Would it be a good intellectual investment to spend the next couple of months reading these?

Would it be a good intellectual investment to spend the next couple of months reading these?

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If you rearrange the names of the protagonists, you get Harold Bloom, Leopold Slothrop and Tyrone Incandenza

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What about The recognitions? Shouldn't it be on your list?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      U is a classic and required reading if you genuinely like literature. IJ is great and worth the time but it depends on if you like his writing style. GR is great at some points but mid overall and not worth the page count. I recommend replacing it with the Sot-weed Factor by Barth, or J.R. or the Recognitions both by Gaddis, like said.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      How new are you? That's called the Meme Trilogy here since forever

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Dylan

    Intellectually no. But the value comes from telling others you read them and having them under you belt

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's not enough time to read all that. You can probably drop IJ and do both in half a year, but that's still alot

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    only Ulysses, IJ and GR are aging kinda bad which is why people talk about them here less and less.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >only Ulysses
      I'll definitely read it then. I've read and enjoyed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and I think it would be a shame to stop there
      >IJ and GR are aging kinda bad
      Could you elaborate?

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >could you elaborate?
        IJ and GR are both bery good novels, but both in my opinion are less experimental than they initially proposed to be, and their constant meddling with pop culture doesn't really work after a few decades especially after seeing what writers like Houellebecq, Krasznahorkai and Cartarescu have been doing in Europe, which looks way more innovative.
        GR has some interesting general philosophical point about the nature of truth but a lot of its paranoid fear of conspiracies upon conspiracies feel very tied to US politics - and to the specific feeling of his era. There is, however, a lot to take from GR when it comes to conditioning, propaganda, the seeping of nazi ideology into US government etc. But also the whole language thing pynchon tries to do gets a bit boring and doesn't really seem motivated by the form/content of the book. It is a good and complex novel, but by no means an age defining novel.
        IJ is like a GR for beginners, but it is coated in TV culture and indulges in TV sterotypes and cliches: the fact that he also reflects upon them does not really redeem them. Plus, both here and in The Pale King, DFW ends up susbstantially defending the status quo of middle class capitalist societies, which is a bit boring: he doesn't span outside what he learned as a kid, basically. The really good DFW is Oblivion, for me: there he really tried to get deep into what he thinks/feels human nature really is.
        Overall my criticism about these authors is that they tend mostly to do sociological reflections over US society and lack a global perspective both in terms of form and in terms of content (global also in a sense of cross-cultural), which I think is tha shape literature will take and is taking as we grow more and more interconnected. Seiobo there below from Krasnzahorkai touches deeper points with less effort than both IJ and GR, and so does Blinding from Cartarescu, and even the rather bland writing of Houellebecq in the Map and the Territory or in Possibility of and Island says more interesting things. I think that there is currently a movement in "great" literature to write about humanity as a species and GR and IJ seem kind of bent over US society alone, and despite being very good novels, as time passes they seem more and more "contextual", or "provincial".
        Ulysses on the other hand, despite being extremely rooted in the history of Dublin and Ireland and the personal experiences of a specific Irish man (Joyce) in the early 1920s, could be read in 1000 years like Homer and still talk about whatever it is that human beings are, and what could lie in a future "beyond" the human and beyond the current social structures we inhabit (and what was there before, etc.). I don't know if this makes a lot of sense, but I have a general feeling that GR and IJ are not really "wide". They are very fun reads though.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Thank you for your insight, anon

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            that person is being very dismissive, don't write GR off so easily, its definitely in the top 10 novels of the 20th century no matter what anyone else says

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I didn't mean to sound too dismissive of it anon, it is indeed a very good novel and surely among the best that came out after WW2. I would say the same of IJ, which is a novel that re-kindled my love of reading through a very hard moment of my life, and which is absolutely fantastic in making you notice all the interesting things a novel can do in terms of creativity, structure, narrative games, etc. I am very grateful to IQfy for memeing the trilogy and making me discover these books.
            But on the other hand, as I kept reading, it seemed to me that the focus on authors such as Pynchon, McCarthy and Wallace really comes at the expenses of other authors that are as good, and often better.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's a selection bias issue. When you consider who the average IQfy poster is, it isn't surprising.
            What is the ratio of Blood Meridian threads to, say, Housekeeping threads? 1000-1? Both among the most acclaimed and influential American novels of the 80s. But what demographics do they most appeal to?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Did you even read GR?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          This isnt unfair assessment I don't think. I have not read Ulysses yet but I see what you mean about GR and IJ
          I don't agree entirely, I feel like the themes and ideas IJ and GR explored using those pop elements and very period tied references are still more universal and something I believe will still resonate for a long time with human beings.
          If anything, I feel maybe you are so critical towards those elements precisely because you live in the appropriate age to understand them. When you have wider understand of the context, perhaps you put too much emphasis on the matrix of relatively niche cross-references and how they age.
          Hal Incandenzas 'Hero in Stasis' is, I would argue, just as profound whether you have seen the shows he is talking about in the text or not and the point made is still clear without the context of experiencing them.
          This specific type of referencing real world pop culture phenomena may go out of style and in that sense these novels will certainly show their age, but thats not something I would hold against them. If anything, reading a text and being able to pick up stylistic choices and tricks of specific era makes it all the more appealing.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The Nixon jokes in GR were tired 50 years ago.
        At least he didn't waste a whole book dunking on Dick, like Roth or HST

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      U is a classic and required reading if you genuinely like literature. IJ is great and worth the time but it depends on if you like his writing style. GR is great at some points but mid overall and not worth the page count. I recommend replacing it with the Sot-weed Factor by Barth, or J.R. or the Recognitions both by Gaddis, like said.

      >could you elaborate?
      IJ and GR are both bery good novels, but both in my opinion are less experimental than they initially proposed to be, and their constant meddling with pop culture doesn't really work after a few decades especially after seeing what writers like Houellebecq, Krasznahorkai and Cartarescu have been doing in Europe, which looks way more innovative.
      GR has some interesting general philosophical point about the nature of truth but a lot of its paranoid fear of conspiracies upon conspiracies feel very tied to US politics - and to the specific feeling of his era. There is, however, a lot to take from GR when it comes to conditioning, propaganda, the seeping of nazi ideology into US government etc. But also the whole language thing pynchon tries to do gets a bit boring and doesn't really seem motivated by the form/content of the book. It is a good and complex novel, but by no means an age defining novel.
      IJ is like a GR for beginners, but it is coated in TV culture and indulges in TV sterotypes and cliches: the fact that he also reflects upon them does not really redeem them. Plus, both here and in The Pale King, DFW ends up susbstantially defending the status quo of middle class capitalist societies, which is a bit boring: he doesn't span outside what he learned as a kid, basically. The really good DFW is Oblivion, for me: there he really tried to get deep into what he thinks/feels human nature really is.
      Overall my criticism about these authors is that they tend mostly to do sociological reflections over US society and lack a global perspective both in terms of form and in terms of content (global also in a sense of cross-cultural), which I think is tha shape literature will take and is taking as we grow more and more interconnected. Seiobo there below from Krasnzahorkai touches deeper points with less effort than both IJ and GR, and so does Blinding from Cartarescu, and even the rather bland writing of Houellebecq in the Map and the Territory or in Possibility of and Island says more interesting things. I think that there is currently a movement in "great" literature to write about humanity as a species and GR and IJ seem kind of bent over US society alone, and despite being very good novels, as time passes they seem more and more "contextual", or "provincial".
      Ulysses on the other hand, despite being extremely rooted in the history of Dublin and Ireland and the personal experiences of a specific Irish man (Joyce) in the early 1920s, could be read in 1000 years like Homer and still talk about whatever it is that human beings are, and what could lie in a future "beyond" the human and beyond the current social structures we inhabit (and what was there before, etc.). I don't know if this makes a lot of sense, but I have a general feeling that GR and IJ are not really "wide". They are very fun reads though.

      completely ignore these guys, Gravitys Rainbow is still absolutely amazing. Sot-Weed Factor should definitely replace Infinite Jest in the meme trilogy in my opinion. but id still recommending reading all of them at some point.

      anyway yeah gravitys rainbow haters are moronic

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I would space out my reading of these. Don't go back to back to back. You need time to comprehend what each is saying. Read some normal level literature in between.

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Don't think about it as an intellectual investment. You should only read one of these because they intrigue you, and because you find enough that's enjoyable and interesting on each page to keep going. It's only if you're engaged and having fun and connecting to the material that you'll make something 'intellectual' out of the reading experience. If you just slog through it for the sake of acquiring some kind of cultural capital, you'll never gain anything. I call this The Pseud's Paradox: the one who strains towards an end goal, misses it; the one who enjoys the ride, ends up so much the richer for it.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    GR is interesting if you look up all the things it references, German/Yuropean/Nazi/chemistry/film/whatever.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      On that note, there's maps available online for IJ, which I found helpful. Having the footnotes always open if you're reading digitally helps a lot or reading them in chunks instead of pausing to look up each time also works too.

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