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 The Literature Thread 
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Macrology wrote:
The Invention of Morel | Adolfo Bioy Casares (trans. Ruth Simms) | 1940 | 103 pages

For whatever philosophical complexity or moral depth the novel can achieve, the novella is indisputably the ideal medium for pure formal beauty. This book absolutely enchanted me. I started reading it earlier this evening and so thoroughly succumbed to it that I had to finish it tonight (and now it's 3 in the morning and I have to get up for work in the morning). It really is as perfect as people say it is, a seamless union of theme and narrative and form. I don't even know what else to say about it: the book is so sublimely concise, it already says everything that needs to be said.

I might have more to say about it after I've slept on it and read about it some more.


Pretty much. Borges said it's a perfect novel and at first you think, well, he's talking about his friend Bioy, so of course he said that, but then you read the novel and you start to think it wasn't just friendship doing the talking...


Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:44 am
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Just finished this and really enjoyed it. It should be most famous here as having two stories that are the loose basis for Mizoguchi's Ugetsu monogatari. The ghost stories here are very interesting, totally unlike ones from the west. They aren't really "scary" so much as "strange." Tiny, dreamlike flights of fancy told very beautifully.

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Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:43 am
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Some more thoughts on Morel, which include spoilers of a sort:

The structure of the book still dazzles me. Every incident, every single detail is relevant in some way to the plot. Even more impressively, nothing is left hanging. Every question raised at the beginning has a corresponding answer by the end. And most impressive of all: unlike most enigmas, whose solutions render them mundane, the reveal in Morel only heightens the mystery and ontological beauty of the scenario.

The only thing that stands alone is on the last page, when the narrator shares the first and only significant biographical details of his life. Until then, he's described his circumstances and what led him there in the vaguest terms possible. This sudden confession at the end, which divulges his literary inclinations, his political involvements, his former love. . . it's an abrupt but touching moment. Without it, the character could be merely another mechanism in the exquisite clockwork of the plot, but including these sparse details hint at his former life (even as he eradicates it) and suggest insight into the way he's behaved and the decision he ultimately makes.

I have to thank y'all for praising the book with such passion. I was already aware of the book and intending to read it (in that general way you intend to read lots of things), but the enthusiasm on this board really urged me to prioritize it.

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Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:16 am
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Macrology wrote:
And most impressive of all: unlike most enigmas, whose solutions render them mundane, the reveal in Morel only heightens the mystery and ontological beauty of the scenario.


That's one of its neatest tricks. It seems like Bioy thought of the solution first and then submerged it in an enigma, rather than the other way around. Like with Borges, what's most mysterious is not what's temporarily left out of the plot or concealed, but the solution itself, which packs a heavier philosophical punch than anything else in the novella.


Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:43 pm
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Just started this - has anyone here read it?

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Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:03 am
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House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories | Yasunari Kawabata (trans. Edward Seidensticker) | 1969 | 148 pages

This collection consists of only three stories: the titular House of the Sleeping Beauties (a novella at 100 pages) and two shorter stories, One Arm and Of Birds and Beasts. All three stories are about older men immersed in symbolically charged explorations of death and eroticism, although each story adopts its own unique approach.

The novella is every bit as absorbing and mysterious as The Invention of Morel (in fact this review I happened to read claims, "This is, without question, one of the top-tier novellas, as beautifully dreamy, and moving and perfect as Casares’ The Invention of Morel and Turgenev’s First Love"). It's about a brothel of sorts that provides a highly specific service: sleeping girls. The clientele is exclusively older men (most presumably impotent -- the main rule is no penetration), and the story is told from the perspective of Eguchi, sixty-seven, over the course of his first five visits.

Each night is a springboard for Eguchi's thoughts and memories. In bed, alone with a sleeping girl, his thoughts turn from desire to melancholy to anxiety to affection. Since the girls are asleep, they never react, never reject, never judge: they are an absolute tabula rasa, a blank canvas upon which Eguchi can impose his interpretations and reflections. Their hair or odor might recall former lovers; a gesture inspires feelings of sexual violence; their unconscious bodies remind him of his own mortality. The whole story revolves around complicated and oscillating perspectives on love, loss, yearning, old age, masculinity, and the twin themes of eros/thanatos. The mood is onieric and pensive but rooted by a subtle tension. And naturally the scenario is unsettling, maybe even revolting, but any revulsion one might feel is tempered by a sadness, by the delicate and poignant emotions that steal through Eguchi's mind.

Julia Leigh adapted the story to film in 2011 with Sleeping Beauty, which I watched a few years ago (it's what provoked my interest in the novella). The book is a much richer experience, but the film is interesting and acts as a nice counterpoint to its source material because it adopts the perspective of one of the girls who volunteers to be put to sleep. Its tone is more clinical, less sensual and indulgent than Kawabata's novella.

The other two stories are also compelling, even if they aren't on quite the same level. One Arm is the most openly surreal of the bunch, a meditation on the way people continue to affect us in their absence that recalls Gogol's The Nose. Of Birds and Beasts approaches its themes more obliquely than the other two, using a misanthrope's penchant for raising animals to examine both his relationships and the inherent cruelty of life.

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Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:48 am
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It's the only Kawabata I've read but Snow Country is really fantastic. Sounds like the one you've read is very similar. The way he tells stories through small gestures and fleeting senses is very dreamy in a way I never would have predicted.

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Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:44 am
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I'd really like to read more! He also wrote The Sound of the Mountain, which Naruse adapted to film.

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Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:37 pm
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First quarter of 2016:

The first time I've ever listened more to audiobooks than reading actual books, thanks to my non-mentally challenging job.

I've read and listened to many books by African Americans these past few months, a plan from last fall that I finally started on early january. And with books by Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, James Ellison, Eldridge Cleaver and Olaudah Equiano still on the shelf, I'll continue on that path for the next quarter too. Except for Morrison and Baldwin, it's more the content than the style that grabs me, but it does move me so.

Related to a Chinese theme month on another movie site in March I've also read everything Chinese I had left, which I managed to do better than actually watch the planned Chinese films...

Great:
1. Malcolm X & Alex Haley – The Autobiography of Malcolm X (audio)
2. James Baldwin – Go Tell It on the Mountain (audio)
3. J.G. Ballard – High-Rise (audio)
4. Maya Angelou – A Song Flung Up to Heaven (audio)
5. John Man – Kublai Khan
6. Toni Morrison – Beloved (audio)

Good:
7. Richard Wright – Black Boy
8. Maya Angelou – I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (audio)
9. Maya Angelou - The Heart of a Woman (audio)
10. James Baldwin – Going to Meet the Man
11. David Sedaris - Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
12. Sun Tzu - The Art of War (audio)
13. Pu Songling – Wailing Ghosts
14. Xiao Hong – Market Street

OK:
15. Chen Lianshan – Chinese Myths and Legends
16. Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot
17. Marco Polo – Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls (excerpt from Travels about India, seperately published by Penguin)
18. Aziz Ansari – Modern Romance (audio)
19. Jackie Chan - I Am Jackie Chan (audio)

Eh:
20. Jon Savage – The Kinks: The Official Biography
21. Wendy Leigh – Bowie: The Biography (audio) - worst bio ever?

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Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:44 pm
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Reading High-Rise myself at the moment. Half-way through it. Pumped for the movie.

I'm also re-reading Watchmen because I needed a palate-cleanser after Zack-a-doo tried to re-make his own capable version of Watchmen with Batman and Superman as the leads. Watchmen works because it's not a franchise. When it questions the validity and purpose of superheroes, its criticism stings because the book actually ends. It can successfully portray superheroes as either reactionary fascists or aloof gods because it doesn't have to justify their dissemination across numerous sequels. But you can't convey the same idea as well when your sodden movie has to set up an entire cinematographic universe.


Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:21 pm
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Beau wrote:
Reading High-Rise myself at the moment. Half-way through it. Pumped for the movie.

Yeah, me too. I'm curious for how the slow spiralling out of control will be conveyed. Somehow I feel the movie will be less funny than the book, because some things just tend to hit harder visually and less ironic.

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Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:40 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
Yeah, me too. I'm curious for how the slow spiralling out of control will be conveyed. Somehow I feel the movie will be less funny than the book, because some things just tend to hit harder visually and less ironic.


Yeah, matching the tone's gonna be tough. There's a recurring layer of absurdity covering everything in the novel and I'm worried that the movie will dilute that layer with generous helpings of dystopian seriousness. This isn't Blade Runner. It's more like DeLillo's White Noise.

That said, the imagery I saw in the trailer, whether or not it matches the book's tone, is nevertheless powerful stuff. It made me want to read the source text, after all.


Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:46 pm
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Beau wrote:
Yeah, matching the tone's gonna be tough. There's a recurring layer of absurdity covering everything in the novel and I'm worried that the movie will dilute that layer with generous helpings of dystopian seriousness. This isn't Blade Runner. It's more like DeLillo's White Noise.
Didn't A Field in England do this really well though? It's probably too over-the-top for the Ballard, but it certainly didn't take itself seriously. I guess I need to read this book!

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Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:02 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Didn't A Field in England do this really well though? It's probably too over-the-top for the Ballard, but it certainly didn't take itself seriously. I guess I need to read this book!


I've seen nothing from this Wheatley fellow, I'm afraid!


Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:27 pm
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Beau wrote:
I've seen nothing from this Wheatley fellow, I'm afraid!
A Field in England is pretty great!

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Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:46 am
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I've seen Kill List. That was pretty dark though.

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Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:32 am
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Beau wrote:
That said, the imagery I saw in the trailer, whether or not it matches the book's tone, is nevertheless powerful stuff. It made me want to read the source text, after all.

Same. And the audio version I listened to during work was narrated by none other than Tom Hiddleston. Must've been a very recent release.

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Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:33 am
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Kill List was dreadful, but High-Rise nails that absurd tone. I've only read Crash from Ballard, though. Comparing anything to White Noise is a sure way to make me intrigued.
Speaking of things adapted into films, I just finished Thank You for Smoking. Think I prefer the film, which refocuses it in a more satisfying way, but it's still very funny and executes the satirical angle really engagingly.


Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:06 pm
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Finished over the weekend: Lady Susan (Jane Austen, 1794/1871*)

The first book I've read by Austen, by chance also the first she's probrably written, even though it wasn't published until long after her death. Fun novella that I picked up after seeing Whit Stillmans adaptation Love & Friendship. Not only did I enjoy Austen's ironic humor, but I also appreciated more how perfectly Stillman captures the tone of the book, while adding his own wit and style to the movie, amongst other things in the sharp, hilarious one-liners that do refer to lines from the book but are different enough to be their own thing. I do wonder if I'd gotten some of the humor from the book without first seeing the film... nevertheless I'd like to read more of Austen's work I think.

Because of a discussion on historical novels on another forum I wonder what it would be like if this book was written today. The implicit critique of social conventions and the position of women in them probably would read more like easy finger pointing, I imagine. On the other hand Austen's moralism in the concusion of the book (the one chapter not written as a letter by a character, but just as the author's POV) is not of this time, and is therefore less explicit and generally softer in the film. In some ways it's the literary equivalent of Charlie Chaplin reciting a five minute speech at the end of The Great Dictator. Though I find no fault in the content of the speech, I did find the direct moral audience address a bit troubling, and I can't imagine other filmmakers, certainly not contemporary ones, getting all the praise Chaplin received then and now for such a scene. But I'm veering offtopic with this tangent...

*Probably written in 1794, but not yet published until 1871.

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Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:01 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
The first book I've read by Austen...
:shock:

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Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:13 am
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Just finished The Crying of Lot 49, and I love it so much! It should be typeset like free verse, because it’s all poetry – a song-cycle of epic questing and goofy melancholy. Pynchon's mischief is completely under control here, and it's all beauty and fun, like a highlights reel from a rumored 800-page edition.

In Mexico City they somehow wandered into
    an exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remedios Varo:

in the central painting of a tryptich,
    titled "Bordando el Manto Terrestre,"
    were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair,
    prisoners in the top room of a circular tower,
    embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void,
    seeking hopelessly to fill the void:
for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained
    in this tapestry,

and the tapestry was the world.

Oedipa, perverse,
    had stood in front of the painting and cried.
No one had noticed;
she wore dark green bubble shades.
For a moment she wondered if the seal around her sockets
    were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry.
She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever,
    see the world refracted through those tears,
    those specific tears,
    as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry.

She had looked down at her feet and known, then,
because of a painting,
    that what she stood on had only been woven together a couple thousand miles away
    in her own tower,
    was only by accident known as Mexico,

and so Pierce had taken her away from nothing,
there'd been no escape.

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Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:16 am
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Have any of our other Europeans ever come across one of these Albatross editions? Truly, a marvel of modern design: an affordable paperback of a size that adopts the "golden ratio" used in art and design. Among the first lines to use colour-coding to reflect genre, and to apply dust jackets that were exact copies of the actual cover; also, to use sans serif fonts and to offer readers the chance to subscribe to some kind of newsletter. Penguin took all these ideas and ran with them years later, of course - even the use of a seabird!

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Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:47 am
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Can't say that I have...

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Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:12 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Just finished The Crying of Lot 49, and I love it so much! It should be typeset like free verse, because it’s all poetry – a song-cycle of epic questing and goofy melancholy. Pynchon's mischief is completely under control here, and it's all beauty and fun, like a highlights reel from a rumored 800-page edition.

In Mexico City they somehow wandered into
    an exhibition of paintings by the beautiful Spanish exile Remedios Varo:

in the central painting of a tryptich,
    titled "Bordando el Manto Terrestre,"
    were a number of frail girls with heart-shaped faces, huge eyes, spun-gold hair,
    prisoners in the top room of a circular tower,
    embroidering a kind of tapestry which spilled out the slit windows and into a void,
    seeking hopelessly to fill the void:
for all the other buildings and creatures, all the waves, ships and forests of the earth were contained
    in this tapestry,

and the tapestry was the world.

Oedipa, perverse,
    had stood in front of the painting and cried.
No one had noticed;
she wore dark green bubble shades.
For a moment she wondered if the seal around her sockets
    were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry.
She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever,
    see the world refracted through those tears,
    those specific tears,
    as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry.

She had looked down at her feet and known, then,
because of a painting,
    that what she stood on had only been woven together a couple thousand miles away
    in her own tower,
    was only by accident known as Mexico,

and so Pierce had taken her away from nothing,
there'd been no escape.

:heart: Making me want to re-read it, damn.


Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:11 pm
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MrCarmady wrote:
:heart: Making me want to re-read it, damn.
:)

Think Vineland's next.

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Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:21 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Think Vineland's next.


my favorite of his


Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:52 am
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wigwam wrote:
my favorite of his
Awesome. :)

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Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:48 am
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have been reading a decent amount of late. but especially wanted to come mention how much i loved adolfo bioy casares's little novella (where there's love, there's hate) he cowrote with silvina ocampo. i havent read anything by her before although i have the collection published by nyrb in hand. the novella is very evocative of morel to me in some ways and yet quite different but completely compelling. weirdly also evocative of agatha christie maybe or at least feels like a darkly funny take on that kind of thing. in any case, i hope all you morel fans on here will try and look for this one sometime..

beides that one, i just finished shirley jacksons lottery and other stories and edith whartons ghost stories, both of which i loved for entirely different reasons. didn't expect wharton's collection to be so traditionally ghost story, which i'm saying as a good thing. also bought henry james's ghost story collection along with these but haven't gotten to that one yet.

coming up soon: aira's Dinner and some jim thompson..

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Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:12 am
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Just reading that has me contemplating ordering 3 or 4 Aira's...

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Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:32 am
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Finished Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God yesterday and loved it. I had to get used to the early 20th century Southern African-American slang and vernacular in the dialogue but that ended up really drawing me in. The story of a woman trying to find love and happiness in a time and place when that's considered a luxury black women can't afford (even by most black women in the book) is both moving and engrossing, partly because of the way Hurston tells it and writes about her protagonist's inner life:

"Janie stood where he left her for unmeasured time and thought. She stood there until something fell off the shelf inside her. Then she went inside there to see what it was. It was her image of Jody tumbled down and shattered. But looking at it she saw it never was the flesh and blood figure of her dreams. Just something she had grafted up to drape her dreams over."

"Of course he wasn't dead. He could never be dead until she herself had finished feeling and thinking. The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see."

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Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:18 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
I'm curious for how the slow spiralling out of control will be conveyed.

Through one montage. :/
Beau wrote:
Yeah, matching the tone's gonna be tough. There's a recurring layer of absurdity covering everything in the novel and I'm worried that the movie will dilute that layer with generous helpings of dystopian seriousness. This isn't Blade Runner. It's more like DeLillo's White Noise.

That said, the imagery I saw in the trailer, whether or not it matches the book's tone, is nevertheless powerful stuff. It made me want to read the source text, after all.
The design/look is good, and the absurdity is there, but that's about all there is. It doesn't really spiral out of control so much as jump from a seemingly calm start into outright chaos and orgies, without the sense of a community going wrong in the novel, or really any of the plot of the book, which is partly because Laing is really the only character of note/development in the movie. And his main thing is that he doesn't really change all that much outside of stopping to shower.

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:39 am
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Just finished reading High Rise. Not what I expected at all. So dark!

Colonel Kurz wrote:
Through one montage. :/

Oh no. Terrible. :(

Quote:
And his main thing is that he doesn't really change all that much outside of stopping to shower.
Haha, yeah. Though he ends up with a very weak grasp of reality!

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Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:23 am
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NPP: New Penguin Purchases

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Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:39 am
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They don't look new.

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Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:04 am
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You know what I mean!

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Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:07 am
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Interesting! From: https://www.grafik.net/category/logofor ... s-classics

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When the first ten Penguin books were finally released, to the British public they looked starkly original; to a German bibliophile of the nineteen-thirties on the other hand, the Penguin books might have looked like nothing more than a rip-off of a pre-existing German book series. Albatross had been producing English-language paperback books in Hamburg since 1932: they were the first to mass-produce paperbacks and the first to colour-code by genre. Albatross books also featured sans-serif typographic covers with a prominent logo in the form of a bird – the comparisons with Penguin are obvious. The similarities show that Allen Lane knew a good thing – and an opportunity – when he saw it however, and as Albatross books weren’t allowed to be distributed in the U.S.A. or the British Empire, in the pre-globalised world of the thirties there was no reason not to copy this remarkably modern German format.

Lane copied, as Benjamin would have it, with imagination, though. He didn’t want his new series to be named after something simply akin to an albatross, but something which was “dignified but flipant” – it was his secretary, Joan Coles, who suggested a penguin. Promptly, early Penguin designer Edward Young went off to London Zoo to sketch the penguins in their modern enclosure and the infamous logo was born. Traditional accounts of the story of Penguin’s logo usually from this point simply skip ahead to Jan Tschichold's 1946 tidying-up of the logo before leaping head-first into talking about Angus Hyland’s slightly boggle-eyed 2003 update. But this misses the magic, eccentricity and contemporary relevance of the mark.


Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:51 am
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The Google search that brought me to that article, of course, was "Penguin rip-off Albatross."


Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:52 am
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Ha, I'd heard the story about London Zoo before!

Fully agree with the fact that Penguin ripped off Albatross, but then they did also run with the idea to a certain extent. The guy behind Penguin wanted them to be cheap, accessible, portable, so that you could pick one up before hopping on the train, and apparently they also had Penguin vending machines in stations by 1937! It's name? The Penguincubator:

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Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:35 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
The Penguincubator
That's the best thing I've ever seen. I guess a Kindle is sort of a book vending machine, right? Not that I have one, but still.

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Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:08 am
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Giovanni's Room | James Baldwin | 1956 | 169 pages

I read this novel entirely under the quietude of night, by lamplight in my living room after my roommates had gone to sleep, because it seemed profane to read it under any other conditions. I tried coffee shops and riverside parks but they were too full of distractions. This book demands reverent reading, the silence of a church and the solitude of very early mornings. Baldwin's prose has such poise and power, and these delicate, carefully chosen words contain a turmoil of mental and emotional anguish: desire, contempt, compassion, betrayal, confusion, hope, and above all self-loathing. Baldwin depicts the effects of repression with brutal and beautiful honesty, and the narrator's repressed desires transform into denial (about himself) and vitriol (against his aging friends, strangers in the street, even the object of his affection). The book is an odd mix of sublime and sordid -- sublime when the narrator indulges in his desires and let's them run free, sordid in the aftermath when the backwash of his actions turns sour in his mind.

Certainly among the best gay novels I've read, although my forays into that territory have been regretfully scarce. Also interesting that Baldwin chose to write about his homosexuality under the guise of white men (although much has been written conflating sexual and racial politics in the book).

Baldwin's prose is probably more persuasive than anything I could write, though:

James Baldwin wrote:
Until I die there will be those moments, moments seeming to rise up out of the ground like Macbeth's witches, when his face will come before me, that face in all its changes, when the exact timbre of his voice and tricks of his speech will nearly burst my ears, when his smell will overpower my nostrils. Sometimes, in the days which are coming -- God grant me the grace to live them -- in the glare of the grey morning, sour-mouthed, eyelids raw and red, hair tangled and damp from my stormy sleep, facing, over coffee and cigarette smoke, last night's impenetrable, meaningless boy who will shortly rise and vanish like the smoke, I will see Giovanni again, as he was that night, so vivid, so winning, all of the light of that gloomy tunnel trapped around his head.

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Tue May 17, 2016 3:17 pm
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Macrology wrote:
I read this novel entirely under the quietude of night, by lamplight in my living room after my roommates had gone to sleep, because it seemed profane to read it under any other conditions. I tried coffee shops and riverside parks but they were too full of distractions. This book demands reverent reading, the silence of a church and the solitude of very early mornings. Baldwin's prose has such poise and power, and these delicate, carefully chosen words contain a turmoil of mental and emotional anguish: desire, contempt, compassion, betrayal, confusion, hope, and above all self-loathing. Baldwin depicts the effects of repression with brutal and beautiful honesty, and the narrator's repressed desires transform into denial (about himself) and vitriol (against his aging friends, strangers in the street, even the object of his affection). The book is an odd mix of sublime and sordid -- sublime when the narrator indulges in his desires and let's them run free, sordid in the aftermath when the backwash of his actions turns sour in his mind.
I'm so glad you liked this!! It's one of my favorites. Baldwin's prose is soooo beautiful and right, even here, where the narrator is confused and twisted. Now you need to read Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone. It's the best.

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Wed May 18, 2016 5:51 am
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I've mostly read his essays.

The Devil Finds Work is one of the finest film-related things ever written.


Wed May 18, 2016 5:54 am
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Beau wrote:
The Devil Finds Work is one of the finest film-related things ever written.
Yeah. I'm gushing about his prose, but it's his wisdom that I really love.

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Wed May 18, 2016 6:05 am
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This definitely won't be the last time I read Baldwin. I'll make a note of those two in particular.

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Wed May 18, 2016 9:32 am
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Latest paperback obsession: Olympia Press.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympia_Press

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Fri May 20, 2016 6:07 am
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i'm obsessed with the pushkin press releases,.. both coz actually truly believe in their selections but also love everything from the size of the books to the design and layout. dying to get my hands on that venice set especially.

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Sat May 21, 2016 11:57 pm
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Oh, I love those!

Stumbled across them in the UK a while back and have around 3 so far. I'm not absolutely convinced about the content/selection, but the design of the covers and size/weight of the books is great.

Just ordered a couple of these ones:

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Thu May 26, 2016 8:23 pm
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Damn, those look gorgeous.


Fri May 27, 2016 2:24 am
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Beau wrote:
Damn, those look gorgeous.

Beau is correct. You probably shouldn't touch them (read them).


Fri May 27, 2016 4:05 am
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I'm a fan of leaving your mark on your books. I figure that's why I own them, to do something with them.

That said, and if you'll excuse a short rant, a lot of people - the "don't judge a book by its cover" brigade - totally ignore the physical qualities of a book, the typography, the binding, the design of the collection it belongs to, and so on and so forth. It's unfortunate, because all these things add meaning to the text. But if you agree to that then you also agree that texts aren't stable, that authors don't have total control about what their text does and how it's read, that the text you read might not be the one everyone has ever read or will read, that in publishing a text there are overlapping levels of authorship and that the person in charge of a collection can add meaning to a text by relating it to others, and so on and so forth. Obviously all hell breaks loose if you start to think about these kinds of things.


Sat May 28, 2016 4:35 am
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