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Doug_S. comments on Fake Justification - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 November 2007 03:57AM

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Comment author: Doug_S. 02 November 2007 06:46:08AM 0 points [-]

The Bible is certainly of great historical interest, as it has had great influence on many things. On the other hand, by the standards of modern literature, much of it just plain sucks. (To be fair, much of it was never intended to be literature in the first place. The U.S. Constitution may be great, but it's not great literature.)

I agree that much of what is considered "great literature" is considered such primarily because it has a reputation for being great literature. If one of Shakespeare's plays was "objectively" awful, literature experts would still be praising it because Shakespeare wrote it.

I've read a lot (although I tend to focus on science fiction and fantasy) and I seem to have developed some methods, mostly unconscious, that I use to rate the quality of what I read. Having read some Shakespeare, my conclusion is that yes, some of his plays really do live up to their reputations. My opinion of the Harry Potter series is that it starts out weak, manages to achieve greatness in book four, but fails to sustain it. Oh, and for the record, I firmly believe that that Terry Pratchett is the best writer who ever had anything published in the English language.