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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me try again. I like reading Nonfiction, particularly the kind that is educational. Particularly the kind that educates and gives insight into people, society, geopolitics, etc.
some examples.

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Redefining Reality (The Great Courses)
Sapiens
Predictably Irrational
Prisoners of Geography
9 Presidents who Screwed up America (and 4 who tried to save her)
How We Got to Now: Six Inventions that made the modern world

to put it another way, the kind of nonfiction books that aren't "self-help" and aren't flat history. but are more like, commentaries.
I enjoy reading intelligent people's opinions on various subjects. especially complex ones and ones relevant to daily life. sometimes there are good choices on the NYT bestseller list. but i don't want to miss anything. :)

edit: alternative histories are fun too. they require deep thinking and analysis.
 

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Beating back the devil, by Maryn McKenna. Good book on emerging diseases and the people who combated them.
 
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Earnest Becker's The Denial of Death, it's a non-fiction psychoanalysis book.

Although I'm only a third of a way through it, I can easily say it has shaken me to my core. Every single page is a blessing, it is utterly unputdownable.
 

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I don't know if this is for you personally, but I just find people and the differences among them really interesting. Obviously, that's why I'm here. So I like to read about the extreme outliers. I read a lot of books about serial killers and cults. I want to know what it takes to get a person to that place. Or what keeps them there.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Hill Miscavige (reading now)

Breaking Free: How I Escaped My Father-Warren Jeffs-Polygamy, and the FLDS Cult by Rachel Jeffs (my favorite of the 3)

Zodiac by Robert Graysmith

Interest in non-fiction is a fairly recent development for me. I used to stick to fiction only, probably because I was in school and didn't have a desire to read for learning on my own time.
 
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Interest in non-fiction is a fairly recent development for me. I used to stick to fiction only, probably because I was in school and didn't have a desire to read for learning on my own time.
I go back in forth. it depends on what I'm in the mood for. I like to read fiction, but in some ways, it gives me a similar kind of guilt that watching tv does. For nonfiction, I'm not interested in learning facts for the sake of learning facts. you know? I have no interest in being a Civil War buff. for example. I like the kinds of nonfiction that have the potential to change me for the better. like pokemon evolving into a better pokemon or something. its content might contain either profound insight from the author or just the content itself might be enough to change the way I think, the way I see the world. I don't want to be stagnant. :)

But it can be hard to find good books. To find good nonfiction books that not only resonate with vibration of mind/heart/soul in order to break it out of stagnation, but are about a subject matter, and written well enough, so that I am transfixed and cannot put the book down, even while it is destroying my belief system, currently held views, whatever. :)

I went through my library and pretty much picked out the best ones that I could remember.

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like this quote. I want to be the kind of person this quote describes. The Bible describes the content and depth of that content of some material as milk and other as meat. I want to be one who eats meat.
Now if you're unfamiliar with the verses, I'm sure you realize the difference here is not vegetarian vs carnivore, but baby food vs adult food. I'm sure you figured that out on your own, but not knowing you, and not seeing your face when you read what I say, I have to throw in a disclaimer to prevent misunderstandings just in case. :)

edit: I also like these kinds of podcasts. "You Are Not So Smart" has good stuff. "The TED radio hour". Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. He also used to do a podcast titled Common Sense. that was pretty much my first foray into this type of educational material outside of religion. Everything before that was stuff that came on tv or was assigned by teachers. But he stopped doing Common Sense despite how awesome the show was because it just became hopeless. In his words, he's run out of things to say except what he's already said before and doing the show was just getting depressing. Now he just does his history show which is still awesome.
 

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I go in waves of both reading and what I like to read. I go through times when I am all about fiction and others when I am really enjoying non-fiction. I work full time, commute by car, am the Leader of my daughter's Girl Scout troop, am involved in a local woman's club and am the director of our district for the federation of woman's clubs on top of dealing with my kid's schedules and activities so I really have very little time to read. It becomes a choice between getting a chance to catch up on TV I have recorded or planned to watch (usually with my husband) or reading. I used to listen to books when I was driving to and from work but now I tend to listen to podcasts instead. I have a job that requires me to write and concentrate so I can't listen to audiobooks or podcasts much at work.

I am reading a book on the National Parks right now. It is not really a history of the Parks but sort of an extended guidebook which goes into each park, describes the history, and give tips and ideas about what to see and other insider type stuff.

I really like the Ron Chernow historical biographies. I read (and also listened to) the Alexander Hamilton one, i.e. the one that inspired Lin Manuel Miranda to write Hamilton: An American Musical. I started listening to the Washington one but ended up having to return it to the Library borrowing before I was done and need to re-get it. I hear his Grant one is his best.

@Scarlet_Heart I have been meaning to read the Scientology book too. I have been watching Leah Remini's show and it is amazing to me how much of a "cult" it is. Actually, she did an episode with former Jehovah Witness members and it was interesting how there was similarities in how they controlled the minds of their members too. Both use isolation, control of the media/information they are exposed to, and threaten separation from their families if they leave. The big difference between a religion and a cult is that isolation. People don't know they are being brainwashed because their doctrine tells them that they should be punished or are bad members if they seek outside information. Many, like Jenna, grew up in it so it did not seem odd to be shipped away to a ranch and barely see your parents. They just knew their parents were doing good work for the church and that was what was important. Leah said herself that the issue is, even with law enforcement involvement, brainwashed people of the church most likely will not want to be "rescued", even if they dislike what Miscaviage is doing because they believe L Ron Hubbard will be reincarnated and come back so they should continue to "clear" society.
 

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But it can be hard to find good books. To find good nonfiction books that not only resonate with vibration of mind/heart/soul in order to break it out of stagnation, but are about a subject matter, and written well enough, so that I am transfixed and cannot put the book down, even while it is destroying my belief system, currently held views, whatever. :)
A side note, I was getting information to someone about getting the Girl Scout Gold Award (the Eagle equivalent in GS) and I thought this was a very interesting thing included in the "Investigate the community issue you are proposing to address" section of the requirements. It says:

"Demonstrate courage as you investigate your issue, knowing that what you learn may challenge your own and others’ beliefs."

Nice idea for making well rounded people. Stepping out of your comfort zone and questioning your beliefs should be something everyone should strive for. I know it is something that keeps the ENTP motor running.
 

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@Geonerd I watched the first two seasons and got sucked in really quickly. Then I checked "Dianetics" out from the library but couldn't get through it because it was barely coherent. It was awful. I don't have cable so I'll have to wait for S3 to show up on Hulu. It is amazing. I've read a lot about different cults and I understand how the cult is structured to exploit, isolate, and threaten its people. What I don't understand is the inability of the low level people to recognize it and see it for what it is. Or deep down they do, but the denial is so hardcore.

One thing that I found amazing about Rachel Jeffs is that (if you believe her) she was skeptical since childhood and she actively rebelled throughout her experience. And those doubts only grew such that she left in her early 20s, basically as soon as she could. And talk about being ingrained, she's Warren Jeffs' daughter. I'd like to think that's how I would be. I was raised Roman Catholic and I'm out myself. You have to look at who benefits.
 

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@Geonerd I watched the first two seasons and got sucked in really quickly. Then I checked "Dianetics" out from the library but couldn't get through it because it was barely coherent. It was awful. I don't have cable so I'll have to wait for S3 to show up on Hulu. It is amazing. I've read a lot about different cults and I understand how the cult is structured to exploit, isolate, and threaten its people. What I don't understand is the inability of the low level people to recognize it and see it for what it is. Or deep down they do, but the denial is so hardcore.

One thing that I found amazing about Rachel Jeffs is that (if you believe her) she was skeptical since childhood and she actively rebelled throughout her experience. And those doubts only grew such that she left in her early 20s, basically as soon as she could. And talk about being ingrained, she's Warren Jeffs' daughter. I'd like to think that's how I would be. I was raised Roman Catholic and I'm out myself. You have to look at who benefits.
I listen to Dax Sheppard's Armchair Expert podcast and I find it really interesting (I also suspect Dax is an ENTP). He talks to celebrities but also some more academic people and tries to get into the root of how that person thinks/is motivated. He was talking to Jason Matsukis (if you watch The Good Place, he's Derek) and they were talking about how easily cult-like religions take hold in LA. He said the people there always looking for (and are used to) external direction/criticism/praise between directors, agents, hair/makeup, etc. If someone from Scientology walks up and says "take this personality test....based on this test you would benefit from these counseling sessions to fix your imperfections", they have a tendency to believe it. It's hard to see it once you are in. The cults usually start with innocent self-help/enlightenment type stuff and then pull the cult crap after they are in.

I think it is hard for an ENTP to understand how people can be reeled in but that's because we are not very motivated by external things or rewards, we like independence, and we not seeking someone to lead us. It's my experience that most people need external rewards, feel overwhelmed when there is no rules or guidance, and are looking for someone else to take the lead. There are a lot of people in the world who are always seeking guidance and someone to tell them what to do next. I have said this before but I think Loki was right in The Avengers:

"Kneel before me. I said… KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel."

Religions in general provide rules, leading, and guidance but cults take it a step farther by controlling the lives of people and teach to only listen to them because "the outside" is the enemy and is trying to lead them astray. If they don't see the counter data against what cult they are in they don't see that something is not right.

It's completely different for kids who grow up in it. As a child, your world is your parents and your immediate surroundings. You really do not really get a concept of the outside until you are older, usually through school because you are meeting different kids living a life a little different from your own. If you grow up in a cult (or are one of those who home school so their kids don't get corrupted by liberals or ideas that do not agree with the families-I'm not saying the general home schooled kids whose parents just are not happy with the education the public school system provides and are completely normal people), you never are exposed to something different so the cult life seems normal. Often it takes an eye opening to the real world for those kids to see they are in an F'd up situation.

I am also Roman Catholic but I know from my cousins living in conservative northeastern PA that there seems to be a big difference to the churches I grew up in a very liberal area of the mid-west. The east coast churches tend to be rules over lessons and a lot of blind faith to the priests. The churches I grew up going, the priests were not comfortable with the "hero worship" and tended present themselves as ordinary people. They also spent a lot less time talking about and worrying about the rules but all spent a lot of time digging into the theology and history/context of the bible verses over interpreting them to give you guilt or spent a lot of time begging for money. It probably was the churches my parent's chose (because my parents are super liberal) but I didn't get a bad taste in my mouth from Roman Catholic faith. I am not fond of all the pedophilia and covering it up though I think that many churches/schools have issues with that. It was how they dealt with that was the problem.
 

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I highly recommend Charles Mann's 1491 and 1493, two of my favorite nonfiction books ever.

Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki is also a fascinating read, one of the first examples of experimental anthropology.
 
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I listen to Dax Sheppard's Armchair Expert podcast and I find it really interesting (I also suspect Dax is an ENTP). He talks to celebrities but also some more academic people and tries to get into the root of how that person thinks/is motivated. He was talking to Jason Matsukis (if you watch The Good Place, he's Derek) and they were talking about how easily cult-like religions take hold in LA. He said the people there always looking for (and are used to) external direction/criticism/praise between directors, agents, hair/makeup, etc. If someone from Scientology walks up and says "take this personality test....based on this test you would benefit from these counseling sessions to fix your imperfections", they have a tendency to believe it. It's hard to see it once you are in. The cults usually start with innocent self-help/enlightenment type stuff and then pull the cult crap after they are in.

I think it is hard for an ENTP to understand how people can be reeled in but that's because we are not very motivated by external things or rewards, we like independence, and we not seeking someone to lead us. It's my experience that most people need external rewards, feel overwhelmed when there is no rules or guidance, and are looking for someone else to take the lead. There are a lot of people in the world who are always seeking guidance and someone to tell them what to do next. I have said this before but I think Loki was right in The Avengers:

"Kneel before me. I said… KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel."

Religions in general provide rules, leading, and guidance but cults take it a step farther by controlling the lives of people and teach to only listen to them because "the outside" is the enemy and is trying to lead them astray. If they don't see the counter data against what cult they are in they don't see that something is not right.

It's completely different for kids who grow up in it. As a child, your world is your parents and your immediate surroundings. You really do not really get a concept of the outside until you are older, usually through school because you are meeting different kids living a life a little different from your own. If you grow up in a cult (or are one of those who home school so their kids don't get corrupted by liberals or ideas that do not agree with the families-I'm not saying the general home schooled kids whose parents just are not happy with the education the public school system provides and are completely normal people), you never are exposed to something different so the cult life seems normal. Often it takes an eye opening to the real world for those kids to see they are in an F'd up situation.

I am also Roman Catholic but I know from my cousins living in conservative northeastern PA that there seems to be a big difference to the churches I grew up in a very liberal area of the mid-west. The east coast churches tend to be rules over lessons and a lot of blind faith to the priests. The churches I grew up going, the priests were not comfortable with the "hero worship" and tended present themselves as ordinary people. They also spent a lot less time talking about and worrying about the rules but all spent a lot of time digging into the theology and history/context of the bible verses over interpreting them to give you guilt or spent a lot of time begging for money. It probably was the churches my parent's chose (because my parents are super liberal) but I didn't get a bad taste in my mouth from Roman Catholic faith. I am not fond of all the pedophilia and covering it up though I think that many churches/schools have issues with that. It was how they dealt with that was the problem.
I also listen to and love Dax's podcast. I swear, Geonerd, we are almost the same person. I feel he interrupts his guests too much though.

I agree and I think that's why I find it all so interesting and perplexing. In the academic sense, I understand the rationale of how it happens. But as and ENTP, or just who I am as a person, I am constantly boggled by the neediness of most people. I am a people person and I love to be socially engaged in lots of different ways. But I could honestly take or leave most people on an individual basis and I've never felt a need to "fit in" or to change myself to be more appealing to the in-crowd. I can't personally relate to that really deep need to fit in, to be validated through the acceptance of others. I despise any group that requires I conform in my thinking in order to hang. It gives me the creeps, whether it's religious, political, social, or anything else.

In terms of religion (or just the same, either polarity of political ideology), I see it used as a tool of manipulation too often - even if that's not the original intent or the main mechanism - and it becomes a non-starter for me. I remain agnostic though. Who knows? I'm not drawing a hard line either way.
 

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I also listen to and love Dax's podcast. I swear, Geonerd, we are almost the same person. I feel he interrupts his guests too much though.

I agree and I think that's why I find it all so interesting and perplexing. In the academic sense, I understand the rationale of how it happens. But as and ENTP, or just who I am as a person, I am constantly boggled by the neediness of most people. I am a people person and I love to be socially engaged in lots of different ways. But I could honestly take or leave most people on an individual basis and I've never felt a need to "fit in" or to change myself to be more appealing to the in-crowd. I can't personally relate to that really deep need to fit in, to be validated through the acceptance of others. I despise any group that requires I conform in my thinking in order to hang. It gives me the creeps, whether it's religious, political, social, or anything else.

In terms of religion (or just the same, either polarity of political ideology), I see it used as a tool of manipulation too often - even if that's not the original intent or the main mechanism - and it becomes a non-starter for me. I remain agnostic though. Who knows? I'm not drawing a hard line either way.
Dax has mentioned that he realizes he cuts in to much. It annoys him when he hears it back. I think that's a problem I have too when someone is talking about a subject that interests me. The thing that kind of cemented me in that he may be an ENTP is when he described going to a party and saying that he cannot even remember what he was saying it was just coming out of him and he was sure he probably offended someone (since he's a recovering alcoholic, alcohol can't be blamed). I find that happens to me at parties if I start talking to an interesting person. I often find it hard to remember all that came out of me and I often realize I said something that probably offended them. The funny thing is that I was not a Dax Sheppard fan really before I started listening to the podcast. I didn't watch really anything he's done as an actor and mostly knew him as Kristin Bell's husband and Zach Braff's doppelganger. His podcast was recommended in an article about the best new podcasts and so I thought I'd check it out and I was hooked. I love the Fact Check at the end.

Did you listen to Dax's Brett Weinstein podcast? That was fascinating.
 

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Dax has mentioned that he realizes he cuts in to much. It annoys him when he hears it back. I think that's a problem I have too when someone is talking about a subject that interests me. The thing that kind of cemented me in that he may be an ENTP is when he described going to a party and saying that he cannot even remember what he was saying it was just coming out of him and he was sure he probably offended someone (since he's a recovering alcoholic, alcohol can't be blamed). I find that happens to me at parties if I start talking to an interesting person. I often find it hard to remember all that came out of me and I often realize I said something that probably offended them. The funny thing is that I was not a Dax Sheppard fan really before I started listening to the podcast. I didn't watch really anything he's done as an actor and mostly knew him as Kristin Bell's husband and Zach Braff's doppelganger. His podcast was recommended in an article about the best new podcasts and so I thought I'd check it out and I was hooked. I love the Fact Check at the end.

Did you listen to Dax's Brett Weinstein podcast? That was fascinating.
No but I will. I don't get too many opportunities. I always have at least one kid around at home, in the car, etc. So I usually listen when I'm cleaning or something.

I listened to Kristen Bell, Ashton Kutcher, Jimmy Kimmel, and Seth Green (big crush on him in the 90s). I also listen to Phil in the Blanks (it's like Dr. Phil after dark lol). Dr. Phil is a guilty pleasure of mine and his podcast is interesting because he gets into his guests' heads too. Anyway, he interviewed Dax and that was a good one as well.
 

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@Fatal Destiny

Causa sui is a limited perception of the reality. It roots down to the fact that most are not ment to enter the more. The will die and during their death process will never encounter anything greater than their own mind. The rationalization of lack of the possibility of depth is what naturally shallow people do.

I wouldnt confuse you with that specific group of people. Neither should you.

Besides. You remind me of an entp girl I knew in my youth that used to listen Evanescence. I didnt like their make up nor style back then. I sure dont mind that part now, considering what is beneath. Its the exact same thing with the layers of pragmatically sensred reality and the way more real overlapping one. Its just about the maturity of the perceiver.
 

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Non fiction? There was a poker ebook I received some years ago. Should find it and post it here. But before that:

Once upon a time in Ame. ;)
 

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just picked up William J Burns "The Back Channel" the other day

wasn't really familiar w/ him, but I like reading foreign policy/IR stuff so it should be good

here's stuff about him from wikipedia

"Ambassador Burns entered the Foreign Service in 1982, and served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 until 2014. Previously, he served as Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 until 2011. He was U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 until 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 until 2005, and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 until 2001. Before these, he was also Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns, together with George Tenet was instrumental in forcing through the short-lived Israeli-Palestinian cease fire agreement of June 2001.[3][4] He played a leading role in the elimination of Libya's illicit weapons program, and the secret bilateral channel with the Iranians that led to a historic interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1.,[5] and as well as in efforts to re-set relations with Russia early in the Obama Administration and in the strengthening of the strategic partnership with India. Secretary of State John Kerry lauded his "quiet, head-down, get-it-done diplomacy", stating that it had earned him the trust of both Republican and Democratic administrations; The Atlantic called him a "secret diplomatic weapon" deployed against some of the United States' thorniest foreign policy challenges.[6]

A cable Burns signed as ambassador and released by WikiLeaks[7] describing "a high society wedding in the Caucasus -- complete with massive quantities of alcohol, lumps of gold and revolver-wielding drunkards" attended by President Ramzan Kadyrov,[8] received widespread international coverage, with historian Timothy Garton Ash writing that "Burns's analyses of Russian politics are astute," with the "highly entertaining account" of the wedding "almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh."

Since college I've been reading non-fiction books pretty steadily, up until last yr are two when I haven't bothered reading anything. Haven't had time or have been able to find anything that holds my attention.

As far as fiction I've never been into it. If I wanted something w/ more of a narrative I'd prob enjoy a biography more than fiction. I can't help but not care what happens to characters in fiction. That's also why I hardly watch any tv. I like documentaries, action movies, and comedies. Everything else is meh and difficult to hold my attention.
 

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I agree and I think that's why I find it all so interesting and perplexing. In the academic sense, I understand the rationale of how it happens. But as and ENTP, or just who I am as a person, I am constantly boggled by the neediness of most people. I am a people person and I love to be socially engaged in lots of different ways. But I could honestly take or leave most people on an individual basis and I've never felt a need to "fit in" or to change myself to be more appealing to the in-crowd. I can't personally relate to that really deep need to fit in, to be validated through the acceptance of others. I despise any group that requires I conform in my thinking in order to hang. It gives me the creeps, whether it's religious, political, social, or anything else.
I relate to what you wrote here. I feel throughout life I've always had this weird experience that becomes apparent from time to time where its like my sentiments that are instinctual and at the core of who I am as a person is the complete opposite of so many people... and it's a weird thing, because I think it's natural to assume that other people hold those same sentiments as yourself ... and I assume that most people must want independence and autonomy and must deep down if they're honest think that religion is bullshit and things like that... but then it's like it turns out so many people are the opposite ...and not only that, they assume that everyone else must also feel at their core the way they feel at their core and thereby deny my existence, which is perhaps easier for them to do because they're in the majority and I'm in a minority.
 

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Jean-François Lyotard - The Postmodern Condition : a Report on Knowledge
Rachel Greene - Internet Art
Armand Mattelart - The Information Society : An Introduction
Donna Haraway - Cyborg Manifesto

Is nonfiction an American concept ? I don't think we have an equivalent in French, or we group everything under the "essay" label. We more often make the distinction between novels/poetry/drama. I tend to associate fiction with novels while I see poetry as something way more experimental and close to reality, especially for authors like Rimbaud, Mallarmé or Francis Ponge (an objectivist). Although some novelists (my favorite ones) completely merge fiction with documentary and essay, to the point it could be considered nonfiction, but creative nonfiction, if that makes sense. To ENTPs, I'd highly recommend Georges Perec's books, especially Thoughts of sorts, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, & An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris. I'm 100% sure Perec was ENTP or INTP, just like Marcel Duchamp. xNTP writers/artists are the best.
 

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Is nonfiction an American concept ? I don't think we have an equivalent in French, or we group everything under the "essay" label.
I'm not familiar with French, but I think "essay" as the word is used in English would be considered a subcategory within non-fiction. Essay to me seems to imply that it is presenting a persons opinions and ideas. Whereas something historical or scientific aimed at presenting unbiased facts like a school text book you wouldn't consider to be an essay. Also stuff like instructional books would also fall under non-fiction.

I also think the word essay implies prose, whereas a non fiction doesn't entail such things. A cookbook for instance might not contain any paragraphs and is non fiction.

We more often make the distinction between novels/poetry/drama.
All of those are subcategories that fall under fiction. Anything that's not real, not presenting facts, anything figurative/poetic etc.


Although some novelists (my favorite ones) completely merge fiction with documentary and essay, to the point it could be considered nonfiction, but creative nonfiction, if that makes sense.
There's no such thing as creative non fiction... if there's any unfactual element that is known by the author not to be factual then it is a work of fiction. There are plenty of books that use factual settings and details, such as a historical setting and characters... those all classify as fiction.

I'm surprised the word fiction is used French.


Thanks for recommending Georges Perec seems like an interesting guy :)
 
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