Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1126085 times)

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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11280 on: July 26, 2021, 10:15:12 AM »
I've read almost everything that Nabokov wrote in Russian and English, but for some reason I remember nothing about Pale Fire. Lolita was my introduction to this great author. Nabokov's lectures about Russian and European literature are also a fascinating read.

Are there any neglected Nabokov works you feel deserve to be much better known and/or are personal favorites?

Offline The new erato

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11281 on: July 26, 2021, 10:39:06 AM »
The Sun Also Rises.

Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11282 on: July 26, 2021, 12:14:04 PM »
Are there any neglected Nabokov works you feel deserve to be much better known and/or are personal favorites?

Someday I will attempt to reread Nabokov in chronological order. It's been probably 10 years or so since I last read anything by him.

I like when Nabokov mixes playfulness with despair. Laughter in the Dark explores similar theme to Lolita, but predates it and was written when Nabokov was living in France. It is kind of pulp fiction.

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight and Pnin from his American period are must reads.

Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle is an epic Nabokov. I remember being deeply touched by it as a piece of literary art in addition to it being an enjoyable book to read overall.

The books considered to be part of his American period, starting with The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, are his best works to me. The earlier Russian period may not be the best place to start.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 12:16:41 PM by Artem »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11283 on: July 26, 2021, 01:13:55 PM »
Thanks for that. I'll add those recommendations to the queue.

I started his much praised autobiography Speak Memory some years back but found it unengaging and stopped.

Recently someone mentioned Look At The Harlequins as the autobiography fictionalized and viewed as though through fun house mirrors, which sounded intriguing


TD: started Kawabata's Thousand Cranes.



Which opens with an unexpected and striking visual image.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 01:22:09 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11284 on: July 26, 2021, 02:12:14 PM »
Thanks for that. I'll add those recommendations to the queue.

I started his much praised autobiography Speak Memory some years back but found it unengaging and stopped.

Recently someone mentioned Look At The Harlequins as the autobiography fictionalized and viewed as though through fun house mirrors, which sounded intriguing


TD: started Kawabata's Thousand Cranes.



Which opens with an unexpected and striking visual image.

Really loved this book when I read it in April or so. I've enjoyed everything I've read from Kawabata, some four books now, but I do think this was my favorite. I have the same edition.

I read the story decades ago, and had a mixed feeling.

I was particularly curious to know your reaction to this book, something told me for sure that you'd read it  ;D

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11285 on: July 26, 2021, 02:13:54 PM »
I like all the Nabokov talk, getting me curious to read some of his work. I think I will start with Pale Fire which seems the most interesting to me.

The Sun Also Rises.

One of my favorites!

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11286 on: July 26, 2021, 03:06:42 PM »
Really loved this book when I read it in April or so. I've enjoyed everything I've read from Kawabata, some four books now, but I do think this was my favorite. I have the same edition.

I was particularly curious to know your reaction to this book, something told me for sure that you'd read it  ;D

There was a revival of Georges Bataille when I was young, and I read several books by him. I like somethings by him while I don’t care other things.

As for Kawabata, the Cranes and Izu Dancer are my favorite ( if I have to choose.) Because of his simple writing, Kawabata is not as popular as Mishima, whose writing is flamboyant, intellectual, and paradoxical. But Kawabata was always revered by Mishima. Kawabata’s subtle writing is exquisite. He gives readers more freedom (and responsibilities) in imagination, nuances, interpretation, etc. We make stories and pictures with Kawabata.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11287 on: July 26, 2021, 03:14:53 PM »
The Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11288 on: July 26, 2021, 03:34:52 PM »
William S. Burroughs, Junky



A reread. Orwell's Down & Out had me in the mood for something similar, and I think this is certainly that, but with several key differences; namely, I am much more convinced with Burroughs fitting into this underworld, even though he entered into it as an outsider, a person of privilege, or even a "tourist" much as did Orwell. Still, it's an intriguing and often hilarious read. I have long admired Burroughs, though I have read little of his work.

Offline The new erato

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11289 on: July 27, 2021, 12:26:50 AM »

One of my favorites!
Rereading The Sun Also Rises. Haven't read any Hemingway since the 1970'ies, but Ken Burns' documentary on the author has rekindled my interest and have me dig out my old books. Only half way through, but pondering A Farewell to Arms for the next. Great book.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11290 on: July 27, 2021, 12:27:13 AM »
Hesse: Siddhartha





This is the story of a precocious young boy who leaves his father to find his own way in and the essential meaning of Life. The story narrates this physical and spiritual journey and its final outcome.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11291 on: July 27, 2021, 12:47:17 AM »
Rereading The Sun Also Rises. Haven't read any Hemingway since the 1970'ies, but Ken Burns' documentary on the author has rekindled my interest and have me dig out my old books. Only half way through, but pondering A Farewell to Arms for the next. Great book.

I read A Farewell to Arms for the first time maybe three months ago. I loved it so much, I finished it in a day. While ultimately it didn't have the same impact on me that The Sun Also Rises did when I read it several years ago, there are moments from the book that will stick with me for a long time to come. I was on a bit of a Hemingway kick a few months ago. There are still a handful I have yet to read, including some major ones like For Whom the Bell Tolls; I guess I am saving them for the right moment. I consider him a very fine author even if not everything he wrote is quite a success.

The Ken Burns doc was a good watch. I didn't hear about it at first, and was wondering why I could never find any Hemingway at any used bookstores for a good month or so  :laugh:

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11292 on: July 27, 2021, 12:47:54 AM »
Hesse: Siddhartha





This is the story of a precocious young boy who leaves his father to find his own way in and the essential meaning of Life. The story narrates this physical and spiritual journey and its final outcome.

Another old favorite, one I ought to reread.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11293 on: July 27, 2021, 12:52:14 AM »
Another old favorite, one I ought to reread.

You'd surely like Karl Gjellerup's The Pilgrim Kamanita. Give it a try if you have the opportunity.
“I love melody, I love to sing. I refuse to compose music only intended to be discovered and understood by future generations.” 

--- Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000), Argentinian composer

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11294 on: July 27, 2021, 01:19:33 AM »
You'd surely like Karl Gjellerup's The Pilgrim Kamanita. Give it a try if you have the opportunity.

Never heard of it; I'll seek it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

Edit: Not easy to find a copy, I'm afraid.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 01:57:39 AM by vers la flamme »

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11295 on: July 27, 2021, 02:17:24 AM »
Never heard of it; I'll seek it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

Edit: Not easy to find a copy, I'm afraid.

That's too bad. But hey, there might be a solution: learn Romanian and I'll lend you my copy.   :laugh:
“I love melody, I love to sing. I refuse to compose music only intended to be discovered and understood by future generations.” 

--- Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000), Argentinian composer

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11296 on: July 27, 2021, 06:03:53 AM »
William S. Burroughs, Junky



A reread. Orwell's Down & Out had me in the mood for something similar, and I think this is certainly that, but with several key differences; namely, I am much more convinced with Burroughs fitting into this underworld, even though he entered into it as an outsider, a person of privilege, or even a "tourist" much as did Orwell. Still, it's an intriguing and often hilarious read. I have long admired Burroughs, though I have read little of his work.

Excellent book!


Hesse: Siddhartha





This is the story of a precocious young boy who leaves his father to find his own way in and the essential meaning of Life. The story narrates this physical and spiritual journey and its final outcome.

Nice book, nice cover!

Offline Ganondorf

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11297 on: July 27, 2021, 07:01:00 AM »


Believe or not, I don't think I've read this before. Animal farm left me with a bit of mixed feelings, let's see if this proves superior.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11298 on: July 27, 2021, 10:09:42 AM »


Believe or not, I don't think I've read this before. Animal farm left me with a bit of mixed feelings, let's see if this proves superior.

Forget them both. Read Yevgeni Zamiatin's We --- the very first book ever to be banned by the Soviet censorship and preceding Orwell by at least two decades.
“I love melody, I love to sing. I refuse to compose music only intended to be discovered and understood by future generations.” 

--- Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000), Argentinian composer

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11299 on: July 27, 2021, 12:24:28 PM »
Forget them both. Read Yevgeni Zamiatin's We --- the very first book ever to be banned by the Soviet censorship and preceding Orwell by at least two decades.

Do not forget 1984 which remains brilliant - and remains timeless whereas We, for all its merits, feels very much of its time.