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Thumper

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About Thumper

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  • Birthday 03/06/1965

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    Male
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    Indianapolis
  1. Ellen Stewart, dead at 91

    Hello All, I'm here, I'm here. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I've had a few issues and the job is working me like they didn't get the email that Lincoln freed the slaves. I am back.
  2. What is everyone reading?

    Hello All, Crystal: I totally understand. *big smile* All: I am in the middle of my winter wonderland reading vacation. I finished two Artemis Fowl novels, which were wonderful as all hell!! I love the Artemis Fowl series better than Harry Potter. I got one more novel in the series to read and then I'm all caught up. The other day I finished up The Devil in The White City by Erik Larson. This book was fantastic. It's the story of the 1893 Chicago World Fair and the story of America's first serial killer Dr. H.H. Holmes, who used the fair to draw in some of his victims. I loved it!! Right now, I'm reading The Maltese Falcon by Dahiell Hammett, which is turning out to be a fascinating read. The Humphrey Bogart movie version sticks real close to the book. I'm in the middle of it, so I'll let you know how it goes
  3. Hello All, Troy: I would say "yes". Go ahead and build the page. It's a wonderful idea.
  4. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, Chris: You can't give an example because you aint read sh_t. Keep it real or keep it moving.
  5. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, Troy: Chris can't provide any names because he doesn't know of any. He's just talking.
  6. Hello All, I just finished up reading the John Oliver Killens biography by Keith Gilyard, which was wonderful by the way! Now, I'm going to go on a Winter Wonderland reading vacation. Actually, I've already started. I read Breakfast at Tiffany by Truman Capote this morning. I like it A LOT BETTER than the movie. Strangely enough, I saw Holly Golightly more like Marilyn Monroe than Audrey Hepburn. Capote was a damn good writer. I have two new installments for my two favorite children lit series on the way, Artemis Fowl and The Last Apprentice. Then I'm going to read for the first time an author name John Dos Passos. I have never heard of the man before. His name came up when I was reading the new James Baldwin collection: The Cross of Redemption. It's my understanding that Dos Passos was the fourth face in the American Literature Mount Rushmore, alongside Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner. I'm going to check Dos Passos out.
  7. Hello All, I just read this article from MSNBC.com, Black Male high school graduation. It looks like we, as a people, done fell the f_ck DOWN!
  8. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, Chris: Compliment? *eyebrow raised* I never said that the book was GOOD! And there's a reason for that. *eyebrow still raised*
  9. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, I agree with Cynique 100%!! Couldn't have said it better myself. And furthermore, who makes up the Literary establishment?
  10. What is everyone reading?

    Hello All, Crystal: *smile* You know I love me some Fitzgerald that's no lie. I have about 5 more books to go through before I go on my winter wonderland reading. I got them all stacked up and ready to go.
  11. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, Chris: You know what, let's be clear on a couple of things. First, there is a difference between literary fiction and fiction. In all seriousness, somehow the two got confused with eachh other, or the labeling got changed or something. Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I would call urban fiction today would have been called pulp fiction back in the day. Hemingway, Baldwin, Fitzgerald and others were under the fiction banner. The literary fiction banner did not come about until...when? I don't know, you tell me. From my understanding, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James Cain, all of their work were labeled pulp fiction, correct? So, there's no need in getting your panties in a bunch about somebody looking down their noses at urban lit. When it's all said and done, Raymond Chandler, James Cain and the others still knew how to put a damn sentence together. The same CAN NOT be said about many of our urban lit writers. Second, literary fiction, whether the author was white or black, had hell to pay. Their books were not always or automatically on the bestsellers list. Their books were the ones high school and college professors made you read, while during the school break I would come out with the latest Sidney Sheldon or Jackie Collins book. Literary fiction, to me, always had an underground feel to it, simply because it wasn't mainstream. Unless Hollywood made a movie on it, a non BORING movie version, I didn't hear of the book. I can't speak for anyone else, but this was how I first got into black literary fiction was from the MOVIE The Color Purple. I read Walker's book AFTERWARD. I heard of Toni Morrison AFTER she won the Nobel Prize! Only with the invention of the internet and Waiting to Exhale (now I'm not saying that Waiting to Exhale was literature, it ain't) did black literary fiction get any kind of exposure. But, black literary fiction always depended on white readers for its survival, and not the black reading audience. But, when it came to the black reading audience to embrace and support black literature, it did not because of the reasons I stated before. So, I'm saying that black literary fiction isn't just languishing today, it has been languishing since I first met it over 30 years ago. The sad part is that when it came to us, the collective black reading audience, to hold it up and celebrate it, we dropped it in the mud, like trash we didn't want to properly dispose. So, yeah, you can accuse me of being the only one reading it. I would disagree, there are a few that reads it. The question is, why aren't YOU reading it, supporting it?! Quiet as its kept, white literature aint doin't that much bang up business either. Don't belive me? Go into any of the big book stores, go into their clearance section and you'll see all kinds of fiction titles written by white authors that DID NOT SELL! The only difference between them and their black counterparts is that the publishing houses will still publish them, at a loss, and not take the same risk on black authors. I will loudly admit that I have not read Best American Short Stories 2009, or Paris Review, or Poets, or Writers? I'm too busy reading books that according to you, are written for nobody but me, since I'm the only one who reads them. Chris, did you read Ellison's Three Days Before the Shooting? No? But you will, right? *eyebrow raised* Really, how many of these literary fiction books have YOU read lately that are, as you say "dull torpid and irrelevant"? Don't be stingy with the titles, man, spill gut! We'll wait. *eyebrow raised again* I'm going to keep it short, mainly because I'm at work and have to go on a call, the author, in my opinion, to watch for is Chris Abani. He's off the hook!
  12. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, I'm breaking my own promise to myself not to talk to you Chris, it's usually an exercise in futility. Chris: You wrote "Ain't nobody but you reading them books" in reference to the Akashic portion of my post. And there in lies the problem! Frankly, I'm never heard in history past of a civilization, or a people, destroying themselves because the people READ too much! Your argument is ridiculous and nonsensical. Chris: Oh and this one is just priceless "Literary Fiction is dead. Couldn't have happened soon enough in my book. All it provided was a means for some slackers and slugs to stand around who couldn't tie their own shoes to go to parties and act like they were better than somebody else" Really, Chris, Really? My how soon we forget. I seem to remember a novel titled, "A VAMPYRE BLUES: THE PASSION OF VARNADO" Would you like to tell the people who wrote that book, or should I? *eyebrow raised* Oh, that's OK, let me do it. The, now how did Chris put it, the person who wrote the novel A Vampyre Blues: The Passion of Varnado is none other than our very own CHRIS HAYDEN! The he-can't-tie-his-own-damn-shoes, lazy slacker, with an (and I simply can't stress this enough, with no amount of exaggeration) extremely over inflated ego. Well, you know what Chris, if this is how you see yourself, I couldn't agree with you more! You know I'm with you when you're right! *LMAO*
  13. Why is Black Literary Fiction Languishing?

    Hello All, There are several reasons why Black Literature is languishing 1.) Education - Let's keep it real or keep it moving; it has turned out that the education that a black person could get back in the day, not accounting for the deplorable school systems down South, was a lot better. Today with all of these fancy new teaching methods and technology, we have a few generations that are a few notches above illiterate. Don't believe me. Sit down with a couple of our children and ask them to read you a story. 3/4 of them, after reading to you out loud, will put fear into you concerning the future. I don't see nothing wrong with looking up words in a dictionary. It's called vocabulary building. But, then I was educated in another age and not the current one. 2.) I don't care how post Obama some industries claim to be, many in the publishing industries are still racist. Let's face it, we, the black audience reinforced their prejudice. That big book boom we had, we destroyed. Because we didn't "spread" the love and stayed stuck on the You-Go-Girl books, and then the thug books, the higher ups in the industry, kept pumping them out. Because in their eyes, these were the only books they could make a profit off of. We didn't try reading those other books because they were "too hard" (this also links back to my first point). And because the publishers were marketing those books just to black women, they figured there's no need to have any quality control or even to make sure the author could actually write and read English at a high school senior level (again, reference back to point 1), we got a lot of books thrown at us that was pure de sh_t!! What was bound to happen next, did happen; these same black women that was so pumped up reading that trash, got tired of reading the same story over and over and over again. This in turned the publishers profits to sh_t, which in turn lead them to the decision that there's not need publishing black authors (because they have all been lumped into the same category now) because there's no money in it. Now this falls under the category of "be careful what you wish for, you might get it". 3.) Not all Black Literature is languishing, it depends on where you look. If you have been following me this year, I have shown my love for the books from a small independent publisher, Akashic Books. This year they've published Jesus Boy by Preston Allan and Glorious by Bernice McFadden. They are still a small, small few still at the big publishing houses like Eric Jerome Dickey. For the most part, the books are out here, you just have to look for them. This is not new for a lot of us who are use to looking for black fiction and black history books. For instance, right now I'm reading The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker by Alice Walker. I am learning, to my great shame, that Alice Walker has a vast literary legacy. There is more to her literary output than just The Color Purple, or the two novels by her that I have read. I did not know Walker had written so much poetry, essays, or short stories. I also did not know that at one time she belonged to a group of black female writers who called themselves The Sisterhood. Walker and Toni Morrison are the only two members of that group whose works are still in print today. We need to do better than this people. We have got to learn to support our new authors as well as elders. There's really no reason for us not doing our part, because we still have to go that extra mile or extra step to get to where we ought to be, need to be, should be.
  14. Hello All, I was recently listening to NPR this morning and a few days ago. It appears that Amazon.com is having a big year this year selling ebooks. According to Amazon, for every 100 hardcover book they sold 168 ebooks. (I think I'm quoting the number correctly) But, another report I heard stated that they are going to be adding pictures and music to the ebooks, in order to give the readers a little something extra to make the ebook more marketable. When it reaches that stage, I might seriously be tempted to get one. Really, I would like to get one now. I looked at the Barnes and Noble nook eBook. I'm impressed with it. I would have preferred a big screen size. But, right now, I would choose it over Amazon.ocm Kindle because of its price and the fact the nook has color and the Kimble don't.
  15. Hello All, I am approaching the middle of the new James Baldwin collection, The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings. Man, I forgot just how brilliant Baldwin really was. The Ellison book, is magnificent and a dismal failure at the same time. I haven't gotten to the middle of it yet, but Ellison should have sucked up some of his pride and had Baldwin as his editor. Although I have not finished reading the book, I strongly recommend it for anyone whose an author or is trying to be a writer. Baldwin is dropping nothing but knowledge. I can't help but to wonder what he would think about some of the books that are passing for good fiction nowadays. *eyebrow raised* I know some people are damn lucky he's dead and can't express his opinion. I'll let you know more when I'm done.
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