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ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



OscarDiggs posted:

As it happens I am being briefly distracted by some Nabokov short stories, but when I'm finished with those and have appraised the thread of my thoughts, I can take a turn into some longer Russian Lit.

if you want a short intro first, those mentioned earlier plus Death of Ivan Illyitch (Tolstoy) and Faust (Turgenev) are some good places to start out

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ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

In the modern era genre is more a marketing term than anything else

yes and no. seeing something labelled fantasy or sci-fi gives you a few (well founded) expectations about the text, and they’re usually right on the money

edit: they also tell you what not to expect from it, and you’d be right about that too, almost always

ulvir fucked around with this message at 18:21 on Nov 8, 2018

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

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