Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1008151 times)

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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10080 on: August 28, 2020, 06:15:59 AM »
Speaking of Ulysses, I have almost finished it. Only about 20 pages more to go. I'm at the last chapter which describes Molly Bloom's thoughts. This is often thought of as one of the most difficult chapters of the book but I find it rather easy. The only minor annoyance so far has been the lack of punctuation and extremely long paragraphs. However, that has not been the most baffling thing about Ulysses. The most baffling thing is understanding every single reference in stream of consciousness of the characters, varying from extremely easy to spot to extremely obscure and unknown. And this chapter is easy to understand. My hat's off to anyone who understands only half of the numerous allusions in this book without cheating. I believe Joyce himself said that he had put in so many enigmas that critics are gonna debate this forever and that's the only way to immortality. You can believe I was pissed off when I learned after several hundred pages of reading that there is an annotated translation in existence. Although if I had picked that one, I wouldn't probably be even halfway through.

Yes, but you are enjoying it nonetheless. Well done for staying with it.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10081 on: August 28, 2020, 01:06:33 PM »
I must look out for that one.

A short story collection, and like most a mixed bag, though I's still recommend it. The first four of the seven I thought especially good.

Only one story I thought was a total misfire, the one which is Kafka's Metamorphosis in reverse, but others may like the gimmick there.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 01:12:26 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10082 on: August 28, 2020, 03:11:06 PM »
Gabriel García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera





I thought this a very good read. It had strong characters and a good plot. However, I thought that it was over long and could have done with some constructive editing; insertion of shorter chapters to break up the sometimes rambling, wandering storytelling [which was, in itself, very good]. The conclusion, literally the last two pages, was  ridiculous in the context of such a detailed novel; perhaps he had a Hollywood film in mind when he concluded it.

The rambling, highly detailed nature of the book stalled me; I had to put it down about halfway through. Hopefully I will pick it up and finish it before the end of the year. I really loved his 100 Years of Solitude; this one seemed to be of a different caliber.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10083 on: August 30, 2020, 12:51:52 AM »
Johnston How Many Miles To Babylon?





A short but wonderfully written book which really brings characters and landscapes to life. It was a real pleasure to read.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10084 on: August 30, 2020, 12:52:21 AM »
A short story collection, and like most a mixed bag, though I's still recommend it. The first four of the seven I thought especially good.

Only one story I thought was a total misfire, the one which is Kafka's Metamorphosis in reverse, but others may like the gimmick there.

Cheers and thank you.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10085 on: August 30, 2020, 12:54:36 AM »



The rambling, highly detailed nature of the book stalled me; I had to put it down about halfway through. Hopefully I will pick it up and finish it before the end of the year. I really loved his 100 Years of Solitude; this one seemed to be of a different caliber.

I can understand that. Despite the quality of the book it was sometimes a tortuous read. As I have already mentioned, serious editing should have been employed.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Wendell_E

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10086 on: August 30, 2020, 05:05:15 AM »
I think they are probably right. In addition to this RTE version, I also sampled the Naxos audiobook, read by Jim Norton. He does a really good job with it, but it's still only one voice. I think it would be wearying to listen to one voice for 27 hours. Still, I'm glad he's available for comparison.


I got that Naxos version recently. Actually, it's two voices, since Marcella Riordan does the female characters' lines. And, as you might expect, Norton varies his voice from character to character. I've only heard the first 4 of 22 discs so far.
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10087 on: August 30, 2020, 07:55:42 AM »
I got that Naxos version recently. Actually, it's two voices, since Marcella Riordan does the female characters' lines. And, as you might expect, Norton varies his voice from character to character. I've only heard the first 4 of 22 discs so far.

I plan to keep doing some comparative listening with that one. Norton was very engaging in the bits I listened to.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10088 on: September 02, 2020, 02:05:33 AM »
Somerset Maugham: Liza of Lambeth





As a young man I was an avid reader of Maugham’s Novels and short stories. His writing style is so simple and flowing and his characters are very human, believable and engaging. I am embarking upon a renewed acquaintance.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10089 on: September 02, 2020, 06:23:23 AM »


Just finished it, I read it in English 25 years ago and now in French. There's this extraordinary feeling of being immersed in something that really merits a lifetime's attention -- suddenly there's a bit of philosophical reflection which breaks in which is hard, the sort of thing that could be the basis of an academic seminar. A theme caught my attention most, which is to do with knowing people, what it is to get to know someone, their essence, what makes them unique.

The second part, Nom de pays - le pays left the strongest mark on me.

I had forgotten how wonderful the writing is when Marcel first arrives at Balbec, his description of the crowd, the social interactions of the people. And of course the internal turmoil caused by the new scenery -- a break with his habit.

Such a pleasure to meet the band of pubescent girls again! They're so full of life!

Who was Elstir? I mean, in real life.

Anyway, on to Le Cote de Guermantes.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 07:43:57 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10090 on: September 02, 2020, 09:11:59 AM »
Starting a couple of books on the old west, and revisiting some old favorites in Nero Wolfe -- re-read the first four in the series over the past week, great stuff..



Late response but Roughing it is one of my personal favorites from Twain. My first exposure to Twain's books was in elementary school when I read Tom Sawyer, which I didn't like (and still don't). In middle school I read Huckleberry Finn which I liked a lot more. Roughing it however is even better. One of the most amazing descriptions of Wild West I've ever read. I don't  mind the fragmentary style of the book, I think it fits the tone perfectly and Twain is extraordinarily droll. I'm pretty sure though that Twain has more than a little bit exaggerated the facts...

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10091 on: September 02, 2020, 09:27:11 AM »
The second part, Nom de pays - le pays left the strongest mark on me.

Same here. The writing of Balbec section is absolutely gorgeous.

Guermantes way was imo stronger on its first half - although I do appreciate the increasing dialogue. I still haven't read anything after Guermantes way but before Guermantes way I thought there was curiously little dialogue. The narrator hardly talks. I realize that this must be intentional.

Perhaps one reason why I don't like Proust as much as say Hugo, Dumas or Balzac is that I appreciate witty dialogue and I think the overall design should be more balanced in favor of both dialogue and ruminative passages equally (as I consider the aforementioned writers to do more than Proust). In Proust the ruminative passages are a bit too long and dialogue kept at minimum. Of course I am only roughly halfway through In Search of lost time so maybe things will change, I don't know.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10092 on: September 02, 2020, 09:55:04 AM »
Same here. The writing of Balbec section is absolutely gorgeous.

Guermantes way was imo stronger on its first half - although I do appreciate the increasing dialogue. I still haven't read anything after Guermantes way but before Guermantes way I thought there was curiously little dialogue. The narrator hardly talks. I realize that this must be intentional.

Perhaps one reason why I don't like Proust as much as say Hugo, Dumas or Balzac is that I appreciate witty dialogue and I think the overall design should be more balanced in favor of both dialogue and ruminative passages equally (as I consider the aforementioned writers to do more than Proust). In Proust the ruminative passages are a bit too long and dialogue kept at minimum. Of course I am only roughly halfway through In Search of lost time so maybe things will change, I don't know.

Ruminative passages in Dumas?  Care to give some examples ???
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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10093 on: September 03, 2020, 11:59:59 PM »
Somerset Maugham: Orientations

This is a collection of six very enjoyable short stories.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10094 on: September 04, 2020, 07:17:33 PM »
Fireball XL5 Annual 1965
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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10095 on: September 06, 2020, 12:44:22 AM »
Chekhov: Lady with Lapdog and Other Stories


It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10096 on: September 06, 2020, 04:08:48 AM »
I did it. I finished Ulysses. This just might have been my lengthiest reading project ever (not counting those which I entirely abandoned) - if my calculations are correct it took me roughly a year and a half to get through it!

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10097 on: September 06, 2020, 04:10:13 AM »
I did it. I finished Ulysses. This just might have been my lengthiest reading project ever (not counting those which I entirely abandoned) - if my calculations are correct it took me roughly a year and a half to get through it!

And you lived to tell the tale  ;D
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10098 on: September 06, 2020, 04:27:48 AM »
I did it. I finished Ulysses. This just might have been my lengthiest reading project ever (not counting those which I entirely abandoned) - if my calculations are correct it took me roughly a year and a half to get through it!

Did you notice my favourite word? Melonsmelonous.

Quote
He kissed the plump mellow yellow smellow melons of her rump, on each plump melonous hemisphere, in their mellow yellow furrow, with obscure prolonged provocative melonsmelonous osculation.

(Or did you read it in Finnish? If so, it doesn't count, you have to read it in English.)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 04:30:40 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10099 on: September 06, 2020, 04:34:13 AM »
Yes, I read it in Finnish. Joyce is one of those writers I would never dare to attempt to read completely in english. It doesn't help that Ulysses has been translated twice in Finnish, with the latter translator having said that the first translator didn't even know english particularly well. And I just happened to read the first translation.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 04:36:23 AM by AlberichUndHagen »