Reading Rainbow

Jackson Pollock's semen.
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Post #51 by Bernie Bernbaum » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:38 pm

I'm halfway through The Luminaries right now, and holy shit. Structurally and stylistically, this thing's the bee's knees. I cannot remember the last book I enjoyed this thoroughly. Now, I'm still waiting to see if it can hoist itself into the upper echelons of the sublime (he said with a straight face), but it terms of gusto and storytelling, this book is like crack.
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Post #52 by SidorkiewiczsPeter » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:37 pm

Finally got to go on a reading kick. Read the bell jar, the road, and never let me go recently, and just started journey to the end of the night.
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Post #53 by Bernie Bernbaum » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:08 pm

Roderick Jaynes wrote:I'm halfway through The Luminaries right now, and holy shit. Structurally and stylistically, this thing's the bee's knees. I cannot remember the last book I enjoyed this thoroughly. Now, I'm still waiting to see if it can hoist itself into the upper echelons of the sublime (he said with a straight face), but it terms of gusto and storytelling, this book is like crack.


Didn't live up to my hopes for it in the end. Oh well. Also finished Tenth of December. Strong collection. Victory Lap and The Semplica Girl Diaries in particular were fantastic.
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Post #54 by Bow Tie » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:56 pm

I'm reading Flannery O'Connor for a class I'm teaching (high school). Question that came up as I was thinking after finishing a short story -- do we resign ourselves to compulsion? If you think we do, from where does that compulsion come and to where does it go?

[/curiosities in Prison Mike's brain]
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Post #55 by RTWAP » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:08 pm

[YOUTUBE]JgDwaJ0WCVE[/YOUTUBE]
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Post #56 by Pennywise » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:46 pm

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Post #57 by Bernie Bernbaum » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:31 pm

Image
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Post #58 by Macbeth » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:22 pm

Charlie Meadows wrote:Image


A normcore convention ?
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Post #59 by Macbeth » Wed May 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Why the fuck has Boulgakov not crossed my path before today ?

Fucker got game.
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Post #60 by edgar_dong » Wed May 21, 2014 4:50 pm

[CENTER][SIZE="7"]GAZPÉECHO[/size][/CENTER]

EDIT: Wrong fred. : (
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Post #61 by Macbeth » Wed May 21, 2014 5:27 pm

dempsey_k wrote:One of my absolute all time faves. Easy to digest backwards Russians and their silly Jesus shit so long as you treat it like The Force or whatever faux-Sufi nonsense Frank Herbert was working with.


Oh, I don't mind the Jesus shit, it's right in my catholic wheelhouse. Seventy pages or thereabouts in and I'm in awe. Take me there, Mikhaïl.
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Post #62 by edgar_dong » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:48 am

Sure as shit not reading anything about wood-toothed alcoholics in wigs. :bert:
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Post #63 by Germz » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Just finished the difficult (but excellent) first chapter of The Sound and the Fury. Looking forward to reading the rest and figuring out what the fuck is going on.
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Post #64 by Bernie Bernbaum » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Germz wrote:Just finished the difficult (but excellent) first chapter of The Sound and the Fury. Looking forward to reading the rest and figuring out what the fuck is going on.


Faulkner originally wanted each of the intermingled timelines printed in a different colour of ink. Then the printer said no, and he basically decided the reader could mindfuck him/herself through eighty-some-odd pages.

Have you read As I Lay Dying or Absalom! Absalom!?
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Post #65 by Germz » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:04 pm

Coloured ink. That's a larf.

This is my first encounter with Faulkner.
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Post #66 by Jedrik » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:36 pm

Maybe the rainbow text would've helped me. Read it in uni but don't remember sweet fuck all.
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Post #67 by Bernie Bernbaum » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:22 pm

Germz wrote:Coloured ink. That's a larf.

This is my first encounter with Faulkner.


S&F is probably his most challenging, at least of his more popular works - I haven't dived that deeply into the rest of his output. AILD and A!A! are books I could pick up any time, any place. The Bundrens could make a case as the most fully realised family in modern lit, and the Sutpen family history is the best, richest allegory for Southern history I've come across (also, Thomas Stupen is basically the literature equivalent of Daniel Plainview). I found the experimental stuff of S&F a sometimes fun and sometimes maddening puzzle, but it put me at an emotional distance that weakened the experience for me.
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Post #68 by Transplanted Caper » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:30 pm

The Friends of Meager Fortune by David Adams Richards. Really slow in parts, but trying to slog through it because I've enjoyed all of Richards' stuff I've read so far. Still, this one is tougher to get into than anything else of his I've friend.
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Post #69 by Jedrik » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:38 am

So…Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides combined for around three hundred plays, and only something like thirty one were handed down to us by the fuckfaced Middle Ages?

Just only getting round to reading some of these now. Pretty fun, actually. No telling for me how much a particular translation accounts for how accessible something like this is (the Penguin copies I have are translations by a chap named Robert Fagles), but structurally they’re straightforward and easy to follow, usually with a very short list of characters with real speaking roles.

Would've been cool to see some of the earlier, more primitive tragedies that they were riffing on for comparison, but I guess those aren't so available, either. Oh well; lotsa stabbing and incest and junk.
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Post #70 by Jedrik » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:10 pm

The Chorus is pretty chatty.
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Post #71 by Jedrik » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:23 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Oresteia, Bacchae, Medea, Trojan Women are the best IMO. Sophocles' Theban plays (not a proper trilogy, in fact separated by decades) is of course the main attraction, but the analysis of it (beyond mere Freudian stuff) is a lot more interesting.

The coolest thing about any Greek drama was in the Oresteia's first performance of the final play The Eumenides. As you may know, Orestes provoked the wrath of the Furies for killing his mother, but up til then (and probably many millennia afterwards) there had been no better way to make an entrance. The members of the chorus started moaning and sounding like the demons in Ghost claiming Tony Goldwyn, then they manifested as the Furies themselves and mingled in the audience before walking up on stage. It was like the Samara crawling out of the television in The Ring of their day. Reportedly it made grown men faint and women miscarry.


I would have enjoyed that immensely :(

I was trying to picture the Furies and imagined something like witches with charcoal skin and electrified hair. Really hard to wrap my head around these things being performed for crowds of like 15,000. It’s like Madison Square Garden and they’re relying on the acoustics of the place and the actors’ delivery?

So far I’ve read the Oresteia trilogy, plus Antigone of the Theban plays, and now I’m partway through Oedipus the King. I’ve read more of Greek and Roman epics and poetry over the years, but barely any drama for some reason, other than a bit of Plautus.

I wonder about the chances are of future discoveries of some of the lost stuff. I know a whole Sappho poem was discovered recently on Egyptian papyrus used to package a mummy (for Chrissake), and that there’s some hope held out for sites like Herculaneum, though from the sounds of it the stuff they’re unearthing there is less on the literary side. From poking around internet blogs and forums some folk in these circles think that Medieval monasteries and the Vatican library might be the most likely places to turn up more goods. Hmmmmm.
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Post #72 by Bernie Bernbaum » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:31 pm

It kills me that it's taken me this long to read him, but Sherman Alexie might be the best short story writer working today. Guy hit a turning point in the late 90's (The Toughest Indian in the World) and never looked back. Ten Little Indians and War Dances have five or six of the best stories I've ever read between them. It is so rare to find a writer as deeply political and yet as gleefully commited to disturbing and complicating the assumptions of those politics as he is, never mind one who writes about parents waving eighteen-inch vibrating dildoes over the cribs of their critically ill children, pretending they are magic wands, or about John Wayne taking aside his two sons to tell them, "Oh, sons, you're just engaging in some harmless gender play. Some sexual experimentation. Every boy does this kind of thing. Every man likes to pretend he's a woman now and again. It's very healthy."
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Post #73 by Jedrik » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:42 pm

dempsey_k wrote:My favorite anecdote from The Swerve was how most of Sappho's compendium comes down to us from wadded up papyrus thrown into a stuffed crocodile's mouth in a trash heap.


Where is this, in the endnotes? I just finished it recently and I don't remember seeing that bit, but I remember you mentioning it.
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Post #74 by Jedrik » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:59 pm

OMG HURRY UP AND ANSWER
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Post #75 by Jedrik » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:38 pm

dempsey_k wrote:Now that I think about it, it might not have been in it at all. I might've confused it with a book on Sappho I was reading at the same time. I'll try to ctrl+F an eBook of it.

edit: yup, I was mistaken. But the crocodile thing is true regardless: https://www.google.com/#safe=off&q=Sappho+crocodile


Ah ok, no worries. If you find or think of it let me know.

And I enjoyed The Swerve quite a lot, so toss up any rec's along those lines if you've got them. I've got a trip coming up.
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Post #76 by Jedrik » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:10 pm

dempsey_k wrote:I really loved these books recently:

White Mughals
Review: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2002/oct/05/highereducation.books1

Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane
Review: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2014/02/11/book-review-lost-enlightenment-central-asias-golden-age-starr/

Cleopatra: A Life
Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/books/review/Harrison-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/books/review/lawrence-in-arabia-by-scott-anderson.html?pagewanted=all

I've also really been getting in to Anais Nin and Rachel Kushner but that's neither here nor there.


Perfect, thanks. Gonna check out.
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Post #77 by Jedrik » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:59 pm

(Copied from the TV thread)

dempsey_k wrote:Look out in the world of whatever area it is you want to speak in, and see where whatever you have to contribute is fixed in the hierarchy of value. Don't do anything just for self-indulgence. That's best left within the art, not in the why. Chart out the entirety of what you want to say, so you never hit a rut. I did the build up and tear down thing about eight times, always reaching that 20-25pg mark and just going "no".

I was very much stuck in the Brian Griffin predicament for a long while, but my problem was that I had nothing to say that was worth reading, which isn't very good if you want to tell a story. Went through a lot of painful stuff, stopped caring about anything at all, and then returned to it and laughed at my notes so much. I can't even recognize the person who wrote them when I began. I'm not in the least feeling entitled to success, but I already know what I've put together is making people poop theyselves. There aren't any blocks or ruts possible, because I've already got about 70k words just in outline material for the rest. Worst case scenario is I lose vim in the process and have to pick it up again on the first edit.


Yeah, pretty much all bang on, and I think the outline business is such a key point. I had sort of come to that realization at one stage and made attempts to map out overviews but even these became digressive, or else I would suddenly abandon the outline and return to writing a section when a lightbulb went off instead of seeing it through.

All relates to the other larger issue of not having any clear idea of what I want to say. Totally applies to mine. And so, rut city.

I’m a huge fan of Baudelaire’s prose poems, and some of my favourite bits of what I’d written resemble those in style more than proper sections of a novel. The ‘story’ is almost nonexistent; something of a pretext to account for why these voices exist together or at all. Blech.

I need to just nuke it and start something else altogether. Some ideas may be transferable (especially since I’d be interested in the same sorts of themes), but if not, then so be it. At the very least it was a good exercise to discover what not to do.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #78 by Thomas Malthus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:24 pm

Just started reading Dune for the first time; 5 pages in and I'm already enthralled.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #79 by MP » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:30 pm

Thomas Malthus wrote:Just started reading Dune for the first time; 5 pages in and I'm already enthralled.

So enthralled that you put the book down to post online after only 5 pages..? :squint:
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #80 by Thomas Malthus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:36 pm

MP wrote:
Thomas Malthus wrote:Just started reading Dune for the first time; 5 pages in and I'm already enthralled.

So enthralled that you put the book down to post online after only 5 pages..? :squint:


I had to get off the bus :bert: I'm not going to read and walk at the same time, have you seen the drivers in this town?
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #81 by MP » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:55 pm

Thomas Malthus wrote:
MP wrote:
Thomas Malthus wrote:Just started reading Dune for the first time; 5 pages in and I'm already enthralled.

So enthralled that you put the book down to post online after only 5 pages..? :squint:


I had to get off the bus :bert: I'm not going to read and walk at the same time, have you seen the drivers in this town?

So you'll text and walk but not read and walk..? :squint:
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #82 by Thomas Malthus » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:00 pm

MP wrote:
Thomas Malthus wrote:
MP wrote:So enthralled that you put the book down to post online after only 5 pages..? :squint:


I had to get off the bus :bert: I'm not going to read and walk at the same time, have you seen the drivers in this town?

So you'll text and walk but not read and walk..? :squint:


Texts are a fraction of walking time and can be timed properly. Reading can follow those but a book is more cumbersome than a phone and if you're only going to be doing it for a small portion if the walking time, why bother?

I'm about 50 pages in now.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #83 by Redden Punches Faces » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:34 pm

dunes good. If you like scifi, have you Read Hyperion?
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #84 by Thomas Malthus » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:19 am

Redden Punches Faces wrote:dunes good. If you like scifi, have you Read Hyperion?


Not yet, but I'd like to. I'm just getting into scifi.

I'very finished Dune and am just starting Solar Lottery. Also on my list are Neuromancer, Wind up Girl, Foundation, Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep?, Farenheit 451, Ready Player One, and Ender's Game.

I want to read some Ursula Le Guin as well.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #85 by Whit Dickman » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:57 am

Thomas, have you read Thaler's Misbehaving?
:bettman:
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #86 by Thomas Malthus » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:59 pm

embracedbias wrote:Thomas, have you read Thaler's Misbehaving?
:bettman:


No but it's on my radar. I still have to read nudge. I'm part way through Thinking Fast and Slow and have read predictably irrational, the upside of irrationality and future babble. I like those types of books immensely. Behavioural econ/cognitive psych is fascinating. I have black swan but am having trouble getting into it.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #87 by Whit Dickman » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:45 pm

Forget about black swan.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #88 by Redden Punches Faces » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:11 pm

not scifi but superforecasting is good
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #89 by Thomas Malthus » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:35 pm

Finished Solar Lottery. It was interesting and fast-paced but I have a general feeling of dissatisfaction with it for some reason. Not much time spend developing or delving into the protagonist could be a contributor.

The explanation of why the system arose has some elements that appeared a few years later in Galbraith's Affluent Society. So that was pretty neat too.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #90 by Thomas Malthus » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:36 pm

I have to pick another book to read now.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #91 by Craig » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:19 pm

Pillars of the Earth was pretty good. Pretty much just a period drama, but fairly engaging.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #92 by Thomas Malthus » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:43 am

Settled on The Windup Girl. Starting it this morning.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #93 by Craig » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:19 pm

I don't get why Go Set a Watchman was panned. Taken in the context of when it was written, I think it was pretty good, especially for an unfinished book. The points it made about the South, which I can't at all relate to or validate, were interesting to me and engagingly presented. It got me thinking a little bit about how reconstruction and Brown v Board would have been taken by the South. I liked it.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #94 by Craig » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:25 pm

Has anyone read All the Light We Cannot See? It's been on the top lists for ages, but I can't bring myself to read something that sounds so contrived as "a story about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II."
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #95 by Bernie Bernbaum » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:53 am

Craig wrote:Has anyone read All the Light We Cannot See? It's been on the top lists for ages, but I can't bring myself to read something that sounds so contrived as "a story about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II."

The SO said it was a quick read and engaging but maybe a bit too sugary (or maybe it was "neat") at the end. Either way, she liked it.
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #96 by VLoo » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:31 pm

What do y'all do with your dust jackets? I always remove them when I'm reading and I'm finding that even when I put them back on my bookshelf I'm liking how they look without them, but I don't think just tossing them in the garbage is the right answer. But maybe it is. So what do you fellas do with them?
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Re: Reading Rainbow

Post #97 by edgar_dong » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:38 pm

Straight in the recycling. No other correct answer.

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