ghost of miles

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21 hours ago, HutchFan said:

A TERRIFIC book, as is Swafford's biography of Charles Ives.

A long time ago I read a short biography of Beethoven and it pales in comparison to Swafford's, though at over a 1000 pages it's going to take me a while to finish.  

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Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Read this during the day, before the PG&E rendered darkness fell, Thanks PG&E! (three days of darkness where I live). I don't know why, but I have a deep love for this book. I've read it many times and there is a certain feel to this book that means a lot to me. It seem as if finally American spirituality broke free from Jonathan Edwards' baleful influence, and here, with this book, a new way of looking at the world entered the American scene.  Just the first paragraph itself is bursting with creativity:

Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us, by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to‑day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.

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Attica Locke: Blue Bird, Blue Bird

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5 hours ago, jlhoots said:

Attica Locke: Blue Bird, Blue Bird

That's on my reading list.

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Gave up the Lauren Groff book 70 pages from the end. Exasperating and tiresome waste of effort.

 

 

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Picked this up at NYC’s Jazz Record Center last January and am now reading for a Night-Lights-in-progress:

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20 hours ago, kinuta said:

Gave up the Lauren Groff book 70 pages from the end. Exasperating and tiresome waste of effort.

 

 

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Death by Anthony Horowitz seems unlikely.

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1 hour ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Death by Anthony Horowitz seems unlikely.

Yeah, right.

Up to now it's really a good read, just what the doctor ordered after Lauren Groff.

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Excellent, and a corrective to James Gavin's trashy, inaccurate "Deep in a Dream." For one, Chet was not murdered; he fell from his Amsterdam hotel room to the sidewalk all by himself. For another, Chet, while erratic, arguably did his best playing in the latter years of his life, as many recordings bear out. Also, in that mostly European phase of his career, Chet fairly often was making a good deal of money -- e.g $25,000/month in his final two years -- but of course the money was all spent on the "lifestyle."

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On 10/16/2019 at 7:58 PM, Larry Kart said:

Chet was not murdered; he fell from his Amsterdam hotel room to the sidewalk all by himself.

Hmmmm . . . but isn't that exactly what the murderer would say? :rolleyes:

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13 minutes ago, duaneiac said:

Hmmmm . . . but isn't that exactly what the murderer would say? :rolleyes:

From the book. "The door to his room was locked from the inside. The police ruled out foul play. There was no sign of a struggle. And there was the distinct imprint of his trousers in the dust on the sill, which would have been smeared had Chet been pushed from the window. He had lain or sat there [on the sill] for some time, probably nodding out, his head between his knees -- then either fell or jumped. A 'murderer' [would have to}  have entered the room from the outside, thrown his victim onto the street and left through the window as well, all this without leaving a trace in the room and right in front of Amsterdam's busiest railway station.

 

Inspector Bloos (the man who investigated the case): "The window could be held up with a metal peg that had to be stuck in the window frame. To keep this peg from getting lost, it was fastened to the wall with a small chain, It is very likely that, while losing his balance, Chet grabbed the chain. The peg with a part of the broken chain was found beside him on the street. The window fell shut.... Baker feel on a stone post with the back of his head."

 

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Henry David Thoreau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls. A very good, and well written biography of Thoreau, enjoying this one immensely! Highly recommended if you're interested in Thoreau.

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I had to read On Walden Pond in Literature class in my freshman year (still have my text book) and I’m afraid it soured me on Thoreau, to my detriment no doubt. 

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20 hours ago, Brad said:

I had to read On Walden Pond in Literature class in my freshman year (still have my text book) and I’m afraid it soured me on Thoreau, to my detriment no doubt. 

I don't mind Thoreau in relatively small doses, though I am finding that I am really not enjoying Wendell Berry (who is deeply inspired by Thoreau), particularly any of Berry's essays written after the late 1970s.

I'll be reading an early William Maxwell novel, They Came Like Swallows, next, as well as Dawn Powell's My Home is Far Away.

I've requested Oz's Judas and Salter's Light Years from the library, and they'll turn up soon.

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A very insightful read, music criticism informed by social contexts as it should be. Particularly enjoyed chapters on James Brown, "Birditis" (Charlie Parker obsession) and... Steely Dan (lots of jazz in this chapter).

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Saul Bellow's novella "The Bellarosa Connection" and his longish short story "The Old System," both from his "Collected Stories." Remarkable though it is in large part, the former perhaps falters at the very end (or perhaps it just fails to wholly satisfy me, and/or I don't yet get the novella's final narrative flourishes); the latter, less flamboyant and seductive than "Bellarosa," is remarkable throughout. It may not be Bellow's primary focus in his work in general or even in these two works, but I'm bowled over in both by his insights into what one might call "the American Spirit" in its various manifestations. This he illuminates by zeroing in on specific Jewish immigrants to America and/or on the sons and daughters of that immigrant generation, roughly the one that arrived around or just before the turn of the century and came of age in the mid-teens or 1920s (and then zeroing in on their offspring and their offsprings offspring) and noting with great and seemingly offhand precision how who they become is shaped by their transactions with the American spirit as it was unavoidably manifested in their lives and times. This somewhat oblique approach to the subject (though it certainly was not oblique to Bellow -- think "Augie March," nor is it oblique to third-generation me -- serves to illuminate vital turbulent matters that all Americans are in contact with, even subject to, all the time with an intensity that I find in few other writers of Bellow's time or any writers since. Sorry, I can't summarize those insights, though I would like to -- one has to take them in through the voices of Bellow's narrators -- whose key roles in Bellow's fiction can never be forgotten, even when they seemingly remain more or less offstage or are sotto voce for good stretches of time, just relating/remembering the flow of events to which they themselves are subject to in their own ways.

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On 10/6/2019 at 10:19 PM, kinuta said:

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Yes.  Highly recommended.

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Finally finished the Egan.

The last 100 pages definitely outstayed their welcome and were a grinding battle against incomprehension.

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The new LeCarre book. 
 

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Edited by Brad

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