Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 834513 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9520 on: November 12, 2019, 01:21:38 AM »
Florestan wanted to know what I thought of Grossman's Life and Fate, which I just finished.

I am going to quote a couple Amazon reviews that capture my reaction pretty well between them.

I still, after 35 years, remember some characters in War and Peace. I won’t remember many of those in this book, and that puts a ceiling on my affection for it. But I agree with the second comment too.

Goya and Picasso both painted war in Spain. I prefer Goya. I remember faces from Goya, but Guernica is a great painting too.

That's fair enough.

I remember a few characters, especially an old soldier in the besieged Leningrad who asked his newly arrived politruk something like that: I've always wanted to ask some knowledgeable person form the Party, comrade: if we really apply "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", don't you think that many would be dead drunk at 10 am?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 01:30:39 AM by Florestan »
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9521 on: November 14, 2019, 10:58:05 AM »
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke

Because Life and Fate wasn’t long enough ...
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9522 on: November 14, 2019, 05:32:38 PM »


More a straight autobiography and overview of her political work than getting into the mechanics and the nuts and bolts of UN work I was hoping for. Not essential, then, but still happy to have given it my time.

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9523 on: November 16, 2019, 07:43:31 PM »
So what's everyone else reading?

currently I'm doing a second read of this:



In my early twenties I read practically every word Orwell wrote, but this, while having much to recommend it was never one of my favorites, unlike Down And Out In Paris And London or the unjustly neglected Keep The Aspidistra Flying. And I'm on the whole confirming that with this second reading. I can't imagine I'll need a third in the future.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9524 on: November 17, 2019, 03:52:52 AM »
So what's everyone else reading?

currently I'm doing a second read of this:



In my early twenties I read practically every word Orwell wrote, but this, while having much to recommend it was never one of my favorites, unlike Down And Out In Paris And London or the unjustly neglected Keep The Aspidistra Flying. And I'm on the whole confirming that with this second reading. I can't imagine I'll need a third in the future.

I was also an avid reader of Orwell in my early twenties. I wonder how he would read for me after a lifetime of living. You may have persuaded me to revisit him as he had completely disappeared from my radar.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline ritter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9525 on: November 17, 2019, 08:20:43 AM »
More proustian stuff:



Lorenza Foschini enjoyed an international success some years ago with Proust’s Overcoat, which dealt with Jacques Guérin’s obsessive quest to save all things related to Proust (manuscripts and personal belongings) from dispersion or destruction. In this new (short—169 pages) book, she deals with Proust’s and Reynaldo Hahn’s romance and later friendship. Very well written, in short chapters that are precisely located and dated (and profusely annotated, with clear indication of the sources of each and every statement made), this is a very enjoyable read. The book (released in September 2019) was immediately translated into French, and I expect an English version will appear soon.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 08:34:53 AM by ritter »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9526 on: November 17, 2019, 10:22:15 PM »



Really thought provoking! 
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9527 on: November 18, 2019, 03:53:54 AM »
More proustian stuff:



Lorenza Foschini enjoyed an international success some years ago with Proust’s Overcoat, which dealt with Jacques Guérin’s obsessive quest to save all things related to Proust (manuscripts and personal belongings) from dispersion or destruction. In this new (short—169 pages) book, she deals with Proust’s and Reynaldo Hahn’s romance and later friendship. Very well written, in short chapters that are precisely located and dated (and profusely annotated, with clear indication of the sources of each and every statement made), this is a very enjoyable read. The book (released in September 2019) was immediately translated into French, and I expect an English version will appear soon.

That looks interesting.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9528 on: November 20, 2019, 01:22:49 AM »
Shusaku Endo: Silence





I have just finished reading this account of the Japanese suppression and total unacceptance of the attempt by Christian missionaries to introduce Christianity. It is set in the mid seventeenth century and the language [or perhaps the translation] does not give one the dusty feel of an old historic novel. On the contrary, the language is modern, vibrant and alive. I enjoyed it.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9529 on: November 23, 2019, 02:16:11 PM »
An interesting article on the dismantling of Boeing's corporate culture.

Florestan or any other techie will find it interesting and depressing and probably familiar

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/how-boeing-lost-its-bearings/602188/
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9530 on: November 23, 2019, 02:22:21 PM »
a couple of things on the go:



The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh

They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9531 on: November 24, 2019, 08:56:48 AM »


Joseph Roulin was a postman, alcoholic, who befriended Van Gough in Arles. We know him through his picture



I'm reading Pierre Michon's short and very dense and challenging essay on Roulin, an imaginative projection made partly on the basis of what little we know of his life, but equally importantly on the basis of the picture Vincent made of him. The book is difficult because it's like a glimpse into a complex, tortured,disillusioned drunken mind -- the glimpse is so deep it's painful.

I love Michon, I don't know if he's been translated. I've read a book by him on Rimbaud, and another on the First French Republic, Les Onze. All really challenging books.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Online dissily Mordentroge

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9532 on: November 24, 2019, 01:50:29 PM »
An interesting article on the dismantling of Boeing's corporate culture.

Florestan or any other techie will find it interesting and depressing and probably familiar

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/how-boeing-lost-its-bearings/602188/
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Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9533 on: November 25, 2019, 09:56:41 PM »
Started:


Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9534 on: November 28, 2019, 08:54:29 AM »
Helen Pluckrose on fat. But on so much more than fat. https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/december-2019/big-fat-lies/
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline j winter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9535 on: November 28, 2019, 09:30:26 AM »
Something on the side to suppliment the Gibbon.  Good so far; Wickham is excellent on explaining clearly how various different kinds of ancient sources can be sifted for information.  A bit dry, though.... can only take it in medium size doses.


The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9536 on: November 28, 2019, 09:31:43 AM »

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9537 on: November 28, 2019, 09:45:27 AM »
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke


Final verdict: don’t bother. Not terrible, except in places. Just not worth the time, or even a third of the time.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9538 on: November 28, 2019, 09:47:04 AM »
Something on the side to suppliment the Gibbon.  Good so far; Wickham is excellent on explaining clearly how various different kinds of ancient sources can be sifted for information.  A bit dry, though.... can only take it in medium size doses.


I found Heather's books much better. And Ward-Perkins's short book on the fall of Rome is highly recommended.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline j winter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9539 on: November 28, 2019, 05:11:29 PM »
I found Heather's books much better. And Ward-Perkins's short book on the fall of Rome is highly recommended.

Thanks for that... I think I have an ebook from Peter Heather somewhere, I'll have to dig that up....
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice