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Topic: possible new categories for 2013

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Subject: possible new categories for 2013
Date Posted: 10/4/2012 4:04 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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I thought I'd make a list of suggestions for new categories for next year's challenge--and there's a staggering amount! Here's what we have thus far. . .

1) Russian lit; 2) black/African-American lit; 3) feminist; 4) classic love story; 5) a less famous work by a famous author; 6) modern classic (1940-80); 7) classic erotica (or passion); 8) magic realism; 9) ghost story; 10) folklore or fairy tale; 11) travel writing; 12) banned book; 13) "gonzo" writing; 14) bildungroman; 15) classic book that inspired the writing of others (The Odyssey and Ulysses, for instance); 16) obsession; 17) transportation; 18) post-colonial; 19) nom de plume; 20) GLBT; 21) espionage; 22) spiritual.

WOW. Let's start figuring out which ones we really want, and those we don't.

I love: a less famous work by a famous author; banned book; obsession; Russian lit.

I don't especially care for classic erotica; "gonzo" writing; GLBT; or espionage.

What do you think?

                                                                                  Rose                                          



Last Edited on: 10/4/12 4:05 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/4/2012 12:51 PM ET
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I'm definitely up for Russian, feminist, black/African American, espionage, gonzo, LGBTQ, spiritual, banned book and ghost story.

I can take or leave post-colonial, classic inspired, less famous work.  I don't understand exactly what would count as transportation or obsession.

Date Posted: 10/4/2012 8:51 PM ET
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Er............uh................whut's "spiritual"?????  

Date Posted: 10/4/2012 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
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sevenspiders,

Transportation: a work set in, for example, the high seas, in a ship: A high wind in Jamaica; Mutiny on the Bounty;or on a train,  for example: Closely Watched Trains, Strangers on a Train,or any other kind of category of transportation you can think of. Could even be a magic carpet or a witch's broom! Lots of choices here.

Obscession: would be a story in which obsession plays a major role. Examples:

Dickens: Our Mutual Friend

Lord of the Rings

Moby Dick

Galsworthy's  novels that made up his series The Forsyte Saga

Many  of Shakespeare's  plays or any of the great tragedians It won't be hard to come up with something.

As usual, I just want to put in a plug to make sure that categories are not restricted to novels. I love novels, but there's more to the classics than novels. Pls keep the categories open enough to include poetry, plays, short stories and literature that pre-dates novels.

 

     I like 1, 4, 6 (but I’d take it up to 1985), 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 (which I would collapse into 11),  18, 21

Janet E.

 



Last Edited on: 10/4/12 10:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/5/2012 12:03 AM ET
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1) Russian lit yes

2) black/African-American lityes

3) feministyes

4) classic love story

5) a less famous work by a famous authoryes

6) modern classic (1940-80)yes

7) classic erotica (or passion)

8) magic realism

9) ghost storyyes

10) folklore or fairy tale

11) travel writing

12) banned bookyes

13) "gonzo" writing

14) bildungroman  (we did this category this year)

15) classic book that inspired the writing of others (The Odyssey and Ulysses, for instance)yes

17) transportationyes

18) post-colonial

19) nom de plume

20) GLBT;

21) espionageyes

22) spiritual

23) book made into a movieyes

 

 

I will probably double and maybe triple categories like I did this year as that kind of lite challenge worked well for me.



Last Edited on: 10/7/12 1:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 10/5/2012 12:06 AM ET
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About the Post colonial category.

At lot of book examples for this category were not very old. Lots of contemporary authors. I may combine post colonial with modern classic.

Date Posted: 10/5/2012 12:11 AM ET
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I just want to put in a plug to make sure that categories are not restricted to novels. I love novels, but there's more to the classics than novels. Pls keep the categories open enough to include poetry, plays, short stories and literature that pre-dates novels.

 

Absolutely. I am all for short stories especially when I am exploring new-to- me categories. I don't want to get bogged down with a 600 page book of a genre I discover I dislike.  Novellas are fine too for this purpose. Poetry? Sure.

I don't ask permission to do this. I just do it. After all, it's my challenge.

Date Posted: 10/5/2012 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
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TomeTrader, I like the way you think. And I will definitely just "go with it" and not worry about whether or not my choice is a short story, poem or novel. After all, as you say, it's my challenge. And it's all classical literature....

List is shaping up. I'm getting psyched about making choices for 2013!.

 

Janet E.

Date Posted: 10/5/2012 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I'm getting psyched about making choices for 2013!.

I know, it's my favorite part of the process.

 

Subject: my two cents
Date Posted: 10/5/2012 11:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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I am most interested in the categories below. Also, perhaps a "made into film" categoryyes could be added, as there are so many possibilities (& b/c I've been wanting to read Oliver Twist for a long time smiley).

1) Russian lit yes

2) black/African-American lityes

3) feministyes

4) classic love story yes (could be combined w/ erotica & obsession)

5) a less famous work by a famous authoryes

6) modern classic (1940-80)yes

9) ghost storyyes

11) travel writing (I agree: combine w/ "transportation") 

12) banned bookyes

14) bildungroman  (we did this category this year) (this is one of my favorites)yes

15) classic book that inspired the writing of others yes (note: contemporary lit challenge 2013 has a "work that takes inspiration from a classic work of art/literature" topic...could be fun!) 

17) transportationyes

18) post-colonialyes

19) nom de plume yes

21) espionageyes

 

Date Posted: 10/6/2012 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Twenty-two categories!   Wow!   Now I'm thinking that instead of narrowing the field, each participant could choose whichever categories he/she pleases, as well as whether to  undertake the 'full" challenge or the 'lite' challenge?   Reading the list as set forth by Tome Trader was a little like being ravenously hungry and looking at a sumptuous menu . . . .

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 5:07 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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Kristin, I like the idea of "made into film" category.

Bonnie, your idea of having everyone choose from the whole gamut is very intriguing! It would be like a smorgasboard.

What does everyone think of including Kristin's suggestion, and going with Bonnie's idea?

                                                                                                                                     Rose

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 12:45 PM ET
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The only drawback I can think of everyone doing their own is less opportunity to discuss the ones we pick from each genre.  I think we can narrow it down a little  bit from the 22 we have now, and maybe save some for next year?

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 1:24 PM ET
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Another vote for "book made into a movie."  That's a good one.

 

seven, we pretty much do our own thing anyway. I plan on narrowing down the categories anyway to about 6 by combining them. I prefer lite challenges.

Subject: another possibility
Date Posted: 10/7/2012 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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I'm one of those people who just likes to make lists & things...so here is another possibility: We could fit the existing topics into several categories. There are 6...so read 2 from each category?

Of course, the categories below are not the only possibly arrangement (& the "special topics" category has 4 instead of 3 choices) - this is just a suggestion. I am not particularly tied to this combination or to the category titles...

Best kept secrets

  • Espionage
  • nom de plume
  • a less famous work by a famous author

Fantastic!

  • magic realism
  • ghost story
  • folklore or fairy tale

Get inspired!

  • work that inspired the writing of others
  • made into film
  • spiritual

Non-traditional canon:

  • black/African-American
  • feminist
  • GLBT

Transported: (spiritual could also go here)

  • travel writing
  • transportation
  • passion (love story/erotica)

Special topics

  • Russian lit
  • post-colonial/modern classic (1940-80)
  • "gonzo" writing
  • banned book (could also go in "inspired" -- as in, "inspired to action")

Personal favorite (topic replacement option): Repeat a topic from a previous challenge or create your own topic (this would allow for the Bildungsroman option)



Last Edited on: 10/7/12 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2012 5:26 PM ET
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sigh . . . . such a wealth of suggestions to choose among . . . . . . and I like almost all of them (I still don't want to read any "erotica").   Still, I thought of another possible category today, after reading the Nobel Prize for Literature is to be announced Oct. 16.   That is, presuming the committee gives out a prize this year----there have been times when a Nobel was not awarded.

Rose called the list a "smorgasbord", and it's an apt metaphor.  Did you all know that on an authentic Swedish smorgasbord, a diner makes at least three trips to serve himself/herself?   The first is for appetizers, and some of them are pretty substantial.   The second is for the entrées  (and sides).  The third is for desserts of various and sundry sorts (but you have to remember that the Scandinavian idea of 'dessert' is not like the U.S. idea of cakes, pies, and other too-sugary things).   And you take a clean plate each time you visit the smorgasbord table, even if you are making a second visit for any of the three courses.  Usually, coffee is drunk at the conclusion of the meal, not throughout the meal, as I have seen done here in Minnesota and elsewhere.

I used to know a person who called some books "chewy".   He meant the ones that contained ideas, about which the reader would be compeled to think.  And another figure of speech that came to mind, upon reading Rose's post, was how some booklovers say that they are "voracious" readers, or that they simply "devour" books.  It's not in the same vein, but I'd also like to remind you all about how reading books has sometimes been compared to "stoking the furnace" a la the practice of having to shovel chunks of good anthracite into the furnace to keep it working and making warmth.

 P.S.  Upon further thought, I believe that I have read a little "erotica", perhaps.  It was The Lover, by Marguerite Duras, a book that bears a faint resemblance to Lolita, in a way.



Last Edited on: 10/7/12 5:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/7/2012 5:46 PM ET
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Oh, I like the Nobel Prize winner category as well.

I'm all for making this list a true "groaning board" of suggestions! Let's keep bringing the dishes forward for a few more days.

                                                                                                                                            Rose

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
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Here are some choices that interest me.

1. banned books
2. Roman a Clef (see Wikipedia for def. & examples)
3. stream of consciousness (see Wikipedia for def. & examples)
4. tragicomedy book or play
5. transportation
6. parody (see Wikipedia for def. & examples)
7. myth - ancient or recent creation (e.g., Tolkien's works)
8. nom de plume
9. Eastern European (this would broaden the narrower category of 'Russian')

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 6:27 PM ET
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Kristen,

Fantasic list maker, you!

You simplified my challenge completely.

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 8:44 PM ET
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I like Kristin's proposal because it takes all of the suggestions and puts them into a structure that makes sense and gives us all latitude to play with the options.

That said, I think Barb's genre suggestions can be interwoven into Kristin's structure.

Roman a clef and Parody can fall under the "Get Inspired" catagory because they both need subjects (Inspiration) from which to draw on; they don't operate in a vacuum.

Stream of consciousness could fall under Special topics and Myth could fall under Fantastic! because it would be hard to come up with a myth that doesn't deal with the fantastic. (but if that's not the case,  jump in with your examples!)  And yes, broadening the Russian category to Eastern European would for sure give us more great choices.

And I agree with TomeTrader -- we pretty much do our own thing and don't get involved in serious discussion. I see alot of "I hated this" or "I loved this" which is  fine but it's not discussion, really so much as expressing a (perfectly valid) opinion.

Are we shooting our wad by having so many categories? I don't think so. The categories can be re-worked in future years in different ways.

Janet E.

 

 



Last Edited on: 10/17/12 9:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/7/2012 10:35 PM ET
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...or we could do a 2- year challenge lol.
Date Posted: 10/7/2012 11:48 PM ET
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I see alot of "I hated this" or "I loved this" which is  fine but it's not discussion, really so much as expressing a (perfectly valid) opinion.

 

I don't have enough eruditon to expound on the merits or faults of a book that a serious lit discussion requires. I leave that up to the English majors.

It's hard for me to read between the lines and find the hidden meaning in a book if there is one. It's a bit of a chore that distracts from my enjoyment of a good read if I have to go digging around to find out what an author really meant when he wrote X. Firstly, I want well written story and if some edification sneaks in, well all the better, but I am not going to chase it down like I would for an English term paper.

I know, I know. Saying I liked a book or hated a book says more about me than the book.

Still, if I know I am about to read a book known in English lit circles to be loaded with deep stuff, I'll do a light research to help me understand and get more enjoyment out if it.

I suspect I am not the only one and that's why we don't have deep discussions.

Subject: P.S.
Date Posted: 10/7/2012 11:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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Points for clarification:

  • Are we still operating under the condition that a "classic" should be at least 50 years old? If so, we should probably change the "modern classic" category (to "Modernist" literature, perhaps? Then stream-of-consciousness would fit well).
  • Can someone explain "gonzo" writing? Sorry if I missed it in an earlier post. Wikipedia tells me about "gonzo journalism" -- is that what we're talking about? And does the "length-of-endurance-to-be- considered-a-classic" issue apply here as well?

It seems to me that roman a clef and parody could go together as 1 topic.

Not to rain on the topic-proliferation parade, but my personal opinion is that we should limit topics at some point -- otherwise everyone's really just doing their own thing. For me, part of the "challenge" is finding books I want to read that fit the given topics...which also leads me to read some works I normally wouldn't. Also, if we keep the "Personal favorite" topic, people can use that for, well, their personal favorite. (However, perhaps our existing categories do not allow for enough flexibility...?)

For those in favor of continuing to add topics..perhaps we should check out the 2011-2013 HF challenges, which are FULL of ideas for people who want to read more for the challenge. (Super Deluxe challenges, bonuses, etc.)

 



Last Edited on: 10/7/12 11:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/8/2012 6:43 AM ET
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You make some excellent points, Kristin.  (Incidentally,  I like how your Contemporary Challenge allows a person to group books together.)

Maybe we could use Bonnie's idea of dividing the smorgasbord into categories (appetizers, entreees, etc.) and group books that way.

Good thing we're starting early on this!

                                                                                                                    Rose

 

Date Posted: 10/8/2012 11:01 AM ET
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 Are we still operating under the condition that a "classic" should be at least 50 years old?

I don't know about others but my selections must be 50 or more years old.

 

 

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