November 23, 2009 12:57 am at 12:57 am #590843
Okay. So well all know that it’s a huge issue that there isn’t a lot of good Jewish literature out there.
As I read through the threads in the CR, it struck me that A LOT OF YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING WRITERS! Seriously. A lot of you write eloquently with beautiful vocabulary and easy-to-read styles. This is a great opportunity for you guys to really put your kochos into helping klal yisroel! If you guys would write books and articles, you could really help the world!
LOL for all I know, you guys are actually authors and I don’t realize it. (With the whole anonymous thing going on.)
But seriously, what do you think?November 23, 2009 3:57 am at 3:57 am #669448pookieMember
maskim!November 23, 2009 6:45 am at 6:45 am #669449
Actwolly, I purpusly wryte likce i’m a litell shikor so as not too intimidayt the reeders. bot I apreshiate thoughs calmplaments. 🙂November 23, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #669450
Striving, what kind of plots geared to what ages would you like to see?November 23, 2009 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #669451
bein_hasdorim – lol
tzippi – good question. The truth is that personally, I’ll read any book if it’s written well – especially kids books. I guess I’ve been “ruined” by reading secular books because now I’m pretty critical about frum literature.
I’d LOVE to read a fabulous Jewish novel for adults but I have yet to find one that really satisfies me…November 23, 2009 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #669452
You won’t find a fabulous Jewish novel (though Naomi Ragen and Faye Kellerman have written some), because they are written at a juvenile level. Frum writers are so scared of offending people (with good cause), that they write relatively bland, stuff.November 23, 2009 7:14 pm at 7:14 pm #669453truthsharerMember
oomis1105, it’s not that they are scared to write it, the publishers are scared to publish. big difference, but same results.November 23, 2009 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #669454
Yes, I do love Faye Kellerman’s series with Peter and Rina Decker, starting with “The Ritual Bath.” Very good detective stories based around Jewish themes, with much of the detective work done by Rina, who is an observant Jewish woman.November 23, 2009 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #669455
these days you can economically publish yourself, even if only on the internet.November 23, 2009 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #669456SmartJewMember
Good news..my friend, an awesome writer, is currently working on a well written Jewish novelNovember 23, 2009 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #669457
I think many of us here are author wannabes (myself included). At least if we write something dumb, no one knows who we are…. 😉November 23, 2009 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #669458
Let’s not bring the secular writers into this. I believe that there can be quality lit without the raw language and scenes (and errors, even if unintentional). Sun Inside Rain is a case in point. Dual Discovery was outstanding, and for younger readers, The Stars Will Guide You was great. Meir Uri Gottesman is a compelling writer and a rollicking read. This short list is not meant to be definitive. (Avner Gold is fantastic though I hope his new emphasis on the history and gedolim will not be at the expense of the story; I wonder how many other readers wanted more of a glimpse of Sebastian’s later life. But halevai other authors should come anywhere close.)November 23, 2009 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #669459Mayan_DvashParticipant
Taking a different angle, I have a son in Pre1A. His Rebbi (most probably) did not receive a formal English education. He has been teaching for 30+ years. With all due respect that a Rebbi of foundation concepts in TOrah deserves, his spelling is atrocious. His grammar is not so bad. He is obviously very successful, otherwise the Yeshiva would not keep him on staff and parents would not look forward to having their children in his class. My son tells me that “Rebbi doesn’t know ____” whatever it is they are learning at the time, which is probably part of the method he uses to get the children involved in learning. Taking these events into account I really think that even his “atrocious spelling” is a “show” even for the parents. I caught in one of the newsletters, word(s) he would “misspell” was spelled correctly. Now, suppose I am wrong and he really cannot write English properly, I think that since the children barely know ABC, and are not likely to read the newsletters, is it really such a big deal? It obviously does not affect his success rate teaching alef-bais?
;November 23, 2009 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #669460
“Tales of the Yeshivish.”November 23, 2009 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #669461cantoresqMember
I don’t understand something. If Uncle Tom’s Cabin was good eough R. Eliyahu Dessler, why do we need to create a whole new genre of frum literature?November 23, 2009 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #669462
Maayan Devash, this is a separate issue. In my day the principal would read EVERY thing that issued from the school office. It is so sad to see the deterioration of usage of language.November 23, 2009 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #669463YW Moderator-80Member
Rav Dessler was required to read that novel by his father.November 23, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #669464
I have an idea for a novel: It was a dark and stormy night. Two girls, who were worried about the impending shidduch crisis, were driving to a Chanukah party, and their tire was punctured and ran flat. A boy, on his way to do some Black Friday shopping, and wearing a colored shirt and jeans comes to the aid of the two. He fixes their tire, makes small talk, coyly trying to make sure that they are close to his age, or perhaps even older, in order to make a shidduch, yet not exacerbate the age gap. The boy was well-reared by his parents, and did not wish that any girl be frozen or excluded from marrying on his account.
While fixing the tire, he got a grease stain on his velvet kippah. He tried to blot the stain with a recent, thick copy of Hamodia, preferring not to use the more effective blotter of the New York Post, due to its inappropriate content.
He had been previously engaged, to a girl five years younger, but there had not been a tenoyim, and they had parted amicably. Their aunts, who had redt the original shidduch, were still friendly.
One of the girls had an uncle who was entering the hospital shortly, in a distant town. She wanted to ask the boy if he knew of a bichur holim in that area, since the boy seemed to have a lot of such knowledge.
Suddenly, his cell phone rings. He had forgotten to turn it off since, of course, this was not a date. It is his best friend, who IS on a date, and was discussing Shalos Seudot recipes with the girl, and wanted help remembering a cheesecake recipe for some delicious parve cheesecake they had eaten the week before. . . . .
Note to publishers: This is just an outline, I am still working on it.November 23, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #669466
ronrsr: I’ll be first in line to buy it!November 23, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #669467
working title: The Coffee Room ChroniclesNovember 23, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #669468
or: Tales of the Over-CaffeinatedNovember 23, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #669470mybatMember
ronsr wow!!!! where do you get those stories from??? 🙂November 23, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #669471
oomis – About the Faye Kellerman types – it’s weird because there seems to be such real understanding of the frum world and at the same time it’s very inappropriate and at times has a lot of cursing— it there an in-between???
Does a good novel have to be offensive with inappropriate references? I’ve read some great kids books that are written amazingly and are totally appropriate. I guess when you’re writing from an adult perspective there has to be some romance… is that what you’re saying?
ronrsr – haha good one!!!November 23, 2009 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #669472mazcaMember
Let’s write a book about the broken phone it really made me laugh for days. And we can also add the shidduch crisis and boring posts about medicine, health and of course don’t forget to put your two senses at the end of the book.November 24, 2009 1:42 am at 1:42 am #669473A Woman Outside BrooklynParticipant
We could try something my friends and I used to do, years ago. Have one person start a story with a paragraph or so (or we could use ronrsr’s scenerio, and then each person who wants to, adds a paragraph. It’s very interesting to see how the story develops as it makes its rounds from one participant to another.
Re Faye Kellerman – the Ritual Bath is very clean, not problematic for most frum readers. As the series continued, however, the cursing became more prevelent, and the fact that Rina is Orthodox became less significant.November 24, 2009 2:05 am at 2:05 am #669474
AWoman_outside_bklyn – sounds interesting. Wanna start?November 24, 2009 5:15 am at 5:15 am #669475
striving; said I guess I’ve “ruined” by reading secular books because now I’m pretty critical about frum literature.
I know someone like that too. This person gets too frustrated with the grammatical errors and they cannot read any of these books. I have no problem reading them, though I find myself laughing through many pages, and I did not get an Ivy League education.November 24, 2009 5:29 am at 5:29 am #669476
A woman Outside is right. Kellerman’s work changed after the first couple, probably because she wanted to attract a more mainstream audience.November 24, 2009 5:37 am at 5:37 am #669477
Reminds me of a famous literary hoax and experiment done by a writer for Newsday and a number of prominent authoers in 1969. He wanted to illustrate that American literary culture had become mindlessly vulgar. His theory was that any novel, even a literarily vacant one, even one with no social value whatsoever, could succeed if enough explicit prurience were thrown in.
He recruited 24 fellow writers, mostly from Newsday, and had them each write a chapter. He asked them each to write a deliberately inconsistent and mediocre chapter. Those that were too well written had to be edited down.
The book was a smashing success, of course, even making it to the New York Times bestseller list, and his point was proven.November 24, 2009 5:52 am at 5:52 am #669478
I wonder if you could convince the publisher that there would be a market for the Faye Kellerman books if they were bowdlerized (had the obscenities removed). To the best of my recall, there isn’t that much of it, and very little of it is relevant to the storyline. It would scarcely change the stories, which are great.November 24, 2009 6:12 am at 6:12 am #669479
all those stories are taken from “REAL LIFE.”November 24, 2009 7:29 am at 7:29 am #669480
AWoman_outside_bklyn and striving:
Check out the various threads titled “Broken Telephone” in the Decaffeinated Coffee Forum. Then let us know if you want to continue with your idea.November 24, 2009 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #669481
I like Faye Kellerman. I heard her speak, she’s an engaging person who would make a great neighbor (not that I could afford to live in any of her neighborhoods 😉 But to ronrsr: have you read all her books? Do you really think so? I can’t see it at all. And there are subtleties, like the younger daughter’s choir recital in the last book attended by her father – this is not for the mainstream Judaica reader. Between the expense in getting the rights (how much will Harper Collins or whoever make from it from being sanitized) and the impossibility of getting the job done, not gonna happen.November 24, 2009 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #669482
Sometime I may have the chance to discuss my favorite literary hoax, “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” by George Plympton. The hoax, the article and the book were about baseball, which only seems to be controversial here around World Series time.November 24, 2009 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #669483
I tried to post the name of the book, but it was edited. You may have to do your own research on this one, try googling “literary hoax 1969.”
I purposely did not post the name in the original post because I wished to make a point and I wasn’t sure if the title of the book was appropriate for this forum.
I left it up to the moderator, and the moderator thought it wasn’t, and I’m fine with that.November 24, 2009 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #669484
I saw your post before it got edited. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. There are so many people in the CR who are easily offended that the mods bend over backwards, even to the point of using incorrect language so as not to offend anybody. For example, they use the word “gender” when speaking of characteristics that separate males from females. Incorrect word, but some people are offended by the proper word. So, it would appear there are people who are also offended by words meaning “unclothed.”
I, on the other hand, am extremely offended by an abbreviation people use for “people.” The abbreviation can be read as a word describing one of the waste products of metabolism. Yet that gets through.
I think from now on, whenever I see an “offensive” word, I’m going to ask the mods to edit the post. And if I’m overly sensitive, so be it.November 24, 2009 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #669485
And furthermore, I am highly offended by poor grammar. So perhaps we can put an article in the title of this thread?November 24, 2009 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #669486
I figured the thread was named by a Russian speaker, since they have no articles, and frequently make this mistake in English. I do not usually correct adults unless I know they are trying to learn the language.
EDITEDNovember 24, 2009 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #669487
And I guess the answer to my question is “No, we cannot put an article in the title.”November 24, 2009 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #669488
In the words of Boris Badunov:
I have brilliant idea! Let’s kill Moose und Sqvirrel.November 24, 2009 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #669489
SmartJew said; “my friend, is currently working on a well written Jewish novel.”
I truly hope it is well written. It is ridiculous that while we have so many educated and over educated individuals among us yidden, somehow we cannot find some capable writers to produce some decent literature for our jewish youth as well as for the adults, that doesn’t sound like they are translating it from yiddish,
or that the attempts at captivating the reader come at the expense of hysterically worded sentences that lack creativity as well as depth.
I’m not claiming to be an expert, but even I, can pick up on the differences
which aren’t so subtle, when reading good literature, as opposed to
another suspense filled, page turning epic tale, which entails terrorists
(yes, once again) masterminding something,(probably terror)that involves Israel,
as well as the U.S. and somehow Rabbi Shmoiger Boiger, has the key to unraveling this mystery/thriller/best seller/fill in the blank.November 24, 2009 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #669491
Rabbi Shmoiger Boiger – I think I KNOW him!!!!!November 24, 2009 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #669492
One of the problems of Jewish novels is that the editor/publisher will edit out any “buzzwords”, even if they are used by frum yidden.
For example, a friend of mine (a well known jewish author) has told me that he had to get the concept of “a girl who is a friend” across (in a platonic sense), without mentioning the boy & girl were friends.
This is without the controversy caused by some rabbonim/authors who decide to go the “Israel Trade Co.” route, V’Hamaivin Yovin.November 24, 2009 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #669493
bein_hasdorim: You have no idea how funny your post is.
mods: Thanks for fixing the title. And again, I read ronrsr’s post before it was edited. I still don’t see what was wrong with what he wrote.November 24, 2009 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #669494Mezonos MavenMember
So there is good reason referring to such an issur m’doraisa in a book written by and for frum yidden would be considered controversial.November 24, 2009 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #669495
The person in the case was not frum, and the point was to say how what they were doing was assur (and changed once they became “frum’).
So there is good reason referring to such an issur m’doraisa in a book written by and for frum yidden would be considered one of the main points of the book.November 24, 2009 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #669496
Unless, of course, you hold that one may not mention Dvarim Assurim to say they are Assur 🙂
(Note to mods: attach to prior post)November 25, 2009 5:41 am at 5:41 am #669497
Rabbi Shmuel Shmoiger Boiger, or his brother Rabbi Sherlock Shmoiger Boiger?November 25, 2009 7:56 am at 7:56 am #669498mazcaMember
good work everybody. Get the book going and we will all read it. Can’t hardly wait.November 26, 2009 1:34 am at 1:34 am #669500balancedParticipant
i was an avid reader as a kid and my mother tried convincing me jewish authors are just as good. instead of arguing i took the book read until page 25 and accurately “guessed” the rest of the book, conflict and climax. the problem is many are so predictable bec the ending is either the main characters get married,become frum or both always while saying tons of tehillom.which leads to my other problem that authors insist on leaving morals that couldnt be missed by a blind illiterate cow on a dark night with no moon. which destroys the imaginative part of the book . this is a real example- i was reading a book about a secret agent sneaking up on a campsite (his name was like shmerel or s/t just as ridiculous for a spy, y cant they have goyish names)who stopped to say tehillom b4 the operation, i mean c’mon.y cant jewish authors write regular novels minus all the bad stuff and leave the morals for the rabbis or inspirational books
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