Dafydd ap Gwilym poems, and yesterday i read Voices of Marrakesh by Elias Canetti. Excellent short book!
I’ve been working through my DeLillo collection, starting with Cosmopolis and The Body Artist. I also really dug The Film Snob’s Dictionary. Not sure what to move on to next.
I leafed through The Film Snob’s Dictionary once at a bookstore, and it seemed like anti-intellectual garbage to me. And I really dig anti-intellectualism most of the time. Is it better than that, Joe?
It’s slightly better. Most of it is tongue in cheek.
I’m doing three books and a comic book simultaneously now.
The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de SadeWhite Jazz by James Ellroy
the script of Kurosawa’s Ikiru with an introduction by Donald Richie
an old issue of the Fantastic Four
I’ll be finished with the comic by the end of the night and the screenplay by this time tomorrow. The other two shouldn’t take that long.
All the Manson references in Inherent Vice have spurred me to finally read this. Much better written than I was expecting (I suspect that might be co-writer Curt Gentry’s contribution, I had read another Vincent Bugliosi work, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and the writing was rather ham-fisted).
Rereading: The Brothers Karamazov, Sculpting in Time, The Trial.
Finished the screenplay and the comic book, started Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie.
Housesitting and I picked this up:
I’m starting to get really interested in this idea. In the “Nine Meditations on Complexity,”http://www.openthefuture.com/2012/05/nine_meditations_on_complexity.html Jamais states that the opposite of complexity is not simplicity, but isolation. In the introduction to this book, Slobodkin derives these sets of related principles:
Simplicity — Complexity
Simplified — Complicated
Simplistic — Obfuscated
Minimalism — Ornate
and points out an idea that’s not so different from Jamais’, that they don’t necessarily counteract each other but that typically simplicity in one function will match a complexity on the other parts of the system.
If you are into the epistemology of Complexity/complexity sciences you might be interested in Pedro Sotolongo, the President of the Havana Institute of Philosophy. I’m not sure how much of his writing is available in english but he is one of the world’s leading experts in the field with a strong focus on its global, ethical implications, particularly when it comes to globalization.
Oo-oo-oo, you’ve made my heart all a twitter. I’ll look into it!
Hrm, thus far it’s looking like there isn’t anything. Original search for his name, for instance, provides me a criminal mug shot of some dude from Florida, and then searching his name with the Havana Institute brings up almost entirely non-English publications. However, if I get some access to jStor or something sometime soon, I’ll check it out there.
This is the guy I mean.
If you’re interested there are a couple of people I can ask how much, if any, of his stuff has been translated. And if the subject really interests you then I can ask about other authors available in english as well.
^ “One of Roth’s most powerful novel’s ever…”
Unless I’m missing something, that’s a pretty shameless misuse of an apostrophe there. I’m no grammar nazi, but it seems like that’s a pretty big mistake to make on a book jacket. Just struck me as odd. Carry on.
POLARIS: Do you read anything that isn’t complexity-game oriented? I’ve just noticed that a lot of the stuff you read—whether it’s fiction or non-fiction—is generally on that kind of level, whether it’s that book you just posted, Pynchon, some postmodernist work that reads like stereo instructions from an alternate universe etc etc.
Perhaps i’m getting old but i can’t stand intellectual games anymore. I have a preference for stuff that’s actually ‘useful’. I guess that’s why i much prefer to read Weber than Derrida or Baudrillard.
Now don’t get me wrong, i’m far from being anti-intellectual, but at the same time, i’m a lot more dismissive now than i used to be.
“Do you read anything that isn’t complexity-game oriented? I’ve just noticed that a lot of the stuff you read—whether it’s fiction or non-fiction—is generally on that kind of level, whether it’s that book you just posted, Pynchon, some postmodernist work that reads like stereo instructions from an alternate universe etc etc.”
I tend to get bored if the writing is straightforward.
Every now and then I’m struck dumb with a book that states things elegantly. It can be something as surprising as Bridge to Terabithia, or it can describe complexity in an elegant and simple manner (Borges, Calvino). But here’s an anecdote you may appreciate:
My 11th grade English teacher purposefully had us read Hemingway just after we finished reading Hawthorne. The idea she wanted to put across was that both managed to investigate deep themes of humanity and emotion, but one with a striped down, economic use of vocabulary, and the other with baroque and elongated language.
She was trying to show off how much better Hemingway’s approach is (she’s a Hemingway fangirl, something about growing up a few blocks down from his house or something). it backfired miserably on me. After the rich introverted buzzings of Hawthorne’s Dark Romantic juju, I found Hemingway very detached and cold.
But I will be honest that sometimes a book just attracts me because somebody told me it’s difficult, and I get all “Challenge ACCEPTED” about it.
“some postmodernist work that reads like stereo instructions from an alternate universe etc etc.”
One of the reasons why I like that type of stuff is that it helps introduce me to technical knowledge of things I don’t know about, whilst also being entertaining/humorous. Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon is a good example of a book that helped me understand cryptography’s relationship to information theory and even how WWII cryptography pushed forward digital computing in no small way, whilst simultaneously giving me sordid sex scenes and elongated jokes about Captain Crunch. That stuff makes me giddy!
Rereading this after rewatching Pierrot Le Fou which quotes Guignol’s Band part 2 AKA London Bridge. I realised that Pierrot sticks in my head the same way Céline does; fractured images and sensations. I love them, but I never remember them properly. Nothing resembling a whole.
Dig that cover!
One of these days, I need to get back into Céline. Few years back, started reading Nord [only book of his that was available in my college’s library,] though I didn’t finish it, was nonetheless impressed, if overwhelmed, by that chaos of words.
I’ve only read Journey…, Death…, and Guignol’s Band. Start with the first two, they’re not as batshit crazy. Journey… is impressive, crazy but melancholic, moving actually. Death… is nuts, disgusting, and hilarious. You say Nord is overwhelming; Death… was like exhaustively wallowing in shit. It’s relentlessly feverish(?!). Maybe the funniest book I’ve read, mainly because of Ferdinand’s ‘sex scene’ (at about 9 years old) where he’s all but raped by his boss’ wife. “I’m up to my ears in marmalade…” Not as philosophical or ‘all encompassing’ with regard to his anger at everything as Journey…. Guignol’s Band is incomplete without the second part, it doesn’t have an ending. In the first two Ferdinand hops around to different places for the first half before settling down somewhere for the second (being a doctor, working for Des Pereires). Guignol’s Band is the first half before the ‘settling down’ with Sosthène. Gotta get the two parts together! This one is chaotic!
Journey probably would be the ideal re-entry point, plus I’ve wanted to read that one for a long time. Hadn’t looked into Death much, but just going from the subject matter I’m not surprised it’s, “like exhaustively wallowing in shit.” You know, if I weren’t already, somewhat, familiar with his writing, I wouldn’t be able to understand why a scene like that would be funny (Haha.)
Have you read anything else of his work so far?
I’m going backwards and picking up on stuff that I’ve shamefully missed throughout my life. About 4 chapters into Bronte’s Wutherig Heights. Have always wanted to read it, but wasn’t until I watched Andrea Arnold’s latest film that really did it for me. I’m loving the haunting descriptions of the moors.
After that, Virginia Wolf’s The Waves. Hardly talked about from what I’ve heard, but the little I’ve heard say its her greatest work.
Picked up Point Omega from the library a few weeks ago and haven’t opened it. What do you think mr. Irish?
Only just started it a little while ago, but I’ll let you know once I’ve sunk my teeth into it a bit more. Have you read anything of his before?
I’d like to know what you think of both WH and The Waves, been interested in reading the former for awhile as well as getting into Woolf’s work, period.
I’ve only read Cosmopolis and liked half of it.