It is currently Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:47 pm



Reply to topic  [ 3108 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 59, 60, 61, 62, 63  Next
 The Literature Thread 
Author Message
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

BL wrote:
It's much more apparent that it's an incomplete work than 2666 is. While the latter had all its pieces in place and lacked only a few revisions from the author, there's obviously material missing in The Pale King, which is a shame because it was probably Wallace's most ambitious undertaking since Infinite Jest and it shows flashes of brilliance every few pages. It's just that there are a whole bunch of threads that never get tied together the way they were in Infinite Jest.

Interesting, thanks.

My favorite unfinished book is The Trial.

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:49 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Has anyone read any comic books or graphic novels on a Kindle? If so, how is the user experience?

_________________
Last Great Movie Seen
Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018)


Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:50 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Torgo wrote:
Has anyone read any comic books or graphic novels on a Kindle? If so, how is the user experience?
It would behoove you to specify what Kindle model you're referring to.

EDIT: I don't mean to be snarky, but in terms of comics, Paperwhites are useful for manga but quite useless otherwise, while a Kindle Fire is useful for all purposes.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:13 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

BL wrote:
It would behoove you to specify what Kindle model you're referring to.

EDIT: I don't mean to be snarky, but in terms of comics, Paperwhites are useful for manga but quite useless otherwise, while a Kindle Fire is useful for all purposes.
I'll probably use my Google Nexus 9 tablet, which is comparable to a Fire.

_________________
Last Great Movie Seen
Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018)


Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:41 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Interesting, thanks.

My favorite unfinished book is The Trial.


Unfinished or not, possibly my favorite book. If we're not including anything by Flannery O'Connor or Carson McCullers, of course. Because duh. Who else should be considered as writing the greatest book ever?


Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:53 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

crumbsroom wrote:
Unfinished or not, possibly my favorite book. If we're not including anything by Flannery O'Connor or Carson McCullers, of course. Because duh. Who else should be considered as writing the greatest book ever?
Oh! I’m a huge Flannery O’Connor fan.

But, clearly, the greatest book ever is The Brothers Karamazov.

Or, possibly one of these:
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Against the Day
Infinite Jest
Pride & Prejudice
The Plague
A Tale of Two Cities
The Once and Future King

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:15 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Greatest book ever? Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu made me wish I had become fluent in French, and George Eliot's Middlemarch is just about perfect in form.

I wouldn't argue against The Brothers Karamazov, though.


Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:38 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

A few I'll throw into the discussion for greatest novels:

Candide by Voltaire
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Recognitions by William Gaddis
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Stoner by John Williams
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Beloved by Toni Morrison

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:26 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I'm into the final 100 pages of Blood Meridian. It's fantastic in both meanings of the word. Thanks again BL.

_________________
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:50 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Ugh. I started Blood Meridian a few days back, and I got less than a page into the introduction before it said what happens at the end of the book, and I almost threw it across the room.

_________________
NOTE:
The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.


Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:06 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Who reads introductions before reading the book?

Regardless, the narrative trajectory of Blood Meridian is as inexorable and preordained as Moby-Dick; its ending can't really be spoiled because it's inevitable.

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:29 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

DaMU wrote:
Ugh. I started Blood Meridian a few days back, and I got less than a page into the introduction before it said what happens at the end of the book, and I almost threw it across the room.
Is that the Harold Bloom intro? Never read that guy's intros. He almost always spoils the shit out of whatever he's writing about. I just picked up a copy of The Iceman Cometh because I'm seeing a production of it next week, and sure as hell there's Harold Bloom writing in his foreword about twists in the fourth act. I'm just glad I was already familiar with the story and just wanted to brush up.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:11 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Macrology wrote:
Who reads introductions before reading the book?


I do. I thought that was clear.

Quote:
Regardless, the narrative trajectory of Blood Meridian is as inexorable and preordained as Moby-Dick; its ending can't really be spoiled because it's inevitable.


Still, I would've liked to discover that inexorability as I read.

And BL, yeah, Harold Bloom. End of the second paragraph of his intro. Thanks for the heads-up for moving forward.

_________________
NOTE:
The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.


Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:21 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

DaMU wrote:
And BL, yeah, Harold Bloom. End of the second paragraph of his intro. Thanks for the heads-up for moving forward.
No problem. And once you're done with the book, I highly recommend the lectures from Bloom's colleague at Yale, Professor Amy Hungerford, for spelling out McCarthy's themes and allusions. They're available on YouTube. Bloom's intros can be doubly obnoxious to a first-time reader because he often writes as if all his assumptions about the meaning of the text are universally shared and thus can be brushed over in favor of heaping praise, whereas Hungerford's lectures actually delve into the evidence for those claims. If you're going to spoil the plot, at least make it edifying. Bloom will throw out the occasional references to Milton and Melville, but Hungerford will give you a chapter-and-page citation for what specific aspects overlap.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:33 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Image

That's what I got from Blood Meridian. War and violence is all that was and ever will be. The universe runs like clockwork regardless.

_________________
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:43 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
Image

That's what I got from Blood Meridian. War and violence is all that was and ever will be. The universe runs like clockwork regardless.
That's certainly the view advocated by Judge Holden, and
he would seem to have conquered over the other characters of the novel by its end
, but then there's the question of the epilogue and what that means for the future.

There's generally an academic consensus that McCarthy's cosmology in the novel is a Gnostic one; either the Bible is mistaken and the world was created by a malevolent demiurge, or the Bible is correct but limited in scope, and that Yahweh is such a demiurge. There are repeated allusions to the Judge fitting a Satanic mold, specifically the one of Paradise Lost. Yet he seems to have the greatest understanding of the natural order and claims dominion over it as a "suzerain," or lord, suggesting he is or sees himself as the demiurge of our world.

Gnosticism inverts the question of good and evil. Whereas Christianity presents a portrait of a paradise undone by original sin, Gnosticism posits that sin, reflected in violence, is the natural order and that good, embodied in Christian Gnosticism by Jesus, is an intruder to this order. Good exists and good may well conquer evil, but Gnosticism presents this as a steeply uphill battle in a world where good is a rarity.

So the questions Blood Meridian presents are whether or not good exists in this evil world, and whether or not good can conquer evil. On the former question, I would say that's a resounding yes, and even the Judge recognizes it. It's the "clemency for the heathen" that he recognizes and despises in the boy for his helping to save Tobin. On the second question, the ending would suggest a definitive no, but then McCarthy throws in that epilogue, with a figure slowly punching holes in the terrain while wanderers follow behind him picking up bones, or cleaning up after the carnage. Most interpretations I've read have it literally as a depiction of a man using a post hole digger in preparation for telegraph lines or fence posts, but figurative interpretations are wide open.

My reading? It's one of those "pockets of autonomous life" that so offended the Judge, reshaping the terrain (and the world) in a way he didn't anticipate. It's a sign that a new age is coming to the West, but it's left up to the reader to interpret whether there's any real progress in that. Knowing McCarthy is prone to quoting Yeats, it could be a reference to The Second Coming and its rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born. Or it could be foreshadowing for the next global calamity (telegraph poles near or in Mexico might suggest the Zimmerman Telegram and its role in World War I). I think the greater purpose is to reopen the question of good's viability for the future after seeming to close it so definitively with the novel's conclusion.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:12 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Those are some good words right there

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:50 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

BL wrote:
That's certainly the view advocated by Judge Holden, and
he would seem to have conquered over the other characters of the novel by its end
, but then there's the question of the epilogue and what that means for the future.

There's generally an academic consensus that McCarthy's cosmology in the novel is a Gnostic one; either the Bible is mistaken and the world was created by a malevolent demiurge, or the Bible is correct but limited in scope, and that Yahweh is such a demiurge. There are repeated allusions to the Judge fitting a Satanic mold, specifically the one of Paradise Lost. Yet he seems to have the greatest understanding of the natural order and claims dominion over it as a "suzerain," or lord, suggesting he is or sees himself as the demiurge of our world.

Gnosticism inverts the question of good and evil. Whereas Christianity presents a portrait of a paradise undone by original sin, Gnosticism posits that sin, reflected in violence, is the natural order and that good, embodied in Christian Gnosticism by Jesus, is an intruder to this order. Good exists and good may well conquer evil, but Gnosticism presents this as a steeply uphill battle in a world where good is a rarity.

So the questions Blood Meridian presents are whether or not good exists in this evil world, and whether or not good can conquer evil. On the former question, I would say that's a resounding yes, and even the Judge recognizes it. It's the "clemency for the heathen" that he recognizes and despises in the boy for his helping to save Tobin. On the second question, the ending would suggest a definitive no, but then McCarthy throws in that epilogue, with a figure slowly punching holes in the terrain while wanderers follow behind him picking up bones, or cleaning up after the carnage. Most interpretations I've read have it literally as a depiction of a man using a post hole digger in preparation for telegraph lines or fence posts, but figurative interpretations are wide open.

My reading? It's one of those "pockets of autonomous life" that so offended the Judge, reshaping the terrain (and the world) in a way he didn't anticipate. It's a sign that a new age is coming to the West, but it's left up to the reader to interpret whether there's any real progress in that. Knowing McCarthy is prone to quoting Yeats, it could be a reference to The Second Coming and its rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem to be born. Or it could be foreshadowing for the next global calamity (telegraph poles near or in Mexico might suggest the Zimmerman Telegram and its role in World War I). I think the greater purpose is to reopen the question of good's viability for the future after seeming to close it so definitively with the novel's conclusion.

Interesting ideas. I haven't had the time yet to search for any literary criticism but I have some initial thoughts about a few parts of the book. I'll put what is necessary behind spoiler tags but the bulk of it is generic enough to pass. I found it interesting that the Judge seemed to be a protector of the group and it was implied that he made a pact of sorts with Glanton although McCarthy is oblique about this. The story of his joining the gang as told by Tobin certainly solidifies his status. Glanton is the captain but Holden is certainly suzerain of the gang. I also found interesting the inclusiveness of the gang, and also how every character who was not white was considered a "nigger". Concerning Jackson at a few points of the book:

After the black Jackson decapitated the white Jackson, he seems to have become a part of the whole as if he'd sworn a blood oath. He had proven his ruthlessness to the others. Jackson gets lost at one point and Holden and a few of the Delawares set out to find him, risking their own lives. In contrast to how Holden later views the Kid, he seems to consider Jackson to be indispensable to the group and someone who has shown his worth through bloodletting. Also when the gang sets down at a table for food, the proprietor informs them that he's glad to serve all races but they have to sit at a back table. Glanton looks around and says "he thinks we're all niggers", knowingly covering for Jackson who had chosen the table. Once again Jackson is allowed an opportunity to avenge this slight as the owner is quickly dispatched.

_________________
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:20 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

And also a correction to the slur:

Late in the book the Kid/the Man meets Elrod and the family and the blackened ears worn around his neck are misidentified to be the ears of slaves. This is corrected by the Man and Elrod is incredulous. This is the only time I can recall in the book that Indians are distinguished from blacks as far as the slur is concerned. All other times it seems to be used interchangeably.

_________________
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:28 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I think in terms of the makeup and diversity of the gang, McCarthy is definitely reaching back to Moby-Dick, with its blend of New Englander crewmates and Indian, African and Arab harpooners. There's at least one one-for-one comparison between the crews:
Toadvine matches pretty well to Starbuck, particularly how both men at specific points in each story come to the threshold of killing their deranged leaders, Toadvine when he puts the pistol to Holden's head after Holden has killed and scalped the little Indian boy and Starbuck when he contemplates shooting Ahab in his bed. Neither man can bring himself to do it, though they both know it would spare their crews unspeakable hardship.

On the subject of Ahab, a lot of people draw a one-for-one comparison to Holden, but I don't think that's quite right. When Ahab is introduced in Moby-Dick, he's described as a "grand, ungodly, god-like man" who "has his humanities." The first part sure sounds like Holden, but it's hard to see where he has his humanities. Rather, I think Blood Meridian splits those characteristics between Holden and Glanton. When Ahab dies, his vengeful hatred dies with him, but when the vulnerable, corruptible leader-in-name-only Glanton dies, the malevolent, corruptive spirit of Holden gets to live far, far on.
Aside from those connections with Moby-Dick, there's the obvious nature of the doomed journey and the fact that McCarthy writes his chapter headings in Melville's style.

And in terms of the interchangeability of races, I think part of what Blood Meridian presents as the evil of violence is its capacity for erasing cultures. The mission of the gang isn't just to kill Indians; it's to wipe out their traditions and communities. They're fine with taking on crew members who have assimilated to and are subservient to the white culture.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:34 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Re: Blood Meridian and Moby-Dick

I've always felt that Holden had a closer affinity to the whale than to Ahab. He isn't possessed by the same mania that drives Ahab. There's an aura of calm and control about him, as if he's the eye of the storm and the violence he indulges in is just the logical consequence of his existence. Like the whale, he is not merely a force of nature but something verging on supernatural. His imposing size, his paleness, and his alopecia all visually reinforce the bond between them.

It's not a perfect parallel, obviously, nor is meant to be. Holden is worldly and eloquent and indisputably acts with human intent and a knowledge of his own moral depravity. If he shares anything with Ahab, it's his ruthlessness and disregard for the value of life -- as if Ahab harpooning the whale mingled their traits and gave birth to something monstrous but human.

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:35 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I hadn't thought of that connection but it makes a lot of sense. More on that:

According to Tobin, everyone in the gang swore they had seen Holden at some point in the past, just like the Kid had at Nacogdoches. The whale is similarly omnipresent; every sailor has a tale about him.

_________________
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:53 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I think a lot of you guys would enjoy Joe Lansdale's The Thicket.


Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:01 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Takoma1 wrote:
I think a lot of you guys would enjoy Joe Lansdale's The Thicket.

My library has that as an eBook.

_________________
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
██████████████████████████████████████████The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov


Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:07 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

BL wrote:
Is that the Harold Bloom intro? Never read that guy's intros. He almost always spoils the shit out of whatever he's writing about. I just picked up a copy of The Iceman Cometh because I'm seeing a production of it next week, and sure as hell there's Harold Bloom writing in his foreword about twists in the fourth act. I'm just glad I was already familiar with the story and just wanted to brush up.
The revival of Iceman was good, not great, by the way. It makes the same mistake I've read attributed to the 1973 James Earl Jones-led production, which is that it cut about an hour of ensemble monologues in favor of building more of a star turn for the Hickey part. Denzel Washington's star power almost justifies the decision, but I think it sacrifices too much of O'Neill's overall message (that pipe dreams do have a certain value for those who need them and can make life livable; that Larry Slade isn't some noble truth-seer but just a dysfunctional person and his only real moment of clarity is when he recognizes that broken part of himself; that it's crucial to understand that O'Neill's own biography speaks to the fact that a pipe dream carried him past the point of suicide and was ultimately fulfilled), tipping things too far into rank nihilism. I could see the argument that a five-hour play is too long a test of audience patience these days, but the seven-and-a-half-hour production of both halves of Angels in America that's currently running puts a lie to that. On the other hand, the one-hour-forty-five-minute runtime without intermission for Three Tall Women was a goddamn revelation this year, so maybe this mania for brevity benefits certain works.

_________________
"It's OK to have beliefs, just don't believe in them." — Guy Ritchie


Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:45 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I'm staying out of this thread to avoid spoilers, but I'm reading Blood Meridian as fast as I can at the moment, and will be back soon!

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:12 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

maybe I should too. I "read" Blood Meridian in high school but it was all so over my head nothing really got absorbed. maybe it would be more accurate to say my eyes looked at text and every few minutes or so my hands would turn pages until I had turned all the pages. maybe now is the right moment to turn all those pages a second time.

(either before or after Crying of Lot 49)


Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:06 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
My library has that as an eBook.


I listened to it as an audiobook. It's one of my favorite books that I've read in the last 10 years. After I read it I was reading another book about how writers can write for groups to which they do not belong (I mean, basically a guide for writers, especially white writers, who want to include minority characters but are scared of doing it wrong or writing to stereotypes). Lansdale was frequently cited as someone who was particularly good at this, and it really reinforced the way I felt about how Lansdale was able to write an almost comically diverse novel where every character felt fleshed out.

I couldn't stop listening to it and I think it'd be a real page-turner.


Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:14 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
maybe I should too. I "read" Blood Meridian in high school but it was all so over my head nothing really got absorbed. maybe it would be more accurate to say my eyes looked at text and every few minutes or so my hands would turn pages until I had turned all the pages. maybe now is the right moment to turn all those pages a second time.
Do it! :)

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:52 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

The A.V. Club’s favorite books of 2018 so far

_________________
Recently Reviewed


Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:49 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Authority, the second book in the Southern Reach trilogy, is baaaaaad. I was really surprised to learn that he wrote all these books at once or at least before they were published, cause boy oh boy it reads like a guy who's first book was an unexpected hit and then he had to get the next one to market quick and he had no fucking ideas. It just prattles around for fucking ever before something actually happens with like ten pages left and his prose ain't near good enough to make all that nothing entertaining. I still started the third one though cause I am a completionist and the overall concept still intrigues me enough to care about answers that may or may not be forthcoming.


Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:19 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Just finished Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes, and, while it fizzled out a bit at the climax, for the most part it was a rather dark, thrilling, chillingly written tale that managed to (mostly) overcome the cliches of the serial killer thriller genre it indulged in. Now looking to read the rest of the Hodges trilogy sometime.

_________________
Recently Reviewed


Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:33 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Dark Horse Comics brings William Gibson's original, unproduced Alien 3 script to life (preview panels inside link!)

Article wrote:
An Alien blockbuster is coming to a comic shop near you when Dark Horse Comics brings William Gibson's original, unproduced Alien 3 script to life with the help of writer and artist Johnnie Christmas.

While Gibson was a contributor in the early phase of the writing for Alien 3, ultimately most of his concepts never made it into the final film. As the father of the cyberpunk genre with titles like Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive, Dark Horse is thrilled to see Gibson's vision fully realized for the first time!

Following the deadly events of Aliens, the Union of Progressive Peoples intercepts the spaceship carrying the hibernating bodies of Ripley, Hicks, Newt, and Bishop. But unbeknownst to them, they have also picked up another deadly passenger whose discovery will unleash a race between two governments to weaponize the xenomorph in this horrifying and poignant Cold War-themed thriller.

With an intense script by Gibson (Neuromancer, Agency, Count Zero, Archangel), cinematic art by Johnnie Christmas (Angel Catbird, Firebug, Sheltered), vibrant colors by Tamra Bonvillain (Doom Patrol, Wayward, Uncanny Avengers), and a slate of variant covers by James Harren, Daniel Warren Johnson, Paolo Rivera, Tradd Moore, and Christian Ward, William Gibson's Alien 3 is the "what if?" fans have been asking for!

William Gibson's Alien 3 #1 (of five) goes on sale November 7, 2018, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.

Praise for William Gibson's Alien 3:

"He [Gibson] was able to take the franchise's existing elements of body horror and blow them out to unspeakably terrifying degrees. He put the aliens in new environments and warped forms. He built out the world of the series without over-explaining or hitting the Cold War metaphors too hard."—Vulture

_________________
Recently Reviewed


Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:30 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I've finally started reading the Locke & Key series and it's insanely good. I just finished the first two volumes and I will pick up the other ones later this week at my local comic store.


Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:00 pm
Profile WWW
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Possession: A Romance | A. S. Byatt | 1990 | 555 pages

Sometimes you read a book so dense and satisfying, so thematically rich and formally interesting, so passionate and well researched and astute, that its merits are too manifold to enumerate. Possession is a panoply of contrasts that never feel contradictory: while postmodern in form, it unabashedly adopts Romance tropes to implicitly criticize postmodernism; though situated in two very different time periods (modern and Victorian England), it discerns how similar the human struggles and aspirations of those eras can be; it satirizes academia and literary theory while possessing an admiration for scholars and a compassion for their peculiarities.

The plot is straightforward: two scholars discover clues hinting at an unknown connection between the two Victorian poets they study. They try to investigate this connection before rival scholars hone in on their research. The contemporary characters are largely described through standard narration, but the Victorian characters appear almost exclusively in the artifacts they leave behind: poems, letters, diaries, fairy tales, notes, and articles, penned by several different people, each with their own distinct voice. To quote this page from The New Canon, "[Byatt] needs to write poetry that could plausibly come from the pen of a famous nineteenth century poet. She needs to mimic Victorian prose and epistolary styles. She also needs to be conversant with the language of modern academic criticism. Moreover, she must subsume all of these under the authorial tone of today’s fiction, while being sensitive to the genre expectations that are invariably raised by romance and mystery tales." The fact that Byatt pulls this off is a feat of unparalleled virtuosity in its own right, but what ultimately emerges is even more impressive: a chorus of dead voices, cut short by circumstance or muffled by the dust of time, who harmonize with the curious minds of those in the living present, unifying in a holistic tapestry of poetry, quiet compromise, and inexorable passion.

Hopefully that gives some sense of the scale of Byatt's overall accomplishment. In a book so overflowing, it's hard to capture even that, much less my admiration for its various components. But I feel like one aspect does deserve particular attention, because it taps into the very essence of why I love this book. I don't know of any other work of literature that describes so deftly, and with such conviction, the pleasures of reading: the delights of newly discovered nuance, the sensuality of the page, coming to love and understand an artist and their work. On top of celebrating the sensuality of the intellect, it also heralds the sexual and emotional lives of highly intellectual people, banishing the tired old stereotype of the staid scholar or poet. To cite just one moment:

Quote:
It is possible for a writer to make, or remake at least, for a reader, the primary pleasures of eating, or drinking, or looking on, or sex. Novels have their obligatory tour-de-force, the green-flecked gold omelette aux fines herbes, melting into buttery formlessness and tasting of summer, or the creamy human haunch, firm and warm, carved back to reveal a hot hollow, a crisping hair or two, the glimpsed sex. They do not habitually elaborate on the equally intense pleasure of reading. There are obvious reasons for this, the most obvious being the regressive nature of the pleasure, a mise-en-abîme even, where words draw attention to the power and delight of words, and so ad infinitum, thus making the imagination experience something papery and dry, narcissistic and yet disagreeably distanced, without the immediacy of sexual moisture or the scented garnet glow of good burgundy. And yet, natures such as Roland's are at their most alert and heady when reading is violently yet steadily alive. (What an amazing word "heady" is, en passant, suggesting both acute sensual alertness and its opposite, the pleasure of the brain as opposed to the viscera -- though each is implicated in the other, as we know very well, with both, when they are working.)


Lands firmly on the list of "Shit Maiden definitely needs to read at some point."

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:54 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Macrology wrote:
Lands firmly on the list of "Shit Maiden definitely needs to read at some point."
Not quite. It's the list of "shit Maiden read long ago and should probably revisit." :)

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:29 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Not quite. It's the list of "shit Maiden read long ago and should probably revisit." :)


Ha! Of course you would have.

(I actually did a forum search to see if anyone else had anything to say about it, but only char ever mentioned it.)

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:36 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

It's good to see this thread alive again after RT. Loving the discussion on Blood Meridian.

One possible interpretation of that ending (still probably the most visually impactful ending of any novel I've read) and the subsequent epilogue is although evil may be overpowering and always existent, the good can always try to overcome it - although overcoming it would mean it would defeat its own purpose - which is to fight it.


And on the discussion of best/favorite books, here is my top 25 at the moment:

James Joyce - Ulysses
Franz Kafka - The Trial
David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest
Roberto Bolaño - 2666
Jorge Luis Borges - Ficciones
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow
George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-four
Vladimir Nabokov - Pale Fire
Thomas Bernhard - The Lime Works
Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian
David Simon - Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls
Salman Rushdie - The Satanic Verses
Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace
Hunter S. Thompson - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Michel Houellebecq - The Elementary Particles
Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse Five
Juan Rulfo - Pedro Paramo
Haruki Murakami - The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
William S. Burroughs - Naked Lunch
Martin Amis - Money
Sadegh Hedayat - The Blind Owl
Dante Alighieri - Inferno
J.G. Ballard - High-Rise


Re-reading Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray now. Endlessly quotable, funny, and thought-provoking. Nobody can make philosophical musings on life and society as amusing and accessible as Wilde.


Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:29 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I'm currently rereading Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth (free verse poetry werewolf horror/thriller/romance) and listening to the audiobook of Karen Slaughter's The Good Daughter. But dang if the latter doesn't contain a pretty horrific scene of an attack on two young girls that is recounted twice, once from each girl's point of view. It's well-written, but it's incredibly intense.


Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:11 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

This thread is for graphic novels as well, right?

If it is, what did you who read it, if any of you there are, think of The Incal? I enjoyed the art a ton, but the philosophy behind the whole thing seemed impenetrable. And if you haven't read it, please do so at your earliest convenience. It's so worth it.

On Blood Meridian, is it worth getting into it straight as a first Mccarthy novel or should I start with All The Pretty Horses? I'm juggling between the two.


Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:28 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I'd say it helps to have some sense of McCarthy before taking the plunge into Blood Meridian. But who knows, maybe it's better to dive into the deep end.

I've been meaning to check out The Incal or some other Moebius work, but haven't gotten around to it yet. (It's a lot to spend on something I don't have much of a reference point for.)

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:58 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Charles wrote:
On Blood Meridian, is it worth getting into it straight as a first Mccarthy novel or should I start with All The Pretty Horses? I'm juggling between the two.


All the Pretty Horses is a really quick read and it will help you understand some of the references in Blood Meridian. It also gives you maybe a greater appreciation of the overall arc of the main character.


Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:12 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

I sent back this backpack I got off amazon cuz I dont need it after all and they were going to credit my account

I forgot abt it until today when I went to pre-order the new Murakami novel and my credit balance was exactly the cost of the book and taxes :up:


Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:33 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Macrology wrote:
War with the Newts | Karel Čapek | 1936
Mac, I finally read this, and it's sooo good! Thanks for the rec!

Quote:
Not only are the newts a versatile and articulate metaphor, but Čapek makes them engaging in their own right. He reveals little about their culture, which remains largely unknown to humans since the newts live under water, but his description of their utilitarian ethic and their mating rituals are riveting.
Yeah, for a satiric novel, this was riveting stuff. The first chapters were right out of Joseph Conrad, and when the newts start to pop up in civilization they're fascinating. That zoo episode!!!

Anyway, I loved his dry humor and ruthless satire: those constant digs at smug academics and world politics, the fascist philosophical tome near the end, wow!

By the way, I read the Wyllie translation, which seemed smoother to me than the Osers. But, sadly, it doesn't seem to have a decent edition – only print-on-demand (I think) with amateur layout and rampant typos!

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:50 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Oh man, I didn't expect a rec from so long ago to pop back up! But I'm glad you liked it. I definitely admire its range, the way it juggles tone and genre: from the Conrad-esque adventure to sci-fi speculation to comprehensive satire, all fully developed in their right and yet somehow compatible.

I'm not sure which translation I read offhand, and I'm not at home to check, but it was an old paperback. The only other Čapek I've read is his play RUR (more of a mixed bag, but set the blueprint for every robot story ever) and his short story, The Last Judgment.

I actually found a copy of The Last Judgment online, and it's not long, so I'm just going to post it in a spoiler.

The Last Judgment
by Karel Čapek

The notorious multiple-killer Kugler, pursued by several warrants and a whole army of policemen and detectives, swore that he’d never be taken. He wasn’t either – at least not alive. The last of his nine murderous deeds was shooting a policeman who tried to arrest him. The policeman indeed died, but not before putting a total of seven bullets into Kugler. Of these seven, three were fatal. Kugler’s death came so quickly that he felt no pain. And so it seemed Kugler had escaped earthly justice.

When his soul left his body, it should have been surprised at the sight of the next world – a world beyond space, grey, and infinitely desolate – but it wasn’t. A man who has been jailed on two continents looks upon the next life merely as new surroundings. Kugler expected to struggle through, equipped only with a bit of courage, as he had in the last world.

At length the inevitable Last Judgment got around to Kugler. The judges were old and worthy councilors with austere, bored faces. Kugler complied with the usual tedious formalities: Ferdinand Kugler, unemployed, born on such and such a date, died… at this point it was shown Kugler didn’t know the date of his own death. Immediately he realized this was a damaging omission in the eyes of the judges; his spirit of helpfulness faded.

“Do you plead guilty or not guilty?” asked the presiding judge.

“Not guilty,” said Kugler obdurately.

“Bring in the first witness,” the judge sighed.

Opposite Kugler appeared an extraordinary gentleman, stately, bearded, and clothed in a blue robe strewn with golden stars.

At his entrance, the judges arose. Even Kugler stood up, reluctant but fascinated. Only when the old gentleman took a seat did the judges again sit down.

“Witness,” began the presiding judge, “omniscient God, this court has summoned you in order to hear your testimony in the case against Kugler, Ferdinand. As you are the supreme truth, you need not take the oath. In the interest of the proceedings, however, we ask you to keep to the subject at hand rather than branch out into particulars – unless they have a bearing on this case.”

“And you, Kugler, don’t interrupt the witness. He knows everything, so there’s no use denying anything.”

“And now, witness, if you would please begin.”

God, the witness, coughed lightly and began:

“Yes. Kugler, Ferdinand. Ferdinand Kugler, son of a factory worker, was a bad, unmanageable child from his earliest days. He loved his mother dearly, but was unable to show it, this made him unruly and defiant. Young man, you irked everyone! Do you remember how you bit your father on the thumb when he tried to spank you? You had stolen a rose from the notary’s garden.”

“The rose was for Irma, the tax collector’s daughter,” Kugler said.

“I know,” said God. “Irma was seven years old at that time. Did you ever hear what happened to her?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“She married Oscar, the son of the factory owner. But she contracted a venereal disease from him and died of a miscarriage. You remember Rudy Zaruba?”

“What happened to him?”

“Why, he joined the navy and died accidentally in Bombay. You two were the worst boys in the whole town. Kugler, Ferdinand, was a thief before his tenth year and an inveterate liar. He kept bad company, too: old Gribble, for instance, a drunkard and an idler, living on handouts. Nevertheless, Kugler shared many of his own meals with Gribble.”

The presiding judge motioned with his hand, as if much of this was perhaps unnecessary, but Kugler himself asked hesitantly, “And… what happened to his daughter?” “What’s she doing right now?”

“This very minute she’s buying thread at Wolfe’s. Do you remember that shop? Once, when you were six years old, you bought a colored glass marble there. On that very same day you lost it and never, never found it. Do you remember how you cried with rage?”

“Whatever happened to it?” Kugler asked eagerly.

“Well, it rolled into the drain and under the gutterspout. Right now it’s still there, after thirty years. Right now it’s raining on earth and your marble is shivering in the gush of cold water.”

Kugler bent his head, overcome by this revelation. But the presiding judge fitted his spectacles back on his nose, and said mildly, “Witness, we are obliged to get on with the case. Has the accused committed murder?”

“He murdered nine people. The first one he killed in a brawl, and it was during his prison term for his crime that he became completely corrupted. The second victim was his unfaithful sweetheart. For that he was sentenced to death, but he escaped. The third was an old man whom he robbed. The fourth was a night watchman.”

“Then he died?” Kugler asked.

“He died after three days in terrible pain,” God said. “And he left six children behind him. The fifth and sixth victims were an old married couple. He killed them with an axe and found only sixteen dollars, although they had twenty thousand hidden away.”

Kugler jumped up. “Where?”

“In the straw mattress,” God said. “In a linen sack inside the mattress. That’s where they hid all the money they acquired from greed and penny-pinching. The seventh man he killed in America, a countryman of his, a bewildered, friendless immigrant.”

“So it was in the mattress,” whispered Kugler in amazement.

“Yes,” continued God. “The eighth man was merely a passerby who happened to be in Kugler’s way when Kugler was trying to outrun the police. At that time Kugler had periostitis and was delirious from the pain. Young man, you were suffering terribly. The ninth and last was the policeman who killed Kugler exactly when Kugler shot him.”

“And why did the accused commit murder?” asked the presiding judge.

“For the same reasons others have,” answered God. “Out of anger or desire for money, both deliberately and accidentally-some with pleasure, others from necessity. However, he was generous and often helpful. He was kind to women, gentle with animals, and kept his word. Am I to mention his good deeds?”

“Thank you,” said the presiding judge, “but it isn’t necessary. Does the accused have anything to say in his own defense?”

“No,” Kugler replied with honest indifference.

“The judges of this court will now take this matter under advisement,” declared the presiding judge, and the three of them withdrew.

Only God and Kugler remained in the courtroom.

“Who are they?” asked Kugler, indicating with his head the men who just left.

“People like you,” answered God. “They were judges on earth, so they’re judges here as well.”

Kugler nibbled his fingertips. “I expected… I mean, I never really thought about it. But I figured you would judge since…”

“Since I’m God,” finished the stately gentleman. “But that’s just it, don’t you see? Because I know everything, I can’t possibly judge. That wouldn’t do at all. By the way, do you know who turned you in this time?”

“No, I don’t,” said Kugler, surprised.

“Lucky, the waitress. She did it out of jealousy.”

“Excuse me,” Kugler ventured, “but you forgot about that good-for-nothing Teddy I shot in Chicago.”

“Not at all,” God said. “He recovered and is alive this very minute. I know he’s an informer, but otherwise he’s a very good man and terribly fond of children. You shouldn’t think of any person as being completely worthless.”

“But I still don’t understand why you aren’t the judge,” Kugler said thoughtfully. “Why are they judging… the same people who were judges on earth?”

“Because man belongs to man. As you see, I’m only the witness. But the verdict is determined by man, even in heaven. Believe me, Kugler, this is the way it should be. Man isn’t worthy of divine judgment. He deserves to be judged only by other men.”

At that moment, the three returned from their deliberation. In heavy tones the presiding judge announced, “For repeated crimes of first – degree murder, manslaughter, robbery, disrespect for the law, illegally carrying weapons, and for the theft of a rose; Kugler, Ferdinand, is sentenced to lifelong punishment in hell.

“Next case please: Torrance, Frank.”

“Is the accused present in court?”

_________________
Ma`crol´o`gy
n. 1. Long and tedious talk without much substance; superfluity of words.


Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:22 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Macrology wrote:
I actually found a copy of The Last Judgment online, and it's not long, so I'm just going to post it in a spoiler.
Ooh, thanks for that! He's an interesting guy, Čapek.

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:57 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

wigwam wrote:
new Murakami
I didn't know about this! And I still haven't read 1Q84. :(

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:59 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

1Q84 isnt really worth the effort in my opinion (I also think Wind Up Bird is lower tier so maybe I only want him concise) but the one after that, Colorless, was great!


Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:05 pm
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

Good to know. I think we mostly agree on him (except for Kafka on the Shore, haha). I just finished reading Men Without Women, actually. The title story is like nothing else he's written. Pure poetry!

_________________
Raw ▪ Detroit ▪ Before I Fall ▪ The Levelling ▪ A United Kingdom ▪ Taare Zameen Par ▪ Lemonade Joe ▪ The Party ▪ Girlfriends ▪ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ▪ Altered States ▪ Crimes of Passion ▪ The Red Snowball Tree

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:30 am
Profile
User avatar
Reply with quote
Post Re: The Literature Thread

After reading Wind Up Bird Chronicles, I felt I had to read everything this guy ever wrote.

Then I read Kafka on the Shore and promptly stopped.


Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:43 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 3108 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 59, 60, 61, 62, 63  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.