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    What are you currently reading?

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    mattymoron

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    What are you currently reading?

    Post  mattymoron on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:16 am

    I figured we could just have a general currently reading thread to discuss whatever it is we're reading at the moment.


    I just finished an omnibus containing all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels which were a very pleasant surprise. I've never been into mystery or detective fiction, but they're actually really badass. I'm currently reading the first collection of Holmes short stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I'd recommend anyone check out the first novel, A Study in Scarlet to see if it's you're thing.
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    Fergus

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  Fergus on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:34 am

    I'm currently making my way through Swann's Way (Volume one of In Search of Lost Time), and enjoying it immensely. Proust has a way of describing something in a way that is simultaneously beautiful and ingenious, such as when he describes trying to isolate a particular moment in time as like trying to cut a length out of a jet of water.


    I just finished an omnibus containing all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels which were a very pleasant surprise

    I love Conan Doyle myself, though I am a bit of a whore for detective fiction in general. Conan Doyle, Chesterton, Poe, Agatha Christie, hell, even Enid Blyton. I probably prefer the Holmes short stories to the novels, they just seem better contained.
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    CallMeNegro

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  CallMeNegro on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:45 am

    Going to start The Blind Assassin tonight, finished Hangman's Beach this morning.
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    Tiresias
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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  Tiresias on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:12 am

    I'm glad you started this thread, Matty. I read Mary Shelley's 'The Last Man' today. It's every bit as awful as people warned me it would be - really just a long encomium on Byron and her hubby Percy.

    I'm partial to a little Conan-Doyle myself, but then we've always been force-fed him in my family, on account of us being (quite closely) related to him.
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    foehnofloss

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  foehnofloss on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:53 am

    Reading The Dream Songs by John Berryman at the moment. It's really something special - a kind of epic, confessional poem divided up into short "songs". The main character is Henry, who has an awful lot in common with Berryman, but is not exactly Berryman himself. The most distinctive thing about it is the style, I'd say: sometimes in a kind of childish language (Huffy Henry hid the day), sometimes in exaggerated blackface minstrel speech (Arrive a time when all coons lose dere grip, / but is he come?), sometimes in a tangled syntax somewhere between Dylan Thomas and e.e. cummings (One evil faery / it was workt night, with amoroso pleasing / menace, the panes shake / where Lie-by-the-fire is waiting for his cream.)

    My favourite songs so far are 50 and 51, after having read just over a hundred out of 385. They take a kind of sci-fi turn, which is very interesting.

    I'm taking it very slowly, and I'm a slow reader anyway. It's at the same time challenging and addictive. I've found it helps to read up about Berryman, because he refers to his life events a fair bit, especially his father's suicide and his alcoholism. The poems definitely have a sense of humour, though often a grim one (He stared at ruin. Ruin stared straight back. / He thought they was old friends.) or a silly/surreal one (Bats have no bankers and they do not drink / and cannot be arrested and pay no tax). Also, I've found it helpful to bear in mind that they are called songs - often in the poems that I understand the least, I pay more attention to the rhythm and tune of the poem and end up enjoying them through that.
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    Cthulu

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  Cthulu on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:55 am

    I've been reading a number of short stories on the go, which currently consist of works by Nabokov, Huxley and Lovecraft. I just finished Nabokov's Spring in Fialta.
    But the novel I opened today is Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. I really find myself getting lost in his prose, and I can't think of a better initial chapter in a book. Not that I'm implying I'm well read.
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    thirdpencil

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  thirdpencil on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:33 am

    Been reading "Red Mars". Not sure what I think of it yet, it kind of swings between awesome and boring all the time.
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    CallMeNegro

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  CallMeNegro on Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:40 am

    foehnofloss wrote:Reading The Dream Songs by John Berryman at the moment. It's really something special - a kind of epic, confessional poem divided up into short "songs". The main character is Henry, who has an awful lot in common with Berryman, but is not exactly Berryman himself. The most distinctive thing about it is the style, I'd say: sometimes in a kind of childish language (Huffy Henry hid the day), sometimes in exaggerated blackface minstrel speech (Arrive a time when all coons lose dere grip, / but is he come?), sometimes in a tangled syntax somewhere between Dylan Thomas and e.e. cummings (One evil faery / it was workt night, with amoroso pleasing / menace, the panes shake / where Lie-by-the-fire is waiting for his cream.)

    My favourite songs so far are 50 and 51, after having read just over a hundred out of 385. They take a kind of sci-fi turn, which is very interesting.

    I'm taking it very slowly, and I'm a slow reader anyway. It's at the same time challenging and addictive. I've found it helps to read up about Berryman, because he refers to his life events a fair bit, especially his father's suicide and his alcoholism. The poems definitely have a sense of humour, though often a grim one (He stared at ruin. Ruin stared straight back. / He thought they was old friends.) or a silly/surreal one (Bats have no bankers and they do not drink / and cannot be arrested and pay no tax). Also, I've found it helpful to bear in mind that they are called songs - often in the poems that I understand the least, I pay more attention to the rhythm and tune of the poem and end up enjoying them through that.
    I'll have to keep an eye out for this, sounds like it's up my alley.
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    mattymoron

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  mattymoron on Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:12 am

    Finished The Adventures earlier. The stories ranged from fantastic to average. My favorite was probably "The Boscombe Valley Mystery." Now I'm reading The Shattered Mask by Richard Lee Byers. I've got a soft-spot for Forgotten Realms books, as they are what kick-started my interest in reading back when I was younger. I know they're not exactly...worthwhile, but I can't help but enjoy them as pure entertainment.
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    Onlight

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  Onlight on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:28 am

    Currently reading "Voyage au Bout de la Nuit" by Céline. It's a pessimistic journey in the life of a war veteran (World War 1). I love the ironic tone combined with Céline's beautiful prose. It makes for a very memorable critique of war, colonialism and American capitalism.
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    mattymoron

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  mattymoron on Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:25 pm

    Currently reading Shadowstorm by Paul S. Kemp. He's actually objectively a pretty good writer, even if he is writing shared-world fantasy fiction...
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    perkunas

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  perkunas on Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:38 pm

    Just got done rereading Catcher in the Rye for a school assignment (I'm still in high school). It's an utterly controversial book on /lit/ I've noticed. I think it's rather good, just marred by strange outlooks on it (such as every teenager talking about relating to Holden and then every adult talking about how annoying Holden is). If you read Salinger's short stories you gain more appreciation for the book I'd say, as they show more of what Salinger tries to display in his writings about people.
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    Mendelson

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  Mendelson on Thu May 03, 2012 6:23 am

    Currently reading On Heroes and Tombs by Ernesto Sabato and it's fucking great. Sadly, it's not a very well-known novel outside of Argentina and the English translation is out of print, but I got a used one on amazon for $10. It's beautifully written, on par with anything by Borges and Cortazar imo.

    Sabato died last year at age 99. The guy was a nuclear physicist who worked for the Curie Institute but quit after becoming disheartened at the misuse of science and all of the political shit in South America. He's been called the "anti-Borges" because he's his opposite in some ways. I don't totally understand why, but I feel that that's an accurate label in some respects. The emotion from Borges works comes from a kind of universal awe whereas Sabato focuses on families and intensely indepth looks at crazy bipolar girls and old soldiers reminiscing.

    A.S.A

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  A.S.A on Sat May 05, 2012 7:40 am

    I am intrigued by your description of him as an "anti-Borges", could you recommend his anti-Ficciones? I have a little disposable cash and am planning to purchase a few books.
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    Mendelson

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  Mendelson on Sat May 05, 2012 8:34 am

    Well, Sabato only wrote 3 novels, not short stories. The Tunnel is a short book which was praised by Albert Camus and Thomas Mann. A new edition is coming out in June by Penguin, which is cool because pretty much all of his work is out of print in English and super expensive. On Heroes and Tombs is supposed to be his masterwork and I don't know about his third novel. He actually burned most of his work and would have burned OH&T if his wife hadn't talked him out of it.

    If you can read Spanish, there's a book of Borges and him discussing various topics called "Dialogos".
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    theswedisheditor

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  theswedisheditor on Sun May 06, 2012 5:09 am

    I thought it had with politics to do. Borges supported the right and fascist regimes. Sabato was a social liberalist or something like that. Writing and politics in South America has always gone hand in hand. Somehow its not uncommon for writers to be fascists. I guess it could be something inherent with the dichotomy of intellectuals versus anti-intellectuals, readers and non-readers.

    I read this fascinating article about Gertude Stein in the New Yorker the other day:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/05/gertrude-stein-vichy-regime-the-met.html

    Sorry for derailing the thread a bit.

    A.S.A

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    Re: What are you currently reading?

    Post  A.S.A on Mon May 07, 2012 1:11 pm

    I have spent my disposably income on Korzybski and Moorcock, but I hope I will be able to afford this soon. I am curious.

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