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Author Topic: What are you reading  (Read 285895 times)
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Baglady
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« Reply #180 on: January 22, 2013, 03:12:53 PM »

Yukio Mishima - Confessions of a Mask
Brilliant novel, just like the others I've read by Mishima. Ponderings on sex and death in young age always gets me going. St Sebastian has a quite central role here, which suits me perfectly. Always been drawn to paintings of his death, although not in the same way as the young hero in this novel.
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redswordwhiteplough
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« Reply #181 on: January 22, 2013, 08:39:40 PM »

Jukka Koskelainen - Rakas rappio : pelastus ja perikato länsimaisessa ajattelussa
Jani Närhi  - Paratiisien synty : ihmismieli, evoluutio ja taivaalliset puutarhat
Hannu-Pekka Björkman - Kadonneet askeleet : matkoja aikaan ja taiteeseen¨
Richard Appignanesi - The wolf man : graphic Freud
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Jordan
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« Reply #182 on: January 22, 2013, 09:32:13 PM »

Currently starting out on Islands In The Net by Bruce Sterling, a cyberpunk novel which draws on some ideas of Hakim Bey and Bob Black/Zero Work stuff. I desperately wanted to read this as a teenager, but not nearly as excited now. Oh well.

Just trudged through ABC of Reading by Ezra Pound. The first couple (short) chapters had some worthwhile, immensely quotable statements about literature in general, which are mostly derived from his earlier, shorter and better pamphlet How To Read. It then gets really boring with translated Greek, Provencal, Troubadour etc. poetry, most of which I couldn't care less about. If you're interested in Pound and his views on literature, stick with How To Read.

Before that I read Dark Stars Rising by Shane Rupe, which my father got me for Christmas. Some pretty interesting interviews, although I noticed a number of factually impaired statements throughout, on the part of the interviewer as well as the interviewees. Perhaps footnotes with corrections could have been employed. All in all, a fairly eclectic mix of exploitation directors, actors, writers, artists, etc. that should all be familiar to the denizens of this board, taken from the archives of Headpress.


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acsenger
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« Reply #183 on: January 26, 2013, 11:33:04 AM »

Mircea Eliade - A History of Religious Ideas vol. 3

Solid and interesting book. It was quite shocking to read about the birth of Islam, how Muhammad used to raid caravans for income and how he forced Jews to flee from Medina to get their houses and money... The chapter about Central Asian shamanism was very interesting too, as was that about early Christianity. I'll have to get a detailed book about the latter. Although I'm not religious, it's fascinating to read about what human imagination can and does create in regards to religions.
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ARKHE
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« Reply #184 on: January 26, 2013, 02:21:33 PM »

Mircea Eliade - A History of Religious Ideas vol. 3

Solid and interesting book. It was quite shocking to read about the birth of Islam, how Muhammad used to raid caravans for income and how he forced Jews to flee from Medina to get their houses and money... The chapter about Central Asian shamanism was very interesting too, as was that about early Christianity. I'll have to get a detailed book about the latter. Although I'm not religious, it's fascinating to read about what human imagination can and does create in regards to religions.

I'd recommend his book on Shamanism (Techniques of Archaic Extacy), it's very encompassing. Perhaps not that correct, and his methods have been criticized, but the basic assumptions about religious phenomenology are philosophically interesting and inspiring.
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online prowler
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« Reply #185 on: January 28, 2013, 10:31:15 PM »

Sonni Krag

"Blandt bare negrer" ("Among negros only")
Aschehoug & co, Oslo. 1938.

A biography written by Krag - a Norwegian coffee plantation owner - outlaying his experiences in Africa in the early 1900 century.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 10:33:10 PM by online prowler » Logged
HongKongGoolagong
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« Reply #186 on: January 28, 2013, 10:36:52 PM »

"The City Is Ablaze!" by Karren Ablaze, because as a contributor I got a free copy - http://www.thecityisablaze.com/

Never a fan of many of the bigger bands featured such as Nirvana and Pixies. The Riot Grrrl content and Nation of Ulysses features some extraordinary violent and unreasonable rhetoric which is still fun. It's a pretty impressive volume in all.
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Steve
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« Reply #187 on: January 28, 2013, 10:53:20 PM »

Thanks for the word up about this book Mr. Goolagong, I never knew it existed and although I lived in Hulme between 1984-1990 I have never heard of this magazine/fanzine...looks like it might prod my failing memory bank! I remember Debris fanzine and City Lights .... I've bought a copy ...
I am struggling with "Copendium" at the moment and dipping into "Antibothis 4" now and then ...
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Levas
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« Reply #188 on: January 28, 2013, 11:29:41 PM »

Finished listening to Bulgakov's Master and Margarita - decent book though two of these Russian classics in a row seems like far too much for me..

Read some local novels to fill in the gaps. Now reading: We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

interesting, catchy and nicely written book for those interested in this theme. None of the technical details and overall I'm really enjoying this.

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HongKongGoolagong
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« Reply #189 on: January 29, 2013, 12:00:06 AM »

Yukio Mishima - Confessions of a Mask
Brilliant novel, just like the others I've read by Mishima. Ponderings on sex and death in young age always gets me going. St Sebastian has a quite central role here, which suits me perfectly. Always been drawn to paintings of his death, although not in the same way as the young hero in this novel.

His first and one of his very best, along with the incredible short thriller 'The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea' and the incomparable final series of masterpieces 'The Sea of Fertility'. Although reading these novels in translation it's so difficult to judge them all on their real individual merits, as the translators have added so much that they may be almost considered co-authors.
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ghoulson
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« Reply #190 on: January 29, 2013, 12:28:24 AM »

Spent some evenings reading "Nattvardsslottet (Le Château de Cène)" by Bernard Noël. I'll return with some more reflections once I've finished it. Swedish version is published by Modernista and sold out. English version is still available and called "The Castle of Communion".


Quote from Atlas Press website:
"The author recounts an intense initiatory sexual quest which occurs on a mysterious remote island. Chosen as the moon’s lover the hero undertakes a Dantesque voyage through sucessive levels of pain and ecstasy. The book’s climax is a beatific rite of sexual purification in the Castle of Communion, which is described in a poetic language at once incantatory, crude and almost mystical. The intensity of the book matches its method of composition: dictated into a tape recorder and finished in only 3 weeks, and written as a partial response to the atrocities of the French authorities in Algeria.)"
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Jordan
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« Reply #191 on: January 30, 2013, 12:38:07 AM »

Yukio Mishima - Confessions of a Mask
Brilliant novel, just like the others I've read by Mishima. Ponderings on sex and death in young age always gets me going. St Sebastian has a quite central role here, which suits me perfectly. Always been drawn to paintings of his death, although not in the same way as the young hero in this novel.

His first and one of his very best, along with the incredible short thriller 'The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea' and the incomparable final series of masterpieces 'The Sea of Fertility'. Although reading these novels in translation it's so difficult to judge them all on their real individual merits, as the translators have added so much that they may be almost considered co-authors.

I totally agree about Confessions Of A Mask and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, but I always felt all the reincarnation stuff in The Sea Of Fertility Tetralogy seemed a little forced. Still great books, but they just don't compare to those other books mentioned earlier. It could be a translation problem, but I think he was trying too hard on that. If I remember correctly, Henry Scott-Stokes said much the same in The Life And Death Of Yukio Mishima, a pretty good biography by a foreign correspondent for Time magazine (I think) who came to know Mishima quite well while stationed in Japan.

Death In Midsummer and other short stories is an excellent collection of short works, including a Noh play. In Japan, short story writing is considered a very serious art form, although Mishima did write a lot of pulp and pap in the format for ladies magazines and the like to pay the bills.

He also wrote a Sci-Fi novel which, last I checked anyhow, remains untranslated. I'm pretty sure it was given a pretty unanimously negative response. Still, I would like to read it some day.

The Criterion Collection edition of Patriotism features a BBC english language interview (audio only) that is just absolutely mandatory for any Mishima fan to listen to. The almost jovial approach to discussing his obsession with, and aspirations to, ritual suicide is wonderful. He jokes and laughs, and I recall the audience and interviewer following suit, though I'd imagine that their motivations for doing so would be a world apart from Mishima's. It's probably available on youtube.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 08:44:34 PM by Jordan » Logged
ConcreteMascara
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« Reply #192 on: January 30, 2013, 06:31:01 PM »

I've been reading a lot of Masamune Shirow's manga: Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell, Black Magic M-66. I've read Ghost in the Shell and its sequels many, many times before, but only recently did I get the last half of the Applessed saga. If like manga at all you've probably read GitS, but I heartily recommend Appleseed as well. What keeps bringing me back to all these works is that as technology advances, the futures they envision become less and less sci-fi, and more reality. Certain elements of the tech and social issues in his writing are already ubiquitous in todays society (the net, electronic communication, the digital divide). I know there's been some negative thoughts about manga expressed here before, but whatever, I like it.

Soon I plan on starting Mark Danielewski's "House of Leaves". People have been recommending it to me since high school, but I finally got a copy for Christmas so I guess I'll give it a shot.
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HongKongGoolagong
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« Reply #193 on: January 30, 2013, 07:07:47 PM »

Soon I plan on starting Mark Danielewski's "House of Leaves". People have been recommending it to me since high school, but I finally got a copy for Christmas so I guess I'll give it a shot.

I loved this book, although everything connected with it told me I shouldn't - the Goth image, the clever marketing, the hipster patina. Simply a very clever and moving novel with some aspects of real mystery. I enjoyed his second (career-ending) book Only Revolutions a lot too - a long. uplifting and psychedelic piece of poetry.
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Jordan
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« Reply #194 on: January 30, 2013, 07:57:29 PM »

I'm so lost when it comes to new fiction. The most recent author I've really read a lot of is probably Kathy Acker, or maybe Stewart Home. I guess you could maybe put Sotos in there as well, or at least in new literature that isn't completely nonfiction. I've read a couple of things by Will Self, I think just Cock & Bull Psychogeography and Great Apes. I thought that Great Apes was funny, or at least a funny idea, and it had some moments I truly enjoyed, but other parts of it bugged me. I got that Psychogeography book with Ralph Steadman as a present, and it was the first work of his that I actually read, despite hearing about him for forever, but aside from the part where he's at a gun show somewhere in Africa and asks one of the gun sellers if the gun he's holding would be suitable to assassinate Mugabe, I wasn't really interested in much else, just the Steadman works. Cock & Bull was amusing at parts, but again nothing really struck me as particularly memorable.

So who's a good new author? And not an older author who's still writing, I think I'm not so behind on that. Someone who's debut came in say, the nineties or something. There must be something. I googled that House of Leaves book, and it seemed mildly interesting.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:16:24 PM by Jordan » Logged
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