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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on Today at 02:55:22 pm »
Examples aren't the point, I'm not trying to convince you of anything, just trying to understand you.
Same here! But I might be going slightly farther. I'm running my approach past you in hopes of getting valuable data. It might sound a bit utilitarian, but I sorely need an improvement to my system of getting content. So far I read about 10-20 books a year and drop about 10 more without finishing them, and it's not enough for me. I need probably twice as many to satisfy my needs. It's important to me since I'm a writer, too, and reading helps my writing. It puts me in the right mood.

And it's so rare for me to have an opportunity to talk about it that I couldn't resist holding onto this conversation. Like, this is why your example about not being able to read an American novel as an American is strange to me. It's actually much easier for me to speak with you about it than with people I interact with in Russian. You simply understand me faster (by an order of magnitude, no less). Around 10 posts, and we're already getting somewhere (or at least I am), while usually people just look at me uncomprehendingly at this point. Not to mention you know what "House of Leaves" is!

So, um, sorry for being verbose. And I deeply appreciate your time!

Are you open to anything goes ( I am ) or do you have preconceptions/prejudgment ( maybe you? )?
You got it right below, it's really not on this level of abstraction, but more specific. It's not that I would be contrary to new art or concepts, it's just I seek enjoyment first and foremost. It is connected, though. I have somewhat high standards, both because I've consumed a lot of content and because I'm a writer myself. It does clash with the fact that I basically like YA fiction or might exhibit idiosyncratic tastes (I was watching "Miraculous Ladybug" while reading "Echopraxia" and loved both; this is not a joke). But the fact is, I've also found that authors building on the work of others directly (instead of indirectly, i.e. by being inspired) are less competent. And less ambitious, which is also important for writing an interesting story.

That being said, I can tell, with reasonable amount of certainty, that something I've started to read is good only around 25% mark. Unfortunately, many books are hard to get into, and I often find myself stuck for days on first chapters. It just isn't at all constructive, and so I developed my system in part to avoid that exact situation. For example, I've read 4 chapters of "The Three-Body Problem", and they were not enjoyable, but I can't say yet whether the book is to my liking or not. But I'm also unable to continue reading it, which was established in multiple attempts at reading sessions. Obviously, it took time, and, just as obviously, hasn't produced a favorable result.

So, in theory I'm open to anything new as far as content goes, but in practice I have very real constraints dictated by me being a human with limited time and abilities. What I'm talking about is not a fundamental thing, but essentially what science was first called to do - a way of producing better results based on past experiences (or experiments). When we're talking fundamentals, I actively want to find something that would allow me to update my paradigm! In fact, that's what I'm trying to do by having this discussion.

The problem is, unfiltered input doesn't seem to produce good enough results for me, while filtered satisfies 50% of my reading needs. I'm actively seeking a way to increase that number.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by TaoHorror on Today at 01:58:28 pm »
Quote from: SmilerLoki
I maintain that I'm not being adamantly dismissive. I simply employ a strategy (based on my experience) for getting enjoyable content. It's like choosing food, only for books.

Examples aren't the point, I'm not trying to convince you of anything, just trying to understand you. I don't have one off hand, if I think of one later, I'll be sure to post it - but even if there hasn't been a single case where it has happened, it's still not the point - the whole point of this conversation is approach to new material/art. Are you open to anything goes ( I am ) or do you have preconceptions/prejudgment ( maybe you? )? It matters, imho - approach to the new/unknown impacts what we get out of our exposure to the new/unknown, do we allow ourselves to learn, to "update" our paradigm. I don't believe there is a perfect psychology - so there's a cost to my "openness" and I'm not proselyting anyone to be so themselves. I'm just trying to vet out your stance, to understand it. From what I can tell, your approach is for efficiency, to avoid wasting your time on something you think you won't like - as opposed to avoiding "being let down" by "bad" art.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on Today at 01:38:33 pm »
So you're perpetually disappointed with translations, I take it.
Oh yes, but for a different reason altogether. They are just bad. By which I mean factually wrong. By which I mean translating yes as no. And that's not even attempting to talk about style or actual artistic merit.

I can even write a prolonged example involving TTT's glossary to give you an idea just how bad it is.

So you don't read Russian translations of any American books?
Written in English, not necessarily American, yes. For 10 years now, I think.

Recommend you consider as learning English is cool and all, but reading an American novel in English would not be the same as reading it as an American would.
All people read differently and see different things. I assure you, your understanding of Dostoevsky would be sufficient if you read a - mythical - good translation. Yes, you would probably need to consult an encyclopedia more than once to understand some realities he's writing about, but there wouldn't be an inherent untraversable gap in your understanding if you actually want to understand.

Sure, you'll see some things differently considering your different cultural upbringing, but that doesn't diminish your understanding. If anything, it'll enrich mine if you share yours with me.

I would not be reading it as a Russian.
Russian, American, French, Chinese, I don't really see an intrinsic distinction. It's about learning and wanting to understand. Culture is a big thing, no question, but it doesn't strike me as even close to being that ingrained. Also, you should take into account the fact that Russia is pretty much a Western culture that's consuming American content for decades. Like, people here watch American TV, go to American movies, read American books - American content has a larger percentage of the market than whatever passes for modern Russian culture. In reality, Russian identity died with the Soviet Union. Right now it's a cadaver. It might not ever regenerate.

Sad, yes, but that's what I see.

That being said, some things are slowly becoming better. Very slowly.

I digress - well, if you're comfortable in your cage, I won't let you out.  ;)
I was kinda hoping you'll have some good examples. We don't have to agree about them, just something that worked for you.

I maintain that I'm not being adamantly dismissive. I simply employ a strategy (based on my experience) for getting enjoyable content. It's like choosing food, only for books.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by TaoHorror on Today at 12:59:13 pm »
not only could the work not suffer, it could well soar.

My problem is, I don't see positive examples, only negative ones.

So you're perpetually disappointed with translations, I take it. Kaufmann's translations of Nietzsche into English were quite the read ( back in the day, appears he's under scrutiny as of late ) and there are examples of translations being "better" then the original work as the translator needs to be more than bi-lingual, but be a writer in their own right. So you don't read Russian translations of any American books? Recommend you consider as learning English is cool and all, but reading an American novel in English would not be the same as reading it as an American would. I'm not going to learn Russian so I can read Dostoevsky, it would not be the same as reading it as "a Russian". Translations are my best course. Learning Russian would be cool, don't get me wrong - but doing so to read Russian novels in the original Russian language would not proffer the experience of a native reading it - even if I mastered Russian, immersed myself in Russian culture, living in Russia for decades, I would not be reading it as a Russian.

I digress - well, if you're comfortable in your cage, I won't let you out.  ;)
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on Today at 12:03:58 pm »
not only could the work not suffer, it could well soar.
That's why I can agree only in theory. It could, yes, but I have never seen that happen.

And it's not that I model my taste, I save my time. I'm really not able to read anything there is to read, so if there is little chance for something to be good, I avoid it. It's not strict, I can be persuaded to change my stance on a particular work. Like, I've finished the first book of "Codex Alera" even taking into account I initially judged it really boring. But I had some suspicions about the series getting more to my liking somewhere along the line, and MSJ was able to confirm them. But that's much more than I can say about spin-offs or sequels written by other writers.

I have another example. I love "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (it's a TV Show), so naturally, when Joss Whedon (the creator of Buffy) decided to continue it as a comic after the show was cancelled, I tried it out. And discovered that it doesn't work in another medium. Like, it had everything I enjoyed about a Joss Whedon's show, except it didn't work. Without living actors actually speaking all of his - usually great - lines they felt empty and artificial. There was nothing left where before I'd seen endearing characters. In this example, the original author remained, only the medium changed.

My problem is, I don't see positive examples, only negative ones.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by TaoHorror on Today at 11:44:49 am »
I hear ya - for every one that's a gem, there's probably 10 that are abominations. But that doesn't stop me from prohibiting myself from having expectations.
There are correlations, though. For example, when a series starts to employ other authors than the original one(s), its quality suffers. I've seen it with "DragonLance" (important, because that series was way, way less than stellar to begin with), with many anthologies "in the world of" Tolkien, even with "The Wheel of Time". Granted, the last one was inevitable since the original author died before finishing the series. And I'm saying this while considering Brandon Sanderson a good writer and being very grateful for his work on "The Wheel of Time".

And then there are series that employ many writers from the start. To date, I haven't read anything good from that crowd.

It's not about not giving people a chance to create good works, it's about empirical evidence. Essentially, I agree with Martin here. It's better for writers to create their own worlds. Gives them more freedom, at the same time requiring more thought and discipline.

I don't share your self imposed modeling of taste, I follow no rules, I don't resign myself to disappointment before reviewing the work - I'm open to anything, including another author jumping in to finish an author's work, not only could the work not suffer, it could well soar.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on Today at 11:32:10 am »
I hear ya - for every one that's a gem, there's probably 10 that are abominations. But that doesn't stop me from prohibiting myself from having expectations.
There are correlations, though. For example, when a series starts to employ other authors than the original one(s), its quality suffers. I've seen it with "DragonLance" (important, because that series was way, way less than stellar to begin with), with many anthologies "in the world of" Tolkien, even with "The Wheel of Time". Granted, the last one was inevitable since the original author died before finishing the series. And I'm saying this while considering Brandon Sanderson a good writer and being very grateful for his work on "The Wheel of Time".

And then there are series that employ many writers from the start. To date, I haven't read anything good from that crowd.

It's not about not giving people a chance to create good works, it's about empirical evidence. Essentially, I agree with Martin here. It's better for writers to create their own worlds. Gives them more freedom, at the same time requiring more thought and discipline.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by TaoHorror on Today at 10:58:44 am »
I don't put restrictions on artistic expression. There have been several fine interpretations of art that are great. I judge the work for what it is without consulting crowd opinion and/or relationship to the original artist.
Theoretically, I agree. In practice, I got burned so often that a defense has formed.

I hear ya - for every one that's a gem, there's probably 10 that are abominations. But that doesn't stop me from prohibiting myself from having expectations.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on Today at 04:07:42 am »
I don't put restrictions on artistic expression. There have been several fine interpretations of art that are great. I judge the work for what it is without consulting crowd opinion and/or relationship to the original artist.
Theoretically, I agree. In practice, I got burned so often that a defense has formed.
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General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« Last post by Jabberwock03 on August 14, 2018, 08:33:10 pm »
Even if the book are enough for the main story, wouldn't you like to see a spinoff in another format?
As a general rule, I detest spin-offs. It they involve other authors, I don't acknowledge their existence altogether.

In my mind, it was obvious that Bakker would be at the story part of the new media.
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