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What are we reading?

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Alexandro

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Reply #1620 on: March 28, 2020, 12:50:14 PM
The Big Goodbye, Chinatown and the last years of Hollywood, by Sam Wasson, is a blast.


csage97

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Reply #1621 on: May 09, 2020, 11:35:58 AM
Just started Miles Davis' autobiography (written with Quincy Troupe). I'm at the part where he goes to NYC looking for Dizzy Gillespie and Bird. He spends a couple weeks or so hanging out in the 52nd street clubs and around Minton's Playhouse up in Harlem, and Bird is nowhere to be found. Eventually he gets word that Bird has some friends down in Greenwhich where these long-haired beats are hanging out. Reads in the paper one day that Bird is supposed to play some gig, word being that he may or may not show up, and he goes there and hears his name after some time: "Hey, Miles!" There's Bird, swollen-faced and eyes all red. Legendary stuff ....

It's cool to read that Minton's was the actual place where shit was happening before it went down to 52nd, before white people got hip to it.


Sleepless

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Reply #1622 on: May 14, 2020, 05:21:11 PM
Two books. The first, I read in January, right before this whole coronavirus debacle, and the other I'm less than 100 pages away from finishing... Both recommended on their own merits, but also both enormously pertinent to the times we currently find ourselves living in.



He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


Robyn

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Reply #1623 on: June 13, 2020, 03:32:35 PM
Bought this after reading White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art and his essay on Taxi Driver. Looking forward to get familiar with him.



I'm also reading Neuromancer. I think it's silly and it annoys me all the time, but also that's kind of what makes it a good time lol


Fuzzy Dunlop

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Reply #1624 on: July 27, 2020, 05:55:15 PM


Really enjoying this so far. Classic Charlie Kaufman surrealism, featuring one of the most hilariously insufferable protagonists I’ve ever read. Shades of Confederacy of Dunces and Infinite Jest, but in a very specifically Kaufman way. Tons of cinephile jokes in there too.


Drenk

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Reply #1625 on: July 27, 2020, 06:45:35 PM
I concur. Fun read. That line opening a chapter at page 304 made me laugh out loud, considering everything I had just read: « I have come to the conclusion that I am ridiculous. »

That’s also a goldfield for those who are interested in the subject of gender in Kaufman’s work.

I’ve read Cosmos by Gombrowicz, which is a masterpiece, I’m always amazed and loved when confronted to works dealing directly and expansively with secret, weird thoughts I had—great book about life and fiction writing. I ordered Ferdydurke.

I’ve read twenty pages of Pessoa, Book of Untranquility, and, yeah, as I expected: perfect...

I’ve also kept some Henry James on the side for August.
Ascension.


WorldForgot

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Reply #1626 on: July 27, 2020, 08:02:42 PM
Slavoj Zizek's long-winded foreward to Christopher Lasch's 'The Culture of Narcissism'

6k words on Narcissism's psychoanalytic context and then after that, if you are interested in Zizek or Lasch, I would say the Foreword starts contending with Lasch at

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According to Lasch’s basic thesis, which has been confirmed by the clinical analysis of the constitution of “pathological Narcissus”, the celebrated “breakdown of paternal authority” or the paternal ideal of the Ego is only one side of the process. Its other side is the emergence of a much more “irrational” and “cruel” law, the maternal Superego, which does not prohibit but orders, demands pleasure (by means of a constant grasping for “social success”, domination over other people and their exploitation with the aim of confirming one’s own narcissism) and which punishes “failure” much more severely than the “voice of conscience” of the ideal of the ego, with unbearable anxiety and extreme masochistic self-humiliation that can even lead to the loss of one’s own identity. What we are dealing with in “pathological Narcissus” is i(a) directly based on the cruel, crazy, “irrational” and “anal” Superego, instead of i(a) “mediated” by I(A). Lasch connects this process with certain fundamental changes in late capitalist social relations – in other words, with the onset of “bureaucratic society”. On the surface, this thesis may seem paradoxical: “bureaucratic man” is usually envisaged as the exact opposite of Narcissus, as the “man of the apparatus”, an anonymous individual dedicated to the organisation and reduced to the status of a cog in the bureaucratic machine. But according to Lasch, the psychological type, or a libidinal economy which corresponds to contemporary bureaucratic society, is in fact “pathological Narcissus”, who does not take the social “rules of the game” seriously and who is an unrelenting outcast interested only in manipulating other people to attain narcissistic satisfaction. The solution to this paradox lies in the fact that there exist three rather than two stages in the development of what can be called the “libidinal constitution of the subject in bourgeois society”: the individual of Protestant ethics; the heteronomous “man of organisation”; and “pathological Narcissus”. Lasch’s contribution lies in the fact that he was the first to clearly describe the transition from the second to the third stage. There is still talk of a phenomenon called the downfall or breakdown of Protestant ethics. Two classical descriptions of this process are The Organization Man by William Whyte and The Lonely Crowd by David Riesman. Riesman introduces a fundamental notional contradiction of the “autonomous” (selfdirected) and “heteronomous” (Other-directed) individual


Bleep

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Reply #1627 on: September 03, 2020, 04:53:49 PM


jenkins

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Reply #1628 on: September 03, 2020, 05:53:30 PM
the father of tragedy, after all. we’re so used to genres, so familiar with narratives, it’s hard for us to imagine what it was like before they even existed. except that’s an exaggeration too, because really through human experience humans know these things, so here is the birth of tragedy in a formal manner


Bleep

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Reply #1629 on: September 04, 2020, 02:25:55 AM
Greek Tragedy in Hateful Eight and No Country for Old Men

1. The protracted mechanics of the interplay required between Major Marquis Warren and John Ruth before the Major is allowed onto the stagecoach, a painstaking interplay which puts the developing story on hold (recalling the foot rub conference in Pulp Fiction), has a close precedent in Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles (ll. 150–206), in which a long, drawn-out exchange regarding where precisely Oedipus is allowed to sit within a sacred spot is required before the developing story can continue.

2. Anton Chigurh’s continual mindfulness for signs of blood on his footwear recalls Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, when Cassandra envisions a “house of many horrors . . . slaughterhouse of men—its floor darkening the foot!” (ἀνδροσφαγεῖον καὶ πεδορραντήριον, l. 1092)


csage97

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Reply #1630 on: September 05, 2020, 12:34:21 AM
I've been at a weird point with reading lately. I was ripping through Haruki Murakami novels (read Men Without Woman and A Wild Sheep Chase recently), and moved on to Hard-Boiled Wonderland and just fell flat with it. I should probably try to stick with it, but it's not giving me the satisfaction of his other novels.

I'm also reading Neuromancer. I think it's silly and it annoys me all the time, but also that's kind of what makes it a good time lol

I also tried picking this up again too but I just can't make it through .... All the abrupt location changes, often with little description .... I despise how you'll form a mental picture in your head of a scene or character, and then a few paragraphs later it's like, "They walked over to the twenty-foot pool in the middle of the room. Did I mention the pool before? No? Well there's one there now!"

Anyway, I'm in a bit of a funk with reading material. Antkind looks cool and I'm always up for some Kaufman. There's also a new Clive James book that's coming out (Fire of Joy) that I'll probably get. I often disagree with things James says and writes, but he often does so with such certitude that I find it humorous and entertaining. He goes about it all with style, wit, and enthusiasm too, and plus he's incredibly well read. All of that while getting me to think deeply about things and topics that are relatively new to me.


jenkins

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Reply #1631 on: September 05, 2020, 12:57:23 AM
i think you’d like Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown, to present you with a relatively safe option that’s also contemporaneous and in line with your interests

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The novel uses the narrative structure of the screenplay format to tell the tale of Willis Wu, the "Generic Asian Man" who is stuck playing "Background Oriental Male" and occasionally "Delivery Guy" in the fictional police procedural Black and White but who longs to be "Kung Fu Guy" on screens worldwide.

a contention made is that the black v white racial battle excludes the asian element. where does an asian man belong in america? the backdrop is Hollywood and Yu also wrote for Westworld, was acclaimed for his debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe


csage97

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Reply #1632 on: September 06, 2020, 12:51:45 AM
i think you’d like Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown, to present you with a relatively safe option that’s also contemporaneous and in line with your interests

Quote
The novel uses the narrative structure of the screenplay format to tell the tale of Willis Wu, the "Generic Asian Man" who is stuck playing "Background Oriental Male" and occasionally "Delivery Guy" in the fictional police procedural Black and White but who longs to be "Kung Fu Guy" on screens worldwide.

a contention made is that the black v white racial battle excludes the asian element. where does an asian man belong in america? the backdrop is Hollywood and Yu also wrote for Westworld, was acclaimed for his debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Argh! I went out and bought the Kaufman novel. It sounded too good to resist .... I read a bit of the opening in the amazon preview thing and was hooked. I'll put Interior Chinatown on my list though. I like that it's shorter, as that might be what I need after 700 pages of Kaufman.


jenkins

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Reply #1633 on: September 11, 2020, 01:36:05 PM
in the new mcsweeney’s, issue 61, there’s a letter, from ismail muhammad, that describes my neighborhood and celebrates the black lives matter protests taking place there. “I couldn’t help but smile in satisfaction. History had finally made itself known in those absurd precincts too.” the comparison is of course the rodney king riots, which the “LAPD kept contained largely in black and Hispanic areas.” although in fact it was largely funneled into Koreatown (further parts of the city blocked off) the point remains the same

i like reading a letter about my neighborhood. btw it mentions that the cop car was planted, well it doesn’t directly say “planted” but it notes that it was an old cop car and thus implicit is that it wasn’t an active cop car that was set on fire