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I am well aware this is a topic touched upon quite frequently, and for that I apologize, but I feel as though I must expand the pool of opinion. I have had this stewing for a while, as a disclaimer. Essentially it boils down to my sneaking suspicions that criticism of most forms of media is being occupied (for lack of a better word) by this invasive attitude of faux objectivity. I think it was most evident to me roughly a week ago while discussing a film with a friend, when partway through an individual bluntly inserted himself into the conversation, plighting about how much he hated the item in question, how badly certain decisions affected the quality of the film, and many other diatribes about the composition and characters etc., etc. I was not angry that he was trashing the film (that my friend and I both enjoyed), I try not to engage in clearly fruitless arguments as a general practice, so I instead asked him why he thought (x) character was badly written. He thought for a moment and reverted to a lengthy response that essentially said: "Because it is bad." Not "Because I didn't like it" or "Because it was actively detrimental to the story being told", but "Because it is bad". The more I mull it over, the more I become discouraged. I realize I've been hearing that phrase for years, disguised by flowery language and aggregate reviews, and it now frustrates me to no end when someone touts their views like a flag on the moon. Has this attitude of mob criticism and treating opinion as fact been around longer than I realize? Isn't art supposed to be subjective, or am I just an idiot? This issue probably has a lot of grey area and I absolutely cannot say that I'm an expert, but I am very willing to be swayed. Just tired of negative, scolding criticism in general, I suppose.
Ah, the long novel. Bleak House, Moby-Dick, Underworld, War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, Infinite Jest, Ulysses, and Les Miserables. These are some of the greatest works of literature. And they're all long. so, in honor of the big, juicy, long novel, I have decided to dedicate a thread specifically to the best long novels (not to long novels in general, which I will discuss another time). For that, I would pick all the titles I mentioned before, and I would add some other possible candidates: The Secret History, The Goldfinch, J R, The Recognitions and Anna Karenina