What Are You Reading?

Andreas

Over 100 posts
Wasn't that obvious?
You drew my attention to the fact that it took me two years to notice a typo, and so I began to think about slowness and its benefits, and one of the first things that came to my mind was a book I read about twenty years ago.

Now that I am reading my post, maybe it was not obvious.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Over 1000 posts
reading Beckett's Echo's Bones. It's alright. It's short so there's that. It was supposed to be the final story in the More Pricks Than Kicks collection but was left out and not published until 2014.
 

Andreas

Over 100 posts
I must admit that I've never read anything by Beckett.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but this fact alone doesn't make me curious. I've read a couple of Nobel Prize winners and they bored me to death. On the other hand, I've also read a couple of completely unknown writers, and they were just brilliant. Brilliant but unknown.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Over 1000 posts
That's cool. I'm pretty sure Beckett did all/most of his English to French translations. Waiting for Godot? That is an all time favorite. My high school English dept was really good. They made it interesting and although I hated the school my love of books started there in no small part because of them (and my folks).
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I loved Becketts novel Murphy.

I seldom laugh out loud while reading even the funniest shit, but this one got me. Watch out for the chess-playing-scene in the insane asylum if you want to read it. I still remember lying in bed at 3 a.m. and being surprised by my own laughter :D

Tried to read it in English, no way. Vocabulary from hell. Had to resort to the German translation.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
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Over 5000 posts
Beckett eventually wrote exclusively in French and then translated it himself to English. After a couple books, he trusted the French to English translations to someone else whom he worked closely with.

He found that writing in a language that wasn't his first language gave his work a certain distatchment that he liked.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Yes. It's crazy to think about, that he wrote in another language. Like Nabokov.

Also Beckett was stabbed by an angry pimp in the streets once and - apparently - drove Andre the Giant to school:

In the 1950s, Beckett lived in a hamlet in France and befriended a neighbor, Boris Roussimoff. Because Roussimoff’s 12-year-old son, André, had gigantism, the boy couldn’t get to school—he didn’t fit on the school bus or in the car. Because Beckett had a pickup truck, the writer gave André rides to school. The two chatted about cricket, and André later became a professional wrestler and actor (he's best known for playing Fezzik in The Princess Bride).
http://mentalfloss.com/article/77726/12-tragicomic-facts-about-samuel-beckett

:oo:oo:oo
 
I'm reading 'Our Man in Havanna' by Graham Greene. It's what he called one of his 'Entertainment' novels, so as to distinguish it from his more serious works. 'The Quiet American' and 'The Power and the Glory' are two of my favourite novels, and although this is very different (it is a farce inspired by his time as a British spy) it is an easy read. Strangely, despite spending a large chunk of my adult life in Brighton (England) I struggled to get into his novel 'Brighton Rock'.
 

Andreas

Over 100 posts
Today I finished Murphy by Samuel Beckett. The blurb text promises that this one is Beckett's most realistic and funniest novel. Well, if that is true, this book was my first and last Beckett.

Chapter one and two (=20 pages) are okay, but the rest of Murphy is one of the most boring things I've ever read. Artificial dialogs, lengthy and pointless constructions of words, lifeless characters. Definitely not my cup of tea.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
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Over 5000 posts
As a Beckett fan, I would not recommend Murphy to start. I would point you to the trilogy, usually available in one volume: Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable.

They were all written in the early '50s, as was Waiting for Godot. Murphy was written in the late '30s while Beckett was still finding his wheelhouse.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Untitled-1.jpg


The Door
by Magda Szabo. A subtle and unsettling account of manipulation and power. Well done.

The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil. If Ignatius J. Reilly was the protagonist in a Proust novel, this might be the result. Take that as you may.

Psychic Confusion: The Sonic Youth Story by Stevie Chick. Not just for Sonic Youth fans, this gives a detailed history of alternative rock since the early '80s.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Remains.jpg


The man who won the nobel prize in 2017. Never had heard of him. Ran out of shit to read, so I got this. Never seen the movie with Anthony Hopkins either.

It's about a butler who travels through the English countryside, remembering things from the past. Some parts of it are mildly interesting and I try to be open minded about it, but I find it very hard to avoid snoring all through it.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Over 1000 posts
I enjoyed the movie TROTD but hell, it's probably been 20 years at least since I've seen it so, who knows. Speaking of movies, I'm currently reading this. It's pretty good.

Cassavetes.jpg
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I personally think Ulysses is more interesting in theory than as an actual reading.

I like the famous Molly Bloom ending and the one chapter where the birth/growing of a child in a womb is told through a changing language from like ancient English to the modern Dublin slang of Joyces day or however you describe it (fckn language barrier, the irony :D) --> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulysses_(novel)#Episode_14.2C_Oxen_of_the_Sun

It sure took the genre (novel), blew it up and changed it forever like say Hendrix or Picasso did in their fields. That being said, everybody that in 2017 has the endurance, focus and concentration to read through Ulysses probably has the mental potential to conquer the world.
 
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number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Over 1000 posts
I'm about to attempt Ulysses.
Do it. It's difficult and I freely admit that most of the jokes,references and symbolism went over my head, but I don't regret it. Hell, there's always Cliffs Notes. It's Joyce's sheer love of language and his firepower with imagery that cut through all the academic hoo-ha for me. And Molly's soliloquy at the end is just astonishing. I recommend approaching it like one long, meandering poem. If you try to tackle it like a novel, it can be frustrating, in my opinion.
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
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Over 5000 posts
The pricing for books these days reminds me of the pricing for CDs when they first came out. In other words, gouging people for something that's already been produced in another format. How can the Kindle version cost more than a hardcover? Or a paperback?

Well here we are.

jones.png
 

mjp

Keep my good eye on the beat
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I could have sworn I posted a link to this somewhere recently, but maybe I typed it out and abandoned it before posting. At any rate (A guy I was in a band with (hi Sonny!) used to hate that phrase, "at any rate." "Oh really?" he'd say, "Any rate? How about a million dollars a second?") - it's called, How Music Got Free: A Story of Obsession and Invention. It's about the creation of the mp3 format, and how piracy and file sharing disemboweled the record business.

For what it's worth, they've re-emboweled themselves somewhat in the past 10 years or so, but at the turn of the millennium they were on the ropes, and their profits were down more than 50%. All due to the work, or larceny, of a small handful of people. Really a compelling read.

You may or may not know I'm not exactly a fan of the recording industry, but it's fascinating to read about all the forces that came together to burn it down to a smoldering shell of the plantation it used to be (and it most definitely was, and continues to be, a plantation - signing a recording contract with one of the few remaining big companies is like signing an agreement to be perpetually fucked).

Anyway, this book is great, and if you're a Kindle type, it's only $5.
 
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