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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
widowspider
post Jan 14 2011, 03:21 PM
Post #2011


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I finished A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollestonecraft a couple of days ago. While it certainly suffers from being rather rambling and verbose (fairly typical of any writing from that period), losing me sometimes, what I found most astonishing is Wollestoncraft's incredibly modern understanding of the function and purpose of education. A lot of her suggestions I see in our modern education system, and I was completely surprised. Her arguments for the equal education of women are compelling and thoroughly explained, and you can sense her immense frustration at the world she finds herself in being so different from the one she expects. She'd fit in to modern life rather well, I think.
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Serafina_Pekkala
post Jan 14 2011, 03:39 PM
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I read this book years ago and agree with your assessment.
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omni
post Jan 14 2011, 06:17 PM
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Reading Thomas Paine and the Promise of America currently. Pretty fascinating look at the long reaching influence of Paine's writings on Western social and political movements in the US for the past 235 years. Especially interesting are the abuses, subversions, and misrepresentations of his writings by people likr Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.
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Hobbes
post Jan 14 2011, 08:03 PM
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I'm guessing you've read The Rights of Man? As good a literary beatdown as I've seen, well-written too.
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maian
post Jan 14 2011, 08:15 PM
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QUOTE (omni @ Jan 14 2011, 06:17 PM) *
Reading Thomas Paine and the Promise of America currently. Pretty fascinating look at the long reaching influence of Paine's writings on Western social and political movements in the US for the past 235 years. Especially interesting are the abuses, subversions, and misrepresentations of his writings by people likr Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.


Was it written before or after Glenn Beck grossly misrepresented his works? I'd like to read a comprehensive evisceration of that piece of crap.
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maian
post Jan 23 2011, 06:56 PM
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Whilst on holiday I read The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett and Leviathan by Paul Auster.

The Thin Man, as is typical of Hammett, is a brilliant crime novel centred around Nick Charles, a former detective who is roped into investigating the murder of a woman who used to be his old boss' assistant, as well as the disappearance of the boss in question. Much like The Maltese Falcon the focus is less on the plot, which is filled with the requisite twists and turns but is more fun than complicated, than it is on the characters and Hammett's dialogue, which is witty and biting, and the characters. Nick and his wife Nora are the most compelling - it's unsurprisingly that the book spawned a mostly excellent six-film series about their adventures - but the supporting menagerie of thugs, socialites and sardonic cops creates a rich and entertaining milieu.

Leviathan is equally great, but in very different ways. Written from the perspective of a writer telling the story of his best friend, a fellow writer whose bomb-related death starts the novel, it weaves a fascinating story of identity, truth and the relationship between writing and reality. Dizzyingly inventive and clever, it's a really great book, probably up there with The Brooklyn Follies as my favourite Auster.
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omni
post Jan 24 2011, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ Jan 14 2011, 03:15 PM) *
Was it written before or after Glenn Beck grossly misrepresented his works? I'd like to read a comprehensive evisceration of that piece of crap.

He mentions Beck, and others like him.

Spent most of my bday cash on books:







This post has been edited by omni: Jan 24 2011, 05:46 PM
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maian
post Jan 24 2011, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (omni @ Jan 24 2011, 05:41 PM) *
He mentions Beck, and others like him.


Sounds interesting. I might have to check it out next time I'm in Florida.
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Raven
post Jan 25 2011, 05:34 PM
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Blasted through 90-odd pages of Flowers for Algernon last night, which is very good for me in one evening!

Very compelling and surprisingly moving also.
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maian
post Feb 9 2011, 10:15 PM
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The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Made me like the film even more since it demonstrated just how well Sofia Coppola managed to capture the woozy atmosphere of the novel, but I couldn't help but feel that atmosphere works better on film than in prose. Wonderful, evocative prose, though it may be. There's a really nice sense of time and place, of an era shot through with the fear of nuclear annihilation in which these teenagers are trying to discover and understand their sexuality. Very good.

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Tales by H.P. Lovecraft

I've been reading stories from this collection on and off for years now but only in the last month decided to really delve into Lovecraft's particular brand of creeping horror. The collection covers several different stages of his career from his earlier fantastical stories like The White Ship and The Quest of Iranon, which are more about people discovering other worlds in dreams or travelling other alien worlds, through to his more celebrated works of horror like Pickman's Model, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and At The Mountains of Madness, and as such there are some weaker works in their (The Quest of Iranon, in particular, is pretty slight) but it does a very good job of conveying how he progressed as a writer, synthesising his various influences into a unique, inimatable voice of his own. The longer stories like Charles Dexter Ward and At The Mountains of Madness as the most effective since they really allow him to build a sense of realism before he lets the terror and insanity seep in, but shorter works like The Music of Erich Zann are brilliantly odd and terrifying, too.

If there is anyone interested in checking out Lovecraft, I can't recommend the Penguin editions edited by S.T. Joshi highly enough. His annotations and introductions for each story are great at contextualising them in terms of Lovecraft's other work and Weird Fiction in general, as well as expanding upon how certain places, names and character traits related to Lovecraft's life. Reading the stories along with Joshi's notes is almost like reading great fiction and a great autobiography at the same time.
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widowspider
post Feb 10 2011, 03:10 PM
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^My friend Nat just developed two one-man shows based on this collection. He and his friend are performing 'The Hound' and 'I Am Providence' respectively. It sounds pretty awesome.
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jem
post Feb 15 2011, 12:20 AM
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QUOTE (omni @ Jan 11 2011, 08:16 AM) *
Reading Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace. I had never encountered his work before. Wonderful, intelligent, and darky hilarious prose. This is a collection of essays and I look forward to reading his novels.


Isn't he brilliant? I reread this in the bath last night and could not stop giggling (although my copy is now unfortunately slightly yellow in hue and wavy paged).

QUOTE (maian @ Feb 9 2011, 02:15 PM) *
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides


On my must re-read list.

I'm about to start slogging though the Emperor's New Mind by Penrose.

I think he and Kenneth Patchen would of had some interesting conversations had they ever met. smile.gif
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Raven
post Feb 15 2011, 12:38 AM
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New Murakami novel arriving in October.
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maian
post Feb 15 2011, 12:49 AM
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Fantastic news!

Also, the film version of Norwegian Wood arrives in U.K. cinemas next month, if anyone is interested in checking it out.
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Outatime
post Feb 15 2011, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE (maian @ Feb 9 2011, 10:15 PM) *
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Made me like the film even more since it demonstrated just how well Sofia Coppola managed to capture the woozy atmosphere of the novel, but I couldn't help but feel that atmosphere works better on film than in prose. Wonderful, evocative prose, though it may be. There's a really nice sense of time and place, of an era shot through with the fear of nuclear annihilation in which these teenagers are trying to discover and understand their sexuality. Very good.


Read Middlesex by him, it's a really good book.
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