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harry roberts

harry roberts's Public Library

  • The first of these was A Modern Utopia (1905), which shows a worldwide utopia with "no imports but meteorites, and no exports at all";
  • Not all his scientific romances ended in a happy Utopia, and in fact, Wells also wrote a dystopian novel
  • , excluding his fiction's positivist stance on the leaps that could be made by physics towards world peace

  • Edward Earle Purinton, a writer of science and health during the early twentieth century, describes his concept of scientific optimism in his essay, “The Efficient Optimist” published in 1915:
  • Following Purinton’s definition, we can postulate that our knowledge, goal, faith and hard work can result in absolute change in the very nature of the world we know.
  • But it was not only the mechanical devices that were changing the lives of the Victorians, it was the psychological mindset that began to change

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  • without which it is hardly possible, except by constant resort to more and more laboured footnotes, to read adequately a line of Chaucer, of Milton, of Goethe, or, to give a deliberately modernist instance, of Mandelstam

  • the overwhelmingly complex nature of worlds and the systems that exist on them, human enterprises, the physical and mental aspects of humans, and abstract concepts such as time. The stories of Borges can be seen as a type of labyrinth themselves.

  • El-P is the only rapper who has ever listed Philip K. Dick, Thomas Pynchon, and Terry Gilliam as his primary influences.

  • The method especially appeals to people handicapped by a ruthless work ethic – Germans, Japanese and Americans. Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures. (p. 10)
  • but the images may replace direct experience and limit reali

  • “A loose sally of the mind; an irregular undigested piece; not a regularly and orderly composition.”
  • essay is: the action or process of trying or testing; a sample, an example; a rehearsal; an attempt or endeavour; a trying to do something; a rough copy; a first draft.
  • It’s tempting to chalk this up to one author’s personal disappointments with the novel as a form (Shields hasn’t written a novel since the early 90s), but in expressing his novel-nausea so frankly

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  • I have never taken to his obsession with the European upper class and their distinctions.
  • (Underworld, Infinite Jest, most of Pynchon), mind-numbing works populated by selfish characters masquerading as philosophy (Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged), most Booker Prize winners and Invisible Man. As for what I’ve read that qualifies me to make this list? Aside from the ML list, I’ve also read over 75% of the Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle and PEN/Faulkner winners, as well as every English language novelist who’s won the Nobel Prize.

  • any novel by Jane Austen – See this post.
  • any novel by George Eliot, but specifically Middlemarch – I can’t begin to name the ways I hate George Eliot.
  • “That’s not writing.  It’s typing.” – Truman Capote

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  • Though, bad is probably an unfair word.  Unreadable books.  I borrow that term from Mark Twain who described Jane Austen’s books that way.  He found Austen unreadable, even on a salary.  So, I’m sure he would at least partially agree with the following list.
  • “I am at a loss to understand why people hold Miss Austen’s novels at so high a rate, which seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in their wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit or knowledge of the world.”

  • There are many who would argue for Infinite Jest, and quite frankly, while I am not a fan, it would have been a far better choice.  My own personal choice would be In the Beauty of the Lilies, the last of the great Updike books.
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