What are you reading today/book club

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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby lyysander » Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:48 pm

Just started reading Sputnik Sweetheart. It's my first Murakami and let me tell you, it is absolutely captivating. His writing style is so full of life.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby dakaf_fal » Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:39 pm

I recently finished Runaway by Alice Munro. It's a collection of short stories, which works well with her writing. All of the stories have a loose theme of how attachment / commitment in a relationship can change over time, but the individual stories just meander all over the place. Munro throws in these one liners which could be the introduction to another story, only it's not the one she decided to write. It makes you think about how life is just a bunch of encounters with people, and that those people are only significant if that's how you choose to perceive them.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:04 pm

The next BOOK CLUB BOOK is HIGH RISE by JG BALLARD so that I can read it before I see the film.

HIGH RISE

JG BALLARD
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:38 pm

i'ma take even more pain killers and totally free-associate for this one, i know ballard would approve
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby ramseames » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:08 pm

reading neuromancer currently because it seems like the thing to do, but I'll jump on this afterwards

if anyone wants the ebook for high rise let me know, just found a copy
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:47 pm

don't mean this in any high-minded way but please buy the book if you can guys...
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:05 pm

Second hand books don't support the industry tho.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby ramseames » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:12 pm

If it's good I'll buy a softcover for my bookcase

The author in this case isn't even alive anymore to receive royalties
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:21 pm

What about the rest of the publishing industry tho rams
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:24 am

ramseames wrote:If it's good I'll buy a softcover for my bookcase

The author in this case isn't even alive anymore to receive royalties



former partner & kids tho
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby oucho » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:24 pm

I finished the book today, I accidentally bought it in French, so my tardiness is excused and I am commended for persevering in a foreign language. I can't really contribute to the discussion because 'does x from Morel remind you of y by z?' and I don't know who y or z are, I must be a philistine or something. I do remember there being a bit at the end where the narratorfinds the idea of studying Faustine forever to be unsatisfactory because the machines may break down, and he didn't know how to fix them. So his mastery of them wasn't that complete, he merely knew how to turn them on and off and upload a recording?

I enjoyed this bit, especially when considered in the context of the ridiculous garden he had constructed:
'J'allai dire que lá se manifestaient les dangers de la création, la difficulté qu'il y a de porter en soi, avec équilibre, et simultanément, plusieurs consciences.'

At one point Morel compares man's existence to a disc: 'Et vous-mêmes, combien de fois n'avez-vous pas interrogé le destin des hommes, n'avez-vous pas agité de vieilles questions: Où allons-nous? Où demeurons-nous, - telles sur une disque des musiques encore inouïs - jusqu'a ce que Dieu nous fasse naítre?' and draws parallels between this and his recordings. The fact that his recordings have a soul seems to be a confirmation that his comparison is correct. Is Morel supposed to be playing God with his machines, and releasing us from our existential repetition into something better? He does describe the island as their own private paradise.

The narrator also points out that seeing as man can never gain knowledge of things outside of time and space, the recordings can effectively capture the essence of human life, as we can never experience something truly new, therefore to record our reactions now is sufficient, as they will just endlessly repeat anyway. The implication is also that we can never find new ways of looking at things either, by comparing human reactions to an alphabet. This reminded me of 2001 where, with the help/hindrance of technology man evolves into a space child and leaves behind an existence made mundane by technology. Whilst here Morel uses technology to reach a different sort of evolution of mankind. If we're doomed to live out this endlessly repeating existence why not endlessly repeat the best week I guess? My French is not that great so I really don't know.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:35 am

i've ordered this again (in english!) as the previous discussion made me realise i should re-read. the disc image is interesting and as you say does imply some nietzsche-ian idea of the return of the same. what interested me in the earlier talk was the question of whether this could be met in an affirmational way (nietzsche's model) or in a way more akin to beckett, where it becomes a comedy that goes beyond tragedy- ie repeats endlessly without even offering the heroic escape of death.
to engage a little with the questions you raise in your last paragraph, i would say the only 'way out' that doesn't rely on philosophically (deeply) problematic notions like transcendence and authenticity would emerge from some sense of materialist slippage- a mote of dust on the surface of the disc causing the needle to skip, again and again (which is how i was picturing the multiple takes of the film in my last post).
dunno if you have read tom mccarthy's 'remainder' (just made into a not very good film) but it develops very much along these lines, deeply influenced by robbe-grillet
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:12 am

Pirx in the high rise book club discussion you are banned from referencing anything.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:19 am

but that's how u do art duuuuude
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:34 am

I know that's how you do fashion. I thought art was meant to be a bit better in that regard.

Fine, you can reference things but ONLY box office hits from 1998-onward
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:45 am

'better' how/in what sense?
there's an aside somewhere in freud where he wonders how the ancient greeks came up with drama/tragedy: this absolutely stunning concept that changed everything. and he theorises that there must've been some lost civilisation that went before, which survived only in fragmentary form and that aeschylus etc have used to rip up and re-work.
thinking/artistic creation (on any significant level) is always referential, whether you know it or not, and whether you choose to make that reference explicit or not. and that's not a limitation- quite the opposite, i'd say that only thinking/creative acts that emerge from a meaningful ontology have a chance of going somewhere interesting.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:20 am

I agree that everything is referential on some level and that references are often a good shorthand for an idea. You just make a LOT of references and I don't get half of them, which reduces their use as a shorthand and means you end up sort of talking to yourself.

Can't you view it as an amusing experimental limitation or something? Maybe something amazing will happen when your ability to reference is severely restricted. Like how the restricted palette of (reference) forced them to explore (reference) in greater detail and create their masterpiece; (reference).
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:43 am

ok i will do. oulipo (esp perec la disparition etc) is prob the final reference
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby Copeland » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:31 am

Been pretty motivated in the past months.

Finished Nell Zink's novels, best prose of any American author in recent memory, cerebral, hilarious, plainspoken.

Made a sizable dent in Paglia's Sexual Personae. I feel like reading a summary would be better.

1/3 of the way through DeLillo's White Noise. Pretty interesting, waiting for what it's building up to.

Finished Georg Büchner- Lenz. Short story about a schizophrenic.

Read some of Lincoln Michel's short stories on a friend's tip. Really liked a few.

http://lithub.com/colony/

https://catapult.co/stories/the-room-in ... thers-room

Started Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent but then saw there's a documentary so probably just gonna watch that.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:07 am

a long time since i read it but i recall white noise being one of the less-successful delillo novels, it founders more than most on these irritating sub-conceptual conceits ('the most photographed barn in america' etc). an example of what bela and i are discussing above perhaps, he always tries to drive the prose forward with ideas but sometimes it just feels inert - same as the performance art pieces/references in cosmopolis.
other times it's incredibly effective, underworld and the names are great novels.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:14 am

Agree about the inert conceits, though I did enjoy white noise because I read it when I was 19 or whatever it was probably my favourite book. His descriptions of supermarkets very much please me. Liminoid Summer ended up 50%white noise references 50% glass family references. Though in the end I agree that underworld is probably a bit better in its investigations though probably a bit long for modern life.

I just finished high rise. Has the film come out yet
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby pirxthepilot » Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:34 pm

don't get me wrong those two novels i cited are really, really good. and i much prefer even the attempt at ideas-driven novels to the bullshit legacy of liberal humanist 19th century realism
or for that matter the glass family and their ridiculous 'spiritual elevation' or whatever you want to call it.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:01 pm

Really hope that Salinger went full loops in his later years and wrote PKDickian tracts about spiritual elevation. Think he was into drinking his own wee or whatever? Would really love to see the Wes Anderson adaptation of that.

Reckon plenty of the glass family saga is a criticism of spiritual elevation though pirxy pirx! Zooey particularly frames it as the pretentious dilettantism of unstable juveniles IIRC. Glass family saga is mainly enjoyable via Whedonesque dialogue driven plot with a side of Rich White People Problems.
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:24 am

Who's still reading High Rise. I know the ratchetkoala is. But who else?
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby ratchetkoala » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:34 pm

bels wrote:Who's still reading High Rise. I know the ratchetkoala is. But who else?


I just got it yesterday :sweg:

When is the deadline?
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby bels » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:36 pm

the deadline is next week
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby oucho » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:08 pm

I am absolving myself in nature next week, can't we have a later deadline? Just cos you already read it...
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby ratchetkoala » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:21 am

is someone actually in charge of bookclub or is this just an informal citizen brigade, I wan't to nominate the next book sometime next week after we talk about high-rise
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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby ratchetkoala » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:36 pm

I'm nominating How to be Happy: Not a Self-Help Book. Seriously.

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http://www.amazon.com/How-Happy-Self-Help-Book-Seriously/dp/1771680318

“Now if only I could do something about my neurosis that forces me to narrate my life out loud for everyone to hear,” I said, to no one in particular.”


“There was a research article I read with the headline, “Love Is A Single Act Committed By Two Brains,” because of the way oxytocin levels rose in a mother and a son when they hugged. I wish more poets became scientists”


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Re: What are you reading today/book club

Postby ramseames » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:36 pm

finished the high rise the other day (yawn)

should we wait until monday to talk about it?
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