, I'd say he has more staying power.

EDIT: @Stephen King, I haven't read any of his works, but my gut instinct is that he's to prolific for his own good. One book is a lot more likely to last then 50. Is there any single superlative book that he's written that will stand the test? Because people remember 1 great book, not 50 pretty good books.
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Old 2012-09-30, 08:51   Link #63
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Surprise to see no mention of Lolita.
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Old 2012-09-30, 09:01   Link #64
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How many people actually read Lolita?
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Old 2012-09-30, 09:08   Link #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Doesn't mean a thing. There are many best selling authors, even phenomenons, from previous centuries, who are now unknown. The one I know is Amadis de Gaul. It's obviously difficult to give examples because they're now obscure. Popularity alone is no guarantee of becoming a "classic".
She'll certainly merit a mention in any article discussing the mystery genre, but no one will actually read her books. It's only the "literary masterpieces" that tend to have any staying power, and as you said, she didn't really write any.
But what are we talking about here? Are we talking Shakespeare level of staying power or something else.

I don't know how long Christie will last, but she has certainly already lasted longer than many authors. She isn't just an author of her time is my point and went past the popularity of the moment. She might not be Shakespeare but I don't see her as just a fad either.

Whether she will be studied centuries to come, yeah I admit probably not, but as more and more books are written, less and less authors reach this status.

Just take a look at film, which has even less of a history than novels and even that is difficult to measure what will be important in centuries to come.

The thing is most people are mentioning genre fiction in this thread. As much as I love Neil Gaiman (he's probably my favorite contemporary author) I highly doubt he will be studied as the literature of our time...but you know what I am hard pressed to think what will be. Perhaps literature of this time period won't even be studied because we have so many other forms of media that might be considered more important to this period: Films, Video Games, Internet, Social Media...we are saturated.
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Old 2012-09-30, 10:53   Link #66
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Re: Lolita --

I totally forgot it was published post-1950 .. and arguably that work is already considered a classic and shows frequently on numerous "best of" lists.. but the question of "who's actually read it" is an excellent question that somewhat makes this whole discussion pause..

What do we consider a "classic" that no one reads anymore? I'm pretty sure Lolita isn't the only one. Is a "classic" still a "classic" if it's more like a .. "fallen classic" ?
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Old 2012-09-30, 11:40   Link #67
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I've read about a third of Lolita. It's florid style is very... heavy going.

It's better then Joyce though. That's an author adored by the critics. Personally, I find his writing so unpleasant that want to gouge my yes out. His writing makes you feel dirty. A stain on Ireland's otherwise fine literature(give me some Shaw, Synge or Wilde any day!).

And Joyce wasn't even popular in his own time. He's never been popular.
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Old 2012-09-30, 12:39   Link #68
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
@Stephen King, I haven't read any of his works, but my gut instinct is that he's to prolific for his own good. One book is a lot more likely to last then 50. Is there any single superlative book that he's written that will stand the test? Because people remember 1 great book, not 50 pretty good books.
If any of his book's actually become classics, the only one I can think of that would is The Shining.

As fun as books like IT, Christine, The Stand, etc. are, they aren't good enough, or influencial enough to last in my humble opinion.
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Old 2012-09-30, 13:04   Link #69
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If any of his book's actually become classics, the only one I can think of that would is The Shining.
And even then, the fact that is that is had a very good movie adaptation. The book might be forgotten to the profit of the movie.
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Old 2012-09-30, 13:33   Link #70
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Indeed. The Shining is known a lot more for it's Stanley Kubrick directed film adaptation then for it's actual text. If we took the film out of the equation, how remarkable would the book be considered?
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Old 2012-09-30, 14:34   Link #71
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Author might become more well known for the films or television series their novels inspired or that were adapted from their novels.

The question will be, as the 21st century advances, what media will authors be remembed for that "pass the test of time"? Books still exist and are being printed today. But will the "best" writers still write books?
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Old 2012-09-30, 15:02   Link #72
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Yeah in Stephen King's case definitly. I mean everyone knows about Stand By Me, but who knows that it was based on The Body?
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Old 2012-09-30, 17:10   Link #73
willx
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Originally Posted by Usami_Haru View Post
Yeah in Stephen King's case definitly. I mean everyone knows about Stand By Me, but who knows that it was based on The Body?
Speaking of Steven King & the Shining --

Even worse, has anyone actually read It? It's so confusing, convoluted and full of random passages of young children having sexual thoughts about each other.. Actual moments happening in reality are interspersed with moments of past fantasy and imagination. God, I can't believe I got through it.
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Old 2012-09-30, 18:26   Link #74
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Actual moments happening in reality are interspersed with moments of past fantasy and imagination. God, I can't believe I got through it.
Never read it, but it seem like a similar case than "Gerald's Game".
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Old 2012-09-30, 18:34   Link #75
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Speaking of Steven King & the Shining --

Even worse, has anyone actually read It? It's so confusing, convoluted and full of random passages of young children having sexual thoughts about each other.. Actual moments happening in reality are interspersed with moments of past fantasy and imagination. God, I can't believe I got through it.
I've read IT.
The book is classic Stephen King style of cussing, random flashbacks, and difficult dialogue.
Sometimes his style works very well, like in the Shining, other times it totally sucks, like in Under The Dome.

King is a wannabe Danielle Steel Romance/Drama writer by his own admission in his book On Writing (which I don't recommend if you acutally want to learn how to write, try Donald Murray's Write to Learn, it's much better).

Why he added so many horror elements to his writing during the 80s/90s is answered by the monkey he was carrying on his back--cocaine.
He's clean now, but he wrote most of his best lines when he was doing them.

If you can tell, I'm not partial to King.
I prefer Clive Barker for my horror fix.
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Old 2012-09-30, 20:41   Link #76
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My post 1950 picks?

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Highly controversial.

Fahrenheit 451 by Issac Asimov (Isn't this already a classic?)

Dune by Frank Herbert (same question)

Pretty much anything by Phillip K. Dick

I feel that Stephen King is a lot stronger on short stories than full novels. For example Night Shift was chock full of very good and highly imaginitive horror stories. Almost all of them became film or TV adaptations.

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Old 2012-09-30, 20:59   Link #77
DonQuigleone
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Fahrenheit 451 is by Ray Bradbury, not Isaac Asimov.

As a matter of interest, why do you consider Ender's game a controversial pick?
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Old 2012-09-30, 21:58   Link #78
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Fahrenheit 451 is by Ray Bradbury, not Isaac Asimov.
You're right, my mistake. For some reason I had Azimov on my mind. I blame that heat wave we're having.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
As a matter of interest, why do you consider Ender's game a controversial pick?
Well, I don't really know if I can say something about Ender's Game that hasn't already been said already.

Two Best Novel awards (the Hugo and the Nebula). Until recently it was required reading for military organizations, specifically the USMC. It has certainly caused controversy, particularly due to the way violence is depicted at the hands of children. Some teachers have been suspended/fired for letting their students read the book.

However, on a personal level, the story really just ...stuck with me, for lack of a better term. The story has power, I really can't explain it any better than that.

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Old 2012-10-01, 04:05   Link #79
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
However, on a personal level, the story really just ...stuck with me, for lack of a better term. The story has power, I really can't explain it any better than that.
I had the same experience. While the writing itself is nothing remarkeable, it does stick in your memory. That's why I think it could become a classic. However, I'm a bit of a strategy wonk, so I'm a bit biased.
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Old 2012-10-01, 08:43   Link #80
willx
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Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
I've read IT.
The book is classic Stephen King style of cussing, random flashbacks, and difficult dialogue.
Sometimes his style works very well, like in the Shining, other times it totally sucks, like in Under The Dome.

King is a wannabe Danielle Steel Romance/Drama writer by his own admission in his book On Writing (which I don't recommend if you acutally want to learn how to write, try Donald Murray's Write to Learn, it's much better).

Why he added so many horror elements to his writing during the 80s/90s is answered by the monkey he was carrying on his back--cocaine.
He's clean now, but he wrote most of his best lines when he was doing them.

If you can tell, I'm not partial to King.
I prefer Clive Barker for my horror fix.
^ Interesting. I've never read "On Writing" but back in 2004 apparently Roger Ebert thought quite highly of it, because he compared it to the defacto guide on writing, Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style"

Re: Ender's Game .. I feel like I'm one of the few people in the world that hasn't read that it.. Heh. I should probably pick it up at some point..

So back on topic, since we talked about Rowling and the fantasy genre, what about C.S. Lewis and "The Chronicles of Narnia" ??
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