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Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 04:15AM
The greatest writers don't use bridges, because Existence is a continual flow of life, without interruption.

The greatest painters don't use bridges, they fill the whole canvas with life, high-key, low-key, high-energy, low-energy, extended, contracted, every section vibrates in one form or another.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 01:33PM
Butting into this discussion about "bridges" --

I'd say that I agree with Knygatin if his point is that "bridges" are not automatically given a free pass as qualifying as art -- which I think no one was saying.

But I wouldn't agree if the implication was that all literature must be written with the unrelenting intensity that Poe prescribes for a short story or a short poem.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 01:59PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Butting into this discussion about "bridges" --
>
> I'd say that I agree with Knygatin if his point is
> that "bridges" are not automatically given a free
> pass as qualifying as art -- which I think no one
> was saying.
>
> But I wouldn't agree if the implication was that
> all literature must be written with the
> unrelenting intensity that Poe prescribes for a
> short story or a short poem.

From the context of the discussion I think K. means narrative transitions--getting from one significant dramatic incident or situation to a subsequent one. Often the transition contains enough expository material to make the next "scene" meaningful. I mean, it serves the same function as stage directions but needs to be more than simply "Somewhere on a blasted heath...".

The expository can contain artistically, stylistically superior prose, and if so, so much the better--although there's also the danger that the author might get carried away with his own creativity, and write what amounts to undergrad prose like one would find in a creative writing class.

I, myself, have produced such bloated and postured verbiage. Getting just a bit *too* cute... :^(

At this stage in my life I'll tolerate quite a bit of relatively bare, functional transitional prose, so long as it gets me to the proper context to understand and believe the next scene.

There is such a thing as pacing--unrelenting display of artistry in a longer narrative gives no "contour" to the evoked response in the reader. It can serve the same function as comic relief--which is in a sense a short break to catch one's emotional breath.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 02:33PM
Sawfish, I've taught "creative writing" (it was assigned to me). With the permission of the department chairman, after about three rounds thereof i was relieved of the responsibility by the expedient of the course being removed from the department offerings. It wasn't a bad experience overall, but I wasn't qualified to teach anything but fiction writing (if that) -- so no poetry, and (more to the point) no stand-up comedy-type stuff. There was kind of a classroom mutiny over my stance about that -- ! I'm grinning as I type this; please don't assume it was a terrible experience for anyone.

Dostoevsky tends to write largely in terms of long dramatic scenes with bridges between them. As he is one of my favorite authors, it would take quite a bit of persuasion to bring me to see his work as flawed for this reason. But then he's writing long novels, not ten-page short stories.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 03:29PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I'd say that I agree with Knygatin if his point is
> that "bridges" are not automatically given a free
> pass as qualifying as art -- which I think no one
> was saying.
>


Then we would have a novel, or a story, with pages that interchange between fine literature and bad writing, between art and crap. No, I can't accept that. I don't want any such books on my shelves.

Other words for "bridge" are "transport", "passage", "transit", or could be "filler", "padding". I understand that build-up is valuable, and also that between two intense scenes there needs to be a quieter moment or a different pace connecting them. But even quieter moments can be fine literature, written with subtle touch, it doesn't necessarily need to be intense.

I just can't stand it when I feel that a writer relaxes his artistic efforts over a "bridge", and doesn't make it the best he possibly can. Reading mediocre literature bores me to death, it makes me cringe, makes me angry, and restless, wanting to tear the book apart.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 09:17PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dale Nelson Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> > I'd say that I agree with Knygatin if his point
> is
> > that "bridges" are not automatically given a
> free
> > pass as qualifying as art -- which I think no
> one
> > was saying.
> >
>
>
> Then we would have a novel, or a story, with pages
> that interchange between fine literature and bad
> writing, between art and crap. No, I can't accept
> that. I don't want any such books on my shelves.
>
> Other words for "bridge" are "transport",
> "passage", "transit", or could be "filler",
> "padding". I understand that build-up is valuable,
> and also that between two intense scenes there
> needs to be a quieter moment or a different pace
> connecting them. But even quieter moments can be
> fine literature, written with subtle touch, it
> doesn't necessarily need to be intense.
>
> I just can't stand it when I feel that a writer
> relaxes his artistic efforts over a "bridge", and
> doesn't make it the best he possibly can. Reading
> mediocre literature bores me to death, it makes me
> cringe, makes me angry, and restless, wanting to
> tear the book apart.

In support of your point about an artistic transition from one scene dramatic action to another, there's this remarkable bridging passage in Raymond Chandler's "The Little Sister". He's driving from on place of action to another, at night...

Quote:
The Little Sister:
I stepped out into the night air that nobody had yet found out how to option. But a lot of people were probably trying. They’d get around to it.
I drove on to the Oxnard cut-off and turned back along the ocean. The big eight-wheelers and sixteen-wheelers were streaming north, all hung over with orange lights. On the right the great fat solid Pacific trudging into shore like a scrubwoman going home. No moon, no fuss, hardly a sound of the surf. No smell. None of the harsh wild smell of the sea. A California ocean. California, the department-store state. The most of everything and the best of nothing. Here we go again. You’re not human tonight, Marlowe.

All right. Why should I be?…Who am I cutting my throat for this time? …All I know is that something isn’t what it seems and the old tired but always reliable hunch tells me that if the hand is played the way it is dealt the wrong person is going to lose the pot. Is that my business? Well, what is my business? Do I know? Did I ever know? Let’s not go into that. You’re not human tonight, Marlowe. Maybe I never was or ever will be…Maybe we all get like this in the cold half-lit world where always the wrong thing happens and never the right.

Now, wait a minute…You’ve got the wrong attitude, Marlowe. You’re not human tonight.

So then you end up at the next scene of dramatic action.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 10:02PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The greatest writers don't use bridges, because
> Existence is a continual flow of life, without
> interruption.
>
> The greatest painters don't use bridges, they fill
> the whole canvas with life, high-key, low-key,
> high-energy, low-energy, extended, contracted,
> every section vibrates in one form or another.

Seems to me that we mere mortals will always fall short of our Creator who is the Greatest Writer and Greatest Painter. Our art, hence, must always have need of shortcuts, in one form or another. Anyhow a narrative and a still painting are very different forms of art with very different limitations. In a narrative, one can walk up to a tree, look behind it, and see what is there, whereas in a still painting, one is stuck with a single scene.

I'm not sure who, among us mere mortals, you consider a "greatest writer". Nor am I sure what you define as a "bridge". But at present, I'm having difficulty seeing how you could defend this proposition without running afoul of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 10:56PM
Knygatin, your objection seems after all just to be to bad transitions/bridges, not to the species as such, which is fine. You're perhaps more senstive to defective art in the writing of transitions than I am, but we haven't got down to cases to discuss particulars.

Wanna know what gets me, folks? Anachronistic dialogue in historical fiction. Some author goes and researches "background" but has some character exclaim an exultant "Yesssss!"

Yechh!

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 10:57PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In support of your point about an artistic
> transition from one scene dramatic action to
> another, there's this remarkable bridging passage
> in Raymond Chandler's "The Little Sister". He's
> driving from on place of action to another, at
> night...
>

Although I am unfamiliar with Raymond Chandler's writing, and don't quite get his reference perspective here, I can appreciate his effort of reflectiveness over living in this bridging passage.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 11:29PM
Platypus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Seems to me that we mere mortals will always fall
> short of our Creator who is the Greatest Writer
> and Greatest Painter. Our art, hence, must always
> have need of shortcuts, in one form or another.


Agreed.


> Anyhow a narrative and a still painting are very
> different forms of art with very different
> limitations. In a narrative, one can walk up to a
> tree, look behind it, and see what is there,
> whereas in a still painting, one is stuck with a
> single scene.
>

Unless it be a surrealist painting.

I admit that my proposition is not well presented with thorough examples. I merely mentioned what I don't like, not intending a further debate.

Some artists/writers are more talented than others. But I think, even more importantly, it comes down to artistic honesty. I appreciate true effort, but don't appreciate laziness and easy paths. I just recognize it intuitively.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 March, 2021 11:33PM
I made a comment about "bridges", and it developed into a discussion. With respect to the original thread starter, I will stop here. I may comment the subject further in a more appropriate thread.

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2021 10:59AM
Quote:
K:
Although I am unfamiliar with Raymond Chandler's writing, and don't quite get his reference perspective here, I can appreciate his effort of reflectiveness over living in this bridging passage.

Not to belabor it too much, bit it seemed to me to be a fine example of an artful bridge.

He is at Point A, at the conclusion of scene 1, and now, for believablity, he must somehow get to Point B to start scene 2.

Here we get a mix of hard fact (left onto PCH near Topanga Canyon Blvd, seems like, south-eastish toward Santa Monica), along with impressions of the drive, with the trucks, etc. all the while ruminating on life i 1940s SCal, and his place in it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2021 11:08AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I made a comment about "bridges", and it developed
> into a discussion. With respect to the original
> thread starter, I will stop here. I may comment
> the subject further in a more appropriate thread.

FWIW, my preference is to continue a thread/thought until dropped by mutual or collective agreement, barring overt and déclassé abuse of a deeply personal nature.

Demonstrates moxie and commitment.

In the case of the final clause, pretty much anything goes at that point. Poison gas, tactical nukes, what-have-you.

Of course, this is what creates the wasteland formerly known as Usenet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish

Re: Cosmic horror by less known authors
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2021 07:47PM
Transferring the "bridges" discussion to the "Super Thread," as Knygatin did, seems like a good idea.

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