Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 891428 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9600 on: January 04, 2020, 09:16:44 AM »
Re-reading Our Mutual Friend. And alternating it with Geo. MacDonald's Phantastes.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9601 on: January 05, 2020, 01:29:46 AM »


Neo Faulknerian prose, long parentheses and no paragraphs for pages and sudden changes of time and place like real thought -  it’s remarkable how easy it is to read when you get used to it; French isn’t my first language and so how it appears to me may not be how it appears to someone who learnt it at their mothers knee, but to me the language here is so musical, full of rhythms and repeated sounds - rhymes and alliterations - which complement the meaning; extraordinary battle scenes with dying horses and blood and mud, the futility and banality of it all. I’m a great admirer of what I’ve read of Claude Simon, Acacia and Jardin des Plantes and now this.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 01:37:53 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9602 on: January 05, 2020, 09:16:27 AM »


Second George Eliot book for me. I enjoyed Silas Marner greatly so I can't wait to read further!

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9603 on: January 06, 2020, 10:31:43 AM »
Revisiting some Austen: Mansfield Park

A savage, dense book full of sarcasm, cutting hypocrisies, and dagger-like wit. The point is constantly hammered home that "love" is more or less a feeling which is manufactured after careful consideration of the economics and the class implications. One of the main characters is a slave owner and that reflects in his relationships with other (non-slave) characters. Edmund constantly does things which everyone praises as nice and thoughtful, but he never asks anyone if he should do them, and the intended beneficiaries are always resentful. If anyone out there thinks Jane Austen is nice and fluffy and as light as pastry, full of happy couples falling in love, they should be reading more carefully. Absolutely savage novel, like Tarantino with roses instead of guns.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9604 on: January 07, 2020, 10:23:04 AM »
Revisiting some Austen: Mansfield Park

A savage, dense book full of sarcasm, cutting hypocrisies, and dagger-like wit. The point is constantly hammered home that "love" is more or less a feeling which is manufactured after careful consideration of the economics and the class implications. One of the main characters is a slave owner and that reflects in his relationships with other (non-slave) characters. Edmund constantly does things which everyone praises as nice and thoughtful, but he never asks anyone if he should do them, and the intended beneficiaries are always resentful. If anyone out there thinks Jane Austen is nice and fluffy and as light as pastry, full of happy couples falling in love, they should be reading more carefully. Absolutely savage novel, like Tarantino with roses instead of guns.

I can never remember whether it was Mansfield Park or Northanger abbey that Austen considered her own favorite from her novels. In any case, it wasn't the one/s most people today would name first when talking about Austen. I need to read Austen after I'm finished with Eliot's Daniel Deronda and a few other projects.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9605 on: January 07, 2020, 02:53:33 PM »
I think Persuasion would be my personal favorite.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9606 on: January 07, 2020, 08:34:02 PM »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9607 on: January 08, 2020, 01:23:20 PM »
I can never remember whether it was Mansfield Park or Northanger abbey that Austen considered her own favorite from her novels. In any case, it wasn't the one/s most people today would name first when talking about Austen. I need to read Austen after I'm finished with Eliot's Daniel Deronda and a few other projects.
She definitely complained in letters to friends and her publishers that nobody was giving Mansfield Park enough credit.

Offline DaveF

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9608 on: January 08, 2020, 02:48:19 PM »


Read less than half but I'm convinced it's a major major masterpiece!

Ah, yes, wonderful book - the end is one of the most deeply moving things I know of.  In fact, all of Perec is worth reading, including La disparition (the one without the letter E), Les revenents (the one whose only vowel is E - quite difficult to get hold of, and quite difficult to read for non-native French speakers as the grammar and spelling are so deliberately and necessarily mangled).  And W, ou le souvenir d'enfance (in which Gaspard Winckler once again appears) deserves to be one of the key texts of the 20th century, up there with 1984 and Ivan Denisovich.  David Bellos's biography is also very good.

My favourite fact about Perec, perfect for a man so fascinated by puzzles, anagrams, palindromes, acrostics etc. - he was born on 7th March 1936, which meant that he turned 37 on 7.3.73.  (On the other hand, lots of other people were born on that date too.)
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9609 on: January 08, 2020, 05:39:50 PM »
Brian Moynihan's Leningrad: Siege and Symphony
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline DaveF

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9610 on: January 09, 2020, 01:42:39 AM »
Brian Moynihan's Leningrad: Siege and Symphony

I read that shortly before playing in a performance of the symphony last year.  Tremendous book, exhaustively researched and written with an immediacy that almost made you feel you were there - the kind of book you put down, look out of the window and feel a mixture of enormous surprise and relief that there aren't people outside scavenging in rubbish heaps for scraps of dead dog.  My only minor criticism is that Moynihan's writing on the actual music could have been better advised or edited - the fact that the symphony calls for 11 different percussion instruments doesn't mean it requires 11 percussionists (for example).
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9611 on: January 09, 2020, 02:25:09 AM »
Quote
Tel qekqe belvédère qe dégénérescence et sénéscence descellent et jettent en terre, tel des D-C-7 qe des tenks descendent, tel des tertres qe des tremblements de terre ébrenlent, l’ensemble se segmente, et s’ébrèche et se relève pêle-mêle.
– C’est le grend denger de tels enchevêtrements, qelqes reneeflements et c’est décédé ! fêt treestement Tencrède.
Serène, Bérengère prend le temps de plézenter et, tel le grend Gégène, décrête :
– C’est vré qe je m’empêtre dens les membres des prêtres.



Eet weed be neece tee heer eet reed aleed.

(Beeny Heel)


The one I'm starting to explore now is Espèces d'espaces.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 02:29:07 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline DaveF

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9612 on: January 09, 2020, 05:19:09 AM »

Eet weed be neece tee heer eet reed aleed.

(Beeny Heel)


The one I'm starting to explore now is Espèces d'espaces.

Ah, tu l'as trouvé!  Génial, n'est-ce pas?

It would make perfect sense if read aloud, since all vowels sound the same in French anyway.  (Runs for cover, hoping Carlo won't see that comment.)
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9613 on: January 09, 2020, 06:38:23 AM »

since all vowels sound the same in French anyway

N’importe quoi!
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Offline André

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9614 on: January 09, 2020, 12:02:13 PM »

Online Baron Scarpia

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9615 on: January 09, 2020, 01:01:20 PM »
Revisiting some Austen: Mansfield Park

A savage, dense book full of sarcasm, cutting hypocrisies, and dagger-like wit. The point is constantly hammered home that "love" is more or less a feeling which is manufactured after careful consideration of the economics and the class implications. One of the main characters is a slave owner and that reflects in his relationships with other (non-slave) characters. Edmund constantly does things which everyone praises as nice and thoughtful, but he never asks anyone if he should do them, and the intended beneficiaries are always resentful. If anyone out there thinks Jane Austen is nice and fluffy and as light as pastry, full of happy couples falling in love, they should be reading more carefully. Absolutely savage novel, like Tarantino with roses instead of guns.

Time to re-read some Austin.

Online Baron Scarpia

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9616 on: January 10, 2020, 08:54:19 PM »
Orient Express, by Graham Green. The story of a group of passengers who happen to be riding the same train, and who interact in various ways. A perfectly conceived and told story, featuring a wealthy Jewish merchant, a leftist revolutionary fugitive, a chorus girl, a priest, a petty thief fleeing a murder, a lesbian reporter and her female secretary/companion. It takes place between the great wars. Some characterizations seem inappropriate and stereotypical, but it is a window into a different age. An excellent book.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9617 on: January 11, 2020, 08:58:26 AM »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9618 on: January 11, 2020, 03:39:43 PM »



This well done biography was particularly good in its coverage and treatment of Yoko Ono, detailing her early life in one of Japan's richest families raised like a medieval princess through to an admiring view of her experimental work with Fluxus, the barely concealed conclusion is that  far from the standard narrative of she being the worst thing to happen to him he may have been the worst thing to happen to her. Particularly so in her marelt supportive and backseat role in dealing with all his emotional inadequacies and his ever-changing championing of various nutty pseudopsychology.

Also a very vivid depiction of time and place in the coverage of the Beatles' Hamburg red light district days.


Also finished:



Hitchens' jet black portrait of Clinton. Actually hard to imagine a Republican creating something this unrelentingly hostile. Many of his arguments are interesting (though most claims unsourced) but ultimately undermined by his loathing permanently set at eleven. And on every page one is forced to wonder just what he would have made of Trump.


started:


Offline JBS

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9619 on: January 11, 2020, 08:25:47 PM »
This well done biography was particularly good in its coverage and treatment of Yoko Ono, detailing her early life in one of Japan's richest families raised like a medieval princess through to an admiring view of her experimental work with Fluxus, the barely concealed conclusion is that  far from the standard narrative of she being the worst thing to happen to him he may have been the worst thing to happen to her. Particularly so in her marelt supportive and backseat role in dealing with all his emotional inadequacies and his ever-changing championing of various nutty pseudopsychology.

Also a very vivid depiction of time and place in the coverage of the Beatles' Hamburg red light district days.


Also finished:



Hitchens' jet black portrait of Clinton. Actually hard to imagine a Republican creating something this unrelentingly hostile. Many of his arguments are interesting (though most claims unsourced) but ultimately undermined by his loathing permanently set at eleven. And on every page one is forced to wonder just what he would have made of Trump.


His book on Kissinger has the same level of loathing and hostility to its subject, as the title might suggest


He also wrote a book about Mother Teresa that seems to just as hostile to her, if the fact that it was republished  in the same format as the others is a good indicator.

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