Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 113440 times)

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Slick Shoes

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« Reply #165 on: December 19, 2003, 12:54:39 PM »
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Just started Air Guitar by Dave Hickey.

classical gas

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« Reply #166 on: December 19, 2003, 02:33:41 PM »
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I'm looking for a new author to read.  Perhaps something older, anywhere from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's, which i think produced some of the greatest novelists.  I've been on a binge of Wilde, but now...

Has anyone read anything by Proust?  I'm looking to get away from realism and into some more poetic writing.  Any suggestios?

cron

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« Reply #167 on: December 19, 2003, 02:41:16 PM »
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i finished     'The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams last week. great , great, awesome stuff but  i don't think i'll read the five books in a row...    

also , i read   a novel written by Guillermo Arriaga,   the screenwriter who  wrote  the ,um,  script for  'Amores Perros' and '21 grams'.  Now, you would think the novel should be a treat but it's very bland, and boring...    it feels like one of those bestsellers' you can grab near to the cashier at a Wal-mart.  you know,  the kind where  all that women do is "smile"   and  "wave goodbyes"  .    they also let their breasts be touched .  a lot.  

the main character's called Gregorio, fer fuck's sake.

i feel like a snobish brat bashing a book that way but i think that's probably the worst book i've read.


if you want to read a great , ambicious mexican novel , try  "In search of Klingsor" by Jorge Volpi.
context, context, context.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #168 on: December 23, 2003, 08:49:26 AM »
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 :yabbse-thumbup:  :yabbse-thumbup:   ... so far
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #169 on: December 23, 2003, 09:40:09 AM »
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Quote from: classical gas
I'm looking for a new author to read.  Perhaps something older, anywhere from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's, which i think produced some of the greatest novelists.  I've been on a binge of Wilde, but now...

Has anyone read anything by Proust?  I'm looking to get away from realism and into some more poetic writing.  Any suggestios?


One of my dear faves from the 19th century is ol' Thomas Hardy (esp. Jude the Obscure), but that might be too much realism... don't start Proust unless you're prepared for a year's worth! That is a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong novel! (Well worth it, but long).

For a more poetic novel that doesn't require that kind of time commitment, have you ever read anything by Genet (Our Lady of the Flowers)? Or Camus's The Stranger, maybe?
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

godardian

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« Reply #170 on: December 23, 2003, 11:02:58 AM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen


 :yabbse-thumbup:  :yabbse-thumbup:   ... so far


Do you not find it really poorly written, though? As I forced myself to read on, I progressively felt as though Huxley had the narrative talent to write billboards, maybe, but he's so clumsily didactic as to be laughable. And his ideas are, shall we say, not particularly timeless... It's so Cold War-leftover. He's not good at the blunt didacticism he practices, by any means; there's not a shred of grace or confidence (or competence, for that matter) in the writing. He's no Brecht or Lewis or Fassbinder. He's writing with mittens on his fingers, this one. His little hang-ups are beyond transparent: His horror of the assembly line and working life betrays his entrenched upper-class English aristocratic giant's-eye view, his abject horror of Leninist Marxism even more so, and his horror of sex is both nakedly one-sided (that's the literal meaning of "chauvinism," for those of you who listen to Rush Limbaugh and didn't know) and eye-rollingly prudish; it's like listening to a senile centenarian going on... and on... and on... for two hundred pages about how scandalous it is that the young ladies' skirts have gotten so damn short!

A much, much more relevant and interesting example of this kind of novel is, of course, 1984, or Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, which has an infinitely more accurate (and frightening) depiction of future-shock, not to mention the huge benefit of being written by an actual writer, not a pamphleteer.

QUASI-SPOILER AHEAD (don't read this, SoNowThen):

"Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" asked Bernard.

The Savage nodded. "I ate civilization."

"What?"

"It poisoned me. I was defiled. And then," he added in a lower tone, "I ate my own wickedness."


Isn't that the literary equivalent of Julianne Moore's hilariously bad performance-within-a-performance in Boogie Nights (i.e. you'd think only a talented novelist would be able to write something like that, and as a parody of poor writing)? That's' from the last chapter, but yes, kids, virtually the whole book is written like that! Like a Harlequin romance novelist took Philosophy and/or Sociology for Beginners and decided to write a message-book!

For an astoundingly perceptive, wonderfully written, much more expansive novel on future horror, it's:



If it's satire of utopian/Communist hypocrisy (and from Huxley's day) you're after, try the deliciously wicked:



Neither Lewis nor Atwood are merely screeding or moralizing, as Huxley does; to any extent that they could be read that way, they've at least bothered to look into what they're talking about beforehand, and have a way with words (you'd think that would be a requirement for a novelist... well, it is for good ones). I would only use Brave New World as an example for a writing class of how not to write.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #171 on: December 23, 2003, 11:12:49 AM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: SoNowThen


 :yabbse-thumbup:  :yabbse-thumbup:   ... so far


Do you not find it really poorly written, though? As I forced myself to read on, I progressively felt as though Huxley had the narrative talent to write billboards, maybe, but he's so clumsily didactic as to be laughable. And his ideas are, shall we say, not particularly timeless... It's so Cold War-leftover. He's not good at the blunt didacticism he practices, by any means; there's not a shred of grace or confidence (or competence, for that matter) in the writing. He's no Brecht or Lewis or Fassbinder. He's writing with mittens on his fingers, this one. His little hang-ups are beyond transparent: His horror of the assembly line and working life betrays his entrenched upper-class English aristocratic giant's-eye view, his abject horror of Leninist Marxism even more so, and his horror of sex is both nakedly one-sided (that's the literal meaning of "chauvinism," for those of you who listen to Rush Limbaugh and didn't know) and eye-rollingly prudish; it's like listening to a senile centenarian going on... and on... and on... for two hundred pages about how scandalous it is that the young ladies' skirts have gotten so damn short!

A much, much more relevant and interesting example of this kind of novel is, of course, 1984, or Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, which has an infinitely more accurate (and frightening) depiction of future-shock, not to mention the huge benefit of being written by an actual writer, not a pamphleteer.

QUASI-SPOILER AHEAD (don't read this, SoNowThen):

"Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" asked Bernard.

The Savage nodded. "I ate civilization."

"What?"

"It poisoned me. I was defiled. And then," he added in a lower tone, "I ate my own wickedness."


Isn't that the literary equivalent of Julianne Moore's hilariously bad performance-within-a-performance in Boogie Nights (i.e. you'd think only a talented novelist would be able to write something like that, and as a parody of poor writing)? That's' from the last chapter, but yes, kids, virtually the whole book is written like that! Like a Harlequin romance novelist took Philosophy and/or Sociology for Beginners and decided to write a message-book!

For an astoundingly perceptive, wonderfully written, much more expansive novel on future horror, it's:



If it's satire of utopian/Communist hypocrisy (and from Huxley's day) you're after, try the deliciously wicked:



Neither Lewis nor Atwood are merely screeding or moralizing, as Huxley does; to any extent that they could be read that way, they've at least bothered to look into what they're talking about beforehand, and have a way with words (you'd think that would be a requirement for a novelist... well, it is for good ones). I would only use Brave New World as an example for a writing class of how not to write.


Haha -- I didn't read the spoiler or anything else after it.

Hell no, I'm enjoying the writing, it's as if he's cutting his paragraphs like a film (that's how I imagine it, anyway). Plus his ideas are very much more in line with my own, so I'm completely on board thus far, though I'm only on page 40 or so.

BTW, I thought 1984 was a masterpiece. I see what you guys are talking about, with Orwell and his socialism, but I like how he's criticizing his own side just as much as everyone else's. But more than anything, I just look past the politics and appreciate the horror and hopelessness of it all. The ending devastated me, and the torture chapters were more intense than anything I've ever read before. And the nursery rhymes were an amazing touch -- particularily the one that I'd heard in Element Of Crime.

Both of these would make great flicks (new ones I mean... made by me...).
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #172 on: December 23, 2003, 11:23:41 AM »
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If you liked Orwell's evenhanded satire, you'd love Wyndham Lewis. It's absolutely unsparing about the worlds of art and politics (and the place the two worlds met in England during the Spanish Civil War). The blurb on back of my ancient Penguin paperback of The Revenge for Love ("not for sale in the USA") says, "There are ideals and there are men, and Wyndham Lewis focuses on men." And it's true; you might be able to guess what his ideals are, but only through his disappointment with those who, with their human nature, have failed them. Plus it's damn funny!
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Gamblour.

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« Reply #173 on: December 23, 2003, 11:54:09 AM »
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Godardian, about Brave New World, I was gonna argue against some points you made, but I wish I had the book in front of me. I'll just make some points:

-I didn't get the impression that Huxley was appalled by sex in that old man kinda way, I dunno, I just didn't get that impression. It seemed like more of a shock-value thing, all in a literary purpose of course :-D

-Also, I think you missed some of the bigger themes hit at, like the idea of civilization vs. savagery when they go and visit the natives in their veritable zoo.

-How can you say his issues are Cold War-leftover when Orwell writes about socialism as well? Huxley's argument against capitalism can't be labeled Cold War if you don't do the same with Orwell. I don't know if that's entirely clear.

-Besides the fact that you didn't like it or the way it was written, don't you think the book was fucking hilarious? I mean, there are some really great parts in it. I don't see what you think is clumsy about his writing. (i.e. I need some examples)
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« Reply #174 on: December 23, 2003, 12:12:05 PM »
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cyk

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« Reply #175 on: December 23, 2003, 12:17:13 PM »
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i've just finished "The Dungeon 2"

this guy had a basic plot line and his friends went of and wrote a book each...(there are six sofar)

apart from that i'm usually reading a Terry Pratchet book (any of them, over and over)

but read most things Sci-Fi/fantasy.

(there cheaper than drugs in the long run)
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godardian

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« Reply #176 on: December 23, 2003, 12:18:04 PM »
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I thought the example I used was awfully clumsy (though yes, it was hilarious... I assumed that was unintentional).

I meant Cold War-leftover in a "The Communists are coming!" sort of way. Orwell's book is a little bit more deep and encompassing, i.e. he's not just afraid of ONE fascist ideology, but the potential for fascism in any ideology.

"Civilization vs. 'savagery'" is just Thoreau-ism and fairly old hat. Gimme Claude Levi-Strauss on the subject any day; Thoreau is very perceptive and was very prescient about a sad nostalgia we have for a "simpler" time, but he stopped too short and failed to see that "nature" can be just as stressful as civilization (cities), and our feelings really are more sentimental ("simpler times" are imagined; noble simplicity can be attributed to any era we didn't have to live through) and not so acutely philosophical and meaningful as all that.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

Pedro

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« Reply #177 on: December 23, 2003, 02:39:40 PM »
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for the fifth time.

wau

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« Reply #178 on: December 24, 2003, 08:46:36 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: classical gas
I'm looking for a new author to read.  Perhaps something older, anywhere from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's, which i think produced some of the greatest novelists.  I've been on a binge of Wilde, but now...

Has anyone read anything by Proust?  I'm looking to get away from realism and into some more poetic writing.  Any suggestios?


One of my dear faves from the 19th century is ol' Thomas Hardy (esp. Jude the Obscure), but that might be too much realism... don't start Proust unless you're prepared for a year's worth! That is a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong novel! (Well worth it, but long).

For a more poetic novel that doesn't require that kind of time commitment, have you ever read anything by Genet (Our Lady of the Flowers)? Or Camus's The Stranger, maybe?


I've been wanting to read The Stranger for the longest time.  Is it not similar to Steppenwolf?

ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ

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« Reply #179 on: December 24, 2003, 08:56:13 PM »
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Quote from: Pedro the Wombat

for the fifth time.

wau


I've heard some great stuff about this book...what's it about?
"As a matter of fact I only work with the feeling of something magical, something seemingly significant. And to keep it magical I don't want to know the story involved, I just want the hypnotic effect of it somehow seeming significant without knowing why." - Len Lye

 

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