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Thread: Literary Poseur?

  1. #1
    Cheese's Avatar Poster
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    I have a habit, not a bad habit in the scheme of things, but it is a sneaky and quite sad habit that is almost unnoticeable to the whole world.  I’m a literary poseur, I pretend to have read books that I know will impress others and, worse still, I always carry a copy of a ‘classic’ book around with me when I go on train journeys or I’m sitting in the sun.  “Wow, you’re reading Don Quixote,” they’ll say.  “That’s supposed to be really good.”  I’ll just nod sagely, shrug my shoulders and say, “It’s hard work but it’s worth it.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and read all the time, it’s just that I love the feeling that people maybe think you’re brighter than you actually are.  Personally, I read (when I’m home, away from prying eyes) very trashy novels from Stephen King to Catherine Cookson.  These novels I can absorb so easily and find no trouble reading whereas something by Yann Martel would take me weeks to read and by the end I always feel I didn’t ‘get it.’

    And I never get caught out, well almost never, the people I meet on my travels have never read these books and those that say they have I have my suspicions about.  It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a lot of people out there like me who have ‘read’ as many classic books as me.  Those very few people who have actually read the book are so eager to impress me with their knowledge of the story that they rarely notice that I give monosyllabic answers to their questions and quickly move the conversation to safer subjects.

    Picking a book to read is easy.  I started on books I was supposed to have read at school and when I’d finished not reading them I didn’t read other books by the same authors.  After that I went a bit more modern and tried to not read my way through all the Booker Prize winners, when I hadn’t read as many of these I started picking a book mentioned in the reviews that are always on the back of my current book.  You know, “Book A is a Book B for the nineties.”

    Reading the reviews on the back is about as far as my actual reading ever really takes me, though sometimes I might just brave a few pages to see if I can glean any understanding before beating a hasty retreat.  The reviews allow me to give anyone who asks a brief oversight of the book and, another bonus; appear worldly and wise at the same time.  “Oh, yes.”  I’ll say.  “It’s the Book B for the nineties.” 
    Do you do this? I know sometimes I do...

  2. Lounge   -   #2
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    Originally posted by Withcheese@4 November 2003 - 21:22
    I have a habit, not a bad habit in the scheme of things, but it is a sneaky and quite sad habit that is almost unnoticeable to the whole world.* I’m a literary poseur, I pretend to have read books that I know will impress others and, worse still, I always carry a copy of a ‘classic’ book around with me when I go on train journeys or I’m sitting in the sun.* “Wow, you’re reading Don Quixote,” they’ll say.* “That’s supposed to be really good.”* I’ll just nod sagely, shrug my shoulders and say, “It’s hard work but it’s worth it.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I love reading and read all the time, it’s just that I love the feeling that people maybe think you’re brighter than you actually are.* Personally, I read (when I’m home, away from prying eyes) very trashy novels from Stephen King to Catherine Cookson.* These novels I can absorb so easily and find no trouble reading whereas something by Yann Martel would take me weeks to read and by the end I always feel I didn’t ‘get it.’

    And I never get caught out, well almost never, the people I meet on my travels have never read these books and those that say they have I have my suspicions about.* It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a lot of people out there like me who have ‘read’ as many classic books as me.* Those very few people who have actually read the book are so eager to impress me with their knowledge of the story that they rarely notice that I give monosyllabic answers to their questions and quickly move the conversation to safer subjects.

    Picking a book to read is easy.* I started on books I was supposed to have read at school and when I’d finished not reading them I didn’t read other books by the same authors.* After that I went a bit more modern and tried to not read my way through all the Booker Prize winners, when I hadn’t read as many of these I started picking a book mentioned in the reviews that are always on the back of my current book.* You know, “Book A is a Book B for the nineties.”

    Reading the reviews on the back is about as far as my actual reading ever really takes me, though sometimes I might just brave a few pages to see if I can glean any understanding before beating a hasty retreat.* The reviews allow me to give anyone who asks a brief oversight of the book and, another bonus; appear worldly and wise at the same time.* “Oh, yes.”* I’ll say.* “It’s the Book B for the nineties.”*
    Do you do this? I know sometimes I do...
    I reckon most of the people are gonna lie and say no

    Well of course I don't do that...

  3. Lounge   -   #3
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    I don't. It's pretty pathetic. However, I have read a lot of classics, and I have caught people who do do that, when they say things like "It's Book B for the nineties," and then upon further discussion, reveal they may have read the back cover, if that.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  4. Lounge   -   #4
    bob_the_alien's Avatar Bob The Alien
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    Well, I've read many of the classics, but only because of one reason, I had to, I've had many literature classes that, I've been forced to read these, but to be truthful, if I hadn't had these classes, I would have never picked any of the so-called classics up. I mean I just don't really care,
    Give me a Stephen King or Tom Clancy novel any day.
    However, I don't see the point in lying about reading a book you haven't read, nor do I see a point in saying you've read something you haven't, for one reason, most people I've met would be hard pressed to read "Clifford the big Red Dog", so why try to impress them with "Don Quixote". Just don't see a point in that.

    Oh, yeah, and I used to love "Clifford the big Red Dog", if you have children, buy those books for them.
    "Where did he go, George, Where did he go?"


  5. Lounge   -   #5
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    I'm not a poseur, just messing around up there.

    I read hardly any classic books.

  6. Lounge   -   #6
    I hardly read books at all atm. No interest, 'cos lib is 30mins away, and £10 is better spent at pizza hut.

    But i do do that. I don't pretend to read them (that's sad), i just pretend i read them (occasionally, and in the right convos), makes me sound good. I know only a little bit about some of classic books, but that's enough.

    So, come on, there's no shame in admitting it.

  7. Lounge   -   #7
    if you're lugging Don Quixote around, people oughta be at least impressed with your weightlifting abilities. i actually have read it, but even as a person who enjoys reading i'd say it wasn't really worth my time-- Voltaire's "Candide" offers nearly the same comedy of optimism, delusion & torture, but combines with a sharp satire on religion, philosophy & colonialism, and it only takes two nights to read. Candide is just funnier and more concise.

    and you'd prolly look better poseuring around with a slim volume of Voltaire-- Don Quixote just looks old-fashioned, not to mention that your arm would get tired pretty fast from carrying it.

  8. Lounge   -   #8
    Guillaume's Avatar Kentish old lady BT Rep: +8BT Rep +8
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    I sometimes have overestimated my ability to read some books (like Milton's Paradise Lost...), so does starting to read a book and not finishing count?

  9. Lounge   -   #9
    Cheese's Avatar Poster
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    Originally posted by Gurahl@6 November 2003 - 00:46
    I sometimes have overestimated my ability to read some books (like Milton's Paradise Lost...), so does starting to read a book and not finishing count?
    I suppose only if you later claim to have read the book.

    Milton's Paradise Lost is one I've tried to read as well, I've tried a number of times but just can't get into it....

  10. Lounge   -   #10
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    Don't try to read it all in one sitting.

    Digest.

    And then return for another nibble.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

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