Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1022430 times)

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10700 on: April 08, 2021, 04:41:24 AM »
I haven’t read Kusamakura (grass pillow), aka. The Three Cornered World. I will get a copy.  Usually, Kokoro, Botchan, and Cat are considered to be Natsume’s major works in Japan, as well as the West. The first English translation of Kusamakura was published in the 1960s under the title, The Three Cornered World. This is the book Glenn Gould was obsessed with. Early in this century, a new edition by a reputed translator was published under the original title, Kusamakura. Unless the publisher (Penguin P.) was confident of its quality vis a vis the quality of older edition, they wouldn’t have published the new edition. 


It seems to me, a few questions remain. Was Gould’s well-known transformation partially or largely influenced by Natsume’s art philosophy? Why did the significance of Kusamakura replace that of Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, which I personally admire?

https://youtu.be/jvI5a3kZl0M

https://youtu.be/w9wjPMBNJXo
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 10:10:26 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10701 on: April 08, 2021, 04:45:33 AM »
Masterpieces of Maupassant





Over the last couple of months I have read this collection [English translation]. Maupassant was a very admirable author equally at home in the novel or in the short story. He was a progressive writer and was not adverse to tackling delicate subjects. I have enjoyed re-reading these works. There are wonderful characters ranging from farm hands to elite Parisian socialites and they all have their own story. Maupassant was, for me, a bit like Dickens in that he unveiled the under belly of an apparent civilized society. But human nature is human nature whenever or wherever it appears.

Well-said. I admire Maupassant's works, including his short stories.

The books in the pic look so cool and hip!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 04:49:08 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10702 on: April 08, 2021, 05:18:21 AM »

The books in the pic look so cool and hip!

They were published by Heron Books. I have collected a lot of Heron Books over the years. They are well presented with that binding and feel good in the hand.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10703 on: April 08, 2021, 12:05:43 PM »
I haven’t read Kusamakura (grass pillow), aka. The Three Cornered World. I will get a copy.  Usually, Kokoro, Botchan, and Cat are considered to be Natsume’s major works in Japan, as well as the West. The first English translation of Kusamakura was published in the 1960s under the title, The Three Cornered World. This is the book Glenn Gould was obsessed with. Early in this century, a new edition by a reputed translator was published under the original title, Kusamakura. Unless the publisher (Penguin P.) was confident of its quality vis a vis the quality of older edition, they wouldn’t have published the new edition. 


It seems to me, a few questions remain. Was Gould’s well-known transformation partially or largely influenced by Natsume’s art philosophy? Why did the significance of Kusamakura replace that of Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, which I personally admire?

https://youtu.be/jvI5a3kZl0M

https://youtu.be/w9wjPMBNJXo

I went for the older Turney translation, I guess in part because I wanted to read the book that Gould became so obsessed with, me being a fan of his. Excited to read it. But I will have to also check out Botchan soon.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10704 on: April 08, 2021, 12:46:53 PM »
They were published by Heron Books. I have collected a lot of Heron Books over the years. They are well presented with that binding and feel good in the hand.

They must look gorgeous in your work room/library. Next time would you show the front cover please?  :D

I went for the older Turney translation, I guess in part because I wanted to read the book that Gould became so obsessed with, me being a fan of his. Excited to read it. But I will have to also check out Botchan soon.

Sounds good idea. Please let us know how it is like later !
Gould also had 2 Japanese copies he couldn't read. I thought it was crazy. But come to think of it, I may want original German and Russian editions of some books I like!

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10705 on: April 09, 2021, 02:49:58 AM »
They must look gorgeous in your work room/library. Next time would you show the front cover please?  :D


Here you go my friend


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

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10706 on: April 09, 2021, 04:47:21 AM »
Here you go my friend


   

The book is absolutely elegant and deluxe! Maupassant deserves that. 

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10707 on: April 09, 2021, 01:00:11 PM »
The book is absolutely elegant and deluxe! Maupassant deserves that.

Yes, Heron Books are well presented so I go out of my way locally to collect them if I can.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10708 on: April 10, 2021, 01:56:20 AM »
Ernest Hemingway, The Nick Adams Stories



This is a posthumous compilation of stories that were never published altogether by Hemingway's own volition, but when taken together and arranged in this order, we really do see a biographical arc among all these short stories—semi-autobiographical, as it were. There are some stories I like a lot and some others I don't care for as much. Hemingway had a truly unique writing style that could rub one the wrong way just as easily as it could enrapture. I suppose I'm somewhere in the middle. The reason I keep trying with Hemingway is because he wrote one of my all-time favorite books: The Sun Also Rises, which he wrote in his 20s, and which changed my life when I read it in my teens. But I must admit that nothing else I've read from him has struck me in so permanent a way. Still, I reckon I'll keep trying throughout my life until I've read everything he's ever written, looking for another perfect book like The Sun Also Rises.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10709 on: April 10, 2021, 02:28:37 AM »
Ernest Hemingway, The Nick Adams Stories



This is a posthumous compilation of stories that were never published altogether by Hemingway's own volition, but when taken together and arranged in this order, we really do see a biographical arc among all these short stories—semi-autobiographical, as it were. There are some stories I like a lot and some others I don't care for as much. Hemingway had a truly unique writing style that could rub one the wrong way just as easily as it could enrapture. I suppose I'm somewhere in the middle. The reason I keep trying with Hemingway is because he wrote one of my all-time favorite books: The Sun Also Rises, which he wrote in his 20s, and which changed my life when I read it in my teens. But I must admit that nothing else I've read from him has struck me in so permanent a way. Still, I reckon I'll keep trying throughout my life until I've read everything he's ever written, looking for another perfect book like The Sun Also Rises.

I do not know that collection but I have read a few Nick Adams stories.
Hemingway had a similar effect on me in my teens also. I think that what he had to offer in his earlier works struck a chord with many people around that age group who were open to such emotions and possibilities. When I read his works now, although I still enjoy them, I see his writing through more cynical eyes.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10710 on: April 11, 2021, 04:07:39 AM »
Somerset Maugham: Ashenden


      


This is, I found, one of Maugham’s much lighter works. It is about the adventures and escapades of an author who is recruited into the world of governmental espionage. His travels, encounters and lifestyle are well illustrated but essentially it is just enjoyable light reading.


The extra images are for our friend Dry Brett Kavanaugh who seems to like the presentation of Heron Books.  :)
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10711 on: April 11, 2021, 09:54:34 AM »
A very strong recommendation for Cercas. Maybe the best book that I've read this year so far. Even Roberto Bolano comes up in the book. The Aosawa Murders was also a pretty good detective novel. Very interesting narrative approach.

Online vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10712 on: April 12, 2021, 12:41:40 AM »
Loved The Nick Adams Stories so much that by the end of it, I decided to pick up another Hemingway book that I hadn't read, the famous A Farewell to Arms...:



... which I read all in one day. I couldn't put it down. Little did I know on Friday morning that I would plow through 600 pages of Hemingway over the weekend, but what can you do. Wow, that was a great book. So many iconic moments. And what a crushing ending. Wow. I'll definitely have to read some more Hemingway in the near future but I've exhausted my modest collection over the past few months. Like I may have alluded to, I don't always get so much out of Hemingway's writing, but with these two books, it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10713 on: April 12, 2021, 12:46:04 AM »
Anyway, I've started this:



Star, by Yukio Mishima. So far so good. A brilliant novella that is not considered one of his major works by any means, but still it's filled with excellent, thought provoking writing. Inspired by the author's second career as a film actor.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10714 on: April 12, 2021, 01:49:12 AM »
Loved The Nick Adams Stories so much that by the end of it, I decided to pick up another Hemingway book that I hadn't read, the famous A Farewell to Arms...:



... which I read all in one day. I couldn't put it down. Little did I know on Friday morning that I would plow through 600 pages of Hemingway over the weekend, but what can you do. Wow, that was a great book. So many iconic moments. And what a crushing ending. Wow. I'll definitely have to read some more Hemingway in the near future but I've exhausted my modest collection over the past few months. Like I may have alluded to, I don't always get so much out of Hemingway's writing, but with these two books, it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

It is great when something unexpected like that happens.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10715 on: April 12, 2021, 04:15:01 AM »
Somerset Maugham: Ashenden

This is, I found, one of Maugham’s much lighter works. It is about the adventures and escapades of an author who is recruited into the world of governmental espionage. His travels, encounters and lifestyle are well illustrated but essentially it is just enjoyable light reading.


The extra images are for our friend Dry Brett Kavanaugh who seems to like the presentation of Heron Books.  :)

The book looks sharp and cool! Also, you posted a blue book last year. I forgot what the authorship was, but it looked gorgeous. As for Maugham, I only have read The Moon and Sixpence (decades ago). I am planning to get some other works by him.

Now reading Byzantine Art by Robin Cormack. I saw some of the discussed works in Greece a few times.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10716 on: April 12, 2021, 04:19:48 AM »
A very strong recommendation for Cercas. Maybe the best book that I've read this year so far. Even Roberto Bolano comes up in the book. The Aosawa Murders was also a pretty good detective novel. Very interesting narrative approach.

Cercas looks interesting. I will look for a copy.
Talking about Japanese hardboiled novel, several people in North America enthusiastically recommended Confessions by Kanae Minato to me. I am planning to read it asap.

P.s. I see that Aosawa Murders won the Naoki Prize, a prestigeous award given to quality "popular" literate works. Oyamada's The Hole received another prestigious award, Akutagawa Prize, which is given to a significant "artistic" literate work annualy.


Anyway, I've started this:

Star, by Yukio Mishima. So far so good. A brilliant novella that is not considered one of his major works by any means, but still it's filled with excellent, thought provoking writing. Inspired by the author's second career as a film actor.

Yes, good writing and good imagination.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 09:26:38 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Online vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10717 on: April 12, 2021, 01:25:49 PM »
Anyway, I've started this:



Star, by Yukio Mishima. So far so good. A brilliant novella that is not considered one of his major works by any means, but still it's filled with excellent, thought provoking writing. Inspired by the author's second career as a film actor.

Loved it. I've now read three Mishima books and all were fantastic reads, though The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, my first, was definitely the hardest pill to swallow. This was an easy and quick read but it was by no means a simplistic book; there are several layers to it. Beautiful writing, and I felt compelled to share this passage, when the narrator is on a film set, filming a scene, and he reflects thus:

Quote from: Yukio Mishima
The piercing fidelity of the landscape must have meant that I was watching from the gates of death. What I saw was as comprehensive as a memory, poor and wretched as a memory, as quiet, as fluorescent...

As I walked along, it became impossible to deny that these empty streets would eventually open onto sprawling tracks where trains came rushing in and out of town, extending naturally to a grand city, and a harbor, and beyond the sea to other countries with their own cities and harbors.

I'm a real sucker for this kind of writing. My only complaint is that this material could have easily been expanded into a full length novel. There were several fascinating characters introduced who could have been explored in much further depth, such as the aging actor, former young heartthrob, who appears only in the novel's final pages. But I'll take what I can get. Strongly recommended.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10718 on: April 12, 2021, 02:03:08 PM »

I'm a real sucker for this kind of writing.


Same here  :) :).
Many of his short stories/novellas are like this with his characteristically razor-sharp and novel writings.
In contrast, Kawabata's writing is conventional without Mishima's flamboyancy or sharpness.
In Japan, Star and other 4-5 very good stories are compiled within a book, and it is sold for US$ 8-9.
I couldn't believe when I saw that the English edition is sold without other stories and sold for a similar price.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10719 on: April 12, 2021, 03:10:28 PM »


Delighted to have discovered an audiobook of Gravity's Rainbow with a reader so talented as to make it much more lucid than it appears on the page.

It's narrated by George Guidall, but its actually not the one pictured above which is his second (!!) and official recording of the work some decades after having made a hard to get and much sought after unofficial first.

Its this earlier fan favorite that some friend of humanity has uploaded to Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBiaHGMEb8Y

I especially love how he brings out all the humour, of which there is so much.

more detail here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/23/books/review/gravitys-rainbow-read-by-george-guidall.html

(also: always loved that Penguin cover with the blueprint of the V2)