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 The Literature Thread 
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 The Literature Thread

you know, for bookworms!

i decided yesterday i'd gone too long without having read anything by saul bellow, so i picked up herzog and henderson the rain king at the library. will report back.

recently finished 2666, which was kind of stunning.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:15 am
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I'm reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon and just tearing through it. I love love love his style. His descriptions, particularly of people, are so full of humor and insight. I think next I'm going to pick up Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:22 am
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I'm going to be starting Ulysses this weekend for upcoming classes.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:23 am
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I don't do much readin!

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:23 am
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I have been reading Film as a Subversive Art by Amos Vogel. Lots o' pretty pictures too.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:24 am
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Spengler wrote:
I'm going to be starting Ulysses this weekend for upcoming classes.

That should be an adventure. The last "chapter," Molly Bloom's stream-of-consciousness, is still one of my favorite things I've ever read.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:33 am
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Beau made me buy 2666 a while ago, but I still haven't plucked up the courage to open it yet.

I also tried reading Saramago's Blindness, but the English translation seemed pretty poor.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:54 am
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I just started "Scarlett", the sequel to "Gone with the Wind". Not sure it's going to stand up to its predecessor.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:57 am
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Orpheline wrote:
I'm reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon and just tearing through it. I love love love his style. His descriptions, particularly of people, are so full of humor and insight. I think next I'm going to pick up Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

chabon is probably my favorite writer right now. guys like delillo and mccarthy are probably technically better, but the only person that rivals chabon in terms of enjoyment and insight for me while maintaining a great style is jonathan lethem.

hope you dig mysteries as much as i do. just stay far far away from the film.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:13 am
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I've never read anything by Chabon, though I do own Cavalier & Clay.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:15 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
I've never read anything by Chabon, though I do own Cavalier & Clay.

that's the best place to start. that and wonder boys are probably his best received novels. most of what he's done since kavalier and clay has gotten mixed notices. i don't think anything he's done since has been as good, but i've enjoyed them all, even if they seem a bit more slight than his first three books.

i need to read his new (non-fiction) book.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:20 am
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Currently reading Pynchon's Inherent Vice, though I may give up on it. Its good, and kind of like The Big Lebowski, but it lacks the thrill of the standard madhouse that is a Pynchon novel.

If I do, I'll probably start either Vonnegut's Galapagos or The Song of Fire and Ice series.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:44 am
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Currently reading Ulysses, The History of Western Philosophy, and The Arcades Project. I'm also reading The Dream of the Heroes by Adolfo Bioy Casares, but unlike The Invention of Morel, this one is pretty dull and I can't muster up the enthusiasm to actually finish it, even though I'm at the conclusion's doorstep. Well-praised, but asides from certain sociological and historical interest, it's like a bad morality tale and has exactly nothing of what I liked about Morel.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:33 am
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ledfloyd wrote:
recently finished 2666, which was kind of stunning.


I know, right?

Jedi has read The Savage Detectives. I have not. I have read Distant Star and Nocturne of Chile. I recommend them. Not only are they incredible, but they're actually short. I mean, one-hundred-and-fifty pages short. Roberto is a great short-form writer as well. Nocturne of Chile is better, perhaps, if you want something different from 2666. I love, love Distant Star -- and I talk about it on an RT post that I will soon transfer over to my blog and thus to this website -- but in many respects it feels like a practice session for 2666. It's probably from comparing his work on Star with his work on 2666 that Roberto got the idea for that by-now famous passage about perfect small works versus unwieldy great works. Still worth reading, though. Nocturne of Chile is something different and self-contained, a beautiful little story.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:41 am
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Beau wrote:
ledfloyd wrote:
recently finished 2666, which was kind of stunning.


I know, right?

Jedi has read The Savage Detectives. I have not. I have read Distant Star and Nocturne of Chile. I recommend them. Not only are they incredible, but they're actually short. I mean, one-hundred-and-fifty pages short. Roberto is a great short-form writer as well. Nocturne of Chile is better, perhaps, if you want something different from 2666. I love, love Distant Star -- and I talk about it on an RT post that I will soon transfer over to my blog and thus to this website -- but in many respects it feels like a practice session for 2666. It's probably from comparing his work on Star with his work on 2666 that Roberto got the idea for that by-now famous passage about perfect small works versus unwieldy great works. Still worth reading, though. Nocturne of Chile is something different and self-contained, a beautiful little story.

i've read the savage detectives. i think by night in chile will be my next. only my library only has 2666 and the savage detectives. so i might need to actually pay for the next one.

apparently his works have alot of overlapping characters. just about everything he's written is being translated to english in the next few years.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:11 am
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Currently reading some of The Tales of H.P. Lovecraft.

Will soon begin reading Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:23 am
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I'm reading The Melancholy Of Resistance, which is the novel Werckmeister Harmonies is based on. It's kind of like Moby Dick, except the whale is already dead and the author has never heard of paragraph breaks.
I think I'll read The Plague next, but I also have to get to As You Like It and Bright Lights, Big City for classes.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:20 am
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Just finished Queer by William Burroughs, which... meh... and I'm about halfway through Slaughterhouse-Five right now. Not entirely sure why it took me this long to read it.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:52 am
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900 pages into War & Peace. My goal is to finish it by the end of the month.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:54 am
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Wolfy wrote:
900 pages into War & Peace. My goal is to finish it by the end of the month.
How many pages is it?


Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:55 am
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Sonechka wrote:
Wolfy wrote:
900 pages into War & Peace. My goal is to finish it by the end of the month.
How many pages is it?

1450


Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:56 am
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Wolfy wrote:
1450
You're doing pretty well then. Are you actually enjoying it?


Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:57 am
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Sonechka wrote:
Wolfy wrote:
1450
You're doing pretty well then. Are you actually enjoying it?

Well I'm a Napoleon buff so yes. I love that Tolstoy actually made Napoleon a character.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:59 am
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Leera wrote:
Just finished Queer by William Burroughs, which... meh...


Aww. I wanted to read that as my first Burroughs.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:00 pm
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I don't know how Wolfy fits everything in.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:01 pm
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Wolfy wrote:
Well I'm a Napoleon buff so yes. I love that Tolstoy actually made Napoleon a character.
Do you think I will enjoy it, despite knowing nothing about wars or revolutions or Russians?


Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:01 pm
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As for me, I'm currently bouncing back and forth between 2 Nietzsche books: The Antichrist and The Gay Science.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:02 pm
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Sonechka wrote:
Wolfy wrote:
Well I'm a Napoleon buff so yes. I love that Tolstoy actually made Napoleon a character.
Do you think I will enjoy it, despite knowing nothing about wars or revolutions or Russians?

He spends time more on the lives of the people involved in Russia then on the war field but when he does he makes the reader clear on what happens. Each 'book' is all about a year in the wars. It just is a little hard to get into because you need to get all the characters and their political views right when 25 characters are introduced in the first book.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:11 pm
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bubba wrote:
I'm reading The Melancholy Of Resistance, which is the novel Werckmeister Harmonies is based on. It's kind of like Moby Dick, except the whale is already dead and the author has never heard of paragraph breaks.

kind of like tarr has never heard of cuts.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:11 pm
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ledfloyd wrote:
bubba wrote:
I'm reading The Melancholy Of Resistance, which is the novel Werckmeister Harmonies is based on. It's kind of like Moby Dick, except the whale is already dead and the author has never heard of paragraph breaks.

kind of like tarr has never heard of cuts.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:13 pm
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Wolfy wrote:
Sonechka wrote:
He spends time more on the lives of the people involved in Russia then on the war field but when he does he makes the reader clear on what happens. Each 'book' is all about a year in the wars. It just is a little hard to get into because you need to get all the characters and their political views right when 25 characters are introduced in the first book.
I should be able to manage that. One day.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:17 pm
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ledfloyd wrote:
bubba wrote:
I'm reading The Melancholy Of Resistance, which is the novel Werckmeister Harmonies is based on. It's kind of like Moby Dick, except the whale is already dead and the author has never heard of paragraph breaks.

kind of like tarr has never heard of cuts.

Pretty much :D . I can't imagine a better combination of writer and director.
Of course, the author of the book did also write the movie (and Satantango, Damnation and Man From London).

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:19 pm
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While on my protracted trip, I read Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, which was good- Under the Dome, which was long- and I got within some 40 pages of the end of Anna Karenina, which was a relief. A good enough sequence to distract myself from the lack of video games.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:03 pm
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Smitty Werbenmanjensen wrote:
Leera wrote:
Just finished Queer by William Burroughs, which... meh...


Aww. I wanted to read that as my first Burroughs.

You may as well. It's not awful, by any means, but it's not what I expected. I mean, I knew what I was getting into as far as the subject matter and his style and his past and whatnot; it's just that it was almost... pointless, maybe? Inconsequential? A bit less substantial than I anticipated.

But it's a quick read, and interesting enough. I may try out Naked Lunch eventually.

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Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:27 pm
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I don't do a lot of reading really. But I am reading the british detective series of books, which are Inspector Frost novels.


Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:57 pm
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Just finished reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

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Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:36 am
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Malloy wrote:
Just finished reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"


A classic.

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Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:39 am
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Malloy wrote:
Just finished reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

how long did that take you?


Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:07 am
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You know that english is not my first language, don't be mean.

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Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:11 am
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Malloy wrote:
You know that english is not my first language, don't be mean.

:D


Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:28 am
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Thursday, I finished reading Nineteen Eighty-Four for the second time (hence my avatar). Brilliant. The third part is still my favorite. And I hate Julia for some reason.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:46 am
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YellowPages wrote:
Thursday, I finished reading Nineteen Eighty-Four for the second time (hence my avatar). Brilliant. The third part is still my favorite. And I hate Julia for some reason.

I really should read this sometime soon. The only problem is, I've had my fill of dystopian novels lately. After The Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451 (for the second time), both of which depict scarily plausible future societies, if I read one more, I may off myself.

I just started on Troia: Mexican Memoirs by Bonnie Bremser. It's regarded as one of the few books written by a female author who could be considered a part of the Beat movement. I'm not so sure how I'm going to like it; I'm finishing up Slaughterhouse-Five right now, and Troia seems to lope along at a snail's pace in comparison.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:54 am
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Despite my procrastinating nature, I will eventually finish Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot. I'm about halfway through it.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:02 am
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I recently finished reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman and right now I have about 150 pages left of Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris It's pretty incredible and a great kind-of-prequel to Easy Riders and Raging Bulls. It not as great as that book, but it is damn good.

I don't know what I will read next. I'm dying to read Devil in the White City but I think I want to read something that isn't non-fiction before I do.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:03 am
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Leera wrote:
I really should read this sometime soon. The only problem is, I've had my fill of dystopian novels lately. After The Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451 (for the second time), both of which depict scarily plausible future societies, if I read one more, I may off myself.

I just started on Troia: Mexican Memoirs by Bonnie Bremser. It's regarded as one of the few books written by a female author who could be considered a part of the Beat movement. I'm not so sure how I'm going to like it; I'm finishing up Slaughterhouse-Five right now, and Troia seems to lope along at a snail's pace in comparison.


I need to read this.
And you're right, these dystopian novels really make us wonder about future societies that could very well come into effect. With that said, Nineteen Eighty-Four made me a little bit paranoid. :P

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:18 am
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YellowPages wrote:

I need to read this.
And you're right, these dystopian novels really make us wonder about future societies that could very well come into effect. With that said, Nineteen Eighty-Four made me a little bit paranoid. :P

And it's especially asking for trouble if you're a paranoid, apocalyptic person to begin with, as I am. I actually heard someone say that 1984 isn't as terrifying today as it once was, but I think one can always find little connections from our own society to any fictional futuristic ones, if one is so inclined.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:26 am
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Shades. wrote:
I recently finished reading Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman.


Love that one.

Have you read anything else from him?


Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:34 am
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Decided to go with Song of Ice and Fire series, which is quite enjoyable. The prose is a bit bland, but that's to be expected.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:40 am
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Frogtown wrote:

Love that one.

Have you read anything else from him?


It's the first thing I've read by him. I loved it and will be seeking out everything else he has written.

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Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:51 am
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I'm currently halfway through 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, and it may be the greatest novel I have ever read. The coalescence of delightful whimsy and blunt tragedy is unlike anything I have ever seen.

Amazing.

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