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Classics vs.Moderns : Book Discussion • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Classics vs.Moderns

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sarrot
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Classics vs.Moderns

Postby sarrot » Sun May 29, 2011 5:01 pm


sarrot
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Classics vs.Moderns

Postby sarrot » Sun May 29, 2011 5:01 pm

I am not a professional writer. I love writing stories to pass the time. However, I feel that professional writers are gaining their inspiration from the wrong people. Any true writer must admit that the modern "masterpiece" is trash in comparision to true classics. I am not one to get on my soapbox, but since there has been no one that has mentioned any of these true classics including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Kafka, and the rest, I feel it is appropriate to give them their due.

I feel the big disappointment of modern writer today and feel ashamed that so many people miss the point. They try to hide their lack of humanity by using fancy words and tweeking sentences. Real life is raw, real life is emotional. Take for example Pierre in War and Peace. In the beginning of the book he is a bumbling fool, but in the end he is enlightened. What character today can successfully transition a fool to enlightenment? Further in this story is the conflict between duty and self, love and lust, good and evil, and above all humanity.

Another example in Dostoevsky lies in understanding the working of the human mind. We are thrown into a scene knowing nothing about what is going on, but when we continue through the story we realize what happened and how it will end. Who today could get away with calling a character literally "Smelly" and still take him seriously.

Lastly, we have a philisophical message that is lacking in all modern stories. They are so nihilistic and boring that I do not care a single bit of any of them. Take for example the works of Nietzsche. They are works of total isolation and the need to be greater then what man had become. Then on the flip side we have Kafka where man is doomed to live in squander with his fellow man.

There is no writer today that can equal any of these people. There is no excuse for it either. A writer can spend their lives writing bogus books that can be bought for a dollar or they can write something real, something meaningful. The above stories were not complex, nor were they written in fancy prose, they were real.

I know I am the wrong person to say this, since I myself am a lousy writer, but reading the classics (which i try to read every day for inspiration) then going to the modern writer, I see a huge falling on the latter.

Jamesaritchie
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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby Jamesaritchie » Mon May 30, 2011 6:41 am

I matter of taste, mostly. I love most of the classic wrietrs, and I think I've read them all. And modern day writer should read them, but they're no better than the best of today's writers, and I find nothing at all in Nietzsche to like, respect, or admire.

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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby sarrot » Mon May 30, 2011 10:37 am

I happen to disagree with that. If we stopped at Kafka and began the modern era, then it can clearly be seen that everything after that is crap. Every classic writer that is still publsihed is better than every modern writer today. Modern writing is pompous, self-centered, and nihilisitc. It is regurgatated crap reprocessed again and again. However, it is not that it models itself off the classics, but insults people and calls it thier own style. We have no characters that anyone can point to and say "Wow, I want to be like them." There is no one that I truly care about.
How can you say that The Twilight Saga, The Harry Potter Saga, Catcher in the Rye, A Seperate Peace, 1984, Farenheit 451 are any good?

Further, what is wrong with Nietzsche? His writing far outshines any of the people I have read and probably anyone has read.

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shadowwalker
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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby shadowwalker » Mon May 30, 2011 10:59 am

As I stated in another discussion, it's all opinion. Frankly, I think lumping *all* modern writers into "trash" wreaks of elitist bs.

But that's only my opinion...

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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby KarenRankowitz » Mon May 30, 2011 11:09 am


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shadowwalker
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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby shadowwalker » Mon May 30, 2011 11:46 am


Jamesaritchie
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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby Jamesaritchie » Mon May 30, 2011 2:45 pm


sarrot
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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby sarrot » Mon May 30, 2011 4:51 pm

I am a start up writer. If you read anything I posted (The Hunting Story, Ms. Brahms: Teacher of the Year, and Two Stories) you will see that I am not perfect. My grammar is bad and it needs tweeking. Yet, all these stories have something to them. I demand perfection in my writing. They are elitist. They are egotistical. They are something which demands work. It is easy to write a trashy story. I could write a trashy story if I wanted to. But if you are writing a trashy story then all that your work will be remembered as trash. As a writer you should be a little egotistical, elitist and the like; how else would you become a great writer?

Is not the classics an ideal to set oneself to? Is it wrong to demand the writing community to evaluate themselves and produce something worthy of the ages? Is it wrong to be egotictical, elitist?

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Re: Classics vs.Moderns

Postby shadowwalker » Tue May 31, 2011 2:40 am

What constitutes 'great writing' is always - ALWAYS - subjective. Because you have your idea of perfection does not mean that other writers' ideas are trash.

My suggestion - get over yourself, before it spills over into your writing.

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