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Author Topic: What is everyone reading?  (Read 383844 times) Average Rating: 5
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Donna Rose
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« Reply #405 on: May 20, 2007, 08:18:35 AM »

Quote
Unseen Warfare

I am reading this as well. I just got through the section on prayer -- I found it most enlightening and practical in many ways, which is something I often need when being instructed on prayer.

Also reading:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Saint Innocent Apostle to America by Paul D. Garrett
Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien

And in case I haven't mentioned it here yet, I have begun the Great Reread of the Harry Potter series in time for the release of the 5th movie on July 13th and the 7th book on July 21st. Smiley Smiley Smiley So also:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

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« Reply #406 on: May 20, 2007, 11:38:29 AM »

Say no more.  Wink I'm getting used to the fact that everyone from the Balkans has a built-in microphone w/ two buttons; Loud and LOUDER. Cry Wink It used to be that almost everyone of our conversations started out with her saying, "Sweet-heart, you weel know whayn I am yelleeng...." Shocked

LoL!   Cheesy

So true.  When people are naturally louder than Italians, I take notice.   Tongue Wink
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« Reply #407 on: May 22, 2007, 01:07:56 AM »


 Italians have to talk loud because they're usually having to talk over their Balkan neighbors Cheesy I forgot to mention that I'm dating a girl from Romania Shocked

 Gabriel
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« Reply #408 on: May 22, 2007, 10:09:35 AM »

Also reading:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Saint Innocent Apostle to America by Paul D. Garrett
Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
And in case I haven't mentioned it here yet, I have begun the Great Reread of the Harry Potter series in time for the release of the 5th movie on July 13th and the 7th book on July 21st. Smiley Smiley Smiley So also:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.


Donna Rose - How is the Children of Hurin going?  It was out of stock at Barnes & Noble for a while and I haven't picked it up yet.  More readable than the Silmarillion?

As for Harry Potter Book 7, I did it.  I booked a fabulous B & B for 2 nights at the gorgeous Rose Hill Manor.  My fantasy escape from whining kids, obligations and never-ending laundry has been set in motion.   Just me reading on a chaise lounge watching the sunset.  Now the only thing I'm wondering, how much of a total geek/loser am I going to look like in the highly romantic dining room surrounded by smoochy couples feeding each other tidbits like courting birds.  While I try and look casual drinking wine by myself, reading a book.  At least it's not a romance novel.    http://www.rose-hill.com/
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« Reply #409 on: May 22, 2007, 10:16:09 AM »

Donna Rose - How is the Children of Hurin going?  It was out of stock at Barnes & Noble for a while and I haven't picked it up yet.  More readable than the Silmarillion?

Ack! You remind me that I need to try to get a copy of "The Children of Hurin".  I knew I'd forgotten something with class and kids and all.   What parts of the Silmarillion did you find difficult to read?

Quote
As for Harry Potter Book 7, I did it.  I booked a fabulous B & B for 2 nights at the gorgeous Rose Hill Manor.  My fantasy escape from whining kids, obligations and never-ending laundry has been set in motion.   Just me reading on a chaise lounge watching the sunset.  Now the only thing I'm wondering, how much of a total geek/loser am I going to look like in the highly romantic dining room surrounded by smoochy couples feeding each other tidbits like courting birds.  While I try and look casual drinking wine by myself, reading a book.  At least it's not a romance novel.    http://www.rose-hill.com/

Cow-a-bunga!!  Congratulations to you on getting this plan to work.  Smiley  Drinking wine and reading a book sounds like a fine idea to me.   

That reminds me.. I need to make a pre-order at my little local bookstore for Volume 7...

Ebor
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« Reply #410 on: May 22, 2007, 11:37:32 AM »

 What parts of the Silmarillion did you find difficult to read?

Ebor

Actually the whole thing.  While I've reread the LOTR many many times, I have made several unsuccesful attempts to read The Silmarillion.  I think it's a book that requires a lot of undivided attention in order to slog through the names and history with a cross reference book.  As you might have figured out, there's not a lot of distraction free time in my house.  I think that's why I read & write so much poetry and short stories.  In fact, right now I'm reading a collection of the complete short novels of Chekhov.  (For an agnostic, he has always seemed more religious than he's given credit for.)

Tina
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« Reply #411 on: May 22, 2007, 11:52:28 AM »

****now I'm reading a collection of the complete short novels of Chekhov.  (For an agnostic, he has always seemed more religious than he's given credit for.)

(GP) I agree with you, Tina. Chekhov is one of my all-time favorite writers. His plays are also wonderful.
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« Reply #412 on: May 22, 2007, 12:31:26 PM »

The Huntsman is an interesting story.
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« Reply #413 on: May 22, 2007, 12:47:59 PM »

Donna Rose - How is the Children of Hurin going?  It was out of stock at Barnes & Noble for a while and I haven't picked it up yet.  More readable than the Silmarillion?

As for Harry Potter Book 7, I did it.  I booked a fabulous B & B for 2 nights at the gorgeous Rose Hill Manor.  My fantasy escape from whining kids, obligations and never-ending laundry has been set in motion.   Just me reading on a chaise lounge watching the sunset.  Now the only thing I'm wondering, how much of a total geek/loser am I going to look like in the highly romantic dining room surrounded by smoochy couples feeding each other tidbits like courting birds.  While I try and look casual drinking wine by myself, reading a book.  At least it's not a romance novel.    http://www.rose-hill.com/

The Children of Hurin is going quite well. Smiley I'm working my way through it slowly, however it *is* more readable than the Silmarillion, in that it focuses on one single tale with a small handful of main characters, and so is more localized in that respect. I love the Silmarillion, but my favorite parts are the chapters or sections that really come together as tales of their own that could be excerpted from the work as a whole -- and The Children of Hurin is a novel-length version of this. There are definitely many names and history still in the book, however a manageable amount (and there is a relatively short appendix of names and descriptions as well as a fold out map of Beleriand, both of which I use frequently). Anyway, thus far I highly recommend it as a great addition to your Tolkien library. Smiley

As for your 2 night B & B Harry Potter 7 getaway...I think I said this when you first told us about this tradition of yours, but WOW I wish I were you and could afford to do that! As it stands, I am actually working all day on Saturday, July 21st :::sigh::: however I'll be on the Bookmobile where I'm allowed to read if I want, and you can guess what it is I'll be reading... Smiley

Donna
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« Reply #414 on: May 22, 2007, 12:53:52 PM »

Starting with what I'm reading now and going backwards:

Departures by Harry Turtledove: Good science fiction, alternative history that teaches much real history while it entertains:

    * What if Athens lost to the Persians? (Democracy? What’s that?)
    * What if Muhammad had converted as a young man and ended up a charismatic Orthodox monk composing hymns?
    * Or what if Constantinople and the rest of the eastern Roman Empire fell early on to the Muslims and Bulgaria (and thus the rest of the Slavonic world) ended up Muslim and not Christian?

And more!  Grin

Changing Places by David Lodge. Novel about two literature professors, one English from Birmingham, the other American from San Francisco, in a teacher exchange during the swinging spring of 1969.

The Liar. Stephen 'Jeeves' Fry's first novel, about a roguish public schoolboy and Cambridge student in a spy plot. Very English, camp and gay like its author.

Angela's Ashes. Frank McCourt's Pulitzer-winning first book, an autobiography about growing up in the slums of Limerick, Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s.

The Sum of All Fears, a Tom Clancy number from 1991. Entertaining yarn: Black Sunday with nukes. An advantage of not seeing the movies: my Jack Ryan doesn't look like Harrison Ford or Ben Affleck.

An advantage of taking commuter trains to work instead of driving is I make time to read books again.
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« Reply #415 on: May 22, 2007, 01:28:06 PM »

Welkodox - do you mean a short story about the village hunter (Yegor) who meets his wife (Pelageya) with whom he does not live, and she begs him to return? In the Russian original, it's called "Yeger'"... Yes, it's a gem, one of the shortest short novels by Chekhov, tremendously deep in fact, very humble, very humane...
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« Reply #416 on: May 22, 2007, 01:31:54 PM »

Welkodox - do you mean a short story about the village hunter (Yegor) who meets his wife (Pelageya) with whom he does not live, and she begs him to return? In the Russian original, it's called "Yeger'"... Yes, it's a gem, one of the shortest short novels by Chekhov, tremendously deep in fact, very humble, very humane...

Yes.
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« Reply #417 on: May 22, 2007, 01:41:21 PM »

My favorite short novels by Chekhov are "The House with a Mezzanine" (what an indictment of cruelty of human beings involved in "charity" "projects," among other things), "Lady with a Dog," "Ionych," "Van'ka" (or "Van'ka Zhukov" - this one is perhaps not conveyed well in translations, it needs to be read in Russian), "Gooseberries," and a number of others (I'll recall their titles and plots if I just glance at their first paragraph). But I really do admire his plays, "Sea Gull," "Uncle Vanya," and "Cherry Orchard."
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« Reply #418 on: May 22, 2007, 02:07:16 PM »

Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser and Centuries writings of St Maximos the confessor (Philokalia vol. II).
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« Reply #419 on: May 22, 2007, 02:24:55 PM »

As for your 2 night B & B Harry Potter 7 getaway...I think I said this when you first told us about this tradition of yours, but WOW I wish I were you and could afford to do that! As it stands, I am actually working all day on Saturday, July 21st :::sigh::: however I'll be on the Bookmobile where I'm allowed to read if I want, and you can guess what it is I'll be reading... Smiley

Donna

Working on a Bookmobile sounds like a dream job.  I have very fond memories of Bookmobiles.  If you want to read a totally amazing short story, try searching for The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger.  It was published through Zoetrope's All Story, or read on Symphony Space's Selected Shorts program on NPR.
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« Reply #420 on: May 22, 2007, 02:53:16 PM »

Actually the whole thing.  While I've reread the LOTR many many times, I have made several unsuccesful attempts to read The Silmarillion.  I think it's a book that requires a lot of undivided attention in order to slog through the names and history with a cross reference book. 

Been a while since I've posted...of course, there's nothing to get me back posting than a conversation about Middle-Earth/Tolkien! Smiley

When reading the Silmarillion, it really pays to take into account that it is an entirely different kind of story than LOTR in a number of ways.  LOTR is more of a chronicle while the Silmarillion (and the rest of the Tolkien Middle-Earth corpus in general) are more "legendary" in nature.  The events in LOTR were written in a style that is far more accessible to most readers of novels (particularly novels in the English language) than the Silmarillion, whose style harkens back to the legend tales of, say, the Kalevala. 

It also pays to take into account that LOTR was, for the most part, a product finished and finalized by Tolkien himself, while the Silmarillion was never truly finished.  The good Professor was, it is true, never fully satisfied with the final edits of LOTR, but the Silmarillion was a work in progress up to his death.  His son and editor Christopher will be the first to tell you that the published Silmarillion is his interpretation of where his father was headed based upon the boxes and boxes of manuscripts left behind in the wake of the author's passing.  However, it is almost fitting that there is no real final, set-in-stone draft of the stories of the Silmarillion.  As the legends of our own "real" ancestors were never static, nor are the stories of the ancestors of the Eldar and Edain as told by Tolkien.

I have also found that it really helps to either read the Silmarillion aloud the first time or invest in the excellent unabridged audiobook version and just sit and listen to the stories.

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« Reply #421 on: May 22, 2007, 05:55:53 PM »


I have also found that it really helps to either read the Silmarillion aloud the first time or invest in the excellent unabridged audiobook version and just sit and listen to the stories.


Good suggestion on listening through the Silmarillion as an audiobook.  I think I get weighed down flipping back and forth with an appendix trying to get names and history down in my head as I go.  If I could just listen to the whole thing at one time it would be easier to go back and read it.  Thanks for the tip Schultz
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« Reply #422 on: May 22, 2007, 06:34:18 PM »

Italians have to talk loud because they're usually having to talk over their Balkan neighbors Cheesy I forgot to mention that I'm dating a girl from Romania Shocked

LoL!  We are just jovial and enthusiastic in the South, that is all.    Wink Cheesy

Back on topic, I just started Edward Muir's Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta And Factions In Friuli During The Renaissance.
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« Reply #423 on: May 22, 2007, 08:12:21 PM »

BJohnD, good luck in reading Gogol (actually, the correct spelling should be Hohol, soft "breathing" vocal "h," like in English "down the *H*ill," etc., like the sound transliterated by the Greek "gamma" - he was Ukrainian... Aggggggh, Russians perverted both the sound and the spelling of our Ukrainian names!!!! Smiley). I never read him in English, can't even imagine reading him in any language other than Russian, same thing as Tolstoy. Dostoevskiy is a different story, his Russian is so weird that he might actually be received even better in translations. Smiley

George

Thanks -- If it's really good, I suppose (as the saying goes) that will mean it's a bad translation.  Wink
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« Reply #424 on: May 22, 2007, 10:34:20 PM »

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(actually, the correct spelling should be Hohol, soft "breathing" vocal "h," like in English "down the *H*ill," etc., like the sound transliterated by the Greek "gamma" - he was Ukrainian... Aggggggh, Russians perverted both the sound and the spelling of our Ukrainian names!!!! ).

Would somebody like Гоголь, (I'll avoid creating a transliteration altogether!) who was very russified used the Muscovite pronunciation in favor of a lower prestige pronunciation? 

I'm having my own problems with Russians butchering my Polish name on my visa for this summer's travels - is it that hard to realize that io = ё not ио or that zi = ж and not зи !  And when I go through Ukraine who knows what trouble I'll run into speaking Russian and no Ukrainian! 

To keep this on topic, I just finished up Eugene Onegin (James Falen translation) and am working through An Anthology of Russian Literature compiled by Nicholas Rzhevsky.  Both of which are good as far as translations go.     

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« Reply #425 on: May 23, 2007, 09:31:45 AM »

Hi Nektarios (sorry, I don't know how to use the Greek alphabet in this forum format!),

"Eugene Onegin" is such a bliss... Again, I, having grown up in the former USSR, read it in its original Russian and cannot even imagine reading it in any translation. "Blazhen, kto s molodu byl molod, blazhen, kto voremya sozrel, kto postepenno zhizni kholod s godami vyterpet' sumel, kto sladkim snam ne predavalsya, kto cherni svetskoj ne chuzhdalsya, kto v dvadtsat' let byl frant il' khvat, a v tridtsat' - vygodno zhenat, kto v pyatdesyat osvobodilsya ot chastnykh i drugikh dolgov, kto slavy, deneg i chinov spokojno v ochered' dobilsya; o kom tverdili tselyj vek: "NN - prekrasnyj chelovek!"" How CAN this even be translated??? Smiley Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #426 on: May 23, 2007, 09:36:49 AM »

There are people who say it cannot be properly.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/12829
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« Reply #427 on: May 23, 2007, 09:51:43 AM »

I have a feeling that Lev Tolstoy also simply cannot be translated... I have an English translation of "War and Peace" at home - it's so useless, such a gibberish... sorry. Smiley
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« Reply #428 on: May 24, 2007, 12:20:02 AM »

Departures by Harry Turtledove: Good science fiction, alternative history that teaches much real history while it entertains:

I.  Love.  Turtledove.  Primarily the USA/CSA series, but the fact that he's into Byzantine history, BIG time, is also wonderful for me!  That book sounds incredible!  Will have to see if I can check it out from the library system here...

Good suggestion on listening through the Silmarillion as an audiobook.

Speaking of these--my wife and I have already put ourselves on the library waiting list (and it's a LONG one already) for the audiobook of HP7.  Yes, we're going to wait.  A toddler and a soon-coming newborn (God willing) necessitate it...

I have a feeling that Lev Tolstoy also simply cannot be translated... I have an English translation of "War and Peace" at home - it's so useless, such a gibberish... sorry. Smiley

If y'all'll pardon the culture shift here, another person whose work I absolutely cannot stand to read in English is Pablo Neruda.  His poetry, imo, loses ALL passion, ALL beauty when it is taken out of the original Spanish.  When left in and breathed through in the original language, it is breathtaking.
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« Reply #429 on: May 24, 2007, 01:22:02 AM »

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Blazhen, kto s molodu byl molod, blazhen, kto voremya sozrel, kto postepenno zhizni kholod s godami vyterpet' sumel, kto sladkim snam ne predavalsya, kto cherni svetskoj ne chuzhdalsya, kto v dvadtsat' let byl frant il' khvat, a v tridtsat' - vygodno zhenat, kto v pyatdesyat osvobodilsya ot chastnykh i drugikh dolgov, kto slavy, deneg i chinov spokojno v ochered' dobilsya; o kom tverdili tselyj vek: "NN - prekrasnyj chelovek!

This is what I love about Eastern Europeans, they can all bust out into poetry (and stanza after stanza after stanza) from memory.  Most American school kids probably coudn't even name five poets.

Quote
There are people who say it cannot be properly.

If you really want to get a Russian professor going all you have to do ask which translation of Pushkin is the best.  Even better is getting a few together who disagree. 
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« Reply #430 on: May 24, 2007, 09:14:23 AM »

Thank you, Nektarios... yes, that's our habit, instilled in childhood... Most people who grew up in the former USSR and in the so-called Eastern Block, when asked about their favorite poetry, indeed can almost always recite stanza after stanza, non-stop, from memory. For many of my friends and myself, it's enough to "trigger" the opening, "Moj dyadya samykh chestnykh pravil, kogda ne v shutku zanemog..." - and we will continue the entire first chapter of Eugene Onegin by heart. I can probably recite about 1/4 of the entire novel (Pushkin insisted that "Onegin" is a NOVEL in verse, not a "poem"), or maybe even 1/3.

To me, Pushkin is a shining example of true humility. In "Onegin" and in many other works, he shows such a wonderful, soft, kind irony of the human nature (albeit sometimes a "peppered" kind of irony, too). Like in these two stanzas that directly follow the one I quoted yesterday,

"No grustno dumat', chto naprasno byla nam molodost' dana; chto izmenyali ej vsechasno; chto izmenila nam ona; chto pylkikh let neostorozhnost' samolyubivuju nichtozhnost' il' oskorblyaet, il' smeshit; chto um, lyubya prostor, tesnit; chto slishkom chasto razgovory my prinyat' rady za dela; chto glupost' vetrena i zla; chto vazhnym lyudyam vazhny vzdory, i chto posredstvennost' odna nam po plechu i ne stranna?

Kogo zh lyubit'? komu zhe verit'? kto ne izmenit nam odin? kto vse dela, vse rechi merit usluzhlivo na nash arshin? kto suety sred' nas ne seet? kto nas zabotlivo leleet? komu porok nash ne beda? kto ne naskuchit nikogda? Prizraka suetnyj iskatel'! trudov naprasno ne gubya, lyubite samogo sebya, dostopochtennyj moj chitatel'! Predmet dostojnyj: nikogo milee, pravo, net ego..."
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« Reply #431 on: May 29, 2007, 10:16:20 AM »

This is what I love about Eastern Europeans, they can all bust out into poetry (and stanza after stanza after stanza) from memory.  

Stop me before I recite "The Highwayman"  or Robert Frost or Lewis Carroll!  Grin Cheesy

Ebor
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« Reply #432 on: May 29, 2007, 10:21:41 AM »

I've been reading "120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature" - by Nicholas J. Karolides, Margaret Bald and Dawn B. Sova.  It's fascinating finding out why some works have been suppressed, burned, or the authors persecuted.  It has sections on books banned for Political, Religious, Sexual and Social Grounds and includes books from a number of countries. 

My 14 y.o. picked it up after finding out that "Harry Potter" was listed and started going through it. He was astounded and shocked at some of the reasons and cases and books that were suppressed.

Ebor
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« Reply #433 on: May 29, 2007, 01:05:06 PM »

Stop me before I recite "The Highwayman"  or Robert Frost or Lewis Carroll!  Grin Cheesy

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You know, I could never really "feel" poetry written by English-speaking authors. Not one single Brit "gets" me except Shakespeare. Poe maybe. Emily Dickinson - I "rationally" realize that she is a great master of poetry, but I do not "feel" her the way I feel Pushkin or Shevchenko. Edwin Arlington Robinson. Frost - some. 
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« Reply #434 on: May 29, 2007, 01:26:22 PM »

You know, I could never really "feel" poetry written by English-speaking authors. Not one single Brit "gets" me except Shakespeare. Poe maybe. Emily Dickinson - I "rationally" realize that she is a great master of poetry, but I do not "feel" her the way I feel Pushkin or Shevchenko. Edwin Arlington Robinson. Frost - some. 

My fiancee loved John Keats works, have you looked much into him?  Personally, I find the works of Count Giacomo Leopardi to be absolutely amazing, though some find him too pessemistic for their tastes.   Tongue
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« Reply #435 on: May 29, 2007, 01:31:36 PM »

My fiancee loved John Keats works, have you looked much into him?  Personally, I find the works of Count Giacomo Leopardi to be absolutely amazing, though some find him too pessemistic for their tastes.   Tongue

No, Friul, not much... tried a little (when my daughter studied Keats in high school and then in college), but his poetry did not "get" me in the slightest, sorry, I just yawned... maybe I should try more. As for Leopardi, no, I do not know him at all.
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« Reply #436 on: May 29, 2007, 01:43:36 PM »

As for Leopardi, no, I do not know him at all.

He and Evgeny Baratynsky are often compared to each other for their style of Poetry.

Leopardi's works are obviously all in Italian, but they have some translations out there.  Changing the language you lose a bit (sometimes a lot), but you can get a general feel to his style and outlook.  English  Italian
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« Reply #437 on: May 29, 2007, 02:07:23 PM »

Thank you so much for the links, Friul. Oh yes, of course I know Baratynsky. --G.
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« Reply #438 on: June 01, 2007, 10:01:17 AM »

You know, I could never really "feel" poetry written by English-speaking authors. Not one single Brit "gets" me except Shakespeare. Poe maybe. Emily Dickinson - I "rationally" realize that she is a great master of poetry, but I do not "feel" her the way I feel Pushkin or Shevchenko. Edwin Arlington Robinson. Frost - some. 

That's very interesting that you like Robinson.  I don't think he's as much read as he once was, though "Richard Corey" and "Miniver Cheevy" show up in anthologies sometimes still.  What are your favourites of his works, if one may ask?

Ebor
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« Reply #439 on: June 01, 2007, 10:02:51 AM »

It's also probably ummm naughty to say, but while Emily Dickinson has some fine images in her poems, it's been stuck in my brain that most of her works can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas"  Grin Cheesy 

Ebor
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« Reply #440 on: June 01, 2007, 12:16:43 PM »

Greetings Ebor,

I like "John Evereldown," "Richard Cory," "Her Eyes." I never actually read a book by Robinson; the poems by him that I read are in the "Anthology of American Poetry," a large book we have at home.

G.
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« Reply #441 on: June 03, 2007, 06:53:38 AM »

It's been a while since I posted here. It seems like the reading has really slowed down for me this year. I've finally started on some new books in the past couple weeks, though...

Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge - Basically a book of critical lectures/essays examining Thomas Khun's ideas as expressed in the philosophy of science book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Uses of Argument, by Stephen Toulmin - Logic, rhetoric, all that good stuff.

Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul, by Edward Hume - About the recent Kitzmiller vs. Dover evolution/creationism court case.

The Unofficial Lego Builder's Guide, by Allan Bedford
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« Reply #442 on: June 03, 2007, 06:54:43 PM »

My daughter visited us last week and, as usual, scolded me that I am behind in my reading. When she left yesterday, I tired to read "Flounder" by Gunter Grass, and... could not. Just too tired, cannot concentrate. Reading fiction becomes so difficult as I age, working... On the other hand, I became addicted to reading encyclopaedias. Recently, was reading an old USSR-printed "Literary Encyclopaedia" in Russian, esp. articles about the great mediaeval and early Rennaissance humanists (Pico della Mirandola, Ficcini).
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« Reply #443 on: June 07, 2007, 11:09:36 AM »

I got one of the Jim Butcher/ "Harry Dresden" mysteries at the library.  Not bad at all.  Good characterizations and plots.  Apparently there's not a serious on the SF Channel, but we don't have cable so I know nothing of it. 

I loved reading the encyclopedia when I was a kid/teenager George and I still do when I get the chance.

Ebor
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« Reply #444 on: June 07, 2007, 12:26:39 PM »

I recently finished "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, written about a century ago, was the original novel used as the model for the movie Apocalypse Now.  Its a very short book, but very heavy and put me in a strange mood for days after reading it (much like the movie does).  It is the same basic story as AN, but it is set in colonial Africa and centers on a british ivory trading company boat trip to the interior to solve a company problem (a mad megalomaniac of course).  Not light reading, but worthwhile.

Also recently finished "Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson, entertaining sci-fi set in a future where internet commerce caused the breakdown of taxation systems and consequently large central governments.  Society is organized into self-governing Phyles - basically neo-tribes.  Online entertainment includes story books with virtual characters controlled remotely by work-for-hire actors.  Set in Shanghai, a fun read for sure.

Also just finished "Night" by Elie Wiesel, amazing memoirs of his experience in multiple Nazi concentration camps.  Excellent.

Also going through my St Maximos the Confessor writings as well, and patristic commentary on the Psalter.
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« Reply #445 on: June 08, 2007, 11:24:46 AM »

I recently finished "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, written about a century ago, was the original novel used as the model for the movie Apocalypse Now. 

It was based on real experiences and the brutal treatment of African people under the Belgian control of the Congo.  There's some horrible, ugly history there.

I saw "Apocalypse Whenever" once in a theater with a huge screen.  Never need to see it again.  And the last part made no sense at all, but I'm not inclined to rent the new cut that I heard about. 

Ebor
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« Reply #446 on: June 08, 2007, 07:38:48 PM »

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. Second in the Narnia series, despite what publishers seem to think. Not that I expect them to understand a series that was written in theological order. I expect they don't get too many bestsellers of that persuasion.
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« Reply #447 on: June 11, 2007, 08:58:05 AM »

"Sons and Lovers" by D.H. Lawrence. Heard a lot about this author but never read him. Very strong first impression. The style is somewhat nervous, but I feel his great compassion to women and men.
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« Reply #448 on: June 12, 2007, 10:21:38 PM »

THis book if I remember "Sons & Lovers" is very anguishing. Isn't it the one were he's diggin' on this chick and every time he tries to hook up with her it is thwarted by his old man or something.
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« Reply #449 on: June 13, 2007, 09:01:24 AM »

THis book if I remember "Sons & Lovers" is very anguishing. Isn't it the one were he's diggin' on this chick and every time he tries to hook up with her it is thwarted by his old man or something.

Yes, sort of... It's more complex than that, of course, but you do convey the main idea. It's about one very unhappy family, where the mother is deeply frustrated and trapped in her marriage to a man who is way too primitive and incapable of loving her, and she becomes obsessed with one of her sons, and one of the sons becomes terribly hateful to his father, and a young lad dies of skin disease, etc. Not an easy reading, but one of those books that make you think, oh my God, what in the world is happening to people, why can't they just live their lives and be happy. In a way, it's like Flaubert's "Madame Bovary," but much more complicated and less "Victorian."
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