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iSteve commenter Thursday writes:

I’ve looked at all the fiction writers in Harold Bloom’s Western Canon list and evaluated them based on looks. I have not looked at anyone before the 1700s, because portraits were not terribly common before then.

I’ve tried to judge based on pictures from their early 20s, if possible. It’s unfair to judge a woman’s looks after she’s turned into an old crone. Furthermore, substance abuse has not uncommonly taken a toll on some of these.

Evaluations like this are subjective, but a few quibbles aside, I think this gives a fair picture.

The plurality tends towards the average and below average, with the below average having a slight edge. A non trivial number can be called cute. None of them can truly be called hot.

Above average – Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Shelley, Maguerite Duras, Edna O’Brien, Miles Franklin, Katherine Mansfield, Katherine Anne Porter, Ursula LeGuin.[9]

Average – Fanny Burney, the Brontes, Sarah Orne Jewett, Colette, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Iris Murdoch, Jeanette Winterson, Isak Dinesen, Sigrid Undset, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Christina Stead, Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, Flannery O’Connor, Toni Morrison.[18]

Below average – George Eliot, George Sand, Louisa May Alcott, Kate Chopin, Natalia Ginzburg, Nathalie Sarraute, Marguerite Yourcenar, Christa Wolf, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Kay Boyle, Carson McCullers, Gloria Naylor, Grace Paley, Cynthia Ozick.[18]

The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.

For example, sci-fi writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who died last year at age 88, was the daughter of the famous early 20th Century anthropologist Alfred Kroeber (1875-1960), who in 1911 took in Ishi, the last surviving Indian of his Northern California tribe. This doesn’t have anything to do with Thursday’s point, but I think it’s pretty interesting.

 
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  1. Mary McCarthy was very attractive. If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    McCarthy was above average. Didn’t do the poets. Neither McCarthy nor Millay were on Bloom’s list.
    , @Thursday
    Looking up pictures of Millay, I’d have to go with average to below average, but let’s be generous and go with average.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.
     
    There isn't much to go on. But large breasts wasn't a strong suit. She looks like she could pass for an Eaton schoolboy of the same era.
    , @Anon
    Millay was the belle of bohemian Greenwich village.
  2. Here it comes: it’s likely that truly great authors of both sexes are generally average to below average in appearance. (commentariat groans)

    I’d go further and say that artistic excellence may have as its base the sense of being a failed organism, and yeah I know looks are less important in males; nonetheless…

    Noteable examples: the kissless virgin dwarf, Alex Pope, who certainly never got away with any locks of hair himself. Flaubert who, er, I won’t go there. James Joyce, full stop. Baudelaire, who expressed what I’m trying to say in a poem: https://fleursdumal.org/poem/200

    Counterexamples exist obviously in the form of literary ladykillers: Byron, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, D’Annunzio, yada yada.

    Another question might be if homosexual members of the canon are as unfavored by nature as the straights (I’m referring to males as there is no question about the charisma of lesbian authoresses).

    There’s a lot of suppressed rage toward beautiful young women to be found in the works of George Eliot, or so I’m told– I must confess I’ve never read her.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    The young Flaubert was handsome. Obesity, hair loss and substance abuse.
    , @Cortes
    I recall as though it were yesterday the determination in the voice of that babe who decided to switch to French Lit. “That Sartre’s soooooo hot!”
    , @Thursday
    D’Annunzio was one ugly mofo.
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    My tag comes from one of her pretty but shallow characters, so yeah: she was a woof-woof with an axe to grind. However, she was too good of a writer to leave it at that; Rosamond is the product of the kind of vapid "education" females from newly rich families were allowed to have. She's doing exactly as she's been taught.
    , @Che Guava
    Eliot is a bore, I had to drill my way through it as compulsory, but there are many writers from the time, Japanese, American, British, and Russian, who were writing very good fiction.

    Last night, I read Edgar Rice Burroughs At the Earth's Core, it is not great literature, although one could say that the whole (his Mars tales and Pelllucidar tales) are fun, but all the same, fun to read, but all much the same. The physics of Pellucidar seems preposterous.

    If you can track it down, or find it in the inter-library loan system where you are, Soseki Natume's early modern satire of early modern Japan, 'I am a Cat', in English, is very good, but only if one is perceptive, it is very subtle satire, from abt. 160 years ago.

  3. So Ursula K LeGuin (whose writing frequently showed a debt to her father’s activities) was more of an Indian than Elizabeth Warren.

    • Replies: @songbird
    I like to attribute it to genetics. Wasn't her mother also an anthropologist? And nearly the whole field is like that.
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    An Indian Pudding is more of an Indian than Elizabeth Warren.
  4. So I guess I’ll just look to see if the author’s photo is on the dust jacket and then decide if I want to read the book. Got it.

    • Agree: MikeatMikedotMike
    • Replies: @Anona
    Bravo. I thought it was a very dumb post. Literature, such a visual form of the fine arts!
    , @anon
    No of course not
    The interesting questions are
    since IQ is correlated with good health and looks does that play out in art
    particularly in an art where the artist is often translating their own experience interacting with the world
    since womens biological purpose is not novel writing but being sexual objects that encourage men to breed them and so more attractive women are favored in the world does that impact their art in quality or flavour
    since artists tend to come from upper middle class who are genetically favored do artists from that class fut the type or not

    Its pretty clear Emily Dickinson could never have written the work of Jane austen she hadnt the experience of men and society Austen wrote as an insider that from the privileged position could betray her class she wrote as an observer, Dickenson holed up in her wallflower room wrote subjectively betraying herself
  5. … in 1911 took in Ishi, the last surviving Indian of his Northern California tribe. This doesn’t have anything to do with Thursday’s point, but I think it’s pretty interesting.

    It is interesting and I followed your Ishi link. It lead me to a link on something I’ve never heard about, the California Genocide.

    I clicked the link knowing pretty much what it was going to say, “American Europeans bad”.

    Under Spanish rule their population was estimated to have dropped from 300,000 prior to 1769, to 250,000 in 1834. After Mexico gained independence from Spain and secularized the coastal missions in 1834, the indigenous population suffered a more drastic decrease to 150,000. Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870; it reached its nadir of 16,000 in 1900. Between 1846 and 1873, European Americans are estimated to have killed outright some 4,500 to 16,000 California Native Americans, particularly during the Gold Rush.[1][2] Others died as a result of infectious diseases and the social disruption of their societies. The state of California used its institutions to favor settlers’ rights over indigenous rights and was responsible for dispossession of the natives.[3]

    Since the late 20th century, numerous American scholars and activist organizations, both Native American and European American, have characterized the period immediately following the U.S. Conquest of California as one in which the state and federal governments waged genocide against the Native Americans in the territory. In the early 21st century, some scholars argue for the government to authorize tribunals so that a full accounting of responsibility for this genocide in western states can be conducted.

    So hidden in this gem is the fact that under Mexican rule, from 1834 to 1848, the California indigenous population was halved with the loss of 150K. Yet the whole article and the term California Genocide seems to refer to only what happened after the USA took California in 1848, even though the death toll and rate was less what it had been under 14 years of Mexican rule.

    Why is the 14 years of Mexican rule ignored?

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    iSteve, you are asking rhetorically, right?
    , @Colin Wright
    '...Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870...'

    There's another way of looking at that. My ancestors arrived in California around 1864 -- by which time the number of California Indians was fast dwindling towards that thirty thousand figure.

    My ancestors were supposed to respect a completely theoretical claim by thirty thousand people to the entire state? A claim, moreover that few of them could have been attempting to assert?

    How do people feel about the claim of the eighteenth century French nobility to their ancient rights, privileges, and lands? Should all French commoners feel guilty about how they deprived their erstwhile betters of their birthright?

    There is a distinction, of course; but it relies on the notion that immigrants have no rights -- something I'm perfectly prepared to concede.
    , @stillCARealist
    Genocide is the wrong term. More like replacement, or "you need to get out of the way so we can use this place." Which is exactly what happened. You could say the same for the Mexicans, who were also not using CA resources well, or even doing any governing.

    When my pioneer relatives settled in Northern California in the 1860's, the stories they collected and handed down to us were not favorable to Indians. Worthless, filthy, thieving drunks was what they saw. The native life and perspective was never going to work in even that 19th century world. Now, of course, everyone realizes this and bows before their stupid casinos.
    , @obwandiyag
    This is stupid. You are all stupid. The overwhelming number of them died of disease. Sheesh. Disease. Nobody's fault. Just disease. Without ever seeing a white man.
  6. Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    • Replies: @Rosie

    And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.
     
    There were nowhere near as many truly beautiful girls when I was growing up as I commonly see now.

    I attribute this to two main factors: cosmetic medicine, primarily orthodontics, and more flexible fashion trends. The ubiquitous blindingly White, celebrity-perfect smile was exceedingly rare in the past.

    Girls also look better in their clothes than we did. Even if everyone were a healthy weight, women have different body types. It is now easier to find flattering clothes, i.e. a-line skirts for apples, and pencil skirts for pears.
    , @Thursday
    She’s not on Bloom’s list, mainly because she’s not that great of a poet. Also, I just did the fiction writers.

    As for her looks, I’d say she was above average, but nothing too special.
    , @Earnest Hemingway

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.
     
    Sylvia Plath?

    Yeah... I fucked her.
    , @Tyrion 2
    Really?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus#/media/File%3ASandro_Botticelli_-_La_nascita_di_Venere_-_Google_Art_Project_-_edited.jpg
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    The Bell Jar has to be one of the most overrated works ever. But while we're on that kind of flat affect anhedonia, she's taken her meds sort of novel, Francoise Sagan was pretty attractive.

    Ditto Joan Didion, still worth reading IMHO for her style and for capturing something of those strange years between 1966-1969.

    , @AnotherGuessModel

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.
     
    Only superficially. Grooming and clothing fashions change. In the Western canon, what we consider beautiful holds up for thousands of years.
  7. Thursday—You have certainly done yeoman work in compiling this fascinating and impressive list, it’s really quite stellar. For your next exciting assignment perhaps you’ll differentiate authors by: which hand they used was dominant; nose sizes; shoe sizes; male handsomeness; bra sizes; and the all important characteristic—on which side did the gentlemen “dress”.

  8. I’d like to know what photo of Ursula K. LeGuin plausibly places her in the “above average” category.

    • Agree: MEH 0910, Che Guava
    • Replies: @Thursday
    https://goo.gl/images/mVQ3DT

    Easily available via google search.
    , @Pericles
    You can see some images of Le Guin as a young woman (apparently) if you google her name. My classification: Plain Jane. Only a few years later it seemed she had acquired a lined face with a piercing glare. Is that what's known as a 'handsome woman'?

    http://jasondenzel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ursulakleguin.jpeg

    After some point in time, she mostly reminds me of Martin Landau.

    https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/4HJoEYU3ECVFv09UMyLA0ZLI70g=/0x0:3504x2336/1200x800/filters:focal(1472x888:2032x1448)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/58431269/GettyImages_57514380.0.jpg

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/[email protected]@._V1_UX214_CR0,0,214,317_AL_.jpg
    , @DeepDive
    There are few pictures of her younger self. Her looks did not age well, but she started out attractively. https://around.uoregon.edu/sites/around2.uoregon.edu/files/ukl_paris_1954.jpg
  9. “substance abuse has not uncommonly”

    ditch the double negative

    • Replies: @Thursday
    Meh.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    “substance abuse has not uncommonly”

    ditch the double negative

     

    Why? It's not unseemly. Indeed, it has a positive effect.
  10. Jane Austen? Can you trust a painting?

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    song, did Mona Lisa publish anything?
  11. @J.Ross
    So Ursula K LeGuin (whose writing frequently showed a debt to her father's activities) was more of an Indian than Elizabeth Warren.

    I like to attribute it to genetics. Wasn’t her mother also an anthropologist? And nearly the whole field is like that.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Le Guin's mother wrote "Ishi Between Two Worlds," which I read in high school.
  12. @istevefan

    ... in 1911 took in Ishi, the last surviving Indian of his Northern California tribe. This doesn’t have anything to do with Thursday’s point, but I think it’s pretty interesting.
     
    It is interesting and I followed your Ishi link. It lead me to a link on something I've never heard about, the California Genocide.

    I clicked the link knowing pretty much what it was going to say, "American Europeans bad".

    Under Spanish rule their population was estimated to have dropped from 300,000 prior to 1769, to 250,000 in 1834. After Mexico gained independence from Spain and secularized the coastal missions in 1834, the indigenous population suffered a more drastic decrease to 150,000. Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870; it reached its nadir of 16,000 in 1900. Between 1846 and 1873, European Americans are estimated to have killed outright some 4,500 to 16,000 California Native Americans, particularly during the Gold Rush.[1][2] Others died as a result of infectious diseases and the social disruption of their societies. The state of California used its institutions to favor settlers' rights over indigenous rights and was responsible for dispossession of the natives.[3]

    Since the late 20th century, numerous American scholars and activist organizations, both Native American and European American, have characterized the period immediately following the U.S. Conquest of California as one in which the state and federal governments waged genocide against the Native Americans in the territory. In the early 21st century, some scholars argue for the government to authorize tribunals so that a full accounting of responsibility for this genocide in western states can be conducted.
     
    So hidden in this gem is the fact that under Mexican rule, from 1834 to 1848, the California indigenous population was halved with the loss of 150K. Yet the whole article and the term California Genocide seems to refer to only what happened after the USA took California in 1848, even though the death toll and rate was less what it had been under 14 years of Mexican rule.

    Why is the 14 years of Mexican rule ignored?

    iSteve, you are asking rhetorically, right?

  13. @songbird
    Jane Austen? Can you trust a painting?

    song, did Mona Lisa publish anything?

    • Replies: @songbird
    All I'm saying is that a lot of the below average, lived in the age of photography. Not necessarily while young, but close enough to test the idea.

    Plus, I have a bias against Austen. I like her portrait though - I'd put it on the wall.
  14. @Roderick Spode
    Here it comes: it's likely that truly great authors of both sexes are generally average to below average in appearance. (commentariat groans)

    I'd go further and say that artistic excellence may have as its base the sense of being a failed organism, and yeah I know looks are less important in males; nonetheless...

    Noteable examples: the kissless virgin dwarf, Alex Pope, who certainly never got away with any locks of hair himself. Flaubert who, er, I won't go there. James Joyce, full stop. Baudelaire, who expressed what I'm trying to say in a poem: https://fleursdumal.org/poem/200

    Counterexamples exist obviously in the form of literary ladykillers: Byron, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, D'Annunzio, yada yada.

    Another question might be if homosexual members of the canon are as unfavored by nature as the straights (I'm referring to males as there is no question about the charisma of lesbian authoresses).

    There's a lot of suppressed rage toward beautiful young women to be found in the works of George Eliot, or so I'm told-- I must confess I've never read her.

    The young Flaubert was handsome. Obesity, hair loss and substance abuse.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    And VD.
  15. @songbird
    I like to attribute it to genetics. Wasn't her mother also an anthropologist? And nearly the whole field is like that.

    Le Guin’s mother wrote “Ishi Between Two Worlds,” which I read in high school.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    Ursula K. Le Guin was in a James Bond movie with Sean Connery.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    Le Guin’s mother wrote “Ishi Between Two Worlds,” which I read in high school.
     
    You have my sympathy. I read Hemingway, Melville, Dickens, and Albert Speer in high school.
  16. Let us leave the looks of great feminists for another day:

    • LOL: Trevor H.
  17. @Roderick Spode
    Here it comes: it's likely that truly great authors of both sexes are generally average to below average in appearance. (commentariat groans)

    I'd go further and say that artistic excellence may have as its base the sense of being a failed organism, and yeah I know looks are less important in males; nonetheless...

    Noteable examples: the kissless virgin dwarf, Alex Pope, who certainly never got away with any locks of hair himself. Flaubert who, er, I won't go there. James Joyce, full stop. Baudelaire, who expressed what I'm trying to say in a poem: https://fleursdumal.org/poem/200

    Counterexamples exist obviously in the form of literary ladykillers: Byron, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, D'Annunzio, yada yada.

    Another question might be if homosexual members of the canon are as unfavored by nature as the straights (I'm referring to males as there is no question about the charisma of lesbian authoresses).

    There's a lot of suppressed rage toward beautiful young women to be found in the works of George Eliot, or so I'm told-- I must confess I've never read her.

    I recall as though it were yesterday the determination in the voice of that babe who decided to switch to French Lit. “That Sartre’s soooooo hot!”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Camus, however ...
    , @reactionry
    No Exotropia?*

    As the below-average-looking (on a par with Eleanor Roosevelt?) Semen de Boudoir could have attested with respect to her famously "open marriage," Sartre had that er, wandering eye.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/10/gender.politicsphilosophyandsociety

    "De Beauvoir had declared that whatever her many books and literary prizes, whatever her role in the women's movement or as an intellectual ambassador championing causes such as Algerian independence, her greatest achievement in life was her relationship with Sartre - philosopher, playwright, philanderer, born 100 years ago this month.
    There is something mysterious in De Beauvoir's insistence. Given Sartre's other liaisons, and that this was the height of the women's movement, it seems to fly in the face of common sense. Yet the Simone who had flouted convention in the 20s by entering into an open liaison with an *ugly*, [emphasis added] charismatic young unknown was not about to conform to expectations."
    * exotropia

    https://visionhelp.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/sartres-exotropia/

    “The fact of my ugliness” becomes a barely suppressed leitmotif of his writing. He wears it like a badge of honor (*Camus*, watching Sartre in laborious seduction mode in a Paris bar: “Why are you going to so much trouble?” *Sartre*: “Have you had a proper look at this mug?”). The novelist Michel *Houellebecq* says somewhere that, when he met Sartre, he thought he was “practically disabled.” It is fair comment. He certainly has strabismus (with his distinctive lazy eye, so he appears to be looking in two directions at once), various parts of his body are dysfunctional and he considers his ugliness to count as a kind of disability. I can’t help wondering if ugliness is not indispensable to philosophy. Sartre seems to be suggesting that thinking — serious, sustained questioning — arises out of, or perhaps with, a consciousness of one’s own ugliness.

    https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/the-phenomenology-of-ugly/

    , @Roderick Spode
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/126/826/449.jpg
  18. @Guy De Champlagne
    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don't know if she's on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    There were nowhere near as many truly beautiful girls when I was growing up as I commonly see now.

    I attribute this to two main factors: cosmetic medicine, primarily orthodontics, and more flexible fashion trends. The ubiquitous blindingly White, celebrity-perfect smile was exceedingly rare in the past.

    Girls also look better in their clothes than we did. Even if everyone were a healthy weight, women have different body types. It is now easier to find flattering clothes, i.e. a-line skirts for apples, and pencil skirts for pears.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Acne is much less common today due to Acutane. By the way, that's a pretty powerful drug that messes with hormones. I wouldn't be surprised if that has had some impact on social changes in recent decades.
    , @Neuday
    I disagree. As a long-time and dedicated, possibly fanatical student of female beauty, a large percentage of young women are overweight, and most of those who aren't overweight have a lack of muscle tone that prevents them from being beautiful. Interestingly, there is a small rural town nearby, and the girls working retail in that town look great. City living, like college learning, pollutes.
    , @Alec Leamas
    My mother remarked a while back that no one has "noses" anymore. We're of Irish extraction but she was referring to Italian American girls and the like among whom you would find pronounced noses (at least in large East Coast cities).

    This could be explained by cosmetic surgery, and perhaps a willingness on the part of surgeons to intervene with younger children.

    But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past. There's a certain evening out of pronounced features when, say, an Italian and a Pole have a child. I used that example because Maria Bello comes to mind - she has a Polish mother and Italian father.
  19. @Alec
    I'd like to know what photo of Ursula K. LeGuin plausibly places her in the "above average" category.

    https://goo.gl/images/mVQ3DT

    Easily available via google search.

  20. @Cortes
    I recall as though it were yesterday the determination in the voice of that babe who decided to switch to French Lit. “That Sartre’s soooooo hot!”

    Camus, however …

    • Replies: @Roderick Spode
    The James Dean of postwar continental philosophy
    , @reactionry
    Camus Will Not Replace Us?
    Or: One, Two, Three, Many Camus
    (what *is* the plural of Camus?)
    Or: Camus Is Not Who We Are?

    From the New Yorker's "The French Origins of 'You will not replace us"
    by the delightfully named Thomas Chatterton [as in the also racist Serena] Williams

    "On the sweltering June afternoon that I visited the castle, Camus—no relation to Albert—wore a tan summer suit and a tie. Several painted self-portraits hung in the study, multiplying his blue-eyed [Zut alors!] gaze...."
    "Jean-Yves Camus, a scholar of the far right in France (and no relation to Renaud Camus),..."

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/04/the-french-origins-of-you-will-not-replace-us

    If memory serves, Steve Sailer gave some faint praise to the piece above in recent months. Williams should get some credit for at least printing out the arguments (by, among others, Charles de Gaulle) against "replacement" (a polite word for genocide), but as I recall he (Williams) had little other than ad hominem and snark in rebuttal.

    If Western Civ got the "disease," Camus don't got The Cure, but "Killing An Arab" (which pays homage to A.C.'s "The Stranger"*)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_an_Arab
    was a catchy tune
    (there's a version of "Killing An Arab" with an extended wintry Camus cameo, but it seems to have been removed because of copyright infringement)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7n_imknhcg&list=PLqiJnrZda7_YMRK80bj5U4WvJcx_dJV53&index=13

    * I've only seen a bit of the movie based on the book, but have been told that it's very good.
    Granted, "The Stranger" does sound a tad "sinister" as in a certain form of Onanism done left-handed.

    , @Cortes
    Camus crashed and burned with the #MeToo movement after having ridden the football groupie wave.

    “Sign my shirt, Al?”

    “Certainement, ma poulette!”

    https://www.philosophyfootball.com/philosophers/-albert-camus.html
    , @Anon
    Albert Camus was a total Fox very good looking. Plus with simple sentences, his books are very easy to read in French.

    I did like de Beauvoir’s The Mandarins about a lot of liberal PC pretentious commie snobs.

    Proud to say I never read a word of Sartre and never will.
  21. @Thursday
    The young Flaubert was handsome. Obesity, hair loss and substance abuse.

    And VD.

  22. Sylvia Plath was hot.

    Also moonbat crazy but nobody is perfect!

  23. @Guy De Champlagne
    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don't know if she's on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    She’s not on Bloom’s list, mainly because she’s not that great of a poet. Also, I just did the fiction writers.

    As for her looks, I’d say she was above average, but nothing too special.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    LOL, you do realize that Mr. Sailer channeled his inner Heartiste in a gangly manner and selected your subject material as filler, rather offer novel NOTICING commentary.

    "I’ve tried to judge based on pictures from their early 20s, if possible. It’s unfair to judge a woman’s looks after she’s turned into an old crone."

    Exactly, tried to judge. Realize that those pictures were not meant to be flattering or reveal their beauty. Moreover, the standards of beauty and body types back then are noticeably different than the are now.

    https://www.thelist.com/44261/womens-perfect-body-types-changed-throughout-history/

    https://www.theodysseyonline.com/evolution-beauty-standards

    "Furthermore, substance abuse has not uncommonly taken a toll on some of these."

    Such as?

    "Evaluations like this are subjective"

    Exactly.

    "but a few quibbles aside, I think this gives a fair picture."

    You mean major quibbles. And, it may give you and the fanbois here a "fair picture".

    "The plurality tends towards the average and below average, with the below average having a slight edge. A non trivial number can be called cute. None of them can truly be called hot."

    Hot by our standards, not hot by past criteria. Perhaps you were jilted and are unconsciously trying to find a way to get back at her? I suggest purchasing "Gorilla Mindset". It's written by a Jew, but at least he is on your side.

  24. The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn’t even know they were missing.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well.
     
    So would I (except Austen). But not their books. Them.
    , @Kylie
    "The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn’t even know they were missing."

    If you have not read Willa Cather's My Ántonia, you don't know what you are missing.
    , @dfordoom

    The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?
     
    Germaine Greer argued (in The Slip-Shod Sibyls) that women writers were historically held to much lower standards than male writers. Mediocre female writers were ludicrously over-praised, especially by male critics. On this point Greer is spot on.

    In the past male critics gave women writers an easy ride out of a misguided sense of gallantry. These days male critics over-praise women writers out of fear.
  25. @ricpic
    Mary McCarthy was very attractive. If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.

    McCarthy was above average. Didn’t do the poets. Neither McCarthy nor Millay were on Bloom’s list.

  26. @Roderick Spode
    Here it comes: it's likely that truly great authors of both sexes are generally average to below average in appearance. (commentariat groans)

    I'd go further and say that artistic excellence may have as its base the sense of being a failed organism, and yeah I know looks are less important in males; nonetheless...

    Noteable examples: the kissless virgin dwarf, Alex Pope, who certainly never got away with any locks of hair himself. Flaubert who, er, I won't go there. James Joyce, full stop. Baudelaire, who expressed what I'm trying to say in a poem: https://fleursdumal.org/poem/200

    Counterexamples exist obviously in the form of literary ladykillers: Byron, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, D'Annunzio, yada yada.

    Another question might be if homosexual members of the canon are as unfavored by nature as the straights (I'm referring to males as there is no question about the charisma of lesbian authoresses).

    There's a lot of suppressed rage toward beautiful young women to be found in the works of George Eliot, or so I'm told-- I must confess I've never read her.

    D’Annunzio was one ugly mofo.

  27. @newrouter
    "substance abuse has not uncommonly"

    ditch the double negative

    Meh.

  28. Exceptionally good piece over at Taki’s The Allure of Protective Stupidity

  29. Hottest notable fiction writer I can think of is the German-Ojibwe Louise Erdrich.
    https://goo.gl/images/arjNvi
    https://goo.gl/images/79oncc
    https://goo.gl/images/E9Dehf
    Of course, from the one book I’ve read, she seems to be a mediocre imitator of Faulkner.

  30. The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.

    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class – less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training – setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance – attracts attractive women?

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training – setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance – attracts attractive women?
     
    My immediate thought is fields like public relations, development/fundraising, and maybe interior design, where they get to dress nicely, look pretty, work in nice environments, and often go to fancy events. I’ve also recently been seeing a lot of pretty women (generally thin and fit, longish blonde hair, well-dressed) who are orthodontists, vets, and doctors. In my experience, women like status and acquiring feathers in their caps.
    , @Jack Armstrong
    Real estate.
    , @Redneck farmer
    Going by porn, nursing or teaching.
    , @Anona
    Marriage to a successful man.
    , @mmack
    As a selection size of n=1, from nearly thirty years in the corporate and IT world, I’ve seen these jobs attract more than their fair share of attractive women:

    - Sales (esp. direct sales) and Marketing
    - Advertising
    - Recruting

    And oddly enough, law. Jobs where you’re going to be meeting people face to face a lot, and using persuasion to get a deal done. Good looks help a lot, male or female, in these sorts of jobs.

    Just my $.02
    , @Intelligent Dasein

    That begs a question:
     
    Say it ain't so, Twinkie! A man of your Ivy League pedigree making that dilettante's mistake.

    It's raises a question, sir!
    , @prosa123
    One of the more gorgeous women I've seen in a long time was a couple months ago, a slim dusky brunette in her 20's. She looked Latin but probably wasn't given the location. If she wasn't a solid 10 it is impossible to imagine who could be.
    What made it strange was that this beauty was working a very humble job - collecting elevator tickets at the Eiffel Tower (just because it's a famous attraction doesn't mean jobs pay well, see Disney World). I'm sure she could find a way through immigration laws to become a VIP hostess at a top Las Vegas nightclub and earn $1,000+ a night. As everything at the Eiffel Tower is trilingual, English and Spanish as well as French, she has the language skills.
    , @Anon
    Women attorneys tend to be above average in appearance. Women teachers average to below. Women college teachers and college employees hideous. Just my opinion after much observation.

    What say you Jack D?
    , @dfordoom

    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class – less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.
     
    I think we have to be honest and admit that writers of fiction (male or female) do tend to be losers and misfits. Artistic people in general are a sorry lot but fiction writers are the worst because there are no qualifications to be a writer. If you say you're a writer you're a writer. That's incredibly appealing to people with severe psychological/emotional issues.

    How many writers commit suicide relative to the general population? How many are drunks and druggies?

    You're talking about sad inadequate people. It's hardly surprising that so any are also ugly.
  31. @ricpic
    Mary McCarthy was very attractive. If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.

    Looking up pictures of Millay, I’d have to go with average to below average, but let’s be generous and go with average.

  32. Amaury de Riencourt, or at least his publicist, thought an author should be as dashing as he could:

    • Replies: @Gordo
    Eric Trump amyone?
  33. @Cortes
    I recall as though it were yesterday the determination in the voice of that babe who decided to switch to French Lit. “That Sartre’s soooooo hot!”

    No Exotropia?*

    As the below-average-looking (on a par with Eleanor Roosevelt?) Semen de Boudoir could have attested with respect to her famously “open marriage,” Sartre had that er, wandering eye.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/10/gender.politicsphilosophyandsociety

    “De Beauvoir had declared that whatever her many books and literary prizes, whatever her role in the women’s movement or as an intellectual ambassador championing causes such as Algerian independence, her greatest achievement in life was her relationship with Sartre – philosopher, playwright, philanderer, born 100 years ago this month.
    There is something mysterious in De Beauvoir’s insistence. Given Sartre’s other liaisons, and that this was the height of the women’s movement, it seems to fly in the face of common sense. Yet the Simone who had flouted convention in the 20s by entering into an open liaison with an *ugly*, [emphasis added] charismatic young unknown was not about to conform to expectations.”
    * exotropia

    https://visionhelp.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/sartres-exotropia/

    “The fact of my ugliness” becomes a barely suppressed leitmotif of his writing. He wears it like a badge of honor (*Camus*, watching Sartre in laborious seduction mode in a Paris bar: “Why are you going to so much trouble?” *Sartre*: “Have you had a proper look at this mug?”). The novelist Michel *Houellebecq* says somewhere that, when he met Sartre, he thought he was “practically disabled.” It is fair comment. He certainly has strabismus (with his distinctive lazy eye, so he appears to be looking in two directions at once), various parts of his body are dysfunctional and he considers his ugliness to count as a kind of disability. I can’t help wondering if ugliness is not indispensable to philosophy. Sartre seems to be suggesting that thinking — serious, sustained questioning — arises out of, or perhaps with, a consciousness of one’s own ugliness.

    https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/the-phenomenology-of-ugly/

  34. The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:

    • Replies: @Thursday
    Not on Bloom’s list, but yup.
    , @Jack Armstrong
    Jacqueline Susann was good looking too. Also a better writer and deeper thinker than Sontag.
    , @Che Guava
    You must be joking
    , @Alec Leamas

    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:
     
    Wow, almost unrecognizable. Maybe it's something she's been eating?
  35. The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

     

    Are those her "And" and "The" shots?
    , @Anon
    Yeah, but not listed in Western Canon.

    Young Sontag was striking.

    https://i0.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/susansontag5.jpg?fit=980%2C676&ssl=1
  36. Willa Cather, though…..Far too manish…..Still, a great writer, the definitive novelist of the American West….

    • Replies: @Svigor
    The buzz cut and the hat sure as fuck didn't help. Grow her hair out, put her in a dress, and eliminate the insolent THOT expression, and she's a whole 'nother story.
    , @Lot
    This is a typical but extreme version of the look for these top women writers: intelligent eyes, good symmetry, but mannish.

    Alice Munro was cute when young, but wore unflattering clothes and hairstyles.
  37. @newrouter
    "substance abuse has not uncommonly"

    ditch the double negative

    “substance abuse has not uncommonly”

    ditch the double negative

    Why? It’s not unseemly. Indeed, it has a positive effect.

  38. @syonredux
    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:


    https://66.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1cnidvO7h1qg6skno1_r1_500.png

    http://hilobrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/mccarthy.jpg

    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

    Are those her “And” and “The” shots?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

    Are those her “And” and “The” shots?
     
    She deserves immortality simply on the basis of that classic put-down. And Lillian Hellman was such a deserving target.....
  39. @syonredux
    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:


    http://hyperbole.es/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/susan.jpg

    Not on Bloom’s list, but yup.

  40. @syonredux
    Willa Cather, though.....Far too manish.....Still, a great writer, the definitive novelist of the American West....


    http://nlcatp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/32-Remarkable-Willa-Cather-Quotes.jpg

    The buzz cut and the hat sure as fuck didn’t help. Grow her hair out, put her in a dress, and eliminate the insolent THOT expression, and she’s a whole ‘nother story.

  41. Anonymous[264] • Disclaimer says:
    @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training – setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance – attracts attractive women?

    My immediate thought is fields like public relations, development/fundraising, and maybe interior design, where they get to dress nicely, look pretty, work in nice environments, and often go to fancy events. I’ve also recently been seeing a lot of pretty women (generally thin and fit, longish blonde hair, well-dressed) who are orthodontists, vets, and doctors. In my experience, women like status and acquiring feathers in their caps.

  42. @istevefan

    ... in 1911 took in Ishi, the last surviving Indian of his Northern California tribe. This doesn’t have anything to do with Thursday’s point, but I think it’s pretty interesting.
     
    It is interesting and I followed your Ishi link. It lead me to a link on something I've never heard about, the California Genocide.

    I clicked the link knowing pretty much what it was going to say, "American Europeans bad".

    Under Spanish rule their population was estimated to have dropped from 300,000 prior to 1769, to 250,000 in 1834. After Mexico gained independence from Spain and secularized the coastal missions in 1834, the indigenous population suffered a more drastic decrease to 150,000. Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870; it reached its nadir of 16,000 in 1900. Between 1846 and 1873, European Americans are estimated to have killed outright some 4,500 to 16,000 California Native Americans, particularly during the Gold Rush.[1][2] Others died as a result of infectious diseases and the social disruption of their societies. The state of California used its institutions to favor settlers' rights over indigenous rights and was responsible for dispossession of the natives.[3]

    Since the late 20th century, numerous American scholars and activist organizations, both Native American and European American, have characterized the period immediately following the U.S. Conquest of California as one in which the state and federal governments waged genocide against the Native Americans in the territory. In the early 21st century, some scholars argue for the government to authorize tribunals so that a full accounting of responsibility for this genocide in western states can be conducted.
     
    So hidden in this gem is the fact that under Mexican rule, from 1834 to 1848, the California indigenous population was halved with the loss of 150K. Yet the whole article and the term California Genocide seems to refer to only what happened after the USA took California in 1848, even though the death toll and rate was less what it had been under 14 years of Mexican rule.

    Why is the 14 years of Mexican rule ignored?

    ‘…Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870…’

    There’s another way of looking at that. My ancestors arrived in California around 1864 — by which time the number of California Indians was fast dwindling towards that thirty thousand figure.

    My ancestors were supposed to respect a completely theoretical claim by thirty thousand people to the entire state? A claim, moreover that few of them could have been attempting to assert?

    How do people feel about the claim of the eighteenth century French nobility to their ancient rights, privileges, and lands? Should all French commoners feel guilty about how they deprived their erstwhile betters of their birthright?

    There is a distinction, of course; but it relies on the notion that immigrants have no rights — something I’m perfectly prepared to concede.

  43. @syonredux
    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:


    http://hyperbole.es/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/susan.jpg

    Jacqueline Susann was good looking too. Also a better writer and deeper thinker than Sontag.

  44. @Guy De Champlagne
    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don't know if she's on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.

    Sylvia Plath?

    Yeah… I fucked her.

    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    You sure you don't have her confused with Mother Goose?
  45. @Reg Cæsar

    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

     

    Are those her "And" and "The" shots?

    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

    Are those her “And” and “The” shots?

    She deserves immortality simply on the basis of that classic put-down. And Lillian Hellman was such a deserving target…..

    • Agree: Kylie
    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    I was watching Dick Cavett's interview of Mary McCarthy when she said it - "Every word Lillian Hellman has ever written was a lie, including "and" and "the." Lillian Hellman sued for slander or libel althouh if memory serves both died before the case went to trial.
  46. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    Real estate.

    • Agree: South Texas Guy
    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
    I've always thought that the decline in the beauty of strippers from the mid 90s onwards had a lot to do with very attractive women becoming real estate agents, as well as pharmaceutical sales. The rise of those professions over the last 20 or so years meant that good-looking chicks can make almost as much money, work better hours, and not have to show their boobs to random men.
  47. @Guy De Champlagne
    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don't know if she's on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    Really?

  48. @Cortes
    I recall as though it were yesterday the determination in the voice of that babe who decided to switch to French Lit. “That Sartre’s soooooo hot!”

    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    • LOL: dvorak
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?
     
    Benzedrine has never improved anyone's looks......Cf Auden.....



    https://media.snl.no/system/images/613/standard_auden_wystan_hugh.jpg
    , @Lot
    He was most famous in his old age after decades of chain smoking and working long hours in stimulent drugs.

    He was always below average in looks but not notably ugly when younger.

    https://medias.unifrance.org/medias/205/230/59085/format_page/jean-paul-sartre.jpg
    , @Asagirian
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    He had a very intellectually iconic face. And that eye gave him accent. Not a looker but a look.

    Lots of pretty faces are 'boring' while some less handsome(or even ugly) faces are memorable and striking in some way.

    Many actors were more handsome than Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn but Bronson and Quinn had great movie faces. One look and you never forget.

    Barry Keoghan certainly isn't a looker but he has a cinematic face.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Barry+Keoghan&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjeiqWXtqrgAhVEMqwKHWe5CysQ_AUIDigB&biw=1440&bih=758

    , @Anon
    Pablo Picasso was even uglier than Sartre and he had even more star fuckers after him than Sarte ever did.
  49. @Steve Sailer
    Camus, however ...

    The James Dean of postwar continental philosophy

  50. @Steve Sailer
    Camus, however ...

    Camus Will Not Replace Us?
    Or: One, Two, Three, Many Camus
    (what *is* the plural of Camus?)
    Or: Camus Is Not Who We Are?

    From the New Yorker’s “The French Origins of ‘You will not replace us”
    by the delightfully named Thomas Chatterton [as in the also racist Serena] Williams

    “On the sweltering June afternoon that I visited the castle, Camus—no relation to Albert—wore a tan summer suit and a tie. Several painted self-portraits hung in the study, multiplying his blue-eyed [Zut alors!] gaze….”
    “Jean-Yves Camus, a scholar of the far right in France (and no relation to Renaud Camus),…”

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/04/the-french-origins-of-you-will-not-replace-us

    If memory serves, Steve Sailer gave some faint praise to the piece above in recent months. Williams should get some credit for at least printing out the arguments (by, among others, Charles de Gaulle) against “replacement” (a polite word for genocide), but as I recall he (Williams) had little other than ad hominem and snark in rebuttal.

    If Western Civ got the “disease,” Camus don’t got The Cure, but “Killing An Arab” (which pays homage to A.C.’s “The Stranger”*)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_an_Arab
    was a catchy tune
    (there’s a version of “Killing An Arab” with an extended wintry Camus cameo, but it seems to have been removed because of copyright infringement)

    * I’ve only seen a bit of the movie based on the book, but have been told that it’s very good.
    Granted, “The Stranger” does sound a tad “sinister” as in a certain form of Onanism done left-handed.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    "Killing An Arab" ain't no "Boys Don't Cry".
  51. From what I’ve witnessed personally, probably true. Many bylines you see are from the wives of high income earners. The job just doesn’t pay enough for a family man in most cases. For example, Steve’s crappy car (maybe he got rid of it (the 96 honda or such?)).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

  52. As Houellebecq pointed out: Happy people don’t read (or write) books. Good looks are a pretty decent way to happiness and away from writing for most women.

  53. Louisa May Alcott was quite comely in her youth.

  54. Over at Wikipedia (for what that’s ever worth) they maintain Virginia Woolf’s mother and sisters were babes of their era. That featured maiden shot of Ginny is quite pleasing. It changes a bit when you do an image search on her and see her in more mature years.

  55. Rate her.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Well....not fat & hairy. Enough for me. More, those New England Puritan chicks had had an aura of repressed perviness I find attractive ....
    , @Redneck farmer
    In the immortal words of Dr. Franklin," All cats are grey in the dark".
    More seriously, 3 shots and I'd party with her.
  56. @syonredux
    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:


    https://66.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1cnidvO7h1qg6skno1_r1_500.png

    http://hilobrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/mccarthy.jpg
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Bloom's WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric. Wordsworth, Chaucer, Austen, George Eliot, Woolf, Freud (?), Beckett (hahahah..)....and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher). His longer list, at the end of the book, does not contain names of Jack London (a writer who stubbornly refuses to go away), Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Max Stirner (writer, after all), Robert Walser, Yesenin, Martin DuGard, Canetti, Compton-Burnett, Richard Jefferies, Cioran, ...

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don't age well.
  57. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    Going by porn, nursing or teaching.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Going by porn, nursing or teaching.
     
    Porn is not real life!

    I suspect it’s a class marker, but I see a lot more overweight female nurses than I see fat female doctors these days.

    Maybe I just had bad luck, but I never met a single pretty female teacher in my life. And almost all of them had giant chips on their shoulders about their social status, whereas I had a few male teachers who were passionate about teaching and genuinely loved their subjects.

    Here’s to you, Dr. Irgang! (My high school history teacher who reinforced my love of the subject.)
  58. @Reg Cæsar
    Amaury de Riencourt, or at least his publicist, thought an author should be as dashing as he could:


    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41RGssgCuOL._SY346_.jpg

    Eric Trump amyone?

  59. Looking with modern eyes for “hotness” among historical figures is a pointless exercise. You may as well try judging them by smell.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Corvinus
    Gold Box for your comment.
  60. Austen (temperamentally, for me not an interesting author) was plain Jane. I completely subscribe to Charlotte Bronte’s assessment:

    Anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré or extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy, in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood … What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death–this Miss Austen ignores.

    But, back to looks. We cannot judge by old paintings. Paul Johnson, in his “Creators”, was explicit about her “plainness”.

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.

    Photos. Camera loved her.

    But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive.

    Absolutely. Teutonic fatties have been replaced, at least in theory, by more Mediterranean type of beauty.

    Rubens

    Goya

    And Mary McCarthy was a far better writer than usually given credit for. Her novel “The Group” is, in my opinion, brilliant & caustic, far beyond a satire. It is, for a discernible reader, even misogynist. All her women are, essentially, bitches. There is no broad sympathy & empathy for fair sex one finds in Turgenev or Chekhov, let alone Lawrence in his great two novels (not his “controversial” over-rated last fiction).

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy

    The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood …
     
    Oh please. The woman who created Willoughby, Wickham, the Crawfords, William Elliot, and the people whose lives they casually destroy or nearly destroy knew about passion; she had learned to distrust it when unaccompanied by anything else.

    She also understood the powerful negative emotions of malice and greed displayed by characters such as Mrs. Norris, Fanny Dashwood, and Lucy Steele, and the even more powerful desire to throttle them other characters must suppress.

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn't been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor's emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele's marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

    I love the Brontes, but their message isn't all that different, although their method is. Jane Eyre and Lucy Snow both learn to control their emotions, and Catherine Earnshaw falls apart because she can't or won't.
    , @obwandiyag
    Jane Austen was very funny. For your information.
    , @Anon
    I loved The Group and yes, they were all bitches who pretended to be friends but were rivals. They were all very PC for the time following fashionable good thinking.
  61. @syonredux

    The young Mary McCarthy was fairly attractive:

    Are those her “And” and “The” shots?
     
    She deserves immortality simply on the basis of that classic put-down. And Lillian Hellman was such a deserving target.....

    I was watching Dick Cavett’s interview of Mary McCarthy when she said it – “Every word Lillian Hellman has ever written was a lie, including “and” and “the.” Lillian Hellman sued for slander or libel althouh if memory serves both died before the case went to trial.

  62. @South Texas Guy
    From what I've witnessed personally, probably true. Many bylines you see are from the wives of high income earners. The job just doesn't pay enough for a family man in most cases. For example, Steve's crappy car (maybe he got rid of it (the 96 honda or such?)).

    It’s a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It’s actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn’t need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here’s a question for car experts: What’s the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    • Replies: @dearieme
    I have twice - years apart - sat in a Lexus at a car showroom. The roof was too low.

    That's also my recent experience of BMWs, Mercedes, and Range Rovers - too cramped.

    I take it that these cars must all be made for little chaps who want to buy status to compensate for their stature.

    We did have a Honda at one point - rather underpowered but a fine, comfortable vehicle (though it was a bugger to select lower gears on the automatic gearbox).

    For four-wheel drives it has to be Toyota for reliability or Land Rover for wonderfulness.
    , @mmack
    Steve,

    On paper (or webpage) not a dime’s bit of difference between a Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES, which share the same platform.

    - Same Engine
    - Same Transmission
    - Same Wheelbase
    - Same Suspension

    Here’s a pretty good comparison of the 2019 models: https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/2019-lexus-es-versus-2019-toyota-avalonwhich-is-better-ar181447.html

    Basically you’re looking at differences in the front and rear clips (easy for a manufacturer to change), interior materials, layout, and options (I’m betting the Lexus gives you a better electronic entertainment/navigation system than the mainline Toyota standard, on the Toyota it’s probably an up charge).

    On Curbside Classic, a website about older and new cars, a poster wrote about the “democratization of luxury”. He meant that standard line makes (Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia/Hyundai) offered cars with so many standard features (A/C, power steering and brakes, power windows and locks) and option packages (leather interior with power seats, and heated seats to boot, sunroofs, power mirrors, trunk releases, and remote access and start) that used to be exclusive to luxury makes on cars that share the same platform that there’s really no reason to move upscale to a Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler, Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti.

    My advice: buy the Avalon, save some bucks, keep it ten to twelve years and get your moneys worth.

    , @Lurker
    The, possibly faulty, impression I've had from an acquaintance who works at a Lexus dealership is that there is some overlap between Toyota and Lexus models. So there is a degree of badge engineering going on, a Toyota in one market may be sold as a Lexus in another. I believe early Lexus models were badged as Toyotas in Japan.
    , @Dtbb
    It is 30 years now in Florida to make antique status. Just changed it in time for my 94 Lebaron convertible. I don't think it will make another year anyway.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican

    What’s the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus?
     
    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/lexus-vs-toyota

    From the standpoint of ‘80s nostalgia, the ‘retro-techno’ interior of the current Lexus IS series is great design. Hard lines with high quality silky matte surface finishes—no chrome or glossy plastic. The angled main console has push button ‘analog’ controls rather than a digital screen (which is tastefully recessed high on the dash, closer to safe driving view).

    The exterior is okay—a little flashy, but par for the course in the ‘aspirational’ sports sedan market.

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/49-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/69-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/48-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/50-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    https://www.lexus.com/cm-img/visualizer/2019/is/300-f-sport/exterior/fsport-18-five-spoke/obsidian/large-2.jpg

    https://www.lexus.com/cm-img/visualizer/2019/is/300-f-sport/exterior/fsport-18-five-spoke/obsidian/large-3.jpg
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Steve , you are a respected blogger, not a mechanic. Buy a car that fits your budget, seats you and yours comfortably and has a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.
    , @Jack D

    higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?
     
    No, absolutely not. If anything is going to differ between a mainstream and luxury marque from the same manufacturer, it is going to be mainly cosmetic difference in the interior (better quality materials, more "soft touch" surfaces), the optional equipment (better radio) and the cosmetic treatment of the grille and tail lights. Possibly differences in the engine (more powerful) or suspension but often not. Aside from styling, the chassis is the thing that is going to vary the absolute least if at all.

    Your I30 is a thinly disguised Nissan Maxima of the A32 series. Even the engine is the same (good engine BTW, but not different from the Maxima engine):

    I30:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/1st_Infiniti_I30_--_12-14-2011.jpg


    Maxima:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Nissan_Cefiro_A32.jpg/560px-Nissan_Cefiro_A32.jpg

    If you are ever in need of parts (other than some body parts), you can probably get them somewhat cheaper at a Nissan dealer than the same part at an Infiniti dealer. And if you need a mechanic, take it to a guy who works on Nissans. After the warranty expired on my Audi, it was in the care of a competent independent VW mechanic.

    , @Lot
    "higher quality and quantity of steel"

    The newest few years of F-150 trucks and 100k Audi A8 for much longer have aluminum bodies.

    I think that is it on using a different metal.
  63. @Alec
    I'd like to know what photo of Ursula K. LeGuin plausibly places her in the "above average" category.

    You can see some images of Le Guin as a young woman (apparently) if you google her name. My classification: Plain Jane. Only a few years later it seemed she had acquired a lined face with a piercing glare. Is that what’s known as a ‘handsome woman’?

    After some point in time, she mostly reminds me of Martin Landau.

    • Replies: @Captain Tripps
    That early photo of her (according to Google, early 1950s, which would be her early 20s) is not very flattering. The Prince Valiant haircut even looked terrible on Prince Valiant. Anyone who copied it only made it worse.

    https://pictures.abebooks.com/PRINTMATTERS/1169377503.jpg
  64. @Guy De Champlagne
    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don't know if she's on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    The Bell Jar has to be one of the most overrated works ever. But while we’re on that kind of flat affect anhedonia, she’s taken her meds sort of novel, Francoise Sagan was pretty attractive.

    Ditto Joan Didion, still worth reading IMHO for her style and for capturing something of those strange years between 1966-1969.

  65. @Redneck farmer
    Going by porn, nursing or teaching.

    Going by porn, nursing or teaching.

    Porn is not real life!

    I suspect it’s a class marker, but I see a lot more overweight female nurses than I see fat female doctors these days.

    Maybe I just had bad luck, but I never met a single pretty female teacher in my life. And almost all of them had giant chips on their shoulders about their social status, whereas I had a few male teachers who were passionate about teaching and genuinely loved their subjects.

    Here’s to you, Dr. Irgang! (My high school history teacher who reinforced my love of the subject.)

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    We had some young and pretty teachers in elementary school, but not in Jr. High or High School. Also, those young, pretty teachers were either married or engaged, though they still had that giant chip on the shoulder about status--what is it about that? The older teachers, the ones with perms and sensible shoes, didn't have it. They were also better teachers, even if they weren't as well-liked because they couldn't care less if you were having fun.
  66. @Rosie

    And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.
     
    There were nowhere near as many truly beautiful girls when I was growing up as I commonly see now.

    I attribute this to two main factors: cosmetic medicine, primarily orthodontics, and more flexible fashion trends. The ubiquitous blindingly White, celebrity-perfect smile was exceedingly rare in the past.

    Girls also look better in their clothes than we did. Even if everyone were a healthy weight, women have different body types. It is now easier to find flattering clothes, i.e. a-line skirts for apples, and pencil skirts for pears.

    Acne is much less common today due to Acutane. By the way, that’s a pretty powerful drug that messes with hormones. I wouldn’t be surprised if that has had some impact on social changes in recent decades.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    Accutane may be effective but is dangerous.

    Wiki - "In a total of 5577 adverse reactions reported to the UK's MHRA up to 31 March 2017, the plurality (1207, or 22%) concerned psychiatric effects. There were 85 reports of suicidal ideation, 56 of completed suicide and 43 of suicide attempts."

    56 UK suicides plus 43 attempts sounds a lot.
    , @Stan Adams
    Accutane was a Godsend to me. I had horrendous acne in high school and Accutane cleared it up. (My face looked like something out of a horror movie and my back looked even worse.) Aside from severely chapped lips, I didn’t experience any drastic side effects.

    True story: One time, I lifted up my shirt on a dare, exposing an upper torso plastered with huge, festering boils. A girl screamed so loud that a passing teacher (a crotchety Jewish lady) assumed that I had exposed myself. I almost got in serious trouble over that one.
  67. @Anon
    Rate her.

    https://media.poetryfoundation.org/m/image/15913/emily-dickinson-hires-cropped.jpg?w=1200&h=1200&fit=max

    Well….not fat & hairy. Enough for me. More, those New England Puritan chicks had had an aura of repressed perviness I find attractive ….

  68. @reactionry
    Camus Will Not Replace Us?
    Or: One, Two, Three, Many Camus
    (what *is* the plural of Camus?)
    Or: Camus Is Not Who We Are?

    From the New Yorker's "The French Origins of 'You will not replace us"
    by the delightfully named Thomas Chatterton [as in the also racist Serena] Williams

    "On the sweltering June afternoon that I visited the castle, Camus—no relation to Albert—wore a tan summer suit and a tie. Several painted self-portraits hung in the study, multiplying his blue-eyed [Zut alors!] gaze...."
    "Jean-Yves Camus, a scholar of the far right in France (and no relation to Renaud Camus),..."

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/04/the-french-origins-of-you-will-not-replace-us

    If memory serves, Steve Sailer gave some faint praise to the piece above in recent months. Williams should get some credit for at least printing out the arguments (by, among others, Charles de Gaulle) against "replacement" (a polite word for genocide), but as I recall he (Williams) had little other than ad hominem and snark in rebuttal.

    If Western Civ got the "disease," Camus don't got The Cure, but "Killing An Arab" (which pays homage to A.C.'s "The Stranger"*)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_an_Arab
    was a catchy tune
    (there's a version of "Killing An Arab" with an extended wintry Camus cameo, but it seems to have been removed because of copyright infringement)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7n_imknhcg&list=PLqiJnrZda7_YMRK80bj5U4WvJcx_dJV53&index=13

    * I've only seen a bit of the movie based on the book, but have been told that it's very good.
    Granted, "The Stranger" does sound a tad "sinister" as in a certain form of Onanism done left-handed.

    “Killing An Arab” ain’t no “Boys Don’t Cry”.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song "Killing an Arab" was still one of their biggest hits. They didn't play it in concert and generally weren't that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played "Killing an Arab" during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I've been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

  69. @Anon
    Rate her.

    https://media.poetryfoundation.org/m/image/15913/emily-dickinson-hires-cropped.jpg?w=1200&h=1200&fit=max

    In the immortal words of Dr. Franklin,” All cats are grey in the dark”.
    More seriously, 3 shots and I’d party with her.

    • Agree: Kevin O'Keeffe
    • Replies: @Captain Tripps
    Wait, was that Dr. Franklin, or Dr. Schroedinger? And wasn't that in the box, or in the dark? I get so confused these days since I passed the 50 mile post...
  70. @Anon
    Yeah, but not listed in Western Canon.

    Young Sontag was striking.

    https://i0.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/susansontag5.jpg?fit=980%2C676&ssl=1

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric. Wordsworth, Chaucer, Austen, George Eliot, Woolf, Freud (?), Beckett (hahahah..)….and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher). His longer list, at the end of the book, does not contain names of Jack London (a writer who stubbornly refuses to go away), Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Max Stirner (writer, after all), Robert Walser, Yesenin, Martin DuGard, Canetti, Compton-Burnett, Richard Jefferies, Cioran, …

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don’t age well.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen's reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.

    , @Lurker

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don’t age well.
     
    'Tis the Ashkenazi curse.
    , @syonredux

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric.
     
    Linguistic bias. It's a common tendency. In order to avoid it in his Human Accomplishment, Murray made a point of ranking authors according to how highly they were regarded outside their native languages.

    and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher).
     
    Bloom's top 26:


    William Shakespeare
    Dante Alighieri
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Miguel de Cervantes
    Michel de Montaigne
    Molière
    John Milton
    Samuel Johnson
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    William Wordsworth
    Jane Austen
    Walt Whitman
    Emily Dickinson
    Charles Dickens
    George Eliot
    Leo Tolstoy
    Henrik Ibsen
    Sigmund Freud
    Marcel Proust
    James Joyce
    Virginia Woolf
    Franz Kafka
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Pablo Neruda
    Fernando Pessoa
    Samuel Beckett
    , @syonredux
    Speaking of good-looking authors, the female members of my conservative study group think that Jack London was the bee's knees:


    https://mctuggle.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/jack-london.jpg
  71. @Steve Sailer
    Le Guin's mother wrote "Ishi Between Two Worlds," which I read in high school.

    Ursula K. Le Guin was in a James Bond movie with Sean Connery.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    Ursula K. Le Guin was in a James Bond movie with Sean Connery.
     
    Are you getting your Ursulas mixed-up?

    http://www.the007dossier.com/007dossier/Magazines/mad/165-March-1974/MadMagazine-165-007.jpg
  72. @Redneck farmer
    "Killing An Arab" ain't no "Boys Don't Cry".

    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song “Killing an Arab” was still one of their biggest hits. They didn’t play it in concert and generally weren’t that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played “Killing an Arab” during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I’ve been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

    • Replies: @AnotherGuessModel
    If my timeline is correct, The Cure went on hiatus around that time, and Robert Smith toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees as their guitarist. It influenced his visual and musical style, and I think it sharpened him as a live performer too.
    , @peterike

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I’ve been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

     

    Lol! I had the same experience in NYC. They didn't even come on stage until 2 a.m., making us all wait for hours. And then they were terrible. The Clash, on the other hand...
    , @Anonymous
    Wasn't the 'Whisky-a-Go-Go' owned, rather ironically, by one 'Eddie Nash' (Adel Nasrallah), an Arab from Lebanon, the eminence gris behind the 'Dick Trial', (the John Holmes Wonderland murders)?

    Isn't July 1981 awfully close to the date 0f the Launius gang murders?

    Basically, teenage and not so teenager 'rockers' funded the ultimate 'hairy man's' massive drug habit and empire - and had a hand in the tragi-comic trials of Job-esque collapse and call of the world's most bankable phallus.

    Odd 'spergy connections.
    , @Lot
    The videos I've seen of their early concerts are low on physical energy but the sound is as good as their studio recordings.

    That's a concept we don't have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.
    , @Pericles
    The Cure for Insomnia.
  73. @Bardon Kaldian
    Bloom's WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric. Wordsworth, Chaucer, Austen, George Eliot, Woolf, Freud (?), Beckett (hahahah..)....and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher). His longer list, at the end of the book, does not contain names of Jack London (a writer who stubbornly refuses to go away), Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Max Stirner (writer, after all), Robert Walser, Yesenin, Martin DuGard, Canetti, Compton-Burnett, Richard Jefferies, Cioran, ...

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don't age well.

    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen’s reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Agreed (except that Dickens didn't care about Austen). But, here Bloom had shot himself in the foot. He rages against PC feminism & "School of Resentment" & frequently (and annoyingly) insists on "aesthetic splendor" as his sole criterion. And then, he includes a few womyn (although very good writers), as if he's trying to say: Look, ladies, I'm not a patriarchal ogre. I'm on your side. For instance, he writes like this: ...whichever her or his sympathies (not .....his or her sympathies).

    In short, Bloom, while not a cuck, is a vulnerable man (I'm OK with that, but, man, for Chrissake, be consistent!)

    But, judging consistently along these criteria, Baudelaire is doubtless the most influential 19th C poet, and not Bloom's icon Dickinson. Austen & Eliot, while important, cannot simply sustain company of the most influential 19th C novelist, Flaubert.

    And no 19th C novelist is as great as Tolstoy & Dostoevsky, the greatest narrative fiction writers, the only supreme authors who can stand on the top with Dante, Shakespeare & 3-5 others. George Steiner had, in my opinion, argued this point conclusively:

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51GtIWixYAL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
    , @syonredux

    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen’s reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.
     
    Kipling was also a fan. He even wrote a short story about the cult of Jane, "The Janeites":


    Jane lies in Winchester, blessed be her shade!
    Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made.
    And, while the stones of Winchester – or Milsom Street – remain,
    Glory, Love, and Honour unto England’s Jane!



    http://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/texts/kipling%201924janeites.pdf
    , @Pericles
    The key to writing an eternal classic is to make it assigned reading at the universities.
  74. @Buffalo Joe
    So I guess I'll just look to see if the author's photo is on the dust jacket and then decide if I want to read the book. Got it.

    Bravo. I thought it was a very dumb post. Literature, such a visual form of the fine arts!

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anona, Thank you.
  75. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    Marriage to a successful man.

    • Agree: Cato
    • LOL: Twinkie
  76. @Steve Sailer
    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen's reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.

    Agreed (except that Dickens didn’t care about Austen). But, here Bloom had shot himself in the foot. He rages against PC feminism & “School of Resentment” & frequently (and annoyingly) insists on “aesthetic splendor” as his sole criterion. And then, he includes a few womyn (although very good writers), as if he’s trying to say: Look, ladies, I’m not a patriarchal ogre. I’m on your side. For instance, he writes like this: …whichever her or his sympathies (not …..his or her sympathies).

    In short, Bloom, while not a cuck, is a vulnerable man (I’m OK with that, but, man, for Chrissake, be consistent!)

    But, judging consistently along these criteria, Baudelaire is doubtless the most influential 19th C poet, and not Bloom’s icon Dickinson. Austen & Eliot, while important, cannot simply sustain company of the most influential 19th C novelist, Flaubert.

    And no 19th C novelist is as great as Tolstoy & Dostoevsky, the greatest narrative fiction writers, the only supreme authors who can stand on the top with Dante, Shakespeare & 3-5 others. George Steiner had, in my opinion, argued this point conclusively:

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?"

    The question is absurd.

    Tolstoy was a silly old fool.

    Dostoevsky was not only the greatest of all novelists - he was the greatest of all possible novelists.
  77. Anne Rice = average.

    • Replies: @Anon
    How about Margaret Mitchell?

    Maybe a lot of these writers need a reviewing. Lots of Anglo-American names.

    https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~immer/books1920s

    The Iron Woman!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Iron_Woman_(novel)

  78. @Intelligent Dasein
    The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn't even know they were missing.

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well.

    So would I (except Austen). But not their books. Them.

  79. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    So I guess I'll just look to see if the author's photo is on the dust jacket and then decide if I want to read the book. Got it.

    No of course not
    The interesting questions are
    since IQ is correlated with good health and looks does that play out in art
    particularly in an art where the artist is often translating their own experience interacting with the world
    since womens biological purpose is not novel writing but being sexual objects that encourage men to breed them and so more attractive women are favored in the world does that impact their art in quality or flavour
    since artists tend to come from upper middle class who are genetically favored do artists from that class fut the type or not

    Its pretty clear Emily Dickinson could never have written the work of Jane austen she hadnt the experience of men and society Austen wrote as an insider that from the privileged position could betray her class she wrote as an observer, Dickenson holed up in her wallflower room wrote subjectively betraying herself

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, Thank you for your reply, but I was being facetious.
    , @Anon
    Any woman can lay down under a man for a few minutes in the middle of the month and conceive a baby. But only a few men and women are able to write a 300 page book and get it published and read.

    A normally healthy woman of today could have 20 children between 17 and 42 if she didn’t use birth control

    Sorry for being a bitch but some of you guys need to read a book about human reproduction. Our basic function is to attract a man??? We don’t need to do anything to attract men they just swarm Our big problem is beating men off. I just don’t understand why fathers of 2 or no children are so obsessed with other people’s sex lives.
  80. @Guy De Champlagne
    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don't know if she's on whatever list this is based on. But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive. So the whole exercise only makes sense if you grade on a curve based on the time the person lived. And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    The very notion that standards of beauty change over time triggers a lot of genetic fundamentalists on here. Even though that change over time is obvious in any museum.

    Only superficially. Grooming and clothing fashions change. In the Western canon, what we consider beautiful holds up for thousands of years.

  81. If this guy thinks the young Ursula Le Guin is an above average looking woman his whole criteria is suspect.

    • Agree: MEH 0910
  82. “The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.”

    What tends to be unnoticed (and unmentioned) today is that there is a distinctive “look” to poverty and wealth. The top 1-5% of the wealthy as well as the bottom 1-5% of the poor have a distinctive look to them. Generally speaking, the poorer one is, the harder the life one has, and those inner struggles (e.g. stress) which affect the inside will also manifest on the outside and on the person’s appearance.

    Controlling of course for Hollywood stars, generally speaking, one can tell which class one comes from by their appearance as it is written all over their faces.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    What tends to be unnoticed (and unmentioned) today is that there is a distinctive “look” to poverty and wealth. The top 1-5% of the wealthy as well as the bottom 1-5% of the poor have a distinctive look to them. Generally speaking, the poorer one is, the harder the life one has, and those inner struggles (e.g. stress) which affect the inside will also manifest on the outside and on the person’s appearance.
     
    This, of course, is true.
  83. @Steve Sailer
    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song "Killing an Arab" was still one of their biggest hits. They didn't play it in concert and generally weren't that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played "Killing an Arab" during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I've been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

    If my timeline is correct, The Cure went on hiatus around that time, and Robert Smith toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees as their guitarist. It influenced his visual and musical style, and I think it sharpened him as a live performer too.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    If my timeline is correct, The Cure went on hiatus around that time, and Robert Smith toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees as their guitarist. It influenced his visual and musical style, and I think it sharpened him as a live performer too.
     
    I remember seeing Siouxsie and the Banshees live with Smith on guitar. One of the best live gigs I ever saw. I believe Smith has stated that Siouxsie-Sioux was a huge influence on him.
  84. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    As a selection size of n=1, from nearly thirty years in the corporate and IT world, I’ve seen these jobs attract more than their fair share of attractive women:

    – Sales (esp. direct sales) and Marketing
    – Advertising
    – Recruting

    And oddly enough, law. Jobs where you’re going to be meeting people face to face a lot, and using persuasion to get a deal done. Good looks help a lot, male or female, in these sorts of jobs.

    Just my $.02

    • Replies: @Anon
    I agree that women lawyers, especially when they get older are above average in looks. They don’t get fat they have to dress decently even going so far as to iron their clothes !!!!! Nice hair nice makeup also the few women judges I’ve seen are nice looking.
  85. I think this gets back to earlier blog posts about men being more inclined to organizational thinking. Writing novels is likely an organized activity that’s an expression of high testosterone. If you doubt it, Google some famous mid-20th century American authors like Cormac McCarthy, Norman Mailer, James Jones, Jack Kerouac… not exactly girly men. Girl authors are likely high -t, and have the physiognomy that goes along with it.

  86. Can any of these women compete with John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series?

    • Replies: @Anon
    I’ve read most of the Travis McGee books. Love them , but they’re just enjoyable fantasy detective fiction like James Bond

    These women wrote literature.
  87. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    I have twice – years apart – sat in a Lexus at a car showroom. The roof was too low.

    That’s also my recent experience of BMWs, Mercedes, and Range Rovers – too cramped.

    I take it that these cars must all be made for little chaps who want to buy status to compensate for their stature.

    We did have a Honda at one point – rather underpowered but a fine, comfortable vehicle (though it was a bugger to select lower gears on the automatic gearbox).

    For four-wheel drives it has to be Toyota for reliability or Land Rover for wonderfulness.

  88. @Steve Sailer
    Acne is much less common today due to Acutane. By the way, that's a pretty powerful drug that messes with hormones. I wouldn't be surprised if that has had some impact on social changes in recent decades.

    Accutane may be effective but is dangerous.

    Wiki – “In a total of 5577 adverse reactions reported to the UK’s MHRA up to 31 March 2017, the plurality (1207, or 22%) concerned psychiatric effects. There were 85 reports of suicidal ideation, 56 of completed suicide and 43 of suicide attempts.”

    56 UK suicides plus 43 attempts sounds a lot.

  89. Flannery O’ Connor hasn’t been mentioned. She should be, though for her short stories, not her looks. Helpfully, the Atlantic published a picture of her taken when she was in college:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/the-college-age-insights-of-flannery-oconnor/544442/

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    I hadn't mentioned her because she's got a special place in my heart (illness & the rest).
    , @Benjaminl
    She has a sweet smile.

    A nice smile and a devout faith are not to be underestimated in a wife...
  90. @Thursday
    She’s not on Bloom’s list, mainly because she’s not that great of a poet. Also, I just did the fiction writers.

    As for her looks, I’d say she was above average, but nothing too special.

    LOL, you do realize that Mr. Sailer channeled his inner Heartiste in a gangly manner and selected your subject material as filler, rather offer novel NOTICING commentary.

    “I’ve tried to judge based on pictures from their early 20s, if possible. It’s unfair to judge a woman’s looks after she’s turned into an old crone.”

    Exactly, tried to judge. Realize that those pictures were not meant to be flattering or reveal their beauty. Moreover, the standards of beauty and body types back then are noticeably different than the are now.

    https://www.thelist.com/44261/womens-perfect-body-types-changed-throughout-history/

    https://www.theodysseyonline.com/evolution-beauty-standards

    “Furthermore, substance abuse has not uncommonly taken a toll on some of these.”

    Such as?

    “Evaluations like this are subjective”

    Exactly.

    “but a few quibbles aside, I think this gives a fair picture.”

    You mean major quibbles. And, it may give you and the fanbois here a “fair picture”.

    “The plurality tends towards the average and below average, with the below average having a slight edge. A non trivial number can be called cute. None of them can truly be called hot.”

    Hot by our standards, not hot by past criteria. Perhaps you were jilted and are unconsciously trying to find a way to get back at her? I suggest purchasing “Gorilla Mindset”. It’s written by a Jew, but at least he is on your side.

  91. @The Alarmist
    Looking with modern eyes for "hotness" among historical figures is a pointless exercise. You may as well try judging them by smell.

    Gold Box for your comment.

  92. Zelda Fitzgerald, you know, wife of F. Scott, was a very good writer though of quite limited output. She was considered a great beauty in her day.

    Jane Bowles, wife of the great Paul Bowles (if a lesbian can be said to be a homosexual’s “wife”), was by no means beautiful, but in the right moments she definitely had a “thing.” She did not age well.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Pete, Jane Bowles "definitely had a thing." All women have that "thing" that's why we chase them.
    , @Che Guava
    Elizabeth Warren, bleached-blonde
    American Indian princess, and later adding some kind of dye to make her grey hair look yellow or blonde.

    To Mr. Unz.
    I complain again about Cloudflare (or more precisely, the site's Cloudflare settings).

    This month, I was hitting my data limit faster than ever, already, today. This was not because I was to post on this site more than before, or to post big files elsewhere, just because Cloudflares bulshit. I was even taking care to use Wi-Fi whenever possible, but because Cloudflare's 'just a moment' routine (ho, ho, HAL in 2001) sucks, it eats the data allowance while serving nothing.

    As I was saying in an earlier post, the Cloudflare people claim that it is customer-side settings.
    I can never even check my posts for replies, it also loses my point in any thread.
  93. @Steve Sailer
    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song "Killing an Arab" was still one of their biggest hits. They didn't play it in concert and generally weren't that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played "Killing an Arab" during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I've been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I’ve been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Lol! I had the same experience in NYC. They didn’t even come on stage until 2 a.m., making us all wait for hours. And then they were terrible. The Clash, on the other hand…

  94. In his younger days, the great Nathaniel Hawthorne was considered among the most handsome of men. You can see why.

    But age comes for us all.

  95. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    Steve,

    On paper (or webpage) not a dime’s bit of difference between a Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES, which share the same platform.

    – Same Engine
    – Same Transmission
    – Same Wheelbase
    – Same Suspension

    Here’s a pretty good comparison of the 2019 models: https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/2019-lexus-es-versus-2019-toyota-avalonwhich-is-better-ar181447.html

    Basically you’re looking at differences in the front and rear clips (easy for a manufacturer to change), interior materials, layout, and options (I’m betting the Lexus gives you a better electronic entertainment/navigation system than the mainline Toyota standard, on the Toyota it’s probably an up charge).

    On Curbside Classic, a website about older and new cars, a poster wrote about the “democratization of luxury”. He meant that standard line makes (Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia/Hyundai) offered cars with so many standard features (A/C, power steering and brakes, power windows and locks) and option packages (leather interior with power seats, and heated seats to boot, sunroofs, power mirrors, trunk releases, and remote access and start) that used to be exclusive to luxury makes on cars that share the same platform that there’s really no reason to move upscale to a Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler, Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti.

    My advice: buy the Avalon, save some bucks, keep it ten to twelve years and get your moneys worth.

    • Agree: Jack D
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Agree with everything you say except the 12 year thing. In road salt-free California and with the fact that he doesn't commute every day to work, a guy like Steve can get 20 yrs out of an Avalon.

    Get the cloth upholstery - leather dries out in the CA sunshine but the modern synthetic fabrics are indestructible. I've seen older American cars with whorehouse red velour plush seats that look factory new - the entire rest of the car is rusted to shreds, the engine is sputtering and burning oil, but the cloth upholstery (nylon? polyester?) looks like it would survive a nuclear war.
  96. @eD
    Flannery O' Connor hasn't been mentioned. She should be, though for her short stories, not her looks. Helpfully, the Atlantic published a picture of her taken when she was in college:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/the-college-age-insights-of-flannery-oconnor/544442/

    I hadn’t mentioned her because she’s got a special place in my heart (illness & the rest).

  97. This is seriously petty and stupid, a comment to appeal to the small minded male who can’t think beyond his small penis.

    What does it matter what the author looks like as long as what she writes is good?

    Why don’t you go rate the looks of the male authors?

    What a bunch of embarrassing losers. This is why #MeToo needs to happen.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    It's seriously petty & stupid for you to think that it's petty & stupid to be interested in people's looks.

    I think it's Wittgenstein who is supposed to have said: "when it's uncomfortable - that's when it's most important."
  98. This whole thread is a prime example of insecure pea brain males who have to resort to picking apart smart women’s looks to assert their masculinity. All it does is make them look like a bunch of small minded assholes.

  99. @Pericles
    You can see some images of Le Guin as a young woman (apparently) if you google her name. My classification: Plain Jane. Only a few years later it seemed she had acquired a lined face with a piercing glare. Is that what's known as a 'handsome woman'?

    http://jasondenzel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ursulakleguin.jpeg

    After some point in time, she mostly reminds me of Martin Landau.

    https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/4HJoEYU3ECVFv09UMyLA0ZLI70g=/0x0:3504x2336/1200x800/filters:focal(1472x888:2032x1448)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/58431269/GettyImages_57514380.0.jpg

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/[email protected]@._V1_UX214_CR0,0,214,317_AL_.jpg

    That early photo of her (according to Google, early 1950s, which would be her early 20s) is not very flattering. The Prince Valiant haircut even looked terrible on Prince Valiant. Anyone who copied it only made it worse.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    People here seem to be judging the young Le Guin by her hair, not looking hard at the actual face. Even when older, it's clear that it was highly symmetrical.

    That said, the hair is bad.
    , @Pericles
    OK, so the first photo is then Ursula in her absolute nubile prime.

    I loved Prince Valiant when I was a kid, btw. Ursula ... hmmm. (looks away)
  100. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    The, possibly faulty, impression I’ve had from an acquaintance who works at a Lexus dealership is that there is some overlap between Toyota and Lexus models. So there is a degree of badge engineering going on, a Toyota in one market may be sold as a Lexus in another. I believe early Lexus models were badged as Toyotas in Japan.

  101. @Redneck farmer
    In the immortal words of Dr. Franklin," All cats are grey in the dark".
    More seriously, 3 shots and I'd party with her.

    Wait, was that Dr. Franklin, or Dr. Schroedinger? And wasn’t that in the box, or in the dark? I get so confused these days since I passed the 50 mile post…

  102. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    That begs a question:

    Say it ain’t so, Twinkie! A man of your Ivy League pedigree making that dilettante’s mistake.

    It’s raises a question, sir!

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Thank you for the edification.

    I will now commit Seppuku to reclaim my honor. Oops, can’t. I’m a Catholic.

  103. @Bardon Kaldian
    Bloom's WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric. Wordsworth, Chaucer, Austen, George Eliot, Woolf, Freud (?), Beckett (hahahah..)....and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher). His longer list, at the end of the book, does not contain names of Jack London (a writer who stubbornly refuses to go away), Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Max Stirner (writer, after all), Robert Walser, Yesenin, Martin DuGard, Canetti, Compton-Burnett, Richard Jefferies, Cioran, ...

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don't age well.

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don’t age well.

    ‘Tis the Ashkenazi curse.

  104. Anonymous[185] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song "Killing an Arab" was still one of their biggest hits. They didn't play it in concert and generally weren't that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played "Killing an Arab" during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I've been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

    Wasn’t the ‘Whisky-a-Go-Go’ owned, rather ironically, by one ‘Eddie Nash’ (Adel Nasrallah), an Arab from Lebanon, the eminence gris behind the ‘Dick Trial’, (the John Holmes Wonderland murders)?

    Isn’t July 1981 awfully close to the date 0f the Launius gang murders?

    Basically, teenage and not so teenager ‘rockers’ funded the ultimate ‘hairy man’s’ massive drug habit and empire – and had a hand in the tragi-comic trials of Job-esque collapse and call of the world’s most bankable phallus.

    Odd ‘spergy connections.

  105. @Rosie

    And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.
     
    There were nowhere near as many truly beautiful girls when I was growing up as I commonly see now.

    I attribute this to two main factors: cosmetic medicine, primarily orthodontics, and more flexible fashion trends. The ubiquitous blindingly White, celebrity-perfect smile was exceedingly rare in the past.

    Girls also look better in their clothes than we did. Even if everyone were a healthy weight, women have different body types. It is now easier to find flattering clothes, i.e. a-line skirts for apples, and pencil skirts for pears.

    I disagree. As a long-time and dedicated, possibly fanatical student of female beauty, a large percentage of young women are overweight, and most of those who aren’t overweight have a lack of muscle tone that prevents them from being beautiful. Interestingly, there is a small rural town nearby, and the girls working retail in that town look great. City living, like college learning, pollutes.

  106. @Rosie

    And even then you need to distinguish between who was found attractive in their time and who is most attractive by modern standards.
     
    There were nowhere near as many truly beautiful girls when I was growing up as I commonly see now.

    I attribute this to two main factors: cosmetic medicine, primarily orthodontics, and more flexible fashion trends. The ubiquitous blindingly White, celebrity-perfect smile was exceedingly rare in the past.

    Girls also look better in their clothes than we did. Even if everyone were a healthy weight, women have different body types. It is now easier to find flattering clothes, i.e. a-line skirts for apples, and pencil skirts for pears.

    My mother remarked a while back that no one has “noses” anymore. We’re of Irish extraction but she was referring to Italian American girls and the like among whom you would find pronounced noses (at least in large East Coast cities).

    This could be explained by cosmetic surgery, and perhaps a willingness on the part of surgeons to intervene with younger children.

    But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past. There’s a certain evening out of pronounced features when, say, an Italian and a Pole have a child. I used that example because Maria Bello comes to mind – she has a Polish mother and Italian father.

    • Replies: @Corn
    “But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past.”

    Do you really think women are better looking now than in the past? All the obesity, tattoos, weird piercings.......

    I’ll say women may look sexier now....more revealing clothes, tighter clothes etc, but in terms of raw beauty you think women now possess more than women of yore?
    , @Lot
    I agree big Jewish and Italian noses seem recessive, and very rare in mix breeds.

    NYC Ashkenazi definitely get nose jobs for their daughters between HS and college sometimes.
    , @jim jones
    Koreans are obsessed with their noses:

    https://www.seoultouchup.com/rhinoplasty-korea-nose-surgery/
  107. @istevefan

    ... in 1911 took in Ishi, the last surviving Indian of his Northern California tribe. This doesn’t have anything to do with Thursday’s point, but I think it’s pretty interesting.
     
    It is interesting and I followed your Ishi link. It lead me to a link on something I've never heard about, the California Genocide.

    I clicked the link knowing pretty much what it was going to say, "American Europeans bad".

    Under Spanish rule their population was estimated to have dropped from 300,000 prior to 1769, to 250,000 in 1834. After Mexico gained independence from Spain and secularized the coastal missions in 1834, the indigenous population suffered a more drastic decrease to 150,000. Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870; it reached its nadir of 16,000 in 1900. Between 1846 and 1873, European Americans are estimated to have killed outright some 4,500 to 16,000 California Native Americans, particularly during the Gold Rush.[1][2] Others died as a result of infectious diseases and the social disruption of their societies. The state of California used its institutions to favor settlers' rights over indigenous rights and was responsible for dispossession of the natives.[3]

    Since the late 20th century, numerous American scholars and activist organizations, both Native American and European American, have characterized the period immediately following the U.S. Conquest of California as one in which the state and federal governments waged genocide against the Native Americans in the territory. In the early 21st century, some scholars argue for the government to authorize tribunals so that a full accounting of responsibility for this genocide in western states can be conducted.
     
    So hidden in this gem is the fact that under Mexican rule, from 1834 to 1848, the California indigenous population was halved with the loss of 150K. Yet the whole article and the term California Genocide seems to refer to only what happened after the USA took California in 1848, even though the death toll and rate was less what it had been under 14 years of Mexican rule.

    Why is the 14 years of Mexican rule ignored?

    Genocide is the wrong term. More like replacement, or “you need to get out of the way so we can use this place.” Which is exactly what happened. You could say the same for the Mexicans, who were also not using CA resources well, or even doing any governing.

    When my pioneer relatives settled in Northern California in the 1860’s, the stories they collected and handed down to us were not favorable to Indians. Worthless, filthy, thieving drunks was what they saw. The native life and perspective was never going to work in even that 19th century world. Now, of course, everyone realizes this and bows before their stupid casinos.

    • Replies: @istevefan

    The native life and perspective was never going to work in even that 19th century world. Now, of course, everyone realizes this and bows before their stupid casinos.
     
    Let's say for sake of argument that the Europeans never found the Americas. And for the past 500 years the Americas were left alone from the outside world. If suddenly in 2019, the Americas were discovered, what are the chances that the rest of the world would just leave them alone? There is no way the rest of the world would allow a handful of hunter-gatherers to posses a resource rich place like North America. The Chinese, Indians, Arabs, etc., would all be trying to move in. They might not come and exterminate the natives. But they would soon demographically swamp them and take the land. Unless the tribes could militarily hold the land, there were doomed to lose it once the rest of the world found out about it.
  108. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    It is 30 years now in Florida to make antique status. Just changed it in time for my 94 Lebaron convertible. I don’t think it will make another year anyway.

  109. @Clyde
    Ursula K. Le Guin was in a James Bond movie with Sean Connery.

    Ursula K. Le Guin was in a James Bond movie with Sean Connery.

    Are you getting your Ursulas mixed-up?

  110. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    One of the more gorgeous women I’ve seen in a long time was a couple months ago, a slim dusky brunette in her 20’s. She looked Latin but probably wasn’t given the location. If she wasn’t a solid 10 it is impossible to imagine who could be.
    What made it strange was that this beauty was working a very humble job – collecting elevator tickets at the Eiffel Tower (just because it’s a famous attraction doesn’t mean jobs pay well, see Disney World). I’m sure she could find a way through immigration laws to become a VIP hostess at a top Las Vegas nightclub and earn $1,000+ a night. As everything at the Eiffel Tower is trilingual, English and Spanish as well as French, she has the language skills.

  111. @Earnest Hemingway

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.
     
    Sylvia Plath?

    Yeah... I fucked her.

    You sure you don’t have her confused with Mother Goose?

  112. @Roderick Spode
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/126/826/449.jpg

    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    Benzedrine has never improved anyone’s looks……Cf Auden…..

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Auden aptly likened his face to a fallen wedding cake.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    syon, If you placed a sheet of paper over that face and did a chalk rubbing you would probably have a map to the Lost Ark. Not too many faces you need to clean with a dental pick.
  113. @Alec Leamas
    My mother remarked a while back that no one has "noses" anymore. We're of Irish extraction but she was referring to Italian American girls and the like among whom you would find pronounced noses (at least in large East Coast cities).

    This could be explained by cosmetic surgery, and perhaps a willingness on the part of surgeons to intervene with younger children.

    But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past. There's a certain evening out of pronounced features when, say, an Italian and a Pole have a child. I used that example because Maria Bello comes to mind - she has a Polish mother and Italian father.

    “But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past.”

    Do you really think women are better looking now than in the past? All the obesity, tattoos, weird piercings…….

    I’ll say women may look sexier now….more revealing clothes, tighter clothes etc, but in terms of raw beauty you think women now possess more than women of yore?

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Do you really think women are better looking now than in the past? All the obesity, tattoos, weird piercings…….
     
    They're better looking if you really go for the cheap hooker look.
  114. @Steve Sailer
    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen's reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.

    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen’s reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.

    Kipling was also a fan. He even wrote a short story about the cult of Jane, “The Janeites”:

    Jane lies in Winchester, blessed be her shade!
    Praise the Lord for making her, and her for all she made.
    And, while the stones of Winchester – or Milsom Street – remain,
    Glory, Love, and Honour unto England’s Jane!

    http://www.uwyo.edu/numimage/texts/kipling%201924janeites.pdf

  115. @Intelligent Dasein
    The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn't even know they were missing.

    “The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn’t even know they were missing.”

    If you have not read Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, you don’t know what you are missing.

    • Agree: syonredux
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    Sorry, but I won't do it. I don't care for the dreary western motif. Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning.
    , @Lagertha
    so agree. I sometimes read old novels when I have lost and buried someone dear. Many older writers are more pure, today, of the raw emotion of loss...there was no crutch; no social workers of any kind, back in the time that our favorite authors were writing. The best writers were writing alone...the ones we now remember.
  116. @Bardon Kaldian
    Bloom's WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric. Wordsworth, Chaucer, Austen, George Eliot, Woolf, Freud (?), Beckett (hahahah..)....and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher). His longer list, at the end of the book, does not contain names of Jack London (a writer who stubbornly refuses to go away), Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Max Stirner (writer, after all), Robert Walser, Yesenin, Martin DuGard, Canetti, Compton-Burnett, Richard Jefferies, Cioran, ...

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don't age well.

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric.

    Linguistic bias. It’s a common tendency. In order to avoid it in his Human Accomplishment, Murray made a point of ranking authors according to how highly they were regarded outside their native languages.

    and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher).

    Bloom’s top 26:

    William Shakespeare
    Dante Alighieri
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Miguel de Cervantes
    Michel de Montaigne
    Molière
    John Milton
    Samuel Johnson
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    William Wordsworth
    Jane Austen
    Walt Whitman
    Emily Dickinson
    Charles Dickens
    George Eliot
    Leo Tolstoy
    Henrik Ibsen
    Sigmund Freud
    Marcel Proust
    James Joyce
    Virginia Woolf
    Franz Kafka
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Pablo Neruda
    Fernando Pessoa
    Samuel Beckett

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    I could agree with a small part of that list, but it is an expression of dull orthodox thought.

    Why Moliere and not Celine?

    Given no other eastern European writers, why Tolstoy, where is Dostoievsky?

    Why Freud and not Jung?

    The list is full of dull received opinions, I would advise anybody to ignore it, although a few are, depending on personal temperament, worth reading, and have read most of most.
    , @Thursday
    Nope, you didn't read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    I know, I've read WC 2-3 times. It has many, many good stuff in it. But, Bloom's weaknesses are sometimes laughable. Just a few rambling associations....

    * Bloom's"theory" is that Shakespeare's characters change because they overhear themselves. Actually, this is a dramatic device, not necessary for, say, novels. Of course that Shakespeare's characters are more vivid & memorable than most of his predecessors', but this has nothing to do with this purely technical artifice. And his Bardolatry is absurd - even when writing on Kafka, he has to mention Shake as a creator of "shamanic cosmos".

    * he is right in his claim that Conrad was central formative influence on Faulkner & Fitzgerald, but re Hemingway- wrong

    * he wrote on Milton basically "overhearing" himself about Shakespeare. Nothing new.

    * he got it right that the ending of Goethe's "Faust" is "cultural appropriation" of Dante & Catholic mythology, but in a creative way. Kudos for that.

    * his chapters on Dickinson & Dickens & Eliot are his personal projections. Not much insight.

    * his Whitman is good, but Bloom, a dedicated scholar of Gnosis, was unable to decipher Whitman's psychic cartography & spiritual world-view. He got all mixed up (self, soul, myself,....)

    * we are constantly reminded that T.S. Eliot was antisemitic. My goodness, how shocking ....

    * his Tolstoy is good, but the heroism theme is overworked

    * Freud is, according to Bloom, prosified Shakespeare who got all his ideas from Shake. This is obscurantist nonsense. Schopenhauer aside, Freud's main influence was his work with Charcot & Pierre Janet (hypnotherapy & early personality theories). Freud, although a highly literate & cultured man, thought of himself as Darwin of the mind, a scientist, and his edifice (now crumbling) was built on a mixture of practice & psychological/philosophical paradigms, not a literature.

    * a part on Proust is great in clearing away now dominant & annoying gay & Jewish obsessions

    * Woolf is "feminism as the love of reading". Que?

    * Kafka is given spiritual authority & then we are left wondering where this authority lies. Bloom quotes some Kafka's quasi-gnostic aphorisms as the pinnacle of spiritual insight. Why not quote Heraclitus, Marcus Aurelius.... Karl Kraus. Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" is a disaster, but Kafka is greater than, say, Mann or Faulkner because of- aphorisms & a few short stories (his novels suck).

    * Beckett is so overpraised that whole chapter is basically a good joke.

    On balance, Bloom is right in his denunciation of Derrida & Foucault & "School of Resentment", but he could have written a much more insightful survey.
    , @Asagirian
    Bloom left out Henry Williamson.
  117. @Alec
    I'd like to know what photo of Ursula K. LeGuin plausibly places her in the "above average" category.

    There are few pictures of her younger self. Her looks did not age well, but she started out attractively.

  118. @Bardon Kaldian
    Bloom's WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric. Wordsworth, Chaucer, Austen, George Eliot, Woolf, Freud (?), Beckett (hahahah..)....and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher). His longer list, at the end of the book, does not contain names of Jack London (a writer who stubbornly refuses to go away), Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Max Stirner (writer, after all), Robert Walser, Yesenin, Martin DuGard, Canetti, Compton-Burnett, Richard Jefferies, Cioran, ...

    As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don't age well.

    Speaking of good-looking authors, the female members of my conservative study group think that Jack London was the bee’s knees:

    • Replies: @songbird
    I thought London was a communist? But maybe, it doesn't show in most of his fiction.
    , @Anon
    Yes yes, just yummy. I nominate Jack London as the best looking male author of the last 600 years.
  119. @syonredux
    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:


    http://hyperbole.es/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/susan.jpg

    You must be joking

  120. I suggest introversion, childhood illness and/or speech impediments matter more than looks wrt this list. I’ve also, on rare occasion, seen the prettiest girl rejected by a group (probably due to the conniving of the socially dominate but now 2nd prettiest girl). Maybe the pretty rejects take to writing furiously about bad character in their diaries. Oh, and let’s not forget the ugly ducklings…

  121. Virginia Woolf as average? She looks like someone out of a pre-Raphaelite painting—many of which were actually modeled after her mother. I will admit that she was one of those people for whom angles make all the difference. In side-profile she was stunning; head-on, not so much, but she was still attractive. From whatever angle, she was certainly a lot better-looking than Katherine Mansfield.

    And I know the paintings, especially in Austen’s case, may not be the truest representations, but I think it would be generous to rank her and Mary Shelley as average, let alone above average.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Virginia and sister Vanessa Wolfe were very pretty. But all their photos were so posed and artsy it’s hard to tell what they really looked like. They had the basics, good proportioned faces nice noses big eyes,
    , @Anon
    During her life time Austen was described as brown hair and eyes tall and middling pretty.
  122. @syonredux
    Willa Cather, though.....Far too manish.....Still, a great writer, the definitive novelist of the American West....


    http://nlcatp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/32-Remarkable-Willa-Cather-Quotes.jpg

    This is a typical but extreme version of the look for these top women writers: intelligent eyes, good symmetry, but mannish.

    Alice Munro was cute when young, but wore unflattering clothes and hairstyles.

  123. @Roderick Spode
    Here it comes: it's likely that truly great authors of both sexes are generally average to below average in appearance. (commentariat groans)

    I'd go further and say that artistic excellence may have as its base the sense of being a failed organism, and yeah I know looks are less important in males; nonetheless...

    Noteable examples: the kissless virgin dwarf, Alex Pope, who certainly never got away with any locks of hair himself. Flaubert who, er, I won't go there. James Joyce, full stop. Baudelaire, who expressed what I'm trying to say in a poem: https://fleursdumal.org/poem/200

    Counterexamples exist obviously in the form of literary ladykillers: Byron, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, D'Annunzio, yada yada.

    Another question might be if homosexual members of the canon are as unfavored by nature as the straights (I'm referring to males as there is no question about the charisma of lesbian authoresses).

    There's a lot of suppressed rage toward beautiful young women to be found in the works of George Eliot, or so I'm told-- I must confess I've never read her.

    My tag comes from one of her pretty but shallow characters, so yeah: she was a woof-woof with an axe to grind. However, she was too good of a writer to leave it at that; Rosamond is the product of the kind of vapid “education” females from newly rich families were allowed to have. She’s doing exactly as she’s been taught.

  124. @syonredux
    Speaking of good-looking authors, the female members of my conservative study group think that Jack London was the bee's knees:


    https://mctuggle.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/jack-london.jpg

    I thought London was a communist? But maybe, it doesn’t show in most of his fiction.

    • Replies: @Anon
    London was an up the working class type.
  125. @J.Ross
    So Ursula K LeGuin (whose writing frequently showed a debt to her father's activities) was more of an Indian than Elizabeth Warren.

    An Indian Pudding is more of an Indian than Elizabeth Warren.

  126. @Steve Sailer
    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song "Killing an Arab" was still one of their biggest hits. They didn't play it in concert and generally weren't that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played "Killing an Arab" during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I've been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

    The videos I’ve seen of their early concerts are low on physical energy but the sound is as good as their studio recordings.

    That’s a concept we don’t have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    Elizabeth Warren, bleached-blonde
    American Indian princess, and later adding some kind of dye to make her grey hair look yellow or blonde.

    To Mr. Unz.
    I complain again about Cloudflare (or more precisely, the site's Cloudflare settings).

    This month, I was hitting my data limit faster than ever, already, today. This was not because I was to post on this site more than before, or to post big files elsewhere, just because Cloudflares bulshit. I was even taking care to use Wi-Fi whenever possible, but because Cloudflare's 'just a moment' routine (ho, ho, HAL in 2001) sucks, it eats the data allowance while serving nothing.

    As I was saying in an earlier post, the Cloudflare people claim that it is customer-side settings.
    I can never even check my posts for replies, it also loses my point in any thread.
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    Or the reverse. The Ramones' live performances had an energy no studio could capture.
    , @Peterike
    “That’s a concept we don’t have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.”

    Fidelity.
  127. @syonredux

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric.
     
    Linguistic bias. It's a common tendency. In order to avoid it in his Human Accomplishment, Murray made a point of ranking authors according to how highly they were regarded outside their native languages.

    and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher).
     
    Bloom's top 26:


    William Shakespeare
    Dante Alighieri
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Miguel de Cervantes
    Michel de Montaigne
    Molière
    John Milton
    Samuel Johnson
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    William Wordsworth
    Jane Austen
    Walt Whitman
    Emily Dickinson
    Charles Dickens
    George Eliot
    Leo Tolstoy
    Henrik Ibsen
    Sigmund Freud
    Marcel Proust
    James Joyce
    Virginia Woolf
    Franz Kafka
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Pablo Neruda
    Fernando Pessoa
    Samuel Beckett

    I could agree with a small part of that list, but it is an expression of dull orthodox thought.

    Why Moliere and not Celine?

    Given no other eastern European writers, why Tolstoy, where is Dostoievsky?

    Why Freud and not Jung?

    The list is full of dull received opinions, I would advise anybody to ignore it, although a few are, depending on personal temperament, worth reading, and have read most of most.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    I could agree with a small part of that list, but it is an expression of dull orthodox thought.
     
    Dunno if I would phrase it that way. Bloom has strong opinions.

    Given no other eastern European writers, why Tolstoy, where is Dostoievsky?
     
    Real reason? Bloom doesn't much like Dostoevsky.
    , @syonredux
    If you want to see him discuss Dostoevsky, you could always try his Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds. It's a tad wacky (Bloom organizes the book along Kabbalistic lines), but it's worth reading:



    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446691291/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i11
  128. @Roderick Spode
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/126/826/449.jpg

    He was most famous in his old age after decades of chain smoking and working long hours in stimulent drugs.

    He was always below average in looks but not notably ugly when younger.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Hideous hideous and he just exudes that I am a superior commie snob intellectual aura. I wouldn’t touch him with a 20 ft pole.
  129. @Buffalo Joe
    song, did Mona Lisa publish anything?

    All I’m saying is that a lot of the below average, lived in the age of photography. Not necessarily while young, but close enough to test the idea.

    Plus, I have a bias against Austen. I like her portrait though – I’d put it on the wall.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    songbird, and what I'm implying is that Mona Lisa was famous for being the subject of a portrait.
  130. @Alec Leamas
    My mother remarked a while back that no one has "noses" anymore. We're of Irish extraction but she was referring to Italian American girls and the like among whom you would find pronounced noses (at least in large East Coast cities).

    This could be explained by cosmetic surgery, and perhaps a willingness on the part of surgeons to intervene with younger children.

    But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past. There's a certain evening out of pronounced features when, say, an Italian and a Pole have a child. I used that example because Maria Bello comes to mind - she has a Polish mother and Italian father.

    I agree big Jewish and Italian noses seem recessive, and very rare in mix breeds.

    NYC Ashkenazi definitely get nose jobs for their daughters between HS and college sometimes.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    I never could stand pug noses. I much prefer a strong nose bridge:


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a6/a9/e1/a6a9e1e90c2bd64a49998e5d8c371214.jpg

    https://images5.alphacoders.com/323/323879.jpg

    http://www.miltonagency.com/clients/WalkerToniAnn/images/35.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JbGjMc0SnXg/UInbwc3FvSI/AAAAAAAAbDc/ng8iZoX0uo0/s1600/ursula_andress-quotes.jpg
  131. @syonredux

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric.
     
    Linguistic bias. It's a common tendency. In order to avoid it in his Human Accomplishment, Murray made a point of ranking authors according to how highly they were regarded outside their native languages.

    and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher).
     
    Bloom's top 26:


    William Shakespeare
    Dante Alighieri
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Miguel de Cervantes
    Michel de Montaigne
    Molière
    John Milton
    Samuel Johnson
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    William Wordsworth
    Jane Austen
    Walt Whitman
    Emily Dickinson
    Charles Dickens
    George Eliot
    Leo Tolstoy
    Henrik Ibsen
    Sigmund Freud
    Marcel Proust
    James Joyce
    Virginia Woolf
    Franz Kafka
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Pablo Neruda
    Fernando Pessoa
    Samuel Beckett

    Nope, you didn’t read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Nope, you didn’t read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.
     
    "Top" was ill-chosen."Central" might have been better. And I did read the book; I picked up a copy at a library sale (One dollar for a bag of books) some years back.As I recall, Bloom tries to select key figures from the canons of various nations: Russia (Tolstoy), USA (Whitman and Dickinson), Italy (Dante), etc. And the whole thing (if memory serves) is structured along Vico's theory of cultural epochs....
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    Oh yes, these are his top authors. I've read 10 + Bloom's books & he constantly harps on these authors: Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dante, Milton, Whitman, Tolstoy, Montaigne, Kafka, Freud, Samuel Johnson, Whitman, Dickens, Dickinson ... George Eliot is lavishly praised for her philo-Semitism. Nathanael West is also his favorite.

    His fave authors not listed among those "narrowly canonical" are Swift, Richardson, Hart Crane & Wallace Stevens. Orwell, Camus, Garcia Marquez, ...in his view overrated. O'Connor almost great, but her Catholicism annoys him. He openly hates Celine & especially P. Wyndham Lewis.

    Basically, he doesn't understand German philosophical novel, so unenthusiastically admits greatness of Musil, but avoids Hermann Broch like a pest.

    He grudgingly admits Dostoevsky's greatness, but always finds a way to marginalize him (bad antisemite, bad). For instance, Bloom compiled a book of criticism on Tolstoy where he took a chapter from Steiner's work "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky'", but somehow "forgot" to include parts from Steiner where Steiner openly expresses the view that Dostoevsky is deeper & more significant writer than Tolstoy (or at least, more relevant).

    And so and so ...

  132. “As for Sontag & Susann- Jewesses, generally, don’t age well.”

    And in Sontag’s case, she didn’t die well, either. The woman who proclaimed, “The white race is the cancer of human history” died an ugly, agonizing and fearful death from cancer.

  133. Jackie Collins was a pretty decent looking novelist, and although she did not always impress literary critics, she sold over 500 million books with seminal texts on animal husbandry such as The Stud and The Bitch.

    African American author Ponderosa also had success with similar themes.

    • Replies: @Jasper Been
    If you haven’t seen it, the back and forth between Omarosa and Wendy Williams on the latters TV talk show, when this book came out, was hilarious - blatantly catty!
    , @dfordoom

    Jackie Collins was a pretty decent looking novelist, and although she did not always impress literary critics, she sold over 500 million books with seminal texts on animal husbandry such as The Stud and The Bitch.
     
    Do you it's possible that the more overtly literary the writer the uglier they tend to be?
  134. @Lot
    I agree big Jewish and Italian noses seem recessive, and very rare in mix breeds.

    NYC Ashkenazi definitely get nose jobs for their daughters between HS and college sometimes.

    I never could stand pug noses. I much prefer a strong nose bridge:

    • Replies: @Lot
    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.

    Where nose jobs result in an improvement are on women with small delicate features otherwise.

    Seems like an expensive and needless risk even when it works however.

    http://www.best-rhinoplasty.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Nose-Job-Patient-Before-and-After.jpg
    , @Lot
    Wait didn't you say you were gay a long time ago?

    Sorry if I remembered wrong!
  135. @Kylie
    "The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn’t even know they were missing."

    If you have not read Willa Cather's My Ántonia, you don't know what you are missing.

    Sorry, but I won’t do it. I don’t care for the dreary western motif. Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    "Sorry, but I won’t do it. I don’t care for the dreary western motif."

    Agreed. But there's nothing dreary about Cather's novel.

    "Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning."

    I used to think that. Then I read Cather's novel. Reading it remains for me one of the loveliest, most lyrical experiences of my life.
  136. @Lot
    The videos I've seen of their early concerts are low on physical energy but the sound is as good as their studio recordings.

    That's a concept we don't have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.

    Elizabeth Warren, bleached-blonde
    American Indian princess, and later adding some kind of dye to make her grey hair look yellow or blonde.

    To Mr. Unz.
    I complain again about Cloudflare (or more precisely, the site’s Cloudflare settings).

    This month, I was hitting my data limit faster than ever, already, today. This was not because I was to post on this site more than before, or to post big files elsewhere, just because Cloudflares bulshit. I was even taking care to use Wi-Fi whenever possible, but because Cloudflare’s ‘just a moment’ routine (ho, ho, HAL in 2001) sucks, it eats the data allowance while serving nothing.

    As I was saying in an earlier post, the Cloudflare people claim that it is customer-side settings.
    I can never even check my posts for replies, it also loses my point in any thread.

  137. @Bardon Kaldian
    Austen (temperamentally, for me not an interesting author) was plain Jane. I completely subscribe to Charlotte Bronte's assessment:

    Anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré or extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy, in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood … What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death–this Miss Austen ignores.
     
    But, back to looks. We cannot judge by old paintings. Paul Johnson, in his "Creators", was explicit about her "plainness".
    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41UrbLEJRCL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.
     
    Photos. Camera loved her.

    But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive.
     
    Absolutely. Teutonic fatties have been replaced, at least in theory, by more Mediterranean type of beauty.

    Rubens

    https://imgc.artprintimages.com/img/print/the-three-graces-c-1635_u-l-ptq8ya0.jpg?h=900&w=900

    Goya

    https://uploads6.wikiart.org/images/francisco-goya/francisca-sabasa-y-garcia-1808.jpg

    And Mary McCarthy was a far better writer than usually given credit for. Her novel "The Group" is, in my opinion, brilliant & caustic, far beyond a satire. It is, for a discernible reader, even misogynist. All her women are, essentially, bitches. There is no broad sympathy & empathy for fair sex one finds in Turgenev or Chekhov, let alone Lawrence in his great two novels (not his "controversial" over-rated last fiction).

    The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood …

    Oh please. The woman who created Willoughby, Wickham, the Crawfords, William Elliot, and the people whose lives they casually destroy or nearly destroy knew about passion; she had learned to distrust it when unaccompanied by anything else.

    She also understood the powerful negative emotions of malice and greed displayed by characters such as Mrs. Norris, Fanny Dashwood, and Lucy Steele, and the even more powerful desire to throttle them other characters must suppress.

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn’t been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor’s emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele’s marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

    I love the Brontes, but their message isn’t all that different, although their method is. Jane Eyre and Lucy Snow both learn to control their emotions, and Catherine Earnshaw falls apart because she can’t or won’t.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn’t been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor’s emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele’s marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

     

    We Calvinists just rewatched this series, and that moment is portrayed wonderfully by Hattie Morahan. Later on she also takes a big acting risk at the point at which she discovers Edward is unmarried and has come for her. She turns from Edward and rushes back into the kitchen, instinctively taking refuge from the power of her emotions by trying to resume the breadmaking she was doing before Edward arrives. It's as if she resorts to the 'muscle memory' built up by years of suppressing her inner life under a carapace of household/family utility, then finally relents and turns to Edward, giving this crucial scene a raw, unartificed immediacy.

    In Ang Lee's 1995 adaptation, Emma Thompson plays the scene more conventionally, just turning away from Edward and bursting into heaving sobs. It's good, but not as memorable or moving as Morahan's interpretation.
  138. @Alec Leamas
    My mother remarked a while back that no one has "noses" anymore. We're of Irish extraction but she was referring to Italian American girls and the like among whom you would find pronounced noses (at least in large East Coast cities).

    This could be explained by cosmetic surgery, and perhaps a willingness on the part of surgeons to intervene with younger children.

    But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past. There's a certain evening out of pronounced features when, say, an Italian and a Pole have a child. I used that example because Maria Bello comes to mind - she has a Polish mother and Italian father.

    Koreans are obsessed with their noses:

    https://www.seoultouchup.com/rhinoplasty-korea-nose-surgery/

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    They are, but the most rhinoplasty per capita is among Persians.

    https://www.drsajjadian.com/am-i-a-good-candidate-for-persian-rhinoplasty/
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    They're obsessed with everything...

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a5/f0/5d/a5f05d6c4be5f1bda4b97f5e432d36d2.jpg

    http://www.sickchirpse.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Shapeshifter.jpg

    https://www.factor001.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/korean-plastic-surgery-before-an.jpg
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    They're obsessed with everything...

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a5/f0/5d/a5f05d6c4be5f1bda4b97f5e432d36d2.jpg

    http://www.sickchirpse.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Shapeshifter.jpg

    https://www.factor001.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/korean-plastic-surgery-before-an.jpg
  139. @Lot
    The videos I've seen of their early concerts are low on physical energy but the sound is as good as their studio recordings.

    That's a concept we don't have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.

    Or the reverse. The Ramones’ live performances had an energy no studio could capture.

  140. I am surprised to see Jane Austen listed among the more presentable novelists.

    She did not make much of an impression on the eligible young men of her youth, and the existing pictures, mostly of dubious validity, do not suggest a hottie.

    Howver, the strongest evidence is that most of her novels are written in the form of revenge comedies in which the quick-witted lass with common sense and decent morals, after being initially spurned, uses her wits, not her tits, to snatch wealthy hunks like Darcy and Knightley from the jaws of predatory rivals and carries them off to her lair for a night of witty banter.

    Austen unfortunately died–probably of Addison’s disease–before she could complete her 7th novel, tentatively titled ‘Sanditon’. With hindsight and a better agent, she might have entitled Pride and Prejudice “The Stud” and Emma “The Bitch.”

    In her novels “making love to” someone does not mean what you thought it meant, and when a girl is “knocked up”, it merely means she is given an early morning call, so it is all a bit tame. In Jackie Collins novels, on the other hand, a spade is called a spade.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Conventional opinion is that Jane and Cassandra couldn’t get married because their parents couldn’t afford dowries for them. Relatives helped the Austen brothers get started in life but no one offered or could offer a few hundred pounds for the girls dowries. Some say the short Lefroy engagement was broken because his parents didn’t want a dowry less daughter in law.

    P & P is a novel about girls without dowries. Jane and Lizzie luck out. Charlotte Mary and Lydia settle for undesirable husbands. Charlotte can hardly bear to be in the same room with her husband Mr Collins
  141. @Twinkie

    Going by porn, nursing or teaching.
     
    Porn is not real life!

    I suspect it’s a class marker, but I see a lot more overweight female nurses than I see fat female doctors these days.

    Maybe I just had bad luck, but I never met a single pretty female teacher in my life. And almost all of them had giant chips on their shoulders about their social status, whereas I had a few male teachers who were passionate about teaching and genuinely loved their subjects.

    Here’s to you, Dr. Irgang! (My high school history teacher who reinforced my love of the subject.)

    We had some young and pretty teachers in elementary school, but not in Jr. High or High School. Also, those young, pretty teachers were either married or engaged, though they still had that giant chip on the shoulder about status–what is it about that? The older teachers, the ones with perms and sensible shoes, didn’t have it. They were also better teachers, even if they weren’t as well-liked because they couldn’t care less if you were having fun.

  142. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    Women attorneys tend to be above average in appearance. Women teachers average to below. Women college teachers and college employees hideous. Just my opinion after much observation.

    What say you Jack D?

  143. @Steve Sailer
    Camus, however ...

    Camus crashed and burned with the #MeToo movement after having ridden the football groupie wave.

    “Sign my shirt, Al?”

    “Certainement, ma poulette!”

    https://www.philosophyfootball.com/philosophers/-albert-camus.html

  144. @jim jones
    Koreans are obsessed with their noses:

    https://www.seoultouchup.com/rhinoplasty-korea-nose-surgery/

    They are, but the most rhinoplasty per capita is among Persians.

    https://www.drsajjadian.com/am-i-a-good-candidate-for-persian-rhinoplasty/

  145. @Thursday
    Nope, you didn't read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.

    Nope, you didn’t read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.

    “Top” was ill-chosen.”Central” might have been better. And I did read the book; I picked up a copy at a library sale (One dollar for a bag of books) some years back.As I recall, Bloom tries to select key figures from the canons of various nations: Russia (Tolstoy), USA (Whitman and Dickinson), Italy (Dante), etc. And the whole thing (if memory serves) is structured along Vico’s theory of cultural epochs….

    • Replies: @Thursday
    This is just spin now, sorry.
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    Yes, and Shakespeare is God. Essentially, he confused three things: historical importance, contemporary "national weight" & current sensibility.

    Petrarch, for instance, is the most influential lyric poet in past 600 years- and he's not there. Wordsworth may be the crucial English language poet who inaugurated modern poetic sensibility- but, as far as Romanticism goes, Wordsworth is a non-entity, Romanticism being a change in sensibility that swept England, France, Italy, Russia, Poland, Germany,....in different times & from different sources.

    Orwell said that novel was a form that reached its "canonical" peak in France & Russia in the 19th C. I tend to agree, but this means that Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Zola, Dostoevsky, even Gogol & Goncharov are more likely to be "canonized" than Austen or Eliot.

    Why no Italian author after Dante, and not a single German "Aryan" author except Goethe?

    Too subjective....
  146. @Che Guava
    I could agree with a small part of that list, but it is an expression of dull orthodox thought.

    Why Moliere and not Celine?

    Given no other eastern European writers, why Tolstoy, where is Dostoievsky?

    Why Freud and not Jung?

    The list is full of dull received opinions, I would advise anybody to ignore it, although a few are, depending on personal temperament, worth reading, and have read most of most.

    I could agree with a small part of that list, but it is an expression of dull orthodox thought.

    Dunno if I would phrase it that way. Bloom has strong opinions.

    Given no other eastern European writers, why Tolstoy, where is Dostoievsky?

    Real reason? Bloom doesn’t much like Dostoevsky.

  147. @syonredux

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric.
     
    Linguistic bias. It's a common tendency. In order to avoid it in his Human Accomplishment, Murray made a point of ranking authors according to how highly they were regarded outside their native languages.

    and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher).
     
    Bloom's top 26:


    William Shakespeare
    Dante Alighieri
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Miguel de Cervantes
    Michel de Montaigne
    Molière
    John Milton
    Samuel Johnson
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    William Wordsworth
    Jane Austen
    Walt Whitman
    Emily Dickinson
    Charles Dickens
    George Eliot
    Leo Tolstoy
    Henrik Ibsen
    Sigmund Freud
    Marcel Proust
    James Joyce
    Virginia Woolf
    Franz Kafka
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Pablo Neruda
    Fernando Pessoa
    Samuel Beckett

    I know, I’ve read WC 2-3 times. It has many, many good stuff in it. But, Bloom’s weaknesses are sometimes laughable. Just a few rambling associations….

    * Bloom’s”theory” is that Shakespeare’s characters change because they overhear themselves. Actually, this is a dramatic device, not necessary for, say, novels. Of course that Shakespeare’s characters are more vivid & memorable than most of his predecessors’, but this has nothing to do with this purely technical artifice. And his Bardolatry is absurd – even when writing on Kafka, he has to mention Shake as a creator of “shamanic cosmos”.

    * he is right in his claim that Conrad was central formative influence on Faulkner & Fitzgerald, but re Hemingway- wrong

    * he wrote on Milton basically “overhearing” himself about Shakespeare. Nothing new.

    * he got it right that the ending of Goethe’s “Faust” is “cultural appropriation” of Dante & Catholic mythology, but in a creative way. Kudos for that.

    * his chapters on Dickinson & Dickens & Eliot are his personal projections. Not much insight.

    * his Whitman is good, but Bloom, a dedicated scholar of Gnosis, was unable to decipher Whitman’s psychic cartography & spiritual world-view. He got all mixed up (self, soul, myself,….)

    * we are constantly reminded that T.S. Eliot was antisemitic. My goodness, how shocking ….

    * his Tolstoy is good, but the heroism theme is overworked

    * Freud is, according to Bloom, prosified Shakespeare who got all his ideas from Shake. This is obscurantist nonsense. Schopenhauer aside, Freud’s main influence was his work with Charcot & Pierre Janet (hypnotherapy & early personality theories). Freud, although a highly literate & cultured man, thought of himself as Darwin of the mind, a scientist, and his edifice (now crumbling) was built on a mixture of practice & psychological/philosophical paradigms, not a literature.

    * a part on Proust is great in clearing away now dominant & annoying gay & Jewish obsessions

    * Woolf is “feminism as the love of reading”. Que?

    * Kafka is given spiritual authority & then we are left wondering where this authority lies. Bloom quotes some Kafka’s quasi-gnostic aphorisms as the pinnacle of spiritual insight. Why not quote Heraclitus, Marcus Aurelius…. Karl Kraus. Nietzsche’s “Zarathustra” is a disaster, but Kafka is greater than, say, Mann or Faulkner because of- aphorisms & a few short stories (his novels suck).

    * Beckett is so overpraised that whole chapter is basically a good joke.

    On balance, Bloom is right in his denunciation of Derrida & Foucault & “School of Resentment”, but he could have written a much more insightful survey.

  148. @syonredux
    I never could stand pug noses. I much prefer a strong nose bridge:


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a6/a9/e1/a6a9e1e90c2bd64a49998e5d8c371214.jpg

    https://images5.alphacoders.com/323/323879.jpg

    http://www.miltonagency.com/clients/WalkerToniAnn/images/35.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JbGjMc0SnXg/UInbwc3FvSI/AAAAAAAAbDc/ng8iZoX0uo0/s1600/ursula_andress-quotes.jpg

    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.

    Where nose jobs result in an improvement are on women with small delicate features otherwise.

    Seems like an expensive and needless risk even when it works however.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.
     
    A pug nose ruins a face. The Irish curse....
    , @Jack D
    I don't know what the stats are, but my impression is that nose jobs have gone out of fashion as "ethnic" looks have become more acceptable and the ideal is no longer to look Anglo-Saxon. In my generation, rhinoplasty was sort of a rite of passage for Jewish girls that was almost as common as orthodonture, while I don't know any of my daughter's friends who got one.

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started - if you can tell that they've had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn't worth it.
    , @Kratoklastes
    That's a very good nose job - hopefully the maniacal stare is just an unfortunate trick of the light: if that's the default face this lady presents to the world, I would cross the street the first time we made eye contact.

    Jesus wept - look at us... behaving like 9th graders. What's next? A thread about The Bachelorette?
  149. @Che Guava
    I could agree with a small part of that list, but it is an expression of dull orthodox thought.

    Why Moliere and not Celine?

    Given no other eastern European writers, why Tolstoy, where is Dostoievsky?

    Why Freud and not Jung?

    The list is full of dull received opinions, I would advise anybody to ignore it, although a few are, depending on personal temperament, worth reading, and have read most of most.

    If you want to see him discuss Dostoevsky, you could always try his Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds. It’s a tad wacky (Bloom organizes the book along Kabbalistic lines), but it’s worth reading:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446691291/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i11

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Here: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=D3870BDEA622313DBAD726F04EECBF40
  150. … but they tend not to be CURVY …

  151. @Lot
    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.

    Where nose jobs result in an improvement are on women with small delicate features otherwise.

    Seems like an expensive and needless risk even when it works however.

    http://www.best-rhinoplasty.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Nose-Job-Patient-Before-and-After.jpg

    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.

    A pug nose ruins a face. The Irish curse….

  152. @Captain Tripps
    That early photo of her (according to Google, early 1950s, which would be her early 20s) is not very flattering. The Prince Valiant haircut even looked terrible on Prince Valiant. Anyone who copied it only made it worse.

    https://pictures.abebooks.com/PRINTMATTERS/1169377503.jpg

    People here seem to be judging the young Le Guin by her hair, not looking hard at the actual face. Even when older, it’s clear that it was highly symmetrical.

    That said, the hair is bad.

  153. @syonredux

    Bloom’s WC has some non-negligible eccentricities & idiosyncracies (also, a Jewish bias). In my opinion, it is too Anglo-centric.
     
    Linguistic bias. It's a common tendency. In order to avoid it in his Human Accomplishment, Murray made a point of ranking authors according to how highly they were regarded outside their native languages.

    and not Boccaccio, Petrarch, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche (as a poet-philosopher).
     
    Bloom's top 26:


    William Shakespeare
    Dante Alighieri
    Geoffrey Chaucer
    Miguel de Cervantes
    Michel de Montaigne
    Molière
    John Milton
    Samuel Johnson
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    William Wordsworth
    Jane Austen
    Walt Whitman
    Emily Dickinson
    Charles Dickens
    George Eliot
    Leo Tolstoy
    Henrik Ibsen
    Sigmund Freud
    Marcel Proust
    James Joyce
    Virginia Woolf
    Franz Kafka
    Jorge Luis Borges
    Pablo Neruda
    Fernando Pessoa
    Samuel Beckett

    Bloom left out Henry Williamson.

  154. @syonredux

    Nope, you didn’t read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.
     
    "Top" was ill-chosen."Central" might have been better. And I did read the book; I picked up a copy at a library sale (One dollar for a bag of books) some years back.As I recall, Bloom tries to select key figures from the canons of various nations: Russia (Tolstoy), USA (Whitman and Dickinson), Italy (Dante), etc. And the whole thing (if memory serves) is structured along Vico's theory of cultural epochs....

    This is just spin now, sorry.

  155. @Roderick Spode
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/126/826/449.jpg

    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    He had a very intellectually iconic face. And that eye gave him accent. Not a looker but a look.

    Lots of pretty faces are ‘boring’ while some less handsome(or even ugly) faces are memorable and striking in some way.

    Many actors were more handsome than Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn but Bronson and Quinn had great movie faces. One look and you never forget.

    Barry Keoghan certainly isn’t a looker but he has a cinematic face.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Barry+Keoghan&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjeiqWXtqrgAhVEMqwKHWe5CysQ_AUIDigB&biw=1440&bih=758

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Many actors were more handsome than Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn but Bronson and Quinn had great movie faces. One look and you never forget.
     
    They had charisma. Much more important to an actor than good looks.

    Humphrey Bogart is a textbook example.

    If you look at the really successful movie stars who were handsome you'll find that they had charisma as well (from Cary Grant to Mel Gibson).

    Actresses could have it as well. If they were ugly but had charisma they'd never be leading ladies but could carve out solid careers as character actresses.
  156. @MikeatMikedotMike
    Anne Rice = average.

    How about Margaret Mitchell?

    Maybe a lot of these writers need a reviewing. Lots of Anglo-American names.

    https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~immer/books1920s

    The Iron Woman!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Iron_Woman_(novel)

  157. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average."

    What tends to be unnoticed (and unmentioned) today is that there is a distinctive "look" to poverty and wealth. The top 1-5% of the wealthy as well as the bottom 1-5% of the poor have a distinctive look to them. Generally speaking, the poorer one is, the harder the life one has, and those inner struggles (e.g. stress) which affect the inside will also manifest on the outside and on the person's appearance.

    Controlling of course for Hollywood stars, generally speaking, one can tell which class one comes from by their appearance as it is written all over their faces.

    What tends to be unnoticed (and unmentioned) today is that there is a distinctive “look” to poverty and wealth. The top 1-5% of the wealthy as well as the bottom 1-5% of the poor have a distinctive look to them. Generally speaking, the poorer one is, the harder the life one has, and those inner struggles (e.g. stress) which affect the inside will also manifest on the outside and on the person’s appearance.

    This, of course, is true.

  158. I found something of a looker:

    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1440&bih=758&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=TpNcXO7-B46GsQWjj4aABQ&q=Emily+Post+author&oq=Emily+Post+author&gs_l=img.12..0i24.20315.20315..21326…0.0..0.76.76.1……1….2j1..gws-wiz-img.XQdotw4z3Ho#imgrc=rRiyTvEz4iMNRM:

  159. @jim jones
    Koreans are obsessed with their noses:

    https://www.seoultouchup.com/rhinoplasty-korea-nose-surgery/

    They’re obsessed with everything…

  160. @Captain Tripps
    That early photo of her (according to Google, early 1950s, which would be her early 20s) is not very flattering. The Prince Valiant haircut even looked terrible on Prince Valiant. Anyone who copied it only made it worse.

    https://pictures.abebooks.com/PRINTMATTERS/1169377503.jpg

    OK, so the first photo is then Ursula in her absolute nubile prime.

    I loved Prince Valiant when I was a kid, btw. Ursula … hmmm. (looks away)

  161. @jim jones
    Koreans are obsessed with their noses:

    https://www.seoultouchup.com/rhinoplasty-korea-nose-surgery/

    They’re obsessed with everything…

  162. First of all, I’d like to say that this whole question is what gives non-feminist men a bad name. Who CARES what the female (or male) novelists of the past looked like? In most cases, I have no damn idea – sometimes you see a little book jacket picture and often none. The important thing about them is their ideas, not whether they were hot or not.

    As for female lawyers, a lot of what we call female beauty is just artifice – skillful application of makeup and hair care and good clothes. There are some women lawyers who are serious people who choose to concentrate on their career and so don’t spend a lot of time in the beauty parlor or the makeup aisle, which they regard as frivolous, with the result that you would expect. There are others that realize that feminine charms can be used as an asset that gives them an advantage over male lawyers and that type looks a little better.

    I think that there is a selection effect in that the women who are really beautiful realize earlier in life that they have better ways of making a living than going to law school. A few become actresses or models but the most obvious career choice is to marry a really rich guy. So almost all of the 8’s, 9’s and 10’s are winnowed out before law school.

    There is also a question of compound probability – the % people who are very intelligent is low. The % of people who are very beautiful is also low. So the # of people who are BOTH intelligent and beautiful is very very low . Put it this way – the lawyers you see on any TV show depicting lawyers are MUCH better looking than any real life group of lawyers I have ever seen.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Don't spoil our Neanderthal fun.....
  163. @Steve Sailer
    I saw The Cure about 1981 when the Camus song "Killing an Arab" was still one of their biggest hits. They didn't play it in concert and generally weren't that good. It was possibly the 7/27/81 show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, although this says they played "Killing an Arab" during the encore:

    http://www.cure-concerts.de/concerts/1981-07-27.php

    I usually have a good memory for concerts I've been to, but I barely remember that show. It kind of seems like a rather dull dream: Oh, yeah, I saw The Cure.

    Half a decade later they were terrific.

    The Cure for Insomnia.

  164. @Steve Sailer
    Most book readers these days are women so Austen, George Eliot, Woolf are huge.

    Keep in mind that Jane Austen's reputation was kept alive by her male successors like Dickens and Henry James.

    The key to writing an eternal classic is to make it assigned reading at the universities.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Assigned writing in high school, however, makes it even better for your descendants financial welfare. F. Scott Fitzgerald's granddaughter finally stopped getting her "Great Gatsby" check only a couple of years ago.
  165. @Thursday
    Nope, you didn't read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.

    Oh yes, these are his top authors. I’ve read 10 + Bloom’s books & he constantly harps on these authors: Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dante, Milton, Whitman, Tolstoy, Montaigne, Kafka, Freud, Samuel Johnson, Whitman, Dickens, Dickinson … George Eliot is lavishly praised for her philo-Semitism. Nathanael West is also his favorite.

    His fave authors not listed among those “narrowly canonical” are Swift, Richardson, Hart Crane & Wallace Stevens. Orwell, Camus, Garcia Marquez, …in his view overrated. O’Connor almost great, but her Catholicism annoys him. He openly hates Celine & especially P. Wyndham Lewis.

    Basically, he doesn’t understand German philosophical novel, so unenthusiastically admits greatness of Musil, but avoids Hermann Broch like a pest.

    He grudgingly admits Dostoevsky’s greatness, but always finds a way to marginalize him (bad antisemite, bad). For instance, Bloom compiled a book of criticism on Tolstoy where he took a chapter from Steiner’s work “Tolstoy or Dostoevsky’”, but somehow “forgot” to include parts from Steiner where Steiner openly expresses the view that Dostoevsky is deeper & more significant writer than Tolstoy (or at least, more relevant).

    And so and so …

    • Replies: @Thursday
    No, this is blatantly false to anyone who has read Bloom with any attention. Those are (often) the authors that interest him personally and which he uses to make his points. But he explicitly says that there are better writers. He's not an Orwell guy and he doesn't think much of Camus.

    Generally, you're exposing yourself as someone who doesn't read with much attention.
  166. @Lot
    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.

    Where nose jobs result in an improvement are on women with small delicate features otherwise.

    Seems like an expensive and needless risk even when it works however.

    http://www.best-rhinoplasty.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Nose-Job-Patient-Before-and-After.jpg

    I don’t know what the stats are, but my impression is that nose jobs have gone out of fashion as “ethnic” looks have become more acceptable and the ideal is no longer to look Anglo-Saxon. In my generation, rhinoplasty was sort of a rite of passage for Jewish girls that was almost as common as orthodonture, while I don’t know any of my daughter’s friends who got one.

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started – if you can tell that they’ve had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn’t worth it.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started – if you can tell that they’ve had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn’t worth it.
     
    My impression too. If you see a woman whose nose does not quite fit on her face, it is not a good look. A cropped nose reminds me of a dog with a docked tail, or cropped ears. A kind of mutilation.

    I also find it disconcerting when I see so many politicians and journalists on TV with fake hair that does not properly match the age of their face. It does not bother me so much with women, but with men, yes.

    To some extent the same is true of teeth, though expensive dentists seem to have a better knack of making them look natural.

    Weird teeth. I could not stop looking at them in The Greatest Showman.

    http://celebritytoob.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/173664231.jpg

    , @AnotherGuessModel

    In my generation, rhinoplasty was sort of a rite of passage for Jewish girls that was almost as common as orthodonture, while I don’t know any of my daughter’s friends who got one.
     
    I highly doubt that, you just can't tell because the changes are more subtle nowadays. Surgeons usually don't drastically change the shape of the nose anymore, like turn a Roman nose into an upturned button nose. Trust me, rhinoplasties are extremely common, and now include temporary ones, where the bridge is softened with an injectable like botox.
  167. @syonredux
    If you want to see him discuss Dostoevsky, you could always try his Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds. It's a tad wacky (Bloom organizes the book along Kabbalistic lines), but it's worth reading:



    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446691291/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i11
  168. @Jack D
    First of all, I'd like to say that this whole question is what gives non-feminist men a bad name. Who CARES what the female (or male) novelists of the past looked like? In most cases, I have no damn idea - sometimes you see a little book jacket picture and often none. The important thing about them is their ideas, not whether they were hot or not.

    As for female lawyers, a lot of what we call female beauty is just artifice - skillful application of makeup and hair care and good clothes. There are some women lawyers who are serious people who choose to concentrate on their career and so don't spend a lot of time in the beauty parlor or the makeup aisle, which they regard as frivolous, with the result that you would expect. There are others that realize that feminine charms can be used as an asset that gives them an advantage over male lawyers and that type looks a little better.

    I think that there is a selection effect in that the women who are really beautiful realize earlier in life that they have better ways of making a living than going to law school. A few become actresses or models but the most obvious career choice is to marry a really rich guy. So almost all of the 8's, 9's and 10's are winnowed out before law school.

    There is also a question of compound probability - the % people who are very intelligent is low. The % of people who are very beautiful is also low. So the # of people who are BOTH intelligent and beautiful is very very low . Put it this way - the lawyers you see on any TV show depicting lawyers are MUCH better looking than any real life group of lawyers I have ever seen.

    Don’t spoil our Neanderthal fun…..

  169. @stillCARealist
    Genocide is the wrong term. More like replacement, or "you need to get out of the way so we can use this place." Which is exactly what happened. You could say the same for the Mexicans, who were also not using CA resources well, or even doing any governing.

    When my pioneer relatives settled in Northern California in the 1860's, the stories they collected and handed down to us were not favorable to Indians. Worthless, filthy, thieving drunks was what they saw. The native life and perspective was never going to work in even that 19th century world. Now, of course, everyone realizes this and bows before their stupid casinos.

    The native life and perspective was never going to work in even that 19th century world. Now, of course, everyone realizes this and bows before their stupid casinos.

    Let’s say for sake of argument that the Europeans never found the Americas. And for the past 500 years the Americas were left alone from the outside world. If suddenly in 2019, the Americas were discovered, what are the chances that the rest of the world would just leave them alone? There is no way the rest of the world would allow a handful of hunter-gatherers to posses a resource rich place like North America. The Chinese, Indians, Arabs, etc., would all be trying to move in. They might not come and exterminate the natives. But they would soon demographically swamp them and take the land. Unless the tribes could militarily hold the land, there were doomed to lose it once the rest of the world found out about it.

    • Replies: @Jack D

    Unless the tribes could militarily hold the land, the[y] were doomed to lose it
     
    In the long run, this is true of everywhere on earth to some extent. But there is also "the revenge of the cradle" - if you conquer territory where the people are numerous and/or fertile (and you don't exterminate them all), you can rule for a while but in the end you will be swept away by the demographic tide. The more numerous tribesmen of Latin America did not disappear - their DNA lives on.
  170. @syonredux

    Nope, you didn’t read the book. These are not his top authors. He chose them to illustrate certain points he wanted to make.
     
    "Top" was ill-chosen."Central" might have been better. And I did read the book; I picked up a copy at a library sale (One dollar for a bag of books) some years back.As I recall, Bloom tries to select key figures from the canons of various nations: Russia (Tolstoy), USA (Whitman and Dickinson), Italy (Dante), etc. And the whole thing (if memory serves) is structured along Vico's theory of cultural epochs....

    Yes, and Shakespeare is God. Essentially, he confused three things: historical importance, contemporary “national weight” & current sensibility.

    Petrarch, for instance, is the most influential lyric poet in past 600 years- and he’s not there. Wordsworth may be the crucial English language poet who inaugurated modern poetic sensibility- but, as far as Romanticism goes, Wordsworth is a non-entity, Romanticism being a change in sensibility that swept England, France, Italy, Russia, Poland, Germany,….in different times & from different sources.

    Orwell said that novel was a form that reached its “canonical” peak in France & Russia in the 19th C. I tend to agree, but this means that Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Zola, Dostoevsky, even Gogol & Goncharov are more likely to be “canonized” than Austen or Eliot.

    Why no Italian author after Dante, and not a single German “Aryan” author except Goethe?

    Too subjective….

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Orwell said that novel was a form that reached its “canonical” peak in France & Russia in the 19th C. I tend to agree, but this means that Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Zola, Dostoevsky, even Gogol & Goncharov are more likely to be “canonized” than Austen or Eliot.
     
    Goncharov.....Probably not....He just doesn't seem to have much weight outside of Russia....


    Hugo.....Dunno....The French profs that I know do not hold his novels in high regard....And I can't see ranking him on the same level as Flaubert....

    Too subjective….
     
    That's what you are paying for when you read Bloom. You're not gonna get a textbook list of "Great Authors." You're gonna get Bloom on the "Great Authors." Rather reminds me of David Thomson (You're never going to hear him say a kind word about John Huston!)
  171. @Bardon Kaldian
    Agreed (except that Dickens didn't care about Austen). But, here Bloom had shot himself in the foot. He rages against PC feminism & "School of Resentment" & frequently (and annoyingly) insists on "aesthetic splendor" as his sole criterion. And then, he includes a few womyn (although very good writers), as if he's trying to say: Look, ladies, I'm not a patriarchal ogre. I'm on your side. For instance, he writes like this: ...whichever her or his sympathies (not .....his or her sympathies).

    In short, Bloom, while not a cuck, is a vulnerable man (I'm OK with that, but, man, for Chrissake, be consistent!)

    But, judging consistently along these criteria, Baudelaire is doubtless the most influential 19th C poet, and not Bloom's icon Dickinson. Austen & Eliot, while important, cannot simply sustain company of the most influential 19th C novelist, Flaubert.

    And no 19th C novelist is as great as Tolstoy & Dostoevsky, the greatest narrative fiction writers, the only supreme authors who can stand on the top with Dante, Shakespeare & 3-5 others. George Steiner had, in my opinion, argued this point conclusively:

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51GtIWixYAL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    “Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?”

    The question is absurd.

    Tolstoy was a silly old fool.

    Dostoevsky was not only the greatest of all novelists – he was the greatest of all possible novelists.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    I'm more conciliatory in this respect. I would agree with E.M.Forster & George Steiner that three greatest novelists were Tolstoy, Dostoevsky & Proust.

    Or we could contemplate the possibility that the greatest was Fyodor Nikolayevich Prustovsky, the author of "Anna Karamazov", "In Search of the Idiot" & "Crime & Peace"....
    , @Old Palo Altan
    "Tolstoy was a silly old fool".

    Maybe in real life, but not in his works.

    In other words, how is Anna Karenina the work of merely a silly old fool?
  172. @Steve Sailer
    Acne is much less common today due to Acutane. By the way, that's a pretty powerful drug that messes with hormones. I wouldn't be surprised if that has had some impact on social changes in recent decades.

    Accutane was a Godsend to me. I had horrendous acne in high school and Accutane cleared it up. (My face looked like something out of a horror movie and my back looked even worse.) Aside from severely chapped lips, I didn’t experience any drastic side effects.

    True story: One time, I lifted up my shirt on a dare, exposing an upper torso plastered with huge, festering boils. A girl screamed so loud that a passing teacher (a crotchety Jewish lady) assumed that I had exposed myself. I almost got in serious trouble over that one.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    I had a buddy in high school who had a similar problem - his acne actually discharged what looked like small pieces of raw meat.

    Given the natural cruelty of high-schoolers, it really didn't help that his last name was Acton: his nickname would have been 'Ackers' anyhow, but his condition made it worse.

    During mid-year holidays 1984, he got treated with something: no idea what it was - judging by the results I would venture it was Accutane (dunno if it existed back then).

    It was obvious when school came back that his problem was solved: the name-calling stopped in the first week back.

    By September (when school photos were taken) his complexion was no different to anyone else's.

    If it was Accutane, he didn't get any of the side effects commonly discussed (that's not surprising: adverse side effects have low probability, but high cost... they have high hazard, but not high risk).
  173. @Idiots
    This is seriously petty and stupid, a comment to appeal to the small minded male who can't think beyond his small penis.

    What does it matter what the author looks like as long as what she writes is good?

    Why don't you go rate the looks of the male authors?

    What a bunch of embarrassing losers. This is why #MeToo needs to happen.

    It’s seriously petty & stupid for you to think that it’s petty & stupid to be interested in people’s looks.

    I think it’s Wittgenstein who is supposed to have said: “when it’s uncomfortable – that’s when it’s most important.”

  174. @Intelligent Dasein

    That begs a question:
     
    Say it ain't so, Twinkie! A man of your Ivy League pedigree making that dilettante's mistake.

    It's raises a question, sir!

    Thank you for the edification.

    I will now commit Seppuku to reclaim my honor. Oops, can’t. I’m a Catholic.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    I thought you were Korean, not Japanese.
  175. @syonredux

    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?
     
    Benzedrine has never improved anyone's looks......Cf Auden.....



    https://media.snl.no/system/images/613/standard_auden_wystan_hugh.jpg

    Auden aptly likened his face to a fallen wedding cake.

  176. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    What’s the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus?

    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/lexus-vs-toyota

    From the standpoint of ‘80s nostalgia, the ‘retro-techno’ interior of the current Lexus IS series is great design. Hard lines with high quality silky matte surface finishes—no chrome or glossy plastic. The angled main console has push button ‘analog’ controls rather than a digital screen (which is tastefully recessed high on the dash, closer to safe driving view).

    The exterior is okay—a little flashy, but par for the course in the ‘aspirational’ sports sedan market.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Lot
    A current year luxury car without a big computer screen on the dash sounds pretty good.
    , @Trevor H.
    What's to be done about the butt-ugly grilles on the front of so many cars nowadays? Getting so it's hard to find a car without one. Also, I miss functional bumpers. Do these things mean I'm getting old?
  177. @syonredux
    I never could stand pug noses. I much prefer a strong nose bridge:


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a6/a9/e1/a6a9e1e90c2bd64a49998e5d8c371214.jpg

    https://images5.alphacoders.com/323/323879.jpg

    http://www.miltonagency.com/clients/WalkerToniAnn/images/35.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JbGjMc0SnXg/UInbwc3FvSI/AAAAAAAAbDc/ng8iZoX0uo0/s1600/ursula_andress-quotes.jpg

    Wait didn’t you say you were gay a long time ago?

    Sorry if I remembered wrong!

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Wait didn’t you say you were gay a long time ago?
     
    Only in an aesthetic sense.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3o_cM7feMA
    , @vinteuil
    No, I think that was me.

    But I'm honored to be mistaken for syonredux.
  178. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    What’s the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus?
     
    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/lexus-vs-toyota

    From the standpoint of ‘80s nostalgia, the ‘retro-techno’ interior of the current Lexus IS series is great design. Hard lines with high quality silky matte surface finishes—no chrome or glossy plastic. The angled main console has push button ‘analog’ controls rather than a digital screen (which is tastefully recessed high on the dash, closer to safe driving view).

    The exterior is okay—a little flashy, but par for the course in the ‘aspirational’ sports sedan market.

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/49-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/69-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/48-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/50-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    https://www.lexus.com/cm-img/visualizer/2019/is/300-f-sport/exterior/fsport-18-five-spoke/obsidian/large-2.jpg

    https://www.lexus.com/cm-img/visualizer/2019/is/300-f-sport/exterior/fsport-18-five-spoke/obsidian/large-3.jpg

    A current year luxury car without a big computer screen on the dash sounds pretty good.

  179. @songbird
    All I'm saying is that a lot of the below average, lived in the age of photography. Not necessarily while young, but close enough to test the idea.

    Plus, I have a bias against Austen. I like her portrait though - I'd put it on the wall.

    songbird, and what I’m implying is that Mona Lisa was famous for being the subject of a portrait.

  180. @vinteuil
    "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?"

    The question is absurd.

    Tolstoy was a silly old fool.

    Dostoevsky was not only the greatest of all novelists - he was the greatest of all possible novelists.

    I’m more conciliatory in this respect. I would agree with E.M.Forster & George Steiner that three greatest novelists were Tolstoy, Dostoevsky & Proust.

    Or we could contemplate the possibility that the greatest was Fyodor Nikolayevich Prustovsky, the author of “Anna Karamazov”, “In Search of the Idiot” & “Crime & Peace”….

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    You're so Russian.

    All sarcasm, all the time.
  181. @Jack D
    I don't know what the stats are, but my impression is that nose jobs have gone out of fashion as "ethnic" looks have become more acceptable and the ideal is no longer to look Anglo-Saxon. In my generation, rhinoplasty was sort of a rite of passage for Jewish girls that was almost as common as orthodonture, while I don't know any of my daughter's friends who got one.

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started - if you can tell that they've had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn't worth it.

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started – if you can tell that they’ve had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn’t worth it.

    My impression too. If you see a woman whose nose does not quite fit on her face, it is not a good look. A cropped nose reminds me of a dog with a docked tail, or cropped ears. A kind of mutilation.

    I also find it disconcerting when I see so many politicians and journalists on TV with fake hair that does not properly match the age of their face. It does not bother me so much with women, but with men, yes.

    To some extent the same is true of teeth, though expensive dentists seem to have a better knack of making them look natural.

    Weird teeth. I could not stop looking at them in The Greatest Showman.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    I'm with you 100% on the preternaturally-white teeth thing: if you ever have the misfortune of seeing the guy they call 'Dr Phil', it looks like he's wearing a brand-new 1980s mouthguard. Weird.

    As for the phenomenon of men putting coloured gunk in their hair like a bunch of women... that's gotta stop if we are to arrest civilisational decline. It's as bad as heel lifts, a gut truss, or sticking a rolled-up sock down your underpants to impress the lay-deeeez.

    In other words, men must deliberately and consistently 'call out' other men who betray our gender by ape-ing the shallow bullshit that (most) women think is 'normal' amongst themselves - i.e.,
    • fake hair,
    • facial makeup/fake eyelashes
    • 'filler' injections,
    • 'chicken fillets'/padded bra/boobjobs
    • 'control garments'
    • fake tan;
    • fake height (i.e., high heels)

    I admit a personal interest in this: The Lovely - being a trim 5'7", 51kg 46-year old never-smoker - looks about 25 with her normal professionally-orchestrated hair dye-job, lack of wrinkles and exceptional posture. (To her credit she never wears heels, only wears makeup (powder) to court, doesn't wear tit-padding or have fake tits, has never had botox or fillers, and eschews the sun and fake tan).

    But still: over the last 5 years, several wait-staff in cafés have assumed she's my daughter. I'm not in terrible shape (non Dad-bod; never-smoker so no wrinkles), but my hair is pretty much 100% grey as befits my age (54 the other day).

    If female humans presented an honest face to the world, The Lovely's hair would also be shot through with grey at the very least ... although we'll never know - she pays a Greek homosexual $300 every six weeks to keep her 'pixie' haircut not-grey in a way that looks so realistic that I am actually impressed.

    Female fakeness - literally from the tip of their heads to the ground - is why women do not deserve to be taken seriously unless and until they reform; a vanishingly small proportion of them will go totally without makeup... and yet they call us shallow.

    /triggered hahahaha

  182. @Pericles
    The key to writing an eternal classic is to make it assigned reading at the universities.

    Assigned writing in high school, however, makes it even better for your descendants financial welfare. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s granddaughter finally stopped getting her “Great Gatsby” check only a couple of years ago.

  183. @eD
    Flannery O' Connor hasn't been mentioned. She should be, though for her short stories, not her looks. Helpfully, the Atlantic published a picture of her taken when she was in college:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/the-college-age-insights-of-flannery-oconnor/544442/

    She has a sweet smile.

    A nice smile and a devout faith are not to be underestimated in a wife…

  184. @Jonathan Mason
    Jackie Collins was a pretty decent looking novelist, and although she did not always impress literary critics, she sold over 500 million books with seminal texts on animal husbandry such as The Stud and The Bitch.

    http://popgoestheweek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/jackie-collins-817x1024.jpg

    African American author Ponderosa also had success with similar themes.

    https://covers2.booksamillion.com/covers2/ebook/ImageType-100/1314-1/%7BEFEC217C-27A2-41EC-A8FE-224AF670E7C1%7DImg100.jpg

    If you haven’t seen it, the back and forth between Omarosa and Wendy Williams on the latters TV talk show, when this book came out, was hilarious – blatantly catty!

  185. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    Steve , you are a respected blogger, not a mechanic. Buy a car that fits your budget, seats you and yours comfortably and has a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.

    • Replies: @South Texas Guy
    Since Steve's a SoCal guy, I've always been a little disappointed he doesn't drive something like a '69 Chevelle Super Sport and send out blegs like asking if anyone knows a good upholstery guy in the LA area. Or post vintage pics of him and his Trans Am from his 'Smokey and the Bandit' phase.
  186. @Anona
    Bravo. I thought it was a very dumb post. Literature, such a visual form of the fine arts!

    Anona, Thank you.

  187. @Bardon Kaldian
    Yes, and Shakespeare is God. Essentially, he confused three things: historical importance, contemporary "national weight" & current sensibility.

    Petrarch, for instance, is the most influential lyric poet in past 600 years- and he's not there. Wordsworth may be the crucial English language poet who inaugurated modern poetic sensibility- but, as far as Romanticism goes, Wordsworth is a non-entity, Romanticism being a change in sensibility that swept England, France, Italy, Russia, Poland, Germany,....in different times & from different sources.

    Orwell said that novel was a form that reached its "canonical" peak in France & Russia in the 19th C. I tend to agree, but this means that Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Zola, Dostoevsky, even Gogol & Goncharov are more likely to be "canonized" than Austen or Eliot.

    Why no Italian author after Dante, and not a single German "Aryan" author except Goethe?

    Too subjective....

    Orwell said that novel was a form that reached its “canonical” peak in France & Russia in the 19th C. I tend to agree, but this means that Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Zola, Dostoevsky, even Gogol & Goncharov are more likely to be “canonized” than Austen or Eliot.

    Goncharov…..Probably not….He just doesn’t seem to have much weight outside of Russia….

    Hugo…..Dunno….The French profs that I know do not hold his novels in high regard….And I can’t see ranking him on the same level as Flaubert….

    Too subjective….

    That’s what you are paying for when you read Bloom. You’re not gonna get a textbook list of “Great Authors.” You’re gonna get Bloom on the “Great Authors.” Rather reminds me of David Thomson (You’re never going to hear him say a kind word about John Huston!)

    • Agree: vinteuil
  188. @istevefan

    The native life and perspective was never going to work in even that 19th century world. Now, of course, everyone realizes this and bows before their stupid casinos.
     
    Let's say for sake of argument that the Europeans never found the Americas. And for the past 500 years the Americas were left alone from the outside world. If suddenly in 2019, the Americas were discovered, what are the chances that the rest of the world would just leave them alone? There is no way the rest of the world would allow a handful of hunter-gatherers to posses a resource rich place like North America. The Chinese, Indians, Arabs, etc., would all be trying to move in. They might not come and exterminate the natives. But they would soon demographically swamp them and take the land. Unless the tribes could militarily hold the land, there were doomed to lose it once the rest of the world found out about it.

    Unless the tribes could militarily hold the land, the[y] were doomed to lose it

    In the long run, this is true of everywhere on earth to some extent. But there is also “the revenge of the cradle” – if you conquer territory where the people are numerous and/or fertile (and you don’t exterminate them all), you can rule for a while but in the end you will be swept away by the demographic tide. The more numerous tribesmen of Latin America did not disappear – their DNA lives on.

  189. @Lot
    Wait didn't you say you were gay a long time ago?

    Sorry if I remembered wrong!

    Wait didn’t you say you were gay a long time ago?

    Only in an aesthetic sense…..

  190. @anon
    No of course not
    The interesting questions are
    since IQ is correlated with good health and looks does that play out in art
    particularly in an art where the artist is often translating their own experience interacting with the world
    since womens biological purpose is not novel writing but being sexual objects that encourage men to breed them and so more attractive women are favored in the world does that impact their art in quality or flavour
    since artists tend to come from upper middle class who are genetically favored do artists from that class fut the type or not

    Its pretty clear Emily Dickinson could never have written the work of Jane austen she hadnt the experience of men and society Austen wrote as an insider that from the privileged position could betray her class she wrote as an observer, Dickenson holed up in her wallflower room wrote subjectively betraying herself

    Anon, Thank you for your reply, but I was being facetious.

  191. @Bardon Kaldian
    I'm more conciliatory in this respect. I would agree with E.M.Forster & George Steiner that three greatest novelists were Tolstoy, Dostoevsky & Proust.

    Or we could contemplate the possibility that the greatest was Fyodor Nikolayevich Prustovsky, the author of "Anna Karamazov", "In Search of the Idiot" & "Crime & Peace"....

    You’re so Russian.

    All sarcasm, all the time.

  192. @peterike
    Zelda Fitzgerald, you know, wife of F. Scott, was a very good writer though of quite limited output. She was considered a great beauty in her day.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WiwW_wKDhbI/Up8R6DWLDDI/AAAAAAAAAi8/mluKfdwXKdM/s1600/3095Zelda3b.jpg

    Jane Bowles, wife of the great Paul Bowles (if a lesbian can be said to be a homosexual's "wife"), was by no means beautiful, but in the right moments she definitely had a "thing." She did not age well.

    https://sceneenough.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/jane-bowles.jpg

    Pete, Jane Bowles “definitely had a thing.” All women have that “thing” that’s why we chase them.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    But are all women chased?
    , @Trevor H.
    All women? ALL WOMEN?

    Are you trying to get laid or something??

  193. @syonredux

    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?
     
    Benzedrine has never improved anyone's looks......Cf Auden.....



    https://media.snl.no/system/images/613/standard_auden_wystan_hugh.jpg

    syon, If you placed a sheet of paper over that face and did a chalk rubbing you would probably have a map to the Lost Ark. Not too many faces you need to clean with a dental pick.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    Auden as a younger man looked quite ordinary but he aged extremely poorly. God only knows what he would have looked like had he made it past his mid-60's.
  194. I was skiing with a friend in Sun Valley, and we talked about the fact that women skiers had above average looks and were style conscious. (A ski shop salesman once told me that women were not interested in the quality of the skis they were purchasing but rather whether the color scheme on the skis would coordinate well with their ski outfits.)

    My friend attended the highly regarded University of Chicago and mentioned the dearth of good looking women there. I told him my theory that homely women tend to compensate by putting a lot of effort into school. He thought that sounded like a possibility. Perhaps that is something social scientists could investigate.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    I went to an Ivy whose sister school was across the street. It was said that the fence around it was to peep the ______ girls in. Not a lot of lookers.
  195. @Buffalo Joe
    Pete, Jane Bowles "definitely had a thing." All women have that "thing" that's why we chase them.

    But are all women chased?

  196. @Lot
    Wait didn't you say you were gay a long time ago?

    Sorry if I remembered wrong!

    No, I think that was me.

    But I’m honored to be mistaken for syonredux.

  197. @Intelligent Dasein
    Sorry, but I won't do it. I don't care for the dreary western motif. Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning.

    “Sorry, but I won’t do it. I don’t care for the dreary western motif.”

    Agreed. But there’s nothing dreary about Cather’s novel.

    “Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning.”

    I used to think that. Then I read Cather’s novel. Reading it remains for me one of the loveliest, most lyrical experiences of my life.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    In that case, I will take your recommendations under consideration.

    Just so that we understand each other, I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it. This is due entirely to personal factors in my own private life and has nothing to do with the genre itself. The only Western I will admit to enjoying has been The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and that was entirely due to John Ford's direction. That guy was a sensitive genius with a prescient sense of actuality.

    If Willa Cather is something like that, I may give her a try. Thank you for your comments.
    , @vinteuil
    Born in Kearney, to parents residing near Bartley (my grandparents were share-croppers who eventually built up a farm of their own) - I know all about the great spatial & spiritual emptiness of the American mid-west.

    Sometimes Willa Cather captures that.
  198. @syonredux
    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:


    http://hyperbole.es/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/susan.jpg

    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:

    Wow, almost unrecognizable. Maybe it’s something she’s been eating?

    • Replies: @Thursday
    Age generally takes its toll. Substance abuse, obesity and disease often add to the decline.
  199. @Bardon Kaldian
    Oh yes, these are his top authors. I've read 10 + Bloom's books & he constantly harps on these authors: Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dante, Milton, Whitman, Tolstoy, Montaigne, Kafka, Freud, Samuel Johnson, Whitman, Dickens, Dickinson ... George Eliot is lavishly praised for her philo-Semitism. Nathanael West is also his favorite.

    His fave authors not listed among those "narrowly canonical" are Swift, Richardson, Hart Crane & Wallace Stevens. Orwell, Camus, Garcia Marquez, ...in his view overrated. O'Connor almost great, but her Catholicism annoys him. He openly hates Celine & especially P. Wyndham Lewis.

    Basically, he doesn't understand German philosophical novel, so unenthusiastically admits greatness of Musil, but avoids Hermann Broch like a pest.

    He grudgingly admits Dostoevsky's greatness, but always finds a way to marginalize him (bad antisemite, bad). For instance, Bloom compiled a book of criticism on Tolstoy where he took a chapter from Steiner's work "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky'", but somehow "forgot" to include parts from Steiner where Steiner openly expresses the view that Dostoevsky is deeper & more significant writer than Tolstoy (or at least, more relevant).

    And so and so ...

    No, this is blatantly false to anyone who has read Bloom with any attention. Those are (often) the authors that interest him personally and which he uses to make his points. But he explicitly says that there are better writers. He’s not an Orwell guy and he doesn’t think much of Camus.

    Generally, you’re exposing yourself as someone who doesn’t read with much attention.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    You just repeated what I wrote & said I got it wrong.

    Cute.
    , @syonredux
    To be fair, Bloom does hold several of those authors in very high regard: Shakespeare (Bloom is a self-confessed Bardolator), Whitman, Milton, etc
  200. @Alec Leamas

    The young Susan Sontag was kinda cute:
     
    Wow, almost unrecognizable. Maybe it's something she's been eating?

    Age generally takes its toll. Substance abuse, obesity and disease often add to the decline.

  201. A lot of people are offended at even looking at the relationship between looks and literary achievement, especially among women. I can think of a few serious questions that this might be helpful for:

    1. Have great female authors tended to benefit from having looks?
    (It wouldn’t seem so. It seems to be mostly just talent.)

    2. Good looks tend to correlate with other good things like intelligence, long life etc. Do good looks correlate with artistic or literary talent here?
    (Good looks may correlate with talent, but we get no particular evidence for that here. If they do correlate, then other factors are swamping that.)

    Others can no doubt come up with other worthwhile questions.

    One might wonder if more attractive women of an artistic temperament tend to go into singing, dancing, acting, where their looks are more of an advantage.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    How about women who run important salons?

    Madame de Stael, for example, wrote some famous bestsellers, but much of her time was taken up hosting parties for intellectuals. She was extremely good at it.

  202. of course they aren’t good looking. good looking humans are too busy being successful biological organisms to spend any time creating art. art is created by the less successful humans. that stuff is just a rule of life. the rare exceptions prove the rule.

    a good rule of thumb is that the kids in the popular crowd in high school barely created anything over the last 2000 years, art or otherwise. it is simply an observation of trends, not a negative reflection on them.

  203. Okay. Not a group known for their good looks.

    Who are we doing next week, lady professional golfers?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Well- which female group, not focused primarily on their looks, could be considered rather decently looking?

    Female physicists, or female scientists, generally?

    Female dentists?

    Female surgeons?

    Female police officers?

    Female .....?

    Or perhaps it is simultaneously trivial & deep stuff: for women, looks are incomparably more important than to men. Such is life.
  204. @Thursday
    No, this is blatantly false to anyone who has read Bloom with any attention. Those are (often) the authors that interest him personally and which he uses to make his points. But he explicitly says that there are better writers. He's not an Orwell guy and he doesn't think much of Camus.

    Generally, you're exposing yourself as someone who doesn't read with much attention.

    You just repeated what I wrote & said I got it wrong.

    Cute.

  205. @Thursday
    A lot of people are offended at even looking at the relationship between looks and literary achievement, especially among women. I can think of a few serious questions that this might be helpful for:

    1. Have great female authors tended to benefit from having looks?
    (It wouldn't seem so. It seems to be mostly just talent.)

    2. Good looks tend to correlate with other good things like intelligence, long life etc. Do good looks correlate with artistic or literary talent here?
    (Good looks may correlate with talent, but we get no particular evidence for that here. If they do correlate, then other factors are swamping that.)

    Others can no doubt come up with other worthwhile questions.

    One might wonder if more attractive women of an artistic temperament tend to go into singing, dancing, acting, where their looks are more of an advantage.

    How about women who run important salons?

    Madame de Stael, for example, wrote some famous bestsellers, but much of her time was taken up hosting parties for intellectuals. She was extremely good at it.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Not attractive.

    Be as it may, male features seem to have a wider range of acceptability. Most men in any position of eminence are OK looking; women, on the other hand, easily fall into barely acceptable category.
  206. @Thursday
    No, this is blatantly false to anyone who has read Bloom with any attention. Those are (often) the authors that interest him personally and which he uses to make his points. But he explicitly says that there are better writers. He's not an Orwell guy and he doesn't think much of Camus.

    Generally, you're exposing yourself as someone who doesn't read with much attention.

    To be fair, Bloom does hold several of those authors in very high regard: Shakespeare (Bloom is a self-confessed Bardolator), Whitman, Milton, etc

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    For Bloom, except incomparable Shakespeare, greatest writers are: Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Montaigne, Dickens, Whitman, Homer (not Simpson), Yahwist. Goethe's position-precarious.

    Greatest 20th C novelists: Joyce, Proust, Kafka.

    Greatest single novels in English are Richardson's "Clarissa" & Joyce's last two "novels". Greatest American novelists are Melville, James and Faulkner (Hawthorne is close). Greatest English language novelist- Dickens.

    Greatest 19th C poet, any language: Whitman.

    Greatest masters of English- Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.

    Greatest essayist & sage- Montaigne. Greatest American sage- Emerson. Greatest 20th C sage- Freud.

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    Greatest poetical tradition in any modern language- English language poetry. Greatest American poets, beside Whitman: Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot.
    Crucial English language poet who broke with old, aristocratic tradition: Wordsworth. Historically more important than Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Browning, Tennyson,...

    Authors he somehow avoids because they are "off"- virtually all ancient Greeks & Romans (except Homer). Also, philosophers with literary qualities, from Plato to Nietzsche.

    That's Bloom's literary "cosmos".
  207. @Ghost of Bull Moose
    Okay. Not a group known for their good looks.

    Who are we doing next week, lady professional golfers?

    Well- which female group, not focused primarily on their looks, could be considered rather decently looking?

    Female physicists, or female scientists, generally?

    Female dentists?

    Female surgeons?

    Female police officers?

    Female …..?

    Or perhaps it is simultaneously trivial & deep stuff: for women, looks are incomparably more important than to men. Such is life.

  208. @vinteuil
    "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?"

    The question is absurd.

    Tolstoy was a silly old fool.

    Dostoevsky was not only the greatest of all novelists - he was the greatest of all possible novelists.

    “Tolstoy was a silly old fool”.

    Maybe in real life, but not in his works.

    In other words, how is Anna Karenina the work of merely a silly old fool?

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    ruh-rho- we find ourselves, once more, at odds.

    I guess I must give Anna Karenina yet another try.
  209. @Steve Sailer
    How about women who run important salons?

    Madame de Stael, for example, wrote some famous bestsellers, but much of her time was taken up hosting parties for intellectuals. She was extremely good at it.

    Not attractive.

    Be as it may, male features seem to have a wider range of acceptability. Most men in any position of eminence are OK looking; women, on the other hand, easily fall into barely acceptable category.

  210. @Kylie
    "Sorry, but I won’t do it. I don’t care for the dreary western motif."

    Agreed. But there's nothing dreary about Cather's novel.

    "Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning."

    I used to think that. Then I read Cather's novel. Reading it remains for me one of the loveliest, most lyrical experiences of my life.

    In that case, I will take your recommendations under consideration.

    Just so that we understand each other, I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it. This is due entirely to personal factors in my own private life and has nothing to do with the genre itself. The only Western I will admit to enjoying has been The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and that was entirely due to John Ford’s direction. That guy was a sensitive genius with a prescient sense of actuality.

    If Willa Cather is something like that, I may give her a try. Thank you for your comments.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    , I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it.
     
    My Ántonia should be alright, then. It's set in Nebraska, not the Southwest.It has nothing to do with any of the things that you dislike.
    , @obwandiyag
    Stagecoach is much much better. Valence is like a madeforTV movie. Technically speaking
    , @Kylie
    "Just so that we understand each other, I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it."

    Oh, no, My Ántonia is nothing like that. Miss Cather wrote it in part as a tribute to the stalwart character of the European immigrants who came to the American Midwest and made new lives for themselves in an often inhospitable place. It's more like a grown-up Laura Ingalls Wilder than a "literary" Zane Gray. It takes place in the prairie but the focus is on the people. She does describe the prairie in the early chapters, though. Her writing is so beautiful.

    "All those fall afternoons were the same, but I never got used to them. As far as we could see, the miles of copper-red grass were drenched in sunlight that was stronger and fiercer than at any other time of the day. The blond cornfields were red gold, the haystacks turned rosy and threw long shadows. The whole prairie was like the bush that burned with fire and was not consumed. That hour always had the exultation of victory, of triumphant ending, like a hero’s death—heroes who died young and gloriously. It was a sudden transfiguration, a lifting-up of day."
  211. @Stan Adams
    Accutane was a Godsend to me. I had horrendous acne in high school and Accutane cleared it up. (My face looked like something out of a horror movie and my back looked even worse.) Aside from severely chapped lips, I didn’t experience any drastic side effects.

    True story: One time, I lifted up my shirt on a dare, exposing an upper torso plastered with huge, festering boils. A girl screamed so loud that a passing teacher (a crotchety Jewish lady) assumed that I had exposed myself. I almost got in serious trouble over that one.

    I had a buddy in high school who had a similar problem – his acne actually discharged what looked like small pieces of raw meat.

    Given the natural cruelty of high-schoolers, it really didn’t help that his last name was Acton: his nickname would have been ‘Ackers’ anyhow, but his condition made it worse.

    During mid-year holidays 1984, he got treated with something: no idea what it was – judging by the results I would venture it was Accutane (dunno if it existed back then).

    It was obvious when school came back that his problem was solved: the name-calling stopped in the first week back.

    By September (when school photos were taken) his complexion was no different to anyone else’s.

    If it was Accutane, he didn’t get any of the side effects commonly discussed (that’s not surprising: adverse side effects have low probability, but high cost… they have high hazard, but not high risk).

  212. The vast majority of George Eliot’s (immeasurably overrated) oeuvre is motivated by nothing so much as by her desire to settle scores with all of the more attractive girls who were ever preferred over here. So basically, most every woman who ever occupied the same visible area as she did.

    Her malice towards blonde beautiful women in particular borders on the pathological. Middlemarch, for example, is in essence a 19th-century literary version of a standard Hollywood high-school revenge fantasy of the ugly brunette besting the blonde head cheerleader, just bloated to 800+ pages.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Is that Dorothy the ugly prude who marries a pastor so she can reform the world? Maybe that’s an Anthony Trollope character.
  213. @Lot
    Those women would be pretty regardless of their noses.

    Where nose jobs result in an improvement are on women with small delicate features otherwise.

    Seems like an expensive and needless risk even when it works however.

    http://www.best-rhinoplasty.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Nose-Job-Patient-Before-and-After.jpg

    That’s a very good nose job – hopefully the maniacal stare is just an unfortunate trick of the light: if that’s the default face this lady presents to the world, I would cross the street the first time we made eye contact.

    Jesus wept – look at us… behaving like 9th graders. What’s next? A thread about The Bachelorette?

    • Replies: @Anon
    At least we’re not English teens and young women obsessed with Duchesses Kate and Meghan’s clothes hair shoes and looks.
  214. @Rosamond Vincy

    The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood …
     
    Oh please. The woman who created Willoughby, Wickham, the Crawfords, William Elliot, and the people whose lives they casually destroy or nearly destroy knew about passion; she had learned to distrust it when unaccompanied by anything else.

    She also understood the powerful negative emotions of malice and greed displayed by characters such as Mrs. Norris, Fanny Dashwood, and Lucy Steele, and the even more powerful desire to throttle them other characters must suppress.

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn't been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor's emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele's marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

    I love the Brontes, but their message isn't all that different, although their method is. Jane Eyre and Lucy Snow both learn to control their emotions, and Catherine Earnshaw falls apart because she can't or won't.

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn’t been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor’s emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele’s marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

    We Calvinists just rewatched this series, and that moment is portrayed wonderfully by Hattie Morahan. Later on she also takes a big acting risk at the point at which she discovers Edward is unmarried and has come for her. She turns from Edward and rushes back into the kitchen, instinctively taking refuge from the power of her emotions by trying to resume the breadmaking she was doing before Edward arrives. It’s as if she resorts to the ‘muscle memory’ built up by years of suppressing her inner life under a carapace of household/family utility, then finally relents and turns to Edward, giving this crucial scene a raw, unartificed immediacy.

    In Ang Lee’s 1995 adaptation, Emma Thompson plays the scene more conventionally, just turning away from Edward and bursting into heaving sobs. It’s good, but not as memorable or moving as Morahan’s interpretation.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    That was the moment I was thinking of. I remembered her learning about the marriage and having Edward return as being in the same scene, but the reaction was what I meant. The scene of her trying to go on with her household duties as if they would stave off a nervous breakdown was brilliant. It made me understand how much Marianne needed to learn from Elinor about emotional display not equalling depth--the same lesson Willoughby exemplified from an opposite angle.
    , @Che Guava
    Why not read, morons? Any adaptation of Austen will now necessarily be bad.

    BBC or UK film grant poliicies on the one side, as far as I can see, nobody much in the U.S.A. is interested in her writing. Oh! Wait, we will introduce a false range of darkies into Jane Austen's ouevre.
  215. @Buffalo Joe
    syon, If you placed a sheet of paper over that face and did a chalk rubbing you would probably have a map to the Lost Ark. Not too many faces you need to clean with a dental pick.

    Auden as a younger man looked quite ordinary but he aged extremely poorly. God only knows what he would have looked like had he made it past his mid-60’s.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    Substance abuse.
  216. anonymous[180] • Disclaimer says:

    wwebd said: In most historical nations with the exception of extremely cruel empires, the ratio, throughout history, of beautiful women who are not boring to women who are nwfw (not worth fornicating with) has stayed pretty much stable.
    If a particular society starts going below a rate of 4 out of 5 women being hot in their early 20s, said society goes out and conquers another society to get the rate back up.
    Why 4 out of 5?
    Because the decision to go to war wholly or in large part for such a reason was always contingent on the relative danger of mortal casualties – and if you have studied war your whole life, as I have, you intuitively know that if the leaders think they will lose one in 6 they generally head into battle for such an objective, if they think they will lose one in 4 they generally will not.
    It is just one of those things humans understand.
    And if you do the math, you can see why the ratio of 4 out of 5 women being hot in their early 20s has remained fairly stable in most historical nations with the exception of extremely cruel empires.
    This is why, until recently, Westerners, and the warlike societies of the Orient, and the Indian tribes of the northern half of North America have had a fairly consistent ratio of only one in 5 women in their early 20s not being hot.

    As one looks around today, one notices that things have changed. But we are not talking about today.

  217. @syonredux
    To be fair, Bloom does hold several of those authors in very high regard: Shakespeare (Bloom is a self-confessed Bardolator), Whitman, Milton, etc

    For Bloom, except incomparable Shakespeare, greatest writers are: Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Montaigne, Dickens, Whitman, Homer (not Simpson), Yahwist. Goethe’s position-precarious.

    Greatest 20th C novelists: Joyce, Proust, Kafka.

    Greatest single novels in English are Richardson’s “Clarissa” & Joyce’s last two “novels”. Greatest American novelists are Melville, James and Faulkner (Hawthorne is close). Greatest English language novelist- Dickens.

    Greatest 19th C poet, any language: Whitman.

    Greatest masters of English- Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.

    Greatest essayist & sage- Montaigne. Greatest American sage- Emerson. Greatest 20th C sage- Freud.

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    Greatest poetical tradition in any modern language- English language poetry. Greatest American poets, beside Whitman: Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot.
    Crucial English language poet who broke with old, aristocratic tradition: Wordsworth. Historically more important than Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Browning, Tennyson,…

    Authors he somehow avoids because they are “off”- virtually all ancient Greeks & Romans (except Homer). Also, philosophers with literary qualities, from Plato to Nietzsche.

    That’s Bloom’s literary “cosmos”.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.
     
    I can get behind that one....
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    Clarissa is awful. It should be acknowledged for its enormous influence, but it held its place as worst dialog ever until Ayn Rand, and it violates more literary rules than Fenimore Cooper, particularly this one:

    They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of ...[Clarissa] ... dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.
     
    , @Thursday
    About 2/3 of this is right. But a lot of it is howlers.
    , @Anon
    So Bloom skipped the long saga poem John Brown’s Body by Stephen Vincent Benet It’s about the civil war and the south and in my opinion the American equivalent of The Inferno and The Illiad and Odessey You don’t have to be a confederate heritage person to get tearful when reading John Brown’s body

    Emily Dickinson yuck.
  218. @Jonathan Mason

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started – if you can tell that they’ve had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn’t worth it.
     
    My impression too. If you see a woman whose nose does not quite fit on her face, it is not a good look. A cropped nose reminds me of a dog with a docked tail, or cropped ears. A kind of mutilation.

    I also find it disconcerting when I see so many politicians and journalists on TV with fake hair that does not properly match the age of their face. It does not bother me so much with women, but with men, yes.

    To some extent the same is true of teeth, though expensive dentists seem to have a better knack of making them look natural.

    Weird teeth. I could not stop looking at them in The Greatest Showman.

    http://celebritytoob.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/173664231.jpg

    I’m with you 100% on the preternaturally-white teeth thing: if you ever have the misfortune of seeing the guy they call ‘Dr Phil’, it looks like he’s wearing a brand-new 1980s mouthguard. Weird.

    As for the phenomenon of men putting coloured gunk in their hair like a bunch of women… that’s gotta stop if we are to arrest civilisational decline. It’s as bad as heel lifts, a gut truss, or sticking a rolled-up sock down your underpants to impress the lay-deeeez.

    In other words, men must deliberately and consistently ‘call out’ other men who betray our gender by ape-ing the shallow bullshit that (most) women think is ‘normal’ amongst themselves – i.e.,
    • fake hair,
    • facial makeup/fake eyelashes
    • ‘filler’ injections,
    • ‘chicken fillets’/padded bra/boobjobs
    • ‘control garments’
    • fake tan;
    • fake height (i.e., high heels)

    I admit a personal interest in this: The Lovely – being a trim 5’7″, 51kg 46-year old never-smoker – looks about 25 with her normal professionally-orchestrated hair dye-job, lack of wrinkles and exceptional posture. (To her credit she never wears heels, only wears makeup (powder) to court, doesn’t wear tit-padding or have fake tits, has never had botox or fillers, and eschews the sun and fake tan).

    But still: over the last 5 years, several wait-staff in cafés have assumed she’s my daughter. I’m not in terrible shape (non Dad-bod; never-smoker so no wrinkles), but my hair is pretty much 100% grey as befits my age (54 the other day).

    If female humans presented an honest face to the world, The Lovely‘s hair would also be shot through with grey at the very least … although we’ll never know – she pays a Greek homosexual $300 every six weeks to keep her ‘pixie’ haircut not-grey in a way that looks so realistic that I am actually impressed.

    Female fakeness – literally from the tip of their heads to the ground – is why women do not deserve to be taken seriously unless and until they reform; a vanishingly small proportion of them will go totally without makeup… and yet they call us shallow.

    /triggered hahahaha

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
    Good God man, no one asked for your life story here. Particularly since it appears to be a low-rent retread of a famous Chris Rock routine.
  219. anonymous[348] • Disclaimer says:

    anonymous 180 also said: thursday, Undset should be top tier. Amazingly beautiful eyes – a Nordic Elizabeth Taylor – and a pretty face.

    By the way, she was a better (although less amusing) writer than Dostoevsky, and her best books are more worth reading than Tolstoy’s best books (Tolstoy was a supremely gifted technician but he slipped up because he never ever completely understood anybody but himself, because, as Bloom correctly noted, he was probably, over his long rich-boy life, never really in love with another human being). Most of Tolstoy’s technical breakthroughs have been well imitated, for example by Wouk (by the way , one of only a few still-living Navy officers who served in a command role during the Pacific War), or by James Jones (Thin Red Line, same war, same theater)) but when you read a good novel by Undset, you are reading a story that not only cannot be imitated but that is, because of the author’s understanding of the human heart, beyond imitation.

    • Replies: @Thursday
    https://goo.gl/images/JSmf5h

    Average white girl. Decent looking when young but nothing special.
  220. @Intelligent Dasein
    The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    I would take Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters with me to the proverbial desert island. Perhaps throw in Isak Dinesen as well. But the others? I wouldn't even know they were missing.

    The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?

    Germaine Greer argued (in The Slip-Shod Sibyls) that women writers were historically held to much lower standards than male writers. Mediocre female writers were ludicrously over-praised, especially by male critics. On this point Greer is spot on.

    In the past male critics gave women writers an easy ride out of a misguided sense of gallantry. These days male critics over-praise women writers out of fear.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Women painters tended to be more popular in their own lifetimes than in later generations.
  221. @Twinkie
    Thank you for the edification.

    I will now commit Seppuku to reclaim my honor. Oops, can’t. I’m a Catholic.

    I thought you were Korean, not Japanese.

  222. @Bardon Kaldian
    For Bloom, except incomparable Shakespeare, greatest writers are: Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Montaigne, Dickens, Whitman, Homer (not Simpson), Yahwist. Goethe's position-precarious.

    Greatest 20th C novelists: Joyce, Proust, Kafka.

    Greatest single novels in English are Richardson's "Clarissa" & Joyce's last two "novels". Greatest American novelists are Melville, James and Faulkner (Hawthorne is close). Greatest English language novelist- Dickens.

    Greatest 19th C poet, any language: Whitman.

    Greatest masters of English- Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.

    Greatest essayist & sage- Montaigne. Greatest American sage- Emerson. Greatest 20th C sage- Freud.

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    Greatest poetical tradition in any modern language- English language poetry. Greatest American poets, beside Whitman: Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot.
    Crucial English language poet who broke with old, aristocratic tradition: Wordsworth. Historically more important than Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Browning, Tennyson,...

    Authors he somehow avoids because they are "off"- virtually all ancient Greeks & Romans (except Homer). Also, philosophers with literary qualities, from Plato to Nietzsche.

    That's Bloom's literary "cosmos".

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    I can get behind that one….

  223. @Intelligent Dasein
    In that case, I will take your recommendations under consideration.

    Just so that we understand each other, I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it. This is due entirely to personal factors in my own private life and has nothing to do with the genre itself. The only Western I will admit to enjoying has been The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and that was entirely due to John Ford's direction. That guy was a sensitive genius with a prescient sense of actuality.

    If Willa Cather is something like that, I may give her a try. Thank you for your comments.

    , I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it.

    My Ántonia should be alright, then. It’s set in Nebraska, not the Southwest.It has nothing to do with any of the things that you dislike.

  224. @Twinkie

    The average professional writer, female or male, probably comes from the upper middle class, which, I would imagine, conveys some small advantage in looks on average.
     
    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class - less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    That begs a question: what profession/education/training - setting aside from the visually-cued ones such as acting, modeling, dancing, etc. that select for appearance - attracts attractive women?

    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class – less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.

    I think we have to be honest and admit that writers of fiction (male or female) do tend to be losers and misfits. Artistic people in general are a sorry lot but fiction writers are the worst because there are no qualifications to be a writer. If you say you’re a writer you’re a writer. That’s incredibly appealing to people with severe psychological/emotional issues.

    How many writers commit suicide relative to the general population? How many are drunks and druggies?

    You’re talking about sad inadequate people. It’s hardly surprising that so any are also ugly.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    dfordoom ----- (satire on) Yes and all those actresses who play plain women in Hollywood pictures are really ugly in real life (satire off),

    Look, anyone who is good enough at words to be remembered generations after they are dead as a wordsmith is likely to be someone who also knew the simplistic tasks of applying makeup, wearing the right clothes, and not showing up at sun-drenched parties when feeling overly pale from some old-fashioned disease.

  225. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn’t been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor’s emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele’s marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

     

    We Calvinists just rewatched this series, and that moment is portrayed wonderfully by Hattie Morahan. Later on she also takes a big acting risk at the point at which she discovers Edward is unmarried and has come for her. She turns from Edward and rushes back into the kitchen, instinctively taking refuge from the power of her emotions by trying to resume the breadmaking she was doing before Edward arrives. It's as if she resorts to the 'muscle memory' built up by years of suppressing her inner life under a carapace of household/family utility, then finally relents and turns to Edward, giving this crucial scene a raw, unartificed immediacy.

    In Ang Lee's 1995 adaptation, Emma Thompson plays the scene more conventionally, just turning away from Edward and bursting into heaving sobs. It's good, but not as memorable or moving as Morahan's interpretation.

    That was the moment I was thinking of. I remembered her learning about the marriage and having Edward return as being in the same scene, but the reaction was what I meant. The scene of her trying to go on with her household duties as if they would stave off a nervous breakdown was brilliant. It made me understand how much Marianne needed to learn from Elinor about emotional display not equalling depth–the same lesson Willoughby exemplified from an opposite angle.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    It made me understand how much Marianne needed to learn from Elinor about emotional display not equalling depth–the same lesson Willoughby exemplified from an opposite angle.

     

    Yes, exactly. The 2008 series really brings out this theme well. The contrasts between Elinor and Marianne, and between Brandon and Willoughby, are very well-drawn.

    The BBC is an odd beast. They are WokeWokeWokeWokeWoke in so many ways, but then they'll put out a series like this one that's still faithful to Austen's essentially conservative vision.

    Having said that, it's now more than a decade since this adaptation was produced, and I'm not sure they could manage it today.

  226. @dfordoom

    The better question would be, how many of these women wrote anything that was actually worth reading?
     
    Germaine Greer argued (in The Slip-Shod Sibyls) that women writers were historically held to much lower standards than male writers. Mediocre female writers were ludicrously over-praised, especially by male critics. On this point Greer is spot on.

    In the past male critics gave women writers an easy ride out of a misguided sense of gallantry. These days male critics over-praise women writers out of fear.

    Women painters tended to be more popular in their own lifetimes than in later generations.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Women painters tended to be more popular in their own lifetimes than in later generations.
     
    They tended to be portraitists or they painted domestic scenes. And they weren't as attracted by slightly grotesque subject matter (unlike say Rembrandt, Goya or Velazquez). 20th century art critics and art historians had a tendency to despise portraitists or genre painters and they increasingly worshiped ugliness rather than beauty. They felt that proper art should be about misery and squalor, alienation and madness. So they weren't likely to admire an artist like Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun or Adélaïde Labille-Guiard.
  227. @Bardon Kaldian
    For Bloom, except incomparable Shakespeare, greatest writers are: Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Montaigne, Dickens, Whitman, Homer (not Simpson), Yahwist. Goethe's position-precarious.

    Greatest 20th C novelists: Joyce, Proust, Kafka.

    Greatest single novels in English are Richardson's "Clarissa" & Joyce's last two "novels". Greatest American novelists are Melville, James and Faulkner (Hawthorne is close). Greatest English language novelist- Dickens.

    Greatest 19th C poet, any language: Whitman.

    Greatest masters of English- Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.

    Greatest essayist & sage- Montaigne. Greatest American sage- Emerson. Greatest 20th C sage- Freud.

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    Greatest poetical tradition in any modern language- English language poetry. Greatest American poets, beside Whitman: Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot.
    Crucial English language poet who broke with old, aristocratic tradition: Wordsworth. Historically more important than Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Browning, Tennyson,...

    Authors he somehow avoids because they are "off"- virtually all ancient Greeks & Romans (except Homer). Also, philosophers with literary qualities, from Plato to Nietzsche.

    That's Bloom's literary "cosmos".

    Clarissa is awful. It should be acknowledged for its enormous influence, but it held its place as worst dialog ever until Ayn Rand, and it violates more literary rules than Fenimore Cooper, particularly this one:

    They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of …[Clarissa] … dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    wwebd said - Clarissa is the best novel I have ever read.

    Observe how Lovelace's little friend is won over by the title heroine. That is a great riff on the better chapters in the four Gospels.

    Observe how Lovelace descends step by step into his own personal hell. A better description of what the Inferno actually is than Dante's sad little Ovidian sub-Homeric attempts in the same register.

    And there is the amusing banter between Clarissa and her best friend.

    That being said, you really need to understand the history of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of England and the Ottoman Empire if you want to enjoy the first couple of hundred pages of Clarissa, which are - similar to the way the deplorable Game of Thrones steals from the Lord of the Rings, but without the actual intellectual theft - a satire on Ottomans.
  228. anonymous[348] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosamond Vincy
    Clarissa is awful. It should be acknowledged for its enormous influence, but it held its place as worst dialog ever until Ayn Rand, and it violates more literary rules than Fenimore Cooper, particularly this one:

    They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of ...[Clarissa] ... dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.
     

    wwebd said – Clarissa is the best novel I have ever read.

    Observe how Lovelace’s little friend is won over by the title heroine. That is a great riff on the better chapters in the four Gospels.

    Observe how Lovelace descends step by step into his own personal hell. A better description of what the Inferno actually is than Dante’s sad little Ovidian sub-Homeric attempts in the same register.

    And there is the amusing banter between Clarissa and her best friend.

    That being said, you really need to understand the history of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of England and the Ottoman Empire if you want to enjoy the first couple of hundred pages of Clarissa, which are – similar to the way the deplorable Game of Thrones steals from the Lord of the Rings, but without the actual intellectual theft – a satire on Ottomans.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    How is he in Hell before he dies and presumably goes where he belongs? Lovelace displays rodomontade emotions in an exaggerated manner as if he's miming them (he is), but he's hollow and never learns a thing. At the end, he's flippantly referring to dead the Clarissa as "Clarissa Lovelace," ignoring the fact that she thoroughly refused him when she was alive. He wants someone to get her heart--the physical organ--from her corpse before burial, presumably for the standard serial killer's collection of trophies. Despite his exaggerated qualms about plotting against "such an angel," he's incapable of true guilt and just wants his friends to admire how skilled he'd have to be to corrupt such a pillar of virtue. If he lived longer, he'd just do it again.

    Belfort isn't won over: he's already reformed.

    Anna Howe has the snotty lines Clarissa ought to have used on her enemies, but Anna wastes them on her perfectly harmless mother and suitor.
    Clarissa prettily preaches, begs, cries, and faints through all 7 volumes, when a touch of Kate the Shrew would be more likely to make some of her worst tormentors back down. No one actually changes in this novel, and they all, good or bad, declaim instead of speaking. I've seen speeches in blank verse with rhyming couplets that had more verisimilitude.
  229. anonymous[348] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    Yes, but perhaps there is self-selection among this upper middle class – less attractive/less popular women from it go into professional writing.
     
    I think we have to be honest and admit that writers of fiction (male or female) do tend to be losers and misfits. Artistic people in general are a sorry lot but fiction writers are the worst because there are no qualifications to be a writer. If you say you're a writer you're a writer. That's incredibly appealing to people with severe psychological/emotional issues.

    How many writers commit suicide relative to the general population? How many are drunks and druggies?

    You're talking about sad inadequate people. It's hardly surprising that so any are also ugly.

    dfordoom —– (satire on) Yes and all those actresses who play plain women in Hollywood pictures are really ugly in real life (satire off),

    Look, anyone who is good enough at words to be remembered generations after they are dead as a wordsmith is likely to be someone who also knew the simplistic tasks of applying makeup, wearing the right clothes, and not showing up at sun-drenched parties when feeling overly pale from some old-fashioned disease.

  230. @AnotherGuessModel
    If my timeline is correct, The Cure went on hiatus around that time, and Robert Smith toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees as their guitarist. It influenced his visual and musical style, and I think it sharpened him as a live performer too.

    If my timeline is correct, The Cure went on hiatus around that time, and Robert Smith toured with Siouxsie and the Banshees as their guitarist. It influenced his visual and musical style, and I think it sharpened him as a live performer too.

    I remember seeing Siouxsie and the Banshees live with Smith on guitar. One of the best live gigs I ever saw. I believe Smith has stated that Siouxsie-Sioux was a huge influence on him.

  231. @Corn
    “But my guess would be that it is probably much more attributable to suburbanization leading to the mixing of ethnicities which formerly remained distinct for a few generations in the U.S. This might be at the root of why girls could be better looking on average than in the past.”

    Do you really think women are better looking now than in the past? All the obesity, tattoos, weird piercings.......

    I’ll say women may look sexier now....more revealing clothes, tighter clothes etc, but in terms of raw beauty you think women now possess more than women of yore?

    Do you really think women are better looking now than in the past? All the obesity, tattoos, weird piercings…….

    They’re better looking if you really go for the cheap hooker look.

  232. @Kylie
    "Sorry, but I won’t do it. I don’t care for the dreary western motif."

    Agreed. But there's nothing dreary about Cather's novel.

    "Anything with a prairie in it is pretty much ruled out of court from the beginning."

    I used to think that. Then I read Cather's novel. Reading it remains for me one of the loveliest, most lyrical experiences of my life.

    Born in Kearney, to parents residing near Bartley (my grandparents were share-croppers who eventually built up a farm of their own) – I know all about the great spatial & spiritual emptiness of the American mid-west.

    Sometimes Willa Cather captures that.

  233. @Rosamond Vincy
    That was the moment I was thinking of. I remembered her learning about the marriage and having Edward return as being in the same scene, but the reaction was what I meant. The scene of her trying to go on with her household duties as if they would stave off a nervous breakdown was brilliant. It made me understand how much Marianne needed to learn from Elinor about emotional display not equalling depth--the same lesson Willoughby exemplified from an opposite angle.

    It made me understand how much Marianne needed to learn from Elinor about emotional display not equalling depth–the same lesson Willoughby exemplified from an opposite angle.

    Yes, exactly. The 2008 series really brings out this theme well. The contrasts between Elinor and Marianne, and between Brandon and Willoughby, are very well-drawn.

    The BBC is an odd beast. They are WokeWokeWokeWokeWoke in so many ways, but then they’ll put out a series like this one that’s still faithful to Austen’s essentially conservative vision.

    Having said that, it’s now more than a decade since this adaptation was produced, and I’m not sure they could manage it today.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    I also like the '90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn't imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she's supposed to be.
  234. @Jonathan Mason
    Jackie Collins was a pretty decent looking novelist, and although she did not always impress literary critics, she sold over 500 million books with seminal texts on animal husbandry such as The Stud and The Bitch.

    http://popgoestheweek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/jackie-collins-817x1024.jpg

    African American author Ponderosa also had success with similar themes.

    https://covers2.booksamillion.com/covers2/ebook/ImageType-100/1314-1/%7BEFEC217C-27A2-41EC-A8FE-224AF670E7C1%7DImg100.jpg

    Jackie Collins was a pretty decent looking novelist, and although she did not always impress literary critics, she sold over 500 million books with seminal texts on animal husbandry such as The Stud and The Bitch.

    Do you it’s possible that the more overtly literary the writer the uglier they tend to be?

  235. @Lot
    The videos I've seen of their early concerts are low on physical energy but the sound is as good as their studio recordings.

    That's a concept we don't have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.

    “That’s a concept we don’t have a word for: how much worse is a band live playing a song compared to edited multi-take studio recordings.”

    Fidelity.

  236. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    No, absolutely not. If anything is going to differ between a mainstream and luxury marque from the same manufacturer, it is going to be mainly cosmetic difference in the interior (better quality materials, more “soft touch” surfaces), the optional equipment (better radio) and the cosmetic treatment of the grille and tail lights. Possibly differences in the engine (more powerful) or suspension but often not. Aside from styling, the chassis is the thing that is going to vary the absolute least if at all.

    Your I30 is a thinly disguised Nissan Maxima of the A32 series. Even the engine is the same (good engine BTW, but not different from the Maxima engine):

    I30:

    Maxima:

    If you are ever in need of parts (other than some body parts), you can probably get them somewhat cheaper at a Nissan dealer than the same part at an Infiniti dealer. And if you need a mechanic, take it to a guy who works on Nissans. After the warranty expired on my Audi, it was in the care of a competent independent VW mechanic.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    After the warranty expired on my Audi, it was in the care of a competent independent VW mechanic.
     
    Yes, but Audi’s break from just being parked, esp. the electronic and electrical systems. Or the ignition system. Or the transmission. Or... you get the point.

    In Japan, there is no Lexus or INFINITI or Acura. Those are just attempts at introducing Japanese-level service in the U.S., which are normal in Japan. Not so successfully I might add.
  237. @Old Palo Altan
    "Tolstoy was a silly old fool".

    Maybe in real life, but not in his works.

    In other words, how is Anna Karenina the work of merely a silly old fool?

    ruh-rho- we find ourselves, once more, at odds.

    I guess I must give Anna Karenina yet another try.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Yet another try?

    There's your mistake: read it all the way to the end.

    Greatest study of womanhood ever written, and far better than any woman could ever do, with their complete lack of (serious) self-awareness.

    Rather like Wagner in music.
  238. @ricpic
    Mary McCarthy was very attractive. If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.

    If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.

    There isn’t much to go on. But large breasts wasn’t a strong suit. She looks like she could pass for an Eaton schoolboy of the same era.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    She was going for that exact effect at one point in her life:

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1082/4724331299_f0738bc04f.jpg

    When she was at Vassar, she was "lesbian until graduation" but it was just a phase - afterward she was around men more and lost the butch lesbian look.
  239. @Steve Sailer
    Le Guin's mother wrote "Ishi Between Two Worlds," which I read in high school.

    Le Guin’s mother wrote “Ishi Between Two Worlds,” which I read in high school.

    You have my sympathy. I read Hemingway, Melville, Dickens, and Albert Speer in high school.

  240. @Steve Sailer
    Women painters tended to be more popular in their own lifetimes than in later generations.

    Women painters tended to be more popular in their own lifetimes than in later generations.

    They tended to be portraitists or they painted domestic scenes. And they weren’t as attracted by slightly grotesque subject matter (unlike say Rembrandt, Goya or Velazquez). 20th century art critics and art historians had a tendency to despise portraitists or genre painters and they increasingly worshiped ugliness rather than beauty. They felt that proper art should be about misery and squalor, alienation and madness. So they weren’t likely to admire an artist like Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun or Adélaïde Labille-Guiard.

    • Replies: @Anon
    I’ve always wondered what Picasso and Pollock paintings will be worth 200 years from now.
  241. @mmack
    Steve,

    On paper (or webpage) not a dime’s bit of difference between a Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES, which share the same platform.

    - Same Engine
    - Same Transmission
    - Same Wheelbase
    - Same Suspension

    Here’s a pretty good comparison of the 2019 models: https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/2019-lexus-es-versus-2019-toyota-avalonwhich-is-better-ar181447.html

    Basically you’re looking at differences in the front and rear clips (easy for a manufacturer to change), interior materials, layout, and options (I’m betting the Lexus gives you a better electronic entertainment/navigation system than the mainline Toyota standard, on the Toyota it’s probably an up charge).

    On Curbside Classic, a website about older and new cars, a poster wrote about the “democratization of luxury”. He meant that standard line makes (Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia/Hyundai) offered cars with so many standard features (A/C, power steering and brakes, power windows and locks) and option packages (leather interior with power seats, and heated seats to boot, sunroofs, power mirrors, trunk releases, and remote access and start) that used to be exclusive to luxury makes on cars that share the same platform that there’s really no reason to move upscale to a Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler, Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti.

    My advice: buy the Avalon, save some bucks, keep it ten to twelve years and get your moneys worth.

    Agree with everything you say except the 12 year thing. In road salt-free California and with the fact that he doesn’t commute every day to work, a guy like Steve can get 20 yrs out of an Avalon.

    Get the cloth upholstery – leather dries out in the CA sunshine but the modern synthetic fabrics are indestructible. I’ve seen older American cars with whorehouse red velour plush seats that look factory new – the entire rest of the car is rusted to shreds, the engine is sputtering and burning oil, but the cloth upholstery (nylon? polyester?) looks like it would survive a nuclear war.

  242. One intangible but real benefit of upscale car models is that the dealers are better. Compared to standard-line dealers they’re less likely to scam customers.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Depends what you mean by "scam". At a Kia dealership they are going to take several thousand off the sticker and then try to make some of it back selling you key fob insurance and tire puncture insurance and meteorite strike insurance - "If a meteorite strikes your car, it won't cost you a nickel!". At the Lexus dealer they'll just sell you the car for full sticker. So who's the scammer? And just wait to see what the service dept. charges for an oil change.

    When the Kia dealer tries to scam you, here's a sure fire method to avoid getting scammed- just say no. Would you like the overpriced extended warranty? No! Would you like the nuclear blast insurance? No! Would you like the upholstery fabric treatment - No! Etc.

  243. @The Last Real Calvinist

    It made me understand how much Marianne needed to learn from Elinor about emotional display not equalling depth–the same lesson Willoughby exemplified from an opposite angle.

     

    Yes, exactly. The 2008 series really brings out this theme well. The contrasts between Elinor and Marianne, and between Brandon and Willoughby, are very well-drawn.

    The BBC is an odd beast. They are WokeWokeWokeWokeWoke in so many ways, but then they'll put out a series like this one that's still faithful to Austen's essentially conservative vision.

    Having said that, it's now more than a decade since this adaptation was produced, and I'm not sure they could manage it today.

    I also like the ’90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn’t imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she’s supposed to be.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    I also like the ’90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn’t imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she’s supposed to be.

     

    Interesting. I thought if anything Rickman mailed it in a bit on his performance, but then I'm not a woman.
  244. @istevefan

    ... in 1911 took in Ishi, the last surviving Indian of his Northern California tribe. This doesn’t have anything to do with Thursday’s point, but I think it’s pretty interesting.
     
    It is interesting and I followed your Ishi link. It lead me to a link on something I've never heard about, the California Genocide.

    I clicked the link knowing pretty much what it was going to say, "American Europeans bad".

    Under Spanish rule their population was estimated to have dropped from 300,000 prior to 1769, to 250,000 in 1834. After Mexico gained independence from Spain and secularized the coastal missions in 1834, the indigenous population suffered a more drastic decrease to 150,000. Under US sovereignty, after 1848, the Indigenous population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000 in 1870; it reached its nadir of 16,000 in 1900. Between 1846 and 1873, European Americans are estimated to have killed outright some 4,500 to 16,000 California Native Americans, particularly during the Gold Rush.[1][2] Others died as a result of infectious diseases and the social disruption of their societies. The state of California used its institutions to favor settlers' rights over indigenous rights and was responsible for dispossession of the natives.[3]

    Since the late 20th century, numerous American scholars and activist organizations, both Native American and European American, have characterized the period immediately following the U.S. Conquest of California as one in which the state and federal governments waged genocide against the Native Americans in the territory. In the early 21st century, some scholars argue for the government to authorize tribunals so that a full accounting of responsibility for this genocide in western states can be conducted.
     
    So hidden in this gem is the fact that under Mexican rule, from 1834 to 1848, the California indigenous population was halved with the loss of 150K. Yet the whole article and the term California Genocide seems to refer to only what happened after the USA took California in 1848, even though the death toll and rate was less what it had been under 14 years of Mexican rule.

    Why is the 14 years of Mexican rule ignored?

    This is stupid. You are all stupid. The overwhelming number of them died of disease. Sheesh. Disease. Nobody’s fault. Just disease. Without ever seeing a white man.

  245. @Bardon Kaldian
    Austen (temperamentally, for me not an interesting author) was plain Jane. I completely subscribe to Charlotte Bronte's assessment:

    Anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré or extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy, in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood … What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death–this Miss Austen ignores.
     
    But, back to looks. We cannot judge by old paintings. Paul Johnson, in his "Creators", was explicit about her "plainness".
    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41UrbLEJRCL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.
     
    Photos. Camera loved her.

    But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive.
     
    Absolutely. Teutonic fatties have been replaced, at least in theory, by more Mediterranean type of beauty.

    Rubens

    https://imgc.artprintimages.com/img/print/the-three-graces-c-1635_u-l-ptq8ya0.jpg?h=900&w=900

    Goya

    https://uploads6.wikiart.org/images/francisco-goya/francisca-sabasa-y-garcia-1808.jpg

    And Mary McCarthy was a far better writer than usually given credit for. Her novel "The Group" is, in my opinion, brilliant & caustic, far beyond a satire. It is, for a discernible reader, even misogynist. All her women are, essentially, bitches. There is no broad sympathy & empathy for fair sex one finds in Turgenev or Chekhov, let alone Lawrence in his great two novels (not his "controversial" over-rated last fiction).

    Jane Austen was very funny. For your information.

  246. @anonymous
    wwebd said - Clarissa is the best novel I have ever read.

    Observe how Lovelace's little friend is won over by the title heroine. That is a great riff on the better chapters in the four Gospels.

    Observe how Lovelace descends step by step into his own personal hell. A better description of what the Inferno actually is than Dante's sad little Ovidian sub-Homeric attempts in the same register.

    And there is the amusing banter between Clarissa and her best friend.

    That being said, you really need to understand the history of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of England and the Ottoman Empire if you want to enjoy the first couple of hundred pages of Clarissa, which are - similar to the way the deplorable Game of Thrones steals from the Lord of the Rings, but without the actual intellectual theft - a satire on Ottomans.

    How is he in Hell before he dies and presumably goes where he belongs? Lovelace displays rodomontade emotions in an exaggerated manner as if he’s miming them (he is), but he’s hollow and never learns a thing. At the end, he’s flippantly referring to dead the Clarissa as “Clarissa Lovelace,” ignoring the fact that she thoroughly refused him when she was alive. He wants someone to get her heart–the physical organ–from her corpse before burial, presumably for the standard serial killer’s collection of trophies. Despite his exaggerated qualms about plotting against “such an angel,” he’s incapable of true guilt and just wants his friends to admire how skilled he’d have to be to corrupt such a pillar of virtue. If he lived longer, he’d just do it again.

    Belfort isn’t won over: he’s already reformed.

    Anna Howe has the snotty lines Clarissa ought to have used on her enemies, but Anna wastes them on her perfectly harmless mother and suitor.
    Clarissa prettily preaches, begs, cries, and faints through all 7 volumes, when a touch of Kate the Shrew would be more likely to make some of her worst tormentors back down. No one actually changes in this novel, and they all, good or bad, declaim instead of speaking. I’ve seen speeches in blank verse with rhyming couplets that had more verisimilitude.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    We shall have to agree to disagree.

    If you want to give Clarissa another try, I recommend first reading up on London-Ottoman diplomatic relations in Richardson's era, then read up a little on Matthew Henry's views on the reasons for 18th century degeneracy, and don't read the novel fast. I can't imagine that anyone who has read it as assigned reading in graduate school had the time to really appreciate it.

    I took a year and a half to read it through and, because I worked hard to understand, I had no problem extrapolating what you call "speeches without verisimilitude" into the near-heavenly expressions of human truth that Richardson was trying for, and for which his most appreciative readers love his masterpiece so much.

    Finally, and you and me may differ on this, I think it is quite possible that good people are in heaven already while still in this world - several of my favorite saints (Elizabeth of the Trinity, Therese Martin, and Alphonsus Liguori) have spoken of their feeling that the joys of Heaven are available in this world to those who love God and love others and so forth, and how they know they will be in Heaven the instant they die but they want to stay on this Earth longer just because .... being here is better not for them but for others.

    The character of Lovelace, in my view, unwittingly revealed in his vicious letters that he was undergoing quite another experience with respect to the Four Last Things.

    Anyway, we can agree to disagree.

  247. @Intelligent Dasein
    In that case, I will take your recommendations under consideration.

    Just so that we understand each other, I will confess that I have a visceral aversion to anything with a Tex-Mex, Cowboys and Indians, or split-rail and cacti feel to it. This is due entirely to personal factors in my own private life and has nothing to do with the genre itself. The only Western I will admit to enjoying has been The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and that was entirely due to John Ford's direction. That guy was a sensitive genius with a prescient sense of actuality.

    If Willa Cather is something like that, I may give her a try. Thank you for your comments.

    Stagecoach is much much better. Valence is like a madeforTV movie. Technically speaking

  248. @Bardon Kaldian
    For Bloom, except incomparable Shakespeare, greatest writers are: Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Montaigne, Dickens, Whitman, Homer (not Simpson), Yahwist. Goethe's position-precarious.

    Greatest 20th C novelists: Joyce, Proust, Kafka.

    Greatest single novels in English are Richardson's "Clarissa" & Joyce's last two "novels". Greatest American novelists are Melville, James and Faulkner (Hawthorne is close). Greatest English language novelist- Dickens.

    Greatest 19th C poet, any language: Whitman.

    Greatest masters of English- Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.

    Greatest essayist & sage- Montaigne. Greatest American sage- Emerson. Greatest 20th C sage- Freud.

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    Greatest poetical tradition in any modern language- English language poetry. Greatest American poets, beside Whitman: Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot.
    Crucial English language poet who broke with old, aristocratic tradition: Wordsworth. Historically more important than Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Browning, Tennyson,...

    Authors he somehow avoids because they are "off"- virtually all ancient Greeks & Romans (except Homer). Also, philosophers with literary qualities, from Plato to Nietzsche.

    That's Bloom's literary "cosmos".

    About 2/3 of this is right. But a lot of it is howlers.

  249. @anonymous
    anonymous 180 also said: thursday, Undset should be top tier. Amazingly beautiful eyes - a Nordic Elizabeth Taylor - and a pretty face.

    By the way, she was a better (although less amusing) writer than Dostoevsky, and her best books are more worth reading than Tolstoy's best books (Tolstoy was a supremely gifted technician but he slipped up because he never ever completely understood anybody but himself, because, as Bloom correctly noted, he was probably, over his long rich-boy life, never really in love with another human being). Most of Tolstoy's technical breakthroughs have been well imitated, for example by Wouk (by the way , one of only a few still-living Navy officers who served in a command role during the Pacific War), or by James Jones (Thin Red Line, same war, same theater)) but when you read a good novel by Undset, you are reading a story that not only cannot be imitated but that is, because of the author's understanding of the human heart, beyond imitation.

    https://goo.gl/images/JSmf5h

    Average white girl. Decent looking when young but nothing special.

  250. @prosa123
    Auden as a younger man looked quite ordinary but he aged extremely poorly. God only knows what he would have looked like had he made it past his mid-60's.

    Substance abuse.

  251. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3

    If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.
     
    There isn't much to go on. But large breasts wasn't a strong suit. She looks like she could pass for an Eaton schoolboy of the same era.

    She was going for that exact effect at one point in her life:

    When she was at Vassar, she was “lesbian until graduation” but it was just a phase – afterward she was around men more and lost the butch lesbian look.

  252. @prosa123
    One intangible but real benefit of upscale car models is that the dealers are better. Compared to standard-line dealers they're less likely to scam customers.

    Depends what you mean by “scam”. At a Kia dealership they are going to take several thousand off the sticker and then try to make some of it back selling you key fob insurance and tire puncture insurance and meteorite strike insurance – “If a meteorite strikes your car, it won’t cost you a nickel!”. At the Lexus dealer they’ll just sell you the car for full sticker. So who’s the scammer? And just wait to see what the service dept. charges for an oil change.

    When the Kia dealer tries to scam you, here’s a sure fire method to avoid getting scammed- just say no. Would you like the overpriced extended warranty? No! Would you like the nuclear blast insurance? No! Would you like the upholstery fabric treatment – No! Etc.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    Just saying "no" to the car dealer's price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.

    Consider the horrifying case of Marisol Morales. She needed another car, but faced an obstacle because her current vehicle was falling apart and had almost no trade-in value. In late 2014 she went to a Nissan dealership in Connecticut that was offering a minimum $3,500 trade-in on every car, the catch being that buyers taking advantage of that offer would not be able to do any price negotiations on their new cars.
    Morales got the $3,500 trade in and bought a new Nissan Altima, unfortunately the dealership charged her more than $7,000 over sticker price. To make matters worse they provided her financing at a rate of 15%. Soon afterwards Morales realized she had been vastly overcharged and filed a lawsuit, but the court rejected her claim.
    https://www.autonews.com/article/20160615/LEGALFILE/306159996/altima-deal-was-bad-bargain-but-nissan-dealer-disclosed-terms-court-rules
    , @Jim Don Bob
    If you want to buy the extended warranty, don't buy it from the dealer when you buy the car or you will pay full (> $1k) price. Go online and buy it from some other dealer at a discount. It's the same warranty, just not jacked up $400.
  253. @Rosamond Vincy
    I also like the '90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn't imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she's supposed to be.

    I also like the ’90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn’t imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she’s supposed to be.

    Interesting. I thought if anything Rickman mailed it in a bit on his performance, but then I’m not a woman.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    I've never seen him in any role where he wasn't mesmerising.
    , @Anon
    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise . Rick man isn’t very good looking and way too old at the time to convincingly play a 35 year old.

    Marianne didn’t have a choice. Gorgeous Greg married someone else for money and Marianne settled for Brandon
  254. @Jack Armstrong
    Real estate.

    I’ve always thought that the decline in the beauty of strippers from the mid 90s onwards had a lot to do with very attractive women becoming real estate agents, as well as pharmaceutical sales. The rise of those professions over the last 20 or so years meant that good-looking chicks can make almost as much money, work better hours, and not have to show their boobs to random men.

  255. @Roderick Spode
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/126/826/449.jpg

    Pablo Picasso was even uglier than Sartre and he had even more star fuckers after him than Sarte ever did.

  256. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I also like the ’90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn’t imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she’s supposed to be.

     

    Interesting. I thought if anything Rickman mailed it in a bit on his performance, but then I'm not a woman.

    I’ve never seen him in any role where he wasn’t mesmerising.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I’ve never seen him in any role where he wasn’t mesmerising.
     
    He stole the show as Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins.”
  257. @Bardon Kaldian
    Austen (temperamentally, for me not an interesting author) was plain Jane. I completely subscribe to Charlotte Bronte's assessment:

    Anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well-bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré or extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well. There is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy, in the painting. She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him with nothing profound. The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood … What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death–this Miss Austen ignores.
     
    But, back to looks. We cannot judge by old paintings. Paul Johnson, in his "Creators", was explicit about her "plainness".
    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41UrbLEJRCL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Sylvia Plath is probably the most attractive, I don’t know if she’s on whatever list this is based on.
     
    Photos. Camera loved her.

    But in general people were, by modern standards, less attractive historically in part because they were less healthy and in part because they were trying to embody standards of beauty that we no longer find as attractive.
     
    Absolutely. Teutonic fatties have been replaced, at least in theory, by more Mediterranean type of beauty.

    Rubens

    https://imgc.artprintimages.com/img/print/the-three-graces-c-1635_u-l-ptq8ya0.jpg?h=900&w=900

    Goya

    https://uploads6.wikiart.org/images/francisco-goya/francisca-sabasa-y-garcia-1808.jpg

    And Mary McCarthy was a far better writer than usually given credit for. Her novel "The Group" is, in my opinion, brilliant & caustic, far beyond a satire. It is, for a discernible reader, even misogynist. All her women are, essentially, bitches. There is no broad sympathy & empathy for fair sex one finds in Turgenev or Chekhov, let alone Lawrence in his great two novels (not his "controversial" over-rated last fiction).

    I loved The Group and yes, they were all bitches who pretended to be friends but were rivals. They were all very PC for the time following fashionable good thinking.

  258. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Camus, however ...

    Albert Camus was a total Fox very good looking. Plus with simple sentences, his books are very easy to read in French.

    I did like de Beauvoir’s The Mandarins about a lot of liberal PC pretentious commie snobs.

    Proud to say I never read a word of Sartre and never will.

  259. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I also like the ’90s version, but I have a problem with the casting of Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. His charm was so overwhelming, that I couldn’t imagine Marianne preferring Willoughby to him, and thought her even sillier than she’s supposed to be.

     

    Interesting. I thought if anything Rickman mailed it in a bit on his performance, but then I'm not a woman.

    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise . Rick man isn’t very good looking and way too old at the time to convincingly play a 35 year old.

    Marianne didn’t have a choice. Gorgeous Greg married someone else for money and Marianne settled for Brandon

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise . Rick man isn’t very good looking and way too old at the time to convincingly play a 35 year old.

     

    That was pretty much Mrs Calvinist's line. She found Greg Wise very good-looking, and couldn't quite get past seeing Rickman as an aging wizard muttering 'Ahhhhb-veee-ous-leee' . . . .
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    35 in Jane Austen's time would not be 35 now.
    And Rickman didn't have to be good-looking...that voice.
    Eric Wise...meh.
    , @Jim Don Bob

    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise .
     
    Emma Thompson thought so too. She married him.
  260. @dfordoom

    Women painters tended to be more popular in their own lifetimes than in later generations.
     
    They tended to be portraitists or they painted domestic scenes. And they weren't as attracted by slightly grotesque subject matter (unlike say Rembrandt, Goya or Velazquez). 20th century art critics and art historians had a tendency to despise portraitists or genre painters and they increasingly worshiped ugliness rather than beauty. They felt that proper art should be about misery and squalor, alienation and madness. So they weren't likely to admire an artist like Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun or Adélaïde Labille-Guiard.

    I’ve always wondered what Picasso and Pollock paintings will be worth 200 years from now.

  261. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason
    I am surprised to see Jane Austen listed among the more presentable novelists.

    She did not make much of an impression on the eligible young men of her youth, and the existing pictures, mostly of dubious validity, do not suggest a hottie.

    Howver, the strongest evidence is that most of her novels are written in the form of revenge comedies in which the quick-witted lass with common sense and decent morals, after being initially spurned, uses her wits, not her tits, to snatch wealthy hunks like Darcy and Knightley from the jaws of predatory rivals and carries them off to her lair for a night of witty banter.

    Austen unfortunately died--probably of Addison's disease--before she could complete her 7th novel, tentatively titled 'Sanditon'. With hindsight and a better agent, she might have entitled Pride and Prejudice "The Stud" and Emma "The Bitch."

    In her novels "making love to" someone does not mean what you thought it meant, and when a girl is "knocked up", it merely means she is given an early morning call, so it is all a bit tame. In Jackie Collins novels, on the other hand, a spade is called a spade.

    Conventional opinion is that Jane and Cassandra couldn’t get married because their parents couldn’t afford dowries for them. Relatives helped the Austen brothers get started in life but no one offered or could offer a few hundred pounds for the girls dowries. Some say the short Lefroy engagement was broken because his parents didn’t want a dowry less daughter in law.

    P & P is a novel about girls without dowries. Jane and Lizzie luck out. Charlotte Mary and Lydia settle for undesirable husbands. Charlotte can hardly bear to be in the same room with her husband Mr Collins

  262. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bardon Kaldian
    For Bloom, except incomparable Shakespeare, greatest writers are: Dante, Cervantes, Milton, Chaucer, Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Montaigne, Dickens, Whitman, Homer (not Simpson), Yahwist. Goethe's position-precarious.

    Greatest 20th C novelists: Joyce, Proust, Kafka.

    Greatest single novels in English are Richardson's "Clarissa" & Joyce's last two "novels". Greatest American novelists are Melville, James and Faulkner (Hawthorne is close). Greatest English language novelist- Dickens.

    Greatest 19th C poet, any language: Whitman.

    Greatest masters of English- Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.

    Greatest essayist & sage- Montaigne. Greatest American sage- Emerson. Greatest 20th C sage- Freud.

    Greatest critic, any language- Samuel Johnson.

    Greatest poetical tradition in any modern language- English language poetry. Greatest American poets, beside Whitman: Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, T.S. Eliot.
    Crucial English language poet who broke with old, aristocratic tradition: Wordsworth. Historically more important than Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Browning, Tennyson,...

    Authors he somehow avoids because they are "off"- virtually all ancient Greeks & Romans (except Homer). Also, philosophers with literary qualities, from Plato to Nietzsche.

    That's Bloom's literary "cosmos".

    So Bloom skipped the long saga poem John Brown’s Body by Stephen Vincent Benet It’s about the civil war and the south and in my opinion the American equivalent of The Inferno and The Illiad and Odessey You don’t have to be a confederate heritage person to get tearful when reading John Brown’s body

    Emily Dickinson yuck.

  263. @Kratoklastes
    That's a very good nose job - hopefully the maniacal stare is just an unfortunate trick of the light: if that's the default face this lady presents to the world, I would cross the street the first time we made eye contact.

    Jesus wept - look at us... behaving like 9th graders. What's next? A thread about The Bachelorette?

    At least we’re not English teens and young women obsessed with Duchesses Kate and Meghan’s clothes hair shoes and looks.

  264. @karsten
    The vast majority of George Eliot's (immeasurably overrated) oeuvre is motivated by nothing so much as by her desire to settle scores with all of the more attractive girls who were ever preferred over here. So basically, most every woman who ever occupied the same visible area as she did.

    Her malice towards blonde beautiful women in particular borders on the pathological. Middlemarch, for example, is in essence a 19th-century literary version of a standard Hollywood high-school revenge fantasy of the ugly brunette besting the blonde head cheerleader, just bloated to 800+ pages.

    Is that Dorothy the ugly prude who marries a pastor so she can reform the world? Maybe that’s an Anthony Trollope character.

  265. @Anon
    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise . Rick man isn’t very good looking and way too old at the time to convincingly play a 35 year old.

    Marianne didn’t have a choice. Gorgeous Greg married someone else for money and Marianne settled for Brandon

    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise . Rick man isn’t very good looking and way too old at the time to convincingly play a 35 year old.

    That was pretty much Mrs Calvinist’s line. She found Greg Wise very good-looking, and couldn’t quite get past seeing Rickman as an aging wizard muttering ‘Ahhhhb-veee-ous-leee’ . . . .

  266. @Lot
    He was most famous in his old age after decades of chain smoking and working long hours in stimulent drugs.

    He was always below average in looks but not notably ugly when younger.

    https://medias.unifrance.org/medias/205/230/59085/format_page/jean-paul-sartre.jpg

    Hideous hideous and he just exudes that I am a superior commie snob intellectual aura. I wouldn’t touch him with a 20 ft pole.

  267. @songbird
    I thought London was a communist? But maybe, it doesn't show in most of his fiction.

    London was an up the working class type.

  268. @ricpic
    Mary McCarthy was very attractive. If poets count Edna St. Vincent Millay was attractive.

    Millay was the belle of bohemian Greenwich village.

  269. @Ryan Andrews
    Virginia Woolf as average? She looks like someone out of a pre-Raphaelite painting—many of which were actually modeled after her mother. I will admit that she was one of those people for whom angles make all the difference. In side-profile she was stunning; head-on, not so much, but she was still attractive. From whatever angle, she was certainly a lot better-looking than Katherine Mansfield.

    And I know the paintings, especially in Austen's case, may not be the truest representations, but I think it would be generous to rank her and Mary Shelley as average, let alone above average.

    Virginia and sister Vanessa Wolfe were very pretty. But all their photos were so posed and artsy it’s hard to tell what they really looked like. They had the basics, good proportioned faces nice noses big eyes,

  270. @Ryan Andrews
    Virginia Woolf as average? She looks like someone out of a pre-Raphaelite painting—many of which were actually modeled after her mother. I will admit that she was one of those people for whom angles make all the difference. In side-profile she was stunning; head-on, not so much, but she was still attractive. From whatever angle, she was certainly a lot better-looking than Katherine Mansfield.

    And I know the paintings, especially in Austen's case, may not be the truest representations, but I think it would be generous to rank her and Mary Shelley as average, let alone above average.

    During her life time Austen was described as brown hair and eyes tall and middling pretty.

  271. @syonredux
    Speaking of good-looking authors, the female members of my conservative study group think that Jack London was the bee's knees:


    https://mctuggle.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/jack-london.jpg

    Yes yes, just yummy. I nominate Jack London as the best looking male author of the last 600 years.

  272. @Jack D
    Depends what you mean by "scam". At a Kia dealership they are going to take several thousand off the sticker and then try to make some of it back selling you key fob insurance and tire puncture insurance and meteorite strike insurance - "If a meteorite strikes your car, it won't cost you a nickel!". At the Lexus dealer they'll just sell you the car for full sticker. So who's the scammer? And just wait to see what the service dept. charges for an oil change.

    When the Kia dealer tries to scam you, here's a sure fire method to avoid getting scammed- just say no. Would you like the overpriced extended warranty? No! Would you like the nuclear blast insurance? No! Would you like the upholstery fabric treatment - No! Etc.

    Just saying “no” to the car dealer’s price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.

    Consider the horrifying case of Marisol Morales. She needed another car, but faced an obstacle because her current vehicle was falling apart and had almost no trade-in value. In late 2014 she went to a Nissan dealership in Connecticut that was offering a minimum $3,500 trade-in on every car, the catch being that buyers taking advantage of that offer would not be able to do any price negotiations on their new cars.
    Morales got the $3,500 trade in and bought a new Nissan Altima, unfortunately the dealership charged her more than $7,000 over sticker price. To make matters worse they provided her financing at a rate of 15%. Soon afterwards Morales realized she had been vastly overcharged and filed a lawsuit, but the court rejected her claim.
    https://www.autonews.com/article/20160615/LEGALFILE/306159996/altima-deal-was-bad-bargain-but-nissan-dealer-disclosed-terms-court-rules

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Just saying “no” to the car dealer’s price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.
     
    Buy online.
    , @Jack D
    Some people are just too stupid to live.
  273. @Stick
    Can any of these women compete with John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series?

    I’ve read most of the Travis McGee books. Love them , but they’re just enjoyable fantasy detective fiction like James Bond

    These women wrote literature.

  274. @mmack
    As a selection size of n=1, from nearly thirty years in the corporate and IT world, I’ve seen these jobs attract more than their fair share of attractive women:

    - Sales (esp. direct sales) and Marketing
    - Advertising
    - Recruting

    And oddly enough, law. Jobs where you’re going to be meeting people face to face a lot, and using persuasion to get a deal done. Good looks help a lot, male or female, in these sorts of jobs.

    Just my $.02

    I agree that women lawyers, especially when they get older are above average in looks. They don’t get fat they have to dress decently even going so far as to iron their clothes !!!!! Nice hair nice makeup also the few women judges I’ve seen are nice looking.

  275. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    No of course not
    The interesting questions are
    since IQ is correlated with good health and looks does that play out in art
    particularly in an art where the artist is often translating their own experience interacting with the world
    since womens biological purpose is not novel writing but being sexual objects that encourage men to breed them and so more attractive women are favored in the world does that impact their art in quality or flavour
    since artists tend to come from upper middle class who are genetically favored do artists from that class fut the type or not

    Its pretty clear Emily Dickinson could never have written the work of Jane austen she hadnt the experience of men and society Austen wrote as an insider that from the privileged position could betray her class she wrote as an observer, Dickenson holed up in her wallflower room wrote subjectively betraying herself

    Any woman can lay down under a man for a few minutes in the middle of the month and conceive a baby. But only a few men and women are able to write a 300 page book and get it published and read.

    A normally healthy woman of today could have 20 children between 17 and 42 if she didn’t use birth control

    Sorry for being a bitch but some of you guys need to read a book about human reproduction. Our basic function is to attract a man??? We don’t need to do anything to attract men they just swarm Our big problem is beating men off. I just don’t understand why fathers of 2 or no children are so obsessed with other people’s sex lives.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    I doubt you are actually a woman.

    Most women - and almost all of that very unusual subset of women who are even tempted to post a comment on a website like this, much less that even smaller subset that go through with it ---- as I was saying, most women are VERY aware that unless they "know what to do" they are not going to have much happiness with the opposite sex, because most men are unattractive to all but the most nymphomaniacal of women, absent (a) commitment to a few decades of financial support or (b) commitment to a few decades of financial support. And a real woman does not console herself by thinking, much less saying, that "all she needs to do" is "lay down under a man" for a few minutes every once in a while ....

    So, I am guessing, your English is pretty good, but not all that good, so you are probably not a woman, and English is probably not your native language. My best guess is that you are a grad student with upper middle class parents and you live in a big city in India or some similar large country where gender relations are .... extraordinarily problematic.

    Amirite?

  276. @Jack D

    higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?
     
    No, absolutely not. If anything is going to differ between a mainstream and luxury marque from the same manufacturer, it is going to be mainly cosmetic difference in the interior (better quality materials, more "soft touch" surfaces), the optional equipment (better radio) and the cosmetic treatment of the grille and tail lights. Possibly differences in the engine (more powerful) or suspension but often not. Aside from styling, the chassis is the thing that is going to vary the absolute least if at all.

    Your I30 is a thinly disguised Nissan Maxima of the A32 series. Even the engine is the same (good engine BTW, but not different from the Maxima engine):

    I30:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/1st_Infiniti_I30_--_12-14-2011.jpg


    Maxima:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1d/Nissan_Cefiro_A32.jpg/560px-Nissan_Cefiro_A32.jpg

    If you are ever in need of parts (other than some body parts), you can probably get them somewhat cheaper at a Nissan dealer than the same part at an Infiniti dealer. And if you need a mechanic, take it to a guy who works on Nissans. After the warranty expired on my Audi, it was in the care of a competent independent VW mechanic.

    After the warranty expired on my Audi, it was in the care of a competent independent VW mechanic.

    Yes, but Audi’s break from just being parked, esp. the electronic and electrical systems. Or the ignition system. Or the transmission. Or… you get the point.

    In Japan, there is no Lexus or INFINITI or Acura. Those are just attempts at introducing Japanese-level service in the U.S., which are normal in Japan. Not so successfully I might add.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Agree and that's why my current car is not an Audi. My Audi was slightly newer than Steve's Infiniti but his is still rolling and mine has been gone for over 2 years - the engine blew because they made a key part out of Happy Meal toy quality plastic.
    , @Che Guava
    I don't see your point at all. U.S.A. has always blocked good Japanese software (and hardware), since the alarm bells of the higher level reached in the 1980s, as far as possible, and Audi is a European company.

    Sorry, your comment sounds like an insane rant, but on further thought, see that you are trying to make some mysterious implication for purposes of untrue propaganda (as if iSteve is a great platform for that).

    Are you on training or just over-excitable and throwing lying implications about?

    Well then, speak directly.

    If by Lexus, you are meaning Toyota's 2nd tier luxury car brand, I see several almost every day in Tokyo, not so much when just going to work, but many on a free or busy on business other than work-for-the-customer day.

    I would never buy one, but they seem to be very efficient vehicles for the people who do, comfortable, safe, and well-designed.

    Personally, if I ever buy a car again, it will be low-tech.

    Your post is too garbled, and I would say, blatant propaganda from a feeble mind.
  277. @prosa123
    Just saying "no" to the car dealer's price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.

    Consider the horrifying case of Marisol Morales. She needed another car, but faced an obstacle because her current vehicle was falling apart and had almost no trade-in value. In late 2014 she went to a Nissan dealership in Connecticut that was offering a minimum $3,500 trade-in on every car, the catch being that buyers taking advantage of that offer would not be able to do any price negotiations on their new cars.
    Morales got the $3,500 trade in and bought a new Nissan Altima, unfortunately the dealership charged her more than $7,000 over sticker price. To make matters worse they provided her financing at a rate of 15%. Soon afterwards Morales realized she had been vastly overcharged and filed a lawsuit, but the court rejected her claim.
    https://www.autonews.com/article/20160615/LEGALFILE/306159996/altima-deal-was-bad-bargain-but-nissan-dealer-disclosed-terms-court-rules

    Just saying “no” to the car dealer’s price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.

    Buy online.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    That's not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the "F&I" guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    My trick is to say I will give you $x for the car "over the curb". Distribute the $ where you want, but that is what I am writing a check for. Offer them a decent price and be prepared to walk out. Saves a lot of time.
  278. @Rosamond Vincy
    I've never seen him in any role where he wasn't mesmerising.

    I’ve never seen him in any role where he wasn’t mesmerising.

    He stole the show as Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins.”

  279. @vinteuil
    ruh-rho- we find ourselves, once more, at odds.

    I guess I must give Anna Karenina yet another try.

    Yet another try?

    There’s your mistake: read it all the way to the end.

    Greatest study of womanhood ever written, and far better than any woman could ever do, with their complete lack of (serious) self-awareness.

    Rather like Wagner in music.

  280. @Jack D
    I don't know what the stats are, but my impression is that nose jobs have gone out of fashion as "ethnic" looks have become more acceptable and the ideal is no longer to look Anglo-Saxon. In my generation, rhinoplasty was sort of a rite of passage for Jewish girls that was almost as common as orthodonture, while I don't know any of my daughter's friends who got one.

    My general impression of plastic surgery is that most people come out looking worse than when they started - if you can tell that they've had surgery (and you usually can) then it wasn't worth it.

    In my generation, rhinoplasty was sort of a rite of passage for Jewish girls that was almost as common as orthodonture, while I don’t know any of my daughter’s friends who got one.

    I highly doubt that, you just can’t tell because the changes are more subtle nowadays. Surgeons usually don’t drastically change the shape of the nose anymore, like turn a Roman nose into an upturned button nose. Trust me, rhinoplasties are extremely common, and now include temporary ones, where the bridge is softened with an injectable like botox.

  281. @prosa123
    Just saying "no" to the car dealer's price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.

    Consider the horrifying case of Marisol Morales. She needed another car, but faced an obstacle because her current vehicle was falling apart and had almost no trade-in value. In late 2014 she went to a Nissan dealership in Connecticut that was offering a minimum $3,500 trade-in on every car, the catch being that buyers taking advantage of that offer would not be able to do any price negotiations on their new cars.
    Morales got the $3,500 trade in and bought a new Nissan Altima, unfortunately the dealership charged her more than $7,000 over sticker price. To make matters worse they provided her financing at a rate of 15%. Soon afterwards Morales realized she had been vastly overcharged and filed a lawsuit, but the court rejected her claim.
    https://www.autonews.com/article/20160615/LEGALFILE/306159996/altima-deal-was-bad-bargain-but-nissan-dealer-disclosed-terms-court-rules

    Some people are just too stupid to live.

  282. @Twinkie

    Just saying “no” to the car dealer’s price gouging is much easier said than done. Dealers are experts at breaking down resistance, reading customers like books and employing every psychological trick imaginable.
     
    Buy online.

    That’s not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the “F&I” guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    That’s not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the “F&I” guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.

    Speaking of financing, there's a common belief that you can arrange your own financing beforehand through a bank or credit union (generally in the form of a loan commitment up to X dollars) and therefore won't have to deal with the dealership's financing people. In theory that's true, but in reality it's not so useful. Dealerships make money when they arrange a buyer's financing, so if you show up with your own financing, or cash, they'll just charge you more for the car.
    , @Twinkie

    That’s not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the “F&I” guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.
     
    Sell the existing car on your own. Pay cash for the new one. Settle on all the options and final pricing online. Show up with a cashier’s check to pick up the car. Done.
  283. @Twinkie

    After the warranty expired on my Audi, it was in the care of a competent independent VW mechanic.
     
    Yes, but Audi’s break from just being parked, esp. the electronic and electrical systems. Or the ignition system. Or the transmission. Or... you get the point.

    In Japan, there is no Lexus or INFINITI or Acura. Those are just attempts at introducing Japanese-level service in the U.S., which are normal in Japan. Not so successfully I might add.

    Agree and that’s why my current car is not an Audi. My Audi was slightly newer than Steve’s Infiniti but his is still rolling and mine has been gone for over 2 years – the engine blew because they made a key part out of Happy Meal toy quality plastic.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    German engineering is not what it was. The high points of German engine building were the Porsche version of the VW flat four, the BMW inline six before they got complicated with variable cam timing and whatnot, the Mercedes OM 617 diesels (best truly automotive diesel engine ever built) and the Mercedes inline six (except for the wretched Bosch FI many had). No modern German engine is objectively as good as the GM LS6, if by good you mean power to weight and longevity.

    German auto electrics and electronics are wretched.

    But new ones do have great road feel and the "feel of quality", like the difference between a cheap double shotgun, (rough) FN made Browning, (good but not magnificent) and a best grade British double (sublime).
  284. @Jack D
    That's not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the "F&I" guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.

    That’s not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the “F&I” guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.

    Speaking of financing, there’s a common belief that you can arrange your own financing beforehand through a bank or credit union (generally in the form of a loan commitment up to X dollars) and therefore won’t have to deal with the dealership’s financing people. In theory that’s true, but in reality it’s not so useful. Dealerships make money when they arrange a buyer’s financing, so if you show up with your own financing, or cash, they’ll just charge you more for the car.

  285. @peterike
    Zelda Fitzgerald, you know, wife of F. Scott, was a very good writer though of quite limited output. She was considered a great beauty in her day.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WiwW_wKDhbI/Up8R6DWLDDI/AAAAAAAAAi8/mluKfdwXKdM/s1600/3095Zelda3b.jpg

    Jane Bowles, wife of the great Paul Bowles (if a lesbian can be said to be a homosexual's "wife"), was by no means beautiful, but in the right moments she definitely had a "thing." She did not age well.

    https://sceneenough.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/jane-bowles.jpg

    Elizabeth Warren, bleached-blonde
    American Indian princess, and later adding some kind of dye to make her grey hair look yellow or blonde.

    To Mr. Unz.
    I complain again about Cloudflare (or more precisely, the site’s Cloudflare settings).

    This month, I was hitting my data limit faster than ever, already, today. This was not because I was to post on this site more than before, or to post big files elsewhere, just because Cloudflares bulshit. I was even taking care to use Wi-Fi whenever possible, but because Cloudflare’s ‘just a moment’ routine (ho, ho, HAL in 2001) sucks, it eats the data allowance while serving nothing.

    As I was saying in an earlier post, the Cloudflare people claim that it is customer-side settings.
    I can never even check my posts for replies, it also loses my point in any thread.

  286. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The whole point of Sense and Sensibility is that Elinor has felt every misery that Marianne has, but she hasn’t been blaring her emotions all over the map. See the 2008 miniseries, where Elinor’s emotional defenses finally crumble once she learns the truth of about Lucy Steele’s marriage, and we see how much she has been restraining her feelings all along.

     

    We Calvinists just rewatched this series, and that moment is portrayed wonderfully by Hattie Morahan. Later on she also takes a big acting risk at the point at which she discovers Edward is unmarried and has come for her. She turns from Edward and rushes back into the kitchen, instinctively taking refuge from the power of her emotions by trying to resume the breadmaking she was doing before Edward arrives. It's as if she resorts to the 'muscle memory' built up by years of suppressing her inner life under a carapace of household/family utility, then finally relents and turns to Edward, giving this crucial scene a raw, unartificed immediacy.

    In Ang Lee's 1995 adaptation, Emma Thompson plays the scene more conventionally, just turning away from Edward and bursting into heaving sobs. It's good, but not as memorable or moving as Morahan's interpretation.

    Why not read, morons? Any adaptation of Austen will now necessarily be bad.

    BBC or UK film grant poliicies on the one side, as far as I can see, nobody much in the U.S.A. is interested in her writing. Oh! Wait, we will introduce a false range of darkies into Jane Austen’s ouevre.

  287. Toni morrison is below average, no offence. If she was really really into it i might give it a go. But lets get real

  288. @Steve Sailer
    It's a 1998 Infiniti I-30. It's actually a pretty nice car other than the leather upholstery is completely shot. If I can get it through two more smog checks, it becomes officially an antique in 2023 and doesn't need anymore smog checks, according to what a valet parker told me.

    It has a very pleasant ride. Here's a question for car experts: What's the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus? I have a vague suspicion that high end sedans have better suspensions that start from using higher quality and quantity of steel. Does that make any sense?

    “higher quality and quantity of steel”

    The newest few years of F-150 trucks and 100k Audi A8 for much longer have aluminum bodies.

    I think that is it on using a different metal.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    A lot of modern cars are made (in part) of "high strength steel". When they say " chassis of the new 2019 Konyota Libra is 200% stiffer than the 2018" they mean that they have replaced some of the steel with the high strength stuff. But again the Avalon and the Lexus will be made of the exact same stuff.
  289. @Anon
    Willoughby was played by gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous Greg Wise . Rick man isn’t very good looking and way too old at the time to convincingly play a 35 year old.

    Marianne didn’t have a choice. Gorgeous Greg married someone else for money and Marianne settled for Brandon

    35 in Jane Austen’s time would not be 35 now.
    And Rickman didn’t have to be good-looking…that voice.
    Eric Wise…meh.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Greg Wise not Eric. Rickman’s a good actor but who cares about a voice compared to Greg’s perfection
  290. @Lot
    "higher quality and quantity of steel"

    The newest few years of F-150 trucks and 100k Audi A8 for much longer have aluminum bodies.

    I think that is it on using a different metal.

    A lot of modern cars are made (in part) of “high strength steel”. When they say ” chassis of the new 2019 Konyota Libra is 200% stiffer than the 2018″ they mean that they have replaced some of the steel with the high strength stuff. But again the Avalon and the Lexus will be made of the exact same stuff.

  291. @Jack D
    That's not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the "F&I" guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.

    That’s not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the “F&I” guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.

    Sell the existing car on your own. Pay cash for the new one. Settle on all the options and final pricing online. Show up with a cashier’s check to pick up the car. Done.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    That's how I do it too, but Step 2 - pay cash for car, is beyond the reach of the vast majority of all Americans. Something like half of all Americans have less than $600 of liquid assets - think of all those Federal employees making $60k plus generous benefits who were at the food bank when they missed one paycheck. It's just inconceivable to them to accumulate $30,000 or so. Their paycheck is already spoken for (mortgage payments or rent, college loan payments, car payments, credit card payments, etc.) before it even arrives so there is nothing left over to save.

    OTOH they do have enough income to make payments on a newer car than they should really be driving- if they really had the discipline they could pay off a car in 5 years, drive it for another 5 years while saving the payments they would have been making and then buy the next car for cash. But they don't - they spend every last cent that they make (and more).
  292. Sell the existing car on your own. Pay cash for the new one. Settle on all the options and final pricing online. Show up with a cashier’s check to pick up the car. Done.

    Selling a car on your own is a massive pain in the posterior. Especially if you still owe money on it. Even if you find a qualified buyer you’ll have to time things well so you’re not paying two loans at once (or have your bank turn you down for the new loan because you still have an outstanding loan) or find yourself without a car. And as I noted earlier, if you want to pay cash for the new car, or use outside financing, the dealer will make you pay a higher price.
    Oh, and buying a car is not like buying a toaster. Trying to get a final price online is nearly impossible. Most dealers refuse to quote prices online and make you come to the showroom in person. Remember, they have a legal monopoly, and exploit it for all its worth.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Oh, and buying a car is not like buying a toaster. Trying to get a final price online is nearly impossible. Most dealers refuse to quote prices online and make you come to the showroom in person.
     
    Untrue. I bought my last several cars this way. We already had a big thread about it. Mr. Sailer also mentioned that his son bought his car this way.
    , @Jack D
    No, they don't have a monopoly but they do have an oligopoly, which is not quite the same thing. There is less competition than a free market but there is some. You can take advantage of that by playing 2 or more dealers against each other. Dealers especially like to steal customers from outside their immediate territory because they view these as "extra" sales. Once you have established a low price from a dealer who is say 25 t0 75 miles away you can try to take it to your local dealer to see if he will match it, or else just take a little trip (having agreed on the final amount in advance) to the more distant dealer to pick up the car. You can take the car to your local dealer for service no problem.

    If this is beyond your level of negotiating skill there are car buying services (free if you are a Costco member. Your credit union, insurance company, etc. may also offer one) that do essentially the same thing. You can probably do better on your own if you are a sharp negotiator but if you are below average then the car buying service is better than nothing.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    The last car I bought was from a dealer's Internet guy. I drove the car, negotiated a price via email, then picked it up.

    I didn't get a great deal, because I didn't screw the guy down over every little thing.
    I got a good deal and he made some money.
  293. anonymous[180] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    Any woman can lay down under a man for a few minutes in the middle of the month and conceive a baby. But only a few men and women are able to write a 300 page book and get it published and read.

    A normally healthy woman of today could have 20 children between 17 and 42 if she didn’t use birth control

    Sorry for being a bitch but some of you guys need to read a book about human reproduction. Our basic function is to attract a man??? We don’t need to do anything to attract men they just swarm Our big problem is beating men off. I just don’t understand why fathers of 2 or no children are so obsessed with other people’s sex lives.

    I doubt you are actually a woman.

    Most women – and almost all of that very unusual subset of women who are even tempted to post a comment on a website like this, much less that even smaller subset that go through with it —- as I was saying, most women are VERY aware that unless they “know what to do” they are not going to have much happiness with the opposite sex, because most men are unattractive to all but the most nymphomaniacal of women, absent (a) commitment to a few decades of financial support or (b) commitment to a few decades of financial support. And a real woman does not console herself by thinking, much less saying, that “all she needs to do” is “lay down under a man” for a few minutes every once in a while ….

    So, I am guessing, your English is pretty good, but not all that good, so you are probably not a woman, and English is probably not your native language. My best guess is that you are a grad student with upper middle class parents and you live in a big city in India or some similar large country where gender relations are …. extraordinarily problematic.

    Amirite?

  294. anonymous[348] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosamond Vincy
    How is he in Hell before he dies and presumably goes where he belongs? Lovelace displays rodomontade emotions in an exaggerated manner as if he's miming them (he is), but he's hollow and never learns a thing. At the end, he's flippantly referring to dead the Clarissa as "Clarissa Lovelace," ignoring the fact that she thoroughly refused him when she was alive. He wants someone to get her heart--the physical organ--from her corpse before burial, presumably for the standard serial killer's collection of trophies. Despite his exaggerated qualms about plotting against "such an angel," he's incapable of true guilt and just wants his friends to admire how skilled he'd have to be to corrupt such a pillar of virtue. If he lived longer, he'd just do it again.

    Belfort isn't won over: he's already reformed.

    Anna Howe has the snotty lines Clarissa ought to have used on her enemies, but Anna wastes them on her perfectly harmless mother and suitor.
    Clarissa prettily preaches, begs, cries, and faints through all 7 volumes, when a touch of Kate the Shrew would be more likely to make some of her worst tormentors back down. No one actually changes in this novel, and they all, good or bad, declaim instead of speaking. I've seen speeches in blank verse with rhyming couplets that had more verisimilitude.

    We shall have to agree to disagree.

    If you want to give Clarissa another try, I recommend first reading up on London-Ottoman diplomatic relations in Richardson’s era, then read up a little on Matthew Henry’s views on the reasons for 18th century degeneracy, and don’t read the novel fast. I can’t imagine that anyone who has read it as assigned reading in graduate school had the time to really appreciate it.

    I took a year and a half to read it through and, because I worked hard to understand, I had no problem extrapolating what you call “speeches without verisimilitude” into the near-heavenly expressions of human truth that Richardson was trying for, and for which his most appreciative readers love his masterpiece so much.

    Finally, and you and me may differ on this, I think it is quite possible that good people are in heaven already while still in this world – several of my favorite saints (Elizabeth of the Trinity, Therese Martin, and Alphonsus Liguori) have spoken of their feeling that the joys of Heaven are available in this world to those who love God and love others and so forth, and how they know they will be in Heaven the instant they die but they want to stay on this Earth longer just because …. being here is better not for them but for others.

    The character of Lovelace, in my view, unwittingly revealed in his vicious letters that he was undergoing quite another experience with respect to the Four Last Things.

    Anyway, we can agree to disagree.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    I read it on my own as a teen before it was ever assigned after coming across a synopsis. I'm not denying it had a huge influence on the psychological novel. I know nothing of Ottoman politics of the time, but I did feel for her situation: being at the mercy of property laws that meant she could be bartered for her inheritance but probably couldn't get her hands on it herself. There were few laws on the books protecting women, and good luck getting the ones that existed enforced. I remembered thinking that if she just made herself less of a paragon, she could drive some of her more tiresome suitors away. Karen Cushman somehow arrived at a similar conclusion: she wrote a medieval young adult novel (Catherine, Called Birdy) with a character who uses precisely that approach to rid herself of unwanted prospects. (I had a few friends who told me they even thought of me the minute they read it!)

    Therese Martin is my confirmation saint, and her simplicity contrasts with the bombastic speeches in Clarissa. Try reading one aloud. Really, pick one. It's like Commedia del'Arte without the humor: a bunch of stock characters (the hapless ingenue; the stern father "thunder[ing] 'Son James!'"; the mustachio-twirling villain; the jealous sister), each emitting stock speeches. Lovelace works as a character only because the hollowness fits a psychopath beautifully. The series did a fantastic job of pruning that metastasizing rhetoric into a believable script.

    The situation is believable--girls were forced into marriage; rich, useless men did seduce or kidnap girls, trick them with mock marriages, slip them the 18th-century equivalent of roofies--but the characters don't come to life the way they do in Laclos' Liaisons Dangereuses (although I know Laclos was obviously influenced by Clarissa and even has Mme. de Tourvel reading it). I believe Laclos' characters; I can even believe Moliere's, as Commedia as they clearly are, but Richardson's are stilted little allegories of good and evil, without any of the surprising depth to be found in medieval allegorical characters. The mystery plays did it better.

    Does Clarissa's martyrdom save anyone? Nope. Anna Howe was decent from the start, Belfort has already reformed before the first letter, and some bros-before-hoes code means he still can't warn people about Lovelace's plans, because allowing lives to be destroyed isn't half as important as being Kewl. The bawd goes to hell, Lovelace goes to hell, Clarissa's bullying siblings enter hellish marriages that promptly fall apart. Was anyone inspired by her example? Any Allessandro Serenelli? Any Saint Paul, comforted by Ananias, who had previously implied God might have been making a mistake? You bring up Catholic theologians, but this book has a shriekingly Protestant view of predestination. We all know within a few pages who belongs in heaven and who in hell. This isn't the Bible, with Matthew the Levite and the Samaritan woman by the well. This is "Eleanor Rigby"--no one was saved.

    Please give me an abridged version of how the Ottoman Empire has anything to do with it.

  295. @Rosamond Vincy
    35 in Jane Austen's time would not be 35 now.
    And Rickman didn't have to be good-looking...that voice.
    Eric Wise...meh.

    Greg Wise not Eric. Rickman’s a good actor but who cares about a voice compared to Greg’s perfection

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
    Whatever, Greg, Eric, still meh.

    Perfection? As if. He's pretty, but Rickman is hypnotic. Saw him on B'way as Valmont. THAT is the only way to be corrupted!
  296. @prosa123
    Sell the existing car on your own. Pay cash for the new one. Settle on all the options and final pricing online. Show up with a cashier’s check to pick up the car. Done.

    Selling a car on your own is a massive pain in the posterior. Especially if you still owe money on it. Even if you find a qualified buyer you'll have to time things well so you're not paying two loans at once (or have your bank turn you down for the new loan because you still have an outstanding loan) or find yourself without a car. And as I noted earlier, if you want to pay cash for the new car, or use outside financing, the dealer will make you pay a higher price.
    Oh, and buying a car is not like buying a toaster. Trying to get a final price online is nearly impossible. Most dealers refuse to quote prices online and make you come to the showroom in person. Remember, they have a legal monopoly, and exploit it for all its worth.

    Oh, and buying a car is not like buying a toaster. Trying to get a final price online is nearly impossible. Most dealers refuse to quote prices online and make you come to the showroom in person.

    Untrue. I bought my last several cars this way. We already had a big thread about it. Mr. Sailer also mentioned that his son bought his car this way.

  297. @Anon
    Greg Wise not Eric. Rickman’s a good actor but who cares about a voice compared to Greg’s perfection

    Whatever, Greg, Eric, still meh.

    Perfection? As if. He’s pretty, but Rickman is hypnotic. Saw him on B’way as Valmont. THAT is the only way to be corrupted!

  298. @Buffalo Joe
    Steve , you are a respected blogger, not a mechanic. Buy a car that fits your budget, seats you and yours comfortably and has a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.

    Since Steve’s a SoCal guy, I’ve always been a little disappointed he doesn’t drive something like a ’69 Chevelle Super Sport and send out blegs like asking if anyone knows a good upholstery guy in the LA area. Or post vintage pics of him and his Trans Am from his ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ phase.

  299. @anonymous
    We shall have to agree to disagree.

    If you want to give Clarissa another try, I recommend first reading up on London-Ottoman diplomatic relations in Richardson's era, then read up a little on Matthew Henry's views on the reasons for 18th century degeneracy, and don't read the novel fast. I can't imagine that anyone who has read it as assigned reading in graduate school had the time to really appreciate it.

    I took a year and a half to read it through and, because I worked hard to understand, I had no problem extrapolating what you call "speeches without verisimilitude" into the near-heavenly expressions of human truth that Richardson was trying for, and for which his most appreciative readers love his masterpiece so much.

    Finally, and you and me may differ on this, I think it is quite possible that good people are in heaven already while still in this world - several of my favorite saints (Elizabeth of the Trinity, Therese Martin, and Alphonsus Liguori) have spoken of their feeling that the joys of Heaven are available in this world to those who love God and love others and so forth, and how they know they will be in Heaven the instant they die but they want to stay on this Earth longer just because .... being here is better not for them but for others.

    The character of Lovelace, in my view, unwittingly revealed in his vicious letters that he was undergoing quite another experience with respect to the Four Last Things.

    Anyway, we can agree to disagree.

    I read it on my own as a teen before it was ever assigned after coming across a synopsis. I’m not denying it had a huge influence on the psychological novel. I know nothing of Ottoman politics of the time, but I did feel for her situation: being at the mercy of property laws that meant she could be bartered for her inheritance but probably couldn’t get her hands on it herself. There were few laws on the books protecting women, and good luck getting the ones that existed enforced. I remembered thinking that if she just made herself less of a paragon, she could drive some of her more tiresome suitors away. Karen Cushman somehow arrived at a similar conclusion: she wrote a medieval young adult novel (Catherine, Called Birdy) with a character who uses precisely that approach to rid herself of unwanted prospects. (I had a few friends who told me they even thought of me the minute they read it!)

    Therese Martin is my confirmation saint, and her simplicity contrasts with the bombastic speeches in Clarissa. Try reading one aloud. Really, pick one. It’s like Commedia del’Arte without the humor: a bunch of stock characters (the hapless ingenue; the stern father “thunder[ing] ‘Son James!’”; the mustachio-twirling villain; the jealous sister), each emitting stock speeches. Lovelace works as a character only because the hollowness fits a psychopath beautifully. The series did a fantastic job of pruning that metastasizing rhetoric into a believable script.

    The situation is believable–girls were forced into marriage; rich, useless men did seduce or kidnap girls, trick them with mock marriages, slip them the 18th-century equivalent of roofies–but the characters don’t come to life the way they do in Laclos’ Liaisons Dangereuses (although I know Laclos was obviously influenced by Clarissa and even has Mme. de Tourvel reading it). I believe Laclos’ characters; I can even believe Moliere’s, as Commedia as they clearly are, but Richardson’s are stilted little allegories of good and evil, without any of the surprising depth to be found in medieval allegorical characters. The mystery plays did it better.

    Does Clarissa’s martyrdom save anyone? Nope. Anna Howe was decent from the start, Belfort has already reformed before the first letter, and some bros-before-hoes code means he still can’t warn people about Lovelace’s plans, because allowing lives to be destroyed isn’t half as important as being Kewl. The bawd goes to hell, Lovelace goes to hell, Clarissa’s bullying siblings enter hellish marriages that promptly fall apart. Was anyone inspired by her example? Any Allessandro Serenelli? Any Saint Paul, comforted by Ananias, who had previously implied God might have been making a mistake? You bring up Catholic theologians, but this book has a shriekingly Protestant view of predestination. We all know within a few pages who belongs in heaven and who in hell. This isn’t the Bible, with Matthew the Levite and the Samaritan woman by the well. This is “Eleanor Rigby”–no one was saved.

    Please give me an abridged version of how the Ottoman Empire has anything to do with it.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    wwebd said - Thx for your comment, I would have answered earlier but I have been at the bedside of a dying relative in the last few days....

    The Ottoman diplomacy is key to understanding why the first 1/8 of Clarissa is realistic. The Ottomans of Richardson's day had power in their own little sphere, and the English diplomats were, in relation to the Turks, like Clarissa in her relation to her evil relatives who insisted she marry the rich creature they intended to be her husband. She - Clarissa - or they, the English - would offer some type of conversation, some type of attempt to reach an understanding, before settling for (a) Clarissa's discussions about marriage with the creature or (b) England's discussions with the Ottomans about fair trade practices. The adversary - the Ottomans or Clarissa's evil relatives - would say, sure, we will discuss it, and then we will do what you do not want us to do, and sooner than you want. It was pure evil - the distilled evil of selfishness - on the part of the Ottomans and on the part of Clarissa's parents. Richardson, in the first eighth of his novel, had not yet corresponded with hundreds of the young women of his day, and the first couple of hundred pages pretty much track his study of diplomacy - as I was saying, English/Ottoman diplomacy, in which the Ottomans were inflexible and cruel - whereas later in the book Richardson wrote more about the struggle between decent people of one sex, who want to make this world a better place, and evil people of the other sex. That was because (a) at the beginning, Richardson, when he began writing, was not really a writer, and had not discussed what the novel was capable of, so he began by writing an allegory of English/Ottoman relationships, couched in a scenario of a young woman being bullied into marriage by her cold-hearted relatives, and (b), later on, Richardson had the opportunity to correspond with many young women about what would become the main theme of his novel, that is, what do we want in life, what will we settle for, and what will we do to make sure bad people do not get what they want?
  300. @Asagirian
    Sartre was truly one of the most appalling-looking men who ever lived. What even happened to create that face?

    He had a very intellectually iconic face. And that eye gave him accent. Not a looker but a look.

    Lots of pretty faces are 'boring' while some less handsome(or even ugly) faces are memorable and striking in some way.

    Many actors were more handsome than Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn but Bronson and Quinn had great movie faces. One look and you never forget.

    Barry Keoghan certainly isn't a looker but he has a cinematic face.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Barry+Keoghan&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjeiqWXtqrgAhVEMqwKHWe5CysQ_AUIDigB&biw=1440&bih=758

    Many actors were more handsome than Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn but Bronson and Quinn had great movie faces. One look and you never forget.

    They had charisma. Much more important to an actor than good looks.

    Humphrey Bogart is a textbook example.

    If you look at the really successful movie stars who were handsome you’ll find that they had charisma as well (from Cary Grant to Mel Gibson).

    Actresses could have it as well. If they were ugly but had charisma they’d never be leading ladies but could carve out solid careers as character actresses.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Actresses could have it as well.

    Joan Crawford, Patricia Neal, and Faye Dunaway had 'accent'.
  301. @Jenner Ickham Errican

    What’s the main design difference between a good mainstream brand like Toyota and its luxury marque like Lexus?
     
    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/lexus-vs-toyota

    From the standpoint of ‘80s nostalgia, the ‘retro-techno’ interior of the current Lexus IS series is great design. Hard lines with high quality silky matte surface finishes—no chrome or glossy plastic. The angled main console has push button ‘analog’ controls rather than a digital screen (which is tastefully recessed high on the dash, closer to safe driving view).

    The exterior is okay—a little flashy, but par for the course in the ‘aspirational’ sports sedan market.

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/49-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/69-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/48-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2013/01/50-2014-lexus-is-live.jpg

    https://www.lexus.com/cm-img/visualizer/2019/is/300-f-sport/exterior/fsport-18-five-spoke/obsidian/large-2.jpg

    https://www.lexus.com/cm-img/visualizer/2019/is/300-f-sport/exterior/fsport-18-five-spoke/obsidian/large-3.jpg

    What’s to be done about the butt-ugly grilles on the front of so many cars nowadays? Getting so it’s hard to find a car without one. Also, I miss functional bumpers. Do these things mean I’m getting old?

  302. @Buffalo Joe
    Pete, Jane Bowles "definitely had a thing." All women have that "thing" that's why we chase them.

    All women? ALL WOMEN?

    Are you trying to get laid or something??

  303. @Twinkie

    That’s not a complete solution. You still have to negotiate the trade-in, financing and even if you agree on a base price, you still have to go thru the gauntlet where the “F&I” guy tries to sell you useless add-ons. The price is only one element in the deal.
     
    Sell the existing car on your own. Pay cash for the new one. Settle on all the options and final pricing online. Show up with a cashier’s check to pick up the car. Done.

    That’s how I do it too, but Step 2 – pay cash for car, is beyond the reach of the vast majority of all Americans. Something like half of all Americans have less than $600 of liquid assets – think of all those Federal employees making $60k plus generous benefits who were at the food bank when they missed one paycheck. It’s just inconceivable to them to accumulate $30,000 or so. Their paycheck is already spoken for (mortgage payments or rent, college loan payments, car payments, credit card payments, etc.) before it even arrives so there is nothing left over to save.

    OTOH they do have enough income to make payments on a newer car than they should really be driving- if they really had the discipline they could pay off a car in 5 years, drive it for another 5 years while saving the payments they would have been making and then buy the next car for cash. But they don’t – they spend every last cent that they make (and more).

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    Federal employees making $60k plus generous benefits who were at the food bank when they missed one paycheck.
     
    The average Fed here in the Imperial Capital makes more like $100k with generous benefits, and the usual retards were setting up food banks, which made good footage for the local news. Everybody knew they would get paid; even the banks were extending credit.
    , @Twinkie

    Step 2 – pay cash for car, is beyond the reach of the vast majority of all Americans.
     
    A long time ago, when my wife and I were starting out, we bought our first car with a loan. We got the loan from USAA. I negotiated a cash price for the car and brought a check from USAA.
  304. @prosa123
    Sell the existing car on your own. Pay cash for the new one. Settle on all the options and final pricing online. Show up with a cashier’s check to pick up the car. Done.

    Selling a car on your own is a massive pain in the posterior. Especially if you still owe money on it. Even if you find a qualified buyer you'll have to time things well so you're not paying two loans at once (or have your bank turn you down for the new loan because you still have an outstanding loan) or find yourself without a car. And as I noted earlier, if you want to pay cash for the new car, or use outside financing, the dealer will make you pay a higher price.
    Oh, and buying a car is not like buying a toaster. Trying to get a final price online is nearly impossible. Most dealers refuse to quote prices online and make you come to the showroom in person. Remember, they have a legal monopoly, and exploit it for all its worth.

    No, they don’t have a monopoly but they do have an oligopoly, which is not quite the same thing. There is less competition than a free market but there is some. You can take advantage of that by playing 2 or more dealers against each other. Dealers especially like to steal customers from outside their immediate territory because they view these as “extra” sales. Once you have established a low price from a dealer who is say 25 t0 75 miles away you can try to take it to your local dealer to see if he will match it, or else just take a little trip (having agreed on the final amount in advance) to the more distant dealer to pick up the car. You can take the car to your local dealer for service no problem.

    If this is beyond your level of negotiating skill there are car buying services (free if you are a Costco member. Your credit union, insurance company, etc. may also offer one) that do essentially the same thing. You can probably do better on your own if you are a sharp negotiator but if you are below average then the car buying service is better than nothing.

  305. @Kratoklastes
    I'm with you 100% on the preternaturally-white teeth thing: if you ever have the misfortune of seeing the guy they call 'Dr Phil', it looks like he's wearing a brand-new 1980s mouthguard. Weird.

    As for the phenomenon of men putting coloured gunk in their hair like a bunch of women... that's gotta stop if we are to arrest civilisational decline. It's as bad as heel lifts, a gut truss, or sticking a rolled-up sock down your underpants to impress the lay-deeeez.

    In other words, men must deliberately and consistently 'call out' other men who betray our gender by ape-ing the shallow bullshit that (most) women think is 'normal' amongst themselves - i.e.,
    • fake hair,
    • facial makeup/fake eyelashes
    • 'filler' injections,
    • 'chicken fillets'/padded bra/boobjobs
    • 'control garments'
    • fake tan;
    • fake height (i.e., high heels)

    I admit a personal interest in this: The Lovely - being a trim 5'7", 51kg 46-year old never-smoker - looks about 25 with her normal professionally-orchestrated hair dye-job, lack of wrinkles and exceptional posture. (To her credit she never wears heels, only wears makeup (powder) to court, doesn't wear tit-padding or have fake tits, has never had botox or fillers, and eschews the sun and fake tan).

    But still: over the last 5 years, several wait-staff in cafés have assumed she's my daughter. I'm not in terrible shape (non Dad-bod; never-smoker so no wrinkles), but my hair is pretty much 100% grey as befits my age (54 the other day).

    If female humans presented an honest face to the world, The Lovely's hair would also be shot through with grey at the very least ... although we'll never know - she pays a Greek homosexual $300 every six weeks to keep her 'pixie' haircut not-grey in a way that looks so realistic that I am actually impressed.

    Female fakeness - literally from the tip of their heads to the ground - is why women do not deserve to be taken seriously unless and until they reform; a vanishingly small proportion of them will go totally without makeup... and yet they call us shallow.

    /triggered hahahaha

    Good God man, no one asked for your life story here. Particularly since it appears to be a low-rent retread of a famous Chris Rock routine.

  306. @Paul
    I was skiing with a friend in Sun Valley, and we talked about the fact that women skiers had above average looks and were style conscious. (A ski shop salesman once told me that women were not interested in the quality of the skis they were purchasing but rather whether the color scheme on the skis would coordinate well with their ski outfits.)

    My friend attended the highly regarded University of Chicago and mentioned the dearth of good looking women there. I told him my theory that homely women tend to compensate by putting a lot of effort into school. He thought that sounded like a possibility. Perhaps that is something social scientists could investigate.

    I went to an Ivy whose sister school was across the street. It was said that the fence around it was to peep the ______ girls in. Not a lot of lookers.

  307. @Jack D
    Depends what you mean by "scam". At a Kia dealership they are going to take several thousand off the sticker and then try to make some of it back selling you key fob insurance and tire puncture insurance and meteorite strike insurance - "If a meteorite strikes your car, it won't cost you a nickel!". At the Lexus dealer they'll just sell you the car for full sticker. So who's the scammer? And just wait to see what the service dept. charges for an oil change.

    When the Kia dealer tries to scam you, here's a sure fire method to avoid getting scammed- just say no. Would you like the overpriced extended warranty? No! Would you like the nuclear blast insurance? No! Would you like the upholstery fabric treatment - No! Etc.

    If you want to buy the extended warranty, don’t buy it from the dealer when you buy the car or you will pay full (> $1k) price. Go online and buy it from some other dealer at a discount. It’s t