Started by facehugger, April 07, 2007, 12:36:10 AM
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Quote from: San Antone on February 08, 2024, 01:50:19 AMBound For Glory - Woody Guthrie (1.5 chapters in)Intruders in the Dust - William Faulkner (about two-thirds finished)Visions of Cody - Jack Kerourac (just started)
Quote from: AnotherSpin on February 07, 2024, 05:52:55 PMIt's rather strange to read about Tolstoy's satire. He always seemed serious to me. One of the few writers whose seriousness doesn't get in the way. Tolstoy doesn't seem to have any more satire than the Upanishads. Maybe satire appears in translation? Anyway, for satire in Russian literature one should turn to others, to Gogol, Saltykov-Shchedrin.
Quote from: SimonNZ on February 08, 2024, 08:44:32 PMIt's been decades since I read War And Peace, but is there a bit where some elderly matchmakers get sick of a couple sitting in a room together in nervous silence, so they just burst in and congratulate them on their marriage proposal?Or am I thinking of something else?
Quote from: vers la flamme on February 08, 2024, 06:09:04 AMGive me a little bit and I'll do my best to come up with at least a dozen examples for you, because there's one on almost every page. The number of times I've busted out laughing at this book... Not to say that his tone is not serious. Just that he seems to have a penchant for ridiculing just about every single character in the book—which is something I didn't expect. (And I wouldn't describe it as "gentle", as Brian did, but absolutely ruthless.) Having no Russian, I must of course concede the possibility that this is a failing of the translator, but I find it hard to imagine that Briggs is making all this up out of thin air. A few things I laughed at:Pierre's joining of the freemasons, which he and all participants regard with utmost seriousness—clearly, to the author (as I see it), it's all a big joke, and none of this approaches sincere spiritual feeling.Berg and Vera's party—how happy he and his wife are that "absolutely everything was just like everywhere else"; delighted at how much they were conforming to the trends of good society.Nikolai Rostov falling head over heels in love with the Tsar. "My God! I'd be so happy if he ordered me to go through fire here and now!"Any time Boris Drubetskoy is on screen—his immense superiority and contempt for anyone and everyone he ever interacts with.Any time Drubetskoy's mother is on screen—her shameless obsequiousness and machinations. (This one might only be funny in English.) At one of Anna Pavlovna Scherer's soirées, as she is describing her guests in reductive terms to the guest of honor, Boris: "the simplest description of all was applied to M. Shitov, a 'man of much merit' who was always referred to thus." This is the only characterization we get, and more than once, of the unfortunately named monsieur Shitov Finally, I must again concede that maybe I'm the misanthrope for reading it all this way. But I don't think so, not totally, anyway.
Quote from: Florestan on February 08, 2024, 12:51:53 AMFor humour in Dostoevsky one has to turn to The Diary of a Writer and The Double, the latter being almost Gogolian in atmosphere and presentation.As for the writer absolutely despising his characters in relentlessly bitter satire, Feodor Sologub's The Petty Demon might beat even Gogol.
Quote from: Tolstoy'There's something special that's supposed to be said on these occasions,' he thought, but for the life of him he couldn't remember what was supposed to be said on these occasions...'I love you!', he said in formal French, suddenly recalling what was to be said on these occasions.
Quote from: LKB on February 12, 2024, 02:58:24 AMCurrently re-reading the best general science book I've encountered over the last fifty years, Steven Brusatte's The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.
Quote from: vers la flamme on February 12, 2024, 01:04:31 PMLooked it up; that's going on my wish list. Haven't read a good biology book in quite some time.
Quote from: Eric BlairMany political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable'. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different...Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
Quote from: AnotherSpin on February 17, 2024, 07:21:04 AM"Consider these four questions, which cannot, as a whole, be satisfactorily answered with any combination of 'yes' and 'no', but rather lead one on in an endless circle. (1) Does there exist a Self? (2) Does there exist a world outside Self? (3) Does this Self cease with bodily death? (4) Does the world cease with my bodily death?"
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