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 Post subject: Thoughts on quote
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:11 am 
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I read this quote in The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, and thought it was a rather interesting cocnept, was currious as to your thoughts upon the quote becasue I find it interesting.

"Books are not meant to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn't ask outselves what it says but what it means."

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:41 pm 
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When i hear this quote, the bible comes to mind. I do not believe that the earth was made in 6 days (the 7th was a day of rest). I do not believe that "God just went 'click'" and turned on the universe. (btw, does any1 know who said that? I THINK it was Robin Williams, but I'm not sure) However, I still consider myself to be a Christian (kind of...) because the bible has some good ideas. Theres no need to take any of it LITERALLY.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Thank you, Romeo for a really interesting quote, I enjoyed thinking about it!.

It seems to me that, apart from the actual story line, in good novels there is usually a thread/ theme running through associated with a virtue, a sin or an emotion. The story will explore, quite apart from the actual action of the tale, how such a particular element affects each character. Once the thread has been mentioned or the reader has discovered it for themselves, each reaction of a character will relate to that thread in some way. It may then lead the reader to relate to experiences in their own or in contemporary life and think further and wider than the actual “plot” that has been written. I believe that by supplying far more than just a story these books then become the classics of the future.

Themes such as greed, sacrifice, loyalty etc can readily be identified, often the sins seem to predominate, but all themes may not be so obvious.

An example, that was mentioned earlier on this Forum by Thenostromo, is Thomas Hardy’s book, Jude the Obscure. This is indeed one of the most depressing books I have ever read and I do not recommend it unless you have to study Hardy. The book spreads out a tale of perpetual failure and misery in every sphere of life for two people in particular, but what is underlying the story is the fact that the people are born at the wrong time for their ideas and aims. If they had lived in our age, what has caused them to fail may not have happened, because social conventions and opportunities alter. To me in particular that book is pointing out that everything that happens has to be considered in the time it occurs and not judged in hindsight.

Also, to me, another example is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” That explores discrimination in multiple ways apart from the obvious racial one, and leaves you so much to think about.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:26 pm 
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It is true that this quote can lend one to think of the Bibile and other simillar works, but when I read it, it made me think of history, historcial works and works written about history, becasue really so much written about history today is so subjective, and historians are often in debate with each other about varrious therories, ideas and so on, though much can be uncovered there is also much that is not known and I do not think any work of history can be taken as an absolute truth, but there is still something that can be leanred from it.

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Every man carries a circle of hell around his head like a halo. Every man, every man has to go through hell to reach his paradise.
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 Post subject: My first contribution
PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:14 am 
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The quote from a review of "The Wizard of Oz" on today's Google home page which began "transported to a surreal place, a girl kills the first woman she meets..."

I'll be honest, it hooked me into delving deeper for the attribution/author/context not leastwise b/c it seemed so pulpy in an otherwise edifying place.

I love quotations/epigrams/aphorisms. They're crystalized wisdom IMHO.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:02 pm 
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i really like the quote. i'm not christian so the bible doesn't really come to mind....but any religious book or a book that people might take more seriously than others.
it also brings to mind the dark ages when people mostly followed the work of Galen in Europe and simply read his books and believed rather than testing his methods.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:45 pm 
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My wife and I are reading Gregory McGuire's excellent and thought-provoking former bestseller "Wicked," and although there are many felicitous turns of phrase, the most valuable idea I've gained is the distinction between "hot" and "cold" anger, principally in males and females respectively.

While there may be no, or little logic in affairs of the human heart, I still believe what the Greek philosopher (who was it?) said: "Nothing's Good or Bad, but thinking makes it so." He wasn't speaking in absolute terms, of that I'm certain, because "the ends can never (fully, or even partially) justify the means," can they?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:08 am 
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Back to Romeo, from over a year ago, re Eco, I'll take issue.

B/c of our reason, our capacity to distinguish, perspective is, if not everything, most of "it." Any book's meaning then, is variable, not absolute. And, of course, aesthetics, one's special taste(s) and its/their respective opinion(s) are, to the viewer/thinker, worthy of expression. In short: "creativity w/o expression is meaningless."

And I believe in the value of applying the Existentialist saw in almost any argument, to wit: "Existence precedes essence."

What say ye scholars?


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