Literary corner.

Yes, for those of you who for some reason or another haven't been following TABNet compulsively, we have been discussing literature: particularly the poll in England naming the Lord of the Rings as the greatest literary work of the 20th century. And thanks to my itchy capture finger, you too will get to follow these threads through from their initial intellectual origins through to their debasement and finally to rants about drugs, sex in Shakspeare, and the Simpsons.

Contained within are also a partial list of our own chosen "Most MEDIOCRE literary works of the 20th century", as well as a special quote at the bottom. To further your comprehension of the discussion, we have provided a slight legend below to make clear who is saying what and who they are, and in the main body of the text itself we have quoted, repeated, cut and pasted where the conversations grew most fluid so as to maintain the greatest sense of continuity.

And now... the legend!

CT = Cthulu, the obsessive message capturer
SYL = Sylphid, the devil's advocate
TZ = Tzygar, also known as Pure Voltage
JB = Jesus Bonehead, thunk thunk amen
HF = Happyfish, whee, splash
FD = Fade, likes heavy metal
GB = Geekboy, most recently of Sock
PH = Purple Haze, lost in a cloud of smoke
PE = Pedantik, bubblewrap technician
SK = Silent Knight, bad speler par excelance
GS = Grigor Samsa, not in a pig costume
ICN = The Iconoclast, ragged edges and all
ZK = Zinnia Kray, lost in Japan
COU = Courtisan, one more boring Jon
DH = D.H. Lawrence Sez What? = Grigor Samsa
MJ = Meija, frontman for Zeke the Wonder Nugget
RO = Reed Oboe = D.H. Lawrence Sez What? = Grigor Samsa = Merlyn (oops,
gave it away)

And now... ladies and gentlemen... the conversations!

from: Cthulu
to  : All
subj: bibble.

CT> Well.  In a poll in England, they named Lord of the Rings as the
CT> greatest literary work of the 20th century.  What do you think of that?
CT>
TZ> I second that thought. Best book I've ever red.
TZ>
TZ> Pv
SYL>
SYL> it deserves it
SYL>
CT> But the greatest work of the century?
CT>
GS> Nope.
GS>
GS> Not to discount it, though; it's on my list of favourites.
GS>
CT> Beating out all of the Ulysseses, the Dunes, the Metamorphosises, the
CT> Gravity's Rainbows, the 1984s and the Brave New Worlds?
GS>
GS> Of these, I'd say only Ulysses and GR would be competing. Nifty as the
GS> others are, they're not quite in the same class.
GS>
GS> Hey, it's still happening, every time I go into Granville Book to buy
GS> something, like say that Good Omens, I come out with something completely
GS> different. Today I went in with a plan to get Invisible Man or The
GS> Recognitions or Carpenter's Gothic or Lolita or Infinite Jest, and
GS> instead I came out with Arc d'X. But I got a funky Rocketman bookmark,
GS> and that's all that rilly matters.
GB>
GB>  Speaking of this, there is only one copy of gravity's rainbow in the
GB>  north vancouver library system.
GB>
GB>   Dune is probably best, or maybe bnw. or 1984.
GB>
GB>   why does there have to be a best Book of the century? Who decides these
GB>  things anyway?
JB>
JB> They round up a bunch of self-acclaimed literary critiques which are
JB> usually hasbeen artists and old oxford school teachers and take their
JB> word as gold.
JB>
JB> or they flip a coin

...

CT> Beating out all of the Ulysseses, the Dunes, the Metamorphosises, the
CT> Gravity's Rainbows, the 1984s and the Brave New Worlds?
SYL>
SYL> let's see.. ulysses was good, but full of a lot of crap and not nearly
SYL> as imaginative.  dune could have deserved it, of course (i would be
SYL> happy with either).  metamorphosis most CERTAINLY doesn't deserve that
SYL> title, i haven't read gravity's rainbow, and 1984 and bnw just aren't on
SYL>  the same scale.
ICN>
ICN> 1984 and BNW certainly didn't deserve it.  1984 was a powerful book,
ICN> that really made me think, but the blunt and unimaginative symbolism
ICN> made me want to puke. (not to mention that it wasn't particularily an
ICN> original work, if you've read "We" then you'd notice how much of 1984
ICN> stems from it.)
ICN>
ICN> BNW just didn't seem that relevant.  Not as much as the other
ICN> anti-utopian society books.
COU>
COU> because it isn't totally anti-utopian.
SK>
SK> If I might interject I believe that DIStopian is the word you're looking
SK> for.
HF>
HF> If I might interject I believe that dystopian is the word YOU'RE looking
HF> for. =)
HF>
SK> Did I mention that I'm a terrible speller ? 8)
SK>
CT> In any event, there remains a difference between showing the flaws of an
CT> utopian ideal and denouncing the entire concept as impossible.

...

PH> I read a majority of the book while consuming acid (which helped to
PH> relive a lot of the scenes and battles on my kitchen floor...)
PH> And I have to agree...
PH> It doesn't make you feel guilty or scare you personally (like some OTHER
PH> books) and yet it takes you on an incredible ride through fantastic lands
PH> not too different from ours, yet far more magically charged...
PH>
PH> Yah.. I liked it...

...

PE> greatest fantasy work of the 20th century, maybe..
PE>
PE> but the GREATEST OF EVERYTHING?
PE>
PE> argh.. i dunno.
PE>
PE> on the subject of literature, i'm working on my shakespeare learning
PE> centre project for tommorow STILL.
PE>
PE> FACK
PE>
DH> Speaking of which, here's a bit of trivia: did you know that Shakespeare
DH> puns on the word cunt?
DH>
DH> They usually sort of skip this when teaching it in highschool, though.
DH>
PE> how so?
PE>
ZK> They taught it to me.  But I went to a bleeding-heart,
ZK> affirmative-action, liberal wussy communist feminazi school where that
ZK> sort of thing was considered funny and educational.
ZK>
ZK> Chaucer was punnier, though.

...

JB> What? That book was a long-winded utterly dull fantasy dreamed up by
JB> someone who was on opiates.. "Kevjbha and Kuwiwuaa walked through the
JB> forest of iielakg in the northern Blahjksook of IglIIaak.  Kevjbha
JB> dreamed of white ladjf92ns and baalldodkkasz and suddenly appeared a
JB> monotine kkajaklLaouboraaic with spell # 500"
JB>
PH> HAHAHAHA... yup... that's about it... I preferred spell #729-b (for use
PH> on the undead only...)
PH>
JB> I guess if you're into D&D stuff you'd appreciate it more.. hmm.
JB>
PH> indeed...
PH>
JB> I read the first book, then like the three towers or some shit than
JB> stopped halfway through out of complete utter boredom.
JB>
PH> SHIT man... you should have started dropping and reading then...
PH> That was about the point I did... the shit just gets bonkers after the
PH> halfway point...
PH>
JB> That wouldn't work.. how am I supposed to read the words? I remember
JB> having to read a chapter in Socials 10 for silent reading and I was
JB> peaking at the  time.. not only was I too distracted by thousands of mini
JB> hallucinations to  read but the words were MESsSEd

...

COU> i think there are still another 3 years left, so they are judging a
COU> little prematurely.
CT>
CT> Isn't that a bit pretentious of you?
CT>
COU> Possibly. But it's alot more premature of them.
COU>
GB>  trainspotting.

...

ZK> I never managed to read very much of it.  Boring.
ZK>
ZK> In grade 9 we had Sustained Silent Reading before science class, and I
ZK> had the first book with me. I never read anything except the scene with
ZK> Smeldeag (sp?) and his friend, when one killed the other for the ring.
ZK>
ZK> I loved the way they spoke.
CT>
CT> Sm‚agol and his friend...
CT> er..
CT>
CT> Deagol.

...

MJ> i dont know.. but i've found lots of people have no taste.
MJ>
MJ> but i havent read lord of the rings.
MJ>
TZ>  It's the anti-christ! Satan himself! Cthulu, get the priest!
TZ>
TZ> Pv
TZ>
MJ> the book doesnt interest me in the least.

...

TZ>  It's the anti-christ! Satan himself! Cthulu, get the priest!
CT>
CT> "He'll be out in a second..."
CT>
CT> (behind curtains, cthulu is visible changing  into black robes and a
CT> funny looking hat.)
HF>
HF> Green robes and a funny hat not formal enough?
HF>
TZ> Pv looks at this odd sight and says "You're a priest?!"
TZ>
TZ> "Don't look at the man behind the curtains!"
TZ>
TZ> "This isn't the wizard of oz you nut!"
TZ>
TZ> Pv

...

CT> Well.  In a poll in England, they named Lord of the Rings as the
CT> greatest literary work of the 20th century.  What do you think of that?
CT>
FD> Too difficult to judge the greatest and the worst...
CT>
CT> The most mediocre work of the 20th century, then?
CT>
CT> Typhoon, by Joseph Conrad.
CT> yeah.
SYL>
SYL> a separate peace, by knowles.
SYL>
SYL> "i hardly consider that at the grade 9 reading level" -lisa simpson
SYL>
SYL> i hate that book with a passion.
SYL>
JB> I don't know, I've read some SERIOUSLY boring Saskatchewan short stories
JB> in English 11.
JB>
ICN> The outsiders, by s.e. hinton.
ICN>
ICN> ugh.
PE>
PE> hah.
PE>
PE> i had to read that in grade 8.

...

RO> Quote of the day:
RO>
RO> "Ebonics be stupid." -- Spike Lee

Now how was THAT for pseudo-intellectualism? Longer words, if no nobler sentiments, than you'd find on most message nets, weren't they? And for those of you who don't live in the 604 but aside from a strange aversion to the areacode but a peculiar willingness to call long distance, you can also read TABNet off of The Extremist's board in Quebec, City iZ Burning!

...

okay, I lied. There's a bit more to this article.

It's relevant, though! It's about books!
Society in general!
And something you can do about it easily and quickly!
(especially with a good script generator)

...

The following e-mail was received this afternoon from my son who is a computer science student at UVic. If we can get more books into the hands of children, especially at hospitals, sounds like too good an opportunity to pass up. - Carolyn Prellwitz, Cowichan District Teachers' Association

____________________________________________________

Houghton Mifflin Publishing Corporation will donate one book to a children's hospital for every 25 e-mails they receive. Please e-mail them at:

share@hmco.com.

I hope you can spare the seconds . . . and let your friends know. So far they have only received 3,400 messages. Last year they reached 23,000.