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Famous writers and poets are not better than the unknown ones

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posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:09 PM
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The blog of Wiley publishers reports that people can't tell the famous works of literary geniuses from the works of little known writers and poets when the names of the authors are separated from their texts

pseblog.gms.sg...




posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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Famous doesn't equate to good writing, famous just means they usually get a pay check for slamming keys. So in general that report doesn't surprise me at all. I like Bukowski but other than a couple of quotes I wouldn't be able to pick most out simply because of the sheer volume.
edit on 26-9-2013 by QuietSpeech because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by simus
 





The blog of Wiley publishers reports that people can't tell the famous works of literary geniuses from the works of little known writers and poets when the names of the authors are separated from their texts


So what? "people" generally cannot even read and write at the 8th grade level, how are they supposed to parse "good" writing and poetry.

Go figure,

?



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:44 PM
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BybyotsSo what? "people" generally cannot even read and write at the 8th grade level, how are they supposed to parse "good" writing and poetry.

Go figure,

?


It is very easy to figure out. Just read the articles linked in the blog.


But could our takers fail the quiz because they don’t know English? To check this I selected a subset of scores, received by people coming from American, British, Australian, and New Zealand universities. The average score of 602 such people is 5.76 or 48.0% correct ...

But, perhaps, just knowing English is not enough? May be the beauty of Dickens’ prose is so far beyond the apprehensions of the vulgar that only the most cultured people can appreciate it? To check this I selected a subset of scores, earned by people coming from elite universities (Ivy League and Oxbridge). The average score received by the 76 of the chosen is 6 or 50% correct.


www.significancemagazine.org...



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by simus
 




Hoo, that's a bummer. Well, I concede, there is a mystery here that obviously cannot be resolved by my jerking knee.

Go figure, personally, I think it's because most people's taste is in their ass.

But that's just me. No, really I get it; Maya Angelou. 'Nuff said.




posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 01:58 PM
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Bybyots
reply to post by simus
 





The blog of Wiley publishers reports that people can't tell the famous works of literary geniuses from the works of little known writers and poets when the names of the authors are separated from their texts


So what? "people" generally cannot even read and write at the 8th grade level, how are they supposed to parse "good" writing and poetry.

Go figure,

?







Exactly. And I think this is a very relevant detail. Just like 99.9-100% of people on this site probably could not look at a nuclear weapon and determine if it was built properly-- because most of us are so far from being an expert, or even vaguely knowledgeable, in that area, it's not even funny.


Likewise, when much of our population regularly communicates using txt tlk, and could barely tell the difference between your / you're and there / their / they're to save their lives, how could they possibly determine good literature?


That being said, there are plenty of really good, unpublished writers out there. It's the nature of the beast. You can't expect everyone with talent to get published, considering there are so many factors other than talent, that go into getting a deal. Of course, on the other hand, back to the original point, I can often spot many "amateur" writers a mile away. They make a lot of really common, sloppy "Fiction Writing 101" mistakes that 90% of how-to-write books on the market will correct.


For example, over-dependence on "telling" versus "showing."



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 02:04 PM
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simus
But could our takers fail the quiz because they don’t know English? To check this I selected a subset of scores, received by people coming from American, British, Australian, and New Zealand universities. The average score of 602 such people is 5.76 or 48.0% correct ...

But, perhaps, just knowing English is not enough? May be the beauty of Dickens’ prose is so far beyond the apprehensions of the vulgar that only the most cultured people can appreciate it? To check this I selected a subset of scores, earned by people coming from elite universities (Ivy League and Oxbridge). The average score received by the 76 of the chosen is 6 or 50% correct.




First of all, that was a bit hard to follow. 48% Correct? 48 percent of what? (And half-right does not sound like a glowing review of ability.)

And again, I will point out-- simply being able to perform well on a grammar test, while admirable (and helpful in spotting the worst-of-the-worst amateur writers) does not help with the kind of common noob-writer mistakes I spoke of in my last post. They do not typically cover this stuff in English, or even Literature courses. (The plot structure you'll get from a Lit course would be helpful). But you'd have to take creative writing, or even better read a few "how to write" manuals to be able to easily spot these kinds of mistakes.

This by the way, is (at least one reason) why so many writers who think they're good, and can tell a decent story, don't get published. Sloppy writing that fails to pull you into the story properly, or easily paint a picture with few words, or just "sounds" amateurish, etc..



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 02:44 PM
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QuietSpeech
Famous doesn't equate to good writing, famous just means they usually get a pay check for slamming keys. So in general that report doesn't surprise me at all.

I am talking about those famous writers, who are recognized as geniuses by literary establishment and whose books are mandatory reading in school.


QuietSpeech
I like Bukowski but other than a couple of quotes I wouldn't be able to pick most out simply because of the sheer volume.

Perhaps you can consider a possibility that Bukowski is indeed no better than other degenerates.



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 02:52 PM
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Having liberal arts genius in any field doesn't equate to being famous now or ever. Famous people are just lucky. Many of them are geniuses, but it wasn't just their ability in their art form that catapulted them to household name status.

By that same token, not all famous people are geniuses in their art form. I don't have to explain this much, just look at pop music, pop art, pop literature, etc.



posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by simus
 


Even famous artist's were unknown at one point.




posted on Sep, 26 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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I forget who said it, but there is a Picasso begging on every street in Paris. I’ve hung out with writers, visual artists, actors and musicians and they way they talk about successful artists differs from how most people do. We've all heard local guitarists play as well as the best recorded guitar work out there and we've seen artwork as striking and original as the famous works. These are artists who never got anywhere (considered by the "in crowd" to be "folk artists" or "outsider artists.") Likewise, we share a 'no duh' understanding that someone like Brittany Spears is an entertainer, not an artist (musician,) as she can't even sing or write her own songs. I'm using her because it's an obvious example, but the entertainers (or hacks, as I boldly assert) tend to do better than those with real talent because while the legit artists are putting all their time and energy into their art, hacks are putting all their time and energy into social climbing, building connections, learning how to manipulate and to build an image as an entertainer (in other words, how to sell.)

Thus, Brittany Spears is a "successful artist," while most of the Sinead O'connors and Leonard Cohens of the world are...you don't want to know. Some of them manage to find the humility to accept that they are very talented and that this one way which they feel that, as outsiders, they can express themselves to a world which doesn't understand them can still be expressed to those few who will look or listen, and this is good enough for them. I am happy for these ones. Most I've known are quite self-destructive and full of deep feelings of resentment, anger and despair. This negative attitude of course goes against one's chance for success, as walking in the room with the right energy and a bright smile can get you a lot further than staggering in, half drunk or high, and singing a whiny song about how life sucks. I really, really feel for them, but they get sucked into what I call the 'negative vacuum;' where bruised egos meet and share their sorrow (not openly but in sad music, poetry or scathing criticisms of the hacks.) It doesn't help.

I wish there was a program which could reach artists at a young age. So many commit suicide in their teens or early 20's, or become depressed and deteriorate slowly through years of chemical abuse. It seriously is an epidemic which is never talked about. Artists don't like admitting it (they prefer just moping around or quietly killing themselves,) and the general public knows nothing about it. Psychologists out there must understand.

This is where art critics are supposed to step in (those with an “eye” or an “ear”) to shine light on the gifted and criticize the hacks, and articulate why this is so for those who don’t get it viscerally.



posted on Sep, 27 2013 @ 05:28 AM
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Is this surprising?

Can you divorce a famous writer from their historical context and then expect them to be in the same position purely out of mythical writing talent? A lot of these persons are famous because they wrote something that spoke to people of the time I suspect, and moving it into present with no context at all isn't really going to tell us that much.

Marketing certainly does factor into it, some people's work is a product rather than something deeply significant, but take the great philosophers ... outside of social and historical context, Plato and Socrates haven't really said much unique have they? And under graduate university students have presented their ideas in more digestible ways. Same with characters like Christopher Hitchens, Jane Austen, and current political and religious writers; out of context there is nothing significant about what they've written fiction or non-fiction.

I don't doubt there are writers with significant talent that are completely ignored. People like Darwin get credit for 'inventing' natural selection, but how many theorists were ignored from that time?

I'm just not sure the study accurately proves that talented writers are not talented.



posted on Sep, 27 2013 @ 12:04 PM
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iwilliam
First of all, that was a bit hard to follow. 48% Correct? 48 percent of what? (And half-right does not sound like a glowing review of ability.)

Obviously this means that the test-takers correctly identified Dickens's prose in 48% of the cases. Since there were only two possible answers to each question (Dickens or Bulwer) a random guessing would lead to a 50% score.



iwilliam
This by the way, is (at least one reason) why so many writers who think they're good, and can tell a decent story, don't get published. Sloppy writing that fails to pull you into the story properly, or easily paint a picture with few words, or just "sounds" amateurish, etc..

OK. And why these writers did not get published


in a related experiment, publishers had rejected Booker prize-winning novels submitted as works by aspiring authors.

www.significancemagazine.org...

?



posted on Sep, 30 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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LoneCloudHopper2
I forget who said it, but there is a Picasso begging on every street in Paris. I’ve hung out with writers, visual artists, actors and musicians and they way they talk about successful artists differs from how most people do. We've all heard local guitarists play as well as the best recorded guitar work out there and we've seen artwork as striking and original as the famous works. These are artists who never got anywhere (considered by the "in crowd" to be "folk artists" or "outsider artists.")

These unsuccessful writers, artists, and musicians talk about the successful ones the same way the crowd talks about abstract artists: "I can do this as good as he." However, their complaints meet little understanding. This is because when you ridicule an abstract artist you say that an average person is as good as this famous artist. However, when an unsuccessful artist (a real one, not abstract) says that he as good as a famous artist (a real one, not abstract) he elevates himself above the crowd. And the crowd gets upset.





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