Here I thought people read in part to challenge their worldview. If your worldview is entirely composed of the ideas of straight white males, it's pretty limited.
One of the joys of reading literature is putting yourself into the shoes of someone totally different to yourself. It flexes your ability as a reader, makes you a better reader, if you can read and empathise with a perspective that resembles something completely different to your own.
Why do you think everyone here has read Infinite Jest?
The quotation on that sweater comes from the surreal Alejandro Jodorowsky film "The Holy Mountain" - or from its English language dub, at any rate (The movie and Jodorowsky are Latin American; J bounced around various countries down there in the first part of his life). In context, there is a sequence of the film where Axon, the fascist Chief of Police who represents the planet Neptune, castrates a new lover/disciple, part of his large army of same. In Axon's shrine in a sort of gay Master/slave consecration, the new castrati and Axon literally shelve his balls next to 999 other jars of same. Axon goes on to describe the "999 other heroes" who preceded him, and then they read from Axon's holy book with other disciples, before, being a bunch of committed fascists, killing some annoying student protesters.
Now, if you've been paying attention, there is something amiss, in the script, in the translation, somewhere. n disciples (all male) ought to (typically) yield up 2n balls; so 1000 castrated disciples should produce 2,000 testicles. Or, 500 disciples should normally produce 1000 testicles. But the above translation is as I've already described it. Nor is it perfectly clear whether Axon excises /both/ testicles from each new disciple, so there's a ball problem with multiple angles.
>>7621829 I don't know what you mean by "go out of one's way", like as if it takes effort to read a book that's written by someone that's different from you, but those characteristics are as important as you make it out to be and have little to nothing to do with the merits they actually have. There's no good reason for that to be your motive. It's completely disingenuous and, in my opinion, disrespectful to the author's work. It would be pretty pathetic and insulting to have audience that indulged themselves in my work for such a superficial reason.
If you want to read a book by a black woman or a homosexual, then that's completely fine, but you're a piece of shit if the fact that they're black or gay is the reason you're reading it.
Your motivation should come from the actual merit of the author and his/her work or just for the sake of reading. This at least shows that you actually give a shit about what the author does.
If you want to understand the whole of humanity then yes, or you can continue jerking off pretending like humanity only consists of straight white men and that they're the only ones who've written anything with "literary merit" a spook if I've ever heard of one.
in principle i support the idea of reading literature from a variety of demographic sources, but in practice this often results in the exaltation of second-rate authors at the expense of those far more worthwhile. i think it's good to have as broad an understanding of literature as possible, which naturally involves reading works from a variety of people, each possessing a distinct perspective, but it seems silly to read something awful simply because of the author's race.
also people generally focus solely on race, gender, and sexual orientation, but there are other important factors in acquiring a well-rounded understanding of literature. it seems to me that there would be a greater disconnect in perspectives between two straight white male authors 500 years apart than between a white male and a black female both active in the late 20th century.
>>7622017 >you're a piece of shit if Whoa, piece of shit? There are no reasons to think of identity in connection with works of art? Art is an objective entity that instantly separates from it's creator once it is finished? People who don't accept this are "pieces of shit?
>get told we're going to read a black or woman author >think "oh boy, i'm going to read something good by an author who happens to be a woman or black" >instead forced to read BLACK LIVES MATTER: A BLACK INTRODUCTION TO BEING BLACK IN WHITE AMERICA, BY BLACKIE MCBLACK, WITH FORWARD BY VAGINA MCWOMAN, AUTHOR OF I'M CONSTANTLY ON MY PERIOD DID I MENTION I HAVE A VAGINA
>>7621692 If your goal is to improve yourself, you should read books that challenge you. If you read a book by a black man, and you neither learn anything from it nor rethink your beliefs after reading it, then your reading that book was a waste of time. It's the same if the author is a bisexual man, a woman, or a straight, white male.
If your goal is to make people think you are well-read, without yourself actually learning anything, then this sort of tokenism you describe may be exactly the tool for the job.
Why does everyone always add "straight" to these things in an effort to provoke us? Everyone knows Shakespeare, Proust, Virginia Woolf, many Greeks, and half of all the great poets, were all gay or bisexual. The Western Canon is already filled with homos.
>>7622965 Why are you asking loaded questions? Did you not even read what I said?
My point is that those specific characteristics shouldn't be the SOLE REASON you're reading their work. I never said their 'identity' is separate from their work or that it should never be taken into consideration when you're reading. Identity is not exclusive to one's sexual orientation, gender, and ethnicity.
Like I just explained, it's disingenuous and disrespectful to have that kind of motive. So yes, I believe that anyone with that kind of motive a piece of shit.
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