Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 138895 times)

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wilder

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1545 on: April 27, 2016, 07:04:45 AM »
+1


In The Correspondence Artist, an unremarkable woman has been carrying on with an internationally recognized artist, largely via e-mail. To protect her paramour's identity, she creates a series of correspondent, alternative lovers in a self-destructing roman à clef.

Gotta thank jenkins for turning me on to this author Barbara Browning. I’m reading the book and simultaneously digitally roadtripping through interviews with her.

A page on her site about The Correspondence Artist features this choice quote:

Quote
Writing a fictional work about love, I began to realize how inherently fictional love always is.

This interview, “The Internet works like the subconscious”, is a nice tour through her brain.

And here's a cool talk about the book she wrote afterward, I'm Trying to Reach You, which I'm watching out of context since I haven't read it yet, but it doesn't seem to matter:



Jenkins hit a bullseye with this one this is so my area.


And I'm quoting this:

i care about these books now but i'm not sure there are many people here who do, but i don't hold it against you, since i probably don't care about your things (we can laugh about this).


jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1546 on: November 29, 2016, 03:26:52 PM »
0


plot:

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New Grub Street opens with Milvain, an "alarmingly modern young man" driven by pure financial ambition in navigating his literary career. He accepts that he will "always despise the people [he] write(s) for," networks within the appropriate social circle to create opportunity, and authors articles for popular periodicals. Reardon, on the other hand, prefers to write novels of a more literary bent and refuses to pander to contemporary tastes until, as a last-gasp measure against financial ruin, he attempts a popular novel. At this venture, he is of course too good to succeed, and he's driven to separate from his wife, Amy Reardon, née Yule, who cannot accept her husband's inflexibly high standards—and consequent poverty.

the author's wiki is dramatic:

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On 25 February 1891, he married another working-class woman, Edith Alice Underwood. They settled in Exeter, but moved to Brixton in June 1893 and Epsom in 1894. They had two children, Walter Leonard (1891–1916) and Alfred Charles Gissing (1896–1975), but the marriage was not successful. Edith did not understand his work and Gissing insisted on keeping them socially isolated from his peers, which exacerbated problems in the marriage. Whereas Nell was too sick to complain about his controlling behaviour, some historians believe Edith stood up to him with arguments; whereas she may have suffered uncontrollable and violent rages as Gissing claimed in his letters to Bertz - from this distance in time it is impossible to know the truth. Gissing exerted his revenge - or protected the child from continual violent assaults since he stated in letters the child's safety was in danger - in April 1896, when Walter was spirited away without Edith's knowledge and sent to stay with Gissing's sisters in Wakefield. Gissing claimed this was to prevent the boy being a victim of Edith's violence, but he strongly disliked the way she represented him to his son. Alfred, the younger child, remained with his mother. The couple separated in 1897, though this was not a clean break - Gissing spent his time dodging Edith and afraid she might seek a reconciliation. In 1902, Edith was certified insane and was confined to an asylum. At this time he met and befriended Clara Collet who was probably in love with him, although it is unclear whether he reciprocated. They remained friends for the rest of his life and after his death she helped to support Edith and the children.

gloomy closing paragraph:

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In 1897 Gissing met H. G. Wells and his wife, who spent the spring with him and his sister at Budleigh Salterton. Wells said Gissing was "no longer the glorious, indefatigable, impracticable youth of the London flat, but a damaged and ailing man, full of ill-advised precautions against the imaginary illnesses that were his interpretations of a general malaise."

people who live and write of the tricky life i'm magnetized by owing to relatability.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1547 on: December 15, 2016, 09:16:32 PM »
0
Unwrap My Heart is about a teenage girl who falls in love with a mummy.

It's essentially a parody of Twilight and other supernatural YA romance.

23-min book reading here:

http://read-weep.com/#!/bonus-content.php/unwrap-my-heart-live-reading
"Hunger is the purest sin"

jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1548 on: January 14, 2017, 04:24:38 PM »
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i'm glad there's a post in here to help me remember when i discovered John Rechy's City of Night, which book, reminder, inspired Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho, was cited by David Bowie as his favorite book, has a James Baldwin letter of praise at its beginning, and it's absolutely the most impressive book from and about Los Angeles which i've heard of and read. the book was transformative for me and that's been mentioned now.

these are books published in 2016 which were transformative in my life --



this book was also about my life, i could tell



playfully terrified and similar to Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos



it's a fucking book about a dude living in Yellow Springs, Ohio, off royalties from his self-published books, sold over the internet, and this whole concept plus reality makes me shit myself really



sometimes one just lets oneself be marketed, short stories



confession: i haven't opened this book yet, which arrived to me with that fucking cover and wrapped in plastic, and all i knew i just know this is a keeper



legit called by some the golden age of nonfiction, our time period, and that's because women are writing awesome creative nonfiction, and this is a tops from the year, as Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts was last year



bite-sized philosophy and a fractal narrative, plus he's Spanish-language, come on



he's the Alex Ross Perry of the literary world, which means i kind of hate him and appear to like the same things he does



never forget: trashculturemutantjunkie, and what bizarro fiction has created, the reading community they've built, from Portland, from sci-fi and fantasy and teenage feelings, they're basically kids books for adults, i adore the entire enterprise



this is the Scandinavian version of American Mary, i.e. it's better focused and more introspective



Scandinavian but also experimental, since the lines, you know, but really it's the same as everything else, just written differently



it's not my first year reading her, is the thing, and basically she's exactly who i want to be



two in a row, regarding writers whom it'd just be better if i was them, the poetry book sensation of the year, i bought it like everyone else



poetry book, though in particular i like the inciting prose



this is actually the most recent for me and i've barely read from it, so all i know is it has that sharp prose which is common, writerly, it's shorts, its 5.5x7 format trips me out, and it's a symbol here at the end for how this year i basically i looked around and found all this great writing currently being produced and easy as hell to run into okay

jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1549 on: January 15, 2017, 06:58:21 PM »
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^ i was slightly surprised by the number, myself, plus later i thought of what i'd left out.

the first is actually the most influential novel of the year for me, so it's extra-ridiculous i'd forgotten about it, except also he's a longtime favorite, and the second is the first novelization of a movie i've ever read




wilder

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1550 on: August 14, 2017, 01:21:11 AM »
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Lauren Greenfield's recently published photography book. Video lecture by Greenfield below.



Quote from: Lauren Greenfield
Over the past four years, I’ve been engaged not only in the process of making new work and photographs and a video for this project, but most importantly, in a process of analyzing and investigating my own work, thinking about what I’ve been witness to over the past 25 years. But this project is not about actual wealth. To clarify, it’s really about the influence of affluence. It’s about our aspiration to wealth, its connection to our identity, and that of the American Dream, and the way we emulate it, and package it, and export our notions of it, and the contagious virus that is the addictive culture of consumerism. My work considers wealth very broadly defined: so I’m including the currency of fame, the currency of branding, the currency of the body, the currency of youth…

I realized that this wasn't just the time that I worked and the themes that I followed, but actually there was this kind of seismic shift in both our values and our culture…and saw that we had gone from a culture defined by the Protestant ethic and the value of hard work and discipline and frugality...to a culture that prized bling, and celebrity, and narcissism.













jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1551 on: August 19, 2017, 10:39:38 PM »
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basically, when one is dead one doesn't feel sensation, so one does't feel bad (even if one's dead body is tortured, btw), so there is nothing bad about death. Cicero hardcore praised the Spartans, quoting "Set forth bravely, Spartans, today perhaps we will dine among the dead." he said everyone should read Roman writers, who used Latin, instead of only praising Greek writers, who should still be read, since Plato rules and Socrates forever seriously, but read them in Latin, he said. reading is helpful because the purpose of philosophy is to alleviate fear, dread, and anxiety. Cicero mad namedropped and shittalked. there are three different stories about a perfect gift being death. his point is that life is a pain in the ass throughout its entirety, and when it's over it's over. so live it, love it, you know. Cicero was yolo af i'm just saying.

this is my second favorite quote--

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I speak of the dead, who are non-existent. We, who exist, wouldn’t say we lack horns or wings, would we? Has anyone said such a thing? Of course not. Why? Because, when you don’t have something for which you have no use or aren’t by nature suited, you don’t lack it, even if you perceive that you don’t have it.

Drenk

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1552 on: August 26, 2017, 07:45:34 AM »
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David Foster Wallace was a grammar nazi with his students but played around grammar in his works. Humans are fun.  :yabbse-grin:

The document at the end of this page: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/press/releases/2010/dfw/teaching/#english


By the way: PTA was a student of Wallace, and maybe Wallace's story Little Expressionless Animals about Jeopardy inspired him for Magnolia, I don't remember the timing exactly but the short story was released at the end of the nineties. It's a great short story and PTA loved Wallace as a teacher so he probably read it.

I'm so many people.

wilder

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1553 on: September 07, 2017, 11:58:40 PM »
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To be published this month from The Visible Press (UK). First edition is a limited run of 900 copies.

Thom Andersen will be in person at Skylight Books on October 12th

jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1554 on: September 10, 2017, 04:43:56 PM »
+1
Publisher: Tin House Books (September 12, 2017)

Quote
In these ten essays Jim Shepard weaves close readings of film with cultural criticism to explore the ways in which movies work so ubiquitously to reflect how Americans think and act. Whether assessing the “high-spirited glee of American ruthlessness” captured in GoodFellas, or finding in Lawrence of Arabia a “portrait of the lunatic serenity of our leaders’ conviction in the face of all evidence and their own lack of knowledge,” he explores how we enter into conversations with specific genres and films―Chinatown, The Third Man, and Badlands among others―in order to construct and refine our most cherished illusions about ourselves.



(this is not what i'm reading but posting news about)

jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1555 on: September 29, 2017, 11:17:16 PM »
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Quote
Mary MacLane’s I Await the Devil’s Coming is a shocking, brave and intellectually challenging diary of a 19-year-old girl living in Butte, Montana in 1902. Written in potent, raw prose that propelled the author to celebrity upon publication, the book has become almost completely forgotten.

In the early 20th century, MacLane’s name was synonymous with sexuality; she is widely hailed as being one of the earliest American feminist authors, and critics at the time praised her work for its daringly open and confessional style. In its first month of publication, the book sold 100,000 copies — a remarkable number for a debut author, and one that illustrates MacLane’s broad appeal.

Now, with a new foreward written by critic Jessa Crispin, I Await The Devil’s Coming stands poised to renew its reputation as one of America’s earliest and most powerful accounts of feminist thought and creativity.

movie stuff --

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n 1917, she wrote and starred in the 90-minute autobiographical silent film titled Men Who Have Made Love to Me,[7] for Essanay Studios. Produced by film pioneer George Kirke Spoor and based on MacLane's 1910 article of the same title for a Butte newspaper, it has been speculated to have been an extremely early, if not the earliest, sustained breaking of the fourth wall in cinema, with the writer-star directly addressing the audience. Though stills and some subtitles have survived, the film is now believed to be lost.

WorldForgot

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1556 on: September 30, 2017, 11:06:12 AM »
0

Mary MacLane’s I Await the Devil’s Coming is a shocking, brave and intellectually challenging diary of a 19-year-old girl living in Butte, Montana in 1902. Written in potent, raw prose that propelled the author to celebrity upon publication, the book has become almost completely forgotten.

In the early 20th century, MacLane’s name was synonymous with sexuality; she is widely hailed as being one of the earliest American feminist authors, and critics at the time praised her work for its daringly open and confessional style. In its first month of publication, the book sold 100,000 copies — a remarkable number for a debut author, and one that illustrates MacLane’s broad appeal.

Now, with a new foreward written by critic Jessa Crispin, I Await The Devil’s Coming stands poised to renew its reputation as one of America’s earliest and most powerful accounts of feminist thought and creativity.


This book has been a mainstay of my annual reads for the past four years. Originally published as The Story of Mary Maclane, it's available for free on archive dot org, if anyone is broke and needs to commune with the Devil.
excerpt:
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     You are superb, Devil! You have done a magnificent piece of work. I kneel at your feet and worship you. You have wrought a perfection, a pinnacle of fine, invisible damnation.
     The world is like a little marsh filled with mint and white hawthorn. It is filled with things likewise damnably beautiful. There are the green, green grass-blades and the gray dawns; there are swiftly-flowing rivers and the honking of wild geese, flying low; there are human voices and human eyes; there are stories of women and men who have learned to give up and to wait; there is poetry; there is Charity; there is Truth.
    The Devil has made all of these things, and also he has made human beings who can feel.
    Who was it that said, long ago, “Life is always a tragedy to those who feel”?
    In truth, the Devil has constructed a place of infinite torture -- the fair green earth, the world.
    But he has made that other infinite thing ---Happiness. I forgive him for making me wonder, since possibly he may bring me Happiness. I cast myself at his feet. I adore him.
    The first third of our lives is spent in expectation of Happiness. Then it comes, perhaps, and stays ten years, or a month, or three days, and the rest of our lives is spent in peace and rest -- with the memory of the Happiness.
    Happiness -- thought it is infinite -- is a transient emotion.
    It is too brilliant, too magnificent, too voerwhelming to be a lasting thing. And it is merely an emotion. But, ah -- such an emotion! Through it the Devil rules his domains. What would one not do to have it!.

jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1557 on: September 30, 2017, 11:14:26 AM »
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xx.

Maclane was influenced by Bashkirtseff, whom i would also like to read someday.



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No one loves everything as much as I. Art, music, painting, books, people, dresses, luxury, noise, calm, laughter, sadness, melancholy, jokes, love, cold, sun, all seasons and weathers, the plains of Russia, the mountains above Naples, snow in winter, the rain of autumn, spring’s follies, summer’s tranquil days, and nights brilliant with stars.

In early fin de siècle Paris, Marie Bashkirtseff became a cause célèbre in artistic and feminist circles, and one of the most talked-about women in Paris. She lived as if possessed by a presentiment of early death, imparting to the world—during her swift and vivid passage through time—a legacy of startling beauty, extraordinary art and, perhaps most everlastingly, her magnificent Journal.

In keeping with her censorious era, the Journal, edited by her mother and published posthumously in 1887, was rampantly expurgated and cleansed. Madame Bashkirtseff made absolutely certain that none of her daughter’s far-reaching and radical opinions appeared in the published pages. Likewise, she cleansed the journals of their often-embarrassing family rows, scandals and history. In spite of this vast and deep suppression of Marie’s story, the French press hailed the journals as the true portrait of a great and dynamic young woman.

Now, 128 years after her death, Fonthill Press brings forth the most complete, unsanitized version of Marie Bashkirtseff’s Journal ever published in the English language. In this fresh and timeless translation, Katherine Kernberger has returned to the original text—Marie’s notebooks held in Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Her meticulous, decades-long research into Marie’s life has resurrected the true, multifaceted literary self-portrait that Marie Bashkirtseff endeavored to reveal. Kernberger enables Marie to speak as she lived—scrupulously ambitious, seductively funny, warmly personal, and always thoroughly mesmerizing.

Excerpts

“I have not omitted one of my actions or one of my thoughts from this journal. I am real and natural, like souls before God.”

“How short life is; how sad to live so little! How much women are to be pitied! At least men are free. They have absolute freedom in ordinary life—the liberty to go and come, to go out, to dine at a cabaret or at home, to walk to the park or to a café. Having liberty is half the battle in developing talent, and it’s three-quarters of ordinary happiness. But you will ask, 'Superior woman that you are, why not take this freedom for yourself?' It’s impossible, because a young pretty woman who emancipates herself this way blacklists herself; she becomes singular, talked-about, criticized, and censured. And as a consequence she is less free than when she observes those idiotic customs. So there’s nothing to do but regret my sex and come back to my dreams of Italy and Spain. Giant trees, pure sky, streams, oleanders, roses, sun, shade, peace, calm, harmony, poetry, inspiration.”

“L’art! If I didn’t have these four magical letters in the distance, I would be dead. But for art I need no one else; I depend on myself. And if I fail, I am nothing and can’t live any more. Art! I see it as a great light very far away over there, and I forget everything else. I walk with my eyes fixed on this light. I’m a little old to be starting, especially for a woman. But I will try.”

“I would like horribly to pose in the gentlemen’s studio—nude. People are ashamed to be nude because they are afraid they aren’t perfect. Otherwise we would go out without clothes. The sense of “modesty” disappears before perfection, beauty being all-powerful, and it even prevents embarrassment and consequently suppresses any feeling of shame.”

“I’m frightened by the flight of time...”

jenkins

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1558 on: September 30, 2017, 12:37:04 PM »
+1
amid learning of these things, it's quite clear to me that i'll land at Anaïs Nin



the writer of Henry & June, which Philip Kaufman adapted after The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

she's rather clearly same team



Quote
Some people read to confirm their own hopelessness. Others read to be rescued from it.

all of the above are some of the reasons i will make my way to her, and there are other reasons, i'm saying here's a photo of her which could seal the deal itself, although there is much beyond this basically perfect photo of a person


KJ

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #1559 on: October 05, 2017, 09:41:25 AM »
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I just finished this and loved it. It's not just a story about struggling with your sexuality. It's also a very good story about young love, about falling in love for the first time, and it captured that moment very well. Maroh started to write in when she was 19, and it took her five years to finish. I don't know anything about her person life, but it felt like it was a lot of her on the pages, through the whole story. It felt very personal and that was very touching (I teared up a little tbh).

The movie is of course more fleshed out, because this is only 150 pages long, but all the key scenes from the film is pretty much the same here, which was surprising. I recommend it to everyone who liked the film.

 

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