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Old 09-17-2010, 05:16 AM   #16
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I hope that condition is not so critical. Like meaning that when I started reading i did not know what would leave meaningful traces in me.

If I follow that hunch that I do not know nothing and that my path has been a series of fortuitous turns (opinion shared by a number of people that had and have dealing with me), than knowing little means that i learned little. Easy out.

But if I look more closely, I get the impression that all that I know of the important things of life I learned by reading fiction. I mean narrative in a wide sense.
....
A very nice post, beppe, and interesting examples

The condition: "... that you hadn't expected going in?" I interpret to mean that you didn't sit down with the book with expectations of learning something specific, like you do with non-fiction.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:55 PM   #17
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A very nice post, beppe, and interesting examples :
Thank you Ea. Your praise is much appreciated. It spurs me to add a consideration on the instructional value of reading fiction.

It has been pointed out by sociologists and philosophers that many forms of unexpected violence by youths are associated to a cultural vacuum. I am not referring to those socially under privileged. The Italian philosopher Umberto Galimberti mentions "emotional illiteracy" as one of the causes. This is explicitly related to the lack of exposition to fiction in the early years of education. Where else can one young person learn about sentiments and emotions, their value and importance. Certainly not from play stations, or from SMS exchanges.

I am familiar with the discussions on this point and similar in Italy but I know nothing of this in other countries, if it is debated, anything.

It would be nice to have some comments.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:25 PM   #18
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I will acknowledge that there is a certain degree of, er, similarity between Eddings' various series, but for me there's still sufficient that's unique in each to make it an enjoyable read.
I wish I could agree. I read the Belgariad with pleasure. He had a smooth, engaging prose style, sympathetic characters, and a flair for dialog. I plowed through the Mallorean with a sort of grim determination. The authorial strings were far too evident, as he carefully maneuvered his protagonists to every location on his world. It felt like "paint by numbers" fantasy. I saw commentary from folks back then who loved the Belgariad, and "wished the series would go on forever". By the time I finished the Mallorean, I felt like it had.

My SO likes him better than I, and has read more of his work. I tried a few of the others, but the similarities outweighed the differences too much for me to find them worth the time. There are too many new books to read. I can't be bothered with reruns, even if they are unintentional.

I can't blame Eddings for writing them, or his publishers for issuing them, since he pleased a large audience. I simply stopped being able to read them.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:09 AM   #19
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I do understand what you mean, and you're certainly not alone in your views.

My favourite Eddings book is the standalone novel, "The Redemption of Althalus", which is not his "usual story".
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:31 PM   #20
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I do understand what you mean, and you're certainly not alone in your views.

My favourite Eddings book is the standalone novel, "The Redemption of Althalus", which is not his "usual story".
So noted. Opportunity permitting, I'll look at that one. I'll be interested in seeing Eddings telling a different story.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:28 PM   #21
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what I figured out from fiction was: there are a myriad of possible worlds, peoples, governments, societies, environments, etc.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:03 PM   #22
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what I figured out from fiction was: there are a myriad of possible worlds, peoples, governments, societies, environments, etc.
Yes - and I think you often work out the type of person you want to be. Instead of only having the people around you, there are a whole lot more to choose from.
After reading Eco's "The Name of the Rose" I decided to polish up my long-forgotten Latin, became interested in Aristotle and somehow now find myself just finishing off a BA majoring in Classical Studies and also having an good knowledge of Medieval philosophy. Oh, and studied classical Greek on the way. Not bad for one novel.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:57 AM   #23
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Yes - and I think you often work out the type of person you want to be. Instead of only having the people around you, there are a whole lot more to choose from.
After reading Eco's "The Name of the Rose" I decided to polish up my long-forgotten Latin, became interested in Aristotle and somehow now find myself just finishing off a BA majoring in Classical Studies and also having an good knowledge of Medieval philosophy. Oh, and studied classical Greek on the way. Not bad for one novel.
Not bad for one novel. I hope that you did not burn down your library not to have to do that again and again.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:12 PM   #24
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Yes - and I think you often work out the type of person you want to be. Instead of only having the people around you, there are a whole lot more to choose from.
After reading Eco's "The Name of the Rose" I decided to polish up my long-forgotten Latin, became interested in Aristotle and somehow now find myself just finishing off a BA majoring in Classical Studies and also having an good knowledge of Medieval philosophy. Oh, and studied classical Greek on the way. Not bad for one novel.
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Not bad for one novel. I hope that you did not burn down your library not to have to do that again and again.
That is still a book I think of when I lick my fingers to turn pages!
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:32 PM   #25
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@DMcCunney: I think he was perfectly aware of these repetitions
in Belgariad and Malorea its even mentioned "Inplay" that things repeat somehow befause the 2 concurring universe possibilities prevent real development.

and as far as differences between the mentioned and elenium and tamuli go, I'd call it a different approach to the monomyth: while in belgariad/mallorea you have the classical "journey of the fool" (just lay out the major arcana of a good Tarot deck before you and watch it as a speechless comic strip) in elenium /tamuli you have an aged hero who seems to be past his "journey" but is not - being on his way from humanity to divinity which he rejects at the end - how many mythological bells ar you hearing in the background while I point this out?
And at the end you get a hint that things will repeat over an over again - a new pair is about to rise on the monomyths horizon: the knaves stealing son and the knights divine daughter. History is prepared to repeat and the great snake is prepared to bite its tail...

Apart from that his pantheons and magic systems in both worlds were completely different (and unified in "althalus") - an RPG player looks after such things.
Also simple to notice when you are a gamer: his compositions of protagonists - in terms of used archetypes are perfect: one of my 1st toughts when rereading his stuff is "this guy d have been a Gods gift of a Gamemaster."

As he hinted in some sidenotes about writing made in the "Rivan" he was perfectly aware of the fact that the lists of conflicts (i remember having read an exhaustiveenumeration of conflicts set up by an italian dramaturgist in AFAIR 15th cent. he came to an ammount of AFAIR 35) and plots are not endless, and played with that like sheet music

Staying with the music analogy - what doesn't seduce me to be read is eddings dreamers series - it apparently plays some octaves too high than I like it.

"Althalus" in contrary is kind of a proof "it can be done briefly too"
Kind of being the final couplet in an english sonnet.

The fact Eddings knew and every good writer should is:
Every story which can be told has already been (better or worse and a gazillion of times) it just hasn't been done already in every possible flavour

I'm not going to say a story is going to be lousy just because the author made a 2/3-1/3 Beowulf/Robin Hood in Space - mix Just that there is a fair chance for an epic fail if he wasn't even aware of that...

P.S.: should somebody in contrary deliver proof, that e.g. "Althalus" is a piece of intergalactically unbearable crap - well I'm excused by having a soft spot for copper crowned green/grey-eyed lasses - both human and godesses :P.

P.P.S. sorry for hijacking - back to topic: Tolkien made me learn to read and write futhark (runes).

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:20 AM   #26
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Not bad for one novel. I hope that you did not burn down your library not to have to do that again and again.
Lucky for me - I never got into the habit of licking my fingers to turn pages nor do I set fires in my bookshelves! But sometimes when I am in the middle of trying to read 10 books for university I feel like burning them all!
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:31 AM   #27
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:03 AM   #28
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:50 AM   #29
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I learned I do not like my vampires to be sparkly.
You're not alone.
http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/20100914
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:22 PM   #30
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Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle taught me that Dumas' d'Artagnan was based on a real person.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles...e_d%27Artagnan
Thanks for that link! You learn something new every day!

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...I will have to reread the Little Prince and not only once more to study the happy endings.
Beppe, as often, thanks for your thoughtful comments.

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