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What are we reading?

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eward

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Reply #1575 on: July 11, 2019, 11:21:57 AM
A few hairs past the halfway mark of IJ, what a fucking marathon. The intelligent prose and occasional insightful passage keep me reading. Itís very good so far, enjoying my time with it, just wish it required less commitment. This and Gravityís Rainbow were the books I wanted to read most since Iíve been in reading mode, getting through the former last fall, which started about 2 years ago with Helter Skelter, the remaining 3 are Ulysses, Kavalier and Clay, and The Corrections, as well as all Pynchon post GR minus IV. Shocked that I will have devoured GR and IJ with the span of a year. Never thought iíd Get through either. Jest is definitely less complex than GR, that one had me on Google constantly, this one just has me on the Dictionary app ever so often

Bravo! I will one day finally tackle IJ. As for Gravity's Rainbow, I've never read it all the way through, but I've dipped in to so many sections at random over the years that I figure I must have covered at least a significant portion of it. My favorite non-GR Pynchon is Against the Day! V is also good fun. Vineland's probably the easiest read next to Inherent Vice (and serves as a terrific companion piece). I also recommend watching Alex Ross Perry's first feature "Impolex".

I just started "Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties" and it. is. crazy. Pretty credibly reveals much of the accepted "Helter Skelter" Bugliosi-prosecutorial narrative to be utter bullshit. This case is endlessly fascinating.
The face in the misty light...


jenkins

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Reply #1576 on: July 11, 2019, 12:40:16 PM
aww. senses of accomplishment are cool. glad youíre sticking with IJ

iíve been reading Thomas Mannís The Magic Mountain, never once having to consult either google or a dictionary, and iím constantly learning. itís the fullest expression of the human condition iíve encountered, and the protagonist is a death obsessed troubled soul


Something Spanish

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Reply #1577 on: July 11, 2019, 06:00:16 PM
got a super boost to finish it asap a little over two weeks ago when watching Only Lovers Left Alive, there's a scene where Swinton packs a valise full of books, IJ among them. took it as a sign to keep going.


jenkins

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Reply #1578 on: July 11, 2019, 06:27:15 PM
if you start slacking here it is in Paterson too



Drenk

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Reply #1579 on: July 24, 2019, 06:04:45 PM
I'm halfway through Ducks, Newburyport and I'm confident that it's a masterpiece. Here is an extract I selected (but almost every page, every sequence could have been...)

Quote
ę the fact that I think thatís why people invented languages, so they wouldnít feel all alone with their terror, the fact that, I mean, weíre all so terrified, who needs terrorists, the fact that the terror of being alone is enough to floor you, never mind the fear of mortality, fear of failure, the fact that, heck, just the medical bills have me cowed, without suicide bombers and school shooters muscling in, the fact that everybodyís life is bound to go wrong eventually, because we all pass away, me, Leo, the kids, Mommy, Abby, ISIS terrorists, everybody, and thatís the worst thing that could possibly happen, that you disappear off the face of the earth, the fact that the worst thing that can happen happens every time, eventually, to everybody, the fact that those ISIS people are just speeding things up a little really, 9/11, but thereís no need for that, the fact that I donít believe they want to pass away either, the fact that they just donít know what theyíre talking about, because itís awful that most mothers pass away never knowing whatíll happen to their kids, the fact that thatís so sad, because youíre supposed ę to protect them, not desert them, and no matter how old your kids get youíll still want to know how they are, youíll always want to know,  It wonít be long until weíre there with snow, snow, snow , the fact that maybe I should just, like, zone out and be Zen or something, meditate, ę levitate, contemplate nothingness, reach nirvana, communal crying, the fact that Ethan got me to promise him long ago that if I was ever really desperate, like suicidal or something, that I would tell him, which still really comforts me, the fact that I know heís there if I need him, the fact that I think he was kind of worried about me for a while, when I was a teenager, the fact that everybody should have that promise from somebody, a guaranteed listener if youíre ever really losing it, the fact that I would call him too, if I ever had to, the fact that heís a sweet guy, a fun guy too, fungi, the kind of guy youíre proud to know, the fact that these days we usually talk about Netflix, not suicide, the fact that he was so handsome when we were teenagers I liked to show him off around New Haven, if we went downtown or somewhere people from school might see us, in case theyíd think we were a couple, the fact that it wasnít incest, the fact that I didnít want to be a couple, I was just proud of hanging around with such a handsome guy, bandwagon, chuckwagon beans, Chuck, The Odd Couple, the fact that I just realized that when this monologue in my head finally stops, Iíll be dead, or at least totally unconscious, like a vegetable or something, the fact that there are seven and a half billion people in the world, so there must be seven and a half billion of these internal monologues going on, apart from all the unconscious people, the fact that thatís seven and a half billion people worrying about their kids, or their moms, or both, as well as taxes and window sills and medical bills, shut-in, shutout, dugout, bullpen, the fact that thatís not counting the multiple-personality people who must have several internal monologues going on at once, several each, momologs, Mommalabomala, Bubbela, blogs, vlogs, log cabins, Phoebeís Christmas logs, the fact that animals must have some kind of monologue going on in their heads, even if itís more visual than verbal maybe, the fact that bald eagles, certainly ę always seem to be thinking about something when you watch them on the eaglecam, the fact that theyíre very alert, theyíre so alert it gets tiring to watch, the fact that they make me nervous, gripping a branch like that for hours on end and twisting their heads around all the time with those 350į turns, the fact that itís kind of disconcerting, the fact that theyíre not easily scared, I donít think, but theyíre very aware of danger, the fact that they keep everything in mind at all times, except when theyíre asleep, but then theyíre dreaming, and thatís like a monologue too, in a way, the fact that sometimes you donít need the really long tin foil, I mean wide, the fact that sometimes itís too wide, the fact that I think a lot of people think all I think about is pie, when really itís my spinal brain doing most of the peeling and caramelizing and baking and flipping, while I just stand there spiraling into a panic about my mom and animal extinctions and the Second Amendment just like everybody else, twinge, back, the fact that Ohioans can talk the talk till the cows come home, but itís all show, the fact that really theyíre scared all the time, I bet, of being shot or foreclosed or fired or who knows what, nuclear war, the numbness of muted beings,  hot cross buns, hot cross buns, see how they run, the fact that nuclear war is probably imminent but nobody ever mentions it, the fact that it would be impolite to bring it up, ink, Ajax, mattress button, the fact that I like it when they give you a piece of cheese with your apple pie, the fact that an apple without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze, the fact that a kiss without the cheese is like an apple without the squeeze, community columbarium, lemons and limes, archeologists, Magna Carta,  London Bridge is falling down , the fact that life is so easily taken away, stolen, screwed up, jigsaw, the fact that a human lifespan isnít all that long, compared to planets or rocks or even trees, and I fill mine up with regrets and shyness, disappointments, ę embarrassments, success and failure, and yes, pie, and music, longings, evasions, neglect, driving, chicken feed, nostalgia, and then back to regret, the fact that I am always trying to remember stuff, Remember, remember, 7 Up, Hawaiian Punch, Bo the dog, treason and plot, black leaves, white water, half-naked cousins in a motel pool, the fact that sometimes, in the middle of a long day, I look at a shadow and it seems like a little portion of nighttime, like envelopes of night that hang around in the day, and that comforts me somehow, because the time I like best is when the kids are asleep and Leo and I can go to bed, the fact that thereís nighttime in clothing too, like pockets of darkness up a sleeve, or in your pants, or under your jacket, upskirting, secret nighttime, the fact that I dreamt it was night and I heard a strange crumpling sound, and in the dream I could fly, so I flew over to a dark hedge to see what was making the crumpling noise but I couldnít see anything except pure blackness, the fact that I kept peering into the blackness, hoping my eyes would adjust but they never did, Ľ
I'm so many people.


csage97

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Reply #1580 on: July 24, 2019, 11:04:54 PM
Just finished reading McCarthy's Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness In the West. Holy Hell, Judge Holden is one of the most haunting, brilliantly crafted antagonists in literature. Anyone read it?

Yep, I read it years ago, sometime in 2011. I remember loving the prose and some of the archaic language. Judge Holden was indeed haunting and strange. The Road was also good.

Infinite Jest. I'll let you know what I think when finishing sometime in 2020.

I keep forgetting to read this. I should make it next on my novel list ....

iíve been reading Thomas Mannís The Magic Mountain, never once having to consult either google or a dictionary, and iím constantly learning. itís the fullest expression of the human condition iíve encountered, and the protagonist is a death obsessed troubled soul

For whatever reason, I put down The Magic Mountain after a few days. I think it was the translation. The version I had was actually so dry, which I found strange because I loved Death in Venice. The prose was so great in the latter and was absent from Mountain, which makes me chalk it up to the translator.


Something Spanish

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Reply #1581 on: July 25, 2019, 10:26:16 AM
I really want to read Blood Meridian, itíll definitely by one of the next 8-10 books i take in. Never read anything by CM.

Have about 60p left on Jest. as someone who rarely reads fiction, particularly in the past decade, this is a really addictive book. been binging it like people binge Netflix series. think i would have enjoyed it even more if I were able to pace myself like 12-15 pages at a time instead of 25-40.

Ordered Against the Day the other day, sounds amazing, but still have V to rip through next. So many books to read so little time.


Something Spanish

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Reply #1582 on: July 25, 2019, 10:38:05 AM
That Ducks book looks to have unanimous praise, but Reading 1000+ page books is rough, no matter how good


eward

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Reply #1583 on: July 25, 2019, 10:56:42 AM
I really want to read Blood Meridian, itíll definitely by one of the next 8-10 books i take in. Never read anything by CM.

...

Ordered Against the Day the other day, sounds amazing, but still have V to rip through next. So many books to read so little time.

Blood Meridian as an inaugural McCarthy read would be quite bold! It's a fair deal more dense than his other novels but far and away my favorite.

And Against the Day introduced me to my favorite (technically slang) word:

Absquatulate

verb (used without object), ab∑squat∑u∑lat∑ed, ab∑squat∑u∑lat∑ing.
to flee; abscond:
The old prospector absquatulated with our picks and shovel.
The face in the misty light...


csage97

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Reply #1584 on: July 31, 2019, 02:00:06 AM
I love Against the Day! It sure is long, though ... as are a lot a of Pynchon's novels. There were parts in V. that I really enjoyed, but I found other parts to have some of his most dry writing. Other people might disagree. Despite all that, V. is still really mysterious to me ... like a scholarly tome containing secrets and insights that are just beyond the reach of my comprehension. Which is probably the way Pynchon wants it.

I think I'm going to read Infinite Jest or a Murakami novel next. Maybe Murakami's new one.


Something Spanish

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Reply #1585 on: July 31, 2019, 11:45:19 AM
finished IJ a few days ago, had to do some good old fashion Google sleuthing to make sense of it, but overall, the journey was a trip. now I'm reading Although You End Up Becoming Yourself, the interview book The End of the Tour is based on.
one thing i'll say about Jest is it had me laughing out loud at so many scenes, and not once did it bore. I read a lot of other people who warned about specific sections that were tedious to get through, those very sections were some of the best stuff in my eyes. going to read Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, a bio on DFW right after this interview book. Don't know why this fascination is with this author. In a way I think I read IJ just to read that interview book and this bio.

how did that Manson book turn out, eward?


Drenk

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Reply #1586 on: July 31, 2019, 12:00:10 PM
I'd say the only tedious part for me was the ESCHATON section; I actually skipped the end the first time I read IJ, so obviously I missed the whole chaos and couldn't quite understand why they were in trouble with the administration.
I'm so many people.


jenkins

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Reply #1587 on: July 31, 2019, 05:36:51 PM
For whatever reason, I put down The Magic Mountain after a few days. I think it was the translation. The version I had was actually so dry, which I found strange because I loved Death in Venice. The prose was so great in the latter and was absent from Mountain, which makes me chalk it up to the translator.

well. it has dry stretches is all. the beginning is not dry. im impressed by the beginning. its thematic force. but then after that explanations start happening. and oh itís a lil tough in 2019 to read two pages philosophically amazed by x-ray technology. itís taken me forever to read this book because some sections are like ugh. but when Mann soars he soars, and both his philosophy and prose style can soar. the man has extraordinary dexterity. at one point the narrator mentions patience as a formal intent within the novel. this book wants to move at the speed of life, which hardly ever moves at the speed we wish it would. and such beautiful things can spring up as if from nowhere, but really the seed was previously planted.

basically it can be so dry the reader can become quite thirsty. but overall it teaches me how to intertwine narrative and character better than anything ive ever read


Drenk

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Reply #1588 on: August 05, 2019, 08:24:55 PM
I finished Ducks, Newburyport a few minutes ago; I loved almost every page of this 1000 pages novel with an intense passion, the rare kind, the ones you get when you encounter a novel with a voice and a rythme that moves you. It's the language and the content, in that case, that moved me. The sprawling mind of a mother of four kids—her worries, dreams, and thoughts about movies from The Apartment to whatever flick Harrison Ford has been in. I've been surprised by how eventful the book is. Not only do you get memories—of course, the narrator thinks about the past—but a lot of things happen during the course of the novel, too. And the characters are fantastic. Her kids. Her husband. Her neighbors. I miss them, already...

I found it very easy to read, very fluid...and since I'm currently editing a novel, I know how difficult it is for the whole thing to flow, I was very impressed by what Ellmann achieved there. It's funny, entertaining, heartbreaking. And a great book about the insanity of America, its absurdity, its violence...
I'm so many people.


csage97

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Reply #1589 on: August 06, 2019, 07:48:09 PM
For whatever reason, I put down The Magic Mountain after a few days. I think it was the translation. The version I had was actually so dry, which I found strange because I loved Death in Venice. The prose was so great in the latter and was absent from Mountain, which makes me chalk it up to the translator.

well. it has dry stretches is all. the beginning is not dry. im impressed by the beginning. its thematic force. but then after that explanations start happening. and oh itís a lil tough in 2019 to read two pages philosophically amazed by x-ray technology. itís taken me forever to read this book because some sections are like ugh. but when Mann soars he soars, and both his philosophy and prose style can soar. the man has extraordinary dexterity. at one point the narrator mentions patience as a formal intent within the novel. this book wants to move at the speed of life, which hardly ever moves at the speed we wish it would. and such beautiful things can spring up as if from nowhere, but really the seed was previously planted.

basically it can be so dry the reader can become quite thirsty. but overall it teaches me how to intertwine narrative and character better than anything ive ever read

Hmm, that's quite an endorsement. I'm of course open to picking it up again. I have a copy of one of the Joseph books, which I found in a used bookstore. I was reading reviews and info about the Joseph series and saw that many readers wrote of a big difference between translators, and all recommended a certain translator over the other translators (and I remember they wrote that one of the translators falls really flat). All of that leads me to believe that the translation is important, as it should be, and I need to be selective about it.

And yeah ... the prose and philosophy really soared in Death in Venice. I love that novella.

I picked up Underworld by Don DeLillo, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and Infinite Jest the other day in the book store. I'm having trouble deciding which one to read first! I might go with Freedom to start.