what are you reading right now?

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Postby broodstar » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:09 am

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so i started reading this because of the lucrecia martel film (fyi i am not a book guy and 50x more of a film guy) and general acclaim as one of latin america's best. (it was called argentina's equivalent to stoner elsewhere, which is something that makes me kinda go "meh". but zama's good so far!) i saw it was longlisted for a couple translation awards, along with:

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krasznahorkai is probably my favourite contemporary writer i've read so far, at least tied with sebald or something, and i didn't know he had a new book out (two, apparently). this one is supposed to be a short one, and experiments with being one long sentence. so i thought i'd peruse the rest of the list. then i saw that one writeup for matthias enard's compass includes this: "An ideal novel for fans of W.G. Sebald and Laszlo Krasznahorkai". now i'm interested in diving thru the rest of the stuff until i burn out, prioritizing rafael chirbes' on the edge, lucio cardoso's chronicle of the murdered house, and javier marias' thus bad begins

wud also appreciate any pointers in any direction

edit: also p.s. because of the straub film, i read holderlin's the death of empedocles and i have a strong urge to just curl up in a blankie and keep rereading it and crying and it's more about utmost dignity than depressing stuff so idk why i feel this way, but recommended
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Postby largecrow » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:39 am

I'm reading 'One of Us'. Last of Michael Marshall Smith's three sort of "confessional slipstream cyberpunk-ish sci-fi" books before he shifted over to a (as far as I know) purely thriller-based career. 'Only Forward' of his was incredible; 'Spares' felt like a sort of weaker and muddier retread of 'Only Forward'. We'll see how it goes.

Also finally about to start either The Savage Detectives which I've been meaning to get around to for years and/or Gene Wolfe's Long/Short Sun cycles. Read New Sun and probably 80% of Wolfe's other published stuff but somehow never got to those.
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Postby snuggle » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:32 am

truly terrifying that this monster got away with so much damage and could be alive today. Crompton has a simple noir style of writing but fatigue began setting in for me as he pretty much only focused and described case after case. And the M.O. of the rapist/killer was similar throughout, so I felt as if I was reading the same sick scene over and over. He could have expanded his writing by exploring the towns reactions to what was happening, but I guess since he was an investigator he didn’t share that perspective at the time
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I was looking forward to reading this. I enjoyed the characters, they seemed more fleshed out than the typical horror novel. I expected a slow burn lovecraftian tale, but so far it’s just slow and not moving me much at all. Half way through and have little to no reaction. Ready to shelf it for good. If anyone has read this book let me know what you think.
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Postby Honga Ciganesta » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:07 am

snuggle wrote:truly terrifying that this monster got away with so much damage and could be alive today. Crompton has a simple noir style of writing but fatigue began setting in for me as he pretty much only focused and described case after case. And the M.O. of the rapist/killer was similar throughout, so I felt as if I was reading the same sick scene over and over. He could have expanded his writing by exploring the towns reactions to what was happening, but I guess since he was an investigator he didn’t share that perspective at the time
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Yeah Casefile have some podcasts dedicated to this guy, 5 in total. So that's basically 10 hours of rape descriptions, I had to tap out after part three. Definitely horrible how much he got away with though.
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Postby chimp » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:10 am

largecrow wrote:I'm reading 'One of Us'. Last of Michael Marshall Smith's three sort of "confessional slipstream cyberpunk-ish sci-fi" books before he shifted over to a (as far as I know) purely thriller-based career. 'Only Forward' of his was incredible; 'Spares' felt like a sort of weaker and muddier retread of 'Only Forward'. We'll see how it goes.


Man this takes me back, I used to love these books
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Postby demis » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:45 am

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and rereading:
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Postby cooly » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:43 pm

forest design wrote:How was the Berlin, Cooly?

if you're still interested, i think this
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is a much better book on hamann, but the berlin is an afternoon read, and this is much more thorough. it also spends a lot more time engaging with the theological aspects of hamann, which berlin ignores (the theological side is much more important to the phil of language than berlin pretends, but it might also just not be interesting to you)
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Postby madness and chaos » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:08 pm

demis wrote:Image]


thx for the reminder!
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Postby forest design » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:38 pm

cooly wrote:
forest design wrote:How was the Berlin, Cooly?

if you're still interested, i think this
Image
is a much better book on hamann, but the berlin is an afternoon read, and this is much more thorough. it also spends a lot more time engaging with the theological aspects of hamann, which berlin ignores (the theological side is much more important to the phil of language than berlin pretends, but it might also just not be interesting to you)



I got a book on Hamann from the library by Ronald Gregor Smith based on a rec I read in an Amazon review. Only it’s subtitled “A study in Christian Existence” and was published in ‘60, so I dunno how much of this I’m gonna read. Maybe I’ll check to see if they have the Betz one instead
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Postby blurst of times » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:58 pm

i didn't see it being discussed anywhere else, but kazuo ishiguro won the nobel prize for literature. i've still never read anything by him. is he worth getting into? and if so what's a good starting point?
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Postby bunejug » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:59 pm

remains of the day is a perfect novel, haven't read anything else by him.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:01 pm

read & enjoyed the unconsoled in high school, though I also remember it being massively dense/a commitment. I didn't like never let me go.
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Postby Smerdyakov » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:19 pm

Just read the Refugees, a collection of short stories, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The writing was pretty hackneyed; not sure I want to read the Sympathizer now.

Also read the Mayor of MacDougal Street. I preferred the vignettes of the beatnik life (like the road trip to California) more than the parts getting into the weeds of the folk scene, but it was all pretty fun either way.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:23 pm

Smerdyakov wrote:Also read the Mayor of MacDougal Street. I preferred the vignettes of the beatnik life (like the road trip to California) more than the parts getting into the weeds of the folk scene, but it was all pretty fun either way.


if you liked that, read this: Image

despite ol' bobby on the cover, she really keeps him at a (relative) bare minimum.
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Postby Smerdyakov » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:30 pm

Cool, thanks. I wanna be a bohemian.

Van Ronk also added the phrases alter kocker and nostalgie de la boue to my vocab.
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Postby Sobieski » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:53 pm

Suze Rotolo always sounded pretty neat, never knew she was a writer
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Postby atomicbombshell » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:00 pm

yeah she put that out within a year of her death, I think. really interesting person.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:03 pm

also my doppelgänger :o

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Postby largecrow » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:43 am

chimp wrote:
largecrow wrote:I'm reading 'One of Us'. Last of Michael Marshall Smith's three sort of "confessional slipstream cyberpunk-ish sci-fi" books before he shifted over to a (as far as I know) purely thriller-based career. 'Only Forward' of his was incredible; 'Spares' felt like a sort of weaker and muddier retread of 'Only Forward'. We'll see how it goes.


Man this takes me back, I used to love these books



Yeah, I actually read Only Forward a few years ago. Was at a weird juncture in life and the final sequence shifting from action novel to cathartic-confessional-personal-climax completely blew my mind. Read Spares later that year. This is me returning to him a couple years later (read one of his thrillers at some point too). I actually somehow overlooked that he had a third cyberpunk/sci-fi style novel until a couple months ago.

I think I discovered the book from some list M John Harrison had on his favorite slipstream books. Have you ever read any of his stuff?
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:17 am

blurst of times wrote:i didn't see it being discussed anywhere else, but kazuo ishiguro won the nobel prize for literature. i've still never read anything by him. is he worth getting into? and if so what's a good starting point?

I really liked The Remains of the Day and found The Unconsoled to be a chore. The latter is 500 pages of what is basically variations on a single theme; ymmv on what you may get out of it, but I found it pretty tiring after awhile.
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Postby Kenny » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:49 am

I didn't know Suze Rotolo had died, that's too bad.
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Postby cooly » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:04 am

forest design wrote:I got a book on Hamann from the library by Ronald Gregor Smith based on a rec I read in an Amazon review. Only it’s subtitled “A study in Christian Existence” and was published in ‘60, so I dunno how much of this I’m gonna read. Maybe I’ll check to see if they have the Betz one instead

really glad to hear i got you a bit curious about him, and hope you find either the smith or the betz worthwhile. if you end up reading the smith, let me know how it is. hamann is sort of important to a couple chapters in my dissertation, so i've been working through the english secondary lit, putting off looking at the german. if you end up not feeling like a book-length treatment is worth your time, this beiser book
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has a decent chunk on hamann and herder, probably better researched than the berlin, but similarly tilted towards your interests. i think it's one of beiser's most interesting works. it focuses on some lesser-known debates from that time that were central but involve figures that are mostly passed over by english-language commentary like jacobi and mendelssohn, and i recall the discussion of hamann's critique of kant being pretty solid. i'm actually about to get back to this book to read through the sections that aren't on hamann soon.

but yeah like i said, i think elements of hamann would really speak to you; he anticipates some later wittgenstein ideas and had a decent amount of influence on guys like hegel and nietzsche (mostly mediated by herder.) let me know if you get anything out of it, or if you have any recs to send my way
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Postby madness and chaos » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:05 pm

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Postby big salad » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:39 pm

About a quarter of the way through this one. It's a pretty fast read and it has an interesting sequence of events that makes it feel like an epic in a way, but the unadulterated cynicism/anti-establishment/anti-capitalist tone of writing can be a little heavy handed at times. There's some slight racist/sexist passages thrown in there too which are a little cringe-y, but I guess for early 20th century European lit you have to take that with a grain of salt. Anyone else who's read this have any thoughts ?

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Postby office plant » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:41 pm

Robert Stone - Dog Soldiers
"" - A Flag for Sunrise

Paul Beatty - The Sellout

I read all of "barkskins" by annie proulx and don't know what to say about it one way or the other

Pip Adam - The New Animals

Donald Richie - Japanese Portraits
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Postby theta » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:45 pm

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Jeremy wrote:If you want a vision of the future, imagine a sarcastic serf - forever.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:01 am

finished the golden compass for the 3rd time (oof) and now onto the second...

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trying to immerse myself before new pullman comes out at the end of the week

I flipping love these books.
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Postby atomicbombshell » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:02 am

trying to talk myself out of one day naming a child serafina
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Postby atomicbombshell » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:02 am

middle name for sure
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Postby blurst of times » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:17 am

thanks for the ishiguro recs, all. sounds like remains of the day is the best bet for starting point
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