Books that changed your world

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Postby Beyond Birthday » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:19 pm

I'm not telling.
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Postby chris.ph » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:39 pm

l ron hubbard by the look of it pooh :lol: :lol:

ive never read a book that will change my life and i doubt i ever will, one of the most thought provoking books ive read is brave new world by aldeous huxley as it could happen and is definately getting closr to fruition
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:10 pm

Not Lewis Carroll then? :D Huxley and Orwell both got scarily close to the truth for me - 1984 being almost a textbook for any shade of dictatorship *shudders*

I know Carroll (Charles Dodgson) has the rep, but there's no real evidence to suggest he was a pedophile. He famously had a huge row with Henry Liddell (the real life Alice's dad) the Dean of Christ Church, BUT was nevertheless allowed to remain at Oxford as an unordained deacon (remarkable because it was a conditional position, yet he never took orders as he did not wish to become a priest - possibly because he did not want to preach having an insuperable stammer). Does that sound like the rational action on the part of the Dean of 3 young girls (Alice was the middle one - 11 at the time Dodgson was befriended by the whole family through Dodgson's friendship their eldest brother) if he'd molested his child(ren) in any way whatsoever?

This is not helped by Dodgson's diaries for those years covering the period he was the Liddell's close friend becoming 'lost'. In fact what had more likely happened was that Dodgson had either been 'courting' the girl's governess or through her to the Liddell's eldest daughter 'Ina' named for her mother Lorina. That evidence is far more in line with Dodgson being allowed to remain in Oxford and moreover unordained. So far from proposing marriage to 11 yr old Alice, he was possibly pursuing her older sister (still quite young at 14-15) or her governess or in fact Mrs Lorina Liddell the mother... With 2 adult women involved, one of them 'below stairs' effectively this is far more likely to have been the cause of a scandalous cover up where relations between Dodgson and Liddell's were permanently severed, rather than covering up for him perving on the 2 daughters which would surely have had him kicked out on his unordained ears and consequent public disgrace. This is all before he was published and making a name for himself as an author and, more importantly as a photographer, so all the easier for him to be 'outed' or rather disgraced and word put out on the quiet - Alice would never have made it to print if he'd done anything that was that horrible.

That's what is actually at the crux of the rumours. Photography was very much a scientific artform in the mid-1800s and Dodgson was extremely talented as an amateur photographer. He could have turned professional and made a lot more money than as an author but it's his portraits of naked children, male and female that support the pedophile myth. Again you need to look at things in context of Victorian high society - they were mad for nude or semi-nude studies of their children in terms of purity and aesthetics and not as overtly erotic. They were also mad for portraits of their wives and husbands, similarly undressed and Dodgson the quiet shy well-educated student clergyman found himself in demand. In other words the Liddell parents asked him to take photos of their children, semi-dressed. It was a fashionable thing to have done in the same ethos as the aristocracy in Renaissance Italy and the Low Countries clamoured for the services of Botticelli and Raphael to make nude paintings of their daughters (most famously Amerigo Vespucci's sister Sonya was the model for Botticelli's several Venus's and Flora).

Last word from Alice herself, passed down to her granddaughter - he was her eldest brother's friend who took their photographs and told them stories when they went boating on the river, but otherwise didn't mean that much to her or her family. That's all.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby BaldJean » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:35 pm

Those Carroll allegations where made by people who smoked much stranger stuff than Carroll. As you already mentioned, people did not think about sex when they saw nude kids back then.
It is strange how the most puritan people can think only of sex when they think of nudity. What would they think of us (my wife, our kids and me)? We have the habit to stay in the nude when being at home, we even used to bathe together with the kids (we had an extra large tub installed in the bathroom) when they were younger (they are too big now to still fit in with us), but there was nothing sexual about that, though there certainly was a lot of cuddling and body contact.
But that's normal for a family. I think most of today's children get too little body contact. Nothing is more natural in the world than a mother's embrace of her kid.
But today's world is dominated by the USA and their puritan morals; any kind of nudity is an assault of sexuality for them, and anyone who embraces a kid in public has to fear accusations of being a child molester. I bet most American people would regard our family as a bunch of perverts. Ridiculous. Nudity is our natural state, and we taught our children not to be ashamed of it at all right from the beginning.
By the way: Rest assured, we don't receive visitors in the nude unless they are really close friends. We always have kimonos hanging beside the entrance and thus can prepare for any unexpected visitor.
Last edited by BaldJean on Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:48 pm

Ah yes - the smoking! :lol:

Well it's probably very well-known now that the Victorians took opium/morphine like smarties (not even aspirins) - else why do you think the British Empire were involved in the Opium Wars! 8) We were the major exporters from the Far East and that's mostly why the East India Company became so powerful.

Lewis Carroll had a long-standing bad state of health with various chest conditions, migraines and probably epilepsy and he likely took drugs including morphine for all those complaints and probably for recreational use too.
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:25 pm

I don't read L. Ron Hubbard.

I won't tell because I'm literally scared that someone on this forum will buy this person's writing. I'm fine if someone does but I don't want to be the one that convinces anyone.

It stinks, too, because it would be fun to talk about it.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:31 pm

deldaisy wrote:I saw a long interview with a woman that was walking around the world... wondering if this is the same one... did she break up with her husband during an African trek?
No, she wasn't married when she did this.
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Postby spideyGirl » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:51 pm

I read Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy at quite a young age and being exposed to such brilliance gave me such a much needed lift in life. And when I picked up my first TP book in a book shop in the 80's and read the back and it said:

"A cross between Tolkien [who I also loved as a child] and Douglas Adams"

...well, the rest is history! :D :D :D
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:16 pm

Beyond Birthday wrote:I don't read L. Ron Hubbard.

I won't tell because I'm literally scared that someone on this forum will buy this person's writing. I'm fine if someone does but I don't want to be the one that convinces anyone.

It stinks, too, because it would be fun to talk about it.

Don't be scared about anyone on here. And don't be scared of saying anything about anything. You can say what you like. For example, I think Lord of the Rings is really boring. I think the Narnia books are pseudo-Christo propaganda. I'm pretty sure other people here would disagree:D

I bet it's Richard Dawkins. 8)
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:23 pm

BaldJean wrote:We always have kimonos hanging beside the entrance and thus can prepare for any unexpected visitor.

No, you don't. Kimonos take at least 30 minutes to put on. :roll:
You probably have "Yukatas". :P
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby Beyond Birthday » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:58 pm

Nope, not Richard Dawkins.

It's not a big deal, really. I just don't want to mention it because this person would use whatever money gained to support something I'm against. I can easily imagine any lurker here deciding to buy a book by this person out of spite. Not this forum specifically, but any forum.

...

Yes, it is paranoid to think this.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:50 am

:lol: Will you tell us if someone else mentions him BB? Thing is with some authors like Carroll, or Oscar Wilde, their work should never be judged as 'wrong' just because they weren't a good fit in the standard 'morality' box at the time, or in Carroll's case, after the event. Writers do tend to be rather odd anyway I think, in some respects anyway although Pterry tends to be quite sensible in his little quirks as they are mostly practical (the fedora's pretty stylish though) :lol:

Like pooh was saying about C.S. Lewis - he's a very good case in point from an adult perspective, as he was a 'typical' convert in being very aggressive at times and totally pompous and rather insensitive at others when he started to veer into morality and philosophy. From a child's perspective with the Narnia books (which I loved when I was 8 ) you don't notice the tub-thumping so much and anyway it's a Lion being knifed to death on an altar stone and then coming coming back to life and giving 2 little girls a ride on his back - how cool is that! Maybe Bin Laden read him too! :shock: :lol: But at the time his writing was accepted and lauded reading for Catholic children as well as Protestants, and the Jesuits were mad for the Screwtape Letters too.

We are quite broad-minded on here so, as pooh says, you're not gonna get jumped on - we're all mostly in agreement that censorship's a bad thing no matter how bad the book or whatever 'bad' might mean to you :wink: But tell, don't tell - up to you. :D

Pooh - if you promise not to go on about Dawkins I won't go on about Tolkien :twisted:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby Danny B » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:50 am

Considering the kind of books most of us on this forum gravitate towards and Beyond's strong feelings about not wanting to fiscally support the author in question, my guess would be Orson Scott Card. A fine writer, one who manages to keep his often odious politics out of his works, but the man donates a percentage of his income to a rabidly anti-gay organisation, meaning that however good his books are, it becomes distinctly uncomfortable for some people, myself absolutely amongst them, to buy them. I suppose it could be Goodkind or John C. Wright as well, but my guess is Card because of the impact Beyond mentions. Very few people who read Ender's Game at the right age can read the phrase "The enemy's gate is down!" without getting a little tingle down the spine.

To drag the thread unfashionably back on topic... The book that changed my world, or world view if you like, is Legend by David Gemmell.

Legend was a book all about coming to terms with your past and the sometimes nastier elements of it, seeing how your present is affected by it and changing your future because of it. Not through the character of Druss himself, whose own journey is very different, but through the impact he has on other characters. I've read very few books with such a strong, unwavering and, for a book with so much violence in it, gentle and forgiving morality. That made quite an impact on a badly educated, council estate waster with a quick temper and a list of regrets and bitter memories as long as his arm. Simply put, I'm a better man for having read it.
Carpe carpio*

* Correction - Carpio diem
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:40 am

Bazinga, Danny B! :P
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby deldaisy » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:04 am

BaldJean wrote:Suppose you read a book and thoroughly enjoy it. Some time later you learn that the author was a pedophile. Do you really go "I don't like this book" now? I seriously doubt it. You may be disappointed about the author, but your judgement of the book should not change at all.


Of course I can be judgemental. Authors aren't gods. The days of revering the written word in a book as above all else is long gone. I have read random articles on the internet that have made a mark on my life just as a good book has, but we all hit delete on articles at some stage. The same can be said about newspapers (proper newspapers). But we don't save every article like we hoard books. They end up on the bottom of the birds cage. We as a race do not have to save every written word ever written, especially in these times where access to writing is more available to everyone morseo than any other time in history.

ANd I totally agree with Beyond. She has every right to withold the identity of the author she despises. Here, if you commit a crime (any crime) you may never profit from that crime. So if you write a book about anything and mention the crime then all proceeds must go back to the government.... they don't STOP them being published... you just can't profit from them. I think that is a great law.

I used the term of pedophile as an example... there are lesser and greater crimes people and authors commit that I can judge as being something I don't want to support or condone. But just as wouldn't support a person like this IRL, I won't support a means for them making a living through recommending or buying their books.
The Collective Brain: The synoptic serendipity that comes when interesting thoughts from interesting and interested people get together. And the whole is always more than the sum of its parts.
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