Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Seminal work

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  • I cannot see how one could ever actually compile a list of all seminal works, both because of the size of the task and because this task is not really NPOV. Pointless.--XmarkX 15:58, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Concur. Delete. -- Jmabel 17:26, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Delete. DJ Clayworth 17:59, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. I think this can be worthwhile, and can be NPOV, if done properly. I think one can quite fairly say that between them Der Golem and Frankenstein have a seminal influence on dozens of subsequent "ohMyGodWhatHaveWeDone" works (including about a third of every hollywood SF movie), and similarly the influence of Jekyll&Hyde on just as many "EachManHasABeastWithin" works. But for sure if it's claiming works to be seminal it needs to make a decent case for it, and to list those works each has supposedly influenced. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 18:19, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Who, XmarkX, would ever want to do such an incredibly stupid thing as to compile a list of all seminal works? I guess all sorts of people come across Wikipedia: young and old, educated in institutions and educated through life, native speakers of English and "foreigners". Don't you think this list -- if we agree to keep it short (see Talk:Seminal work) -- might help quite a lot of people to understand the meaning of "seminal"? Don't you think it might help them to go on to all sorts of places, be it time travel or capitalism? Why delete? <KF> 19:25, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Undecided. I really don't much like the current list. Brett Ellis, American Psycho, pornography in mainstream literature? Gimme a break, unless someone is punning on the word "seminal" here. Tropic of Cancer or The Story of O have been far more, uh, seminal. How is a list of seminal works different, exactly, from Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf (Great Books of the Western World)? But maybe if we sit there and let it grow it will turn into something interesting. Oh, keep, I guess. Dpbsmith 19:44, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • It seems I couldn't make myself understood. If you "let it grow" you might just as well delete it right now. Okay, American Psycho is debatable, but no one is claiming that it's the only "seminal" work in that -- well, um, category. I really like the idea of the pun, hadn't thought of it myself.
  • Delete. The project of listing all (or even most) seminal works is both useless and hopeless. There could be a useful article explaining the concept of a "seminal work." Such an article might pick a couple examples (whether or not from this list) of works widely considered seminal and show how each caused a significant change in the direction of its field; that discussion would be for the purpose of furthering the explication of the concept. This article doesn't even qualify as a stub of that one, though. In response to <KF>'s comment above, no, I don't think that a mere listing of a bunch of works would help anyone understand the concept. JamesMLane 07:32, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. Acegikmo1 01:52, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. A self-serving intellectual endeavor. While some works, the Bible and Qu'ran, for instance, may be seen by many as seminal works, the consensus decreases rapidly from there. What is a seminal work to one is not to another. Have any children found the passion to become environmentalists from "The Lorax?" So where is it on this list? "Seminal" could be anything from a Billy Joel song to a page from Mother Teresa's diary. It is individual beyond words. Denni 05:27, 2004 Jun 12 (UTC)
  • The whole discussion has become utterly ridiculous. You cannot add insignificant works and then complain that there are insignificant works on the list. This is exactly what makes so many people leave Wikipedia for good: a bunch of self-righteous intellectuals who oppose a particular article although they do not even care to understand the idea behind it. I wonder why I posted my initial remark on the talk page about resisting the temptation to add more works. Rather, we ought to have removed items from the list. Okay, as it is now I agree the article on Seminal work should be deleted. <KF> 20:18, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)
    • Really? (he said dryly) And on whose authority is the determination of significant/insignificant based? That, my friend, would appear to be the crux of this discussion. If the authority is yours alone then my vote does not change. Denni
      • I hope that you, Denni, have not overlooked the fact that I actually agree with you that the article should be deleted. However, it seems you don't like what made me change my mind. Please be serious and explain to me how the Bible could be called a seminal work on my authority alone. Remember, I'm KF, not Jesus Christ. <KF> 15:24, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
        • WIth regard to adding/removing: the article is editable, do whatever you think will improve it; we don't protect pages that are on VfD. As for "insignificant works," are you seriously suggesting that John Osborne's Look Back in Anger is more significant and more seminal than Galileo's Dialogues on the Two Great World Systems? that Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho has done more to change the world than Diderot's Encyclopedia or Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? Yes, I added a bunch of items—all those from Beethoven's Ninth down, I think—as a mental exercise to see what would happen if I concentrated on the concept of "seminal" rather than the concept of "great," and that's what I came up with. If you utterly disagree with my choices, it tends to confirm the idea that such a list can never be anything more than a personal opinion. Anyway, you said we should be removing items rather than adding them, so, try knocking out, say, half-a-dozen of your selections and, say, ten of mine, and see whether the article is evolving in the direction of "objectively seminal works." If you think the article was great without my additions and that they spoiled it and made it more deletable, then remove all of them. Dpbsmith 19:11, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)
          • I'm certainly not going to change anything now: This article needs a fresh, well, brain to sort out possible solutions. My whole point is: The more titles are added the stronger the competition gets, while at the same time I doubt whether there is, or should be, a notion like "more/less seminal than". The text of the article should be elaborated on, and the number of actual examples drastically cut. This was my original hope: that someone would remove, say, American Psycho (rather than add yet another contentious work). Well, let's see what will happen. <KF> 20:32, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • An article on seminal works in general would be quite nice. This isn't it, more's the pity. Delete. -Sean Curtin 02:59, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. Indeed, one might write an article about what "seminal work" means by giving examples in particular fields, but a list of 'the' seminal works in every field is too arguable and without adequate payback. I don't want to argue whether or not something is or is not seminal enough to be on a list. What the original author also misses is the large number of works and artists who are very influential on producers of later works but almost unknown and unappreciated by the general public: the author's authors and the writer's writers, the jazz musicians that influenced jazz musicians, the kinds of names that keep occurring when you ask people about who influenced them but are often too esoteric for general taste or simply not especially good but have a particular flavor that influenced others. There are small individual essays like Dijkstra's "Go To Statement Considered Harmful", perhaps the single most debated and influential essay in the history of computer programming. Listing the gospels as seminal and not the "Old Testament" is hideously idiosyncratic. The reason given is "Christian charity". From Leviticus 19:18 - "You shall not avenge nor bear an angry grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself." So which work is seminal? No Plato or Aristotle either. No Confucius. No Vedas. No Upanishads. What of Fielding's Tom Jones, arguably the first novel? There are probably tens of thousands of arguably seminal works that have changed the way at least some people think and have influenced subsequent works, maybe hundreds of thousands. jallan 03:16, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I don't blame you, Jallan, for having got carried away, but I honestly believe you are missing the point. This discussion should not -- repeat: NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT -- be about coming up with a long list of "seminal" works. Longer, higher, bigger etc. is NOT automatically BETTER. It's interesting to learn about your personal list of seminal works, but, as you say, "a list of 'the' seminal works in every field is too arguable and without adequate payback". No one wanted such a list in the first place, so why keep mentioning it?
There's one thing though I'd like to know: Why has no one ever claimed that the list of famous women in history can never be NPOV? <KF> 17:00, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)