Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 561003 times)

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Offline Christo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8460 on: October 20, 2017, 01:56:09 PM »
An excellent history of the "hillbilly" music of North Carolina, Virginia and the Piedmont area.  Tells a lot of the settlement and economic history of this region as well as focusing on the musicians and music from the turn of the 20th century to post-WWII country music.
That story sounds really interesting. But is there any music in it, worth hearing?  8)
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline San Antonio

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8461 on: October 24, 2017, 11:34:28 AM »
That story sounds really interesting. But is there any music in it, worth hearing?  8)

Well, yes, if you enjoy old-time mountain music.  Charlie Poole (banjo) had a trio of fiddle, banjo and guitar and made some really good music in the 20s-30s.  Just one of many examples.



TD:

A fascinating book:


Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8462 on: October 26, 2017, 12:22:25 PM »
Today, while waiting for my car to be repaired:



Dostoevsky - Humiliated and Insulted

I started and almost finished it. Not among his best novels and a quite implausible main plot imho, but recognizably his style and themes.
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline LKB

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8463 on: October 26, 2017, 01:45:53 PM »
Moon Shot, nominally by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton.

It may not be the best overview of America's race to the moon during the 1960's, but I've found it worthwhile.

Remembering,

LKB

Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Offline opaquer

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8464 on: October 31, 2017, 07:34:59 PM »
I've got quite a few books out about Artaud at the moment, who has gone from someone I just liked to someone I feel a deep connection with.

Some of the books I've got out include this incredible collection of writings/essays, letters,short stories and other assorted artifacts:





Plus some collections of his plays too.

He is a godfather of surrealism (which has always been close to me as a person before even getting into art, music and film), which alone makes him an important person. But reading much of his writings makes me feel like I'm reading my own diaries etc. Stuff, not everything I've read him say (generally only a few racist comments) I agree with, there are certain things that take away from any idealism I might have. But this guy is beyond alright!

His ideas on psychology (and psychoanalysis), theater, artistic expression, sexuality, film, storytelling and his brutal honesty and the vivid way he has describing images and personal feelings, is just inspiring   ;D  :-*
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 07:38:13 PM by α | ì Æ ñ »

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8465 on: November 01, 2017, 09:31:44 AM »
Anne Bronte: Agnes Grey....


The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline LKB

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8467 on: November 03, 2017, 11:49:05 AM »
Blue Highways

William Least Heat Moon

Traveling,

LKB
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8468 on: November 06, 2017, 06:04:49 AM »


This must be the most defamatory book I've ever read about anything and anyone.

What does one learn from it? Well, many lovely things such as:

1. All along the 19th century, but with roots in its deepest history, the Russian society was a stultifying, soul-poisoning mixture of madhouse and prison, marked by extreme vicioussness, depravity and perversion of both mind and body in all social strata.

2. All Russian composers from Glinka to Medtner, with the possible but improbable exception of Borodin but including Scriabin, were:

(a) emotionally repressed / immature / unstable;

(b) unable or unwilling to initiate, nurture and preserve healthy relationships with women, be it as wives, mistresses or friends;

(b) either very effeminate or aggresively mysoginistic, both instances betokening either latent / repressed / inveterate homosexuality or impotence, in many cases probably both;

(c) heavy drinkers (all things considered, though, this appears as their lesser, even endearing, vice) and heavy masturbators;

(c) damned if they did, damned if they didn't: Mussorgsky was freakish for drinking himself to death, but so was Balakirev for being a teetotaller; Mussorgsky (again; for Bowers he is clearly the poster boy for everything that was physically repugnant and morally repulsive in Imperial Russia) is chastised for willingly mingling with, and greatly enjoying the company of, the lowest scums, while Taneyev is reprimanded for being austere, polite and pudic.

3. The famous piano teacher Nikolai Zverev was actually an inveterate pederast for whom the piano lessons were only so many opportunities to pervert his innocent pupils (among his victims, Scriabin himself but also Rachmaninoff, Igumnov and Goldenweiser).

And all this marvelous stuff is scattered through the introductory chapters only. I guess, and expect, that the chapters dedicated to Scriabin proper will reveal more information.  ;D

One cannot help but wonder: how could such miserable, wretched and (depending on the readers' own moral stance) either despicable or pitiful human beings, fit rather for the mental asylum than for the salons, social circles and concert halls where they spent their lives,  have composed at all, let alone compose such music as they have composed.  :o

Seriously now, the book is funny (pun) in its own peculiar way.  :laugh:
Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l'automne
Blessent mon coeur
D'une langueur
Monotone.

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8469 on: November 06, 2017, 12:03:42 PM »
An excellent history of the "hillbilly" music of North Carolina, Virginia and the Piedmont area.  Tells a lot of the settlement and economic history of this region as well as focusing on the musicians and music from the turn of the 20th century to post-WWII country music.



Good book and great music !
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

Offline San Antonio

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8470 on: November 06, 2017, 12:05:07 PM »
Blue Highways

William Least Heat Moon

Traveling,

LKB

I read that ages ago, but remember liking it.

Offline LKB

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8471 on: November 06, 2017, 02:25:13 PM »
I read that ages ago, but remember liking it.

I did as well, when it was a bestseller in the early '80's. But l don't think l finished it the first time, as l was easily distracted in those years. I probably abandoned it for the latest Niven-Pournelle opus...

In any case, Moon/Trogden gives the personalities he encounters the respect they deserve, even those who serve more as comic relief than as a source of local info or color. It is very much the successor of Travels with Charley, though the author's intent and motivations differ significantly from Steinbeck.

I recommend Blue Highways to anyone and everyone who enjoys reading in English.

Wandering,

LKB
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:29:52 PM by LKB »
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Offline Spineur

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8472 on: November 08, 2017, 12:22:35 PM »
Got myself a copy of this year Goncourt prize



It is the story of compromision: how the Krups, the Schindler, the Pecht met in 1933 to decide what they should do about the rise national socialism party.  This leads into to all the austrian compromisions when the Anschlutz came.

This still seems as relevant today as it was.

Also got Claudio Magris most recent book Blameless


A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline San Antonio

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8473 on: November 08, 2017, 12:34:53 PM »
I usually read several books at the same time, right now:

Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy
by Jeffrey Meyers

Debussy (Master Musicians Series)
by Eric Frederick Jensen

Stéphane Mallarmé (Critical Lives)
by Roger Pearson

Ernest Hemingway: A Biography
by Mary V. Dearborn

The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway

Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8474 on: November 09, 2017, 04:43:56 AM »

Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy
by Jeffrey Meyers

Tell me more!

Thread Duty:

The autobiography of the extraordinary (and extraordinarily witty) Philip Proctor:

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline San Antonio

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8475 on: November 09, 2017, 05:41:41 AM »
Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy
by Jeffrey Meyers

Tell me more!

Jeffrey Meyers was one of the authors who contributed to the recent PBS film on Poe and I enjoyed his interview segments.  He displayed a sense of humor and casualness about Poe which brought a freshness to the subject.  I, like many other Americans, have grown up with Poe's poetry and tales -
 having read them in grade school - and somewhat taking him for granted.  While watching the film it occurred to me that Poe, the person, had become obscured by the myth and legend.

Meyer's biography is well done, imo, and since most of the others were decades old, I decided to read his.  Poe's upbringing was tragic, having lost three maternal figures to early deaths in less than two years, the experience left an indelible mark on his psyche.  Of course he was self-destructive as well.  I was also interested in revisiting Poe since reading the book on Mallarme who revered Poe's work, as did many French writers at the time.  My impression is that Poe was more famous and acknowledged in France than the US, surely that was the case during his lifetime.

If you are interested in Poe beyond the literature, watch the film and/or read this book.  The film was a bit melodramatic at times and your reaction to the actor playing Poe will determine whether you would enjoy it more or less.  The book, however, is a good read with no distracting aspects.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8476 on: November 09, 2017, 05:44:46 AM »
Jeffrey Meyers was one of the authors who contributed to the recent PBS film on Poe and I enjoyed his interview segments.  He displayed a sense of humor and casualness about Poe which brought a freshness to the subject.  I, like many other Americans, have grown up with Poe's poetry and tales -
 having read them in grade school - and somewhat taking him for granted.  While watching the film it occurred to me that Poe, the person, had become obscured by the myth and legend.

Meyer's biography is well done, imo, and since most of the others were decades old, I decided to read his.  Poe's upbringing was tragic, having lost three maternal figures to early deaths in less than two years, the experience left an indelible mark on his psyche.  Of course he was self-destructive as well.  I was also interested in revisiting Poe since reading the book on Mallarme who revered Poe's work, as did many French writers at the time.  My impression is that Poe was more famous and acknowledged in France than the US, surely that was the case during his lifetime.

If you are interested in Poe beyond the literature, watch the film and/or read this book.  The film was a bit melodramatic at times and your reaction to the actor playing Poe will determine whether you would enjoy it more or less.  The book, however, is a good read with no distracting aspects.

Exactly what I was hoping, Poe was one my earliest literary loves . . . and a sane bio has been wanted for a long time, it seems.

(. . . and then, to be sure, I wandered to the University of Virginia, which maintains a kind of Poe shrine adjacent to The Lawn.)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Alberich

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8477 on: November 10, 2017, 01:10:51 PM »
Has anyone else read Herman Melville's "Mardi: and a Voyage Thither"? I'm re-reading it for second time and enjoy the book immensely. Sure the plot gives eventually way to philosophical ponderings but considering how greatly portrayed those ponderings are, the plot derailment doesn't bother me that much. Plus the scenery, as the protagonists travel across Mardi, is absolutely gorgeous.
"I am a shadowy reflection of you."

Offline NikF

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8478 on: November 12, 2017, 11:03:46 AM »
Unforgivable Blackness - a biography of Jack Johnson, by Geoffrey C. Ward.



A tentative start to unpacking boxes of books has revealed a number of books I'd forgotten I bought.
What doesn't kill you always makes you stronger - unless you were too weak to begin with, of course. Fact.

Offline NikF

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8479 on: November 14, 2017, 07:51:54 AM »
My book guy knows that the condition described as a 'reading copy' doesn't mean I'll refuse to buy.

What doesn't kill you always makes you stronger - unless you were too weak to begin with, of course. Fact.

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