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TychoCelchuuu
Jan 2, 2012

This space for Rent.

shirunei posted:

Hello, so I've only ever read web serials, science fiction, and fantasy. If I wanted to dip my tow into this real lit thing what would be considered the kiddies pool? I don't want to overload my mind right off the bat obvs
There are trillions of options, but any of the novels by Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Iris Murdoch, or Graham Greene would be good. In general I would not worry about overloading your mind. You'll read a novel and you'll get something out of it. There will always be things you do understand and things you don't. You can read it again later and get more out of it. As long as you're getting things out of the novel you don't need to worry about the things you're not getting.

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derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

if you try some lit and don't like something, then you don't like it, it doesn't really mean anything, except maybe try it again a few years later. unlike genre, books called 'literature' are all completely varied and different, so if you don't like one that doesn't really say anything about whether you like 'literature' or not, keep trying.

for me it was crime and punishment and lolita that really made me think 'okay, this is the real good poo poo i want more of this' and now i haven't read a genre book in almost 4 years

once u go lit you don't go back

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013



i always think kafka's metamorphosis is one that's basic and understandable enough while also being interesting and fun so i always recommend that one

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



shirunei posted:

Hello, so I've only ever read web serials, science fiction, and fantasy. If I wanted to dip my tow into this real lit thing what would be considered the kiddies pool? I don't want to overload my mind right off the bat obvs

say literally anything about what you like or find interesting

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.




There's all kinds of stuff that, like, won't get taught in lit class but I think is still worthy of being called literature.

If the web-serial mood appeals to you, you'd probably like The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall, just to pick an example from the bookshelf I'm looking at right now.

Declan MacManus
Sep 1, 2011

damn i'm really in this bitch



shirunei posted:

Hello, so I've only ever read web serials, science fiction, and fantasy. If I wanted to dip my tow into this real lit thing what would be considered the kiddies pool? I don't want to overload my mind right off the bat obvs

do you remember any books you liked or especially disliked in high school english class? how do you feel about plays?

fez_machine
Nov 27, 2004
You have1 unread message



shirunei posted:

Hello, so I've only ever read web serials, science fiction, and fantasy. If I wanted to dip my tow into this real lit thing what would be considered the kiddies pool? I don't want to overload my mind right off the bat obvs

There's a few options you can follow for an easy path from SF/Fantasy to literature:

1. You can read literary work from within those genres. I made a bigass list here which might be a good start.

2. You can read works of literature that were meant to be accessible: Jane Austen, Victor Hugo, Irish Murdoch, Hemingway, Swift, Graham Greene, Dickens, Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Portis, Zola, most classical literature.

3. You can read sub-literary works that while not all the way are still better than what you'll get in SF/Fantasy: Dumas, Patrick O'Brien, Poe, Greene's entertainments, John Le Carre, Dashiell Hammet, etc. etc. There's thousands of books to choose from here. A great way to find them is to read interviews of your favourite genre authors and note their faves and influences who don't write in the genre.

Just remember if you don't like something classified as literature that's a fair response, put it down, and find something else you do like. There's a challenge to this stuff but it shouldn't be like eating gruel.

fez_machine fucked around with this message at 17:14 on Mar 20, 2021

Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


i agree with cest moi that you all are jumping the gun a bit and maybe we should hear what sort of things they like or enjoy about the other things they have read before immediately dumping a bunch of things on them

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.




That's what we do, damnit. Somebody new comes in and says "books?" and we just start drawing up lists.

Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



I've been reading Euripides' Helen recently and the very premise here feels strange to me. Like the whole backstory here of "Lol the Helen that Paris took to Troy was a ghostly crisis actor, the real Helen went to Egypt" just feels so weird to me.

Declan MacManus
Sep 1, 2011

damn i'm really in this bitch



mdemone posted:

That's what we do, damnit. Somebody new comes in and says "books?" and we just start drawing up lists.

well yeah but they could google a harold bloom list for that; the point is that even objectively good stuff is subject to taste and some parts of the pool are deeper than others vis a vis the canon so it’s helpful to tailor recommendations to taste

much as i want everyone to read the master and margarita that doesn’t mean it’s gonna be the perfect “first grownup big boy book for adults” for everyone

Health Services
Feb 27, 2009


The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Non-existent Knight by Italo Calvino

All short, approachable good books that won't take ages to read and are really engaging.

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.




Declan MacManus posted:

well yeah but they could google a harold bloom list for that; the point is that even objectively good stuff is subject to taste and some parts of the pool are deeper than others vis a vis the canon so it’s helpful to tailor recommendations to taste

Harold Bloom can take a flying gently caress at a rolling doughnut, I just wanted to make that clear.

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.




Hey guys I just impulse bought The Recognitions in the new NYRB edition (no, it's not my third copy. why would you ask that?)

...Wanna do a thread?

artism
Nov 22, 2011



every goon should start with a confederacy of dunces for obvious reasons

then they should proceed to down and out in Paris and London then death on the installment plan

artism fucked around with this message at 14:38 on Mar 21, 2021

PatMarshall
Apr 6, 2009



mdemone posted:

Hey guys I just impulse bought The Recognitions in the new NYRB edition (no, it's not my third copy. why would you ask that?)

...Wanna do a thread?

That sounds cool, I read the first section on a transatlantic flight a decade ago and never picked it back up for who knows what reason. I'd be down to get back into it.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

ya blew it
we scared him off back to his web serials

shirunei
Sep 7, 2018

I tried to run away. To take the easy way out. I'll live through the suffering. When I die, I want to feel like I did my best.

derp posted:

ya blew it
we scared him off back to his web serials

no, im reading The Old Man and the Sea. thanks thread

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




Another TBB success story.

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013



fez_machine posted:

There's a few options you can follow for an easy path from SF/Fantasy to literature:

1. You can read literary work from within those genres. I made a bigass list here which might be a good start.

why isnt stanislaw lem on your big list though, thats the most obvious one

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013



i like harold bloom btw

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

I recently finished reading Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo. I found out about it from TBB, but I don't remember the thread. It was published in 1955 and is a foundational text of magical realism, and was a huge inspiration to Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges.

For those unfamiliar, the novella begins with Juan Preciado traveling to the town of Comala, Mexico to honor his mother's dying wish for him to confront his father, the titular Pedro Páramo. When Juan arrives, he finds the town of Comala suffocated by remnants of memories and misfortunes, a literal ghost town devoid of life, where the past bleeds into the present. The narrative shifts from Juan into memories/stories told by the dead, which tells the story of the evil Pedro Páramo and Comala.

It was disorienting and surreal. It's short, and the imagery was haunting and vivid. It seems like a fun title to revisit later and see how the ideas and themes change on each reading. I really enjoyed it.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 12:55 on Mar 22, 2021

mdemone
Mar 14, 2001

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.




Shibawanko posted:

i like harold bloom btw

*updates spreadsheet*

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


I finished Michel Houellebecq's Serotonin and Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion recently, and what struck me was the difference in how quickly I refuse the protagonists' worldview. I think I have not read novels with such an intensely personal main characters.

Serotonin's protagonist is supremely annoying to read, ugly and vulgar. By the time of his first misogynistic analysis about the worth of women being about their holes, I'd already stopped trying to sympathize with the person. Pavilion's, however, drew me in quite deep into the novel. I can see his point, his pride in deliberately trying to not be understood. At some point, I can even sympathize with his obsession with the Temple.

What made me break out of his charm was the point where he stated to a prostitute he'll be famous within a week, and the woman laughed. In response to this, the protagonist instantly assumed by not believing in his words, the woman believed in literally nothing, that she is devoid of belief, that she would not believe an earthquake happening in front of her. It's just an absurd response, like a child lashing out. Really highlights the fact to me that the protagonist is sick, and all his beautiful observations of the world are as skewed as anyone else.

Turns out what would make me sympathize with a nihilistic sexless bastard with violent impulses is just some amazing descriptions of natural wonders.

I always felt that the descriptions of nature in Mishima's novel and in say, haikus always hit me hard because I'm a Japanophile. I came across a rec list on Tumblr of books with 'a tropical feeling' and decided on Derek Walcott's Omeros. Can someone recommend another novel with beautiful descriptions of nature, preferably in English? Thank you.

Declan MacManus
Sep 1, 2011

damn i'm really in this bitch



shirunei posted:

no, im reading The Old Man and the Sea. thanks thread

that's a good one; if you're looking for more classics you can breeze through pretty quickly i recommend The Pearl by John Steinbeck, The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (get the pevear and volokhonsky translation from 2009 imo), and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Phillip K. Dick (this one's scifi!)

artism posted:

every goon should start with a confederacy of dunces for obvious reasons

then they should proceed to down and out in Paris and London then death on the installment plan

haven't read confederacy in a long time; it did help me get into sports and prevented me from being a turbo goon in high school so y'know, thanks mr. toole sorry about your depression

Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


toanoradian posted:


I always felt that the descriptions of nature in Mishima's novel and in say, haikus always hit me hard because I'm a Japanophile. I came across a rec list on Tumblr of books with 'a tropical feeling' and decided on Derek Walcott's Omeros. Can someone recommend another novel with beautiful descriptions of nature, preferably in English? Thank you.

the peregrine

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

Tree Goat posted:

the peregrine

this. i read it for the second time a few weeks ago and it could be my favorite book, and is definitely the most beautiful book i know of

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013



mdemone posted:

*updates spreadsheet*

i dont agree with his canon specifically but im not against the idea of a canon, or at the very minimum a selection of what we can think of as good and bad, even if good isn't always the same as old

kids reading harry potter and twilight in school and their teachers going "eh, at least they're reading something!" makes me kind of sad

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



omeros is so good, and so's the peregrine

i'm reading blinding by cartarescu and there was a stunningly beautiful description of a village getting too high on poppy seeds and neglecting their dead and then the dead rise up and murder everyone. balkan lit since the 90s seems to be going through a pretty incredible phase of being really ridiculously good

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Shibawanko posted:

i like harold bloom btw

I enjoyed the Book of J and have Jesus and Yahweh waiting on the shelf for when the mood strikes. Have not read The Western Canon however. I should have bought it when I saw it at the annual fundraiser booksale

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



CestMoi posted:

i'm reading blinding by cartarescu and there was a stunningly beautiful description of a village getting too high on poppy seeds and neglecting their dead and then the dead rise up and murder everyone. balkan lit since the 90s seems to be going through a pretty incredible phase of being really ridiculously good

yeah dog

toanoradian
May 30, 2011


Tree Goat posted:

the peregrine

Oh, it's non-fiction! Well, could pair well with Omeros' fiction, I hope.

edit: Oh, there's an audiobook read by David Attenborough. Nice.

toanoradian fucked around with this message at 22:40 on Mar 22, 2021

fez_machine
Nov 27, 2004
You have1 unread message



Shibawanko posted:

why isnt stanislaw lem on your big list though, thats the most obvious one

honestly? I haven't read enough Lem to remember him when I was making the list.

Coincidentally, his name did come up in an unrelated context just before I read this post and I was like yeah I should have put Lem in.

smug n stuff
Jul 21, 2016

Knife Behind Back



Read the new Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun, which I quite enjoyed, I think if someone likes his general schtick they'll like it. For something completely different I'm now gonna try Fathers and Sons.

Segue
May 23, 2007


toanoradian posted:

Oh, it's non-fiction! Well, could pair well with Omeros' fiction, I hope.

edit: Oh, there's an audiobook read by David Attenborough. Nice.

If you want more stunning reflections on nature, Helen Macdonald's Vesper Flights was the best book I read last year, mini poetic meditations on nature and its gradual disappearance in our modern era that reads like poetry.

Her memoir H is for Hawk is also very good, and has some great reflections on TH White.

Duck Rodgers
Oct 9, 2012


smug n stuff posted:

Read the new Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun, which I quite enjoyed, I think if someone likes his general schtick they'll like it. For something completely different I'm now gonna try Fathers and Sons.

I recently read Fathers and Sons, and the foreword was written by an old British professor in 1968. The professor wrote about how driven and idealist Bazarov was, a real rebel out to change the world! Not like all these lazy god dam hippies hanging about London!

I can't decide if that foreword was intentionally or unintentionally brilliant.

derp
Jan 21, 2010

when i get up all i want to do is go to bed again

Lipstick Apathy

Segue posted:

If you want more stunning reflections on nature, Helen Macdonald's Vesper Flights was the best book I read last year, mini poetic meditations on nature and its gradual disappearance in our modern era that reads like poetry.

Her memoir H is for Hawk is also very good, and has some great reflections on TH White.

ohhh this looks very much like My Kind of Thing, thanks for the rec (even if it wasnt for me)

apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


I've started The Iliad after neglecting ancient lit since school days and it rips. Back when I read exclusively sci fi and fantasy I loved it when gods directly interacted in the story and it's so much cooler in The Iliad.

Call me a monster but I hate the heroic verse and find it very distracting. Hoping it'll grow on me.

Also, my desire to read more short stories led me to Dubliners by Joyce and it's exceptional. Have been jumping around in it and my favorite's Ivy Day in the Committee Room. Makes me wish Joyce had written more in that style rather than whatever Finnegan's Wake is (I haven't read it and I'm sure it's good but it's definitely not the same as Ivy Day)

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

apophenium posted:

I've started The Iliad after neglecting ancient lit since school days and it rips. Back when I read exclusively sci fi and fantasy I loved it when gods directly interacted in the story and it's so much cooler in The Iliad.

Call me a monster but I hate the heroic verse and find it very distracting. Hoping it'll grow on me.

Also, my desire to read more short stories led me to Dubliners by Joyce and it's exceptional. Have been jumping around in it and my favorite's Ivy Day in the Committee Room. Makes me wish Joyce had written more in that style rather than whatever Finnegan's Wake is (I haven't read it and I'm sure it's good but it's definitely not the same as Ivy Day)

It's no Joyce, but I think Sherwood Anderson's Winesberg, Ohio is pretty tonally close to Dubliners, and it's a "novel" that's actually intertwining short stories. I also think the novella Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers has a similar melancholy as a lot of the stories in Dubliners.

I've also been trying to read Lattimore's translation of The Iliad lately, but it's really just been a few false starts.

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Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



I actually started Iliad again myself after reading some Euripides plays, but I'm going with the Robert Fagles translation after really enjoying his Aeneid in college. Fagles is just very readable IMO.

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