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Why is something being "obscure"...
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You are currently reading a thread in /mu/ - Music

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Why is something being "obscure" often a desirable quality when it comes to music and movies (among other arts) but never when it comes to literature?

Some people believe that a fairly unknown musical album has more artistic merit than a popular top-40 album, same when it comes to movies.

Why this isn't the case with literature and philosophy though? Why is it that no one will read something by an unknown author? Why is it that they are never or very rarely praised? Why are people so skeptical when it comes to new authors and only stick to "canon"?

For example, when it comes existentialism, people will pick up something by Sartre, Kierkegaard, Camus, etc, no, they won't pick up something by Rahmudin Ùalebeshku from Turkmenistan. When it comes to postmodern literature, people will read DFW or Pynchon, when it comes to the best pieces of literature of the last century everyone will read East of Eden by Steinbeck, 1984 by Orwell, Catch-22 by Heller, no one wants to read something by Koyunqlu Reuğhlin Séparmurat from Romania.

Same with all the "greatest books of all time" lists, there's always Joyce on them, there's always Orwell there, but there's never an unknown or an "obscure" name.

So, why do many people like "obscurity" in medias like movies and music but not literature?
>>
>>51231156
Some people would rather watch a Michael Snow or Jonas Mekas film instead of something by Andrei Tarkovsky or Clint Eastwood.

Some people would rather listen to Taku Unami instead of Igor Stravinsky or Drake.

No one would rather read Rahmudin Ùalebeshku instead of James Joyce or even Dan Brown.

How can this be explained?
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>>51231156

It's not desirable because it's obscure, it's the other way round: it's obscure because it's good.

To be popular, music must appeal to most people. To appeal to most people, it has to avoid turning people off, so it ends up bland.

Same goes for movies.

Same goes for books to a certain extent, but the main difference is plebs simply don;t read any books whatsoever. So them lists with Joyce on are written by book-patricians.

There still some popular pleb books, like Stephen King and Barbara Cartland.
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Generally people who are into literature aren't open minded enough to explore beyond what's being served to them by the media/internet/parents/big literary figures, etc.
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>>51231202
>it's obscure because it's good


Sorry but that's just bullshit, most obscure stuff is often as generic as popular one
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>>51231156
Because music and movie fans are plebs who need to make themselves feel like special snowflakes unlike lit fans who realize the best stuff has stood the test of time
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>>51231249
No.

This epic meme that one Cash Money release can be just as good or even better than one Erstwhile Records release needs to stop. Pretending to be open minded and into every genre ironically was never funny.
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>>51231292
>Pretending to be open minded and into every genre ironically was never funny

This statement is so retarded on too many levels
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>>51231202
>it's obscure because it's good.
do you really believe that? if I record a terrible album and only 3 people ever hear it, it's better than Thriller?
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>>51231249
Lots of obscure music is bland, but lots of good music is obscure.
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>>51231317
lots of popular music is bland, but lots of good music is popular
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>>51231292
>Cash Money release can be just as good or even better than one Erstwhile Records

Why do you make such extreme comparisons I was talking more about stuff like Subpop, Matador or 4AD
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Because watching a movie or lsitening to an album takes you like 3 hours max.

Reading a book takes you several days.

People are lazy.
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>>51231156
>>51231156
I don't agree : imo there are obscure work in every art field, but only because there is so much production one can't keep an eye on evertything, so a lot of good but not overwhelming works are going to be flooded into the mass production, hence their obscurity
and this happens quite a lot in litterature, just think about all the middle age litterature and how little people are interested in it, even if it's the source of most of our modern litterature
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>>51231334
That depends on a person
My mom reads 500 page book in 2 days while I take a week
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I exclusively listen to artists that have less than 100 ratings on RYM. Why would I want more people to know about them? More fans = shittier music, it's a fact.
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>>51231202
>It's not desirable because it's obscure, it's the other way round: it's obscure because it's good.
You clearly don't listen to classical.
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>>51231347
Totally agree. I play a game on /mu/ called Reverse Sharethread where I delete any album I own that gets posted here. That way I know my tastes remain obscure and thus better than anyone else.
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>>51231333
>Erstwhile Records
>good
rofl
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>>51231313
>>51231249

Read what I said again. I did not say "if something is obscure, it must be good".

Don;t worry, we're not disagreeing with each other - you just misunderstood me.
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>>51231347
I really hope this comment is ironic
>>
>listening to an album takes 40 minutes
>watching a film takes 90 minutes
>reading a book takes at least 4 hours normally something between 10 to 12 hours

reading is boring so if you're gonna read something it has to be from someone you know isn't retarded
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>>51231358
I expect it's different with classical. Most radio-listenin popfags are pleb, but I expect far more classicalfags are patrish to begin with, so good classical stuff can be popular.
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>>51231334
>>51231398
Reading also requires the most attention
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>>51231398
>reading is boring
Dickhead.
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>>51231418
he won't read that
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>>51231313
Trick question, every album is better than Thriller.

Geez, what is it with this board and MJ lately. Listening to MJ is worse than listening to SOAD.
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>>51231156

Because there's only so many times of listening to The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Queen a person who seeks the novel can tolerate.
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>>51231437
>every album is better than Thriller.
Are you serious? mainstream pop doesn't get much better than that.
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>>51231470
Errr, Nothing Was the Same?
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>>51231488
>Drake
>good
>>
Unsarcastically a 10/10 thread.
I think it has to do with the inherently commercial and accessible nature of pop music in the modern industry.
To people that give a shit, listeners of pop music are contributing to the mass market/bell curve that drive labels to simplify and water down the production of their artists to appeal to the most people and sell the most singles on iTunes.
This is not the case with literature because there have only been a few instances im pop literature that an author reaches the commercial success of any given top 40's artist.
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>>51231327
Something can be obscure because it's good.
Something can be popular because it's good.
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>>51231156

Literature isn't a business in the same way that music and film are a business these days. Also, music and movies that are popular are made to be popular, accessible, and easily understood.

That sort of shit exists in literature, too. James Patterson novels, for example. However, it's definitely not structured the same way to make cash.
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>>51231534
you sure showed him
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>>51231534
I don't like rap
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>>51231497
>Michael Jackson
>good

Get bent.
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>>51231534
...
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>>51231156
Good points, this has potential to be a pasta
>>
Because actually reading books is too much an effort for most people. They can't even get beyond the more obvious choices.
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>>51231534
Average Drakefag, everyone
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>>51231156
isn't it because in literature and philosophy, influence is valued much higher?
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>>51231156
>East of Eden by Steinbeck
>good in any way

top fucking lel
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>>51231437
This guy...
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>>51231534
>>
because if music comes off as garbled mess (harsh noise) or boring af (ambient) people can appreciate it for what it's worth. i like harsh noise for its rhythmic qualities and abrasiveness, and i like ambient because it's peaceful and relaxing. the same can't be said with literature since you need focus to read a book, and if it's complete mess it's probably going to be a Ulysses ripoff, or if it's boring, you're not going to finish the thing.
best of lists tend to be composed of well-known artists anyway, regardless of the field. i suppose it also comes down to the fact that people are more willing to read something that's already been established as good.
there's also the barrier of language, obscure foreign books aren't likely to be available in languages that many people can understand. translations that may be available can possibly botch the content so badly that it comes off as being a really bad read when it isn't.
>>
First, you should really be comparing how critics treat the most popular books with the way critics treat the most popular music. You're referring to popular music, which is often engineered for mass consumption and comparing that to books that really aren't. A more apt comparison would be to compare pieces of classical music or composers that are considered the best and books that are considered the best, and then you'll see that the results are pretty similar - that is, obscure composers aren't ranked highly compared to well-known, popular composers.
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>>51232051
>because literature has no formalist reading
this. you'll always try to figure out the meaning, you don't just open up a book to look at how aesthetically pleasing the words look
>>
because for every 1 person who thinks they can make it in making good music or movies, there's 10 people who think they can write good books

also because if you fail at the others
>my film is trash but I still have all this dialogue and stage captions
>my music is shit but I still have these deep lyrics
you can still publish the words
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>>51232051
>if it's complete mess it's probably going to be a Ulysses ripoff

Why is it not a mess when Joyce does it then?
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>>51231202
"Obscure" is literally what is wrong with /mu/ - self-serving obscurantism manifesting in trashing music/albums that aren't the most incredibly collectors-only obscure level artist from X genre. My collection of serialism is quite large, about 45gb, and I do consider myself an enthusiast in the genre but I only feel unbounded happiness when I recognize another devotee and I don't act like I'm part of some fucking elitist club.

I recently posted something about Popol Vuh and how I like them, and I barely ever got any serious responses and everyone called me a pleb and said that the artist is not "obscure" enough for their liking. But in reality, I haven't met a single person who knows what Popol Vuh is in real life. Seriously people who think like that can all go and suck their own dicks.
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>>51232391
Popol Vuh is a great band, people who don't agree can fuck off
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>>51231202
>it's obscure because it's good.
This. Most people are not very intelligent, with an IQ below 130. More often than not this implies terrible taste in music, films, books and pretty much everything.
Examples:
- Michael Bay films
- Dan Brown books
- Kanye West music
I have nothing against stupidity but refined taste does not correlate well with popularity. This is a scientific FACT.
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/classical-music-linked-to-high-intelligence-27959/
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>>51232456
Not him man, but using IQ as a valid point is the stupidest thing you can do.
>>
People get into music and film because they want to make money, people write books because they want to get their ideas out there. Therefore, in music and film the most popular aren't that good because it's just the people who wanted money the most whereas in books those sorts of people don't really exist. Very few people get into writing thinking they're going to be rich so there isn't this mass marketing push to make shitty stuff successful, yeah it happens somewhat (Rowling, Meyer, whoever wrote that 50 Shades of Grey book, etc.) but not on the same level. I mean most people can't even read these days, how are you going to sell them on that shit? They had to make film adaptations of those books to really rake in the cash on those properties.
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>>51232456
>- Kanye West music
Oh fuck off you stupid pathetic piece of shit.

LE EEEPIC LE MEMEEEE !!! 1!! ! ! KANYE LE SHIT looook

post croissants XDDDDDDDDDDDD

shame about le lyrics dat beat good tho XDDD hhahahahahahahhahahahah

he has a team of le producers looooooool lele top kek lel top lel lel kekkest of le lels

kanye doesnt even le produce his own music le thief amirite muh fellow /b/rothers?

back to kanyetothe with you XDDDDD le reddit le KTT le nigger looololol

epic memers meme memeing le uhuh honey le croissants le that nigger le its a stolen beat lolol le based as fuck us with out
le epic
memes

kanye
>implying hes a genius XDD

tips fedora

hahahahahhahah lol
lol
lel
LELELELEL
loooooooooooooool
kanye is shit

haha i said it again

kanye le sucks has to hire ghostwriters
is it pusha t? O_o

why is a guy wearing womans clothing? O_O
a guy in adress?
MUH LEATHER BLACK JEANS ON HAHAHA BRAVO KANYEEEEEE :)) XD :D

wow dat cover album is ugly XXDDDDDD someone le post le kanye lyrics :)) :D her beats tho XDD shame about le MUH MEME RAP hes dumb too
>swah
he got #REKT by sway it shows hes dumb haha XDDDDDDD
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