What post-modern literature is actually worth reading? I read Infinite Jest, and that was genre fiction tier, some Pynchon, not really worth mentioning, I read Ulysses and that made the other two look like pissants. Where are the real books, guys? these authors feel like robbery, where's a serious author that doesnt rely on gimmicks, and can actually write a damn sentence?
OP here, and I have read Gaddis, one of the greatest of his time, without a doubt. Gass, i have not gotten around to, and Barth i felt was just as juvenile as pynchon, I grew disgusted with his work when I got to the Pirate rape fest in Sot-Weed factor. I had liked it very much until then. Hawkes, I will have to research. perec and schmidt, I will also have to research. Thank you all, I definitely have some hopeful books from this. If they're anything similar to Gaddis, then I will be greatly pleased.
Unfortunately, it doesnt look like I'll be able to get the Tunnel any time soon, that's frustrating. I did look through the first pages, and I have to ask, as a sensitive boy, is there a lot of rape in it? I know rape is an essential topic in an epic scope, but is it rife with rape from your memory? It really breaks it for me, not that I'm a social justice warrior, but i feel it's artificially inserted by authors for shock value.
not that i know of, i really don't care for dfw nor pynchon, but really enjoy Joyce and Gaddis, and hoped that there were more matured geniuses who had realized their potential during their lifetimes.
>Unfortunately, it doesnt look like I'll be able to get the Tunnel any time soon, that's frustrating. I did look through the first pages, and I have to ask, as a sensitive boy, is there a lot of rape in it? I know rape is an essential topic in an epic scope, but is it rife with rape from your memory? It really breaks it for me, not that I'm a social justice warrior, but i feel it's artificially inserted by authors for shock value.
>I know rape is an essential topic in an epic scope
>rape is an essential topic
in an epic scope if you're trying to present humanity, i think it's somewhat essential to at least mention it. i cringe when it's added to a work, because even just its reference is enough to help someone understand a theme, i agree with you though, for the most part, i'd rather it not exist, and struggle to read books that revel in it. I try to approach it seriously and deal with it that way.
weenies? i can do that, not so much rape though :P
Yeah, I don't know where you heard about the rape stuff, but there ain't much of that shit in The Tunnel. Kohler, the main character, does pay a small boy to jerk him off in a park, though.
that's a relief. I'll have to get a copy of it. It's probably true, i'm not a huge fan of post-modernism i guess. I like some of the works definitely, but i guess i'm more of an older literature type of person, more conventional literature. I think that's why Gaddis appeals, he definitely is rooted in those brilliant works from the past.
i guess so. yeah, i felt like those books had worthwhile stuff in them, but it was definitely underwhelming. i don't want to shit on anyone who likes pynchon or dfw, but i won't pretend like it was great art, not that i'm an ultimate judge of it, but it definitely doesnt wash over you like some of the old masters, they feel clunky and modern and i guess insincere and cynical. it's hard to explain why it wasnt compelling for me. i figured people would be able to talk about it in this thread.
His writing is the hardest of any author I've read. At least you can parse Gaddis and Gass. With McElroy, because of his syntactical wizardry, I can't even recognize the sentence.
Example: "An unidentified arrival up there on the board other armed watchers see the diversity as this heavy out of nowhere, Asian or GI--how did he get in? through the ceiling painted with lyrebirds and Egyptian vultures, arabesques of paradise with magenta wings?--hailing from up there this witness his friend it seemed seeing me who aims a standard videogames automatically hurriedly from the hip, the chest, heart, history, keeping in my pocket in reserve the world's neatest mini able to take stills too.
They're good books by good writers in my opinion, but no more than that. When someone talks about top tier, we're talking Goethe and Tolstoy caliber. Now, I'm not saying a work has to be as important and beautiful as Faust to be considered top tier, but it definitely has to be good enough to stand aside and not be eclipsed by it.
Ulysses definitely is a great book who fits in the top tier category, but who can say that Infinite Jest does too? That's just plain ignorance.
This board is great for recommendations and discussions (sometimes), but there's plenty of kids here who started reading maybe two years ago and take this board's over hyped books as the real thing and even shit all over excellent literature like 1984 just because they consume the hate trend that people here gave it and that's it. It spreads like cancer.
It's all good with the start with the Greeks meme, but that recommendation that's half joke and half serious gets lost somewhere in the middle. Read your fucking classics, the same that the writer you like read when he found a passion in literature and not only are you going to find beauty where you didn't expect it, you're also going to understand the basics so you can form actual educated opinions and not look like a retarded cunt repeating what you saw in a /lit/ thread.
Anyway, I guess 4chan is full of hipsters.
Yes, I'm mad.
His writing is the hardest of any author I've read. At least you can parse Gaddis and Gass. With McElroy, because of his syntactical wizardry, I can't even recognize the sentence.
Example: "An unidentified arrival up there on the board other armed watchers see the diver as this heavy out of nowhere, Asian or GI--how did he get in? through the ceiling painted with lyrebirds and Egyptian vultures, arabesques of paradise with magenta wings?--hailing from up there this witness his friend it seemed seeing me who aims a standard videocam automatically hurriedly from the hip, the chest, heart, history, keeping in my pocket in reserve the world's neatest mini able to take stills too.
Infinite Jest and GR are entry level American pomo. As other anon's mentioned, Gaddis is awesome. Hawkes is pretty great, and very influential (for example, he was Jeffrey Eugonides (sp) teacher).
Next level shit is Gass and McElroy, which is truly obscure and esoteric shit. McElroy is almost impossible to read, but he is worth the effort. Making it through Cannonball was almost life changing as a reader.
Not mentioned in this thread was Barthelme, who is also a must-read. Just pick up some short stories.
>only a matter of time
gass and mcelroy are puffed up pseudointellectual drivel that pretentious hipsters read and display on their shelves to assert moral superiority over their social, cultural, and financial betters.
Infinite Jest isn't worth reading at all. Wallace basically sapped the content of DeLillo novels and the form of Baker and Pynchon novels. Foster Wallace is actually entirely skippable unless you want to date 21 year old college-age boys. In which case, you'll want something to talk about with them. IJ is a bad novel but it's written in a cute style I guess. It's not very hard on the brain.
Pynchon is alright, though I think V. -> Lot 49 -> done is an okay enough sampling. GR isn't an essential read. It really, REALLY isn't.
Gass WAS a fantastic short story/novel writer. Heart of the Heart of the Country -> Omensetter's Luck -> done. Don't read anything after those two. He lost his creativity in his 40s. The Tunnel is a disaster.
Gaddis: The Recognitions -> done. None of his other novels had the originality of the first. JR is a neat concept but not a fun read and you're not going to get much out of it. Nobody should pretend otherwise. I haven't read his two novels after that but I suspect it's the same deal.
You should sample the French Nouveaux Romans. If you know french, they're easy in the original language for the most part. Most of them are pretty matter-of-fact with their language. Robbe-Grillet is one of the best.
Nabokov's "postmodern" novels aren't very good. Read Pale Fire once to say you have, read Brian Byrd Brownnosings so that you understand that the King isn't real and neither is the reader and that Nabokov is actually not a real person but a hidden entry in the index blah blah blah. It's an interesting but very dry novel. Ada is a poor novel that's occasionally charming in the second and fifth sections. Transparent Things is a fantastic novella and imo his best fiction period -- has the charm of Pnin and the wackiness of Pale Fire... and is better written than both of them. Charlatans! and whatever else after Transparent Things is just senile-material. His Russian novels are good but not "postmodern".
Barthelme's stories are good.
Coover is mostly kind-of-silly material but Public Burning is actually a really accessible, really funny novel. By accessible it's like a less crude, funnier version of South Park's comedy style. Hope that doesn't turn you off.
McElroy's early novels are very slow but conceptually some of the most interesting you'll find. Don't read Women and Men, it's a disaster. His novels after it suck too. Just stick with his stuff from the sixties and seventies.
Fowles is a very disappointing novelist. I think The Magus was a very fun traditional novel until about page 200ish. Then Fowles decides to play with the fact he's read Lacan and Jung and Freud, and pretend he has something to say. It's just sad, the first 200 pages of the book are worth reading.
Borges isn't a "postmodern" novelist. Don't buy that from anyone here.
Anyways most of it's garbage imitating the above authors and others I didn't mention and don't like: Barth, Hawkes, etc.
Underworld is written to the critics and academics. The early works are very fresh and original.
about 80 percent. I've read complete english works of Nabokov; as I admitted, only Gaddis' first two novels; a few McElroys, about 200 pages of WaM before I dropped it; most of Barthelme's stories; some Coover stories and small novels and ofc Public Burning; a few Robbe-Grillet novels, not much french n-r's other than that; Fowles I've only read The Magus and wished I didn't; I've read the first 100 pages of The Tunnel and laughed about how horribly academic it was. Read the other two Gass works listed a while ago, before this board seemed to like him; about 200 pages of IJ before I had to stop from reading garbage; Pynchon through GR, and some of Mason and Dixon; Sot-weed factor and Giles Goat Boy and Lost at the Funhouse, hated all three; Hawkes I read The Lime Twig.
I'm really not that well read in Prose, especially after about 1940 or so. I don't really like postmodern fiction at all, so I've read only the basics. I really prefer reading poetry, too, so I don't read novels much anymore. When it comes to POETRY I know for sure I'm the best-read on the board other than flowerposter. Which isn't a high bar, because only like 4 people here read poetry seriously.
well. that.. uh. okay.
yeah, that's about how i feel.
OP here, and i appreciate the time you took to offer your opinion. I think this sort of confirms my opinions on Post Modernism in general, in that it's a very sparse field of literature for quality. I think i'm going to go back to the russians i havent finished yet and fill in the gaps there along with a few brits and a fresh copy of Orlando Furioso i got recently before i decide to come back to Pomo. I just don't like feeling guilty for abandoning some part of literature's history because i simply don't enjoy it in any way. I think i'm coming to a point in my life where proving myself doesnt matter anymore, and I should just read what I like. When the only challenge is forcing yourself to read something in spite of boredom, then I can just move on. again, I appreciate your input, and the input of others on this thread!
>I think i'm going to go back to the russians i havent finished yet and fill in the gaps there along with a few brits and a fresh copy of Orlando Furioso i got recently before i decide to come back to Pomo.
Oh yes, please do that instead (I'm the person with the long post) -- trust me, just go back to even the early 20th and you'll find a bigger wealth. The greatest poets and novelists of the 20th century were all born in the 19th, and came in a single, glorious wave. I personally don't like Russian novels all that much but Gogol and Tolstoy are far superior (and far less academic) than anything I listed.
You know nothing about Gaddis, or Hawkes. I agree with you about Nabokov though.
JR is masterful, and Agape Agape is the culmination of his style and Bernard's influence.
Have you actually read the Beetle Leg or the Lime Twig? I doubt it.
I've been reading for a couple decades, man. There isn't a way for me to prove it without seeming like a e-dick measuring contest, but I've read just about every book posted on this board. Seriously, nothing compares to McElroy.
I've read most of what you said I haven't. I said in my post above I haven't read past JR. It was a huge turnoff. neat concept, poorly executed novel. Something I would have liked in high school but doesn't impress me much now. The older I get the closer I get to only reading Shakespeare, Dante, Melville, etc. over and over again. There's just so much more there.
Fair enough man, sorry if I got offended. I'm just sick of people on this board shitting on stuff they haven't read.
JR had it's weaknesses. I would highly suggest finishing Gaddis's works though, there are only a couple more and it's well worth your time. His dialogue is almost flawless.
As for Hawkes, if you didn't like those he probably isn't for you. Maybe try the Blood Oranges, but it's pretty similar to the Lime Twig.
What the best piece of FICTION I've read, you mean?
I like Tolstoy, Melville, Hawthorne, Joyce, some aspects of Lawrence, and... that's about it. I mostly read poetry. Very few novels have captured my attention the same way Shakespeare can.
My favorite PROSE? Sorry, but I don't care about nice alliteration in a story. I read for the story. This is what most readers do. If I want formal experiments with language I'll read poetry. Novels are for the content.
> His dialogue is almost flawless.
Very much agree, I'll give you that. Though I'm mostly thinking about the parties in Recognitions. If he got anywhere near that later on, I'll read it.
Maybe I'll reread Hawkes in the far future but again, I mostly read poetry and rarely read novels much anymore.
(oh I also love Flaubert, Stendhal, and Kafka.)
No shit you Fucking retard.
He's not postmodern.
No Schmidt scholar that I have talked to considers him a postmodernist.
You're just a pleb that has just discovered him so you think you're cool
The parties in The Recognitions were the defining point for me as well. Those were impeccably done.
assuming you're the same longposter, I think we share the same sentiment about a lot of stuff. the only thing is that in terms of older literature, I'm woefully underfulfilled. I think I pushed myself and read for challenge, fearing i'd be intellectually left behind in some grand race, and I lost sight of what brought me into literature in the first place, It's hard to break away from the sense that there's something newer and better on the horizon while reading old dusty books that most people have forgotten or don't care about. I'm going back. I'm going back and finding the roots of literature, I'm going back to where arms are wide open and welcoming me instead of mocking me as they do now. All but gaddis so far i've felt as so hollow, and maybe that's why gaddis was so potent, his recognitions was a statement of kinship with all of us who felt that hollowness. The Postmodernist movement can wait, while i go back and finish my proper literary education with the masters. I think they'll be lucky if i ever return.
There are many postmodern qualities in Zettels Traum. Read the actual novel before you make stupid claims based of these imaginary scholars you have talked to. Funny that somebody that doesnt know German happens to know multiple SChmidt scholars! FAGGOT
>he thinks text aligned in 3 distinct and continuously changing columns isn't a postmodern quality
>he thinks 1000 pages of stream of consciousness isn't postmodern
sorry faggot ik you werent expecting to bet blown the fuck out by somebody who actually read it.. now all you got is baseless insults. english isnt even my first language and i can still develop a thought in it better than you!
>backs them up with personal insults instead of facts
>talked to multiple Schmidt scholars
I'm sure you can elaborate on how the 17 x 12.5 inches pages, where the photo-reproductions of Schmidt's typescripts that tell the story of two Poe translators and their corybantic daughter (center column) country visit to Scmidt's alter-ego Daniel Pagenstecher and the rumination of the day's activities (right column) and fragments of poet (left column) (which I doubt you knew) is indicative of postmodernism.
He defies classification, you colossal faggot.
Kek took that straight out of a wikipedia article.. And yes they prevent immersion into the text, which is a distinguishing quality of postmodern fiction.
But yeah, I agree it defies classification. But no more than someone like Joyce who we are all so quick to classify. I was just giving OP a suggestion m8. German is my first language. I could never read a book like FW in English, and wouldnt bother reading it in German.. Enjoy being let down when the translation drops in september
>All these kids insulting each other and defending their tasteless, pretentious books
I'd love to see them reading the masterpieces that make literature one of the most beautiful creations of the human race and keep saying IJ is the shit
>Kek took that straight out of a wikipedia article.
all this damage control
find the wiki. i'll wait. I'm sure you haven't read everything by him.
>not contributing to the Arno Schmidt Stiftung
stay dilettante m8
Jeez OP, I don't mind your opinion about any of the authors from the previous meme-trilogy, but being this edgy is just cringe.
You can't come here, saying that widely respected and acclaimed authors are too "juvenile" for you while not being able to handle rape in your literature.
Also you must be at least 18 to come here, so yeah, get out.
>Implying postmodernism had anything to redeem
>Implying we haven't had this argument 1000 times
Postmodernism is just genre fiction for edgy teens with self-confidence issues. There's no use, if you are still reading postmodernism unironically I genuinely feel bad for you.
how is it juvenile for not enjoying it when rape is artificially placed into a novel? I specifically said it was fine if it's done in a way that is sincere and makes sense, but for example, the mass rape of an entire slave ship in sot-weed factor, in a book that is constantly called "hilarious" is not, in my opinion, anything more than juvenile and sexually degenerate. You can be angry that I think pynchon is juvenile and that dfw is juvenile, but it doesnt change that one of them has wheelchair assassins in their fucking tome, and the other, a fucking banana breakfast. it's not serious literature, man. it's a joke. you might laugh, and that's fine, but when i don't want a joke, i won't be chided when i call them out for what they are.
I'm not sure you get the purpose of postmodernism at all. Asking for sincerity and seriousness in a postmodern novel and being triggered when it is quirky and inventive is hilarious in itself, but then arguing about it over the internet on a imageboard for japanese cartoons is just pure gold. This has to be a joke right?
I'm sure it was a pleasant conversation, but it was nonetheless undoubtedly meaningless and filled with incorrect information and edgy posts. I'm sure it was great though because of how pleasant it was.
ridicule will get you nowhere. i may be wrong in expecting sincerity from post-modernism, you're probably exactly right. not sure why you think a pirate ship mass rape is "quirky" or "inventive", but that shows how shallow your thoughts are. not my fault that i had hoped that this style of writing wasnt going to be hollow and altogether pointless.
Your view of postmodernism is delusional and you seem to be reading it for all the wrong reasons. The purpose was not to ridicule you, your comprehension of it all is just not there, playfulness and absurdity is everywhere and if you can't find the enjoyment in it then it simply isn't for you.
I just find your ignorance fascinating. It's just as if your point of view is so narrow-minded and exhausted that nothing else fits. It's not about your scene of mass rape on a pirate ship, its about you missing the point, as you are repeatedly doing.
Yes Wallace/Pynchon is a hit or a miss, just as many other postmodern authors. Personally I recognize their efforts and find some parts impressive, and other parts sparsely so.
My problem is, you are saying that it's bad literature and you have yet to be impressed, you want heavier stuff, the real guns. Well they are not bad at postmodernism, so you can impossibly want better postmodernism, only better literature.
once again, i never said they weren't good authors. i said i thought they were juvenile or simplistic. at this point we're essentially in agreement. I'm expecting too much out of post-modernism, and i've come to my own conclusions about my future reading as a result of this disappointment. I'm not triggered when a book is funny, or silly, instead, I was disappointed when I expected some kind of genius to shine through the gimmicks. It happened when I read certain modernist or post modernist works, a genius shone through the cynicism and the playfulness. You can call it ignorance, that's fine. I don't expect everything to fall into one category or another.
I started with this, and I think this is how i'll end. not out of superiority, but out of appreciation for a true work of art.
all in all, it's Dali vs. Rembrandt. i can appreciate Dali, but Rembrandt is in another realm that scratches a much more noticeable itch.
Yeah I guess we are in agreement.
Whatever really, thing is you asked for better postmodernism and there are certainly better authors writing postmodernism, I'm just not sure they are writing better postmodernism.
I think postmodernism is often wonderful, mimicking our current reality of absurdity. Once you grasp the message whatever author is trying to communicate and you see it in everyday life it really is an experience.
Also, I think that rather than waiting for the genius to shine through the silliness, you should make an effort of really trying to depict the message.
Postmodernism really isn't patrician and lacks any kind of "fine art" vibe to it, but that doesn't stop it from being genius, it's just a matter of clicking or not.
i do make the effort, but when in some instances an author is almost perverse in their obfuscation, it's frustrating. It's like knowing you're being toyed with, and after going through the motions, not getting shit out of it. Feeling like it was more for the entertainment of the author than the reader. Which i can't blame them for.
well, if you want to be crude, i am a rape baby, and it bothers the shit out of me, buddy. first fuckin page of the tunnel has rape in it, and i was wondering if it was a prevalent topic throughout, and as reading is primarily a thing of enjoyment for me, I'd rather not read about it. It's not something that I feel is a question of maturity. I've read a few books that had scenes of rape, and have pushed through, and in the end, most of those weren't worth the time. I'm sorry I don't like rape, and i'm sorry that you do, here are your edgy updoots.
>i can appreciate Dali, but Rembrandt is in another realm that scratches a much more noticeable itch.
Funny, we have pretty much the opposite view on this, as well as on postmodernism. Ah, well.
i can respect that, i'm a fan of both, just one more than the other. actually, i had a dali print for a short time when i was selling stuff online that i'd find from local auctions. it was very neat to have it, it was loosely based on some of his art that depicted Don Quixote, i have a picture of it..
>what a fucking idiot
why would anyone read 1000 pages novels if the first 200 pages are poorly written academic showcases
I can read 30 lines of Donne and get much more than reading 1000 pages of Wallace
fuck, I can read a stanza of Donne and get more than what I can out of Wallace
>Could you do better?
I'm just as biased if not more biased than flowerposter. I don't consider William Carlos Williams a poet. I don't like Milton much. I do not recommend reading a single poem in translation. I'm lukewarm on Eliot. I probably overrate a bunch of pre-Elizabethan English poetry. I underrate many of the Romantics. I live and die by the Metaphysicals. My favorite living poets are Jay Wright, Geoffrey Hill, and Ashbery. I am never impressed with "formal experimentalism" for the sake of it. I will call you retarded if you even mention the name Ben Lerner, prose OR "poetry". I do not consider Frank O'Hara worth reading. I do not consider Philip Larkin to be worth reading, nor any of the confessionals other than an occasional Berryman poem. Jay Wright and Hayden are the only two black poets I can name, that I've read and thought were actually good as poets, and not as just "black poets". There are no living good female poets. There were no good living female poets a week ago before CD Wright died. Emily Dickinson is in my top ten. My favorite form is the sonnet. I adore Walt Whitman. I consider Dante the best poet of all ages. Shakespeare is second.
I'm a bit too polarizing to make a "chart"
i'm amazed that this thread is still alive.
everyone is entitled to enjoy their dfw and pynchon. more power to em. i'm coasting on new waters now though, and i can happily say i'm not looking back.
Hey, you only get the level of rhetoric that you bring to the table.
I'd like to know what you people see in these top tier works, what makes them so special? So if someone could explain to me exactly what it is that gives these books depth I'd be very grateful.
you have to remember that rape is a social construct.
if the law said marriage equals consent then your wife didn't have a leg to stand on legally if you wanted to fuck and she didn't