what are you reading right now?

Humans in space suits make monkeys nervous

Postby Shotfrog » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:18 am

bat house wrote:The War that Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan. Totally changed my perspective on the First World War. Wilhelm II comes of as a total idiot but it’s amazing how everyone’s to blame through a series of enormous blunders.

Here’s my alley, and here comes this book right up it.
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Postby HotFingersClub » Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:55 pm

Sweet Gregory Pectin wrote:
HotFingersClub wrote:Image
Percival Everett - I Am Sidney Poitier
My second Everett, not as good as Assumption, but amazing that it was written by the same guy. I'm not really into these heavily ironical allegory things


i just started telephone it'll be my first everett

classic author who has a huge backlog i started late on causing a little a paralysis by analysis situation for me


Yeah it's hard to know where to go because all his books seem so different. Guy's clearly a genius but neither of the books I've read have 100% connected with me yet
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Postby rushedbehind » Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:54 pm

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this book is insanely dark and brutal. i can't believe this won the international booker and is just being sold to unsuspecting mainstream audiences everywhere. heaps of stuff about shitting and child sexual abuse and general misery. kind of like del-amo's animalia but far more psychological.
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Postby speakers » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:59 pm

how much of V. is intended to just sort of wash over you?
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:05 pm

Haven't read V. in ages but while feeling mostly positive toward it it def had the sort of issues you'd expect from a first novel written by someone in their 20s.
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Postby mancubz » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:40 pm

wow "tender is the flesh" is fuckin wild
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Postby Barthes Starr » Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:04 pm



laurie shoulda taken this challenge on tbh
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Postby New Improved Alaska » Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:11 pm

Lol
alaska1 wrote:I always look to something new amazing for more pleasure.
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Postby adam sampler » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:43 pm

Image
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Postby The Protoplasm Kid » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:00 pm

working my way slowly through what might be the single most stunning book i will have ever read

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Postby The Protoplasm Kid » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:01 pm

also finished:

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Image
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Postby The Protoplasm Kid » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:09 pm

The Protoplasm Kid wrote:working my way slowly through what might be the single most stunning book i will have ever read

Image


underground communist youth from fascist germany to revolutionary spain talk about art and resistance throughout the slaughtering of their comrades, hear jameson:

The novel’s last sentence cannot be in the historical indicative. . . . Peter Weiss’ Aesthetics of Resistance wishes to be an indication, a sign of this historical work of liberation that has not yet become history. The empty space in the frieze, at the spot where the lion’s paw of Heracles would hang, designates precisely something absent, unrealized. Literature cannot and should not fill this space by way of compensation, but rather render its contours sharp and visible.’’28

One final bourgeois opposition is displaced and cancelled by the perspective of The Aesthetics of Resistance: it is that between critic and writer. For the narrator’s aesthetic education, the pedagogical training in the appropriation of a different class culture, is also the preparation for his vocation as a writer whose observation of history as a witness is also at one and the same time an intervention in it. The circularity of such narrative forms—the Bildungsroman which ends up in its own production—is familiar; the conclusion of this one in the future conditional is not. Anticipations of the failure of postwar hopes—the Cold War, the loss of unity in the revival of the Socialist-Communist split, the Stalinization of the East—are somehow destabilized by a tense which robs them of their sheer empiricity and allows something like an alternate future perfect to rise alongside them. Here factual history, seemingly as unshakable as being itself, is transformed—to use Habermas’s glorious expression—into an unfinished project: what seemed over and done with is thus opened up for a new beginning, a new continuation. This is surely the ultimate and fundamental lesson of Peter Weiss’s novel, a lesson about the productive uses of a past and a history that is not simply represented or commemorated but also reappropriated by some new future of our own present:

Again and again, when I would try to convey something of the time that ended with May 1945, its consequences would impose themselves on me. Across the experiences already soaked with death, there would superimpose itself a future colored shrilly, and once again filled with torture, destruction, and murder. It would again and again seem as though all earlier hopes would be brought to nothing by lost or forgotten intentions. And even if it did not turn out as we hoped, nothing would be changed about those hopes themselves. The hopes would remain. Utopia would be necessary. Even later on those hopes would flame up again countless times, smothered by the superior enemy and ever newly reawakened. And the realm of hopes would become greater than it was in our time, and would be extended to all the continents of the globe. The poorly repressed discontent would grow and the drive to contradict and to resist would not be lamed. Just as the past was unchangeable, so those hopes would remain unchangeable, and they—which we once, when young, burningly experienced—would be honored by our rememoration of them. (3:274–275)
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Postby 31GeeWhizz » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:16 pm

The Protoplasm Kid wrote:also finished:


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I enjoyed this one

What did you think?
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Postby Dead_Wizard » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:17 pm

@protoplasm kid I am reading the Aesthetics of Resistance too, it's legit ...unbelievable. I can't believe there are 2 more books after the first.
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Postby The Protoplasm Kid » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:25 pm

Dead_Wizard wrote:@protoplasm kid I am reading the Aesthetics of Resistance too, it's legit ...unbelievable. I can't believe there are 2 more books after the first.


i can't either !!!!! it's eveyrthing i ever wanted out of a novel and i feel like such a goddam smiling fool sinking into each page
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Postby The Protoplasm Kid » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:25 pm

the only book i can compare it to (in style) is hermann broch's death of virgil in its ability to clear a literary space of some future worthy of grieving the past or (in content) victor serge's memoirs of a revolutionary in its ability to do the same but also clear a political space of devotion to revolution , witness to the massacred hope that unchanging will remain until redeemed
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Postby abs » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:30 pm

Image

not for me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
☽ ☾ ● ◯ ● ☽ ☾
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Postby The Protoplasm Kid » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:32 pm

31GeeWhizz wrote:
I enjoyed this one

What did you think?


!!!!

i didn't expect to like it as much as i did , i was actually looking for "man's hope" (l'espoir) about the spanish civil war but couldn't find it out in the woods (i still can't find it !), but the revolutionary intrigue of doomed communists left to b massacred by moscow's conciliatory kuomintang policy , oh god , but the love scenes , the ecstasy in doomed freedom as in doomed love , really broke me , it was even more heartbreaking reading it alongside a reconsideration of the cultural revolution and chuang's history of the revolution and also malraux's interview with mao on the twilight of revisionism's triumph , every day you uncover more struggle in the past than seems possible every day you uncover more resistance in the past than can even seem buried by the present ..... the only thing i wish he didn't do was introduce the bourgeois narration .... it gave even more staunch cruel concrete necessity to the doom everyone in the book and outside of it knows will come
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Postby xxx-xxx-xxxx » Thu Sep 23, 2021 12:34 pm

I'm trying to get through Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Committed but man is it dragging. And I love everything else he's written
WHITESOXXX-XXX-XXXX
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Postby concerning » Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:43 pm

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really good. never read any other tuchman but in this one she takes an approach to popular history that communicates the feeling of a period via these massive accretions of detail and one-line anecdotes. after reading it you don't have a great recall of any facts about the time period but you get this potent feeling of a world in chaos and decay.

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pretty good

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DNF @ 40 pages. everyone who wrote a laudatory quote on the jacket should be sued.

currently reading:

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really really good. i thought this would be a fun spy novel but the little character portraits he does are so fascinating and compelling. the action hasn't really started yet and i don't know if i even want it to, i just want to keep reading about different types of british guys and how smiley can't get a cab.
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Postby Average J » Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:41 pm

abs wrote:Image

not for me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh interesting. I just watched the Acker documentary on Kanopy last night. I haven't read her since college though. I don't necessarily think I want to now, but I'm glad she existed.
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Postby jirodreams » Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:48 pm

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maybe too soon after My Year of Rest and Relaxation, the relentless unpleasantness is feeling a bit gimmicky
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Postby 31GeeWhizz » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:46 am

The Protoplasm Kid wrote:
31GeeWhizz wrote:
I enjoyed this one

What did you think?


!!!!

i didn't expect to like it as much as i did , i was actually looking for "man's hope" (l'espoir) about the spanish civil war but couldn't find it out in the woods (i still can't find it !), but the revolutionary intrigue of doomed communists left to b massacred by moscow's conciliatory kuomintang policy , oh god , but the love scenes , the ecstasy in doomed freedom as in doomed love , really broke me , it was even more heartbreaking reading it alongside a reconsideration of the cultural revolution and chuang's history of the revolution and also malraux's interview with mao on the twilight of revisionism's triumph , every day you uncover more struggle in the past than seems possible every day you uncover more resistance in the past than can even seem buried by the present ..... the only thing i wish he didn't do was introduce the bourgeois narration .... it gave even more staunch cruel concrete necessity to the doom everyone in the book and outside of it knows will come


damn this makes me want to re-read it. thanks for the writeup
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Postby j-ol » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:40 pm

Anybody have opinions on guillaume dustan? His work looks fun and intriguing but I’ve only just heard about him.
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Postby walt whitman » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:32 am

working my way through this
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not bad but

the author's dim view of technology misses out on the ways technological practices outside the modern workplace can be liberatory/artistic/anti-capitalist etc...
“Short film, Long film, It’s ALL film!” - Walt Whitman
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Postby Riverchrist » Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:15 pm

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When the editor's name is nearly as large as the author's I know I'm in for a self-important and proprietary introductory essay. This one uses the word "magisterial" multiple times and zealously tries to head off criticism of the stories before you've even read them. It also makes me suspect the stories were selected not because they are Nancy Hale's best—or not strictly because of that—but because they were the ones most likely to resonate with people who used Twitter during the Trump administration.

But many of the stories do resonate 60-70 years later, so forget that baloney, they can speak for themselves. This collection starts out red-hot with stuff like "The Double House" and "Midsummer." The material from the later decades gets kinda sentimental and it took me a long time to finish this but it's worthwhile. I'll look for one of Hale's novels.
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Postby reversemigraine » Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:00 pm

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Only a quarter of the way in and so far it's trying too way hard, but seeing as how my fiction reading isn't much more artful than Ellroy or John D. MacDonald these days, I guess it's fine.
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Postby New Improved Alaska » Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:50 am

rereading bits of svetlana alexievich's chernobyl prayer. the intro in particular is just a total masterpiece imo. shreds my brain every time i read it
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Postby Dead_Wizard » Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:54 pm

Yo i was at the strand today and picked up the new Atticus Lish, how come no ones talked about this! Preparations for the Next Life rules
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Postby jirodreams » Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:00 pm

reversemigraine wrote:Image

Only a quarter of the way in and so far it's trying too way hard, but seeing as how my fiction reading isn't much more artful than Ellroy or John D. MacDonald these days, I guess it's fine.


I've never managed to finish a Pelecanos book, of former Homicide/Wire writers' crime novels I highly recommend Richard Price and some Dennis Lehane (Gone Baby Gone - can't remember if the rest of that series was worth reading but GBG is quite good).

also a good chance to sing the praises of Don Carpenter's Hard Rain Falling.
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