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norwaywolf123

High VS Low Litterature

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Question!!!!???

Explain the difference between "high" and "low" literature. Then discuss the relationship between them.

1. Is literature a form of art or culture? Why? Different points of view?

2. Any examples of "high" literature or "low" literature? What is your conclusions based?

3. Do you know any texts on the subject? Any articles, pamphleths, books, definitions?

4. Has the terms "high" and "low" literature changed over time?

I would appreciate it very much if i get any replies  !

I posted this on the literature too. Here:http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/149102-high-vs-low-litterature/

 

Edited by norwaywolf123

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You have posted this in the wrong forum. It should be in Literature, not General Chatter. 

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7 minutes ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Question!!!!???

Explain the difference between "high" and "low" litterature. Then discuss the relationship between them.

1. Is litterature a form of art or culture? Why? Different points of view?

2. Any examples of "high" litterature or "low" litterature? What is your conclusions based?

3. Do you know any texts on the subject? Any articles, pamphleths, books, definitions?

4. Has the terms "high" and "low" litterature changed over time?

I would appreciate it very much if i get any replies  !

1) Some of both, I suppose. Culture tends to spill through more in myth and storytelling perhaps, but is going to be found in literature as well. I think it's fair to say that writing is an art, but not all writing is art.

2) I suppose I would tend to define the classics as being considered "high" literature. Like many of the novels you were assigned to read in High School might be one example. I would say Pop Art, like comics or serialized novels (pulp) are most likely to be considered "low" literature,

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7 minutes ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

1) Some of both, I suppose. Culture tends to spill through more in myth and storytelling perhaps, but is going to be found in literature as well. I think it's fair to say that writing is an art, but not all writing is art.

Some people claim that litterary fiction is a form for high culture.

Quote

Definition

Neal Stephenson has suggested that while any definition will be simplistic there is today a general cultural difference between literary and genre fiction. On the one hand, literary authors nowadays are frequently supported by patronage, with employment at a university or a similar institution, and with the continuation of such positions determined not by book sales but by critical acclaim by other established literary authors and critics. On the other hand, Stephenson suggests, genre fiction writers tend to support themselves by book sales.[1] However, in an interview, John Updike lamented that "the category of 'literary fiction' has sprung up recently to torment people like me who just set out to write books, and if anybody wanted to read them, terrific, the more the merrier. ... I'm a genre writer of a sort. I write literary fiction, which is like spy fiction or chick lit".[2] Likewise, on The Charlie Rose Show, he argued that this term, when applied to his work, greatly limited him and his expectations of what might come of his writing, so he does not really like it. He suggested that all his works are literary, simply because "they are written in words".[3]

Characteristics

Characteristics of literary fiction generally include one or more of the following:

  • a concern with social commentary, political criticism, or reflection on the human condition,[4]
  • a focus on "introspective, in-depth character studies" of "interesting, complex and developed" characters,[4][5] whose "inner stories" drive the plot, with detailed motivations to elicit "emotional involvement" in the reader.[6][7]
  • a character-centric work (here in a pejorative sense) and, even, portraiture at the expense of any substantive plot. Philip Hensher's The Fit regularly tops lists of the books held to feature beautifully deconstructed characters who do nothing very beautifully.[3]
  • a slower pace than popular fiction.[8] As Terrence Rafferty notes, "literary fiction, by its nature, allows itself to dawdle, to linger on stray beauties even at the risk of losing its way".[9]
  • a concern with the style and complexity of the writing: Saricks describes literary fiction as "elegantly written, lyrical, and ... layered".[10]

Saricks also suggests a contrast with genre fiction, in which plot is the central concern.[11] However, this does not imply that plots are unimportant in literary fiction. Saricks also claims that the tone of literary fiction can be 'darker' than genre fiction;[8] however, dark themes also feature in genre fiction, notably horror and some fantasy, paranormal and science fiction.

However, the distinction is becoming blurred with major writers of literary fiction, like Nobel laureate Doris Lessing, as well as Margaret Atwood, writing science fiction. Also Georges Simenon, the creator of the Maigret detective novels, has been described by American composer and writer Ned Rorem, as "one of the five greatest French writers of our century". Rorem placed Simenon in the company of Proust, Gide, Cocteau and Sartre. Gide once called him 'the most novelistic of novelists in French literature'.[12]

Academia is also gradually reflecting this, with the University of Dundee offering a MLitt in science fiction,[13] Florida Atlantic University, has an MA in Literature & Theory with a concentration in science fiction and fantasy, while the University of Kansas, has a Center for the Study of Science Fiction.[14]

From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_fiction


Personally i think high culture is supposed to improve the reader as a human. Improvement by giving new insight, either by reflecting, explaining or experimenting. High litterature refines its readers into more enlightened, more prepared, more conscious. High litterature gives its readers a edge over the "others".

1. What do you think of litterary fiction? Is it a form for "high culture"?

2. From Wikipedias charcteristics of litterary fiction, could ASOIAF be described as "high culture?"

7 minutes ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

2) I suppose I would tend to define the classics as being considered "high" literature. Like many of the novels you were assigned to read in High School might be one example. I would say Pop Art, like comics or serialized novels (pulp) are most likely to be considered "low" literature,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBu8vSQdL84 (A researcher looking ofr highlitterature in pop litterature)

Much of what i have read is focused on the difference of high culture as opposed to popular culture. Do you think it is the litterature itself or the readers who make a litterary work, high or low culture/litterature?

 

Anyone can respond! Please do ;) 

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32 minutes ago, Ormond said:

You have posted this in the wrong forum. It should be in Literature, not General Chatter. 

31 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Welcome to the board, might have better luck here http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/forum/11-literature/

I did that already, i trying to get more direction into the topic.

Here: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/149102-high-vs-low-litterature/

 

 

Edited by norwaywolf123

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High literature is what the universities pretend exists to make themselves feel smart.

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'My tribe' stuff mostly. But like some boardgames are more mentally taxing than others (compare chess against snakes and ladders), so too are some novels more mentally taxing (or potentially so) than others. The trick with novels is someone can have read the pages of the novel and not gotten it but they think they get it, while with chess they can't help but acknowledge they lost (if they lost) due to higher difficulty. Easy novels and hard novels can all look alike, like some kind of Dunning Kruger effect of the literary world.

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5 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

High literature is what the universities pretend exists to make themselves feel smart.

Would you agree that Shakesspear is an example of high litterature? Do you disagree with the concept of seperating "high litterature" from "low or popular litterature"? Why did you think that distinction was made? What litterary works do universitites pretend to be high litterature, science, humanities?

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5 hours ago, Callan S. said:

'My tribe' stuff mostly.

What do you mean?

5 hours ago, Callan S. said:

But like some boardgames are more mentally taxing than others (compare chess against snakes and ladders), so too are some novels more mentally taxing (or potentially so) than others. The trick with novels is someone can have read the pages of the novel and not gotten it but they think they get it, while with chess they can't help but acknowledge they lost (if they lost) due to higher difficulty. Easy novels and hard novels can all look alike, like some kind of Dunning Kruger effect of the literary world.

So you think amiguity is an important factor in deciding if a litterary work of fiction is "high litterture" as opposed to "low or popular litterature ?

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How would elite litterature(high vs non artistic litterature. Is that a good lens to understand high and low litterture thru? How would you describe artistic?

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Lol, the idea of Shakespeare being NOT considered "popular literature" is hilarious. You should really, really read up on how Shakespeare was viewed in his time and some of the, uh, more colorful language he employed.

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18 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Lol, the idea of Shakespeare being NOT considered "popular literature" is hilarious. You should really, really read up on how Shakespeare was viewed in his time and some of the, uh, more colorful language he employed.

Yeah, that's a great example of writing that when it was written was probably considered to be "low" art. It was written for the masses. Over time it gained classic status and would now be considered "high" art. 

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Heck, Shakespeare drops the word cunt almost as much as that one British chef whose name escapes me at the moment.

But, short answer, there is no difference, its made up for lit snobs to feel better about themselves.

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1 hour ago, Regular John Umber said:

 Will you be citing the forum when you hand in your assignment?

I thought this was the purpose of this thread too. But this is my area, so ... some thoughts.

 

12 hours ago, norwaywolf123 said:

1. Is litterature a form of art or culture? Why? Different points of view?

Both? What is the difference in this context? I think art is a form of culture as a whole.

11 hours ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Much of what i have read is focused on the difference of high culture as opposed to popular culture. Do you think it is the litterature itself or the readers who make a litterary work, high or low culture/litterature?

Firstly, there is no dichotomy. You cannot separate literature in two boxes and draw the line between them and say this is the definite distinction between "high"/"elite" literature and "low"/"trivial" one.

Some of both. Some texts are written better, some worse ... that is a fact. But as with everything humans ever made, most of it is going to be average, not exceptionally good and not particularly bad either. So part of what makes a text a classic is the text itself. But critics, readership, time and other factors influence its status too.

3 hours ago, norwaywolf123 said:

Do you disagree with the concept of seperating "high litterature" from "low or popular litterature"?

Somewhat, because as I said some lines up, it is too much of a dichotomy. There are good books and there are bad books, but you cannot just divide all the texts according to that and fulfil all the criteria, whichever criteria you might decide on to distinguish between the two groups.

Also, I hate the term "genre" literature being used as the opposite of "elite" literature.

Our professor does an interesting experiment with different groups of students where he shows two excerpts from literary texts: one from a classical work (national canon) and one that was not accepted as a classic/a part of the national canon. From the excerpt itself it is basically impossible to tell the difference. Which means the text itself is not the only factor that gives some author/text a classical status.

Quote

Why did you think that distinction was made?

In my national literature, a big thing was the making of a nation through literature and establishing the language as a language worthy of having its own literature in the 19th century (because the nation was not free politically, they at least tried to establish themselves culturally and linguistically). No clue where you come from and how it was done there.

Academics wanting to feel smart is an important part of it too.

Also: In English, the word "literature" is spelled with one T. It is right there in the header of this forum.

Edited by Buckwheat

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Some day the works of Harold Robbins and Jacquline Susan will be included in the ranks of classical literature.

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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Stories are stories.

Further distinctions, whether in terms of genre classification, or in terms of separating high and low literature, are made by the reader.

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2 hours ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Some day the works of Harold Robbins and Jacquline Susan will be included in the ranks of classical literature.

Harold Robbins wrote crap, so probably not.

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6 hours ago, SeanF said:

Harold Robbins wrote crap, so probably not.

Today's crap is tomorrows classics. Give it about a 200 plus years and are you forgetting Star Trek the Voyage Home  Kirk and Spock's   conversation about the giants of literature ? :D

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