Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 942199 times)

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Offline Jo498

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9980 on: July 03, 2020, 11:41:38 AM »
But both I and presumeably Israel counted Rousseau among the "radicals". Surely, he was influential but overall more than the more moderate French or the Germans? I am not sure, but are there well known "radicals" not French? One might count Hume among the radicals but hardly the other Scots like Reid and Smith. And who of the Germans would count as radical? Kant and Fichte were considered dangerous, but this was Prussia, after all, so one did not have to be very radical for this. If one looks at the "radical strain" with the socialists in the early/mid 19th etc. one will of course find the older radicals more influential. But one reason for this is that a lot of the moderate enlightenment thought had become mainstream by then, I'd say.
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Offline T. D.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9981 on: July 03, 2020, 05:50:03 PM »
 

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9982 on: July 05, 2020, 01:22:50 AM »
The Rusty Knight and Other Tales from Germany





This is a book very much in the old style of Tales With A Moral. However, the tales are imaginative and interesting and yes, they do deliver the requisite morals on such topics as Idealism, Sarcasm, Redemption, Disillusionment, Deceit etc. There is also a nice element of wit and humour in the translations so that they are not just old folk or fairy tales. I enjoyed the read.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline ritter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9983 on: July 05, 2020, 01:46:25 AM »
Interrupted my reading of Roger Martin du Gard monumental (and fascinating) posthumous novel Le lieutenant-colonel de Maumort (my post on that vanished in GMG’s “time warp”  ;))  to tackle Mario Vargas-Llosa’s recently published anthology of texts about (and interviews with) Jorge Luis Borges—spanning over half a century.


I read its 115 pages in one sitting. I’m much more an admirer of Borges than of Vargas-Llosa, but what the latter conveys in this short book is a work of love and admiration, even if his own literature is diametrically opposed to the Argentinian’s positions. Also, Vargas-Llosa manages to show Borges the man in a rather sympathetic light, what for me is no mean feat: IMHO, Borges is one if the greatest authors in Spanish ever, but his literature is cold and distant, and his public persona hardly ever came through as “simpático” (to me at least). A most enjoyable diversion.

Back to Maumort today (the lieutenant-colonel to be has turned 19 years of age at around page 320  :D).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 08:36:18 AM by ritter »
ritter
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9984 on: July 05, 2020, 03:12:45 AM »
^Nice. I'm reading Borges's Labyrinths, an anthology of fictions by the late author, for the first time. It's clear to me and anyone who reads this that he was a genius. This is some truly mind boggling stuff. He writes with such an erudite style that it's almost hard to follow at times, but it's maddeningly clever, thought provoking stuff.

Other than that, I've also started Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing. Other than McCarthy's incredibly mannered prose (to which I'm not entirely a newcomer, having read The Road & No Country for Old Men back in high school, but now, I'm finding it grating at times), I am rather enjoying it. It's certainly less bleak than some of McCarthy's other work, which I see as a plus.

This scene from one of my favorite films is an impeccable parody of McCarthy's style...:

<a href="https://youtu.be/XeKjKWXWZOE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://youtu.be/XeKjKWXWZOE</a>

Edit: still don't know how to embed videos, apparently. https://youtu.be/XeKjKWXWZOE
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 03:15:16 AM by vers la flamme »

Offline stingo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9985 on: July 05, 2020, 01:06:21 PM »
Edit: still don't know how to embed videos, apparently. https://youtu.be/XeKjKWXWZOE


Code: [Select]
[flash=560,315]https://www.youtube.com/v/XeKjKWXWZOE[/flash]
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/XeKjKWXWZOE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/XeKjKWXWZOE</a>

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9986 on: July 07, 2020, 04:13:51 AM »
Short Stories by Russian Authors





This compilation includes works by Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Korolenko, Chekov, Chirikov, Andreyev, Kuprin, Gorky and Sologub.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9987 on: July 07, 2020, 05:26:46 PM »
500 pages down, 800 pages left in War and Peace!

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9988 on: July 09, 2020, 01:48:18 AM »
500 pages down, 800 pages left in War and Peace!

In 1 week? Or am I misremembering that you started at the top of the month...? Impressive!  ;D

I miss Russian lit. I'm thinking of rereading Anna Karenina which I read in high school and enjoyed, but now barely remember. I want to save War & Peace for a few years down the line.

I've made very little progress in The Crossing & Labyrinths, they're both slow reads. I'm thinking of picking up another book that I know I'll be able to finish quickly, just to feel like I'm making progress.

Offline BWV 1080

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9989 on: July 09, 2020, 04:25:18 AM »


I've made very little progress in The Crossing & Labyrinths, they're both slow reads. I'm thinking of picking up another book that I know I'll be able to finish quickly, just to feel like I'm making progress.

This site  has free online versions of both books along with every analysis that has ever been published, although it may take a while to find


Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9990 on: July 09, 2020, 04:32:19 AM »
I miss Russian lit. I'm thinking of rereading Anna Karenina which I read in high school and enjoyed, but now barely remember. I want to save War & Peace for a few years down the line.

Why don't you go for Turgenev? His novels are not intimidating bricks, his insights are just as interesting as Dostoyevsky's and Tolstoy's and imho he's more delicate, warm, humane and fun to read than both. Ditto for Chekhov's short stories and novellas.
"Melody is the essence of music." --- Mozart

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9991 on: July 09, 2020, 04:38:01 AM »
Why don't you go for Turgenev? His novels are not intimidating bricks, his insights are just as interesting as Dostoyevsky's and Tolstoy's and imho he's more delicate, warm, humane and fun to read than both. Ditto for Chekhov's short stories and novellas.
Or Gogol for something a little different!

The section of W&P that I read was the only bit I hadn't fully enjoyed so far (the big hunt scene and following sequence of everyone being depressed about various things). So far, Tolstoy juggles his plotlines really skillfully and, unlike in Anna Karenina, none of them are preachy/boring. (AK would be so great without Levin...)

I started W&P on July 1 so averaging 75 pages per day so far, which is a blistering pace and likely unsustainable.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9992 on: July 09, 2020, 04:47:35 AM »
Or Gogol for something a little different!

Yes, Gogol too is quite fun.
"Melody is the essence of music." --- Mozart

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9993 on: July 10, 2020, 02:18:59 AM »
Farrington: Marvels & Mysteries of the Unexplained





This is one of those larger sized coffee table books which is designed to be dipped into now and then rather than read continuously. That is what I am doing with it around my other reading. It is not hugely informative but it is thought provoking.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9994 on: July 11, 2020, 05:11:00 AM »
(AK would be so great without Levin...)

I admit I haven't read Anna Karenina completely but judging by what I did read, I actually found Levin one of the most enjoyable characters, funny, witty etc. I remember laughing my head off about his story about simple minded Alyosha (ironic since I couldn't stand Alyosha in Dostoyevsky's Karamazov). I never finished Anna Karenina because the constant train imagery (my other older sister committed suicide by jumping under one) was a bit too much. And at that point I didn't even know what was going to be certain character's final destiny! I might read it soon enough provided the currently on-going family conflict I have right now doesn't escalate into an all-out war.

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9995 on: July 11, 2020, 05:53:10 AM »
I admit I haven't read Anna Karenina completely but judging by what I did read, I actually found Levin one of the most enjoyable characters, funny, witty etc. I remember laughing my head off about his story about simple minded Alyosha (ironic since I couldn't stand Alyosha in Dostoyevsky's Karamazov). I never finished Anna Karenina because the constant train imagery (my other older sister committed suicide by jumping under one) was a bit too much. And at that point I didn't even know what was going to be certain character's final destiny! I might read it soon enough provided the currently on-going family conflict I have right now doesn't escalate into an all-out war.
Ah, ok. You also never got to the part about Levin which I didn't like, which is that at the end he ceases to be witty, becomes preachy, and gives up his power to become a farmer with the peasants, and then there's a whole long section about how to operate a farm which is rather boring. We are meant to take the moral that rich people should give up their wealth and return to the earth, but Tolstoy doesn't really consider whether this idea actually makes the world better, or whether it simply allows people like Levin to escape their own guilt feelings.

Also, I'm sorry to hear about your family conflict consuming so much time.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9996 on: July 12, 2020, 01:32:20 AM »
Amis: Lucky Jim





This is a very well written account of the exploits, thinking and philosophy of the main character. I found it to be a very entertaining and amusing read. The main character is a very human and believable entity particularly with all of his flaws along with his [very] few good points. Human nature does not really change that much over the decades it seems.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9997 on: July 12, 2020, 03:41:26 AM »
Human nature does not really change that much over the decades millennia it seems.

FTFY.  :D
"Melody is the essence of music." --- Mozart

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9998 on: July 12, 2020, 03:44:42 AM »
FTFY.  :D

Yes, more true perhaps. You must be far less tolerant that I am  ;D
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline Thom

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9999 on: July 12, 2020, 03:52:09 AM »
Heat of Autumn by Andrew wareham.
I love this Author, all his books