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Postby kid8 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:59 am

Your eyes play weird. But it never gets you.
Oh, I'm a failure, because i haven't got a brain.
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Postby galactagogue » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:02 pm

i'm reading samuel delaney right now and really enjoying it.it's been the first sci fi i've picked up in a whiiile. it's great so far, good long weekend read.

and also has some of the best alternative covers i've seen in a while :>

Image &...
ImageImageImage
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Postby neopolitan » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:32 pm

I read Babel 17 when it was on the hipinion sci fi booklist and loved it. So I recently picked up Dhalgren and I gotta say, I don't think I'm going to make it through the end. I sneaked a quick peak at the wiki plot summary just to determine whether I was following things clearly - and I'm afraid that I'm going to ultimately go the way of Harlan Ellison: "I must be honest. I gave up after 361 pages. I could not permit myself to be gulled or bored any further."
I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur.
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Postby neopolitan » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:36 pm

Anyways, I just finished Death's End - the third book in the Three Body Problem / Remembrance of the Earth's Past trilogy.
I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur.
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Postby adamtrask » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:31 pm

I just finished The Violent Bear it Away. Previously I had only read O'Connor's short stories. Pretty good, though I think the shorts are stronger.
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Postby adamtrask » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:11 pm

Gonna finish this one tonight:

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Highly recommended. A great look at what is basically still the CIA playbook in Latin America.
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Postby Repo » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:07 pm

just finished the heart is a lonely hunter, incredible book. best book I've read this year tiers to el quadern gris (jose pla) and a couple of dovalotv
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Postby jph » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:24 pm

roland.farts wrote:are people here fans of 2666? currently working through the part about amalfitano. extremely tempted to ask "does it get better" but i think i already know that questions will be left unanswered and thats The Point


don’t know but really enjoyed Savage Detectives :ugeek:
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Postby quinine » Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:07 pm

galactagogue wrote:i'm reading samuel delaney right now and really enjoying it.it's been the first sci fi i've picked up in a whiiile. it's great so far, good long weekend read.

and also has some of the best alternative covers i've seen in a while :>

Image &...
ImageImageImage


have you read dhalgren?
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Postby Tetradyne » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:36 am

My good friend bought me Crash by JG Ballard and I can’t wait to read it :)
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Postby Grey Poupon » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:09 pm

I'm reading Junkie by Burroughs and it's pulpy and enjoyable, I guess exactly what I expected.

Something I was surprised by is when he's in trouble with the cops and they raid his house and he has a wife. I feel like that's the first mention of his wife, and I had no idea he had a wife up to that point, assumed he was just a junkie wandering from deal to deal and the occasional gay fling. It's just a bit surprising anyone would want to be his wife. Unless he's part of the boho set where wife is basically common law girlfriend and people lived together as much out of convenience as attraction.


edit: ok i had to check and nope the first mention of a wife is when he's getting raided. I guess it could be a deliberate device to illustrate the narrator's sociopathy and addiction/obsession with junk.
“We’re going out and search your house, ” the frog-faced cop said. “If we find anything, your wife will be put in jail, too. I don’t know what will happen to your children. They’ll have to go to some home.”
“Why don’t you make the man a proposition?” the old Irish cop said.
I knew that if they searched the house they would find the stuff. “Call in the Federals and I’ll show you where the stuff is, ” I said. “But I want your word that the case will be tried in Federal, and that my wife will not be molested.”
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Postby helix krull » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:08 pm

neopolitan wrote:I read Babel 17 when it was on the hipinion sci fi booklist and loved it. So I recently picked up Dhalgren and I gotta say, I don't think I'm going to make it through the end. I sneaked a quick peak at the wiki plot summary just to determine whether I was following things clearly - and I'm afraid that I'm going to ultimately go the way of Harlan Ellison: "I must be honest. I gave up after 361 pages. I could not permit myself to be gulled or bored any further."


i won't try to convince you to finish the book, but it might be one of the few books to which i think boredom is a proper and indeed almost gracious response [ sorry for the wall of text nobody read this! ] through its pages boredom becomes almost a virtue ! amnesia is not only the content but also the form of the book - the expectation of plot always escapes us and the kid - it is always postponed while the present enlarges itself without bounds - and the power of forgetting in the book (which is also the unnamed dystopic disaster the abyssal plot circles around) becomes so strong as to forget even the present - for the time of the present is itself the postponement of a future, we live in a world in which there is no future no escape no elsewhere for all futures are but the extension of the present and the future can't be thought of, not even negatively, which is why utopia always converges with absolute catastrophe - but the power of the book is that it forgets and it forgets powerfully - and by becoming so enchained to the present by forgetting all pasts and being apathetic to all futures, it severs the totalizing grasp of the present on its characters and on us (which is why if you take a peek at the last page it like finnegans wake turns back on itself)

there's this passage in one of raul ruiz's books on cinema where he thinks through slow cinema and boredom (i mean think of like tarr or tarkovsky or angelopoulos or weerasethakul - i don't think even the greatest lovers of theirs wouldn't admit that sometimes they were bored) - and i think it very nicely applies to dhalgren. images are presented that exceed the attention they demand of the gaze and one watches while aware of the fact that one is always failing to watch, thoughts going elsewhere slipping in and out of the daze it inspires - and while one can feel guilty for not being immersed in the attentiveness that would make the images come alive as it were, this guilt is also what the images demand such that boredom becomes not the negation of immersion but how immersion is revealed - for, like adorno says, we don't know how to be useless, we don't know how to be bored! uselessness and boredom as momentary escapes from the drudgery of the present are themselves no escape they don't go anywhere and when one does escape when one does become lost in thought for instance one returns without being able to tell what one saw there - but these affective states also show that something is missing from the present and if they become concrete they can become resistant to the seduction of use, practicality, and purpose that render humans inhuman - and by becoming resistant through sheer purposelessness they become almost spiritual (simone weil on attention comes to mind here, too).
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Postby adamtrask » Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:19 pm

Just finished Vila-Mata's Bartleby & Co., which led me to The Experience of Pain by Carlo Emilio Gadda. I'm just over 2 chapters in, and so far it is incredible.
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Postby helix krull » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:58 pm

adamtrask wrote:Just finished Vila-Mata's Bartleby & Co., which led me to The Experience of Pain by Carlo Emilio Gadda. I'm just over 2 chapters in, and so far it is incredible.


bartleby & co is such a good novel of no's !! it also pairs quite nicely with anne boyer's 'a handbook of disappointed fate' which i think you would love if you don't already - but i just downloaded the gadda which already seems wonderful - wasn't it paired with musil's 'a man without qualities' in the book ?
Last edited by helix krull on Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby helix krull » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:59 pm

oops
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Postby adamtrask » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:15 am

helix krull wrote:
adamtrask wrote:Just finished Vila-Mata's Bartleby & Co., which led me to The Experience of Pain by Carlo Emilio Gadda. I'm just over 2 chapters in, and so far it is incredible.


bartleby & co is such a good novel of no's !! it also pairs quite nicely with anne boyer's 'a handbook of disappointed fate' which i think you would love if you don't already - but i just downloaded the gadda which already seems wonderful - wasn't it paired with musil's 'a man without qualities' in the book ?


Yes, Gadda and Musil are mentioned together. I haven't read the Musil, either, though I have a whole list of novels I need to read from this book.

Thanks for the Boyer rec! I'll give it a read.
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Postby brimko » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:34 am

neopolitan wrote:Anyways, I just finished Death's End - the third book in the Three Body Problem / Remembrance of the Earth's Past trilogy.


thoughts? I enjoyed the first one but have a couple other things on my scifi backlog (I've gotta read cryptonomicon).

currently chugging through the dark tower series, just started book 6. parting with these characters will be sad.
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Postby neopolitan » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:31 pm

My favorite is the second book in the series, but that seems to be a minority opinion. But I recommend the series overall.
I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur.
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Postby scramble » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:19 am

niche/academic, but stanford press is 30% off sitewide in january

https://www.sup.org/
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Postby cactus » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:43 am

Any current NYT Bestsellers worth reading?
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Postby howiep » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:20 pm

Just started this and I'm 200 pages in all of a sudden. Mundanely captivating.

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Postby abs » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:47 am

helix krull wrote:
neopolitan wrote:I read Babel 17 when it was on the hipinion sci fi booklist and loved it. So I recently picked up Dhalgren and I gotta say, I don't think I'm going to make it through the end. I sneaked a quick peak at the wiki plot summary just to determine whether I was following things clearly - and I'm afraid that I'm going to ultimately go the way of Harlan Ellison: "I must be honest. I gave up after 361 pages. I could not permit myself to be gulled or bored any further."


i won't try to convince you to finish the book, but it might be one of the few books to which i think boredom is a proper and indeed almost gracious response [ sorry for the wall of text nobody read this! ] through its pages boredom becomes almost a virtue ! amnesia is not only the content but also the form of the book - the expectation of plot always escapes us and the kid - it is always postponed while the present enlarges itself without bounds - and the power of forgetting in the book (which is also the unnamed dystopic disaster the abyssal plot circles around) becomes so strong as to forget even the present - for the time of the present is itself the postponement of a future, we live in a world in which there is no future no escape no elsewhere for all futures are but the extension of the present and the future can't be thought of, not even negatively, which is why utopia always converges with absolute catastrophe - but the power of the book is that it forgets and it forgets powerfully - and by becoming so enchained to the present by forgetting all pasts and being apathetic to all futures, it severs the totalizing grasp of the present on its characters and on us (which is why if you take a peek at the last page it like finnegans wake turns back on itself)

there's this passage in one of raul ruiz's books on cinema where he thinks through slow cinema and boredom (i mean think of like tarr or tarkovsky or angelopoulos or weerasethakul - i don't think even the greatest lovers of theirs wouldn't admit that sometimes they were bored) - and i think it very nicely applies to dhalgren. images are presented that exceed the attention they demand of the gaze and one watches while aware of the fact that one is always failing to watch, thoughts going elsewhere slipping in and out of the daze it inspires - and while one can feel guilty for not being immersed in the attentiveness that would make the images come alive as it were, this guilt is also what the images demand such that boredom becomes not the negation of immersion but how immersion is revealed - for, like adorno says, we don't know how to be useless, we don't know how to be bored! uselessness and boredom as momentary escapes from the drudgery of the present are themselves no escape they don't go anywhere and when one does escape when one does become lost in thought for instance one returns without being able to tell what one saw there - but these affective states also show that something is missing from the present and if they become concrete they can become resistant to the seduction of use, practicality, and purpose that render humans inhuman - and by becoming resistant through sheer purposelessness they become almost spiritual (simone weil on attention comes to mind here, too).


I appreciate this post, hk!!

read through my 3rd? 4th? time recently and that post resonates/is important.
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Postby alaska » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:08 pm

wow gogs im reading stars in my pocket rn too but i posted abt it in the other reading thread lol
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Postby alaska » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:08 pm

my whole post was :ryan:
mactheo wrote:
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Postby alaska » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:18 pm

yeah thats a real cool post hk
i think also abt the barthes thing in pleasure of the text where he talks about how crucial zoning out and skimming is to reading

Yet the most classical narrative (a novel by Zola or
Balzac or Dickens or Tolstoy) bears within it a sort of
diluted tmesis: we do not read everything with the same
intensity of reading; a rhythm is established, casual,
unconcerned with the integrity of the text; our very avidity
for knowledge impels us to skim or to skip certain passages
(anticipated as "boring") in order to get more quickly to
the warmer parts of the anecdote (which are always its
articulations: whatever furthers the solution of the riddle,
the revelation of fate): we boldly skip (no one is watching)
descriptions, explanations, analyses, conversations; doing
so, we resemble a spectator in a nightclub who climbs onto
the stage and speeds up the dancer's striptease, tearing off
her clothing, but in the same order, that is: on the one hand
respecting and on the other hastening the episodes of the
ritual (like a priest gulping down his Mass). Tmesis,
source or figure for pleasure, here confronts two prosaic edges with
one another; it sets what is useful to a knowledge of the
secret against what is useless to such knowledge; tmesis is
a seam or flaw resulting from a simple principle of
functionality; it does not occur at the level of the structure
of languages but only at the moment of their consumption; the..,author cannot predict tmesis:
he cannot choose
to write what will not be read.-And yet: it is the very rhythm
is read and what is not read that creates the
pleasure of the great narratives: has anyone ever read
Proust, Balzac, War and Peace, word for word? (Proust's
good fortune: from one reading to the next, we never skip
the same passages.)


delany talks abt this passage actually too but i cant remember in which book/interview
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Postby Merciel » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:33 pm

I'm switching back and forth between The House of Mirth (it's great but slow enough that I keep flipping to something else and then coming back to it in between) and the Neapolitan Novels (blew through and absolutely loved the first three, now slogging through the fourth because holy shit I do not care about Nino Sarratore AT ALL, wtf, how long is this going to go on, just hit this worthless shit-ass dude with a bus and move on).

I'm also debating whether to take another stab at William Nordhaus's The Climate Casino, which is such a stupid book I can't believe this guy won the Nobel Prize.
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Postby helix krull » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:26 pm

alaska wrote:yeah thats a real cool post hk
i think also abt the barthes thing in pleasure of the text where he talks about how crucial zoning out and skimming is to reading

Yet the most classical narrative (a novel by Zola or Balzac or Dickens or Tolstoy) bears within it a sort of diluted tmesis: we do not read everything with the same intensity of reading; a rhythm is established, casual, unconcerned with the integrity of the text; our very avidity for knowledge impels us to skim or to skip certain passages (anticipated as "boring") in order to get more quickly tothe warmer parts of the anecdote (which are always its articulations: whatever furthers the solution of the riddle, the revelation of fate): we boldly skip (no one is watching) descriptions, explanations, analyses, conversations; doing so, we resemble a spectator in a nightclub who climbs onto the stage and speeds up the dancer's striptease, tearing off her clothing, but in the same order, that is: on the one hand respecting and on the other hastening the episodes of the ritual (like a priest gulping down his Mass). Tmesis, source or figure for pleasure, here confronts two prosaic edges with one another; it sets what is useful to a knowledge of the secret against what is useless to such knowledge; tmesis is a seam or flaw resulting from a simple principle of functionality; it does not occur at the level of the structure of languages but only at the moment of their consumption; the..,author cannot predict tmesis: he cannot choose to write what will not be read.-And yet: it is the very rhythm is read and what is not read that creates the pleasure of the great narratives: has anyone ever read Proust, Balzac, War and Peace, word for word? (Proust's good fortune: from one reading to the next, we never skip the same passages.)


delany talks abt this passage actually too but i cant remember in which book/interview


to be attentive to attention's wanderings is such a lovely thought

I remember once encountering, at the University of Wisconsin, a young woman who had just finished an early volume of Proust over the same summer as had I. In talking, we discovered we had also both recently run into a passing point of Barthes'—that you never read Proust twice in the same way because each time you skim at different places.

"I didn't skim!" the young woman declared, over wine, white linen, and tangerines filled with Indian pudding drizzled with butter and rum. "I read every single word!"

"So did I!" I commiserated, toying with the Thanksgiving silver. "What does he mean, skim? How do you 'skim' Proust and get anything out of it at all?"

She nodded. Others of her guests chattered.

A few flakes flurried outside.

But the point is, it's the careful reader—the reader who "reads every single word"—who must be most attentive to her attention's wanderings. That's the reader who's always hauling herself or himself back to the text (and always at different times during different readings). Only the careful reader knows when she or he skims. Only through the vigilance needed to keep close to the text can the careful reader know just how distant (and idiosyncratic that distance is for each one) they are, text and reader, one from the other. Nor, I think, is it too much of a strain to read Barthes, given so many other things he said, as saying that.
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Postby alaska » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:12 am

yes exactly!!! god delany's the best
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