Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1266632 times)

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11780 on: January 17, 2022, 02:56:14 PM »
Very good.

I would prefer The Red and The Black to Parma though I think the both are masterpieces. Stendhal loved music, including Rossini and Mozart.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11781 on: January 18, 2022, 11:23:52 AM »
I would prefer The Red and The Black to Parma though I think the both are masterpieces. Stendhal loved music, including Rossini and Mozart.

Well, TRATB is a book I started twice over a decade and twice gave it up before halfway through. A decade later, I started it again and this time it was a page turner from start to finish. I think it's a book that needs a certain amount of living and life experiences to appreciate. Ditto for TCOP, which I started and abandoned only once before reading it in full, though.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11782 on: January 18, 2022, 11:27:30 AM »
and this phrase of Stendhal's came to mind: une teinte de douce mélancolie et de résignation.

This is also a very apt description of many places in Mozart's KV 496 which I listened to last night.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11783 on: January 18, 2022, 11:33:49 AM »
The phrase which keeps coming up in Chartreuse is “gens d’esprit” So, for example, we learn that in Italy, the “gens d’esprit” are tortured by their imagination, and they lack something in the “sang-froid” department. I suppose people with sang-froid aren’t gens d’esprit.

Anyone here feeling up to translating “gens d’esprit”  into English.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 11:39:15 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11784 on: January 18, 2022, 11:39:15 AM »
The phrase which keeps coming up in Chartreuse is “gens d’esprit” So, for example, we learn that in Italy, the “gens d’esprit” are tortured by their imagination, and they lack something in the “saing-froid department. Anyone here feeling up to translating “gens d’esprit”  into English.

Reminds me of Pascal's distinguishing between esprit de finesse and esprit de géométrie.

While I get the gist in each case, I can't translate them in Romanian, let alone English.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11785 on: January 19, 2022, 03:12:24 PM »
Well, TRATB is a book I started twice over a decade and twice gave it up before halfway through. A decade later, I started it again and this time it was a page turner from start to finish. I think it's a book that needs a certain amount of living and life experiences to appreciate. Ditto for TCOP, which I started and abandoned only once before reading it in full, though.

I was thinking why The Red and The Black remains one of my all-time favorites. First of all, just like Dostoevsky, Stendhal’s observation and depiction of human psychology/nature are very insightful, thereby making the characters and incidents very realistic. Jealousy, hypocrisy, intrigues, etc. in the society are well-depicted in the novel (as well as the Charterhouse of Parma). Secondly, the story is romantic and thrilling. Since the plot involves with a love-triangle relationship, interferences from their family members, and Julien Sorel’s ruthless, ambitious plan to attain a high social status, it is a page-turner. Thirdly, there are many paradoxes and surprises. Though Julien strives to enter the high circle, he detests and despises the members of high society. He totally focuses on deception and pretends to respect the upper-society. Also, he shoots his former lover for her letter to his fiancé’s father, which destroyed his engagement to an aristocratic lady. However, he realizes that he really loves the former, whom he shot, rather than his fiancé. While this lady survives the assault and doesn’t lose her life, she realizes that she dearly loves him too!
Because of the innovative (and twisted) plot and credible depiction of characters’ psychology, I believe that the R&B is a masterpiece among the masterpieces.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11786 on: January 20, 2022, 10:28:00 AM »
characters and incidents very realistic.

I don't think Frabrice de Dongo is like anyone I've ever met. I'd say he's as caricatural as Don Juan.

The class content of Chartreuse is interesting, all those prols, surfs, loyal to their masters and hearts of gold; and the self interested self centred manipulative nastiness of the aristocrats. I wonder if you can be a working class gens d'esprit. I should say that I've only just started Part II -- so maybe things will change in prison. Money is a big big thing in the book -- mostly to say how much money rich people have, rarely, very rarely so far, to say how little poor people have. If I were to criticise the book so far negatively, it would be for a lack of humanity. (Contrast Hugo, where the humanity of the narration is palpable. Can you imagine Stendhal writing a passage like those two little children abandoned to their own devices in Paris in Winter, housed by Gavroche in the elephant, stealing the bread thrown to the swans by the rich people in the Tuileries? I think not.)

Can you imagine any teenager saying to himself, "When I grow up I will be an archbishop, mummy and daddy will make it happen." ?

What's the relation with his aunt? Sexual and unrequited?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 10:44:01 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11787 on: January 20, 2022, 11:03:38 AM »
As you say, I don’t see Stendhal as a humanist, or moralist, writer. It seems to me, he is a realist (realpolitik), and analytic, writer.
Sorry, no comment on the relation w his aunt.

Nietzsche called Stendhal “France's last great psychologist".
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 11:22:05 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11788 on: January 21, 2022, 07:01:15 PM »
Director Oliver Hermanus did a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s famous movie, “Ikiru”. The title is “living,” and Kazuo Ishiguro wrote the script.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jan/21/living-bill-night-kurosawa-ikiru-remake

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11789 on: January 21, 2022, 09:26:11 PM »
Finished a reread of Joan Didion's first essay collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Sent back to this after hearing an excellent podcast looking at her now forgotten early years as a National Review writer and Goldwater republican before turning democrat. Much discussion of how you can still see traces of that in this post NR collection and in some of her later writing, which may come as a surprise to many of her fans.

now most of the way through:


Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11790 on: January 24, 2022, 02:27:28 PM »
Charteuse abandoned for a while shortly after del Dongo was sent to jail -- I'm tired of Stendhal's tone of voice -- I keep saying to myself "this story is daft" -- I may well finish it later.

But I've gone back to L'education Sentimentale, I've got to the end of Part 1 -- which was where I abandoned it last time. This time I can see it is pretty special actuall, so looking forward to Part 2 tomorrow or Wednesday. It's like music, you have to be in the right frame of mind for these things.
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Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11791 on: January 24, 2022, 03:32:47 PM »


third reading

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11792 on: January 24, 2022, 04:33:07 PM »


third reading

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Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11793 on: January 24, 2022, 08:45:20 PM »
For such a seemingly uncomplicated read - 120 pages of at least superficially uncomplicated short sentences - it's really striking me that it's only on this third reading I'm feeling like I'm starting to get the full measure of the work.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11794 on: January 25, 2022, 03:17:26 AM »
CS Lewis: The Screwtape Letters





I read this book with a smile on my face. It is a collection of letters written by Screwtape, a Senior Demon, to his nephew and trainee tempter Wormwood. Wormwood’s job is to undermine the Faith of his subject and he submits regular reports on his progress but we do not see these reports. The premise of the book is the letters that Screwtape sends back to his nephew after reading each report offering insights into Human Nature and the benefits and effects of employing temptation as a means of leading the subject down the wrong path. Wormwood is clearly incompetent and failing in his job. The tone of the Screwtape responses can be quite amusing, caustic and astute. One senses the rising sense of Screwtape’s frustration and infuriation with his nephew’s incompetence as the letters progress.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Online relm1

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11795 on: January 25, 2022, 06:34:59 AM »

Online SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11796 on: January 25, 2022, 07:32:15 AM »
CS Lewis: The Screwtape Letters





I read this book with a smile on my face. It is a collection of letters written by Screwtape, a Senior Demon, to his nephew and trainee tempter Wormwood. Wormwood’s job is to undermine the Faith of his subject and he submits regular reports on his progress but we do not see these reports. The premise of the book is the letters that Screwtape sends back to his nephew after reading each report offering insights into Human Nature and the benefits and effects of employing temptation as a means of leading the subject down the wrong path. Wormwood is clearly incompetent and failing in his job. The tone of the Screwtape responses can be quite amusing, caustic and astute. One senses the rising sense of Screwtape’s frustration and infuriation with his nephew’s incompetence as the letters progress.

John Cleese did a really good audio version of that.

Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11797 on: January 25, 2022, 09:16:02 AM »
John Cleese did a really good audio version of that.

Now that would be interesting to hear!
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline LKB

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11798 on: January 26, 2022, 01:07:54 AM »
Speaking of,

I'm currently re-reading So, Anyway..., John Cleese's memoirs. Recommended to anyone who might frequent a classical music BBS.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11799 on: February 02, 2022, 05:28:53 AM »
Today is the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The day is being marked well here in Ireland.


   





I am embarrassed to admit that it is a book that I have never finished despite having started to read it at least twice. It has been a long time since I have attempted it so this year, to mark the occasion, I will give it another go.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.