Re: RE: Try listening to the real ideas and ignore vitriolic attacks

From: John Gedsudski <>
Date: Fri Feb 28 2003 - 15:30:44 EST

jim says:

>I think the point here would be to listen to, say, Will's real ideas and
>judge them on their own merit, rather than listening to someone else's
>misrepresentative attack on them. Even then, of course, the attack can
>have some merit, but its merit can only be judged if you've listened to the
>original ideas to begin with.

Jim, I feel my ideas and responses are real. Moreover, it is difficult for
me to judge primarily on "their own merit" when the author signs every post
with an waggish tag-line. Someone who is in such an esteemed position of
professorship must be careful when prescribing "advanced degrees" on others.
As if, by default, that makes a person a more productive member of the
academic distopia they live in. Making the lay people without them ignorant,
of course.
The previous discussion on MFA's was a frutiful one, proving how hopeless
the participants of those programs are, and how hapless the people who
organize them will always be.

I've taken issue with a number of the associate professor's comments. The
bulk of of them have been Salinger-related, and for the often charged
comments there are so many proverbial wet-blanket posts of "this list is
turning so nasty" "people are so caustic here on bananafish island" or "john
g. is such a ornery poster" most of which are from people who likely read
all of the posts with unbridled enthususiasm but as posters have little to
say on a regular basis.

Never have I questioned Will's familiarity of J.D. Salinger's works. This is
why I am sent reeling when he says 'Salinger later appealed to his
readers.' How can he substantiate this? Especially after reading such a
dissapointment as Seymour:An Introduction, a mawkish and brittle piece of
literature, and then of course Hapworth 16, 1924, it is clear to most not
enthralled by the cult of Salinger that the Old Hermit turned his back on
ALL his readers, even the amateur ones. How can there be a supplication with
an author who refuses to publish for 40 years, after a spurious promise of
more works? Then the Amazon posting in 1994. Playing games, again, what a
sicko. Took Ol Roger at GMU for a spin though, didn't ya?
Also, I take issue with the view J.D. Salinger's central myth is art not
impeded by religion. While the point about family is a good one, think how
Eastern philosophy dominates all aspects of his later work. Art is not
impeded by religion, it's saturated by it. While readers can witness the
seeds of his obsession in the Catcher in the Rye, with the short but
important scene with Carl Luce, I am glad we have his one novel
doctrine-free. Surely, that is more I can say about those novels-to-be
waiting in the wings.

For a supposed-JD. Salinger-related list, it is disheartening to see so many
posts of a heartfelt urge to "stop the anger" and "put down your arms" as if
no productive discourse ever came from conflict. Well, I am not under the
umbrella of your University-Ingsoc.

So deal with it.

Most of the people who take the namby-pamby view are doomed to a life of
mediocrity anyway, and will never make it through the gauntlet of an
artist's life. Let them polish those papers, stand on the shoulders of
giants, and publish those paradigm-theories on literature. Those
dissertations will never need to be defended again, because life is to short
to waste precious time on that pedantic anaytical butt-wiping.

Take a Look through the archives of most posters, finding a kernal of
knowledge in ANY Great Work for them is like trying to find flea shit in a
pile of pepper.


John Gedsudski
Adjunct Professor of Sciolism
Northern Philistia Community College
501 Boorish Drive

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Received on Fri Feb 28 15:30:47 2003

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