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What are we reading?

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jenkins

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Reply #1590 on: August 07, 2019, 12:17:43 AM
Translator for sure important.


WorldForgot

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Reply #1591 on: August 09, 2019, 12:38:17 PM
Finished Asimov'z FOUNDATION saga. A handful of books, but they whiz past you, the prose is especially sweet and cutting if you're used to reading more verbose authors like GRRM. I see slices of The Wheel of Time in Foundation. can't even begin to break this series down, it manages to address Atomic Age paranoia with the political lyricism and world-building of Ursula K Le Guin, include as many characters as ASOIAF, if not more, and yet, of course, only Asimov could weave the science into the fiction the way it's presented here. If you're looking to scratch a Fantasy/Sci-Fi itch, the first book will probably hook you for at least two more (it was originally a trilogy).

And then after that I read Invisible Monsters Remix, which is like playing a remastered record you love. I knew what I was getting into, and the new passages added enough dimension to a story I already adored that I can say, I think, the remix is the definitive version of Palahniuk's first novel. I dream of adapting this novel into a film.

And now, I'm dipping into the waters of I Ching, The Book of Change, as my leisure reading between legal/copyright texts for work. Really want to write about Jung + Pasolini + I Ching + Suspiria + Capitalist Realism, which all defo form a helix of organized chaos, but I lost all my notes on Suspiria 2018+Capitalist Realism when my macbook died earlier this month. I guess I ought to reread Capitalist Realism and take the notes all over again! Onward!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 07:07:12 PM by WorldForgot »


jenkins

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Reply #1592 on: September 03, 2019, 10:38:19 PM
having finished The Magic Mountain, i started reading Salman Rushdie's Quichotte, which is the second book of his i've read, after Midnight's Children of course

Rushdie is a smart guy. sometimes people are too smart to write good fiction. Rushdie is a smart guy interested in the art of literature. that is when things can really pop. Quichotte is a four-pronged narrative that envelops true and imaginary aspects of reality. it being fiction everything is imaginary, but in the narrative there is who is real and who is being created, though all are involved in the process of creation. the initial chapters have been a lot of context. this is from the end of the first chapter with Sancho, who is Quichotte's imaginary son, carved out of thin-air meteors in a sequence set at devil's tower with close encounters of the third kind explicitly mentioned. i think this section is Rushdie popping. there's a lot of imagination going on this sequence that's rationalizing a preposterous existence





Drenk

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Reply #1593 on: September 04, 2019, 05:56:56 AM
Quichotte. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize with...

Ducks, Newburyport!
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jenkins

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Reply #1594 on: September 17, 2019, 03:36:41 AM
Ducks, Newburyport might be in my path this year yet

this week i'll meet with Rushdie so i wanted to have read his book, that's why i read it

the writer of Quichotte being a character within the novel, it is a meta book. for example during one sequence Quichotte and Sancho visit a town of people transforming into mastodons, and later the writer expresses being influenced by Eugène Ionesco, Rhinoceros, and absurdism. a rational is provided for the mastodon sequence: this world right now is so crazy that absurdism feels natural. in one way that's explaining fiction, which is like explaining a joke, but Rushdie is demonstrating how the consciousness and subconsciousness of a writer make their way into what's written. a parody of Elon Musk exists, Evel Cent, who builds a portal to a parallel dimension to solve the crisis of the fabric of the universe becoming torn

now i am reading



because i wanted to read a straight shooter. this short novella is succeeding in satisfying that desire. it's an early entry into a story about a love affair between a human and a sea creature, which type of story recently appeared in del Toro's The Shape of Water, and the books Made for Love by Alissa Nutting and The Pisces by Melissa Broder

it's interesting to me how Rachel Ingalls paved the road which others have followed: outcasts are driven to sea creatures in a world that has failed them. her context is the miserableness of the suburbs like conveyed in Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road and whatnot. so imagine Revolutionary Road but with the wife developing a relationship with a sea creature named Larry by the way. Larry. god i love that name. this story is sharp and bright


jenkins

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Reply #1595 on: September 18, 2019, 11:57:17 PM
this is an example of a line in Mrs. Caliban that really made me shake my booty for joy

Quote
Dorothy was looking at the other people, most of them women, who wandered in small groups from one large glass case to another. And so it was that her attention was not really fixed on any one object when suddenly something seemed to loom in front of her.

and you see there, that second sentence, that's not a forceful sentence, and it's not a powerful message, no, it excites me from the power of its grace

now i am reading



and i talk about these things so that

1 i can practice sharing my opinion about the book/writer
2 for context when i shittalk BEE or Stephen King bullshit

just a reminder about Beckett, via wiki

Quote
Beckett's work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human existence, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humor

and yet he was associated with the Theatre of the Absurd and everything. that's a really powerful and winning combination for my tastes. along with

Quote
He opened up the possibility of theatre and fiction that dispense with conventional plot and the unities of time and place in order to focus on essential components of the human condition.

so, of course, Watt, which he wrote while beginning to shift toward minimalism, has a rather abstract narrative framework that could be majorly offputting for some readers, including me on other days

me, i'm reading a book that disengages from an emotional thread? it's some magnetism thing that draws me towards the books i read. i finished Mrs. Caliban and idk i then felt that it was time to read Watt, which has proven correct so far

his tempo is just so impressive. his musicality. he speaks of serious subjects in a playful intellectual way that engages me and inspires me to have a broad perspective within the possibilities of writing


jenkins

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Reply #1596 on: September 25, 2019, 02:20:46 AM
Watt really swept me away. i felt like a giddy teenager reading it. you know a couple years later Robbe-Grillet's La Jalousie will arrive. it was such a fucking different time back then. these days maybe we're good at making the narratives but i don't know if the same level of commitment is given to the shape of the narrative. the type of perspective. Watt is like an existential precursor to La Jalousie, not exactly but i like the sound of that


eward

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Reply #1597 on: September 25, 2019, 11:13:06 AM
I have not read Beckett's novels, but I really love a handful of his plays - Krapp's Last Tape, Endgame, Not I, Act Without Words I and II, especially Happy Days, which begins with the words "Another heavenly day" as lights come up on a woman buried up to her waist in a mound of earth; Act II begins similarly, only she's buried up to her neck...that's why there's no third act lol

His musicality, which you mentioned, and precision remains unmatched. I remember hearing an interview with Edward Albee who was reminiscing about directing a production of Krapp's Last Tape back in the mid-70s, and as a little experiment decided to alter what was specifically noted in the text as a 4-second pause to a 2-second pause, and claims the entire thing essentially collapsed as a result.

Waiting for Godot, curiously, I've always been sort of indifferent to. Perhaps I'm just being contrary. I'll crack it open again.

Of course, there is the film "Film" he made with Buster Keaton in the 60s. Behold:



There's also a pretty great DVD boxset that I was obsessed with in college and used to check out of the library weekly, Beckett On Film. Exactly what it sounds like (except I believe it was all captured on video for the most part), featuring a host of great directors - Atom Egoyan, Neil Jordan, David Mamet, Anthony Minghella, among others - and actors - John Hurt, David Thewlis, Sir John Gielgud, Julianne Moore, Jeremy Irons, the great playwright Harold Pinter, Alan Rickman, Kristen Scott-Thomas, Michael Gambon... The films vary in quality, but it's totally worth checking out.

Thanks for the words on Watt. I think it's time I delve in to that side of him.
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


jenkins

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Reply #1598 on: October 10, 2019, 06:44:19 PM
i rewatched Lost in Translation, which movie i always struggle with and appreciate, and it's got that scene on the bed when for example Bill M says things get easier as you age because you know who you are and what you like

these are things i've been liking, i've read other books by all three, still though i mean



WorldForgot

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Reply #1599 on: October 10, 2019, 07:15:48 PM
Just got my first e-reader this week, an amazon Fire 7, and with Prime Reading I read Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem and am now chewing into The White Album. She's quite good at capturing the psychic temperature of a space by describing its minutia. Didn't know much about Didion before, and don't know how i feel about the term "New Journalism," but certainly her essays capture conservative panic in a poetic manner.


jenkins

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Reply #1600 on: October 10, 2019, 07:23:29 PM
yeah locals only it. hey please read Karen Tei Yamashita‘s Tropic of Orange and tell me about liking it so i’ll read it too when you get the chance, thanks


Something Spanish

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Reply #1601 on: October 11, 2019, 02:19:35 PM
more than halfway through V.
it's hard to believe pynchon was in his early 20's when he wrote it. the grasp of German colonialism in S Africa is inhuman.


Drenk

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Reply #1602 on: October 11, 2019, 02:26:23 PM
He has an encyclopedic mind. Small jokes/details in his novels, even seemingly outlandish ones, are often grounded—reality has always been Pynchonian, not just our fucked up times...
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jenkins

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Reply #1603 on: October 11, 2019, 03:13:27 PM
the word for that is “literature”


jenkins

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Reply #1604 on: October 11, 2019, 03:34:41 PM
have a good weekend, Drenk. everything is okay