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View Full Version : High, Middle and Low Brow [Article]



gothicangel
08-01-2011, 12:01 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2020891/Middlebrow-proud-Experts-say-time-embrace-middle-road-tastes-stop-pretending-love-opera.html

On my bookshelf I have an eclectic mix. James Robertson, Sarah Waters, Ken Follet, Rosemary Sutcliff. Which probably means I flit between high and middle brow.

But Dan Brown is middle brow? There's nothing wrong with reading and enjoying Dan Brown, but I always thought mid-brow was 'mainstream.' Somewhere between a beach-read and a potential Booker nominee.

girlyswot
08-01-2011, 01:35 PM
I think middlebrow is a term that the Daily Mail have just made up. And I would absolutely categorise Dan Brown as low brow.

For what it's worth, I have been massively happier in the last few years since I embraced my inner low brow. I watch BBC3 and I read category romances. It helps, while I'm finishing my PhD.

shaldna
08-01-2011, 01:38 PM
I have Star Trek novels on my shelf beside all my Thomas Hardy. I loved Brave New World just as much as I loved Jurassic Park. My favourite book is Watership Down, but I still laugh at fart jokes. My copy of Jilly Coopers 'Riders' has been read so many times it's held togther with sticky tape. I have a whole shelf of m/m romances - right above all my Lousia May Alcott and Susan Coolidge.

I love McD's and would live on Big Macs, but I also adore champagne and I import all my coffee. I have shoes from Prada, but I still buy my knickers in Primark. I am a shamelss Savage Garden fan but I like to listen to Leonard Cohen in the car.

And I think, that, in all honesty, I'm just like everyone else. I don't think anyone can be completely put into one of those boxes that the article seems to think they can.

Most of us will have aspects of each of those categories, that's what makes us unique people and not carboard Daily Mail coutouts - we would actually tear apart a character if they were neatly boxed like that.

seun
08-01-2011, 01:56 PM
Sounds like just another bullshit class issue article pretending to be news from the Mail.

Priene
08-01-2011, 02:13 PM
I'm amazed the s-word remained unused in the Mail's article until paragraph five. Standards at that newspaper may be slipping again. If that's possible.

Bubastes
08-01-2011, 04:28 PM
What shaldna said. I have category romances, women's fic, business books, classics, YA, sci-fi, and Pulitzer winners on my nightstand. Right now I'm reading American Salvage (a National Book Award finalist) and a Danielle Steel novel. Maybe I have unibrow tastes?

AmsterdamAssassin
08-01-2011, 04:33 PM
I thought Dan Brown was unibrow... :D

seun
08-01-2011, 04:33 PM
Maybe I have unibrow?

You can get a wax for that.

Soccer Mom
08-01-2011, 05:53 PM
Long live the unibrow!

scarletpeaches
08-01-2011, 05:57 PM
Bill Bailey is a highbrow comedian? Well okay, I'll take it. He makes me laugh like a drain and I don't apologise for that.

As for Dan Brown and Maeve Binchy being middlebrow? My arse they are. Sophie Kinsella? Jesus Christ; what are these people on? I lost a few IQ points the last time I read a Shopaholic novel.

I'd better not tell anyone I'm in the middle of reading Ulysses and Candide. God forbid anyone think I was a snob. Or had, you know, standards.

Libbie
08-01-2011, 06:03 PM
I think everybody's tastes are actually a blend of high and low brow. Some have a greater percentage of one or the other, but all people, I think, are capable of enjoying some from column A and some from column B.

dolores haze
08-01-2011, 06:08 PM
I think everybody's tastes are actually a blend of high and low brow. Some have a greater percentage of one or the other, but all people, I think, are capable of enjoying some from column A and some from column B.

Yep, that's me. Swinging wildly between fine art and rollicking pulp and enjoying myself tremendously.

bearilou
08-01-2011, 06:44 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2020891/Middlebrow-proud-Experts-say-time-embrace-middle-road-tastes-stop-pretending-love-opera.html

On my bookshelf I have an eclectic mix. James Robertson, Sarah Waters, Ken Follet, Rosemary Sutcliff. Which probably means I flit between high and middle brow.

But Dan Brown is middle brow? There's nothing wrong with reading and enjoying Dan Brown, but I always thought mid-brow was 'mainstream.' Somewhere between a beach-read and a potential Booker nominee.

Am I reading this right? An article that says it's okay to like what you like?

People have to be told this?

Really?

Maybe my reading comprehension is broken.

seun
08-01-2011, 06:56 PM
Am I reading this right? An article that says it's okay to like what you like?

People have to be told this?

Really?

Maybe my reading comprehension is broken.

I wouldn't worry about it. The Mail has to occasionally come up with some bollocks that isn't about asylum seekers causing cancer or Muslims lowering house prices while on Facebook.

Broadswordbabe
08-01-2011, 07:25 PM
I read everything from Angela Carter to Preacher - and I'm too old and too bolshie to give a toss what other people think of my tastes. Although I might feel the need to apologise for what I read if it was the Daily Mail.

Phaeal
08-01-2011, 09:44 PM
I read whatever passes my first-few-pages test. Right now I'm reading The Fall (solidly middlebrow vampire fic), Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen hasn't gotten so popular she's no longer high-brow, has she?), and The Puritan Experiment: New England Society from Bradford to Edwards (seriously foot-noted history, so gotta be high-brow, huh?) I like opera, and Glee. I love food and house porn (Food Network and HGTV.)

As for pizza, I make my own. Does that make me a snob or just frugal?

I guess I don't go to enough fancy parties to worry about measuring brows, including my own.

swvaughn
08-02-2011, 05:35 PM
Wow. I think, according to their little quiz, I'm somewhere beneath lowbrow.

Like maybe Primordial Oozebrow.

I have never heard of any of that "music" and would never wear any of the "clothing" choices -- I shop at the thrift store, thankewverymuch. Not cuz I'm retro or hipster, but cuz I'm cheap and don't give a rat's ass if anyone likes my clothes...

Gonna go roll around in my mudpit now. :D

scarletpeaches
08-02-2011, 05:36 PM
Primordial Oozebrow is my favourite kind of author!

(Well it is now.)

swvaughn
08-02-2011, 06:24 PM
It's a good term. We can share it! :D

scarletpeaches
08-02-2011, 06:33 PM
Here's hoping no-one ever plucks us.

What?

Jamesaritchie
08-02-2011, 09:01 PM
I don't believe in high or low brow. I believe in good books I enjoy reading.

Phaeal
08-02-2011, 09:07 PM
Please list some primordial ooze brow titles. Me wants!

gothicangel
08-03-2011, 12:39 AM
Wow. I think, according to their little quiz, I'm somewhere beneath lowbrow.



I did the quiz, and didn't fall into any categories. I'm either looking down on highbrow, or primordial slime.

FYO: I don't like coffee from coffee shops [I know what they are made of after working in coffee shops], I much prefer brewing my own coffee at home.

scarletpeaches
08-03-2011, 12:46 AM
I don't drink coffee at all. Am I no-brow?

Kitty27
08-03-2011, 12:53 AM
No,you don't know what you are missing. Coffee is the nectar of the gods!

I read James Baldwin and Donald Goines. I love old school gangster rap and Mozart. Tupac and Gil Scott-Heron are both poets to me. I wouldn't be caught dead in ugly clothes but I will rock socks and house shoes(Not in front of my mother. She considers such an ensemble to be the ways of heathens). I'm a Goth but still hood.

I'm hood-bougie in my tastes. I think people like a little bit of everything.

Xelebes
08-03-2011, 12:56 AM
I frankly have no clue as to what any of the options are, save for the GAP sweater, the coffee, Pizza Hut and. . . nothing else. None of which I can stand. So I can't really say where I belong on that ridiculous test.

scarletpeaches
08-03-2011, 12:59 AM
No,you don't know what you are missing. Coffee is the nectar of the gods!Shut up, you. You're not allowed to give me shit; I dedicated ALD to you.

Kitty27
08-03-2011, 01:05 AM
Shut up, you. You're not allowed to give me shit; I dedicated ALD to you.

And I shall be ordering on Friday morning!

Gotta support my baby mama all day,every day!

swvaughn
08-03-2011, 01:29 AM
Please list some primordial ooze brow titles. Me wants!

:D Lessee. First we'd have to define "Primordial Oozebrow." I think we should call it this:

Fiction that is written not to improve your life, deliver a profound message, "teach" you something, expound upon how terribly intelligent and articulate and worldly (or world-weary) the author is -- or conversely, written because the author expects/knows he/she can cash in, because it came to them in a "magical dweam of wonderfuwness," or because their parents are famous and/or have tons of money (Joe Hill, you are excepted). Primordial Oozebrow must be written with the sole, express purpose of entertaining the reader.

So -- that's all my stuff, and probably all Scarlet's stuff. :D

Also*: Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series (yummy, yummy angst!), Erica Spindler's romantic suspense (has depth, but is not "hard" to read -- tons of fun!), early Stephen King and a few later titles (Duma Key, The Dome), J.A. Jance, Chelsea Cain... I'm sure there's more.

*Disclaimer: I do not actually know any of these authors personally, so maybe they are trying to deliver messages or something. If they are, I'm too primordial to get it. :)

scarletpeaches
08-03-2011, 01:31 AM
So -- that's all my stuff, and probably all Scarlet's stuff. :DHey - I saw that! :D

Mr Flibble
08-03-2011, 02:14 AM
I think I'm no-brow. I answered 'none of the above' to all but one of the questions!

swvaughn
08-03-2011, 03:07 AM
Hey - I saw that! :D

'Tis a compliment, lady. :D

...unless you've had any magical dweams of wonderfuwness that you have yet to confess to...

Nexus
08-03-2011, 05:39 AM
I thought Dan Brown was unibrow... :D


I thought a unibrow was all that at more. A chimera of Low, Middle, High... and one eyebrow.

That would be the best writer ever!

backslashbaby
08-03-2011, 08:39 AM
I like The Gap and Starbucks. I like Olive Garden (one that's joked about over here). I'd read The Da Vinci Code if I damned well felt like it. I have no qualms admitting to average stuff. I'm nobody, and I mean that :D

Most of the things I like aren't on the list at all, though, yeah.