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What are you currently reading?
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Georgia,

If you liked "One Drop," you might like "Passing Strange" a story about a wealthy white man who passed for black in the 1880s so that he could marry his love who had been born a slave. He created dual identities-- one white, one black.

As for classics-- I read Proust in French class, and liked it fine as something to discuss in a group, but have not read him on my own. He doesn't hold my attention unless I am in a literature class. War and Peace is another matter. We had to choose a novel to read on our own in my senior English class in high school. We got something like quintuple credits for reading War and Peace. I read it once and like it so much that I read it something like 4 more times in the next couple of years. I also saw a Russian movie version of it, the same year, which, as a teen, I found incredibly romantic. Now that I am talking about teens, the other literary classic that makes a great teen novel is Stendahl's The Red and the Black.
Dory
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, dory...i sense a kindred reading spirit...i'll add "Passing Strange" to my long "to read" list...
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale: Thanks for warm greeting! I do hope you'll read the Baxandall one day and meanwhile, I am glad to have inspired acquisition.

I haven't read Dick Francis yet since my taste for reading mysteries waxes and wanes.** Never cared for horse culture, but given the profound effect *A Thousand Acres* had on me, I decided to give Jane Smiley's *Horse Fever* a try. (Quite entertaining. She lost me at *Moo*, though.) Good to know. Speaking of mysteries that become TV series, an anthro-friend loves Tony Hillerman's books, so he's on my list, too.

**Either I get bored by the formula, or the nature of the subject matter suddenly registers a bit too much and I find the whole business unpleasant. Happens usually w the best of them: Chandler and Ann Perry, for example. Read Ruth Rendell only once and probably never will again since she's too good and rather kinky-unsettling. *Gaudy Night* and the Nero Wolf books are exempt.

Georgia: Disappointed not to find *Empire Falls* on the library shelves, I took home *Nobody's Fool* instead and loved it.

KYH: I'm w you on Spencer (should give actor credit, too, though I wonder how dated it would all seem now. 80's, right?), but don't talk trash about William Powell, Myrna Loy and Asta! OK, I agree about the tiresome sequels, but I am a sucker for WP and enjoyed introduction to the films enormously; don't know the books from which they sprang.

Thank you everyone who stood up for *War and Peace*. Still remember the thrill of Levin's epiphany and where I was sprawled when I reached the end. (*Red & Black*'s up there, too.)

As for duty-books, I have yet to finish *Ulysses*, *Moby Dick*, *To The Lighthouse*, *Crime & Punishment*, *David Cooperfield* or more than a few pages of Proust. One day, though, since I trust those who have been passionately moved or inspired by them.

Meanwhile, I'd like to hear from fans of Dave Eggers. What prompts hearts next to certain titles?
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

but don't talk trash about William Powell, Myrna Loy and Asta! OK

Certainly wasn't trashing any of the actors, Deste. Just that the films bore little relationship to the books; and the TV series was one step further removed.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man a few times and couldn't get past the drivel of the first few pages!

am currently enveloped by Joseph Boyden's beautiful Three Day Road, will be popping it into the stack going with my guy to Afghanistan.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monty Python once had a "Summarize Proust" contest-- you had 15 seconds for the summary, I think there were 2 rounds--one in a bathing suit and and one in formal dress. After 3-4 tries, no one was able to do this to the satisfaction of the judges, so they just gave the award to
whoever had the biggest b Shocked bs.
I don't think the winner had actually competed, she was just found backstage.

Anybody--should I try Trollope, or would I just hit a brick wall?
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

And that was his most understandable book, David.

You sure you don't want to meet Tim Finnegan?
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David...I suggest some of Joyce's shorter works, particularly "The Dead". Beautiful and more accessible than some of the more famous pieces. If you still can't do the reading, find the video of John Huston's movie version. I think it was his last film and starred his daughter, Angelica. (I can think of only one or two film versions of books/stories, etc. that I think either did the original justice or actually improved on it. This is one of them. And, of course, that buckskin Daniel Day-Lewis thing...but I digress...)
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a Joyce story you might enjoy, Georgia.

Back when there still were wolves in Wales and snakes in Ireland I had a friend who was a Joyce scholar. Bob later comitted suicide, but I don't think there was a connection.

At any rate, Bob was working at a major Boston newspaper when the movie version of Ulysses came out. Probably the most insulting film ever produced; but I digress.

So, the paper's film critic goes to see it, doesn't understand either the film nor the story line, and pans it. Now, far as I'm concerned, it deserved panning, but he did it for the wrong reasons.

After his review appears, Bob explains to him what Joyce was trying to accomplish, how one should approach Joyce to understand him and his work, and how the producers did or did not accurately interpret that.

Next day, the reviewer does a follow up, in which he claimed to have rescreened the film, and, on further consideration, blah, blah, blah. His reconsidered review could have been a tape recording of Bob's conversation with him.

Didn't Dante have a special circle reserved for critics?
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, not to forgive it, but as partial explanation for the Joycean drivel:

Unfortunately, a lot of the internal puns have to do with contemporary Dublin events. So, if you don't know the referrent (as most of us don't), you can't understand the pun. Result: It all seems like blather.

Something else to understand about Joyce, and what makes him so difficult: He was trying to work nonlinearly in what is a linear media. So, yeah, there is a lot of confusion.

I'd submit to the panel that if he were alive today, Joyce would be a film maker, not a novelist.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I'm pretty much a linear thinker and reader! My main problem with Joyce (and I admit to limited exposure) wasn't the language but that, I just didn't care!

One Irish novel using arcane Irish idiom is At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill, context provides meaning for most of the language. But a linear plot and excellent characterisation!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the problem with most of us, David; we think linearly.

I suspect that the younger generation, having grown up with modern film making, would be more able to understand what Joyce was attempting---with two caveats. First, of course, is that they tend to not be readers. And, second, there's still the problem of the contemporary and historic references, the in jokes, and the, ohmigod! internal puns.

However, if it would make you feel better, I could post all the words to the song version of Finnegan's Wake. Wink
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DON'T YOU DARE!!!!
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David et al., I clearly remember walking into a class at university, looking at the syllabus, and getting dizzy. Two texts. First, Ulysses; second, Ulysses Annotated. The latter was half again as thick as the former and contained notes for every page, paragraph, sentence of the novel.

I decided that no novel that needed that much explanation could ever be for me. I suggest just going to Dublin, ordering a Guinness, soaking in the music, and enjoying Dublin on whatever terms make you (that's a universal "you"...not necessarily "you", David...) happy.

And my favorite Finnegan song is the kiddy version: "I knew a man named Michael Finnegan..."
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Georgia you were so wise! I always thought if it was *really* hard it was *really* important and worthwhile.

I do enjoy annotated books, but based on stories that I liked to begin with--like Huckleberry or Alice or Lolita.
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