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Hiero79

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  1. This thread has sparked a lot more discussion than I was expecting, some of it very positive. I should perhaps clarify that I'm not trolling in the slightest - I try not to on principle. Nor was I making anything up - all those stories are entirely true. Most importantly I'm not attacking Martin at all. My work to date has involved locating Martin in the broader fantasy genre, which in turn has involved tying him in with some far-reaching themes in Anglophone literature going back to the eighteenth century. My basic supposition is that Martin's success is down to his ability to get the commonplaces of contemporary fantasy working to his advantage in order to venture upon those themes, rather than accepting them as strictures. Getting the conventions of a literary form working for you (instead of you working for them) is the mark of a good author, which is exactly what I think Martin is. The point I was trying to make is that for all the millions of book sales and billions of episode downloads this story has generated, it's peculiarly difficult to find anyone who seems to have made any intellectual or emotional investment in the story. People enjoy telling the GoT joke ("In GoT, everybody dies") but seem largely uninterested in doing anything else. The TV show in particular seems to have been received as a primarily comedic text. The one viewing party I managed to attend consisted to two people repeating the GoT joke to each other for twenty minutes before one of them left early, and a third person who was confused about the walking dead ("I don't remember them from the books"). These were members of the general public; academics, as noted above, seem to be anxious to profess their ignorance of the story. As someone who devoted 18 months of my career to praising of the story as a densely layered, brilliantly executed example of fantasy in action, I find that frustrating. The title of the thread was born from that frustration, and might have been better planned. I'm sure there are keen fans out there; I'm just having great difficulty finding them. Perhaps what I ought to do is start some specific discussion threads here ("Sansa Stark: Gothic heroine" might be a good one) and see if I can get any response to them.
  2. I'm an academic literary critic working in the field of modern fantasy literature. In that capacity I've written several peer-reviewed publications about Martin, including a book about how he relates and compares to other fantasy authors. I won't give the titles, because I don't want to be accused of self-promotion, but I do want to observe the one key thing I've learned from several years of research and writing about A Song of Ice and Fire: nobody is the slightest bit interested in it. Here's my evidence: * Multiple conventions have declined my offer to give presentations on Martin. * When one convention that accepted such a proposal - a con that Martin himself used to attend and has addressed in the past - the number of people I met who had read his novels was smaller than the number of people I met who'd never heard of him. My presentation attracted an audience of four, one of whom left halfway through. * When I gave a colloquium about Martin at my university, two people came. One left halfway through. * Four journalists have interviewed me about my book. All told me they were "big GoT fans" in their initial emails. None, it transpired, had ever watched it, or were aware it was a literary adaptation; one opted not to publish the interview at all. * I can't get my book reviewed anywhere; no magazines or literary journals want to hear about it. * The host of a local soft-news panel discussion on a local radio station mentioned the launch of season 4 of GoT to his three guests that afternoon. Two didn't know what he was talking about. The third said "Thank you, goodbye" and hung up on him. * When I taught A Clash of Kings in a university course in 2016, most students refused to read it. The university allows students to design their own term paper questions; only one student out of a class of 42 opted to write about Martin. She submitted a 2,000 word discussion of how attractive she thought Natalie Dormer was. * When a friend showed me the photos she'd taken on her holiday in Dubrovnik, I noted she'd visited the place where GoT filmed its street scenes. She ran out of the room with her fingers in her ears, shouting "I've never heard of that, and neither have any of my friends!" * When I gave a public lecture on Martin, it attracted an audience of eight, including my mother. One friend of mine who attended did so because, he explained, "Anything has to be better than reading that crap." He was, at the time, supervising an undergraduate thesis on Martin. I'm not telling these horror stories simply to vent my frustration - although I'll admit there's an element of that. I'm simply posting this in an attempt to find out if there are, in fact, any Martin fans out there. Sales figures of the books suggest so, but I'm having real difficulty locating them. To date the number of people I've met who are prepared to take even a polite interest in the story is smaller than the number of people who have actually stopped talking to me when I told them the subject of my book. There's a lot to talk about in this story on both page and screen and, having invested the time and energy I have into studying it, it would be really nice to find someone to have that conversation with. I thought this might be a good place to find those people. Any takers?
  3. I'm an academic literary critic working in the field of modern fantasy literature. In that capacity I've written several peer-reviewed publications about Martin, including a book about how he relates and compares to other fantasy authors. I won't give the titles, because I don't want to be accused of self-promotion, but I do want to observe the one key thing I've learned from several years of research and writing about A Song of Ice and Fire: nobody is the slightest bit interested in it. Here's my evidence: * Multiple conventions have declined my offer to give presentations on Martin. * When one convention that accepted such a proposal - a con that Martin himself used to attend and has addressed in the past - the number of people I met who had read his novels was smaller than the number of people I met who'd never heard of him. My presentation attracted an audience of four, one of whom left halfway through. * When I gave a colloquium about Martin at my university, two people came. One left halfway through. * Four journalists have interviewed me about my book. All told me they were "big GoT fans" in their initial emails. None, it transpired, had ever watched it, or were aware it was a literary adaptation; one opted not to publish the interview at all. * I can't get my book reviewed anywhere; no magazines or literary journals want to hear about it. * The host of a local soft-news panel discussion on a local radio station mentioned the launch of season 4 of GoT to his three guests that afternoon. Two didn't know what he was talking about. The third said "Thank you, goodbye" and hung up on him. * When I taught A Clash of Kings in a university course in 2016, most students refused to read it. The university allows students to design their own term paper questions; only one student out of a class of 42 opted to write about Martin. She submitted a 2,000 word discussion of how attractive she thought Natalie Dormer was. * When a friend showed me the photos she'd taken on her holiday in Dubrovnik, I noted she'd visited the place where GoT filmed its street scenes. She ran out of the room with her fingers in her ears, shouting "I've never heard of that, and neither have any of my friends!" * When I gave a public lecture on Martin, it attracted an audience of eight, including my mother. One friend of mine who attended did so because, he explained, "Anything has to be better than reading that crap." He was, at the time, supervising an undergraduate thesis on Martin. I'm not telling these horror stories simply to vent my frustration - although I'll admit there's an element of that. I'm simply posting this in an attempt to find out if there are, in fact, any Martin fans out there. Sales figures of the books suggest so, but I'm having real difficulty locating them. To date the number of people I've met who are prepared to take even a polite interest in the story is smaller than the number of people who have actually stopped talking to me when I told them the subject of my book. There's a lot to talk about in this story on both page and screen and, having invested the time and energy I have into studying it, it would be really nice to find someone to have that conversation with. I thought this might be a good place to find those people. Any takers?
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