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On 2021-01-30 at 10:01 AM, ejp626 said:

I've extended the library loan on Emberton a couple of times, but am going to finish it this weekend.

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This starts off well with strong shades of Kafka's The Trial & The Castle as the protagonist goes off to work at eerie Emberton Tower where the Emberton Dictionary is published but midway through it turns into a weird (and not very good) metaphysical fantasy where the essence of language is distilled into a liquid that can make dyslexic people read but at a cost of sucking words out of the world outside the tower.  I probably should just drop it at this point, but there isn't much left and I do want to get it back to the library.

 

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21 minutes ago, Matthew said:

How are you finding this? The table of contents looks fascinating.

I think it’s fascinating; I can’t put it down.  I confess to not having read most, if not all, of the books he discusses. The book is a mixture of the discussion of the books and the social background leading to them. 

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2 hours ago, Brad said:

I think it’s fascinating; I can’t put it down.  I confess to not having read most, if not all, of the books he discusses. The book is a mixture of the discussion of the books and the social background leading to them. 

I haven't read most of the listed books / writers either, especially the Israeli one's, they're a blank to me. I'll be buying this one in the next couple of weeks, hopefully, there will a Kindle sale and I can snatch it for $2.99. Thanks.

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PKD's Martian Time-Slip

 

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This cover is hilarious. Makes it look like a Heinlein juvenile...

There was quite a lot I didn't care for, particularly when Dick kept conflating autism and schizophrenia, which I didn't appreciate (to say nothing of how crudely the Martian natives were discussed by the settlers), but he did stick the landing.

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1 hour ago, Captain Howdy said:

>getting offended on behalf of Martians 

SJWs. SMH.

Given how many times he works in the N word (and indeed has someone say the Martians are genetically related to Africans!) I think it is safe to say quite a few people would be offended, not just people who care about the ethical treatment of Martians. 

Twain's Huck Finn and maybe Conrad's novel may or may not survive in today's cancel culture, but this much slighter effort might not.  

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On to a new breakfast book after finishing Rick Perlstein’s Reaganland, which concludes his comprehensive quartet that chronicles the birth of modern-day American conservatism across the 1960s and 70s. For some reason I seem to favor history books over my granola and fruit, so on now to a general overview of a subject that fascinated me as a kid—an obsession taking hold with me again in light of both recent events and longstanding cultural trends:
 

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... and hoping to soon crack this one, which I bought a couple of years ago:

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11 minutes ago, ghost of miles said:

On to a new breakfast book after finishing Rick Perlstein’s Reaganland, which concludes his comprehensive quartet that chronicles the birth of modern-day American conservatism across the 1960s and 70s. For some reason I seem to favor history books over my granola and fruit, so on now to a general overview of a subject that fascinated me as a kid—an obsession taking hold with me again in light of both recent events and longstanding cultural trends:
 

81GHAhK2ngL.jpg

... and hoping to soon crack this one, which I bought a couple of years ago:

51vA5paaMYL._AC_UL600_SR399,600_.jpg

 

Both are great books. I recommend all books in Oxford’s US History series. If you should decide you’re looking for a book on Gettysburg, I recommend two: Garry Wills’ book, a book full of interesting ideas, and Allen Guelzo’s book. Guelzo seems to be getting a bad rap lately for his criticisms of the 1619 project but he’s a brilliant historian. His book on the Lincoln Douglas debates is fascinating as is his other book on Lincoln. He has a book coming out on Lee; it may be out already. 

If you’re looking for a background to the Civil War, the best book I’ve read on the topic and simply one of the best books I’ve ever read is David Potter’s The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861. It's nothing short of brilliant. 

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6 hours ago, Matthew said:

Thought Forms by Annie Besant & C.W. Leadbeater. Read about this reprint in Dangerous Minds and it is fascinating. A Theosophical work from 1905, and it revolves around the question: what do invisible realities look like? Has fifty-three illustrations and it is a wonderful book to ponder over.

Image result for thought forms book

interesting. Theosophy fasinates me--though mostly as the crucible for Krishnamurti.

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Hemingway's The Torrents of Spring.

What an odd book.  It is deliberately written as a parody of the style of some of Hemingway's fellow writers in Paris.  Sherwood Anderson is name checked in the introduction, and my understanding is that Hemingway was also poking at Ford Madox Ford as well.

Does it really stand on its own (like a Flann O'Brien comic novel)?  No, not particularly.  Would I read this a second time?  Certainly not.  Once is enough.

Still reading lots of poetry for a project.  Mostly starting with the New York School (Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Kenneth Koch, etc.) but also Kenneth Rexroth and David Ignatow.  Then working backwards and forwards.

Will probably be getting back to Don Quixote after a long layoff later this week.

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I'm reading Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem The Wreck of the Deutschland tonight, such a great poem! Can you imagine what Hopkins thought when this poem was rejected by a fellow Jesuit? Didn't think it was good enough for some Jesuit journal. Just the opening stanza alone shows the wondrous creativity of Hopkins. 

Thou mastering me 

God! giver of breath and bread; 

World's strand, sway of the sea; 

Lord of living and dead; 

Thou hast bound bones and veins in me, fastened me flesh, 

And after it almost unmade, what with dread, 

Thy doing: and dost thou touch me afresh? 

Over again I feel thy finger and find thee.

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Mostly reading poetry for a larger project, but I have read some shorter works.  Am midway through Hemingway's To Have and Have Not.  I don't have too many issues with the hard-bitten anti-hero.  (I don't believe I've ever seen the movie version with Bogart, but I can imagine him in the role.)  But almost every page, Hemingway tosses around the n-word plus Chinese slurs, etc.  (It's something like 5 chapters in when the reader is even told the name of the Black crew member.  Sheesh.)  It really detracts so much from the experience.  I don't think time will be very kind with Hemingway, as so many of his characters embody toxic masculinity.

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3 hours ago, ejp626 said:

Mostly reading poetry for a larger project, but I have read some shorter works.  Am midway through Hemingway's To Have and Have Not.  I don't have too many issues with the hard-bitten anti-hero.  (I don't believe I've ever seen the movie version with Bogart, but I can imagine him in the role.)  But almost every page, Hemingway tosses around the n-word plus Chinese slurs, etc.  (It's something like 5 chapters in when the reader is even told the name of the Black crew member.  Sheesh.)  It really detracts so much from the experience.  I don't think time will be very kind with Hemingway, as so many of his characters embody toxic masculinity.

The movie is a great Howard Hawks film  but has so little to do with the book that the studio (Warner Bros.) later made a film that was based on the book.  It's called The Breaking Point and stars John Garfield.   And the Hawks film has the distinction of being (I think) the only movie  to have one  Nobel Prize winner (Faulkner) work on a film  adaptation of a work by  another Nobel Prize winner.  (It seems to take as much from Casablanca as it does from the original novel.)

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