Hi novel readers!

In this blog we can discuss the form and content of Mark Haddon's novel from 2003. Hopefully, we will have many creative an interesting discussions on our way towards a better understanding of the book.

Your personal opinions are very welcome here, but remember to be relevant and argue your points in an adult and proper manner. As a rule I (JT) will post questions and statements for you to answer and reflect upon, but you may also start your own discussions. If you do, remember to be relevant and serious.

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Topic 9: What should literature be?

You can always dismiss fiction as being less than real life, and the question of realism is a heavily debated topic in literary analysis. Should literature strive to immitate relaity, or is this too simple. Is perhaps the escape from reality the main pointof a made up universe and an imagined story? Reflect on this and try to bring "The Curious Incident" into your discussion.

17 comments:

  1. I think literature should be as it is now. For many people, reading fiction is a great way of "escaping" reality and taking a break from the real world. Reading could be a type of therapy. Reading non-fiction is also very educational, because you see others perspective on different things and you can learn facts from topics of your own interests and choices.

    A mix is also a good combo, where you have a piece of literature which has both fiction and non-fiction. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" is a good example. Even though the book is mostly fiction, it contains non-fiction, such as places, and it is very interesting to learn about how some people with autism react to different scenarios.

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  2. I'm agree with Thea, and think literature should be as it is now.
    The main point with literature is that it isn't realistic. It's many genre within literature, and various degrees of realism. Example: science fiction and fairy tales with dragons and unicorns, or a novel which can be more realistic.
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, are a great example on the latter. Nothing is unnatural, this can actually happen, but most likely not. So this novel have a great combo of fiction and realism.

    People can choose wheter they want to read something realistic or not, and in which degree.

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  3. To me, literature is simply something you read. I do in no way mean to imply that it is unimportant, in fact quite the contrary. Reading is vital, and we do it all the time. Schoolbooks, subtitles, signs or facebook-statuses, our brains must frequently interpret the meaning of the letters and words that make out a text.
    The amount of text that one manages to interpret in a way that thought-provokingly and effectively makes an impression on you is what literature is all about if you ask me. This reflects back on the talent of the writer and the interests of the individual reading the book. As people don’t necessarily all want to consume their time reading and thinking about the same things, I don't fully agree with the comments above.
    Literature must not be one of these things, it must be all of them. To supply the audience with sufficiently different concepts in both style and theme, individuality is key. Mark Haddon has clearly grasped this, and the weirdness of reading another person’s mind is just one in many examples that different does work.

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  4. Firstly, I want to say that I agree with Ingvild due to Mark Haddon’s book. By making it seem like it is Christopher who has written the book, his use of the prime numbers and images in the book, makes him stand out among most authors.

    Anyway, for me, literature is about seeing things from another perspective. When I read a book, my mind shifts gears, and it teaches me to think, although in a more peaceful way. It helps me to escape the world, because a good book can easily distract me if I have a bad day. I think literary fiction gives you the chance to wander.

    However, I understand that some people find literature boring. Everyone understands books their own way, and everyone has messages that either resonate or fall flat within. That's just plain taste and there is nothing wrong with that! However, the best of literary fiction is the foretastes of the characters specific words and relationships. I think this opens new windows to our own relationships.

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    1. I completely agree with you! Especially in that however grey a day might be, a good book can light it up like nothing else.

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  5. I feel that literature does not have to be of any special kind of written, visual or even of a spoken communication to entertain. In my opinion the works of particular authors are not as important as their imaginative and creative abilities. For me, the most important part of any type of literature is that a composer is able to put their points across in an entertaining way. This Mark Haddon manage well in the book.

    Literature does not have to use any special language in any particular way to be understood and to be appreciate, I think. Some subjects that are based on specified subjects do have particular qualities that make it hard to understand at times but I feel the magic in the writen word is still there.

    I understand that some og many may find fascination with any type of literature, like fiction. But for me all literature has a purpose whether it be to teach, entertain, inform or just to ponder over.

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    1. of* (spelling mistake)

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  6. I also think literature should be as it is now. For many people, reading fiction is a great way of "escaping" reality and taking a break from the real world. Reading could be a type of therapy and also very educational, because you see others perspective and you can learn facts from topics of your own interests and choices.

    A good combo is to mix. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" is a good example because it has a great combo of fiction and realism. Even though the book is mostly fiction, it contains non-fiction, such as places, and it is very interesting to learn about how some people with autism react to different scenarios.

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  7. In my opinion everything should be aloud in literature, both crazy fantasy stories and dead realistic ones, there should not be any limits.
    The only question is if anyone bothers to publish it and read it.

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  8. I think reading literature has or non-fiction or something else. Reading fiction is a great way to forget about your own life for a minute, and just relax and use your brain. You learn to know people, like in Mark Haddon`s book. There we get to learn about Christopher`s feelings and his illness. Reading non-fiction helps you to learn about everything you would like to learn about.

    I agree with Torunn that everything should be allowed in literature, because all these interesting and crazy stories creates a collection, where you can read anything you would like. And sometimes it`s exciting to read some crazy stories to.




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  9. I think the literature doesn’t have to change. The literature is good as it’s now and it isn’t a coincident that so many reads literature today. Literature could be just as it wants and there are no limits. That’s because our brain is the only limit. In the story “The curious incident with the dog in the night-time” you have a few limits, where they live, what’s dead and how many persons it’s in it. The rest is up to you and your brain to make. I don’t remember anything in the book that mention that’s humans that the story is about or that it takes place in England. It says that it takes places in some train stations that I’m sure is real and London is also a real place, but with enough fantasy up in your head the story could be totally different. It could’ve take place on the planet Peony and they are aliens which has brought England to their planet and the whole place is a total mess.
    Therefore I think that literature could be written in the way it wants, because it’s us who decides how much the story shouldn’t resemble our own lives. “The curious incident with the dog in the night-time” could be read in many ways and I’m sure if every student got the assignment to draw the story in detailed pictures, they wouldn’t resemble so much. That’s why I think if you read a crime novel or a novel about a couple on vacation, you could turn it around to be a story that doesn’t resemble the reality at all or resemble the reality very much. You don’t have to turn it around as much I did in my example, but it’s your choice, your brain.

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  10. As many others have mentioned, I also think reading is an “escape” from the reality. I love to read and I think it is great to have the ability to escape from the reality and in too a world that does not exist with fantastic people I wish I could have known. It is good that people can choose if they want to read fiction or something realistic. If you read something realistic it might not be an escape from the reality, but it can be. An example is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time written by Mark Haddon. I think that book is a mix of fiction and reality because the plot actually can happen, but the story is invented.

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  11. As many of my fellow student, I also think that we should be able to escape from the reality, while reading both fiction and non-fiction. Literature is supposed to introduce us to new world of experience, and we may even evolve and grow through our literary journey. Also the reader may interpret the author’s message, like in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time", and discover meaning in literature.

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  13. I think that made-up stories can be fascinating and exiting, but personally I prefer stories rooted in reality. I think that many want to escape reality when they read a book, and I understand that it can be relaxing to jump into a made up universe. “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time” is a quite realistic novel. The story is set to a real town called Swindon and the events in the book are also realistic. Since it’s “written” by a boy with Asperger’s, it makes me feel even more attached to reality, but I definitely don’t think that’s a bad thing!

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  14. Literature can make you think and feel, and it opens your eyes to something new. Like many others, I look at reading as an escape from the reality - and that's the main reason why I really like reading. Literature offers us the possibility to enter the world of imagination, and to leave apart the real one for some minutes. I think it's good that we’re able to choose what type of literature we want, because we all have different taste, and it’s nothing wrong with that. If you read something realistic it might not be an escape from the reality, but I think The Curious Incident shows that it actually can be. Christopher is living in two worlds – his own and the normal we know all by ourselves. Therefore I would say that the book is a mix of fiction and reality, because the plot actually can be connected to real life. Personally I prefer to read non-fiction that's combined with reality. I feel like my reading experience gets better if I recognize something from my own life or from others. In my opinion everything should be allowed in literature, there shouldn't be any limits.

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  15. I personally prefer literature based on lives of human beings, but it doesn't matter if they are fictional or based on true stories. What is most important to me, is if I can recognize what the characters actions and emotions are all about. This makes me feel like I am a part of the book, and that's why I like reading. But different people likes different literature, so why should there be any restrictions in literature anyway?

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