The OF Blog: An insomniac discovery

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

An insomniac discovery

Nobody does "territorial debate" better than Protestants. Or so it seemed to me while reading this comment trail over an author's admission that his book wasn't originally intended to be "Christian Fiction." Kinda puts the recent dustup about overviews of critiques of review techniques in perspective, no?

For the record, I wonder how many of those respondents I could care "heretic" or "not really Christian" for their oh-so-silly refusal to admit the possibility of the Real Presence in the Eucharist? Not that I would do that in real life, though. But this is teh internetz, where I can inforce my power and wave my Wang of Righteousness about!

But nah, it's 5 AM and the alarm is set to go off in two hours for work. I review fantasy works here on occasion; no need to engage in a fantasy here. But do read that link and tell me what you thought of it. It's fascinating, in a train wreck sort of way, no?

6 comments:

felix said...

i liked the bit where they called Madeleine L'Engle an idolator

i also liked the bit where they weren't even joking

A+ thread, well found

SQT said...

Wow. I can't quite comprehend the arrogance of telling an author what they should have intended when they wrote their own book. Or getting mad that the author didn't take the path you wanted them to take...

Weird.

I couldn't even read all the comments. It got to heavy handed for me.

Larry said...

I was wondering when they'd get around to tying L'Engle's corpse to the stake and setting it alight...

Sadly, if I had posted this yesterday, few people would have believed this to be 100% real, but wow. I thought I was reading a Terry Goodkind fan forum for a moment when I read that series of exchanges.

MattD said...

Nobody does "territorial debate" better than Protestants. Or so it seemed to me while reading this comment trail over an author's admission that his book wasn't originally intended to be "Christian Fiction."

Hmm, seemed a lot like what happens when an author claims that their book wasn't intended to be fantasy or science fiction...

J M McDermott said...

I live in Fort Worth, TX, and I am at a webcafe where I can hear this very debate, and ones just like it raging right now.

What it reminds me of most is the "Literary Theory" movement from the nineties. Literary critics measured a book's greatness by how closely or how distantly the book reflected the pre-concieved notions of the critic.

I thought it was bad idea then, and I still think it's bad idea when you give the debate a Christian veneer.

Larry said...

Matt, there are those that claim there's a deep kinship between speculative fiction and metaphysical belief systems like Christianity, so there's probably something to that. In fact, if I were 22 all over again and in grad school and I had this blog and all, I probably wouldn't have dropped out of grad school at my MA and probably would have switched to contemporary cultural/religious history, with an emphasis on genre literature as a reflection of cultural/religious trends. Scary how much of the materialist mindset remains in me these days.

J.M., I agree. While I do take explicit and sometimes implicit authorial "intent" into account, I don't make a fetish of it, but it seems that many do. And having grown up (and still living there for the time being) in the Nashville area in the proverbial buckle for the Bible Belt, arguments such as those are quite familiar. All I know is that I'm content with being a Catholic convert, as virtually all the other denominations in the region make me want to bash my head against a wall repeatedly.

 
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