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 The Literature Thread 
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Wow, nice catch! And I read that whole novel without noticing the squirrels. :-/


So the evocation is really subdued.


Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:52 am
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Haha! Or, I'm unobservant. Sometimes it takes crazy sound and absurdity to get my attention. :P

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Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:30 am
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It happens regularly, but Nabokov never draws particular attention to it. Worth noting that I also only learned this after the fact. Someone pointed it out in some article or blog post I read about it.

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Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:28 am
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Ah. I feel a little better, then. Here I was thinking you knew Russian, too!

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Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:21 am
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My boss lent me the Griffin & Sabine trilogy. Should I be excited or is this homework?

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Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:26 am
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i am a real bookworm, currently I am finishing The Devil in the White city, very interesting book about the 1st serial killer


Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:56 pm
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It took 100,000 years for a human being to murder more than two human beings? Maybe we aren't so bad after all!


Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:59 am
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Is Proust worth reading? I might buy vol. 1 of In Search of Lost Time


Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:55 pm
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MuntyJay wrote:
i am a real bookworm, currently I am finishing The Devil in the White city, very interesting book about the 1st serial killer
I've read that one, and while I was disappointed that Larson wrote so much more about the Fair than he did Holmes (what's the point of connecting the two if at least 2/3rds of the book is about only one?), his writing and the basic historical facts were more than compelling enough to make me not regret reading it.

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Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:34 pm
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Finally digging down into Chekhov's short stories. Don't know why I haven't done it before. So great! The novellas are next.

Here's a little taste from "Ward No. 6," which is amazing x amazing:

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Sometimes in the evening he wraps himself in his robe and, trembling all over, teeth chattering, begins pacing rapidly from corner to corner and between the bed. It looks as if he has a very high fever. From the way he suddenly stops and gazes at his comrades, it is clear that he wants to say something very important, but, evidently realizing that he would not be listened to or understood, he shakes his head impatiently and goes on pacing. But soon the wish to speak overcomes all other considerations, and he gives himself free rein and speaks ardently and passionately. His talk is disorderly, feverish, like raving, impulsive, and not always comprehensible, yet in it, in his words and in his voice one can hear something extremely good. When he speaks, you recognize both the madman and the human being in him. It is hard to convey his insane speech on paper. He speaks of human meanness, of the violence that tramples on truth, of the beautiful life which will be on earth in time, of the grilles on the windows, which remind him every moment of the obtuseness and cruelty of the oppressors. The result is a disorderly, incoherent potpourri of old but still unfinished songs.

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

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Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:11 am
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That one made the most impression on me, if I recall correctly.

I should get back into the Russians.

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Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:01 pm
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Yeah, he's amazing, and that one stood out. Also A Boring Story and In the Ravine.

Oh, and look what else I found: 201 Stories by Chekhov online. That will fill in some of the blanks left by the books I have access to.

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Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:26 am
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Hey all, I have a really broad, broad question to ask of you all: what are some books about movies that are worth reading? And they can be anything, biographies, memoirs, history books, analysis, etc. I shouldn't be too picky.

I recently read and enjoyed J. Hoberman's The Dream Life and Army of Phantoms which looked at how certain movies of the Sixties and Cold War mirrored the social/political climate (intentionally or otherwise) so maybe something up that alley. Thanks in advance!


Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:40 am
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I'd say The Devil Finds Work, Oxnard. One of the best books I've ever read.


Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:26 am
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Beau wrote:
I'd say The Devil Finds Work, Oxnard. One of the best books I've ever read.


That's good to know, 'cause I've already read it! I have it in one of my Library of America essay collections which also has Baldwin's reviews of Preminger's Carmen Jones and Porgy & Bess (and maybe some other movie stuff too, I haven't read the whole collection yet).

But I'd definitely be up for more stuff like that, Baldwin or otherwise.


Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:21 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

That's good to know, 'cause I've already read it! I have it in one of my Library of America essay collections which also has Baldwin's reviews of Preminger's Carmen Jones and Porgy & Bess (and maybe some other movie stuff too, I haven't read the whole collection yet).

But I'd definitely be up for more stuff like that, Baldwin or otherwise.


Most of the other examples I can think of are more slanted towards theory and don't quite occupy that same cinema-in-its-social-and-historical-context sweet spot. I do want to read bell hooks' stuff, and I suspect it'd fit the bill, but I haven't dived into it yet.


Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:49 am
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Andrei Tarkovsky and Raúl Ruiz have fantastic self-authored books on their creative methods.

In Argentina, the work of Nicolás Prividera is really worthwhile, but good luck finding it in English. Ditto stuff by David Oubiña, whose Philosophical Toy Store is one hell of a great read.

And, for more film critic-y stuff, you can't go wrong with Adrian Martin.


Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:56 am
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Many thanks!


Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:51 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
]Have you read Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone? You should!

It arrives on friday.

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Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:38 pm
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I finished reading Ubik quite some time ago. I really enjoyed it. Even though it starts off a little slow, it gets really good when it picks up. It's definitely a suspenseful novel. I was engaged with it quite a bit, and I could not put it down. Also, the ending contains several neat twists, especially the shocking one at the last chapter. I recommend it to all sci-fi fans.

Right now, I'm reading On the Road. I'm enjoying it so far.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:18 am
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During my trip to Asia I took two big books along, and one of them was The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek, a Czech novel satirizing WWI and the military establishment. Hašek died before he could finish it, so it's technically incomplete, but it doesn't have a traditional novel structure. It's more of a picaresque, following the comic misadventures of the eponymous Švejk, a bumbling and gregarious everyman who has a story for every situation and frequently embarks on conversational tangents that last for pages and meander so wildly you forget where they started.

The book is genuinely hilarious (it had me laughing regularly, and inspired Heller to write Catch 22), and one of its great feats is the character of Švejk, who is either an idiot or a very clever man using idiocy as a disguise in order to deflect responsibility toward a cause he feels no allegiance to. Hašek never lets you know for sure, and puzzling over which is more plausible is one of the pleasures of reading the book.

Hašek lambastes military bureaucracy, organized religion, and a host of other targets, and at times the book feels like a Kafka story with a protagonist who has adapted to the world's bureaucratic labyrinths by simply not caring about them. And while Švejk never reaches the front lines, when the battlefield is mentioned in the narrative, Hašek describes the effects of war with a darkly casual brutality. Švejk talks about dead soldiers getting their eyes eaten by crows as if he were talking about what he had for lunch the day before.

The other book I brought along was a collection of writings by Lafcadio Hearn, which I'll post about in my Louisiana thread!

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:07 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Hey all, I have a really broad, broad question to ask of you all: what are some books about movies that are worth reading? And they can be anything, biographies, memoirs, history books, analysis, etc. I shouldn't be too picky.

I recently read and enjoyed J. Hoberman's The Dream Life and Army of Phantoms which looked at how certain movies of the Sixties and Cold War mirrored the social/political climate (intentionally or otherwise) so maybe something up that alley. Thanks in advance!

Notes on the Cinematographer, Film as Film, The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film


Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:19 pm
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I second Notes on the Cinematographer. I also think Andre Bazin's essays (esp those collected in what is cinema?) are quite good, but very accessible.

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:56 pm
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Macrology wrote:
I second Notes on the Cinematographer. I also think Andre Bazin's essays (esp those collected in what is cinema?) are quite good, but very accessible.


That's okay, I don't have a problem with accessible.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:52 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
It arrives on friday.
Hooray! I don't think I've ever successfully talked anyone into reading that one. The part about the character's childhood is so beautiful and heartbreaking. The rest is remarkable, too. This is the book that made me love him!

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:36 am
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New favourite Chekhov edition:

Image

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Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:54 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Hooray! I don't think I've ever successfully talked anyone into reading that one. The part about the character's childhood is so beautiful and heartbreaking. The rest is remarkable, too. This is the book that made me love him!

I'm trying to read some more Baldwin before that new doc comes out here mid May.

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:56 pm
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