Whatcha reading?

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Flex
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Flex »

I really enjoyed the Dark Tower series, but it's definitely a bit of an acquired taste.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Flex wrote:
14 Jan 2022, 1:46pm
I really enjoyed the Dark Tower series, but it's definitely a bit of an acquired taste.
I'll see how I do with the next one.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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10) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. Audiobook. Can you imagine the thrill of the twist when this classic was first unleashed on the world? What an incredible mystery if you go in not knowing the ending. It's a great read with convincing characters and a lot to say about Victorian (and timelessly continuing) hypocrisy. It's also - and this is something sadly missed from the bulk of the film adaptations - exceedingly Scottish. I don't see the split in character, no uncontrollable alter-ego or werewolf type, that sometimes is depicted - simply a difference in appearance where the self-pitying Jekyll simply chooses to let the worst of himself out. Any nods towards his not being in control are just weak rationalisations, is my interpretation.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

11) The Luckiest Guy Alive - John Cooper Clarke. Paperback. 2018. An extremely enjoyable collection of Clarke's poems with a lovely Peter Blake cover. He's funny throughout and his voice jumps off the page and there's a couple that come very close to being serious and they're my favourites. That voice is the smart arse who's in the pub in mid-afternoon, sneering hilariously, his patter down pat, at the world, and leaving before he's pissed every day of the week. I love the compulsive rhyming and the clattering rhythms.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Silent Majority wrote:
14 Jan 2022, 2:56pm
10) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. Audiobook. Can you imagine the thrill of the twist when this classic was first unleashed on the world? What an incredible mystery if you go in not knowing the ending. It's a great read with convincing characters and a lot to say about Victorian (and timelessly continuing) hypocrisy. It's also - and this is something sadly missed from the bulk of the film adaptations - exceedingly Scottish. I don't see the split in character, no uncontrollable alter-ego or werewolf type, that sometimes is depicted - simply a difference in appearance where the self-pitying Jekyll simply chooses to let the worst of himself out. Any nods towards his not being in control are just weak rationalisations, is my interpretation.
In grad school, I read a fantastic book called Faces of Degeneration, which explored late 19th c European fears of savagery within. If this was the era of European triumphalism and scientific racism that was used to justify imperialism, there was also a fear that it could all come down due to inferior elements within—certain classes and nationalities. Pseudoscience like phrenology emerged to figure out the backward and criminal elements. Eugenics and Nazism obviously drew from all this. "Jekyll and Hyde" is clearly inspired by this anxiety about the weak link of European superiority, that barbarity was within, even as they dominated the savages around the world.

edit:
Image
Turns out I still have it. I think it'll be the next tub book.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
15 Jan 2022, 7:52am
Silent Majority wrote:
14 Jan 2022, 2:56pm
10) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. Audiobook. Can you imagine the thrill of the twist when this classic was first unleashed on the world? What an incredible mystery if you go in not knowing the ending. It's a great read with convincing characters and a lot to say about Victorian (and timelessly continuing) hypocrisy. It's also - and this is something sadly missed from the bulk of the film adaptations - exceedingly Scottish. I don't see the split in character, no uncontrollable alter-ego or werewolf type, that sometimes is depicted - simply a difference in appearance where the self-pitying Jekyll simply chooses to let the worst of himself out. Any nods towards his not being in control are just weak rationalisations, is my interpretation.
In grad school, I read a fantastic book called Faces of Degeneration, which explored late 19th c European fears of savagery within. If this was the era of European triumphalism and scientific racism that was used to justify imperialism, there was also a fear that it could all come down due to inferior elements within—certain classes and nationalities. Pseudoscience like phrenology emerged to figure out the backward and criminal elements. Eugenics and Nazism obviously drew from all this. "Jekyll and Hyde" is clearly inspired by this anxiety about the weak link of European superiority, that barbarity was within, even as they dominated the savages around the world.

edit:
Image
Turns out I still have it. I think it'll be the next tub book.
Cool, look forward to your current thoughts on that.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

12) Illuminations - Walter Benjamin. Paperback. 1940. It's a delight to spend time with so loving and tidy a mind. I love how pleasantly readable WB is. I can see the influence on John Berger immediately. Walter Benjamin feels like a writer from later in the century, in both ideas (cos of his influence) and a very post-1950 difficulty in putting a book down. One of the reasons I enjoy Quentin Tarantino is his enthusiasm-as-superpower. Benjamin's shares that. I expected homework, I got play.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by tepista »

Silent Majority wrote:
14 Jan 2022, 2:56pm
10) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. Audiobook. Can you imagine the thrill of the twist when this classic was first unleashed on the world? What an incredible mystery if you go in not knowing the ending. It's a great read with convincing characters and a lot to say about Victorian (and timelessly continuing) hypocrisy. It's also - and this is something sadly missed from the bulk of the film adaptations - exceedingly Scottish. I don't see the split in character, no uncontrollable alter-ego or werewolf type, that sometimes is depicted - simply a difference in appearance where the self-pitying Jekyll simply chooses to let the worst of himself out. Any nods towards his not being in control are just weak rationalisations, is my interpretation.
I think I bought a copy of this some years ago and never read it, though I've always meant to. All my shit is still boxed from the move. It's pretty short, yeah?
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by tepista »

Silent Majority wrote: 11) The Luckiest Guy Alive -
not so fast, buddy...

Image
Last edited by tepista on 18 Jan 2022, 5:36pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Silent Majority wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:07pm
12) Illuminations - Walter Benjamin. Paperback. 1940. It's a delight to spend time with so loving and tidy a mind. I love how pleasantly readable WB is. I can see the influence on John Berger immediately. Walter Benjamin feels like a writer from later in the century, in both ideas (cos of his influence) and a very post-1950 difficulty in putting a book down. One of the reasons I enjoy Quentin Tarantino is his enthusiasm-as-superpower. Benjamin's shares that. I expected homework, I got play.
It's funny that Benjamin and Adorno were colleagues and friends, yet so utterly differently in style and conclusions.
"And so he says to me, 'You wanna be a bad guy?' And I say, 'Yeah, baby! I wanna be bad!' And I says, 'Surf's up, space ponies, I'm making gravy without the lumps!'" - Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (early draft)

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Tub book (before getting to Faces of Degeneration):
Image
I've read this before (maybe ten years ago). As I recall, it's a fun crime story with a music angle, about trying to rob the box office at a Zep show in '73.
"And so he says to me, 'You wanna be a bad guy?' And I say, 'Yeah, baby! I wanna be bad!' And I says, 'Surf's up, space ponies, I'm making gravy without the lumps!'" - Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (early draft)

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

tepista wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:34pm
Silent Majority wrote:
14 Jan 2022, 2:56pm
10) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. Audiobook. Can you imagine the thrill of the twist when this classic was first unleashed on the world? What an incredible mystery if you go in not knowing the ending. It's a great read with convincing characters and a lot to say about Victorian (and timelessly continuing) hypocrisy. It's also - and this is something sadly missed from the bulk of the film adaptations - exceedingly Scottish. I don't see the split in character, no uncontrollable alter-ego or werewolf type, that sometimes is depicted - simply a difference in appearance where the self-pitying Jekyll simply chooses to let the worst of himself out. Any nods towards his not being in control are just weak rationalisations, is my interpretation.
I think I bought a copy of this some years ago and never read it, though I've always meant to. All my shit is still boxed from the move. It's pretty short, yeah?
You betcha, good and short.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

tepista wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:35pm
Silent Majority wrote: 11) The Luckiest Guy Alive -
not so fast, buddy...

Image
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:36pm
Silent Majority wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:07pm
12) Illuminations - Walter Benjamin. Paperback. 1940. It's a delight to spend time with so loving and tidy a mind. I love how pleasantly readable WB is. I can see the influence on John Berger immediately. Walter Benjamin feels like a writer from later in the century, in both ideas (cos of his influence) and a very post-1950 difficulty in putting a book down. One of the reasons I enjoy Quentin Tarantino is his enthusiasm-as-superpower. Benjamin's shares that. I expected homework, I got play.
It's funny that Benjamin and Adorno were colleagues and friends, yet so utterly differently in style and conclusions.
If I get to Adorno, it'll be a good way down the road. My understanding of his work is a pessimistic elitism which doesn't make me wanna look further quickly.
Wave bye bye to the boss
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Silent Majority wrote:
19 Jan 2022, 4:31am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:36pm
Silent Majority wrote:
18 Jan 2022, 5:07pm
12) Illuminations - Walter Benjamin. Paperback. 1940. It's a delight to spend time with so loving and tidy a mind. I love how pleasantly readable WB is. I can see the influence on John Berger immediately. Walter Benjamin feels like a writer from later in the century, in both ideas (cos of his influence) and a very post-1950 difficulty in putting a book down. One of the reasons I enjoy Quentin Tarantino is his enthusiasm-as-superpower. Benjamin's shares that. I expected homework, I got play.
It's funny that Benjamin and Adorno were colleagues and friends, yet so utterly differently in style and conclusions.
If I get to Adorno, it'll be a good way down the road. My understanding of his work is a pessimistic elitism which doesn't make me wanna look further quickly.
Coincidentally enough, I did my Frankfurt lecture yesterday. Yes, Adorno is extremely pessimistic and elitist—Marxists who scorn the working class and see nothing but misery ahead are strange birds—but he and his colleagues asked some fundamental questions about consumption that makes the still valuable scholars. Adorno's problem was in treating things too mechanically—crappy music in, crappy audience out; challenging music in, inspired audience out. It all happens at the moment the cultural text is created; everything after that can be predicted.
"And so he says to me, 'You wanna be a bad guy?' And I say, 'Yeah, baby! I wanna be bad!' And I says, 'Surf's up, space ponies, I'm making gravy without the lumps!'" - Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (early draft)

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