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Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Rereading a book and seeing things you completely missed the first time because it only dawned on you at the end and gaining a new appreciation for the writer and their craft is why these books are "great" in the first place.

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CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



oscar diggs please read the dao de jing (crowley 'translation') and you will realise the true value of experience

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



OscarDiggs posted:

I'm very insecure and the idea that I might not be smart enough to be able to understand these things fills me with a very real sense of dread and makes me want to not even bother trying.

It's like the fear of failing a test, except not only am I taking the test I'm also grading, and drat if I'm letting that fucker who's taking the test pass. Hence why I won't be reading Gravity's Rainbow till I'm sure I can understand it's full nuance. Because otherwise whats the point? Why experience half a something? It's inefficient and a waste of time. If you know you're going to fail the exam why waste 2 hours in the exam hall?

in earnest, read a quick wikipedia article about hermeneutics, my dude (and maybe skim Stanford's main article on it), maybe that will help calm your nerves a bit.

don't view reading as This One Big Challenge where your brain is 1-on-1 with someone else's brain. just... read it. engage questions or thoughts you get along the way, and make note of whatever interests you. if you like the book well enough, read it again later on. and maybe you'll see new or different things in it. thinking you have to be efficient when reading is bad. you know what efficient reading is? it's when you have some recollection of whatever you read, whether that is "what the gently caress was this acid trip Pynchon made me experience" or "I never thought a scene where some dude starts jerking off in public could be this beautifully phrased and this funny" or whatever

Normal Adult Human
Feb 12, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


The singular purpose of literature is to enhance the experience of old The Simpsons episodes. it has no other value.

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


I'm not going to say it's a pleasant or even a rational way to look at reading. But I was asked the reason and well... thats the reason. I'd like to say that attitude is improving though, however slightly. Especially when the lesson keeps getting taught by everyone. Maybe it just took the right kind of book to get me started on the right path.

CestMoi posted:

oscar diggs please read the dao de jing (crowley 'translation') and you will realise the true value of experience

ulvir posted:

in earnest, read a quick wikipedia article about hermeneutics, my dude (and maybe skim Stanford's main article on it), maybe that will help calm your nerves a bit.

These both seem short enough, so I will definetly get them done before the end of the day. Thanks for the recommendations! And just to make sure I found the right one CestMoi, does the version you recommend have this?

quote:

1. The Tao-Path is not the All-Tao. The Name is not the Thing named.

Normal Adult Human posted:

The singular purpose of literature is to enhance the experience of old The Simpsons episodes. it has no other value.

Where were you several months ago? All those months on theme and metaphor wasted!!!

Normal Adult Human
Feb 12, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Probated for saying JK rowling probably isn't secretly a nazi

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

OscarDiggs posted:


These both seem short enough, so I will definetly get them done before the end of the day. Thanks for the recommendations! And just to make sure I found the right one CestMoi, does the version you recommend have this?


I'm not sure exactly what Cest was getting at there but I wouldn't recommend Crowley's anything (though I haven't read that specific thing so maybe I'm wrong on that point). I like LeGuin's translation of the Tao. I also un-ironically recommend The Tao of Pooh, it's a surprisingly decent introduction to Taoist philosophy and will probably give the average western reader more mileage than just trying to dive into the primary texts cold.

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



the crowley dao de jing is just the legge dao de jing with crowleys footnotes and introduction. the intro's really good and the reason i recommend it specifically here is because you can sort of get where he wants you to go without getting too hard into daoist philosophy (but you should do that anyway). it's not really daoism, but it presents an attractive view of experience + is esoteric enough that i think it also works as an example of not 100% understanding, but still being able to take something away from it


The very first word "Tao" presented a completely insoluble problem. It had been translated "Reason," the "Way," "TO ON." None of these covey the faintest conception of the Tao.

The Tao is "Reason" in this sense, that the substance of things may be in part apprehended as being that necessary relation between the elements of thought which determines the laws of reason. In other words, the only reality is that which compels us to connect the various forms of illusion as we do. It is thus evidently unknowable, and expressible neither by speech nor by silence. All that we can know about it is that there is inherent in it a {5} power (which, however, is not itself) by virtue whereof all beings appear in forms congruous with the nature of necessity.

The Tao is also the Way -- in the following sense. Nothing exists except as a relation with other similarly postulated ideas. Nothing can be known in itself, but only as one of the participants in a series of events. Reality is therefore in the motion, not in the things moved. We cannot apprehend anything except as one postulated element of an observed impression of change. We may express this in other terms as follows. Our knowledge of anything is in reality the sum of our observations of its successive movements, that is to say, of its path from event to event. In this sense the Tao may be translated as the Way. It is not a thing in itself in the sense of being an object susceptible of apprehension by sense or mind. It is not the cause of any thing, but the category underlying all existence or event, and therefore true and real as they are illusory, being merely landmarks invented for convenience in describing our experiences. The Tao possesses no power to cause anything to exist or to take place. Yet our experience when analyzed tells {6} us that the only reality of which we may be sure is this path or Way which resumes the whole of our knowledge.

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



bring back the theosophy thread!!

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.


Extremely overanalyzed oriential philosophical nonsense ftl

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


So I finished The Doorbell Rang. Quite enjoyable and I'm thinking of getting into some of the other Nero Wolfe books that Hieronymous suggested. But it also inspired me to go and do something I havn't done in ages.

I went and bought Lies Sleeping, the most recent Rivers of London books and read that as well. And you know, I had nearly forgotten what reading for pleasure felt like.

Thats not to say I havn't enjoyed some of the literature I've read. I thoroughly enjoyed a few of the outings into Russian literature I made, as well as some of the others I read for the thread like Tom Sawyer. But just picking a book and reading it because I wanted to? Without any of the extra baggage of having to "get it"? I havn't read a book just because I wanted to for ages. And yeah, it was an Urban Fantasy book; lovely McDonalds of the book world. But god drat it, I enjoyed it!

I think I've gotten into my head the entirely wrong idea of books and the purpose of reading, and it's taken a while for me to get back on track, but I think I am now. Most of all though I have to thank many of the people who posted here. Because wow, did I have things rear end backwards.

I don't know what I'm going to do next exactly, but I think I am going to read a few more of the McDonalds books, just so the idea of reading for pleasure doesn't escape me again. But rest assured, I'm not abadoning Literature! I will be back, but later. And you can be sure I'll be asking for recommendations.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

OscarDiggs posted:



I think I've gotten into my head the entirely wrong idea of books and the purpose of reading,
Yes it seems so

quote:

I don't know what I'm going to do next exactly,
read about books, then read those books that seem interesting and enjoyable.

Literature is entertainment first and foremost. Really not sure why you are stressing out about "getting it" so much

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Bilirubin posted:

Literature is entertainment first and foremost. Really not sure why you are stressing out about "getting it" so much

There's definitely a "goldilock's zone" for me when it comes to reading. Similar to the ideas behind flow where something isn't too simplistic to be boring and isn't so advanced it takes hard slog. Subject matter interest can alleviate a lot of the problems, simply by presenting something you want to know about. It's just difficult to find the right novel where you connect in enough ways for it to work for you. Whether that correct way be the style of the prose, the ideas that spark for you as you read, the play between what you're expecting and not expecting, the intellectualisation of the process the author has shown to you in the writing, etc. Then you have to fight against the idea of literature as being worthwhile, where these books are good for your intellectual health. You can't just read them, they're an experience to better yourself (which is a horrifically apropos thought for modern times.) If there's no core for you in what you're reading, then I could see how you wouldn't stick it. There's plenty of books coming out now that are all the rage and being talked about as important that I have no interest in because their subject matter doesn't appeal to me. Instead of looking for literature to read as an attempt to read literature and be part of that world, look for good books that have an interesting idea, or books whose style interest you. Even authors whose life or their part in the development of writing interests you. You'll have more to hang your hat on than just, "This is a v. important book of note."

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Mrenda posted:

There's definitely a "goldilock's zone" for me when it comes to reading. Similar to the ideas behind flow where something isn't too simplistic to be boring and isn't so advanced it takes hard slog. Subject matter interest can alleviate a lot of the problems, simply by presenting something you want to know about. It's just difficult to find the right novel where you connect in enough ways for it to work for you. Whether that correct way be the style of the prose, the ideas that spark for you as you read, the play between what you're expecting and not expecting, the intellectualisation of the process the author has shown to you in the writing, etc. Then you have to fight against the idea of literature as being worthwhile, where these books are good for your intellectual health. You can't just read them, they're an experience to better yourself (which is a horrifically apropos thought for modern times.) If there's no core for you in what you're reading, then I could see how you wouldn't stick it. There's plenty of books coming out now that are all the rage and being talked about as important that I have no interest in because their subject matter doesn't appeal to me. Instead of looking for literature to read as an attempt to read literature and be part of that world, look for good books that have an interesting idea, or books whose style interest you. Even authors whose life or their part in the development of writing interests you. You'll have more to hang your hat on than just, "This is a v. important book of note."

Very much the same (thus my comment about "read about books, then read the ones that interest you"), although I will say that having gone well outside my comfort zone from time to time and finding that the read was surprisingly impactful on me has made me much more open and experimental in my reading.

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


Yeah, but it's taken a shockingly long time for that lesson to actually hammer home finally.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



The big thing to remember about a lot of books is that they're completely fictional (a tautology) but are also absolute lies about life. In a lot of books things happen. If I examine my own life nothing really happens, and if something does happen it quickly becomes as same and similar to me as anything else in my life. In books people are constantly doing things, and things are constantly happening to them. Rarely (Pessoa) an author will write about all the things that happen when the more true to reality nothing is happening. Look at books as magical bullshitting devices. Expose their lies that significance is a regular occurrence. Burn them as an affront to the banality of existence (wait, where am I going with this?)

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

OscarDiggs posted:


I'm very insecure and the idea that I might not be smart enough to be able to understand these things fills me with a very real sense of dread and makes me want to not even bother trying.

It's like the fear of failing a test, except not only am I taking the test I'm also grading, and drat if I'm letting that fucker who's taking the test pass. Hence why I won't be reading Gravity's Rainbow till I'm sure I can understand it's full nuance. Because otherwise whats the point? Why experience half a something? It's inefficient and a waste of time. If you know you're going to fail the exam why waste 2 hours in the exam hall?

In lighter news, I am really am enjoying "The Doorbell Rang". It's not hard to read and there's plenty of interesting stuff going on. I am still kind of worried I'm not "getting it" fully, but there's enough going on in the narrative that that thought isn't a major distraction.

Unlike in say, The Brothers Karamasov, where there wasn't actually alot going on narratively, and so I ended up getting so sidetracked trying to find "the point" and the themes and stuff, that I would reread the same few pages multiple times, and then just got to bored to try and continue.

just kramering on in here to say haha wow this post is terrible and you need to re-evaluate every aspect of the way in which you think about books and also deal with your insecurity and fear of being challenged probably


(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


chernobyl kinsman posted:

you need to re-evaluate every aspect of the way in which you think about books

You are correct here.

chernobyl kinsman posted:

and also deal with your insecurity and fear of being challenged probably

You're 50/50 here. It's not so much a fear of being challenged but yes, massive amounts of insecurity.

chernobyl kinsman posted:

just kramering on in here to say haha wow this post is terrible

And this is just mean.

I dunno dude, if I'm not supposed to read for enjoyment fine, but if thats the case I learnt even more wrong lessons then I thought I did and then I really don't know what I'm supposed to do.

EDIT: Did I gently caress up by giving up and reading a non-lit book? Is that why it's terrible?

OscarDiggs fucked around with this message at 22:08 on May 7, 2019

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat




OscarDiggs posted:

EDIT: Did I gently caress up by giving up and reading a non-lit book? Is that why it's terrible?
You should take another look at that post.

SilkyP
Jul 21, 2004

The Boo-Box



Is literature and hence critical analysis of literature less important now than in times past?

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

OscarDiggs posted:

You are correct here.


You're 50/50 here. It's not so much a fear of being challenged but yes, massive amounts of insecurity.


And this is just mean.

I dunno dude, if I'm not supposed to read for enjoyment fine, but if thats the case I learnt even more wrong lessons then I thought I did and then I really don't know what I'm supposed to do.

EDIT: Did I gently caress up by giving up and reading a non-lit book? Is that why it's terrible?

As a fellow anxiety sufferer lemme just say: chill. Its ok.

You are correct to read for fun. If its brain candy, cool. If its the deepest philosophical metatextual work, cool. As long as you enjoy it.

You can't live on candy all the time though, so be unafraid to branch out. If it doesn't work, cool. Try something else next.

You learned the right lessons. Go easy on yourself, there is NO test, you can miss tons in a book. WILL miss tons. My PhD advisor, who was THE expert in our field, once told me he had to read papers in his area of expertise THREE times in order to figure out what it was saying. Don't expect perfection your first time through. Just accept that.

And its ok to be wrong too. Sometimes hilariously, publicly wrong. Life goes on. Take the lesson, smile at the humor it engendered. Its all good.

vyelkin
Jan 2, 2011

Jozy loves scoring like a fat kid loves eating cake.



Also dude I'm 100% a broken record but go read Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov because it is simultaneously: Good Literature; extremely fun and enjoyable to read; full of themes and stuff you can think about if you really want to; and very short.

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


vyelkin posted:

Also dude I'm 100% a broken record but go read Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov because it is simultaneously: Good Literature; extremely fun and enjoyable to read; full of themes and stuff you can think about if you really want to; and very short.



I have a copy now friend, and I'll be reading it make no mistake.

vyelkin
Jan 2, 2011

Jozy loves scoring like a fat kid loves eating cake.



OscarDiggs posted:



I have a copy now friend, and I'll be reading it make no mistake.

you won't regret it

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER



SilkyP posted:

Is literature and hence critical analysis of literature less important now than in times past?

its all literature op

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SilkyP
Jul 21, 2004

The Boo-Box



V. Illych L. posted:

its all literature op

Nice

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