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Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment.



Grimey Drawer

Carly Gay Dead Son posted:

How do you tolerate that feeling of exhilaration knowing that now is possibly the worst time for theater since Puritan times? Not trying to be a killjoy rear end in a top hat, I am legitimately curious because it is something I struggle with.

It's made me go through all the local productions in my city and follow them for updates, so when things are safe I can make a better effort to see interesting projects.

Other than that, digging up productions from YouTube or finding audio performances through my library, Hoopla, Libby and Audible has scratched the itch pretty well.

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thehoodie
Feb 8, 2011


Found this absolutely gorgeous edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam at my local bookshop:







apophenium
Apr 13, 2009


I've read Robert Walser's Kleist in Thun I think four times this week. What a wonderful melancholy little story. A perfect distant bookend to Michael Kohlhaas which I read last year.

I forget who, but someone from this thread recommended Walser and I must say thank you. Interesting to think of him as the missing link of sorts between Kleist and Kafka. Speaking of Kafka, his collected works are likely to be my next foray into short stories.

Happy reading, everyone.

snailshell
Aug 26, 2010

I LOVE BIG WET CROROCDILE PUSSYT


Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


yes thatís correct

Jrbg
May 20, 2014




I love Chad Khayyam

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

- Ska du ha maito i kaffet?


Nice to know Moses puts out, even if it's just hand-jobs.

smug n stuff
Jul 21, 2016

Knife Behind Back



blue squares posted:

I donít get the praise for Klara and the Sun and suspect the authors reputation is the primary reason it has gotten so much attention. It was originally conceived of as a childrenís book and it shows in the writing, which is plain, and the main characterís perspective, which is essentially that of a simple minded child

If it is meant to be some kind of allegory of the way the servant class is treated by the wealthy, I can read novels of much greater sophistication that feature human characters that live the experience, by authors whose personal backgrounds bring greater credibility to the depictions of those experiences

A robot is taken for granted. Thatís the story. It does nothing for me


My biggest complaint is that the writing itself is so bland. This is why books written from a childís perspective so often donít work

From a while back, but as one of those who did enjoy the book, Iím interested in this. I think itís certainly true that Ishiguroís reputation got the book more attention than it would have with another author, but I think thatís kind of a truism when youíve got a Nobel winner. Iím most interested in the characterization of the prose as bland, though. Iím wondering if youíve read any of Ishiguroís other books, and how youíd compare the prose of Klara if soócritics (both those who like the books and those who donít) often describe the prose in pretty much all of his books as ďflat,Ē and I have a hard time discerning whether thatís a euphemism for boring, or whether they intend it to be a value-free descriptor.

Hereís a quote from the climax of Klara. The narrator, Klara, has arrived at a barn that she believes the Sun will visit as it sets, to request that it heal her friend:

quote:

As before, the barn was filled with orange light, and it was hard at first to see my surroundings. But I soon discerned the blocks of hay stacked up to my left, and I could see the low wall they formed had become even lower. There were the same particles of hay caught within the Sunís rays, but instead of drifting gently in the air, they were now moving agitatedly as if one of the hay blocks had recently crashed down onto the hard wood floor and disintegrated. When I reached up to touch these moving particles, I noticed how my fingers cast shadows stretching all the way back to the barnís entrance.

I think the excerpt is fairly typical of the writing throughout. Now, obviously taste is taste, but I donít find that particularly bland or boring writing - I'm curious what others think. I also donít find it too terribly different, stylistically, from the other Ishiguros Iíve read. Certainly it isnít flowery, and there arenít any Vocabulary Words, but itís got a certain rhythm that works for me, I suppose.

I think itís definitely true that in Ishiguroís writing, the ideas often are more ďimportantĒ than the writing styleóin that way, heís almost a glorified genre writer. But that doesnít mean the writing is bad. Idk, obviously my thoughts are a bit scattered, but I hope this makes some kind of sense.

smug n stuff fucked around with this message at 17:53 on Apr 16, 2021

snailshell
Aug 26, 2010

I LOVE BIG WET CROROCDILE PUSSYT


smug n stuff posted:

Iím most interested in the characterization of the prose as bland, though. Iím wondering if youíve read any of Ishiguroís other books, and how youíd compare the prose of Klara if soócritics (both those who like the books and those who donít) often describe the prose in pretty much all of his books as ďflat,Ē and I have a hard time discerning whether thatís a euphemism for boring, or whether they intend it to be a value-free descriptor.

... I think the excerpt is fairly typical of the writing throughout. Now, obviously taste is taste, but I donít find that particularly bland or boring writing - I'm curious what others think. I also donít find it too terribly different, stylistically, from the other Ishiguros Iíve read.

That totally makes sense, and I feel that it's a constant trait of his prose throughout his books, which can work either for or against him. In The Remains of the Day and An Artist of the Floating World, the flatness acts as characterization for both Stevens and Ono and their self-silencing, self-excusing histories, and I thought it was a brilliant character move. But in Never Let Me Go, that exact same flatness (in my view) stifles the emotional impact of Kathy's life and the shocking revelations she experiences, and I was like, what function is this boring-rear end prose serving here?? And I just fell asleep less than 100 pages into The Buried Giant. I think that one style is just how he writes, and depending on what he's trying to make the narration say about the narrator, it's either brilliant or a snoozefest. Maybe if I had read The Buried Giant first, instead of the others first, I'd have been more impressed by the flatness as a tool.

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Stars

I prefer writers who are much more energetic in their prose, where the sentences themselves are a delight due to the creative way the author expresses things. I like books with more straightforward writing too, but Klara was both boring writing and boring characters, so I couldnít find anything to like

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


snailshell posted:

But in Never Let Me Go, that exact same flatness (in my view) stifles the emotional impact of Kathy's life and the shocking revelations she experiences, and I was like, what function is this boring-rear end prose serving here??

I respect your opinion, but I feel like it's definitely serving a purpose -- it's a banality-of-evil thing, with the idea that Kathy and everyone else at Hailsham has been raised to treat their hideous situation as completely normal, almost beneath mention, and that Kathy hasn't been given an emotional toolkit to really process anything she experiences, so she's fumbling with her emotions. (It's also, I think, an indictment of the Hailsham "experiment" -- the concept that the students are being given a high-class cultural and artistic education, to demonstrate their "souls," but that education is still designed to normalize and dull the horror of their situation, because it's too dangerous to the overall project to allow them to become emotionally well-rounded human beings.)

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



has anyone in the lit thread read anything of Antal Szerb? thereís a norwegian translation of Journey by moonlight out and it sounds intriguing

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



doing a quick thread search, it seems like thehoodie bought it years ago. what were your thoughts on it?

fez_machine
Nov 27, 2004
You have1 unread message



ulvir posted:

has anyone in the lit thread read anything of Antal Szerb? thereís a norwegian translation of Journey by moonlight out and it sounds intriguing

I've read it and liked it. Didn't consider my time wasted.

snailshell
Aug 26, 2010

I LOVE BIG WET CROROCDILE PUSSYT


Antivehicular posted:

I respect your opinion, but I feel like it's definitely serving a purpose -- it's a banality-of-evil thing, with the idea that Kathy and everyone else at Hailsham has been raised to treat their hideous situation as completely normal, almost beneath mention, and that Kathy hasn't been given an emotional toolkit to really process anything she experiences, so she's fumbling with her emotions. (It's also, I think, an indictment of the Hailsham "experiment" -- the concept that the students are being given a high-class cultural and artistic education, to demonstrate their "souls," but that education is still designed to normalize and dull the horror of their situation, because it's too dangerous to the overall project to allow them to become emotionally well-rounded human beings.)
I totally buy that interpretation! I guess I just feel that if an author uses the exact same tone/prose style for tons of their works throughout their oeuvre, it becomes less an intentional choice/commentary on any individual narrator and more just how they do things lol. But maybe he creates stories and narrators explicitly because of how well their poo poo fits in with his tone/style

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


That's also fair! I haven't read any other Ishiguro, so it's possible I would pick up on more consistent prose issues if I had.

3D Megadoodoo
Nov 25, 2010

- Ska du ha maito i kaffet?


Started reading L'enchanteur pourissant and decided to GIS what Apollinaire looked like. He looks exactly like a dude who wrote Les Onze Mille Verges ou les amours d'un hospodar would look like:



(I stopped reading that one after like 20 pages in 2009.)

artism
Nov 22, 2011



Whatís the consensus best translation of Oblomov?

Vei
Jan 29, 2007


Just finished Marshlands by Andre Gide and I really liked it.

Laugh-out-loud funny, witty, and some real nice prose. I found it moving for some reason ...

Ras Het
May 23, 2007

when I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child - but now I am a man.


artism posted:

Whatís the consensus best translation of Oblomov?

idk but Oblomov is clearly the most overrated Russian classic and I was very happy to see in Chekhov's letters that he didn't like it either

artism
Nov 22, 2011



Ras Het posted:

idk but Oblomov is clearly the most overrated Russian classic and I was very happy to see in Chekhov's letters that he didn't like it either

itís one of the last big ones but on my list maybe Iíll just read gogolís short stories, instead

having just reread as2b I just wanted to read more about bed-obsessives

artism fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Apr 20, 2021

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




artism posted:

Whatís the consensus best translation of Oblomov?
Don't know what the consensus is, but I'm a fan of Ann Dunnigan's.

ed:

artism posted:

itís one of the last big ones but on my list maybe Iíll just read gogolís short stories, instead
read both

derp
Jan 21, 2010

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

Lipstick Apathy

read everything! everything!

Cephas
May 11, 2009

Shape Shift With Me


snailshell posted:

I totally buy that interpretation! I guess I just feel that if an author uses the exact same tone/prose style for tons of their works throughout their oeuvre, it becomes less an intentional choice/commentary on any individual narrator and more just how they do things lol. But maybe he creates stories and narrators explicitly because of how well their poo poo fits in with his tone/style

I think Ishiguro's view of humanity is that it largely gets by on acts of self-delusion and willful ignorance. It's a recurring element in his stories and is a part of why his prose style is so consistent across books, because his protagonists tend to have that same core willful ignorance driving them.

That's one of the things I find really interesting about Klara and the Sun. The humans in the story clearly all have diminished senses of good and evil compared to Klara. And I think there's ample evidence in the story that Klara, despite being a manufactured lifeform, has a deep humanity to her, deeper than that of the humans who created and lived with her. So that makes me wonder--if she's so human, and has such insight to the human condition--then is she capable of recognizing the tragedy and injustice of her own situation?

Is she capable of realizing it, or has she been constructed to be incapable of realizing it? If she is capable, has she realized it, but has enough selflessness and goodwill to remain principled and kind until the very end? Or is she like Ishiguro's other humans, repressing the horrific truth of her situation in order to make life more bearable?

On a side note, I also thought that the prose style wasn't plain at all; I found it incredibly tender, touching, and intense. I had to put the book down when she was being bullied at the children's social party, and there were a couple times that made me ugly cry. FWIW I fell asleep trying to finish The Buried Giant despite it seeming to be an ideal book for me (an Arthurian travel story written by Ishiguro).

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



I just finished Klara and the Sun, and had a couple feelings and theories about it, but I'm generally not that bright about analyzing things. So I'll take a swing at this.

My thought was that she's either explicitly programmed not to feel certain things, or follow certain thoughts too far. Or, since we know from the behavior of Manager and the customers, that there are differences in between models and lines that only reveal themselves through customer/product interaction, her sensitivities and feelings may have emerged accidentally, naturally.

My main basis for saying this is that early on, Klara watches two men fight with each other angrily, attempting to damage each other. She tries to imagine herself doing this with Rosa, repeatedly, but finds she is unable to do so. Instead she sort of laughs it off, like a woman tolerating an off-color joke. So there is an artificial block in place (a safeguard perhaps). Or, this is an incidental (natural?) limitation of her mind--in other words, features about her mind that would have led to aggression (or self-assertion for crying out loud) weren't a benefit to the customer, and so simply weren't explored.

Two other possibilities: she hasn't developed that emotional capability yet, but might, given time, and witnessing the fight is insufficient to trigger its development. Or, I'm wrong about the whole darn thing.

We have little idea about how other AFs feel, beyond the anxiety shown by Boy AF Alex over not getting enough sun, a possible neurosis he developed over worrying about not being purchased. So we can't know for sure how uniquely sensitive and emotional Klara is relative to other robots, but there's some variability here.

I'm inclined to see Klara as having that part of her chained up, cut out, or simply not developed. Robot minds have progressed to the point where they are no longer understandable at the level of circuitry/nerves. So it's conceivable that her designers sort of grow a mind around certain parameters that mostly work and mostly address the needs of customers, without really caring about the robots actual experience of having the mind. Kind of like designing an AI algorithm or training a new employee.

I have little basis for this on-hand, but I don't think Klara has the choice at all to be anything other than what she is. I feel that her perceptions are locked, and that repression is beyond her. (Feel free to prove me wrong, I'm not set in stone here.)

Unlike Stevens (Remains of the Day is the only other Ishiguro book I've read) who has made broad choices over a long life, she's a product with no childhood, no adulthood, no period of care, and her lifespan is "naturally" fairly short as well. She's designed. And she does what she's designed to do (serve), and nothing more; she simply goes a lot further than you'd think to do it. The only choices she makes are within the constraints of service.


And yeah the book made me mad and made me cry a little bit too. I found it pretty upsetting. I can't say if it's a masterpiece or whatever, but the prose's effects were solid enough on me.

My other theory is that she's able to heal people when she thinks they're dying or dead, but I'm not 100% committed to it. She brought a homeless man and a teenage girl back from death. She's literally a saint. Feel free to laugh at this one.

Jrbg
May 20, 2014



Reading david hinton's anthology of classical chinese poetry. Anyone else read it? I'm barrelling through itĖĖthe translations read as good poetry in themselves but they also come with great short primers on major figures and the Chinese philosophical tradition.

Lex Neville
Apr 15, 2009


Hi thread, here's a couple works of fiction I wanted to recommend because I've either read/been reading them recently myself or because the English translations finally came out:

The Field by Robert Seethaler (A Whole Life is really good too)
At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
Rock, Paper, Scissors, and Other Stories by Maxim Osipov
Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen

The latter two are recent reads for me and are good. The first two are amazing imo and I'm really excited that more goons can read them now too and maybe we can discuss.

e: Oh, bonus rec: Such Small Hands by Andrťs Barba

Lex Neville fucked around with this message at 20:08 on Apr 22, 2021

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

https://twitter.com/Peanuts50YrsAgo/status/1385533436174159872?s=20

Mokelumne Trekka
Nov 22, 2015

Soon.


I'm at the library scene in Ulysses where Stephen talks about Shakespeare. I have no idea what any of this means. No idea.

Nitevision
Oct 5, 2004

Your Friendly FYAD Helper
Ask Me For FYAD Help
Another Reason To Talk To Me Is To Hangout

Jrbg posted:

Reading david hinton's anthology of classical chinese poetry. Anyone else read it? I'm barrelling through itĖĖthe translations read as good poetry in themselves but they also come with great short primers on major figures and the Chinese philosophical tradition.

I'm about to gently caress hard with this, thank you for posting

Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


Jrbg posted:

Reading david hinton's anthology of classical chinese poetry. Anyone else read it? I'm barrelling through itĖĖthe translations read as good poetry in themselves but they also come with great short primers on major figures and the Chinese philosophical tradition.

Hinton is great. I've only gone through his Li Po and Tao Chi'en anthologies but I loved them both.

Lex Neville
Apr 15, 2009


im going to tirelessly keep pushing recommendations. tomorrow M: Son of the Century by Antonio Scurati is published, translated into the English by Anne Milano Appel

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER



my friends, du fu is good-rear end poetry

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



every time I take a break from Proust in-between volumes to read something else as well, I always find myself thinking ďman, Iíve really missed this proseĒ when I get back at it

blue squares
Sep 28, 2007

Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Stars

Thatís how I feel about Roth right now

Lex Neville
Apr 15, 2009


philip or joseph?

derp
Jan 21, 2010

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

Lipstick Apathy

always prefered Hagar myself

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

ulvir posted:

every time I take a break from Proust in-between volumes to read something else as well, I always find myself thinking “man, I’ve really missed this prose” when I get back at it

About once a decade I get about a hundred pages further into Swann's Way than I did the time before

The prose is absolutely beautiful but it's so pretty it makes me fall asleep

Anyway I bought the new translation gonna try again thanks

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




Lex Neville posted:

philip or joseph?
Henry.

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ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

About once a decade I get about a hundred pages further into Swann's Way than I did the time before

The prose is absolutely beautiful but it's so pretty it makes me fall asleep

Anyway I bought the new translation gonna try again thanks

I heavily recommend going further. I wouldíve suggested the translation Iím reading, but Iím not sure learning Norwegian in order to read Proust is too worthwhile an endeavour

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