Corpsey

call me big papa
Well, it's true!

Mrs. Morel is a sort of Emma Bovary. Trapped in the provinces, married to a dolt (though there's more compassion for all from Lawrence), horrorstruck by the paltry dimensions of her life.
 
This book called Madness and Modernism where this psychiatrist interprets tendencies of modernist and postmodernist culture in terms of schizophrenia. Mostly about how hyperreflexivity and alienation are symptoms of both things.

He also tries to break with this prevailing Dionysian vision of the madman as lacking mental faculties and having no control over primal impulses; that lacking of reason which equates to a lack of the human essence or soul. Instead he sees schizophrenic madness as sort of extreme manifestation of modernist consciousness.

All very interesting. Lots of cool paintings and literature analyzed with this lens. A lot of Nietszche, Heidegger and Derrida in there.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Just started an intriguing looking experimental novel (novella perhaps in fact) called Lights. I've had it kicking around for ages but also had loads of other things too... finally decided the time was right. Just started it and already sucked in despite the sometimes over-fussy prose https://137albionroad.blogspot.com/
 

jenks

thread death
Lockdown reading;
Marion Turner's new biog of Chaucer - really an examination of public and private spaces as the world moves from a medieval world into the early modern era - great on the slow and subtle changes Europe was undergoing.

Re-issue of Vivian Gornick's The Romance of american Communism - an oral history of american communism from the twenties to the sixties - a seemingly erased era of history - would fit well with Vineland and Vonnegut fans.

Re-reading Mario Vargas Llosa's The Perpetual Orgy which may well be one of the best books on a single book by another novelist - in case Flaubert's Madame Bovary - the section on the technical side of the novel is masterclass.

New novel Mr Beethoven by Paul Griffiths - just started it about a commission Beethoven received to write an oratorio in Boston.

Finally a really heartbreaking and brilliant non fiction book about how a father tries to communicate through music with his severely autistic daughter: In Her Room by James Cook.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I've bought a stack of books recently and I can almost guarantee by the time they've all arrived I'll have lost interest and will end up reading something I've had for ages.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I can't stop buying books either, version. As for reading them, I generally can't start.

Currently dividing my anxious attentions between Sons and Lovers (which I was ready to give up the other night but once again pushed through the boring brambles to arrive at a scene that so feelingly evoked a scene that I decided I shouldn't read anything else), Four Quartets (I was delighted to discover this evening, directed by Helen Gardner's The Art of T.S. Eliot, that Four Quartets becomes more and more comprehensible as it goes along, and that the difficulty it starts with makes a lot more sense once you've read it once, and have this structure in mind — and this applies to The Wasteland, too, of course, and it's a similar Dantean path out of hell into paradise, where everything's simple) and (just bought) Robert Hughes's The Shock of The New, which this evening has finally given me some understanding (long sought) of Cezanne...

So it's a patchwork, it's bits and pieces, but I'm getting a lot out of it. Perhaps this is 'the answer' to the problem of not being able to read whole books, with my Internet shattered consciousness creaking under a fat hardback tome, but to enjoy reading this and that scrap.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Michael Pollan's How to Change your Mind, about psychedelics (the one luka hasn't read but hates on principle) and I'm re-reading a few choice cuts from Borges's Labyrinths collection.

I've kind of stalled with Gravity's Rainbow about a hundred pages in. I'm sure I'll pick it up again but I'm just being reminded of the things I found frustrating about it the first time around - the stupid songs, the flights of fancy, all that nonsense about "the Kenosha kid" that (AFAIR) has nothing to do with anything else that happens... which is a shame, as the main narrative is really interesting and beautifully written.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
This book called Madness and Modernism where this psychiatrist interprets tendencies of modernist and postmodernist culture in terms of schizophrenia. Mostly about how hyperreflexivity and alienation are symptoms of both things
This does sound interesting. I'm not familiar enough with either schizophrenia or modernism to comment on how true it is. I presume a psychiatrist has a good understanding of schizophrenia, at least!
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I've kind of stalled with Gravity's Rainbow about a hundred pages in. I'm sure I'll pick it up again but I'm just being reminded of the things I found frustrating about it the first time around - the stupid songs, the flights of fancy, all that nonsense about "the Kenosha kid" that (AFAIR) has nothing to do with anything else that happens... which is a shame, as the main narrative is really interesting and beautifully written.
I think I'd have considered this advice heresy until recently but with Sons and Lovers I've found that it actually helps to speed through stuff which I don't like or find boring to see if it gets better, which it often does within a page or two. Old, pathetic me would have considered it heresy because YOU HAVE TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK, but new, enlightened, virile me recognises that even the greatest novel isn't a perfectly constructed thing but is bound to be full of peaks and dips in interest, if not of yours, than of the author's.

Of course, if the dips far outweigh the peaks, probably worth hurling the book into the nearest pub urinal.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I can't stop buying books either, version.
I hadn't bought any in a while and was in a bit of a slump so decided to briefly give into the temptations of retail therapy. It does make you feel a little better for a while -- gives you something to look forward to until they arrive and inevitably end up on a shelf or pile.
 
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version

Who loves ya, baby?
I've kind of stalled with Gravity's Rainbow about a hundred pages in. I'm sure I'll pick it up again but I'm just being reminded of the things I found frustrating about it the first time around - the stupid songs, the flights of fancy, all that nonsense about "the Kenosha kid" that (AFAIR) has nothing to do with anything else that happens... which is a shame, as the main narrative is really interesting and beautifully written.
Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, so some people think he's saying something about him. Impossible to tell though. It's in the middle of Slothrop's "narcoanalysis" and all the language games he plays with that one phrase are a bit of a head scratcher. The Kenosha Kid is actually an old cowboy story though...

 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, so some people think he's saying something about him. Impossible to tell though. It's in the middle of Slothrop's "narcoanalysis" and all the language games he plays with that one phrase are a bit of a head scratcher. The Kenosha Kid is actually an old cowboy story though...
Fair enough, if it does actually mean something, but the daft language games get on my tits a bit. Same with having a character called 'Eigenvector' in V - what purpose does it serve, really, other than to announce "Hey everyone, I've got a maths/physics/engineering background!"? Some bits of Pynchon make me imagine him sat at his typewriter in a little room that he's totally hotboxed, chain-smoking spliffs as he works, occasionally pausing to somberly stroke his chin in wonderment at how clever he is, or have a good old giggle at how funny he is. Which is a shame, because it detracts from the rest of the writing, where he is writing cleverly without apparently needing to demonstrate to you, the reader, that he is very clever indeed.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I think I'd have considered this advice heresy until recently but with Sons and Lovers I've found that it actually helps to speed through stuff which I don't like or find boring to see if it gets better, which it often does within a page or two. Old, pathetic me would have considered it heresy because YOU HAVE TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK, but new, enlightened, virile me recognises that even the greatest novel isn't a perfectly constructed thing but is bound to be full of peaks and dips in interest, if not of yours, than of the author's.

Of course, if the dips far outweigh the peaks, probably worth hurling the book into the nearest pub urinal.
This is good advice. I found a similar approach can help with American Psycho if you can't be arsed reading every paragraph that starts "He/she was wearing..." or "I/he/she ordered..." - although of course the fact that Bateman is fundamentally a boring, socially conservative snob (in addition to being a psychopath) is entirely the point.

Three cheers for new, enlightened, virile Corpsey, btw!
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Fair enough, if it does actually mean something, but the daft language games get on my tits a bit. Same with having a character called 'Eigenvector' in V - what purpose does it serve, really, other than to announce "Hey everyone, I've got a maths/physics/engineering background!"? Some bits of Pynchon make me imagine him sat at his typewriter in a little room that he's totally hotboxed, chain-smoking spliffs as he works, occasionally pausing to somberly stroke his chin in wonderment at how clever he is, or have a good old giggle at how funny he is. Which is a shame, because it detracts from the rest of the writing, where he is writing cleverly without apparently needing to demonstrate to you, the reader, that he is very clever indeed.
This is a convincing interpretation, imo.

 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
This is good advice. I found a similar approach can help with American Psycho if you can't be arsed reading every paragraph that starts "He/she was wearing..." or "I/he/she ordered..." - although of course the fact that Bateman is fundamentally a boring, socially conservative snob (in addition to being a psychopath) is entirely the point.
I dunno enough about 80s fashion to pick up on it myself but apparently if you do, it becomes increasingly noticeable that the outfits Bateman's describing are completely bizarre and nobody would ever have worn them.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
American Psycho, another one I read for the nasty bits. And once again, all I remember about it now is the nasty bits (which were genuinely, traumatically nasty).

It's sad how little you (to speak for you all) remember from books after they're read. You can only hope that the good bits sink in and continue to nourish you deep down.
 
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