Tuesday, August 30, 2011



"By­ron re­al­ly is gay, i hate his ass, he dont even know im his dad..."


"i liked it that hal killed hotspur because in the movie hotspur was ugly and disgusting. everytime i looked at him i felt like i wanted to puke."


"Due to unfortunate job-related stuff, I'm currently teaching a Jane Austen novel. Doesn't matter which. I can't keep them straight."

"I would rape Jane Austen if she were alive.And yes I am a woman."


"Um, WOW!

The anti-christ is really anti-Christianity."



"I call this one 'Fart of Darkness.'"


"I hope my students never read this."


"Cervantes may have been a genius, but the rest of us aren't. For his next book I think he should try to write on everyone else's level."


"This book takes a really long time to get into, and it isn't that good. Books like these make me wonder... If I discovered a long lost manuscript of Emily Bronte or some other author of 'classics', and I submitted it to a publishing company anonymously, I highly doubt that it would be published. The point is, Classics are not good books. Books are vehicles for ideas, and so a good book is a book that can effectively use language to express ideas and create beauty. Long-winded descriptions and two-dimensional characters do not express ideas well, and are more exhausting than beautiful. I can see the merit of studying classics because they part of the history of literature, but it bothers me when people say classics are good books. Because, when it comes down to it, books like Wuthering Heights are not in any way good."


"Jung was on that hippie shit, of course you'd like him ... I'll leave it on that note, Freud was a fucking winner. ALl those after him were less willing to acknowledge truth. Thats it. I'm done, you can all go dry hump your fascinations with that hippie, I'm going to bump some Smashing Pumpkins and read for the night."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale

"another clunker."

"I read a good synopsis of 'The Winter’s Tale' and then read through the play itself while referring to the notes so that I could understand what he was saying. The notes are critical in helping to explain the meaning of words/ phrases in the context of late 16th century/early 17th century English culture and society. Finally the notes also are really important to help you, dear reader, to make sense of allusions to Greek or Roman tales to which S refers or to explain bizarre phrases and slang that have long since left the language. Next I bought a DVD of the play and watched it with the book open in front of me. Finally I started reading the play through again, looking for character development and emotional impact etc. I quit about half way through.
Was it worth it in the end? No, don’t waste your time."

"The idea that Perdita, due to her parentage, acts 'too noble' for a shepherdess irks me."

"Sloppy! Perhaps a bit too much ale or mead was consumed during the editing process."

"This was just slow and silly. Did you ever read about that guy in the bible that sicked a bear on some kids that made fun of him? Yeah, this is kind of like that. In that it has a bear that shows up out of nowhere and kills a person. I thought it was a joke the first time I read it. I guess I can say the same about the bible too though."

"I am not impressed with this play. I don't like the fact that it's a tragi-comedy because it makes the play seem ridiculous and unpolished. I also don't like the fact that Hermione comes back to life at the end of the play. This is really hokey. Also, the part about Antigonus getting eaten by a bear is random and dumb. Shakespeare should not have stooped to writing in a blended genre. Another thing I don't like about this play is that the plot at the beginning of the play is almost the same as the plot of Othello. Lastly, Autolycus is a very annoying character. I can't stand him."

"To think that someone so prolific and brilliant wrote this silly thing is actually sad."

"This is the weirdest Shakespeare I ever read, for my Gender in Shakespeare class in college. There's a queen who is dead for, like, 20 years, then the king finds a statue of her, then it's not a statue, it's really her! Um...okay Will."

"Dude. Billy Boy is so stuck for material here that he resolves a plot point by having a bear come out of nowhere and kill someone. A BEAR!"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Carl Gustav Jung - The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

"Carl Jung was a racist, chauvanist, homophobic coward, and yet all the loopy loo hippie dippy new age quacks quote him this and that"

"Carl Jung was an idiot who also believed that the human unconscious mind was linked to every other person on the planet"

"freud was a fag and carl jung wasnt anything special either"

"it's more like 'a built yourself machine' where every part of the machine is named ,but how you put it together is your problem.Sooo after a while the book became really anoying."

"i dont hate psychology....i just think its overrated..."

"Jung was on that hippie shit, of course you'd like him ... I'll leave it on that note, Freud was a fucking winner. ALl those after him were less willing to acknowledge truth. Thats it. I'm done, you can all go dry hump your fascinations with that hippie, I'm going to bump some Smashing Pumpkins and read for the night."

"Why did anyone ever LISTEN to that guy in the first place????"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ludwig Wittgenstein - Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus II

"It was not an easy task for me to write anything on Wittgenstein. The problem is, after reading about a page and a half of any of his works my mind shuts down completely. I fall asleep or start daydreaming. It’s some kind of automatic defence mechanism. When we had the Wittgenstein picnic in Jesmond Dene a year and a half ago, I only managed to stay awake throughout by being seriously physically uncomfortable, sitting on the cold, hard ground. So in preparing for this talk, I have circumvented reading any Wittgenstein by making use of two books on Wittgenstein ... My problem with Wittgenstein is really very simple: he completely misses the point.
Wittgenstein thinks that religion and morality are beyond the limits of language, beyond what can be said. This is very easy to refute, although it cannot be said, only shown: [hold up William James]. The fact that William James has managed to write a book on religion that makes sense to a total and utter atheist like myself is enough to show that Wittgenstein is wrong.
There is nothing in the structure or nature of language that stops us from talking about religion or morality. The structure of language has nothing to do with the limits of our knowledge about religion or morality.
I have serious problems with Wittgenstein’s approach. Why does he pretend to just describe and do all his theory implicitly? Why does he refuse to set down his views in a structured format? Surely his approach leads to inconsistencies in his work and makes life more difficult for someone who tries to follow his reasoning?
I don’t see how a study of the structure of language has any bearing on philosophy. If you’re after the conditions of being, study the conditions of being. Language is a product of being, not a condition.

Secondly, there’s nothing you can’t talk about, as long as you do it properly. It’s perfectly valid to discuss morality, aesthetics or even religion. Certainly the limits of language won’t prevent you from saying anything a human can know about any subject.

Thirdly: I’m happy that I have done this Investigation. Until today, I hated Wittgenstein more or less instinctively. At least now I have given a rational defence of my dislike.

Finally: I hope that this has shown all Wittgensteinians to be forever silent. Can I leave now?"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights V

"This is a great read when you're in high school and sufficiently wrapped up in melancholic, romanticized drama. It's a bit tedious and ridiculous as you get older"

"frankly, the moral of this story eluded me"

"I hated to be suffocated. WH smothered me. Power or not, did I need that kind of passion? Hells no. Some things are too bad of an influence."

"Possibly the most over-rated novel in the English language, Wuthering Heights would probably not irritate me quite so much if legions of misguided friends and fellow readers weren't forever trying to convince me of its brilliance."

"Bad English major that I am, I've managed to somehow never read the majority of the classics. And I harbor nearly no desire to do so.

The first time I picked up the book and started to read it, I knew I couldn't do it. So I put it back on the shelf to try again at another time. The next time I picked it up, it seemed doable."

"The story carries the reader along, but every character is laced with a dramatic flaw (and by dramatic, I mean, it isn't like a 'weak man' could just be weak to his wife; he's weak in the face of the universal will. A selfish person isn't just selfish about her daily amount of reading time, or whether her husband goes out whoring or not; she's selfish about every single thing that comes into contact with her)."


"While Wuthering Heights is a classic and while I do respect it a great deal I cannot get past the old English vernacular and the long drawn out descriptions the Bronte uses."

"If I was Linton I would've tossed Heathcliff over the cliffs..(little side joke)"

"At one point Lockwood narrating what Nelly is relating of what someone else (Catherine?) said, and Nelly's relating it in the first person, as though Catherine(?) herself is speaking. Then the text says, 'I interrupted....' Who's interrupting? Catherine? Nelly? Lockwood? It turns out it's Lockwood, but I felt that as a reader I shouldn't have to pay attention to that type of detail."

"I really don't like this story! It's boring because I can hardly understand the story as the version of the book that I read was an old version."

"Classic British literature appears to be characterized by a universal lack of an actual plot that it attempts to make up for with painfully excessive wordiness. Wuthering Heights is no exception.

Fortunately for me, I've grown accustomed to reading such novels, and was actually able to get through it..."

"Ugh! Emily (author), give us a bone. Take us on a journey. Tell us a story. This book was painful to read."

"I don't understand how this book is called a 'romance'."

"The author completely skims over the pregnancies of Catherine and Isabella."


"I was quite board with it."

"For me, it's like looking at Picasso's Guernica. You're amazed at the creativity and genius of the artist, and appalled at subject matter -- appreciative of the artist's skill, but offended by the subject matter."

"This book takes a really long time to get into, and it isn't that good. Books like these make me wonder... If I discovered a long lost manuscript of Emily Bronte or some other author of 'classics', and I submitted it to a publishing company anonymously, I highly doubt that it would be published. The point is, Classics are not good books. Books are vehicles for ideas, and so a good book is a book that can effectively use language to express ideas and create beauty. Long-winded descriptions and two-dimensional characters do not express ideas well, and are more exhausting than beautiful. I can see the merit of studying classics because they part of the history of literature, but it bothers me when people say classics are good books. Because, when it comes down to it, books like Wuthering Heights are not in any way good."

"I read it on the train and, as we RAN SOMEONE OVER, I got eightish hours to read it."

"It is really hard to get through the book if you are at all sensitive to the real world and real people."

"Why did Cathy die in the middle of the book? And we had to wait till over TWENTY YEARS afterwards for the end? It makes no sense for a plot."

"I hated this book. HATED it. The only thing that stops me from giving it just one star instead of two is that the writer in me has to admit it was well written. So good for you, Emily Bronte! You can write a story! I still hated it."

"This is a seriously a weird book! Why was this such a 'classic' that all high school English classes (except mine, of course) had to read it? It's so bizarre!

Of course, all I could think of the whole time I was reading this was Friends Episode #106, where Phoebe and Rachel go to a night class discussing Wuthering Heights. It's pretty entertaining, even though I couldn't find online any copies of all the lines at the class.

Anyway, I got to be 41 years old without ever reading this, and decided it was time.

First, I find the device of Nelly Dean basically telling the entire story to an uninvolved party very odd. Was it really that hard for Emily to convey everything, without relaying the entire story from Miss Dean to Mr. Lockwood, about whom I cared nothing?"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cervantes - Don Quixote II

"For the first 250 pages, this book lives up to its legendary reputation. In addition to the famous scenes (windmills and sheep), there are some genuinely funny scenes I did not know about before actually reading this book (including a level of violence and vomit out of a South Park episode). However, the next 700 pages (including a 400-page 'Book 2' written 6 years later) just beat the same point into the ground and then continue to beat that point (quit behaving like a character from someone else's book) until my patience wore thin. This may be the first example of a comedian faced with the awkwardness of a sequel, and I sincerely hope that 'Hangover: Part II' avoids the same problem where a sequel just feels like a weak copy."

"This book seriously made me want to gouge my eyes out."

"What I liked about this novel is that Cervantes used humorous writing in almost every notable event in the story. It really helps the reader to continue reading through the pages because the reader will certainly not feel the tedious-ity of the novel unlike the other Classics."

"Too long, too old, too much!"

"Too,Borring for me."

"Though I have yet to finish it, I find it to be one of the silliest books I have ever read."

"This is a book about an idiot, and, therefore, one I would have preferred to never have read but was made to."

"Don Quixote probably was a great book during Cervantes' time, but I found it to be slow, boring and uneventful. In my (humble) opinion most modern readers, used to more concise, faster paced books, will not enjoy this one."


"I'm sure that that this is a great book. I can accept that for its time it was really something ... Those that hold it in high esteem are either trying to show respect for the mentally ill, haven't read it yet, or lead sheltered lives where this kind of thing might seem interesting. I suggest other books... that are shorter... and that might compel one to read them to conclusion."

"Cervantes may have been a genius, but the rest of us aren't. For his next book I think he should try to write on everyone else's level."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homer - The Odyssey II

"this is an absolute waste of time."

"It had been a long war, everyone agreed.
But at last Odysseus, king of Ithaca, hero of the Trojan War, loving husband and father, was finally heading home across the Aegean.
...Perhaps, in retrospect, not the best time to kill the son of Poseidon, Greek good of the sea, but really, it couldn't be helped.
Now it's one mortal man against every monster, witch and elemental god this side of Byzantium, in a race to reach home beore his wife marries one of the suitors slumming in his banquet hall."

"this was the most boring book i have ever read i dont even get it!!!!!"

"so old its almost part of history."

"The Odyssey is a book I will never read again if I don't have to. The storyline was too far-fetched for my imagine in order to comprehend the novel."

"What would you do if you did not know whether your husband was dead or alive? Would you remarry and move on? That was a big decision that Odyssey’s wife had to make. She had to make this decision not knowing if her beloved husband would return from the war against Troy. The Odyssey takes you on a heroic journey with Odyssey himself, as he tries to get back to his Kingdom named Ithaca.
The author made the story seem unbelievable by writing the places that Odyssey visited, unrealistic. He described places with such detail that I didn’t believe it myself. He made the characters unrealistic as well. He talked about a Cyclops named Polyphemus, who was tricked by Odyssey. The way Homer described Calypso (the sea goddess) was very vivid."

"I had to read the whole thing for school. If I was reading it on my own I probably would have stopped a third of the way through. It was boring and there was no real depth to Odysseus. When it came down to it, it was just a guy desperate to get to his home in Ithaca. Probably one of the most tiring books I've read."

"There's nothing. Can't relate to the story."

"man who goes through a hold lo of advanture just to make it home and when he get home he still got promblems.on his journey home he faces the cyclops the siren chydris and carbdis plus the suitors"

"omg...I started 30 years ago and haven't finished it yet"

"Interesting enough to read, boring enough to regret it."

"Confusing as hell. There's a ton of characters and it's hard to keep everything straight. Homer gets points for writing the entire thing in verse, but I didn't enjoy the tale."

"I'm thinking about teaching it to my sophomores this year. It's another monumental work, but ploddingly dull. Great stories interspersed among mind numbing concentration on events that seemed totally trivial to me. Maybe I don't have the correct perspective, but I decided if I do teach it I'll only do excerpts. A few lines about seven years of enslavement with Calypso, with whom in other stories he has an illegitimate child, then pages and pages narrating him hanging out with his shepherd before confronting the suitors. It's bad balance."

"My least favorite character is the Cyclops, because he was a huge distraction on their mission. The Cyclops ate most of the characters and I did not like the setting of where they were."

"I love a lot of the classics in movie form, but as for trying to get through them in book form the writing is boring."

"I hope my students never read this."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness IV

"This book was written by someone on drugs. It is poorly thought out, has characters that can't be understood and make no sense, and overall is a slap in the face of traditional literature."

"horrible horrible book too complicated very stange sense of literature"

"I had to read a fiction book for my Sophomore English class; we received a list of books on college and many other's top ten lists. I had scored really high on a reading test and decided that I should go for on of the harder books. Don't let the title deceive you, Heart of Darkness might seem like a murder mystery, or a dark story from a famous authors mind, but be forewarned: this book is not an easy book to get through.
This was written in the early 1900's and so it is also a different writing style than the kind writers use nowadays so you might not get what you'd expect. I would highly recommend being around College level before reading this. Not for the sake of understanding it, but from the tolerance high school will give you when reading boring books."

"It is no wonder that many students will nod off during this one. You can not blame their youth for this snooze-fest. It is plain and simply boring and there is much better period novels out there that deal with similar themes. I am sure swapping this one for something from Patrick O'Brian 'Master and Commander' would make the class room more attentive."

"We all know by now Conrad had a large vocabulary....
I did enjoy Conrad's eccentric use of verbatim but felt like he went overboard in some parts. Being wordy is ok as long as you don't go beyond the line of a reader's attention span."

"I was quite happy when the natives started shooting arrows at the boat. Not that I'm some simpleton that needs action and gore to be happy - that's not it at all."

"Phonies Love This Book
Not so hot; phony intellectuals are told this is a great work so they make up all sorts of lies about layering and craftsmanship, when it's really just a so-so story and the ending with the guy Marlon Brandon played in the movie (Apocalypse Now) going crazy and Conrad never explaining why there should be such a fascination with him. It might be a nice book if there was a story here. But these modern phonies do not understand that writing is supposed to be enjoyable."

Everybody has always told me this book was great. Everybody I've ever talked to is an idiot. This book was terrible, it made no sense. I have loved other classics, thats what i read most. But this book was just bad, it was some guy rambling on and on. I think conrad was on acid when he wrote this book."

"never read this book
This book makes no sence. If you can understand this book than you are a genus. I have to read this book for school and I don't understand 1 single page of this book.
If someone out there understands this book please tell me or let me know."

"If you like entertaining stories, you will hate this one. Conrad is continually dark and depressing. In many cases, he makes the story disturbing."

"Pseudointellectual myth
this book was horrible and yet gets all the praise? This book confirms my belief that most authors should retire at a certain point. Even more so that the world is full of pseudo-intellectuals who see 'depth' in anything abstruse that we dummies can't appreciate. Conrad must have have had too much praise go to his head or alcohol or something ... He must have needed rent money or tried some avant garde thing while drug addled. How utterly unbelievable that this book is famous."

"there goes 5 hours of my life i will never get back
what a waste of time who the hech was kuntz anyway"

"The innocence of children is routinely destroyed in American classrooms with books like this. The fact that imperialism (although a lot of colonialism brought many good things to various cultures also) and evil people exist in all cultures is true. But books like this seem to promote the idea that evil is somehow European. The incredible negative focus in classrooms has devastated America as well as Europe. It is just part of more than a century of self destructive western writings beginning wih Karl Marx. Upton Sinclair wrote the Jungle as part of a self admitted promotion of Socialism. Unfortunately, Heart of Darkness is just another in a long line of books that promote self hate, or bitterness and rage, and event anti western sentiment that even people such as Stalin or the current terrorists use as motivation to kill 'evil western imperialists.' Ironically Communist countries use this literature to teach hatred of the west. And here in the U.S. this literature is forced on American youth by the left wing. But also this type of literature is used by Christian and conservative schools. The destruction of western youth is coming from all sides. And I have seen many statements frm young people that their self mutilation and horrible self image stems from 12 years of chronic darkness taught to them by a decrepit school system that thrives on darkness. Heart of Darkness is just dark."

I love how certain types like to claim how grand and magnificent this book is. Conrad's native language was Polish. I have several Polish colleagues and let me assure you it is one of the most complicated and difficult languages. That being said, Conrad wrote this book in English. He was qouted as having said that their were difficulties and complexities of the English language that had 'eluded' him. To that, I say 'yeah, we noticed'.
This book is simply poorly written. No mystery about why many hate it. It is so difficult to read because his command of grammar and punctuation is so poor. The reason people are frequently lost and re-reading passages is because he commands the idea of quoting and transitions in narration in such a weak way.
A classic? I don't think so! Maybe he should have written it in Polish and then had it translated. Sorry."

"Someone seriously should have introduced Joseph Conrad to the idea that, ideally, a paragraph ranges between about 4 and 6 sentences in length. NOT 2 pages."

"Beautiful themes and striking descriptions...if only the paragraphs could be a few dozen sentences shorter..."

"Wasn't able to get through the whole 'chapter is one long paragraph' thing"

"Conrad is one of those who liked sentences the size of paragraphs and paragraphs that went on for a page or more."

"My god that was tedious. Great novel (I get it, I do) but the lack of paragraphs was definitely trying."

HEY IDIOTS. LET ME SHOW YOU A LITTLE MAGIC TRICK. LET ME JUST FIND SOMETHING ON MY DESKTOP TO COPY AND PASTE... HUM DE HUM... OKAY HERE WE GO. NUMBER ONE: ouldn't see much in the trunk but it's a wooded area, when he let me out it was too dark to see what trees but i think pines. don't know how long i was out. i have bruises on my arms and can feel them on my face. please send help as soon as you get this. i think he's going to ea

NUMBER TWO: ouldn't see much in the trunk but it's a wooded area, when he let me out it was too dark to see what trees but i think pines.

don't know how long i was out. i have bruises on my arms and can feel them on my face.

please send help as soon as you get this. i think he's going to ea


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness III

"Oh, Joseph Conrad. I find you to be ever-so-overrated."

"Not enough sex."

"Don't get me wrong, I love Apocalypse Now, but I wouldn't want to read the novelization."

"This book was very hard to understand. There were too many words. These words cluttered up what was really going on in the book. The only reason why I read it was because I was assigned it for college. If you are having trouble falling asleep, read this book. I guarantee it will put you to sleep."

"I really don't think this book had a point except to infuriate me. Nothing drew me in, and thankfully I haven't wasted brain cells remembering the characters' names."


"It was difficult to get through; most of the 'action' being psychological and in form of flashbacks."

"This book totally disillusions readers. Conrad makes it seem as though the atrocities which take place in this colony do so in all. This assumption which many readers get is false. For this reason I think Conrad should have made it clear that the Belgian Congo was an extreme condition."

"'The Emperor's New Clothes', no less...
Arriving at this page, inspired, enthused by Coppola's cinematic masterpiece 'Apocalypse Now'? Or maybe from the documentary 'Hearts of Darkness - A Filmmaker's Apocalypse'? Eager to learn more? maybe drink at the fountain from which perhaps the greatest piece of cinema, was born? Think again. What we have here is purely and simply a VERY mediocre novella, a work that was written not by a writer, but by a Mariner with a typewriter - a hobbyist. On no account could or should this be taken as a seminal work of either fact or fiction, and I wish those who are forever trying to have this work classified as such a literary milestone would find a real cause to champion. I mean why is this one of the supposed greats? Is it original? No! Well written? No! Does it have well-drawn characters? No! an intriguing plot, perhaps? No. Does it use language in a new or creative way? No. Does it re-define the novella? No! Does it have potential to influence, either in style or content, the works of other writers? No! - then what? What is it that reverberates so loudly? If not the work then the noise of the crowd surrounding the pedestal - eager for a glimpse of the masterpiece that (they have been told) is so revered, so special.

Between the pseudo-intellectual and the literary professor's attempts to 'interpret' this work (for interpret read: paint it their colour) there is nothing hidden, nor magical here, no genius lies between the poor structure and the even worse punctuation. A simple tale, nothing more. Had one not know Conrad actually ventured to the African Continent, one could have easily mistaken his poorly drawn figures, his stereotypical characters as being the stuff of a boyhood imagination - too many comics and children's novels read under the blanket with a torch...

The only extra-ordinary factor here is the fact that Coppola, in his undisputed genius, took this simple, fragmented tale of no real literary worth and from its inspiration produced a moment in cinematic history which will never again be glimpsed, a peak never again scaled. That is the only thing one need be in awe of here."

"My daughter had to read this book as part of a summer assignment for English. I, being one to read classics, looked forward to reading another good book.

Conrad's rambling tale is difficult to follow, but even more, BORING to follow.

I can more easily read a book on quantum physics. To require someone to read Conrad is more like punishment than education."

"the novel show us the reality of Europeans
realy i d'ont like this novela ,because it is very complex ,it needs a lot of atention .It shows us the primitive aspect of man ."

"I was able to get through it by force of will. This is one of those over-rated classics that were declared a classic a long time ago and now are blindly accepted as such. More than that, I see that many try to affirm it's alleged greatness by saying 'me too' in clever ways."

"How many English professors would be up a creek (you know which creek) if everybody suddenly figured out that authors like Conrad are overrated?"

"I believe I am unimpressed with this book because man has not changed in the last 100 years. Man is still just as greedy today and he was then, if not more so. Now, the deeds of men (the darkness of men) are normal practice. Maybe I am just terribly jaded."

"This book is a horrible collection of excess verbiage and meaningless slime I have ever read. The book is extremely suicidial in nature and implies that human nature is purely evil and the best thing that can happen is for us to look over the edge, discover, 'the horror, the horror' that is life, and die. My, isn't that inspiring and uplifting? The 'depth' of this book is discovered only as one looks for depth in a pond and mistakes the reflection as depth. This book is a thin veneer covering a lack of creativity due to Conrad using up all his good material in earlier writings. This book should not be combined with alcohol or other depressants. Scratch that, this book should not be combined with breathing humans. Let this book lie with its subject, dead."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness II

"I call this one 'Fart of Darkness.'"

"why is this a classic? I will tell you the story in 3 sentences. Some guys are on a boat leaving London, one of them is a veteran seaman. The seaman tells of going to Africa to pilot a steamship. He hears about a crazy white man, gets attacked by natives, meets the crazy white man who subsequently dies. Oh and the whole story is being told by the seaman to his companions on a ship. Utter crap"

"one of the hardest books to read I've ever encountered."

"I don't care how good the writing, how brilliant the meaning, if it's so boring no one will ever choose to read it, what difference does it make?"

"the only thing that this book reminds me of is cod. because i spent the entire class talking about cod, and not listening to discussions about this book."

"Not a big fan of stream of conscience writing."

"I love roadtrip novels (even when the road is a river), but Heart of Darkness lacks the humor and beauty of Huckleberry Finn or the wild enthusiasm of On the Road."

"I haven't done a thorough academic dissection of the book; nor am I planning to. I think this book is one of those books that has been selected as a work of the Western canon because it's 1) boring overall ('no gripping story' signifying 'non-entertainment' and thus 'serious' literature - which distinction is complete bullshit in my humble opinion"

"torchereing high school read."

"Meh. I'm sorry, but so much 'meh' on this book."

"Often when I see modern art and am completely unimpressed (a splotch of paint? my mom's cat can do that!) I have to remind myself of how out of the box and different it was at the time it was created. It doesn't necessarily make me love it, but it does make me respect it for pushing boundaries and exposing people to something new at that time.

I think the same goes for a lot of literature. I can see how back in the day when the world didn't understand what 'colonization' really meant, this would be really intense. However because of what I know today, this book was kind of a let down. Nothing surprised me, nothing challenged me - I finished and thought, is that it? It never really engaged me or caught my interest."

"contains an excessive amount of vocabulary"

"This is one of the books I read in school I didn't really care for. I am an optimist. I like to read books where the characters go through a traumatic, trying experience and out come of it better."

"Did they not have thesaurus's in the early 1900's?"

"Also, a row of heads on stakes is actually described as a 'symbolic row of stakes.' That was a groaner-moment for me."

"I think this book was a very challenging book because of all the touh word."

"This book is ok.I liked the last part of the book, where kurtz lied to Kurtz's girlfriend.but what life did Marlow live afterwards? Did he get to marry? did he start to do the remaining of Kurts' job in Africa?"

"Has he ever written anything else? Hmm.."

"I think that you should have made the scenes in this novella less complex for your younger readers like myself."

"Most books are boring in the beginning and eventually get better. This book is not one of those."

"The whole black and white thing is cliche which degrades this book alot for me. I mean, if you are retarded and like reading about how different white people are from black people and don't already know the differences between them back in slave times then go right ahead, waste your time."

"Also i think the author wrote too much about the feeling and the envirnments, it makes me felt bored."

"I can't help but think Conrad would've really benefited from taking an anthropology class. Maybe if he'd taken a World Cultures survey or something, it would've taken the edge off a little."

"I majored in English in college and went on to get my MA. Now I'm getting my teaching certification, and I wish they would let this book die. I dread teaching it on so many levels."

"Marlow see's himself eating an actual person an that was histerical to me. Thank God that he really didnt. Would you have eaten a person even if you were starving. I know that I would!

Just kidding!"

"This book used description very well, and has made me think about the symbols of the devil.
One of the symbol was fog. It was like a devil because it hides things. It makes the morning look so dark. But fog can be good because in the story, the natives couldn't attack Marlow because of the fogs. Also, in this book, it shows how people treated African Americans back then. They treated the Africans like animals and they called them by using the names of the animals. They would use 'n' word and don't care about it. But today, in the real world, when you say that word out loud, it's considered as racist."

"Maybe I'm just not clever enough to understand what makes this book so great. On the plus side, it enabled me to catch a literary reference in an episode of Rugrats."

"This had to be one of the longest books I had to read in my academic career. I am a fan of the classics, but"


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness

"Horror, Horror!"

"Proving yet again that doing a concept first will get you immortalized, while doing it WELL will make you an unknown and forgotten writer at best, I also learned that in Conrad's time, people could drone on and on with metaphors and it wasn't considered cliched, but 'art.' I blame this book and others like it for some of the most painful literature created by students and professional writers alike.

It was like raking my fingernails across a chalkboard while breathing in a pail of flaming cat hair and drinking spoiled milk, meanwhile Conrad is screaming DARKNESS DARKNESS OOOH LOOK AT MY METAPHOR ABOUT THE DARKNESSSSSSSSSSS like a fucking goth on a loudspeaker."

"How significant is Joseph Conrad if his biggest dead guy claim to fame is, 'More high schoolers didn't read my book than didn't read yours!'?"

"Beware this book!!!! It was the worst book ever!!! Almost as worst and Twilight..."

"I can understand how this book could have been relevant in its day, but now that the horrors of imperialism have been brought to light, I'm not sure why professors insist we continue to read this."

"A journey to the heart of darkness, which is something that really just doesn't appeal to me. I don't like the names of the characters, the feel of the place, the crimes of the characters etc. This is just one book that I don't see myself in. Yes, that sounds selfish, I know. But that's just me."

"Conrad is way too in love with colons, semi-colons, commas, and dashes."

"Bottom line.....this book was just too wordy for me. I skipped half of it because I'm either too dumb or too impatient to wade through the verbal quagmire and figure out the author's deeper meanings. I'm not in high school English anymore and I have better things to do."

"Possibly the stupidest and most useless book I have ever set my hands on. I’ve never read any book whose each page makes me want to shoot myself, till now. Without all the metaphors and figures of speech, the book would be a quarter of its original size. I like the use of figurative language and all, but not when it’s used in an excess that would make me mentally incapable of anything after the first read. I read it as fast I could just so I could get rid of it. I dream of burning it. I read pages and pages and had no idea what the hell was going on. I specifically despise the author’s idea of putting a story in a story and how 99.9% of the book is a quotation. I don’t give a shit how much it influenced English literature or whatever.

They seriously should have put a 'CAUTION: Big words that will waste many hours of your life inside.' sticker on the cover for people like me."

"This was just bad writing from a bad writer conforming to the bad views of his time."

"Perhaps I'm being ridiculous and have no future as an English major if I can't appreciate this novel, but I did not like it whatsoever. The lack of paragraph breaks and the rambling narration style that was some strange jumble between autobiography, flashback, and stream-of-consciousness were incredibly frustrating. There was little to no character development and the fact that only two of the characters had names made things rather confusing at times."

"nice try, joseph. NOT."


"I felt so overwhelmed with the overflowing symbolism. Seriously, why do writers have to use so much of this. Just say what you mean and get on with it! If this is what great writing used to be, no wonder my generation didn't read as much as those today."

"The ways in which i hate this book are too numerous and hellish to list but i will say that it was one giant pain in the @$$ to read. There is no such thing as chronological order for Marlow and the constant aggravation of trying to decipher what the H E double hockey sticks was going on between the bouts of painfully over descriptive narrative was too much for me to take."

"The first thing that irritated me about Heart of Darkness is the whole 'story within a story' thing. The problem with that is that there is no outside story - it's just a bunch of guys sitting on a boat and Marlow tells them the main story. Utterly pointless, except as a method for Conrad to open every paragraph with quotation marks, throwing in some irrelevant comment to the audience every now and then. I could have easily done without the outer framework if it meant less agonizing text. In fact, not only was it expendable, this style was outright bad, as it constantly reminded the reader that he was being told a story, rather than allowing him to become immersed in it."

"Its very confusing because its a story within a story which is super hard to understand.I just dont like the english style writing period."

"After watching a few interviews with well-established black authors I learned how this book is just a half-assed attempt to make up sorry excuses for imperialism. It makes anyone who reads it sympathize with the oppressor and I just can't fall back on that slippery slope of brainwashing."

"Not a great book. Ok, the imagery is beautiful, but it's so outdated it's very hard to get lost in the book. I never really believed the story could happen and that just made it all quite boring."

"I know that this is a classic piece of literature, but I simply could not stand this book. Everything is archetypal, so every single little color, action, etc. in this book has a meaning. While I've had these archetypes drilled into my head since 8th grade, I did not like the fact that after every page, I had to go back through to figure out exactly what the author meant in order to understand the book."

"Yet another work of literature forced upon students which basically calls all of our ancestors pigs while criticizing colonialism and imperialism, conveniently forgetting that without either of these we would not have a country let alone the freedom to bash things like colonialism and imperialism."

"I absolutely, postively HATED this book. I was an English major in college, so I love reading. I absolutely loathed this book. It took me considerable effort to read this book and it probably took me just as long to read, to, let's say, a book 5 times as long."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Friedrich Nietzsche - The Anti-Christ


"Um, WOW!

The anti-christ is really anti-Christianity."

"His rants about Jewish people and Christianity are based solely on his own opinion."

"Of course, this is all nonsense. Not only is it empirically wrong but it is philosophically wrong a priori. The best thing would be for us to just forget about this trash and move on."

"That he wrote this while on the brink of a mental meltdown becomes obvious. It is completely incoherent to an unindoctrinated mind such as mine. When I happen upon a book that I dislike, I take one of two actions. I will either push through it or discard it. The fulcrum of this decision falls to whether or not I have any curiosity at all about where the author is taking me. In this case, I was not curious in the least. I felt he was wasting my time. So, while it is a very short book, I abandoned it at the midway point. And I am better off for it."

"Hard to read. Of course, anything written early 1900's and prior is a bit tedious."

"Extremely wordy. Not digging so far only b/c it's like reading Dickensian Textbooks."


"You suck Nietzsche."

"If you like this man's work it is a bad sign. 2 things sprang from the syphilitic mind of this demon. Both of them disasters of global proportion.If you are Jewish ask yourself what was the origin of the Nazi ideology. And if you are not Jewish ask yourself who was the ideological father of Zionism. If you love this monstrous freak of nature do you love also Zionism or Nazi fascism? For both of these destructive forces in their infancy sucked their sour black milk ideology from the cancer eaten tit of this hell hound. The one star rating here is only given so I could post this. If the option had been given for skull and cross bones I would have chose that."

"Frankly, I am not interested in having someone tell me that 'Jews are evil,' I want them to tell me why."

"Nietzsche is not a genious, he is an idiot. This book contains a few contradictions and not just little ones, there is certianly a very big one. I wonder if anyone else noticed it? Anyway, I suggest you get this book yourself and you can be the judge, who knows, you may agree with him, but if you have an IQ which is over 5, then you wont."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice II

"The story line is not too bad but the way it is written and with all the fanciness... I really don't like it."

"I read Pride and Prejudice during the fall for a highschool literature class. I was really very excited! Once I started reading it, I began to become bored. It wasn't the fact that Austen had a terrible story line or plot, but it was because they way it was written (old English), it was tragically difficult for me to understand. Jane Austen is a very talented writer. Even though it was difficult to read, I could feel her passion for writing seep through each letter. If you love a book with a love triangle (and can understand old English) then this is a book for you!"

"I found the Cliff Notes version of this to be more entertaining.
FAR too much useless text that interferes with the story"

"Book was quite difficult to understand. It was written in old english."

"This book was literally painful to read. Trying to comprehend the text made my eyes and brain hurt, not to mention the pain in my arms from holding up that E N O R M O U S book. I still Don't get what that book was about."

"I couldn't get through it. To be honest, I thought it was boring and hard to understand the language spoken in that time period. I really had to concentrate and re-read passages just to figure out what was going on. This is now on my list of books NOT to read. My advice, skip the book and watch the movie."

"Due to unfortunate job-related stuff, I'm currently teaching a Jane Austen novel. Doesn't matter which. I can't keep them straight.


But I hate Jane Austen.

I've tried. I really have. But these novels are so artificial, so terribly unreal. Nobody in a Jane Austen novel, as far as I can tell, ever bleeds or farts or craps or sweats or pisses or dies in a way that isn't just terribly pictureseque and dreadfully wonderful.


Granted, you can make the argument that, as works of fiction, no novel actually reflects the real world and yadda yadda yadda.

Well, Jane Austen's world is less real than most."

"I might add that Jane Austen basically wrote about what she didn't really understand.. she never married, she always turned suitors away. Plus. Maybe it's me but this literature perpetuates female obsession over nonsense and manipulative behaviour in relationships."

"The people I know who like Jane Austen also have planned out their perfect wedding since they were grade two and swoon over Darcy as the 'perfect man' - I'm ashamed that Austen's icing-filled fairy-tale happily-ever-after stories are lauded as 'great literature'."

"I would rape Jane Austen if she were alive.And yes I am a woman."

"Thank god that there is a fan page for those who abhor Jane Austin's lame work which only revolve on predictable love stories . I mean I know she lived in a different time where women didn’t have much ambition or goal other than scouting for a husband but what really bothers me the most is that people actually consider her as one of the best writers in the history where in fact she is nothing but a pathetic spinster who had nothing better to write about other than imaginary Mr right who is just as boring and shallow as her ."

"Bad stuff....bad....bad....bad!"

"a man of large fortune must be in want of a wife! shut up austin nobody cares!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Random quips, sayings, and irreverent stories from the likes of me, a guy who really, really, really hates Jane Austen, so much that I will never mention her in this entire book, except for the two times in the title, but after that, nothing.

I mean what other book can we find vampires, psuedo-angels, man-eating Kumquats, an existential crisis of a lonely sofa, a grumpy grim reaper, and random quirky philosophical musings."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shakespeare - Henry IV, part I

"Some of you people aren't going to like this, but I kind of hate all the plays where people just ride around on horses, chopping each other's heads off. There is always some king who either gets his head chopped off or chops of others' heads, and maybe a drunk guy, and a traitor of some sort. Not Shakespeare at his best."

"I hate Falstaff. Unlike other fools, he's a petty thief which, surprisingly, distracts me beyond reason."

"This play was so dull that we actually gave up reading it in my Sophomore year High School English class because even Mr. McConnell was bored of it."

"A play with no plot."

"i liked it that hal killed hotspur because in the movie hotspur was ugly and disgusting. everytime i looked at him i felt like i wanted to puke."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"I actually like some of Whitman’s work, I just think he was a total douche who needed to quit with all of the 'I’m going to be the writer for all of America' stuff. As a writer, I know that’s a ridiculously stupid and naive attitude to have, and I really wish someone could have punched him and told him to stop being an ass and write another book!"

"Being an English major I took a semester long Shakespeare course ... reading plays, hence Shakespeare, is something I truly loathe."

"Shakespeare... why is it nobody reads him for fun? Well, anyway, I find this, his most famous play, to be amusing in that, while most people know the story, they may not know the following facts that make the play absurd (yes, yes, different cultures, different customs, different times. I know. I was an English major, too, but really?!)"

"I have a BA in Literature ('Would you like fries with that?'). I took a course in Romantic lit, and mentioned in class that I didn't care for Wordsworth. The prof replied that if I hadn't read a lot of a poet's work (which I hadn't), I wasn't in a position to make that judgment. That still doesn't make much sense to me, but anyway..."

"When I was in college I used to outrage other English majors when I honestly answered their questions about poetry preferences. 'How can you major in English and hate both Romantic and Victorian poetry?!' I don't know, I was and I could."

"I have a lot more going for me in life than grammar. I use it as much as I can, generally, but sometimes I just don't feel like it."

"For the writer trying to get out of the writing rut... oh god, I live there sometimes. The only thing that really, truly pulls me up out of it is reading a good story, and there are two I can highly recommend. Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' and Anne Rice's 'The Witching Hour' (which I'm currently reading now). They both have a talent for writing, of course, but more importantly, they have a talent for storytelling, and that kickstarts me. Hope that helps. :)"

"I love it when lyrics are studied as literature. Because, really, they’re poems, and some songs should be valued just as much as Wordsworth and Eliot."

"At my school (Emerson College) you're required to take two lit 'pre-reqs' to move on to the more interesting and original courses. I signed up for Brit Lit right away thinking we would study contemporary writing -- not so. I struggled through that class not only because of the content, but because I didn't get along with the professor, either. Having to listen to a professor wax poetic about John Donne is not my idea of educating nor interesting."

"I'm feeling a little silly right now but could you tell me the word for when two people work together and there work ends up being exactly the same.

I know it's pronounced like 'cuhlood' but I can't spell it!

Please help!"

"Thought I would pipe in with my list of life-changing or just-really-good books:

Life of Pi (Yann Martel) - a cross between an adventure story and spiritual musings; LIFE CHANGER
The Giver (Lois Lowry) - YA dystopian novel
Enders Game (Orson Scott Card) - gonna back up Olive in this one
The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde) - crime/fantasy/sci-fi/general nonsensical brilliance
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (JRR Tolkien) - worth every page of elvish (which I may have skipped :D)
In a Sunburned Country (Bill Bryson) - Nonfiction, travel/humor/Australia
Mythology (Edith Hamilton) - because a background in myths always helps
The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) - because it is summer, and you deserve a mental break
Oscar Wilde's plays - verbal juggling at it's best
American Gods (Neil Gaiman) - fantasy/mythology/modern epic, big but entrancing
Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet) - the Apocalypse at its funniest
Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle) - any and all (a note on diving into the Holmes cannon: if you want to dedicate yourself to reading them all, read in publication order, but if you want to start out with a sort of test drive, start with the short story collaboration)

All of these are books that mean a lot to me, and that I reread constantly."

"Also, as far as the art of penmanship is concerned, I tend to agree! I love dip pens and fountain pens and the beautiful script that can be made with them!"

"I just spent five or six hours reading up on the biblical and freudian symbolism in an anime (Neon Genesis Evangelion - a masterpiece ... right up until the ending. Dx), because the anime was fucking awesome, and the symbolism added some depth to the work.

I love, love, love stories -- not just books. Whatever media I can find them in, a good story is a good story!

(My list of masterpieces are Watchmen (Graphic Novel), His Dark Materials, Ender's Game, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Moon (Indie movie), District 9 (Movie), and Forrest Gump. It's a very short list.)."

"This is for the non-lover of Shakespeare. One of my teachers in college used to tease me when we'd get to the poetry section of whichever class we're in that semester... I hate poetry. A lot. Every once in a while, I'll surprise myself by liking a specific author or poem. As a whole though, I don't actually enjoy poetry and I always feel like I'm betraying my major. You don't have to like everything that every other major likes just to be a 'good' English Major."

"Regarding grammar:
If it's not properly used everywhere, then it shouldn't be used anywhere at all.

I.e. even on the internet, texts, e-mail, whatever, grammar should be exemplified and made a priority. What's the point of using grammar if you're alienating it to certain 'scholarly' aspects of the language? Besides, it's not like it's particularly difficult.

Language is language despite the vessel and when we grow lax and delude ourselves that this meme is any different from a dissertation, then we've lost our linguistic hold on reality. And frankly, as English majors - that's all we've got."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lord Byron - Don Juan

"i just wasn't titillated."

"There wasn't enough in this poem about Don Juan. I also had the impression that he was a ladies' man, which he was, but it seemed like he didn't do it on purpose and also wasn't sleeping with every damn woman he met."

"If this had been read out loud to me, I'm afraid I would have fallen asleep. The word sonorous comes to mind."

"I know its a classic, BUT I read it and don't remember one bit of it. But then again maybe I fell asleep and didn't realize it...although it still doesn't say much. Its a classic for a reason though."

"I'll probably return to this poem after I've sated my John Byron lust... which admittedly may be a while."

"I Think I Owe My Mother-In-Law a Big Apology
You know the poetry. The kind the older generation uses for birthdays and farewell luncheons ('We hope that God will bless// You with good health and happiness!'). You hate it, the forced rhymes and imperfect metrical structure (indeed, what metrical structure?). My mother-in-law used to write like that - volumes and volumes of such tripe. Sadly, she has departed from us, but not before leaving tons of this stuff all over the house, and a half-finished vanity press run of 100 copies (anybody want one?).
Now I know where she got the impetus for such poetry - Lord Byron! All of that generation's worst excesses of bad poetry come from Byron, I think. Embarrassingly forced rhymes, self-conscious commentary that frustratingly impedes the flow of the narrative, arch cuteness that threatens one's sanity - all there!! And he couldn't even finish it off properly.

Truly, a work only an academic could love - or find any value in. If you are attracted to this book, protect yourself"

"Byron Blows
It's a sad fact

It's only natural that you end up where you began, like running in ten feet of loose sand you fall and walk not on your feet but your knees and hands. Begging for a way to command the lead of your life. These efforts are all in strife but no matter what strides you take it will all be in vein cause you know your place. A place of pain and an assimilation of all that is heart break. Put on a fake face and embrace the fact that your satin or lace will be the only caressing feeling upon the peeling paint of your pale edifice."

"By­ron re­al­ly is gay, i hate his ass, he dont even know im his dad..."