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Where do we draw the Line?

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wildsalmon
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@delphine Is that true? I can't say I can think of a topic that's that revolting even after being picked apart and understood deeply (personal traumas around the topic notwithstanding). All taboos seem to be societally constructed, so under the lens of critical examination it seems to mostly melt away. Kafka on the Shore has some genuinely disturbing moments, but to me at least, they become much more easy to stomach after we've poked at them in class or on the forums. Everything that can be thought about can be discussed, I say. It's definitely possible there's a topic so horrific it can't even be thought about without immediately being supressed by the vast majority of people, but then how would we even know?

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TheBoulder
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@salmon I can see what you are saying but I can't fully agree. What if the literature is non-fiction? How does that change the discussion around "taboo" topics. I know you qualified "personal traumas non-withstanding", but I know there are things that aren't personal traumas, that are too revolting for me to talk about, or even think about. I try to be an understanding and open-minded person, but I can't even try to understand some things. It's easy to discuss things from a distance, but I can't engage many things further than that. Maybe it is just me. Reading the cat scene in Johnnie Walker's house was pushing it for me. I really don't want to go further in examples, but there is a line for me.


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Delphine
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@salmon I suppose I agree, I simply mean that it's not out of the question. There is a LOT of literature out there. Although we may not even know, surely there are pieces we simply could not even begin to unpack. 


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bunkymoo
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@delphine I agree with you. Some topics are too tough or controversial to talk about, that putting them out for everyone to see would cause issues that don't need to be brought up. I can think of multiple topics where a line needs to be drawn as well just because they are straight up offensive, so you bring up a good point.


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xmysterio
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@salmon You’re right about this. Some topics don’t need to be extended upon. If I were to say that I had a good day, we could just drop it at that. A line wouldn’t have to be drawn to analyze that. So you are very true.


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ahayo
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@bunkymoo I agree with both of you. However, I find that in today's times everything is to controversial therefore what is there to even talk about. Earlier in this forum we had discussed the subject of opinions and how they affect conversations. And in today's times everything is way more extravagant than it ever has been. I like to think of them as super opinions, everyone has them. So is there even a line to draw if majority of things can't be spoken about? 


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chizisqueen
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@theboulder Would we even classify non-fiction as literature per our western outlook? We haven't once discussed how non-fiction fits into the landscape. We like to qualify literature as having a profound meaning that resonates/moves us to understanding more about humanity. Is this still possible through non-fiction? Just an interesting thought...


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stella
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@curtis, I think this is a really good point and one that relates to class. Often in class, Chisnell steers out discussion away from the piece that we are discussing and instead talks about ideas connected to the work. 


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username27
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@Stella - I really like that Chisnell does this in our discussion as I feel it almost helps me get more out of the novel. He begins by helping us make a few beginning connections and then leaves us at the end of class with something to think about. This often helps me to make even more connections than I ever would have had I been reading the novel on my own.


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bunkymoo
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@stella It is really good that he does that for us. It really allows us to see more of the background, instead of what is right in front of us. Not only is it helpful, but its super interesting to hear how something is connected to what you read or are talking about.


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stella
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@username27 agreed. I also like how he leads us to the discussions, so we are able to discuss and come to realizations on our own. Personally, the extra context these discussions provide help me understand the piece much better. 


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stella
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@bunkymoo, I have found this especially helpful while reading Kafka on the Shore. I don't know much about Japanese culture or literature so Chisnell's anecdotes along with the other discussions we have in class have really helped my understanding of the novel so far. 


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TheBoulder
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@aaparrot When I think of literature I also think of scientific texts that changes the world, like Darwin's work on evolution. Is that not literature? I don't see why literature only has to be works of fiction. I would say the discovery of evolution had a profound understanding to help us move humanity forward, I doubt you'd disagree. Fiction and non-fiction are just different types of literature.


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abuzz
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Just some food for thought, but this topic has further led me to believe that lines aren't drawn easily. We have 5 pages of discussion solely on the concept of drawing a line itself. Of course there are controversial topics, but they just keep being discussed. I'm sure there are occasions where someone goes too far, saying something threatening or damaging, but I feel like with the discussions we are talking about there is not a clear line to be drawn.


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wildsalmon
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@abuzz I suppose this just plays into the subjectivity of it all? Not to go full "everything is up to the interpreter," but to a certain degree the line is pretty personal. I think it has a lot to do with the literary theory you ascribe to or the framework you use to view the world, it's largely a part of the ideals that inform you. The line may just need to be the sum of the participants' personal lines. I guess this is a bunch of nothing, saying "it depends!" and hand-waving it, but ultimately I think that's all this boils down to.


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