Thursday, 1 November 2007

I've never...

(Continuing this week's emergent theme of me against popular culture.)

There are lots of "great" movies I've never seen: Lawrence of Arabia, Metropolis (the 1927 movie) or Goodfellas, for example. Similarly, there are lots of "great" books I've never read: War and Peace, Slaughter House 5 or The Catcher in the Rye, for more examples.

Does this make me culturally ignorant? Possibly. But there are a few arguments I'd like to make:

Argument from popularity: just because a lot of people believe something, doesn't make that something true. So lots of people liked The Great Gatsby (another one I haven't read), does that make this book good or just show that people have defective tastes?

Only the known can be good: Now, I read a lot of Doctor Who novels (*shock*, no, really?). Fine, I doubt they'll ever make the top 100 classic novels of all time, but... I can't judge that. And the people who are the ones who would judge that (and why should we listen to them? - argument from authority) probably will never read a Doctor Who novel, so these books so unjudged. Maybe Camera Obscura is the highest example of literature ever, but so many people will never know because it's just a Doctor Who novel.

I may not read what literature classes are based on, nor watch films that are taught as the best examples of all time, but I enjoy what I do read and watch. Maybe I would like that other stuff, and maybe that will raise my "cultural recognition", but I've got enough to be going on with in the areas I am interested in.

(Okay, not entirely sure of what point I'm making, but whatever it is, consider it made, unless I wasn't making any point at all.)

[END]

2 comments:

Foo said...

I'm reading the EDAs at the moment and am on Grimm Reality at the moment...can't wait for Camera Obscura after your comments.

Read Warmonger last week...now that is a shining example of something...!

Jamas Enright said...

Yes, Warmonger is amazing, so terrible, and yet... so readable!