Do we enjoy bashing and trashing certain works and authors?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,175
Brassicaland
#1
Floccinaucinihilipilification (or trashing/bashing) is a common practice.
I have use my search engine (Ecosia) and found a few people claim these authors or books suck:
Wuthering Height sucks.
Charles Dickens sucks.
Jane Austen sucks.
Neitzsche sucks.
Great Gatsby sucks.

"One man's bread is another's poison"; the golden rule isn't that golden after all.
Why are we bashing?
What render these works and authors suck?
Do less memorable works and authors suck even more?
 
Nov 2016
398
Munich
#3
Floccinaucinihilipilification
Nice word. It was invented in 1741 by author William Shenstone when he wrote:

I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money.

Why are we bashing? What render these works and authors suck?
"Bashing" means harsh critizing and can be close to "hate speech". So I don´t really catch the point you are intending. You are asking why some people critize some works in a way which is hateful or close to this? Or are you merely asking why some people don´t like these works to a degree that they call them "sucking" what does not necessarily imply a hate of that what "sucks"?

I have use my search engine (Ecosia) and found a few people claim these authors or books suck:
There are always people who bash a certain artist or book or art work or anything else. Even Shakespeare is harshely critized by

George Bernard Shaw:

With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his.

Samuel Pepys (1662):

We saw "Midsummer´s Night´s Dream", which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life.

Leo Tolstoy:

trivial and positively bad... / an insignificant, inartistic author...

Voltaire:

It is I myself who was the first to speak about this Shakespeare. I was the first who showed to the French a few pearls which I had found in his enormous dunghill.

As to Jane Austen whom I admire much (when my "Pamela"-project is done I´ll translate her "Lady Susan" into German), just read the most negative reviews in the Amazon book lists to know why some people are bashing her. The main reason is a complete unhistorical approach to her stories. If a reader can´t abstract from the artistic criteria of his contemporary culture, he/she finds a Jane Austen story simply boring. Another reason may be that the reader doesn´t catch the point of her stories (mainly Austen´s ironic criticism of the bourgeois mentality of her days).

As to Nietzsche, he had some really questionable ideas (e.g. Superman). So why wondering that some people are bashing Nietzsche?
 
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Jan 2010
4,024
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#8
Hmm. Your list is a good illustration:

I love Jane Austen's books. As Tammuz says, you have to understand the context and if you don't, you may be disappointed. For those who do not like them, I'd suggest reading them as treatises on the economics of marriage in England around 1800.

I think Wuthering Heights is a nasty, evil book.

I don't like Dickens very much, but I admit that's a matter of personal taste. I did like Tale of Two Cities a lot but couldn't finish Bleak House.

Haven't read the rest.

But I think saying any work "sucks" just shows that the person saying it does not have enough critical vocabulary (or doesn't understand the work adequately) to make an educated statement about it.

And--yes--less memorable authors or works can "suck" even worse, almost by definition.
 
Nov 2016
398
Munich
#9
I do not think we can talk about bashing and criticising in the same time, they aren't synonymous, in my opinion.
I´m no native speaker and can only rely on definitions in dictionaries. The Online Cambridge Dictionary defines "bashing" as

strong criticism of a particular type of person or thing

In my article above I defined it as "harsh criticism", sometimes tending to "hate speech" (e.g. bashing in Hip Hop texts). Of course it´s often a matter of interpretation whether a statement is seen as criticizing, as bashing or as hate-speaking.

I agree; to me bashing is criticising without being constructive.
However, there is not always the possibility of connecting criticism with constructivity. I am, for example, a decisive Islam basher, not seeing the least positive aspect in this so-called religion that could inspire me to any constructive view on that matter. Here "bashing" is meant in the sense of harsh and uncompromising criticism. Another thing is bashing of novels, here I tend to much more tolerance, partly because I myself write novels... A German fantasy novel of mine was bashed in a review with the argument that the (female) protagonist was completely unsympathetic, what of course is quite absurd... I suppose the criticism of "Wuthering Heights" by David is similarily and at least partially based on the aloofness of the story´s characters with which some readers cannot identify.

I think Wuthering Heights is a nasty, evil book.
I think it´s useful to have some knowledge of the author for rightly judging the book.

From Wiki: Emily Brontë (she died only 30 years old):



Emily's unsociability and extremely shy nature have subsequently been reported many times.[47][48][49] According to Norma Crandall, her "warm, human aspect" was "usually revealed only in her love of nature and of animals".[50] In a similar description, Literary news (1883) states: "[Emily] loved the solemn moors, she loved all wild, free creatures and things",[51] and critics attest that her love of the moors is manifest in Wuthering Heights.[52] Over the years, Emily's love of nature has been the subject of many anecdotes.
(...)
In Queens of Literature of the Victorian Era (1886), Eva Hope summarises Emily's character as "a peculiar mixture of timidity and Spartan-like courage", and goes on to say, "She was painfully shy, but physically she was brave to a surprising degree. She loved few persons, but those few with a passion of self-sacrificing tenderness and devotion. To other people's failings she was understanding and forgiving, but over herself she kept a continual and most austere watch, never allowing herself to deviate for one instant from what she considered her duty."
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
4,374
Netherlands
#10
Maybe, just maybe, some people were forced to read those idiots in school. The main reason they are considered classics is because the (surviving) other works are even worse.

And lets be a little realistic. There is much better chic-flic than Jane Austen around and the others you mention like The great Gatsby are only considered great because some literature profs say so. The story sucks and a whole mumbu-jumbo just to sound "artsy".
 

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