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Thread: What book are you currently reading?

  1. #2881
    Lord of the Drunk Penguin's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by G. Ward View Post
    Is there any romance in Nightflyers?
    Yes, but being George R.R. Martin things get... complicated.
    You lose even when you win, you know?



    The best Batman comic to date.
    For me, at least.

    And there's hardly any Batman in it.


  2. #2882

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriakos View Post
    I read Arthur Machen's "The Red Hand". Only because someone in some webpage claimed it is among the best works of Machen.
    No, it is not. I found it to be quite problematic structure-wise. It does have some of the signature Machen atmosphere, but isn't as refined as his best stories.
    Ah, interesting. I confess. I'd never heard of Machen until now. Having Googled him, apparently he was a good horror writer. Are you a real fan of horror?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Drunk Penguin View Post
    Yes, but being George R.R. Martin things get... complicated.
    You lose even when you win, you know?



    The best Batman comic to date.
    For me, at least.

    And there's hardly any Batman in it.
    Ah.
    Well it's good there's romance. I'll add it to my list.

    -
    G. Ward


  3. #2883
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Well, I like some "horror", including a few of Machen's works. But most "horror" literature is of low value and hardly literary. Some stories by (eg) Lovecraft were decent, but most are very problematic, although Lovecraft (perhaps less than Machen) wasn't a hack, he still had various writing issues...
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  4. #2884
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I just finished "Devil's Grip" about a multiple murder in the Australian countryside in the early 1990's. I find I have two separate links to the crime (it wasn't me, I just know someone who knew someone...). Its a sad story about gay men having to hide their sexual identities. The survivors are happy now and I feel like I understand a few of my gay friends and relatives a bit better. Didn't need the gritty details about the prostate, but it was good to have a moderately notorious story told maturely after the lurid (and wrong) headlines like "farmer shot after giving his employee AIDS".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriakos View Post
    Well, I like some "horror", including a few of Machen's works. But most "horror" literature is of low value and hardly literary. Some stories by (eg) Lovecraft were decent, but most are very problematic, although Lovecraft (perhaps less than Machen) wasn't a hack, he still had various writing issues...
    I'm a big Lovecraft fan, but I'd never claim he was a talented writer: he was imaginative, racist, sexist and three parts crazy. I have an annotated edition of his collected works, people are actually trying to promote his stories as literature but Lovecraft himself bemoaned the fact he wasn't a very good writer and aped the styles of Machen (a reasonable writer) and Dunsany (an imaginative if slightly flippant amateur).

    "Horror" writing is about making the reader feel unpleasant. At best its middle brow, its mostly lowbrow crap. Dracula is shoddy (I mean 50 Shades of Grey shoddy, the idea of vampires fascinates us more than the writing), Frankenstein is gothic science fiction more than horror and the rest isn't that good.

    Like Tolkien (and I'm noting rating them together, Lovecraft's ouevre and imaginary worlds are only a fraction of Tolkien's) he has the strength of a his own strongly imagined internal world. Unlike Tolkien his command of language is not strong.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

  5. #2885
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Tolkien isn't a good writer either, though (imo). Though, granted, I have only read the Hobbit, which afaik was intended for a child to read.
    Lovecraft had no style to speak of - Machen certainly is more literary. Dunsany has some very nice short stories My favorite of those would be "The Workman".

    Lovecraft did try to ape Poe and Dunsany, and aped Dunsany worse than he aped Poe, but Lovecraft's imagination indeed was potent and different, and to his added defense he wasn't an utter hack (like, say, S. King*).

    *who also has some talent, but let's be honest: not that much, and he isn't literary at all (though aspires to be at times).
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  6. #2886
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Ajax, by Sophocles.

    It was pretty good

    Odysseus had some great lines. For example: "You (still) win, when defeated by your friends".

    Also a nice foreshadowing for the disastrous defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian war, when it is noted that while a city may enjoy an extended period of friendly currents to rise upon, it shall fall if it becomes arrogant.
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  7. #2887
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Faust (by Goethe).

    I didn't like it at all.
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  8. #2888
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Faust is pretty good. Maybe I liked the poetry more than the story itself.

    "Famous general without peer in any age, most superior in valor and inspired by the Way of Heaven; since the provinces are now subject to your will it is certain that you will increasingly mount in victory." - Ōgimachi-tennō

  9. #2889
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Maybe it is good in the original german, but in english it seemed pretty forgettable :/
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










  10. #2890
    Lord of the Drunk Penguin's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?



    I found the protagonist really annoying.
    Then again, he's just an entitled rich white teenager.
    Pretty good backstory (about mythical creatures & heroes fighting for survival)
    Shame we're stuck with the side characters...


  11. #2891
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriakos View Post
    Maybe it is good in the original german, but in english it seemed pretty forgettable :/
    Never bothered to read it in English....
    The Faust Part I is very dear to us Germans, there are alot sayings in our Lanquage that originate from the Faust.
    Furthermore, the rhymescheme makes it really easy to memorize whole passages of the text.

    Seems like I`m gonna read it again... at least part I, Part II is hard work

  12. #2892
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Comparing it to other books from notable german romanticists, eg ETA Hoffmann, the story is just pretty lame, in my view. I only found some interest in the descriptions in the Walpurgian night festival. I think that Nietzsche commented on that too (not sure if he mentioned it specifically, but he referred to a lot of german books of that period and later) when he said that in Germany the devil in literature is presented in a way which would make french readers laugh and think that the author was "from some village"

    I haven't read many works by Goethe, but Faust (part I) was certainly the more forgettable one, though I also had issues with Werther. Maybe Goethe was just better as a poet (eg the Erlkoenig is pretty interesting).

    Anyway, I also read Aristophanes' The Frogs. It was quite funny. Dionysos (the god) goes to Hades to resurrect a tragic poet, cause there is no good one left. A contest takes place between Aescylos and Euripides.
    A memorable line (about Dionysos) : "how can he not be a gentleman? All he knows is how to drink and have sex"
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC










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