Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1193655 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10780 on: April 22, 2021, 12:57:06 PM »
Mishima has a sharp knife and he shows it. In contrast, nihilism, beauty, pessimism and indications in Kawabata's works are subtle. They are disturbing stories without appearing to be disturbing. His works appear to be about ordinary/average people written by an average/normal man. The guy is a scary guy.
Anciet Capitol, Snow Country, Izu Dancer are good, but I like the Cranes, especially the ending.

I agree with you: a scary guy. It disturbs me whenever I recall that his life, like that of his friend Yukio Mishima, ended in suicide. While it doesn't immediately impress on me while reading his writing, it occurs to me that he must have been deeply tortured. I get a similar feeling reading Hemingway, a completely different writer (but yet another suicide).

I ordered The Old Capital. I hope to one day read everything he's written, which is not much compared to some other great writers. It helps that his books are quite short.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10781 on: April 22, 2021, 01:05:55 PM »
The only Kawabata I've read is The Master Of Go which I thought superb. Must try more in the bearish future.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10782 on: April 22, 2021, 01:53:50 PM »
The only Kawabata I've read is The Master Of Go which I thought superb. Must try more in the bearish future.

Can wholeheartedly recommend Snow Country, and even Thousand Cranes, though I must admit there is something about it that is freaking me out.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10783 on: April 22, 2021, 02:02:36 PM »
I see now I wrote "the bearish future", which sounds a bit grim.

Nearish.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10784 on: April 22, 2021, 02:11:54 PM »
I see now I wrote "the bearish future", which sounds a bit grim.

Nearish.

 :laugh: I hadn't noticed; I read it just as you intended.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10785 on: April 22, 2021, 04:16:31 PM »
I agree with you: a scary guy. It disturbs me whenever I recall that his life, like that of his friend Yukio Mishima, ended in suicide. While it doesn't immediately impress on me while reading his writing, it occurs to me that he must have been deeply tortured. I get a similar feeling reading Hemingway, a completely different writer (but yet another suicide).

I ordered The Old Capital. I hope to one day read everything he's written, which is not much compared to some other great writers. It helps that his books are quite short.

I read the Old Capitol (=Kyoto) decades ago, and don't remember the story. I must get a copy. Sorry that the Cranes was a little disturbing. I thought his Sleeping Beauty might, but not Thousand Cranes.

Quote from: SimonNZ link=topic=T.msg1363442#msg1363442 date=1619129155
The only Kawabata I've read is The Master Of Go which I thought superb. Must try more in the bearish future.

I haven't read The Master. But I heard that Kawabata considered the work as his best work. I will purchase a copy.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 04:20:09 PM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10786 on: April 22, 2021, 04:20:10 PM »
I read the Old Capitol (=Kyoto) decades ago, and don't remember the story. I must get a copy. Sorry that the Cranes was a little disturbing.

I haven't read The Master. But I heard that Kawabata considered the work as his best work. I will purchase a copy.

No need for apology, I loved it—perhaps more than Snow Country. As I might have mentioned, I want to try and read everything of Kawabata's that has been translated into English. I'm finding him more and more to be a fascinating writer.

It would seem he held his short stories in higher regard than the novels. Going to try and find a copy of The Dancing Girl of Izu & Other Stories.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10787 on: April 22, 2021, 04:28:47 PM »
No need for apology, I loved it—perhaps more than Snow Country. As I might have mentioned, I want to try and read everything of Kawabata's that has been translated into English. I'm finding him more and more to be a fascinating writer.

It would seem he held his short stories in higher regard than the novels. Going to try and find a copy of The Dancing Girl of Izu & Other Stories.

Izu Dancer is a clean, pretty and (deceptively) simple story. I recommend it. Literate classes at some high schools often compare the style, theme, plot, etc in the work with those in Mishima's Sound of Waves.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10788 on: April 22, 2021, 04:30:38 PM »
Izu Dancer is a clean, pretty and (deceptively) simple story. I recommend it. Literate classes at some high schools often compare the style, theme, plot, etc in the work with those in Mishima's Sound of Waves.

That Mishima is another one I mean to read. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the Japanese literature I’ve been reading since New Year’s, but Mishima and Kawabata might be my favorites so far.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10789 on: April 22, 2021, 04:55:40 PM »
The only Kawabata I've read is The Master Of Go which I thought superb. Must try more in the bearish future.

I (still and humbly) recommend Thousand Cranes.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10790 on: April 22, 2021, 08:57:48 PM »
I (still and humbly) recommend Thousand Cranes.

Thanks. I'll grab the next copy I find.

Re: Miishima. I've not read much of his but 'Acts Of Worship" I thought one of the best short stories I'd read by anyone. Looking back now I think I'd compare it to Henry James not just in themes and development but in quality.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10791 on: April 23, 2021, 08:16:23 AM »
I could've bet that my late father's library had some Yasunari Kawabata, but at a very cursory search I found only Yasushi Inoue's Tea Master. Any thoughts on this one?
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 08:26:17 AM by Florestan »
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10792 on: April 23, 2021, 08:30:13 AM »
TD



W. Somerset Maugham --- Up at the Villa. (Romanian translation: The Villa on the Knoll)

A vivid illustration of the old and true dictums that (1) hell is paved with good intentions, and (2) be careful what you wish for, it might actually happen.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 08:32:23 AM by Florestan »
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10793 on: April 23, 2021, 08:47:35 AM »
I could've bet that my late father's library had some Yasunari Kawabata, but at a very cursory search I found only Yasushi Inoue's Tea Master. Any thoughts on this one?

Probably it would be a solid/decent work. He is a very good writer and I saw good reviews on the book.
The book is not dealing with a big philosophical or social issue though.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10794 on: April 23, 2021, 08:53:18 AM »
Probably it would be a solid/decent work. He is a very good writer and I saw good reviews on the book.

Thanks.

Quote
The book is not dealing with a big philosophical or social issue though.

The Bible, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, Tolstoy and Dickens cover those areas for me more than enough.  ;D
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 08:57:42 AM by Florestan »
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10795 on: April 23, 2021, 12:14:20 PM »
TD



W. Somerset Maugham --- Up at the Villa. (Romanian translation: The Villa on the Knoll)

A vivid illustration of the old and true dictums that (1) hell is paved with good intentions, and (2) be careful what you wish for, it might actually happen.

Did you enjoy the writing style, Andrei?
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10796 on: April 23, 2021, 12:22:49 PM »
Did you enjoy the writing style, Andrei?

Yes I did, very much so. Classical yet humorous --- and praise of Mozart's music.

Excellent.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10797 on: April 23, 2021, 03:45:48 PM »
George Orwell's 1984



Somehow, I've never read this, or any other Orwell, before. Most people I know had to read this in high school but for whatever reason it was never on the curriculum. Anyway I'm finding it quite shocking, not only for its crushing bleakness, but also for its powerfully vivid language of violence and sexuality. There is something very English about it in that sense. At the same time I'm very much enjoying it. I'm just shy of the halfway point of the book.

I did read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 in school (and really enjoyed it at the time; I'd love to reread as an adult) and it seems there are numerous parallels between the two books, not only in the nature of the dystopian societies depicted, but also in the two protagonists and their stories of rebellion.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10798 on: April 25, 2021, 12:37:54 PM »
George Orwell's 1984




This book depressed me horribly. I found it absolutely crushing. But man, was it riveting. I couldn't put it down; I read the whole sizable book cover to cover in two days. It's one of those books that is so ingrained in the public consciousness that I felt I had already read it long before I ever really had, but I was wrong about that; this book is not what I thought. I can't stop thinking about it. Definitely a new favorite. I want to try and read everything Orwell ever wrote; there's not terribly much of it, as he died young.

Offline Alek Hidell

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10799 on: April 25, 2021, 01:12:25 PM »
I want to try and read everything Orwell ever wrote; there's not terribly much of it, as he died young.

I need to do this too, or at least a lot more - he was an excellent prose craftsman and a clear-headed thinker (at least from what I have read).
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." - Hélder Pessoa Câmara