I hate analyzing books

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platypus01
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Postby platypus01 » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:10 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:If you like a book, isn't it nice to know why you like it?

sometimes you dont want to care, and just like the book and nothing else. i personally cant help *trying* to analyze things i read (i dont claim to be any good at it, mind). which is annoying, cause i reread things, and then lose track of whats going on, and that kinda screws with the way i view the plot.....

is it nice to pick up random references/allusions, and notice other subtle analyzed thingies? sure. but sometimes i dont want it to almost completely overshadow reading for just the story. for some reason i feel i cant do that quite well anymore.

just my bit.
bleh

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Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:06 pm UTC

It's only a problem if you start doing it to real life.
"hmm.. I couldn't find my sock this morning maybe that's foreshadowing, and this scene must be to parrallel..."
I over analyze things, but I don't spend more time analyzing than I enjoying, so it's still fun.
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Postby Narsil » Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:19 am UTC

I actually do that sometimes. And usually, I'm right. Life is way too predictable. Except when it's unpredictable. But then I usually predict that anyway.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby mcgrail9 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:20 am UTC

"Basically, I'm complaining about literary analysis ruining my suspension of disbelief."
-- zenten


Literary analysis hones the reader. At the highest reading levels, the reading mind operates both analytically and immersively, processing both types of information simultaneously. This generally only occurs with extraordinarily good writing because the writing that trips also destroys the immersive process. Once taken out of the story, the analytical reader tends to lapse into cateloging instead of reading; the non-analytical reader finds herself re-reading to regain the thread.

High level reading of well written literature is similar to the dreaming mind that forges the story, sends the dreamer into and through the story, occasionally chronicles facts for memory and analysis on waking and maintains all of the autonomic functions it must cater to on a continual basis.

Haven't you read and then analyzed? The book closes, you come up and out of the Pequod, (or the Heart of Gold or the Nellie or a no-ship bound for Arrakis) and realize that you made observations about the setting or the plot or the character or tone or atmosphere even though you were still feeling the froth of the waves while you were reading? You contemplate for a moment and connections begin forming in your mind. You start the transition from reading to writing even though you were writing all the time you were reading.

As mentioned, this tends to work best with great literature. Does it progress like an addiction until only the very best literature will serve? Maybe. Here's something Faulkner said along similar lines in something he wrote about The Sound and The Fury:

"I wrote this book and learned to read. ... I discovered then that I had gone through all that I had ever read, from Henry James through Henty to newspaper murders, without making any distinction or digesting any of it, as a moth or a goat might. After The Sound and The Fury and without needing to open another book and in a series of delayed repercussions like summer thunder, I discovered the Flauberts and Dostoievskys and Conrads whose books I had read ten years ago. With The Sound and the Fury I [finally] learned to read and quit reading ..."

Maybe that's where the process truly leads. From one level to the next until one can no longer find anything sufficient to feed the taste -- the depth of the addiction -- and must move on to writing in order to get something more pure, more perfectly tailored to that very inidividualistic habit.

Of course, with lesser reading, the need to analyze never presents (presumably), but that begs the question of whether lesser reading can still lead to that immersive state.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby william » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:37 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:A pile of shit can call itself a delicious pie, but that doesn't make it true.

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Freyja
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Freyja » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:18 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:No-one likes a rabid fanboy.


That's because rabies is bad. That's why they took Ol' Yeller out back and shot 'im.


Anyway, i don't find analyzation to be a problem. The only time it becomes an issue is if people begin to look for something that isn't there. Finding something that the author didn't intentionally set up isn't necessarily a bad thing. If someone were to read my work and come up with a symbol or a concept that is meaningful to them, then i'm happy for them regardless of whether or not that was my intent. Every piece of literature or film can mean something different to every person that is exposed to it. On the other hand, if you sit down with a book or a movie with the expectation of finding something (whether or not there is anything to find at all) and you have to really look hard to find it, then there's a problem.

For my part, i've always analyzed things. I admit that i might sometimes get carried away, but when this happens i remember to step back and not lose the forest for the tress, to just enjoy the movie or book for what it is. Like everyone else, i had teachers that told me to look for things. The root of my problem, however, is simply a combination of three things:
1. I read people. I just do. I always have and i always will. I just find it very easy to tune in.
2. I get emotionally involved. I know that the stories and characters are fictitious, but that doesn't prevent me from reacting to them as if they're real. No joke. I cry almost every time i watch an episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' simply because a patient dies or there's some traumatic experience in every one.
3. Details. I love 'em. I can't live without them. I'm the person who sits in a movie theater and gets distracted (often to my own amusement and delight) by anachronisms or goofs. (Has any other history buff noticed that there's a scene in 'Kingdom of Heaven' where there's a banner for Castille y Leon flying in the background, even though those two kingdoms weren't united until several years after the events in the movie?)

These three factors really come into play if the story is particularly well-written or the characters are remarkably realistic. Even if they're not, however, they still affect my reception to some degree. I analyze books and movies from beginning to end. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying the story. Not at all. In fact, if there's something to analyze, i'm bound to love it. I don't expect to find anything particular in what i read or watch, but i'll find something if there's anything at all to find and i'll giggle like a spoiled child who's been munching on Halloween candy all damn day.

I just feel bad for the people who are willing to discuss books and movies with me because i sometimes pull things that might seem like they've come out of left-field. Also, if it's really good, i'll go on about it for quite some time.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby mrmanme » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:28 am UTC

Analyzing films can turn out really well for me, because I tend to notice random bits that others don't. Who else, on their first time watching Pulp Fiction, noticed that Honey Bunny says different lines in both of the diner scenes?

In books I tend to skim-read a lot, which I shouldn't do, so I tend to not notice little things. Movies have a set pace they go at, so there's no skipping. But I also find some of the "Literary Techniques" annoying. In particular, I remember a bit from the beginning of "Of Mice and Men". Lenny disturbs a pond somewhere, and we see little ripples form and spread out all over the water. Yes, I get that it's showing that Lenny changes everything and has effects no one can predict. I'm going to get to that later in the book, for Zark's sake, so why bother foreshadowing?

Also annoying are the people who try and see everything being a symbol for something, like the Island in Life of Pi. Despite the author's claims that the Island isn't a symbol, but part of the larger whole, there are still lots of people (Including my English teacher) that say it's Heaven, or Hell, or this, or that...

That all said, I do enjoy books/movies that require thinking and have lots of subtleties. I thought The Fountain was great, and having just read Dirk Gently for the first time, was impressed with the depth of the book: Not in little metaphors everywhere, but in the final conclusion and the fundamental interconnectedness of it all.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Malice » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:21 pm UTC

mrmanme wrote:In books I tend to skim-read a lot, which I shouldn't do, so I tend to not notice little things. Movies have a set pace they go at, so there's no skipping.


Try audio books.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby mrmanme » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:26 pm UTC

^Actually, I just started doing that this week. They work surprisingly well for the bus and related things.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Alisto » Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:48 pm UTC

Freyja wrote:I just feel bad for the people who are willing to discuss books and movies with me because i sometimes pull things that might seem like they've come out of left-field. Also, if it's really good, i'll go on about it for quite some time.


You? Never.

Oh Optimus save me!

In all seriousness, I generally don't analyze things at all. I watch the movie or read the book, pay attention to the story and the characters, and that's it. Aside from some basic thinking about character motivation and behavior, any deeper meaning is completely lost on me. Until someone else brings it up, that is.

For instance, I can watch a TV show/movie or read a book and not think anything of it. But as soon as I get into a discussion with someone like Freyja about it, I start thinking about things on all kinds of levels. I won't speak to the quality of said observations (I suspect Freyja humors me as she would humor a child who just discovered where the water goes when he drains the bathtub), but with the proper catalyst I will dive deeply into the book/show/movie/etc. I just won't do it on my own.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Freyja » Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:58 pm UTC

Alisto wrote:
Freyja wrote:I just feel bad for the people who are willing to discuss books and movies with me because i sometimes pull things that might seem like they've come out of left-field. Also, if it's really good, i'll go on about it for quite some time.


You? Never.


You're right. You caught me in a lie!

Alisto wrote:But as soon as I get into a discussion with someone like Freyja about it, I start thinking about things on all kinds of levels. I won't speak to the quality of said observations (I suspect Freyja humors me as she would humor a child who just discovered where the water goes when he drains the bathtub), but with the proper catalyst I will dive deeply into the book/show/movie/etc. I just won't do it on my own.


Oh puh-leaze. If i'd humor you, you'd know it instead of just suspect it. Also, i'd probably make fun of you in lieu of politely humoring you, and you know it.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Iori_Yagami » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:14 pm UTC

Someone stepped on my weak spot...
Yes, I totally hate it!

ALL of the books we were required to read in summer (so when semester starts, we are ready) were interesting in some or another way. I was a book addict since childhood - read all books at home, then went kid's magazines, then newspapers, kitchen stove manual :shock: , mother's recipe and knitting magazines, father's car magazines, traffic rules reference book, grandmother's love story books, DIY garden fence repair help book, and many many many more things young child was able to find.

So, after I read 'War and Peace', or 'Crime and Punishment', or 'Master and Margarita', or 'Dead souls', or 'Fathers and Children', or anything notable, it was interesting - I formed my own vision, explanations, general feel. BUT, as soon as mind-numbing anatomical analysis started at school, with all sucked-out-of-your-finger symbolism, pulling unpullable together, all story upside-down (good are neutral, evil are good, and a narrator is not a nutty freak, but a freedom seeker and soul poet), and lies-in-your-face-to-get-a-good-mark literature compositions, I vomited on this and NEVER returned to those classic EVER AGAIN. They were ruined FOREVER, like innocence.

And for teachers out there: it does not really matter what kids write in their compositions. It matters MUCH, MUCH more what they say about given literary works outside of school, smoking behind the corner, and casually making fun of everything they are forced to do.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby i like pi » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:33 pm UTC

dagron wrote:I never picked up the skill for analyzing books. Just one reason I hated literature classes with a passion. It always seemed like authors were supposedly leaving all these subtle clues and symbols that never added to anything to the story. I read books/watch movies because I enjoy getting lost in a story, and really don't need to be dissecting it.



heh.
i myself am writing a book, I do not use symbolism or any other crap like that. however, it does not work so well, seeming as half the people really like it, and the other half hate it.
whatever, i will write however i want.
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Belial » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:09 pm UTC

i myself am writing a book, I do not use symbolism or any other crap like that.


With such a high opinion of literary devices (my literature-major's soul shudders to think of what you've grouped under "other crap like that"), I can only imagine that this book is a masterpiece of literary excellence.
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lesliesage
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby lesliesage » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:53 pm UTC

Haha.

To write something where nothing was symbolic of anything would be a feat so impossible as to earn you renown in your own right.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Iori_Yagami » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:53 pm UTC

Has someone just said there are no "Realism" stories? Or that they do not exist to their taste?
They cannot defend themselves; they cannot run away. INSANITY is their only way of escape.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby lesliesage » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:51 pm UTC

Is there a character, real or fictional, that symbolizes no other man, no other struggle, no other triumph?

Besides, literary devices are ways of reading as much as they are ways of writing. It's a way of describing natural language as much as help in constructing interesting language. I don't think anyone could write a book in which everyone finds but one level of meaning, even if it was meant to be that boring.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby Belial » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:57 pm UTC

Pretty much. Even if you're not "using" symbolism, symbolism is there. It's just clumsy and obtuse because you're trying to neglect it rather than fine-tuning or enhancing it.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby i like pi » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:02 pm UTC

well.................. my opinon has been changed.



I just write, i do not intentionally put symbolism in there so people can analyze it and say "Ok, this symbolizes what this dude was going through."

the thing is, I am an idiot, and I do whatever I can with whatever intelligence i have.
my logic is often flawed.
group me with "the loud dumb people on the internet."

EDIT: where did your sig come from?
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.

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lesliesage
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby lesliesage » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:33 pm UTC

People who make jokes about rational numbers and who are writing books are not among "loud dumb people on the internet." I think the better writers probably are not sitting around thinking "right, ok, now what should symbolize life." So it's probably better if it comes naturally. Like, you sit down to tell us about your character. You tell us about what he does that day. Well, that's symbolic of the rest of his life, and symbolizes elements of all our lives, or you wouldn't introduce us by way of telling us, and it wouldn't have any meaning unless we related or understood. It doesn't have to be like a grocery list before you start... "righto, ok, I need a father figure- here we go, need to personify corruption- yep here's one of those, where's the Isle of Repentance?"
Iori_Yagami wrote:as soon as mind-numbing anatomical analysis started at school... I vomited on this and NEVER returned to those classic EVER AGAIN.
After Grapes of Wrath in 10th grade, I felt similarly. Everything in the way they taught the book was about surgical dissection. They spent an hour on the seed that got stuck in the turtle shell and fell out later. I thought that went a bit far; I got the point. Rebirth. It was better left as a fleeting aside. But your teachers might bore you with some details in the short term to make you a more critical reader in the long run. I wish I still had people around me whose job was nothing more than make me see the world in a new way.
And for teachers out there: it does not really matter what kids write in their compositions. It matters MUCH, MUCH more what they say about given literary works outside of school, smoking behind the corner, and casually making fun of everything they are forced to do.
A teacher's job is not to judge your humanity by your oh-so-original rebelliousness. It's to teach you how to read and write and think. These things are valuable. It doesn't matter if you can learn it better somewhere else. If you can, learn it better somewhere else also.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby rxninja » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:09 am UTC

lesliesage wrote:A teacher's job is not to judge your humanity by your oh-so-original rebelliousness. It's to teach you how to read and write and think. These things are valuable. It doesn't matter if you can learn it better somewhere else. If you can, learn it better somewhere else also.


Have I told you lately that you rock my world?

On another note, there's a really good quote out there that better articulates my thoughts on this topic than I could with my own words. It talks about how understanding, truly analyzing and really understanding a work of literature, a poem, a song, or a work of visual art, is mastering one small ounce of chaos. If that's not truth, I'm not sure what is.
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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby lesliesage » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:30 am UTC

Wow! Thanks man. I do hugely value my ordinary public school education, and everything else that gives one new ways of seeing.

I think you speak truth on deeper understanding- mastering chaos, indeed! The reader/viewer should bring so much to the table in order to dine on such a feast.

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Re: I hate analyzing books

Postby i like pi » Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:16 pm UTC

that is actually good advice
lesliesage wrote:People who make jokes about rational numbers and who are writing books are not among "loud dumb people on the internet." I think the better writers probably are not sitting around thinking "right, ok, now what should symbolize life." So it's probably better if it comes naturally. Like, you sit down to tell us about your character. You tell us about what he does that day. Well, that's symbolic of the rest of his life, and symbolizes elements of all our lives, or you wouldn't introduce us by way of telling us, and it wouldn't have any meaning unless we related or understood. It doesn't have to be like a grocery list before you start... "righto, ok, I need a father figure- here we go, need to personify corruption- yep here's one of those, where's the Isle of Repentance?"
Iori_Yagami wrote:as soon as mind-numbing anatomical analysis started at school... I vomited on this and NEVER returned to those classic EVER AGAIN.
After Grapes of Wrath in 10th grade, I felt similarly. Everything in the way they taught the book was about surgical dissection. They spent an hour on the seed that got stuck in the turtle shell and fell out later. I thought that went a bit far; I got the point. Rebirth. It was better left as a fleeting aside. But your teachers might bore you with some details in the short term to make you a more critical reader in the long run. I wish I still had people around me whose job was nothing more than make me see the world in a new way.
And for teachers out there: it does not really matter what kids write in their compositions. It matters MUCH, MUCH more what they say about given literary works outside of school, smoking behind the corner, and casually making fun of everything they are forced to do.
A teacher's job is not to judge your humanity by your oh-so-original rebelliousness. It's to teach you how to read and write and think. These things are valuable. It doesn't matter if you can learn it better somewhere else. If you can, learn it better somewhere else also.
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.


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