Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1079646 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11080 on: June 20, 2021, 02:37:25 AM »
I finished Embers. I enjoyed it, though I found the resolution a bit anticlimactic—I guess that's the point.

Now reading Stefan Zweig's Chess Story



So far, so good. A short book and so far an easy read, but Zweig's language is vivid.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11081 on: June 20, 2021, 03:48:36 AM »
Orwell: Keep the Aspidistra Flying





This is the story of a man, Gordon Comstock, who comes from an impoverished middle class English family. His problem is that the family motto, even in their penury, was to “Make Good” by getting a “good” job”. Comstock’s main ambition in life is to get out of the money-worship cycle. He consciously walks out of two “good” jobs as a result of his principles and ends up as a lowly paid assistant in a book shop while he harbours ambitions to be a poet. He becomes that starving Poet in the garret.
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 #11082 on: June 20, 2021, 05:15:30 AM »
Some basic Stoicism ...

Epictetus:  The Enchiridion

Marcus Aurelius:  Meditations, (Introduction by Gregory Hays)





My bibles.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11083 on: June 20, 2021, 05:20:48 AM »
I finished Chess Story. That was surprisingly really good! I am very impressed with Zweig's writing. Going to try and read more of his novellas.

My bibles.

I read Meditations back in high school, but I don't remember much of it. Time for a reread; I am interested in stoicism. Never read any Epictetus.

Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11084 on: June 20, 2021, 09:44:48 AM »
I finished Embers. I enjoyed it, though I found the resolution a bit anticlimactic—I guess that's the point.
That was my feeling too. The ending felt like he just needed to finish it quick and move on to something else.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11085 on: June 20, 2021, 09:58:07 AM »
My daughter gave me this for Father's Day:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11086 on: June 20, 2021, 02:48:50 PM »
My daughter gave me this for Father's Day:


Happy Father’s Day, Jeffrey. That’s a nice book by great author!

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11087 on: June 20, 2021, 02:51:54 PM »
I finished Chess Story. That was surprisingly really good! I am very impressed with Zweig's writing. Going to try and read more of his novellas.

I read Meditations back in high school, but I don't remember much of it. Time for a reread; I am interested in stoicism. Never read any Epictetus.

Epictetus is my favorite Stoic philosopher.  He and Michel Montaigne have provided me with solace and hope throughout my life. William Irvin’s works from Oxford University Press explain and discuss core issues in Stoicism very well. The books are highly accessible and often entertaining, and they are well-reputed in populace, as well as academics.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11088 on: June 20, 2021, 03:06:41 PM »
Started this today:



Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto. I must admit, it's way, way better than I was expecting. A very visceral illustration of grief, from the perspective of a young woman. I'm impressed with Ms. Yoshimoto's writing and would love to read more. I'm about halfway done with this one.

Epictetus is my favorite Stoic philosopher.  He and Michel Montaigne have provided me with solace and hope throughout my life. William Irvin’s works from Oxford University Press explain and discuss core issues in Stoicism very well. The books are highly accessible and often entertaining, and they are well-reputed in populace, as well as academics.

Thanks, man. I will have to put both William Irvine and Epictetus himself on the list, in addition to revisiting Marcus Aurelius.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11089 on: June 21, 2021, 04:07:13 AM »
Happy Father’s Day, Jeffrey. That’s a nice book by great author!
Thank you very much Manabu!
I've just about finished the first essay which I enjoyed reading. It confirms what I'd always believed about Italian Fascism - its lack of ideology and interest in achieving power by whatever method.

I love your new Avatar by the way!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11090 on: June 21, 2021, 05:33:12 AM »
Started this today:



Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto. I must admit, it's way, way better than I was expecting. A very visceral illustration of grief, from the perspective of a young woman. I'm impressed with Ms. Yoshimoto's writing and would love to read more. I'm about halfway done with this one.


I read the book right after the publication when I was about your age. I am delighted to  see that you like the book. I remember that my friend, literary major student at a prestigious university (alma mater of H Murakami), and I positively discussed about the book several times. I should re-read it soon. Her father is a well-known social critic/philosopher Ryumei Yoshimoto, and her sister is a cartoonist Yoiko Haruno.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11091 on: June 21, 2021, 05:35:18 AM »
Thank you very much Manabu!
I've just about finished the first essay which I enjoyed reading. It confirms what I'd always believed about Italian Fascism - its lack of ideology and interest in achieving power by whatever method.

I love your new Avatar by the way!

Sounds fascinating! For my job, I partly work on the characteristics and measurements of authoritarian personalities.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11092 on: June 21, 2021, 05:58:46 AM »
Sounds fascinating! For my job, I partly work on the characteristics and measurements of authoritarian personalities.
How very interesting!
I've worked with a few of those in my time - not a pleasant experience.
I think that Godzilla definitely has an authoritarian personality  8)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 06:01:03 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11093 on: June 21, 2021, 06:04:08 AM »
Sounds fascinating! For my job, I partly work on the characteristics and measurements of authoritarian personalities.

Interesting. What are these characteristics and measurements?
What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love!  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11094 on: June 21, 2021, 06:15:55 AM »
Thank you very much Manabu!
I've just about finished the first essay which I enjoyed reading. It confirms what I'd always believed about Italian Fascism - its lack of ideology and interest in achieving power by whatever method.

Otoh, lacking an ideology can mean that one is relatively less inclined to enforce one --- and indeed one can argue that, of the three classical totalitarian regimes (USSR, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), the latter was relatively the most lenient and the least brutal and that life in the late 1930s Italy was relatively more relaxed and enjoyable than in Germany or Russia --- I for one at least I'd have very much prefererred to live in Rome rather than Moscow and Berlin back then.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 06:19:35 AM by Florestan »
What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love!  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11095 on: June 21, 2021, 07:03:32 AM »
I think that Godzilla definitely has an authoritarian personality  8)

 ;D ;D ;D
Godzilla, a product of nuclear waste, didn’t like the industrialization and new order in the post-WW2 economic boom in Japan.
Godzilla is Nietzschean in that he is beyond good/evil dichotomy.  :)

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11096 on: June 21, 2021, 07:19:50 AM »
Otoh, lacking an ideology can mean that one is relatively less inclined to enforce one --- and indeed one can argue that, of the three classical totalitarian regimes (USSR, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), the latter was relatively the most lenient and the least brutal and that life in the late 1930s Italy was relatively more relaxed and enjoyable than in Germany or Russia --- I for one at least I'd have very much prefererred to live in Rome rather than Moscow and Berlin back then.

You may possibly/partially be right about Italy. I think the movies, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (de Sica) and 1900 (Conformist as well, Bertolucci) depict the fascist Italy very well.

Offline André

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11097 on: June 21, 2021, 07:38:42 AM »
You may possibly/partially be right about Italy. I think the movies, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (de Sica) and 1900 (Conformist as well, Bertolucci) depict the fascist Italy very well.

Great movies indeed, although I clearly prefer Conformist and Garden of the Finzi-Continis. Two great performances by the enigmatic Dominique Sanda.

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11098 on: June 21, 2021, 07:57:59 AM »
Sounds fascinating! For my job, I partly work on the characteristics and measurements of authoritarian personalities.

My boss once came back from some management training course and asked if I thought he was authoritarian. So I replied ”only when people don’t agree with you”. >:(

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11099 on: June 21, 2021, 08:25:00 AM »
You may possibly/partially be right about Italy. I think the movies, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (de Sica) and 1900 (Conformist as well, Bertolucci) depict the fascist Italy very well.

Thank you very much for these recommendations, much appreciated. I will watch all of them asap.

One point to be stressed as well is that initially Mussolini was rather critical of Hitler and hoped for a rapprochement with British, American and French "democracies" --- it's only when the latter didn't come that he felt he had no choice other than totally allying himself with Hitler.

Btw, Dolfuss and Salazar were outspoken critics of Hitler and Nazism as well, all their life (the Austrian even paid his stance with his life); Franco, a brazen opportunist, welcomed Hitler's and Mussolini's aid but denied his own to them both --- unlikable, utterly despicable character as he was, it's arguable that he saved both Spain and Europe from being enslaved first by Stalin and then by Hitler.
What is Music? How do you define it? Music is a calm moonlit night, the rustle of leaves in Summer. Music is the far off peal of bells at dusk! Music comes straight from the heart and talks only to the heart: it is Love!  --- Rachmaninoff