Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1191257 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11780 on: January 17, 2022, 04:09:27 AM »
I'm at page 240 (out of about 700.)

Anyway I've been listening to this

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/rTvfO-Jveg0&amp;ab_channel=pianushko" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/rTvfO-Jveg0&amp;ab_channel=pianushko</a>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTvfO-Jveg0&ab_channel=pianushko

and this phrase of Stendhal's came to mind: une teinte de douce mélancolie et de résignation.

L’imagination est touchée par le son lointain de la cloche de quelque petit village caché sous les arbres : ces sons portés sur les eaux qui les adoucissent prennent une teinte de douce mélancolie et de résignation, et semblent dire à l’homme : la vie s’enfuit, ne te montre donc point si difficile envers le bonheur qui se présente hâte-toi de jouir.

Very good.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11781 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 #11782 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.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11783 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.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11784 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 #11785 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.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11786 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 #11787 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 #11788 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 #11789 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

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11790 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: