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„There is no place like home“

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No. 25325 Systemkontra
4,7 MB, 4000 × 3000
Old one yellowed and crumbled under the sun.

So Ernst, share your reading adventures with us once again.
No. 25339
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>the spirits' book
great read, whether you take it as a philosophical standpoint or literal truth I really enjoyed it. It's basically 1019 questions put to spirits about the nature of the material world and the spirit world by mediums in the 1860s, France.

>one second after
EMP hits 'murca and it follows the story of a town's attempt to survive after all the electricity shuts off and the cars stop working. It's super American, can't go a few pages without someone bursting into the national anthem, seeing a flag waving or saluting a corpse and thanking them for their service which is all fairly alien to me. It wasn't great but an interesting cautionary tale

>the last panther
gonna read this next
No. 25345
>the last panther
Isn't that just a work of fiction?
No. 25347
As I said, I haven't read it yet but my buddy who recommended it to me told me to read it with a grain of salt, and that I'd know when I came to certain parts that they weren't true. So he seemed fairly convinced it was fiction (but he neglected to tell me that until I bought it)
No. 25348
111 kB, 676 × 500
Heh, from Lindy's review it seems that the book is one of those naziboo fantasies, albeit somewhat disguised as "memoirs". I bet both historical and literary value of the work approaches zero.
No. 25351
>Comrade Führer
>Comrade Hitler
These always make me laugh like an idiot. Do you have the one where they send back a special forces guy in time to be a molecule in Hitler's brain?
No. 25356
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>Do you have the one where they send back a special forces guy in time to be a molecule in Hitler's brain?
Nah. The author made a fuckton of this waste paper apparently, and it seems that he's not the only one making it, so it's hard to navigate this sea of shit.
No. 25357
8 kB, 241 × 209
>Third cover
>Soviet tank crew shooting a civil war redguard

Is the imprint really called "anti-peace"? Top lel if true.
No. 25359
No, it's more like "anti-worlds". Possibly in the meaning that the worlds in those books are an antithesis of ours because of the alternative history or something.
No. 25361
Man, doing that cover art must be simultaneously depressing and hilarious.
No. 25387
I think I am going to go to a book store chain and buy a dumb and fun fantasy or scifi novel.
No. 25393
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I'm not a big fan of genre fiction, but if you want something ever so slightly more sophisticated (mostly just in terms of somewhat ornate language and some philosophical musings) I'd recommend the Book of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe. I'm halfway through the 4th (and last) volume now, and I gotta say it's been great so far.
The first volume starts out a bit slow but he really manages to create a "deep" and immersive world and often references previous events to explain them in a new light which gives way to some interesting twists. Not to mention that it starts out seemingly in a fantasy setting of swords and magic but then the sci-fi elements start coming in. It's been a while since I had so much actual fun reading.
No. 25404
what is the point of this board? it's slow and dead
No. 25405 Kontra
8,9 MB, 1280 × 720, 0:55
What is the point of Igor posting? It's slow and dead inside.

This is a place for serious discussions, Igor. Shitposting, mindless attention whoring, and pedos are banned here. This is the opposite of that hellhole and possibly fed honeypot that shall not be named.

Like seriously did you actually come here to a literature thread just to ask what the point of the thread was that's discussing literature?
No. 25408 Kontra
By separating shitposting and ernstposting into different imageboards, we have concentrated different aspects of imageboard culture.
When I post on Ernstchan I serious post, and when I post on Kohlchan I shitpost (at least on the /int/ board).
With one imageboard (Krautchan) the culture was pulled into different directions as it started aging, and it will tend to lean towards one or the other (thereby diluting the alternative).
Ernstchan is the yang to Kohlchan's yin, and I would not have it any other way.
No. 25409 Kontra
Although, EC used to be less serious than it is now (there was more humour and more fun allowed).
No. 25410
I don't think that good jokes or classy shitposting is disallowed here. :3
No. 25411 Kontra
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It isn't so much that fun isn't allowed as we are vigilant about cabbageposting due to the fact that kind of crap led to KC2017 and them killing our homeland. Good jokes are welcome, as long as they are actually good and not moronic shitposts. I greatly fear the day k*hl becomes such a worse cesspool than I heard it is now and collapses at which point we're going to get flooded with shit. I sincerely hope they all go elsewhere like end or space or yli or wherever instead of here.

I have not seen one single tranny dick in over a year. There is zero pedo presence. I haven't seen /r9k/pol/ tier shitposts for the most part and barely any frogposting, which I hate because it's like finding flee eggs on your dog. If you don't deal with it now there'll be more later and eventually all serious discussions then all discussions at all stop and it becomes nothing but shitposts.
No. 25414 Kontra
While I agree with absolutely everything you've said about kohl, pedos, frogs and tranny dicks - I've never seen any light hearted banter on EC, as imageboards go it's a fairly no-fun-allowed kinda place (or at least old EC was, I got banned from that place so many times for not participating in the circlejerk)
No. 25419 Kontra
You got banned for being an annoying faggot. In the beginning it was continuing to spam porn after being told to knock it off, then it was just occasionally coming in for the sole purpose of bitching and moaning, contributing nothing.
No. 25426
So I looked at Nordic mythology for a bit today. It's insanely fun.
>So the world just sort of exist
>There are two chasms at the side
>Cold in the north
>Fire in the south
>In the middle lays a giant mountain ridge
>The cold winds meet in the middle with the hot winds
>The resulting drops of water give birth to Ymir the giant
>And a cow for some reason
>Ymir sweats in his dream and his drops of sweat become his children
>They are fed by the cows milk
>The cow licks a salty stone for nutrition
>He licks out Buri from the stone
>Buri gives birth to Bur
>Bur marries a female giant and gives birth to the first AEsir-gods
>These Gods proceed to start a war against the giants
>They murder Ymir
>They drown all of Ymir's children in his blood
>Use Ymir's flesh, bones and blood to create the world
And this wasn't even a primary source, but it still was really enjoyable for some reason.
No. 25427
dont know about him but he is right. I sincerely hope neither endchan/kc and this place wont swarmed by kohl posters. it happened once I've seen it it was shit. I also remember getting banned for no reason. nothing even slighly indicated I should be banned.
No. 25434
70 kB, 750 × 1000
>every Irishball on every imageboard is the same person
No. 25435
Yeah I love Gene Wolfe but I’m looking for something dumber right now.
No. 25436
I struggle to give my full focus to books. When I do, it's usually collections of short stories like HP Lovecraft and Poe.
I enjoy learning and collecting ideas, but my attention span has been strained.
No. 25437
You could read longer books going chapter by chapter, I sometimes even make several small breaks while reading a chapter or with longer articles, depending on how relevant it is and my motivation. And I'm reading around 300p-500p/week.
No. 25439
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H.G. Wells has a short story omnibus that is pretty good. I'm surprised it has been censored yet since it's so non politically correct. Wonder when they'll start doing that, censoring old books. A few oldies I've picked up in the last few years has disclaimers in the introduction about them being raciss n' sheit
No. 25602
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An article on the concept of feedback in cybernetics with a focus on Kurt Lewin, a psychologist that worked at the MIT. It's cultural history and thus traces Lewins work concerning group psychology and behavior which is still noticeable in the evalutation complex of today. Anybody who has visited workshops or works in bigger companies (maybe even in small dunno) knows about evaluation and constant forth and back between evaluation, action and new evaluation, 'Feedback'.
Tbh social engineering is pretty spooky or broader: psycho culture or psycho boom of the 60s, just like before and after and the entanglement of post war cybernetics, the information revolution and counter culture /calfornia up to the present is a very interesting strand of history as it seems to be the humus for the modes of techno formatted communication we encounter today.
No. 25614
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Continued reading The Governance of China. Honestly, so far my biggest problem with the volume is that it's basically a collection of eloquent speeches that say absolutely nothing or barely anything.
Nothing is concrete in it.
>We will turn China into a socialist cultural-power!
>Our goal should be the establishment of an austere welfare state
Okay, how? Elaborate on it, please. What action is to be taken and by who?

I mean, it's not nonsense like old soviet socialist-realist theory for example, it's just shallow, and the shallowness is killing my interest.
No. 25618
You just found out how it works...empty (abstract) words without any clarification that evoke something in people if they not think about it from an angle like you do. Words empty in that sense that they can be filled with anything one imagines...that's really a 'classic' rhetoric. the term freedom e.g. in itself is empty, western people are not free from doing it too, using empty words and getting evoked by it.

But did you really expect that much, maybe it's my wectern bias, but what to expect from a man who made himself leader without time limit, afaik?
No. 25619
I expected to read about the basic tenets of Xism. Or at least something with a concrete ideology. It even lacks a coherent ideology. He evokes socialism and traditionalism in the same paragraph at times.

Even if it were to be bullshit, I'd rather have elaborate bullshit, like that 80 pages long essay on socialist realism I read once. That had complex terminology, long sentences, and it was trying to pretend there was something in that finely wrapped box. That's fun to tackle. This us just
>Everything will be better and more epic wins for China
The only thing it sheds light on is the fact that China runs on pragmatism instead of hardcore socialism/communism.
From my limited experience, old Marxist text were really hardcore when it came to keeping up appearances of concreteness and complexity.
It might be the fact that these are all speeches, and so it has to be more shallow and vapid to appeal to the audience.
No. 25634
>concrete ideologies

I wondered if that is not an oxymoron.


Yeah, you can not expect too much from them concerning complexity, but they should give you a basic idea at least.

But I don't understand how it's a problem to merge socialism with traditionalism into a new ideology. You can do that and give it out as ideology and I guess it is. What is done is something completely different often times.

You need to tackle 'intellectuals' who wrote books on Xiism, if those even exist. Dunno. The nazis even had many people who wrote books about the content of the ideology, socialism is different insofar as it is tied to Marxism that has a theoretical history on its own.
No. 25635
The Nazies always were really "concrete" in their goals, even if said goals were humiliating or killing a people. They had actual, very real aims, be they good, horribly miscalculated in scope, or outright fucking mad.

Xi does establish some goals in his speeches like
>Helping Western China catch-up to the coastal territories
>Cultural dialogue with the west (And increasing cultural soft power by encouraging "cultural enterprises")
>Tackling corruption
>A people-centred CPC
But as I said, nothing is elaborated besides stating these goals nobody could have anything against. I mean, these are all perfectly reasonable goals if you think about it. It's just we don't know how the CPC will actually try to achieve them.
So the edition itself is sort of a miss, since no prole will take it off the shelf, and if someone serious were to open it, they'd have a hard time getting any use out of it, since it doesn't really serve as an introduction to the ideology of the state. (And I'd argue that besides learning some really basic stuff about the Xi Government's goals, you won't be getting much use out of it as a foreigner.)
It'd probably work better as a series of pamphlets instead of one big book that could serve as a coursebook.

Anyway, I'll continue reading it, to see if there is anything else worthwhile, even if it's just that I'll find some interesting tidbits in the footnotes.

>Marxism that has a theoretical history on its own
That is indeed unusual about Marxism. You can still find books like Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism and such lying around for pennies if not for free, and the authors are all Soviet academics, sometimes droves of them, collaborating on gigantic volumes to bring you theory.

>But I don't understand how it's a problem to merge socialism with traditionalism into a new ideology.
Nothing necessarily wrong with it. I'd probably go for something like that if I had to build an ideology myself.
It just caught me off guard, really, but considering the fact that some CPC members were actually hiding ancient relics and artifacts from the redguard in storages during the cultural revolution makes it seem actually pretty normal to evoke traditions. (As in, we have to remember that not everyone wanted the cultural revolution to happen. Most people probably didn't want it. But "most people" is an irrelevant group)
No. 25878
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Any of you read Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism? The subject matter seems enticing enough, but I'm not sure if it's actually worthwhile, or just a pamphlet without much value. (I again, have an weird disdain for something I do not yet know fully, and this time it's the publisher, Zero Books. Probably because I saw them publish some awful looking books like Give them an argument and Kill all normies.)
No. 25879
Mark Fisher is a great theorist, member of the CCRU, sadly did suicide. Capitalist Realism is part of his analysis of contemporary (political, systemic, cultural etc) stasis.

Also Kill All Normies wasn't bad, the argument of the right adopting counter culture techniques is valid.
No. 25881 Kontra
>publish some awful looking books like

Oh, I see. Don't you know the proverb: Don't judge a book by its cover? :^)
No. 25884
I knew I could always count in the German Ernsts.

>Also Kill All Normies wasn't bad, the argument of the right adopting counter culture techniques is valid.
>Oh, I see. Don't you know the proverb: Don't judge a book by its cover? :^)
I mean, it looked like such a soulless "topical" work that was quickly put out to capitalize on the imageboard-scare that I dismissed it [Kill all normies].
Was it an actual, well sourced essay/thesis?

I was just asking about Capitalist Realism, because it's very cheap right now, and I still have a few quids on my paypal account, and I might as well get it, since there is no reason not to at half the price. (Maybe it'll even complement Society of the Spectacle nicely)
It feels like an important topic to me, ever since I had a 30 minute discussion about how "people don't take things seriously and passion is dead and only identity-tags remain" after a class.
No. 25885
5,2 MB, 88 pages
I read it a few years back and wasn't too impressed as he rambles quite a bit about some Zizekian ideas and so on and so on, the main argument being that of capitalism having set up it's own mechanisms of self-preservation and the impossibility of systemic change. This is of course reason to despair (as usual no constructive conclusions are drawn), so being the kind of ideology-driven person he was (plus mental health issues ofc) it's really not much of a surprise he offed himself. Now that I think about it it's kind of an impotent version of e.g. Mishima's suicide.
But getting back on topic, I'd recommend just reading it since it's really short anyways and it gives some substantial insight into the state of modern leftist (or rather actual Marxist) theory before all the idpol stuff happened.

Here's a (negative) review of Nagle's book by the infamous Kantbot: https://web.archive.org/web/20180226143118/http://thermidormag.com/angela-nagles-wild-ride/
I haven't read it personally, as the book didn't seem too interesting to me, but I trust him to touch upon some at least interesting, if not always sensible, points.

>I was just asking about Capitalist Realism, because it's very cheap right now
It's really short anyways so you can just read it even on the computer in one sitting, so I've attached the PDF since I have it at hand just in case.
No. 25886
>Capitalism and the Real
Is that Lacan I'm smelling?

Just the chapter titles make my heart beat with excitement, honestly.
I like his style, even if he seems to reference movies a bit too much, but I guess he is trying to keep it simple.
No. 25891
>(as usual no constructive conclusions are drawn)

perhaps the Acid Communism text, not sure if he was ideology driven, Zizek ok, but even he does not believe in the "right consciousness" but eternal struggle over hegemony.
He was influenced by Deleuze and Guattari who (famously) can be quoted
>there is no ideology

but I don't know if Fisher bought that actually in his later years.
Yet he is counted as accelerationist so is texts don't ooze fatalism. It's just a nice analysis and therefore worth reading, even more so because it's short.


are you that social darwinist german?

>some substantial insight into the state of modern leftist (or rather actual Marxist) theory

not sure about that


tl,dr? I read it long ago but I think some arguments are alright e.g counter culture techniques. She at least was not moralizing, if I remember correctly.

I don't think so, the Real of Lacan has nothing to do with realism as in lets be realistic about this afaik the Real is something you cannot comprehend or something like that

>movie references

he is a cultural theorist and I guess his preference for movies comes from Zizek
No. 25896
>not sure if he was ideology driven
I don't mean that in a derisive sense, just that he was thoroughly obsessed with theory.
I don't know either what was going on in his later years neither have I read his later writings. It was just a conjecture since Capitalist Realism did make a thoroughly fatalist impression on me at the time I read it.

>not sure about that
Why not? Along with Zizek I feel like he's one of the most prominent modern Left theorists.

>are you that social darwinist german?
Nah lol

I haven't read the book myself either, only listened to some podcast with Nagle and felt that was enough to get the gist. Some quotes from the review:
>the book has a certain cheapness to it unbecoming of the intellectual ambitions of the author. Reading it at times I felt it belonged more to the genre of timely and exploitative political cash-in than it did to the genre of academic socio-political theory, and this I felt was unfortunate given what I felt Nagel really would have liked to accomplish.
>Nagle doesn’t appear to have interacted much with the typical 4chan users and internet trolls she means to investigate, and I feel like some of the unexamined premises which underlay the book’s weaker lines of arguments could have been shored up had she made a more sincere attempt to enter the perspectives she was trying to unpack. There are no real stories here, only 4chan green text posts taken at face value, and Nagle never succeeds in getting beyond anonymity to the faces and thinking of the people who serve as the subject for her whole book.

>I don't think so, the Real of Lacan has nothing to do with realism
He does reference Lacan explicitly for sure (also courtesy of Zizek ofc)
No. 25914
>obsessed with theory

I don't understand. What does this has to do with ideology? ideology is just one part of the leftist theory apparatus

>Zizek I feel like he's one of the most prominent modern Left theorists.

Well, they are prominent, but Zizek is the misanthrope now and attacks id politics which is also very prominent but also famous with liberals. Both Fisher and Zizek are diagnosing a missing imagination in the left tho. The latter is quite famous in some leftists circles but they are not representative. I think it's hard these days to find a good representation of the left, there is no real unity a few unifying desires perhaps, but mutual enemies perhaps.

>Nagle never succeeds in getting beyond anonymity to the faces and thinking of the people who serve as the subject for her whole book.

Point is, is that an aim of the argument. Ofc you have only what is on the internet. Yet these texts are read and taken at face value by many people I suppose. Nagle shows 4chan as ironic shiposting, perhaps nihilism and cynism. Don't know if she argues that this is a good ferment for the politicization of chans we all experienced over the last decade. At least the culture war thesis is not wrong.

>He does reference Lacan explicitly for sure

A reference that connects the Real of Lacan with Capitalist Realism as sames.

I found a passage of interest here to clear it up:

>At this point, it is perhaps worth introducing an elementary theoretical distinction from Lacanian psychoanalysis which Žižek has done so much to give contemporary currency: the difference between the Real and reality. As Alenka Zupancic explains, psychoanalysis's positing of a reality principle invites us to be suspicious of any reality that presents itself as natural. 'The reality principle', Zupancic writes 'is not some kind of natural way associated with how things are ... The reality principle itself is ideologically mediated; one could even claim that it constitutes the highest form of ideology, the ideology that presents itself as empirical fact (or biological, economic...) necessity (and that we tend to perceive as non-ideological). It is precisely here that we should be most alert to the functioning of ideology.' For Lacan, the Real is what any 'reality' must suppress; indeed, reality constitutes itself through just this repression. The Real is an unrepresentable X, a traumatic void that can only be glimpsed in the fractures and inconsistencies in the field of apparent reality. So one strategy against capitalist realism could involve invoking the Real(s) underlying the reality that capitalism presents to us. (p.17f.)

So the Real of Lacan is not the same as Capitalist Realism but actually suppresses it, takes its places, becomes an ideology. Capitalist Realism is a reality that presents itself as natural and by doing so it suppresses the Real (of Lacan). So what Fisher suggests is giving sight to the traumatic void, the fracture and inconsistency of what Capitalist realism is trying to hide by presenting itself as closed and ubiquitous reality in which every thing is identified and making sense.
No. 25924
I guess I'm really just better off reading Capitalist Realism as a PDF (Maybe printing it), and getting something by Slavoj "Sniffman" Zizek if I want something longer and in detail. (I think I'll postpone that for later, though I'll finish reading CR on the weekend.)

Sorry if I touched some nerves by brutishly exclaiming unfounded opinions.
I always knew I could count on the Germans.
No. 25926
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Cringe title aside it actually provides you with some very reasonable tips on negotiation. It is very textbook in how you read it but I enjoyed how it asks you to imagine what you would do in a particular scenario and to reflect on those choices.
No. 26020
I think I'm going to read Zizek in Hungarian. I looked at one of his books in English, and I heard him say every single word in my head as I was reading. It's killing me. It shouldn't be funny, but it is!
No. 26025
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Okay I finished reading it and as per Lindy's review there it does indeed seem to be fanfic written to make money off gullible wehrboos. Every single tank in the book exploded into a ball of fire even when it was hit in the turret and the whole book was pure suffering like an episode of The Walking Dead where everyone just suffers exponentially, and endlessly in ever increasing bullshit.

btw I met Lindy in real life he was a complete autistic knob-end
No. 26027
>btw I met Lindy in real life he was a complete autistic knob-end
How so?
No. 26028
> in real life he was a complete autistic knob-end
>in a complete surprise to absolutely no one
No. 26033
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It was at Tankfest 2017, Bovington tank museum. There we were enjoying our time at tankfest, the re-enactors were great and I was talking to some re-enactor about the Lee Enfield rifle while I was holding it and a sten gun, then I feel this slap on my right arm, and another slap and it's this autistic fucking wildman beating me with a camera's tripod as he barges his way through the crowd.

Next thing I know this dude is standing next to me and talking loudly over everyone AT this re-enactor about the benefits of the Lee Enfield rifle. Each time the actor would try to talk this fucking guy would just shout over him about 5 round stripper clips and how it was so superior to the mosin nagant, all the time waving that fucking tripod around like a retard in case anyone got near to this actor dude who was clearly trying to suppress a smirk. A few more slaps of that tripod and I decided to cut my losses and go over to the German re-enactors who handed me a panzerschreck out of pity, having witnessed that bearded fuck AMOG a whole crowd with his autistic screeching.

I hadn't a clue who he was at the time until my buddies were like ''DUUUUDE that was Lindy Beige!''
No. 26039
>A few more slaps of that tripod and I decided to cut my losses and go over to the German re-enactors who handed me a panzerschreck out of pity
I don't know why this sentence is so incredibly funny
No. 26048
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I'm about halfway thru the 'Cybernetic Hypothesis' by Tiqqun.
It traces the entanglement of capitalism and cybernetics throughout the 20th century. It was published in 2001. It's written in a political manner and thus sometimes lack further explanations or works with aggravations. And yet the control and governance of the self as well as the extraction of surplus value by circulation (and that also ensures further accumulation) and others is a plausible shift in the political economy as laid out so far.
Tbh the transformation thru cybernetics Tiqqun calls the network, talking of networks a "second cybernetics" after WW2 seems enormous but largely unacknowledged, even natural to the larger public. So I wonder if the analysis of cybernetics is exaggerated. But then again the proofs in science and economy seem to be there. And who will deny, that both spheres have quite an impact on how we deal with society and its organization which in the end have a strong impact on our lives we get subjected by such forces, even tho a reflection could provide the possibility to resistence
No. 26084
I've often wondered just how radically different the world could be had the second world war or Cold war gone differently. There is a whole new medium of the arts that essentially didn't even exist until the 1980s. Just imagine if the home computer didn't exist. I'm not even sure the Soviets would have gone this route had say the US collapsed in the 1970s for some mysterious reason. Would vidya even exist? Would the internet even exist, and if it did, would it even vaguely resemble what we have today as a consumer civilian service? It's just odd to think about how thoroughly computers and the internet has permeated everything and the fact that all the steps required to make this complex technology even exist and be readily available outside the military and universities are not a sure thing to such an extent the world could be radically different, not simply on a geopolitical level but just to the little things we take for granted, and the fact that so much of our modern society is now reliant on these same computers and lightspeed information systems.

While I wouldn't go that far, I can see the argument being made for how the internet itself serves as a kind of cybernetic augmentation for humanity but in perhaps the most important way: as a cybernetic prostheses for our minds.
No. 26085
27 kB, 316 × 483
You should give this a read, written in 1933, it was a predictive future-history of the world. In his predictive future Hitler's nazis are just a gang that never gains traction and Ireland is a post-apocalyptic country of wildmen!

I wrote my Philosophy thesis on this book and 4 others. It's a bit dry but interesting.
No. 26098
48 kB, 768 × 960
> I'm not even sure the Soviets would have gone this route had say the US collapsed in the 1970s for some mysterious reason.

I've somewhere read and argument I remember now that said the soviets had no interest in personal technology. Like, the telephone was an instrument to give orders and not for private communication. Serving the interests of a centralized state. So I guess they were interested in computers and cybernetics but had another use in mind.

>all the steps required to make this complex technology even exist and be readily available outside the military and universities

And here you have to look at the history of cynbernetics, its military origin and it spilling into the public sector and taken up by the counter culture of the 60s. I guess the latter are significant for why we have personal computers today. The vision might not have been capitalistic, but its "counter" aspect got marginalized, if it ever was really radical at all. The Californian Ideology is perhaps the pervert twist of this entanglement: "Help the world and get rich with it" - Socialism and Capitalism? One got lost and became a hollow phrase.
No. 26123
Well, imagine if the OGAS project had borne fruit and the USSR transitioned to a cybernetic planned economy in the 1970s with an internet of its own.

>I've somewhere read and argument I remember now that said the soviets had no interest in personal technology. Like, the telephone was an instrument to give orders and not for private communication. Serving the interests of a centralized state. So I guess they were interested in computers and cybernetics but had another use in mind.

Interesting story: The Eastern bloc had its own version of Eurovision but personal phones were almost unheard of. To get around the problem of voting they would have people indicate their preferences by switching their lights on and off which led to measurable power fluctuations on the national grid.
No. 26783
Read the first volume of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. Being used to his later novels with their dark, tense and paranoid atmosphere like A Scanner Darkly, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said or Ubik, I was confounded by the short stories in this collection and by the fact that they don't feel like PKD's at all, but then I realized that they are placed in the chronological order, so they were written way before Dick went batshit crazy. A lot of them have unambiguously happy endings (and, what was even more unexpected of PKD for me, unambiguously unambiguous), some, like "Indefatigable Frog", "Prize Ship" and stories about Dr. Labyrinth ("The Preserving Machine", "The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford"), are light-heartedly humorous, and "The Little Movement" with "The King of the Elves" could even pass as honest-to-goodness fairy-tales. The stories are often quite idealistic to the point of being naïve, and while Dick's usual themes of dissociation and losing personal identity are present, they are not nearly as prominent as, say, the anti-war theme ("The Gun", "The Defenders", "The Variable Man") or cyberpunk-ish theme of enslavement by the technology ("Stability", "The Great C"). The most PKD story in this volume, in my opinion, is "Colony", which is profoundly dark and very paranoid, and which, I suspect, served as an inspiration for the recent videogame Prey.

Overall, although these stories felt much more "normal" that I expected, I still liked them and I would compare them favorably to Harlan Ellison's stories that I wrote about in one of the earlier thredas, simply because Dick doesn't try his darnedest to be artsy, doesn't show off his erudition on every occasion and doesn't turn the stories into some sort of parables. I also wonder why I didn't encounter any of PKD's works in SF collections published in Soviet Union. Of course, stories about drugs or oppressive governments wouldn't pass the censorship, but most stories from this volume would, I think.
No. 26861
>Shen Fu - The Old Man of the Moon
This is a short novella, originally a part of a late Qing-era collection called Six Records of a Life Afloat, Penguin just decided to publish a small, pocket edition of it. (Though yes, it made me want to read the other stories in the collection.)

I'm including some spoilers
The story centres on a lowly scholar, who marries a beautiful woman called Yun. The unusual bit is that Yun is not like the average women in the sense that she is both interested in and capable of pursuing the literary arts. Even the author mentions, that essentially she was a woman of male character.
I'd say the first half of the story is an idyll, and the second half is where the sudden tragedy strikes. The time frame is large, the couple lives together for Twenty-three years before "suddenly parting", which imho made the tragedy feel lesser. That's a long marriage with a lot of happiness.
Not to mention the Buddhist ideal of loving couples transcending death is constantly there. (Though the latter makes it all the more moving, I nearly cried at the ending, and I don't say things like these lightly.)
Anyway, lovely story. I liked reading it a lot.
No. 26891
I am reading books of Frankfurt School

Pretty intersding imo
No. 26940
33 kB, 328 × 499
just finished reading this incredible work
will probably move onto some of carl jung's alchemy work now
No. 27409
37 kB, 324 × 499
2/3 through the Divine Comedy now. I'm quite unhappy with my edition as there are absolutely no footnotes and only very scant chapter summaries so I keep losing track of actually understanding what's going on and just go along reading because of the rhythm. Gonna listen to some lectures on it for further explanation I guess.

I'm also reading McLuhan's Understanding Media, which is absolutely stellar and visionary in regards of media analysis. Would strongly recommend to anyone interested in the interplay of civilization-culture-media. It's really rather hard to put the insights into your own words though as he has a somewhat idiosyncratic writing style, I had to mark a ton of quotes.

I've also torn through Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 in two days as it's quite short and that was immensely captivating and enjoyable, best book I've read in a while. Might just start another of his longer wokrs soon.

Also finished the Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy a while ago as well, it was great too but I really wouldn't have minded if it would've gone on a bit longer. Really enjoyed connecting the threads and retrospectively recognizing premonitions. As seems to be the consensus, it's definitely a candidate to be reread at some point.

Please marvel at this pic-related gem I found while googling around
No. 27414
I kinda get the impression much is lost in translation from time and place anyway. There's numerous references throughout that work that I don't get because I'm not an Italian from many centuries ago. I also always found it kind of odd the way Dante structured what he portrayed as worse vices, and am saddened by how much a complete work of fiction seems to be taken mostly by retarded American protestants and by modern non-religious people to be the same thing as Christian doctrine. I still need to get around to reading Paradiso at some point.
No. 27422
24 kB, 407 × 648
I stumbled across Sad by Design while reading this interview about the new book by Yuk Hui on Recursivity and Contingency

It is written in a more agressive tone and indeed fulfills the promise of a more radical critique. I've only read the introduction and a chapter that seemed promising for my term paper and just now dipped into the first chapter.

Some quotes to get you an impression and feel

>Mainstream media’s role as “clearing houses” for facts and opinions has been undermined for decades by growing centripetal forces in society that no longer accept particular baby-boom sentiments such as truth and independence. Yet while their legitimacy has faded, their influence remains substantial. This creates an atmosphere of permanent ambivalence.
>After decades of hard work to deconstruct the dominant ideology of the mainstream media, there is no way back. The liberal consensus is broken

>No matter how desperate the situation, the uprising simply won’t happen. At best we attend a festival, expand our mind and body—and then sink back into the void.

>This book picks up those threads, examining in particular the interplay between our mental state and the technological condition.

>Alarmism has worn itself out. If we want to smash platform capitalism, a political economy analysis will not be sufficient

>As Gramsci said, “the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

>We no longer turn on the television news thinking that we’re watching a film. We’ve moved on. It is not life that has become cinematographic; it is the film scenario and its effects that shape the grand designs of our technological societies. Films anticipated our condition, and now we’re situated in the midst of yesteryears’ science fiction. Minority Report is now a techno-bureaucratic reality, driven by the integration of once-separate data streams. Black Mirror is not a joke. Virtual reality actually feels like The Matrix. Trump’s reality TV shows proved to be rehearsals. His tweets are actually US policy. All this makes us long for truly untimely, weird fiction.

Seems to be a good book for everyone who grew up in his teens with imageboards and social media in general or who even has seen the dawning of the internet and how it developed into the present modification. Espcially because the tone is refreshinly aggresive and suits more an imageboard than some bleak newspaper article

Just one last:

>“The internet finds itself dominated by two ruling narratives: the American one, where power is concentrated in the hands of just a few big players, and a Chinese model, where government surveillance appears to be the leitmotif. Between Big Tech and government control, where does this leave citizens?” To label social media users as citizens is obviously a political framing, common lingo within NGO “global civil society” circles. Is this our only option to escape the consumer identity?
No. 27462
31 kB, 317 × 475
Just finished Tom Gunning's book on DW Griffith. Griffith is usually lauded and criticized on the basis of The Birth of a Nation, the former usually in annoyingly vague terms. Gunning gives a truly interesting analysis of DWG's short films from 1908-9 where he actually developed the core of his techniques and, most importantly, the mechanics of narrative, characterization and morality of film that barely existed before him and became the hallmarks of classical film style afterwards.
He also connects it with the cultural context in interesting ways, showing which pressures on film existed at that time, and talks about Florence Lawrence and Mary Pickford, who were perhaps the first celebrity film actors (even though for a long time it was the policy of film producers then not to let any creators' or actors' names be known).

>there are absolutely no footnotes
What a pity. If there's a great work of literature that absolutely needs footnotes and explanations, it's the Comedy. It's worth it, I was impressed by Inferno as a teenager reading it for school, so surely

This looks really fascinating, and fortunately not long. Thanks for the rec
No. 27592
I'm a retard
>so surely you'd find something worthwhile in it too.
No. 27657
I read a collection of Basho's haikus. I probably lost 90% of it in translation, but a few pieces were really moving.
*In lucky realms tea's
smell is triumphant even
over oranges'*
This one was probably the best in the whole booklet.

I'm going to write a more substantial post once I'm done with the last stretch of Old Masters.
No. 27777
In which language did you read it in? I recently came across a Russian edition of Basho on the internet, flipped through it, found this gem:

Весной собирают чайный лист

Все листья собрали сборщицы...
Откуда им знать, что для чайных кустов
Они - словно ветер осени!

In spring they pick tea leaves

The pickers have gathered all the leaves...
How would they know that for the tea shrubs
They are like an autumn wind!
No. 27792
Finished Paradiso today, so I'm done with the Divine Comedy for now. I can definitely appreciate the structure and it's influence on other works but I have to say I'm rather disappointed, I expected something more grand, and not so many seemingly arbitrary references to worldly matters. It especially fades in comparison to Milton's Paradise Lost, which was a truly exhilarating read for me.

>I kinda get the impression much is lost in translation from time and place anyway. There's numerous references throughout that work that I don't get because I'm not an Italian from many centuries ago.
For sure, but I'd expect there's a lot of scholarly work done on it that could elucidate a major part of the references.

>If there's a great work of literature that absolutely needs footnotes and explanations, it's the Comedy.
I guess I might come back to it some time if I pick up another edition, maybe with a different translation as well since this one didn't impress me at all.


Started reading Gogol's Dead Souls now, which I'm greatly enjoying, it's been a while since I've read anything in Russian. There was some off-hand remark in the McLuhan book I was reading along the lines that his style is proto-modern or sth like that, which seems plausible to me now. I'll have to do some reading on Gogol's biography as well though since I don't really know anything about him.

I'm going to pick up something classical now as well, Aischylos or Sappho maybe. Also some non-fiction as well, though not sure what yet. Spengler's The Decline of the West hardcover is looming over my room, but I don't really feel like picking it up atm, maybe I'd rather read something more "applicable".
No. 27815
So, Thomas Bernhard: Old Masters (Comedy)
At this point, I think I can soundly proclaim that Bernhard is one of my favourite writers. Despite writing in a formulaic manner, his writing is still fresh. Old Masters and The Lime-works are quite alike in their characters and form. An old man, a maniac of an old man, against the world somewhere in Austria, ranting obsessively about things to someone (in the case of Old Masters, Atzbacher, a "Private Scholar") about an assortment of topics, such as philosophy, music, art, and modernity.
Nothing much happens in the novel, all of it takes place on a single afternoon in the Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna (Which I actually saw when I went to the Naturhistorische Museum, so I got the picture quite well). Of course the scope of the novel is larger, because the protagonist, Rege, a Musikphilosoph for lack of a better term, keeps recounting his experiences with death, survival, music, Austrian politics and humanity's cultural decline.
These opinions take on the form of a Bernhardian rant, seamlessly connecting each and every opinion of Reger into one long winded wall of text that keeps raging on.
I'd say Bernhard is what's happen if a Kafka character decided to "man the fuck up" and turn the whole Kafkaesque world upside down. The protagonists in Bernhard's works combat the absurdity of modern existence through their own insane absurdity and self-absorbed manias.

I did a little experiment, and I read out aloud some of the book. I felt genuinely angry and mad by the time I stopped. Another testament to just simply how natural and elemental Bernhard's prose is.

It's scary how Reger's opinions can be insanely uncomfortable to the average man, while also sometimes being painfully true.

I watched a short excerpt from an interview with the author, and he talks just the way he writes.

Overall, 10/10, would recommend. A great book by a great author.

I read it in Hungarian.
No. 27822
30 kB, 357 × 313
>Listen to an interview with Ernst Jünger
>"I haven't learnt Spanish, and it is too late for that now"
>"I haven't had the time to get acquainted with modern Latin-american literature"
The guy lived a hundred and two years, yet he didn't have enough time for everything. This is so fucking soul crushing.

Said interview:
No. 27825
Better not to think about that kind of stuff.
Just immerse yourself in study and hobbies so that there is no time to think, and then one day die unexpectedly.
No. 27827
Just meditate until you can turn off compulsive thinking and stop getting caught up in your mind's melodrama.
No. 27835
I'm in the mood for some short stories. Can Ernst please recommend me some?
No. 27838
The Last Question by Isaac Asimov
No. 27867
The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster is a pretty cool proto sci-fi story which I found pretty visionary considering it came out in 1909. I don't really remember too well single stories I could recommend from these but here are some collections I enjoyed:
Labyrinths by Borges
Nine Stories by Salinger
Death in Midsummer and Other Stories by Mishima
Rashomon and Other Stories by Akutagawa
Cosmicomics by Calvino
Burning Chrome by Gibson
No. 27882
No. 27895
Last Exit Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, showing fucked up US of the 1960s-1980s, it deals with outcasts and poor people, dunno exactly when it came out hence the wide time span.
No. 28097
35 kB, 200 × 327
I read the introduction to a compendium edited by Erich Hörl and titled in translation as The Technological Condition. Contributions for a Description of the Technical World

What is posited is that we entered a stage in which humans and technology are bound up in a network, they form an ecology. No more is there a difference of the human as possessor of meaning in opposition to the machine reduced to a meaningless functional tool. It's the technology as machine disrupting the sense of meaning. We are living in a time of the technological unconscious - technology became ubiquitous and second nature. The conditions are not comparable to the ones centuries ago anymore, where technology was often grasped as crafting tool.

The compendium features texts by philosophers of technology like Gilbert Simondon, Bernhard Stiegler, Alexander Galloway, Mark Hansen. And also female philosophers from which Katherine Hayles seems important, reading the introduction and the things Hörl says she pointed out in her work.

So far it was promising to read, finally some insights on how to tackle the present in a refreshing way.
No. 28265
20 kB, 300 × 480
I haven't read any non-fiction in a while, much less philosophy. So without many expectations I picked up Alexandre Kojève's (or should I rather say Aleksandr Kozhevnikov's) Introduction to Hegel and ended up reading about a third of it on some lengthy train rides.
Boy oh boy, this stuff just has me in stitches. It's like reading an unbelievably elaborate shitpost and I can only imagine how absolutely bonkers it would be to read the Phenomenology of Spirit itself. And there I was deeming Nietzsche presumptuous, but G.W.F. "The Absolute Knower" Hegel and his Absolute Knowledge are just on another level completely. I just can't help but appreciate the audacity but while I think ironically being a Hegelian sounds like a great idea I'm afraid that I'd end up taking it seriously in the end. Anyways, I'm definitely planning to take notes and employ some of the mannerisms in my everyday language since that stuff is just hilarious.
No. 28266
As becoming Deleuzian atm I can only detest :DDD I know a guy who did not read much Hegel or only secondary sources, yet he already claimed, that Hegel is right and knows how things go. Ugh. Anway, I will read him one day I guess, but Kojeve might be a good start before you absolutely crash n burn with Logik der Wissenschaft :DDD His lectures on aesthetics I had partly in a class, wasn't fun at all. Hegel is quite dusty and probably a true German in that that was out for Ordnung.
No. 28268
4 kB, 340 × 157
No. 28321
The fact you used those images alongside the description sufficed to convince me to get it. I just hope I don't need to rely on importing it through Amazon, pay that much for books gets tiresome(and reading ebooks bothers me)
No. 28324
Here's are two interesting videos that tie into Hegel:

It's very enlightening to ask yourself why certain facets of his work aren't properly explored, and the line of thought presented in these also suggests why Hegel is so popular in academia (hence my recommendation). If you're interested, the same channel has other videos which tie Marx and others into a similar logic.
No. 28338 Kontra
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>probably just conspiracy shit that gets heated up over teleology

Very enlightening, but before I waste so many minutes of my life, you could just provide the argument here.

fuck off /pol/ in every thread
No. 28353
Hegel was deeply interested in figures like Böhme, mystics/occultists which influenced his work quite a lot. The thing is these mystic currents are basically the esoteric offshoots of jewish thought, and from that point the video author shows how this also influenced other figures, like Kant, and how this explains the fanaticism akin to religious fervor we can observe in sectors of academia, which influences the current world to a great extent. And if you dismiss any discussion involving jews just because muh /pol/ then I'm afraid it is you who should be characterized as a monkey.
No. 28354 Kontra
Oh, and if you want more detail, he show how the linear notion of "progress" towards some end days paradise is something present in many influential thinkers, from christians to atheists.
No. 28359 Kontra
7,6 MB, 1280 × 720, 1:17
There is a vast difference between discussing the influence of Jewish esotericism and its influence on areas of thought and being a poltard, and it is in fact a big trait of being a poltard by not being able to distinguish between the two.
>characterized as a monkey
This, for instance, is sharply veering into shitpost territory. It isn't even trying to be funny, just talking like the usual vierkanal/KC2017 crap we'd very much like to avoid here. Thanks and have a pleasant day.
No. 28361 Kontra
christian religion is a jewish offspring afaik. Christians killed and hated jews later on. Or is there some other secret bond? You mean kind was influenced by religious thoughts? Well many thinkers of that time still were or had to find a way to harmonize with religion in order to not get into trouble. But I suppose as people like him fear the global elite ruling caste getting dictatorial control over all of us he has a problem with Kants text about world peace and world government?

>how this explains the fanaticism akin to religious fervor we can observe in sectors of academia, which influences the current world to a great extent

That is exactly what? sjw liberal agenda, I guess?
Also equating fanaticism with religion fervor is a bad move and revealing. Religion can end up in fundamentalism yeah but it's not a necessaity. You can be fanatic about something without believing in god. Perhaps what you looking for is ideology, but then again there would be no need to trace "religious" content.

Also Hegel and Kant and whatever teleological thoughts their work contains is perhaps not even glimpsed at by sjw identity politics, but I guess there must be some secret to it that still makes it into the sjw agenda unconsciously? Many marxists critiqued the teleological thought, it's not even relevant anymore with postmodern leftists.

The thing here with "jews" is that it seems like they are reduced to the ugly race that is responsible for bearing the world domination and end game and fulfilling it. Typical pol content, so you can brush it off like all of these people, maybe that is not the case but looking at the titles of his other videos he is an believer in the endgame theory making up his own little narrative were whatever kind of freedom is on the opposite side.
No. 28364 Kontra
>shows how this also influenced other figures, like Kant, and how this explains the fanaticism akin to religious fervor we can observe in sectors of academia

How exactly explains Kants and Hegels interested or influence of religious mysticist todays fervor in academia (which did not specify either). I mean people read Kant and Hegel today, but how can you tell the influence thru and thru?

I am btw not a friend of teleology either, a true postmodernist in a certain way then.
No. 28739
Today I've read Philoctetes by Sophocles. It's great.
Strangely enough, it's one of his earlier pieces, yet it feels the freshest out of the three I've read.

It probably has to do with the fact that it's closer to a proper play than a morality play like Antigone or Oedipus Rex is.
The plot is also more streamlined compared to those two, that constantly look back on the past to piece together multiple events, while simultaneously calling on the future through divinations.
I think it shows how in a sense the Greeks are just like us, but a lot of the time they are on a whole different level because of their pre-christian existence.

The plot takes place after the Iliad, but before the Trojan horse, and it really helps flesh out the setting.

Maybe I just like it because it's more "manly" compared to the other two. It's so good, I read it in two sittings throughout the day.
Roughly seventy pages, and the ending is so touching, I almost tore up a bit.
No. 28812
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I read about 3/5 of J.F. Rosenbergs Philosophy Handbook for Beginners and skimmed the rest. It's written from the standpoint of an analytical philosophy yet it was quite nice as he is rather down to earth and playful with the topic. I was lazy and skipped most of the logic part and most philosophical techniques. The one field I really need to do my homework at, I mean you have some if it at hand naturally when reasoning for a certain amount of time already but I guess I'm far away from sensing and dissecting argumentative pitfalls well enough. It all takes time.
No. 28818 Kontra
pol tire
No. 29077
271 kB, 756 × 1157
I don't like this. Or at least most of it. The first few chapters with the ancients are really interesting, and the terzinas are pleasant to read, but by the midway point it devolves into political shitflinging about late-medieval Florence and Italy, and honestly, who gives a fuck about that?
It comes off as really petty on Dante's part to have all his enemies and people he disliked burn in Hell.

Most probably it's just me not getting his convoluted obscurantist message. It feels more like a fossil between medieval and "humanist" literature that was revolutionary back then, but feels a bit dated now.
No. 29159
>political shitflinging
Yeah, it made me drop the Divine Comedy when I tried to read it several years ago, and I don't really want to come back to it anymore. I got the impression that it's one of those "culturally significant" works that are only actually interesting for art history specialists or medieval philosophy and language researchers, and regular people only praise it because they want to sound intelligent, despite that they didn't enjoy it at all or maybe didn't even understand it. Same goes for another Italian classic, the Decameron, which is just a compilation of scabreux anecdotes, although I gotta admit that some of them are quite good, and the book as a whole isn't nearly as tiresome as the Divine Comedy.
No. 29167
97 kB, 1063 × 797
Has it ever occurred to you that you might genuinely be an idiot? Are you the same person both posting the gypsy shitpost spam as well as the claim about video games and art?
No. 29433
519 kB, 1630 × 1630
Ah, interesting choices. I've read some Handke, weird postmodern introspective stuff.
No. 29436
A lot better than Bob Dylan for sure. But why do they give it to two people at once?
No. 29441
There was a me too- scandal last year, so it was canceled
No. 29447
Ah yes. I remember now.
No. 29455
127 kB, 750 × 581
Handke was once “cancelled” for his criticism of the NATO campaign against Serbia
No. 29461
He was right though.
No. 29470
Maybe so, idk. I’m just observing it’s a public dispute he was part of apparently.
No. 29480
Rights to Olga Tokarczuk works are bought by the Bonnier group (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group), a dominant swedish publishing firm, from a very small publishing firm. Three weeks later she wins the Nobel Prize. Really activavtes my almonds.

No. 29500
She was one of 2 most likely people to get it.
It was basically 70% sure already year ago.
No. 30102
my favorite book is 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New' (which, as I discovered after I read it while on vacation in Peru, is really good). It is, along with 'How not to die' by Dan Dennett, probably my favorite book, and I've read a few other books that you might consider also being worth reading. This is one of my favorite books that I am interested in continuing to read.
No. 30256
save bump
No. 30437
I just found out that Goethe wrote a botany text. Kind of interested in reading this tbh:

The Metamorphosis of Plants, published in 1790, was Goethe's first major attempt to describe what he called in a letter to a friend “the truth about the how of the organism.” Inspired by the diversity of flora he found on a journey to Italy, Goethe sought a unity of form in diverse structures. He came to see in the leaf the germ of a plant's metamorphosis―“the true Proteus who can hide or reveal himself in all vegetal forms”―from the root and stem leaves to the calyx and corolla, to pistil and stamens. With this short book―123 numbered paragraphs, in the manner of the great botanist Linnaeus―Goethe aimed to tell the story of botanical forms in process, to present, in effect, a motion picture of the metamorphosis of plants. This MIT Press edition of The Metamorphosis of Plants illustrates Goethe's text (in an English translation by Douglas Miller) with a series of stunning and starkly beautiful color photographs as well as numerous line drawings. It is the most completely and colorfully illustrated edition of Goethe's book ever published. It demonstrates vividly Goethe's ideas of transformation and interdependence, as well as the systematic use of imagination in scientific research―which influenced thinkers ranging from Darwin to Thoreau and has much to teach us today about our relationship with nature.

No. 30487
Do you read one book at a time or does Ernst have multiple books on his bedside? I've read one book at a time since childhood, but now have begun to accept other books in the mix. I noticed how I was less and less willing to finish a boring book, but now that I take a break from it reading other lighter literature, I can stand the boredom.

Will start Where is Everyone: The Fermi Paradox by Stephen Webb tonight, after reading a chapter of that damn book I can't stand reading but want finish (Essays by Pentti Linkola).
No. 30493
I often have multiple books, usually it's two or three.
Interestingly with the pile of books getting bigger and bigger I started to stop reading books that are to boring. Sometimes a title and the description and reviews are enticing but when you read it it's either too much, boring or I don't understand it well enough, so I just skip it instead of pulling thru. I had books where I did not understand much yet I kept on reading tho. It's possible and depends on the book.
No. 30495
Reading canterbury tales. The introduction was kind of silly. Knights tale is pretty good. Some stories involve cuckery. :DD
No. 30496
I was pretty surprised at how quickly cuckoldry came up as a topic when I read the Arabian Nights for the first time. It seems to figure prominently in lots of world literature.
No. 30503
128 kB, 888 × 888
>pic related
me after merely witnessing the forewords of the Critique of Pure Reason.

Also started (and already halfway through) reading Kokoro by Natsume Souseki. It's reeeally quite depressing and I picked the worst time to read it as well, as it's the start of the new semester (and the book offers some quite bleak perspectives on life after graduation). At least the clarity and earnestness of his style, albeit in translation, is a bit refreshing after reading Nabokov's Pale Fire which is absolutely packed with lavish vocabulary and puns.

Yeah, I feel quite similar about it. I even watched a few Yale lectures on YT but they didn't really clear up too much for me.

Always multiple, I try to do at least one fiction and one non-fiction book at the same time. I usually read different types of books on different occasions, e.g. a short story collection for reading on the train, a novel for longer free time slots, and something more challenging only for when I'm well rested.
No. 30508
> I usually read different types of books on different occasions, e.g. a short story collection for reading on the train, a novel for longer free time slots, and something more challenging only for when I'm well rested.

Are you me?

>kant foreword

A lecturer adviced reading at least that once. It's ok or already an abstract blast?

Currently I'm reading a book on the history of Idealism, got not very far and it's quite heavy tbh. It's dryer to me somehow. But I want the abstract cave as well, I need to know this kind of philosophy at least rudimentary. Once I did finish the history of Idealism, I will try to read Kants Kritiken and Hegels Phenomenology of Spirit, maybe before that I will read Platonic dialogues. Given that I want to read Deleuze as well and have another staple of books here and ordered three other the last days, it will take a year before I will have read it all, and I'm subtracting Kants Kritiken in this calculation. But that is fine.
No. 30509
my biggest problem is that I have to to a shitload of stuff for uni this semester, so I guess I will only finish the history book until Christmas which makes me a bit angry, wasting so much time on things I couldn't care less. Sure, the topics of seminars and the paper I have to write are not totally uninteresting, but they faint in comparison to my private studies.
No. 30527
>For women, speaking generally, are prone
To follow Fortune's favours, once they are known.

No. 30546
I am reading Xenophon's Cyrus Anabasis currently.

Additional information: He actually mentions the Kurds as people unbowed, brave and capable in martial arts, especially the guerrilla war.
No. 30561
perhaps slow boards are the future
No. 30701
I read Thomas Mann's essay on Wagner titled Leiden und Grösse Richard Wagners.
He paints a really good picture of Wagner's fears and goals, while drawing on primary sources. (Letters and lyrics)
Incredibly weird how Wagner basically laid out his complete programme in his artistic youth and basically just followed this path he choose. (He wrote that Parsifal would be his last project, 30 years before even composing it.)
It's an amazing little book.

Also read a short story today by Osamu Dazai, titled Villon's Wife. If I had to guess, he wrote it a bit before his magnum opus, No Longer Human, because it's more cheerful than that, though it still depicts poverty and mental suffering, but it focuses more on the female side of his usual themes. (As in, it follows the WIFE of a depressed drunkard liar instead of following the depressed liar drunkard.)
The last passages give an interesting contrast when you've read NLH.
It's just strange to see one of his characters proclaim "I'm a human. I wouldn't have wanted to do it if I weren't one."
I'd recommend reading it.

>I am reading Xenophon's Cyrus Anabasis currently.
What is it like to read ancient Greek writings as a speaker of the language that descended from the ancient Greek dialects?
No. 30871
Started reading Harold Bloom's (RIP) "The Western Canon". Each chapter is committed to discussing a "canonical" author, so far I've read the first two on Shakespeare and Dante.
It's quite repetitive and might've benefitted from some better editing but there definitely are some interesting bits of insight here and there. Also I'm afraid you have to have read the works referenced if you want to get the most out of it. Welp, I guess I'll have to read Chaucer now, or maybe I'll just skip that chapter.

Also tried reading Simulacra and Simulation by Baudrillard but that just made my brains boil. I can't fathom how I previously managed to read another book of his.

>Are you me?
Ernst minds think alike I guess.

>A lecturer adviced reading at least that once. It's ok or already an abstract blast?
It was nowhere near as bad as I expected even though there were plenty of passages I didn't really comprehend. The worst thing is just that his sentences are so freaking long (duh), though admittedly they tend to be logically well structured.

>Hegels Phenomenology of Spirit
After finishing it I'd rather recommend Kojève's book on Hegel. It was quite elucidating after all, despite some passages with metaphysical/ontological reasonings that I struggled to follow. The Suhrkamp edition also contains an essay titled "Hegel, Marx und das Christentum" which can probably be read as a sort of summary.
No. 30875
>Simulacra and Simulation by Baudrillard

It's an essay compilation afaik, looked into lately and I think the first essay is Precession of the Simulacra.

One main aspect is that you don't have an original anymore. Only models and pictures that reference on other models and pictures. He gives an example of some natives that become a model the moment ethnologists discover them and try to grasp them as natives, they construct a picture, a model and that's becomes reference to the real. They don't refer to the original but create something new. The simulation begins and the strategy of the simulation is to emulate the real, in order to hide the fact that there is no real anymore, it dissimulates as he calls it iirc.


Yeah, I wanted to do it like you did but maybe I will just try to deal with the original. It's hard to say which is better: reading primary text first and then secondary literature or vise versa.

I got Platos Dialogues, but it will take time until I read it.
No. 31223
Prompted by Harold Bloom's raving about Shakespeare I read King Lear a few days ago. It took me a while to get into the language but it was quite captivating once I cleared that initial hurdle.
I got quite triggered by a friend's comment who asked me why I'd read Shakespeare and saying that he only "read like 1/3 of Hamlet and found it totally trivial & unrelatable".
Anyways, I'm looking forward to watch the Soviet movie adaptation.

Today I started reading Beowulf in a modern English translation. I'm enjoying it so far though the translation seems a bit lacking in cadence.

>One main aspect is that you don't have an original anymore.
I think I understood that much :P, but it was really just a pain to read due to his inflammatory style. To me he just seems to throw sentences with a bunch of big words from time to time that don't really add anything substantial to the argument.
No. 31225
>I guess I'll have to read Chaucer now, or maybe I'll just skip that chapter.
You don't necessarily have to read all of the Canterbury tales. Just read a selection. It's not a coherent narrative anyway.
Still, it's a really good book, any you should definitely read at least some of it.
No. 31230
>To me he just seems to throw sentences with a bunch of big words from time to time that don't really add anything substantial to the argument.

He really does sci-fi kind of theory, so I don't understood everything as well, but he is making an argument, I can assure you at least. Also he is working with lots of examples that seem weird or taking analogies that refer on mathematical things or other STEM subjects. Afaik his simulation theory incorporates stuff from is older writings on the ethnological concept of exchange and signs etc. which is anchored in structuralism.
No. 31563
Aztecs: An Interpretation by Inga Clendinnen.

A very interesting anecdotal and philosophical examination of the Aztecs by an expert on them. It isn't trying to be restrained or scientific, so I can't be sure just how much of her analysis is correct (at least insofar as the evidence we have enables that), but it is very fascinating in terms of what is possible for a human society. Mesoamerica, and especially the Aztecs, seem very alien at first, but the author tries to understand how their culture might have looked and felt from the inside.

"Aztec" by Gary Jennings is a superb attempt to accomplish the same thing in fictional format. As literature I don't know if I'd rate it that highly, but it's an entertaining and gripping story, and as an exercise in exploring and understanding an alien culture as normative, I can't think of anything better.
No. 31565
>Most probably it's just me not getting his convoluted obscurantist message.
You should just trust your instincts. Not every work preserved as a classic is a truly timeless and transcendent work of art, at least to every person.

If you want good analysis of contemporary and historical chinese political thought, check out the blog The Scholar's Stage. The blog also has great literary and cultural analysis about America and the West as a whole, by someone who is extremely intelligent and well read in both the Chinese and Western canons.

He has a few posts specifically about Xi Jinping's political philosophy, and book recommendations for deeper reading.
No. 31607
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Not sure if this is on topic, but it’s extremely funny to me how self-styled entrepreneurs on social media treat reading as if it were a comparable activity to athletic training or something like that.
No. 31613
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I don't understand, in what way are new books cut and watered down? Whats the 'real' stuff supposed to be?

t. clueless
No. 31628
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As far as I can tell these people have a cargo cult type understanding of the relationship between entrepreneurial success and reading, probably because they heard at some point that guys like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos read a lot of books. So they tend to believe that reading a self-published 120 page pamphlet about network marketing or whatever bullshit once a week will “level up” their abilities. It’s part of their pathological desire to slot all of their activities into a framework of self-improvement.
No. 31629 Kontra
So by “watered down” he is likely referring to some imagined quantity within the book from which he intends to extract personal growth.
No. 31635
I think you finally gave me a proper formulation of the word "bugman", beyond just being an insult.
It's someone who drank the kool-aid of modernity to such a degree that he behaves like a corporate entity, and acts like his own manager. A guy who tries to be "smart", but not "smart" as in intelligent, but "smart" in the way that a corporate website blurb might use the word "smart". "Smart technologies", "Smart lifestyle", etc.
What a horrific existential nightmare it must be to be them.
No. 31636
>It's someone who drank the kool-aid of modernity to such a degree that he behaves like a corporate entity, and acts like his own manager.

Yes, I think that's correct. Well said.
No. 31637
He mentions nothing of the quality of what you're reading or the amount of thought you've given it. Turbobydlo attitude.
No. 31645
I think you're trying to ascribe an intellectual way of thinking about a term I have never heard used except by poltards, who are by far the most NPC-like creatures I've ever encountered, and operating on an insect like hivemind where they pride themselves on "not swallowing the koolaid" while being the worst group of koolaid drinkers I ever encountered so I find it pretty ironic to see that description in that context. But then again, I have no idea what the word is even supposed to mean to begin with and the best I could figure was it either referred to the Chinese or people living in the "hive cities" of urban sprawl.

You also don't need a separate term for them because that term already exists and already has existed for decades: they're called yuppies. American Psycho was on some level a critique of that type of person and their mindset.
No. 31646
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When I see the word bugman I think of Kamen Rider. I wasn't even aware it was a term used elsewhere :-DDD
No. 31649
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I like bugs. No one's called a bugman but I would take it as a compliment.
No. 31650
Going to call my entomology professor a bug man and see what he says.
No. 31655
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the managerial self is known as mode of being under neoliberal capitalism, a certain type of subject formation.

It's interesting to contemplate why it's smart and not clever or intelligent. Does it connote a coolness? A flawlessness that is bound to reveal it's mathematical skeleton, its model character that that limps behind the social complexity of human existence in society? Smartness is the coked up version of Silicon Valley confidence, Prozac euphoria.

Like, the people who wrote these books are actually the pure cocaine but you have to make do with the books which are watered down personality? Could also take it as an essence!

It's not wrong, perhaps the motivation is questionable but as the brit said, reading 30min of shit a day won't help much. Also one book a week? What is he/she reading? A book a week takes longer than 30min of reading a day, depending on content and quantity, but I guess the sparkling surface, the tone of a twitter has more effect than doing what he has given as advice.
Makes me wonder again how much this world is running on fiction tbh.
No. 31662
>Makes me wonder again how much this world is running on fiction tbh.

I will have to answer that with: Almost entirely.
This is after reading Kahnemans "Thinking - Fast and Slow", which is by any measure an seriously slow read about how certain information is systematically processed inaccurately by the brain. Well, the inaccuracies are systematic. And part of it has to do with the lazy and energy-efficient part of the brain that does the filtering/pre-processing highly favoring information that makes for a coherent narrative (in a very abstract sense of the word) regardless of accuracy. Information that "makes sense" to the dumbest part of your brain will form a majority of your beliefs and opinions and the more effortful part of your brain is often left with the information collected by the idiot blocking it's view. Now imagine everyone operates like that and you have a society living in story constructions every step of the way. Not only the obvious things like religion, but even minute details in every-day life.

It ties in with my knowledge of Baudrillards Simulacra as well as my own (mathematical) research of (artificial) neural networks. For the past two years I could not get rid of a feeling that there is no such thing as consciousness. The "self" may be an artifact of self-enforcing filters that process the world "as if". This fucking book has not helped at all in that regard, my feeling is entering the dangerous territory of becoming a theory.
No. 31666
I too wanted to allude to narratives with that statement: myths as sense maker. We need them for coherence.
There is my second hand knowledge on Claude Levi-Strauss (via Deleuze&Guattari + Derrida, Strauss wrote on the myth as function afaik) and his handymen thoughts. We are all handymen building in a practical manner. D&G use it as progressive omen in there machinic ontology, connecting streams, building and connecting machines a certain way, all propelled by desire

Maybe neorationalism is interesting for you, sadly I lack logical education and my math skills are unterirdisch, wish I could turn that around. Because the rise of computation and digital technology and what that implies for human beans is of high interest to me

No. 31698
That seems interesting indeed. And right until the last few sentences I felt strong agreement. I wasn't aware that people were already connecting Gödel and Turing with the past 20 years of research into neural networks on a philosophical layer. It's re-assuring that there seems to be more substance to it than a mere hunch of mine.
But then comes this part:

>We are non-terminating processes interacting with our environment and with one another, exploring the mathematical and empirical realms together, playing games of proof and refutation, and building systems and models that are beginning to encompass ourselves. We are beautiful. We are free. Computational self-consciousness will only enhance this, even if it changes our understanding of what it means.

I get the feeling that the author has a base assumption about progress that he never considered to challenge. Also the strong separation of "we" and "the environment", which I think needs to be proven as well as the assumption of a self-consciosness existing.

But thanks for the link, I'll keep an eye on this movement.
Regarding your mathematical understanding I can tell you that the only thing separating anyone from understanding mathematics intuitively is practice. Just like "not speaking french" will lead to you not developing an ability to understand the language.
No. 31704
>I get the feeling that the author has a base assumption about progress that he never considered to challenge

What do you mean by that?

>Also the strong separation of "we" and "the environment"

perhaps that has to do with system theories, which makes this separation?

It's all STEM and I'm not very known in it, but it interests me. The problem is that I need to have time for maths and complexity theory which is done in biology, physics and chemistry afaik. I haven't read too much into it, given that I understand few. Intelligence and Spirit by Reza Negarestani might be interesting for you tho

also here you could browse, might find something interesting
No. 31705 Kontra

right under the alphabet there is the tag registry
No. 31707
>What do you mean by that?

To me, he sounds optimistic that through this process new things (of whatever flavor) will come forth and present improvements to look forward to. Words like "beautiful" seem way too subjective.
No. 31725
Obviously written by a cross posting kohltard projecting his own experiences.
Nobody with with cynical would stop for a second to consider the experiences of their targets. It'd be like a banker empathizing with homeless people or something, does not compute.
No. 31726
You're right, and that makes me worse than the Kohltard. Going to delete my previous post out of shame.
No. 31727
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LARPing is a fascinating new form of internet induced psychosis. I guess the constant anonymity degrades a person's sense of selfness and reality to such a degree that they start attempting to "create a narrative" by donning the identity of their perceived tormentors, which exist entirely within their minds. It starts off as humorous lampooning, but then evolves into a form of mental sado masochism, where they derive pleasure and empowerment from denigrating an effigy of themselves while in the mantle of their dominator. Spamming interracial porn while pretending to be black is another form of this phenomenon.
I don't know if this is some kind of psychological cope, but you will notice that almost the entirety of western meme culture has degraded into roleplay and displays of psychotic behavior behind the mask of the "enemy". Attaching wojak caricatures of the intended target of ridicule while posting nonsense. Perhaps it is a way for them to gain relief from expressing their own psychosis from behind the safety of the mask, that they can then abandon as an anonymous post, and continue being "themselves" after the fact. And on some deep level they do believe that those posts are not "really them", because "they really do act that way", and nobody knows it was really them. Except for themselves, of course.
I wonder if they realize that they are insane.

It's amazing how one's sense of reality depends on the existence of a "narrative", or cultural acknowledgment. Anything that is not codified in a narrative isn't "real", even actions they performed themselves.
No. 31736
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>I don't know if this is some kind of psychological cope, but you will notice that almost the entirety of western meme culture has degraded into roleplay and displays of psychotic behavior behind the mask of the "enemy".
I don't know if you can judge all of western meme culture through wojack posting.
I catch glimpses of "mainstream memes" and they're still terrible albeit for different reasons. They embody another set of problems (a chimera of self-pity and ego-stroking, the complete mangling of irony, social credit/upboats). They still strawman but not as uniformly and aggresively(honestly I can't think of a widespread "strawman face" that's not from some imageboard).
If we're assuming that anonymity is the reason people lose their minds, then we really can't judge all of "western meme culture" through the lens of imageboard dwellers, considering how huge social media is. I don't have hard numbers but if the rest of the internet was Earth, 4chan would be a small city with other imageboards being either villages or nomadic gangs.
I think part of it is just intellectual laziness. It's really easy to regurgitate someone else's opinion as a caricature without any hinting any concrete reason as to why it's wrong or ridiculous or just who exactly would say that. It's arguably worse than regular strawmaning since that involves putting some thought into what you're trying to defend.
No. 31738
Well, tbh, by western meme culture I meant specifically western imageboards. I categorize put imageboards in four broad categories, western, post soivet, eastern, and local.

And I don't really consider whatever is circulating on social media these days as memes. They're image macros and reaction images at best. It's gotten to the point where any bit of viral internet content is labeled a "meme" for some reason.
No. 31741
The mainstream meme culture is still just using templates to take jabs at current events or creating "relatable humour".
At least so it seems from looking at the pewdiepie subreddit.

But instead of using image macros like it's 2010, they just use screenshots from movies and cartoons and overlay them with text as to what the given character in a given situation represents. Sort of like your typical American political cartoon.

Another common type is simply just taking a random image recently gone viral, and adding a canned reaction image to it, usually a subtitled screenshot of some movie or cartoon. Sometimes a videogame.
Usually this commentary is just repeating what the original image shows us.
Like [Epic roast] with an added skyrim level cap stating "Destruction 100".

The main reason this is worrying is because it basically destroys the ability of these people to form their own opinions and genuine responses. Giving your opinion becomes completely robotic. Canned responses from the "latest on TV and cinema".
I'd say this is because the increased penetration of the media into our private lives.
We watch and listen to things nearly always. And we can respond to this stimuli constantly. But it's so much, that we have to resort to responding using pre-made "opinions" and reactions, lest we suppress the instinct of sharing our "valuable" insights with the other 3 billion morons thinking in the same set of catchphrases. Surely everyone would miss it, and we'd miss out.
Everything becomes a meme. Your sexlife, your political views. Everything becomes a joke on SNL, as we base our perception on the imitation of the real, twisting the real until only this forcefully imitated imitation of the imitation remains.

Look at extremists. Those have a set of values, concrete opinions and goals. (Be it "I want to kill all jews" or "I want to hand the rich".)
The average centrist has the imitation of goals. The most shallow, meaningless catchphrases that amount to "Less nothing, more everything!" and "Everything should become more gooder soon, and the sooner the better".

And the media knows this, and plays on this, while it also actively assimilates everything that's actually against the status quo.
"They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie. (Lenin: The State and Revolution)

American politics and culture is the logical conclusion of global mass media, where once local culture and connection to the community is removed, the only thing that remains to express identity is commodity, since "action" has been rendered "fruitless" through laws and the manipulation of public opinion. (As in: Everyone who hold serious views is lunatic and sectarian, be it an orthodox communist, a neo-nazi, or a traditional catholic.)
So the only way to express your views is through consuming the right product and talking about its superiority to bad product. (Importantly, boycotting bad products never comes up, and is played down by capital)
Are you a liberal? Watch this Netflix movie, and read this YA book about an empowered xirlatina. Are you a rightwinger? Go watch Joker! Don't forget to by read the lates pamphlet by Lauren Southern or some other third rate schmuck! That'll show the "enemy"!
Donate to the Churches! Donate to Planned Parenthood! That'll show the enemy!

There is nothing romantic, nothing moving about it. It's a series of canned and meaningless responses endlessly perpetuating the status quo, allowing the culture industry's reign of terror to continue until everyone from Anchorage to Brisbane is listening to Queen, watching the latest capeshit flick, wearing the same designer clothes and playing the same games on their phones while conversing about ultimately meaningless political dilemmas decided by lobbyists and bankers in D.C., London, Moscow, Tokyo and Beijing.

So what I'm trying to say is that memes on reddit are usually shit and you shouldn't read them because it's brainrot in digital form. Same goes for 4chan.
Really, you should just get rid of your internet service. Call your provider and break the contract.
[spoilers]But I digress.
No. 31745
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>And I don't really consider whatever is circulating on social media these days as memes. They're image macros and reaction images at best. It's gotten to the point where any bit of viral internet content is labeled a "meme" for some reason.
That's what a meme is basically, a propagated idea, even if the idea is canned and repetitive like >>31741 said. Mainstream memes are like a successful lifeform that has spread its genes all over the planet (like rats or flies) Memes truly exclusive to imageboards (shit beyond just frogs) are like an endangered species, being kept alive in a special environment by a handful of interested parties. They're so exclusive that, in a way, they're less than proper memes, less than fit in a larger world. We might like some of them more, but they're the dreams of outsiders.
>Are you a rightwinger? Go watch Joker! Don't forget to by read the lates pamphlet by Lauren Southern or some other third rate schmuck! That'll show the "enemy"!
Honestly I have no idea how anyone walking out of Joker can think it's a "rightwinger"'s movie. Though I guess the controversy behind it is still indicative of how something that aims for some ambiguity still ends up thrown into the sorting bin of extremism because that's convenient. It's the easiest way for the overlords to sort the population, which is also the easiest way the mind surrenders.
No. 31753
rationalism and enlightenment go hand in hand, I guess here in neo rationalism you have a similar same expectation tho I think it does not terminate in a telos. Instead we have open-ended processes that imply a difference to now, a potential. Ofc you could argue that computation will or even already is opening an antihumanist pandoras box, reducing us to numbers. But I don't think that is what they are up to. They want something different, they want to explore unknown territory, new potentials. On the other hand Negarestanis Labour of the Inhumane seeks to de-essentialize the human, which is uncanny perhaps but I'm up to going down that path and look where it can lead to.
What if we were consider us still human in the (some) future but we differ from what we are now, or consider us to be different. In what way is that a problem, why is it a bad thing to do this? It's a question I come back to again and again, if humans are not what they are now in some future, why is that necessarily a bad thing? A thought prevails: You cannot go beyond the humane as human, but what if that is not essential but a molding task, just like narratives, it's a potentially endless process.
No. 31755
I just went off on the lead that it’s considered the “incel mass shooter movie” by the media because of those ironic “we live in a society” memes that were popular a year ago.
Arguably, it turned out to be less of a meme than everyone expected. Besides a few canned reaction images and templates, nothing has come out of it. Haven’t even seen it mentioned on 4chan on purpose, even though /lit/ is usually full with dumb faggot memesterd from /tv/ asking about the “book equivalent” of something.
No. 31786
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Finished this one yesterday. A rather small, you can read it in a day, book about the rather basics of Ancient Mesopotamia. Surely worthed it for me that i had no clue about the subject before.

Tomorrow i am gonna receive the second part of Xenophon's Anabasis and hopefully finish it this week.
No. 31789

I have read TINA a few months before. Quite depressing but on the other hand i feel like we are in for some serious changes soon.

>the managerial self is known as mode of being under neoliberal capitalism, a certain type of subject formation.

Nice! God damn why am i stuck in KC while there is EC.
No. 31790
Well, that is pretty much what a Buddhist would conclude also, however I would go further to say that there is such a concept as an authentic or native self, and that by the very nature of modern Capitalist/Consumerist developed technological societies, that the concept becomes more remote and elusive--not because such a concept itself is a fable but rather because our society prevents formation of a coherent and genuine self. This also is because moving around a lot and having multiple different masks for each social environment you are in is a pretty alien concept to normal mode of being as a human.

I think what often gets overlooked is the fact modern humans aren't much different as a species than we were roughly 50,000 years ago and that almost all we know and operate on is post industrial revolutionary society which itself is a very distinct and arguably pathological aberration.

I think that part of the thing people like Marx probably didn't get was that the whole problem is not solved by Socialism or Capitalism but that rather the ordering of societies themselves is pathological and aberrant and directly the result of two very distinct and very recent technological revolutions, both of which centrally freed up energy: the agricultural and the industrial revolutions. It was the agricultural revolution that transformed us from our basic natural tribal groups and into these really weird cross referencing social lattices that would eventually form the basis of empires and later the nation state, which itself is built from the overlapping lattices of the city states and their various trade networks.

None of these things would be possible without agriculture, and the formation of the human city itself is probably directly responsible for the beginning of the fragmentation of the authentic and unified whole human self. To have multiple different human groups you are part of with no overlap--school, work, sports teams, hobbies, family, church etc--is at once completely and utterly abnormal and alien to the human experience while also being typified as the life of the average human today in any developed country. At its worst, every person is isolated and atomized, being no more than a cog in the machine, with cultural ideas about reality being merely personal extrapolations of their own utterly aimless, ill defined, and nebulous existences, as opposed to say pantheons of gods or a single unified monotheism. I think some people make the mistake of claiming the truth of now to be the one whole truth, without realizing that trying to apply it elsewhere may not work or works poorly, and that people like Sartre are merely the product of modern existence with their philosophy mainly being applicable to that time and place, rather than truly extrapolated upon the whole of human reality.
No. 31845
The purpose of ideology to is to convert the experience of reality into token representations. Such tokens can them be shared, discussed, and "related" to. More importantly, they can be commodified and sold. Like putting a logo on a T-shirt, to represent something, without being it. I think the experienced of FOMO, derealization and nihilism in modernity can be traced back to living in a tokenized reality. The Ideology (tm) promises the individual a chance at relevance and immortality.
Immortality as in a chance to persist beyond his immediate existence and become a footnote in the Ideology's local thread of history. To be fossilized, and perhaps discovered and remembered from beyond his lifespan. The price one pays is to be tokenized himself. Just as fossils are merely hollow shells that once contained the real living being, so is the encoded image of the individual within the thread of history a collection of symbols, icons and ideas that the individual assembles around himself, and presents as "himself". And as long as the Ideology lives so does the promise of being acknowledged as having existed, as being real.
Relevance, in that this process of embossing the image of oneself upon history has to take place during the individual's life, and constantly reaffirmed. For if an individual fails or refuses to define himself in the language of Ideology, he will not be acknowledged by the Ideology, for the Ideology will have no Word to name him by. And thus he will face oblivion and effective non-existece during his own life. So the less one participates in ideology, the less "real" one feels, leading to existential anxiety, like detachment and nihilism as previously mentioned. After all, if an experience, or idea, or a person, or thing has not been incorporated into the mythos of the Ideology, then from the perspective of those who live within, it does not exist.
Funnily enough, I think maybe the exact opposite is true: I can imagine a hermit living somewhere in the mountains, outside the grasp of global culture, to be having authentic, real human experiences every single day, in the context of his own life. The experiences of his life have genuine meaning TO HIM, and they do not have to be acknowledged, or approved of, or deemed "relevant" by an outside arbiter of history. Whereas an urbanite cockroach spends his whole life chasing mirages, living life through the condom of codified and tokenized representations of experiences. That is what I imagine people communicating through the veil of Ideology (perhaps in a corporate setting) to be like: two dicks in condoms rubbing together, never touching.

You know what, Ideology reminds me a lot of God: a promise of Transcendence through community. The difference, perhaps, is that the God of Abraham does not want you to masturbate, but will not follow you into the privacy of your own room to judge you, unless you let Him in, by carrying Him within your mind. Then you can go back to the Community and pretend that nothing happened. That is an idea called Machiavellianism. The God of Modernity, on the other hand, would very much like you to masturbate, as long as you record it and post it on social media. It is a way to Transcend as valid as any other.
But my mind wanders.
No. 32285
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I nearly finished Cookie Muellers Walking through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black
It consists of a handful of short stories which are based on actual events in Cookie Muellers life I guess. They take place between the 1960s and 1980s. Mueller was part of the New York counter culture circles and the postwar counter culture in general she was also an actress in John Water movies. One story features Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, generally drugs play a role in the stories, tramping, a rape, parties, sailing adventures a trip to Sicily where even nine year old on Piaggos make horny remarks etc. The language is straight, with dialects and slang. Mueller looks back in these stories with a charming serenity and I also often had to smile or even laugh while reading. It's also quite short with just a 150p.
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>The Algebraist

It would be safe to assume that I'd love science fiction literature but it always seems so silly to me. The world building is pretty good in this, it even seems somewhat plausible and I enjoyed discovering more about Dweller society but, fuck me Banks can't write characters for shit. Stilted and formulaic sex scenes coupled with a comical villain who takes his slave girl up the arse in one scene with no taste. It's like reading something written by a disturbed teenager who googles 'boobs' on the family computer.

This is something that struck me because I've just read the chapter in Zeno's Conscience in his plan to get ciggies by suggesting to a lass that she will get a good seeing to if she gives him some. The whole thing contains layers of subterfuge and filth that is much more grounded.

>The End Is Always Near

I don't know what I was expecting. Dan Carlin does a pretty good history podcast but this just meanders all over the place with no real point. There is an argument (he distances himself from) around hard times making hard people; containing the question of whether America today could defeat America of the 1940s if all else was the same. It's pretty dumb if you think about it even from just the context of black Americans.

Maybe it is just me that this falls flat on because its an idea I've found ridiculous in a society that has never been pushed.
No. 32573
I suggest avoiding hard SF. It attracts authors who care more about autistically crafted future societies than any other aspect of writing, but their futures are almost always less realistic than the typical video game fantasy universe.

The level of contrivance required to establish a distant future where normal human stories can take place is greater than the level of contrivance required to have wizards and dragons. I can plausibly imagine an alternate universe where magic exists, and where people take advantage of the different laws of reality to throw fireballs around. I cannot plausibly imagine that our own world will be remotely recognizable 500 years from now. Either we kill ourselves off, or we develop some sort of friendly superintelligence that will still make the world unrecognizable.

Or, we have a partial apocalypse and go Mad Max/Fist of the North Star. But hard SF rarely concerns itself with those scenarios.

Soft sf can be more interesting. When you aren't concerned about constructing autistic space colonies that would actually work in real life, you can focus on using the conventions of SF to explore interesting ideas and emotions that are hard to touch upon in conventional fiction. Philip K Dick is a good example.

You can also have more fun. Jack Vance is essentially the prose equivalent of a great adventure anime.
No. 32638
Dan is very good with podcasts. I saw that he created this book, and i liked the title so i thought about buying it but i guess i wont.
No. 33512
Phew it's been over a month and I'm still stuck with the same book. But now the essays are getting interesting, instead of endless bitching about chopping down forests for the pulp industry, he writes about antinatalism and overpopulation that are topics made me actually borrow the damn book. Also finally got around to starting Better Never to Have Been by D.Benatar, about how it's wrong to breed.
No. 33544

Is your IQ like 70 or something? I can't imagine not being able to read a book in less than a week or so.
No. 33562
I used to read a lot of sf all my life, until about 3 years ago when I hit 30.

I havent read a new book in 2 years. I dont think I read one this year. Ageing sucks.
No. 33565
170 kB, 1144 × 1599
Don't know if it fits the theme of the thread, but I'm working through Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata and it is going painfully slow. I thought the cases will be fine since I speak Russian natively and they mostly work in a similar manner in Latin but I get confused quite often.

I have to reread the same chapters after a few days lest I forget some important stuff, oftentimes more than once. Maybe I'm just not cut out to learn languages, I started learning English in 2009 - when I had a lot of free time, was clinically depressed and refusing medication - by just binge watching one tv show after another and shitposting on krautchan. Don't think it's gonna work with Latin.
No. 33586
I only read this book 30 minutes at a time when I bother. Also have finished 2 other books last month.
No. 34175
I've finally finished a somewhat obscure novel called Krabat oder die Verwandlung der Welt by Jurij Brezan. It's very loosely based on a Sorbian folk mythology character (which is known in Germany as a character of a more popular youth novel adaptation of the material by Ottfried Preußler). If memory doesn't fail me I actually got the recommendation a long time ago on KC and this was my third attempt at reading it, the first time I dropped it because my edition was lacking some 10-20 pages or so after about 1/5 in or so, second time I dropped it because at some point it gets extremely confusing, but this time I endured even though I didn't fully grasp many scenes. It starts out with some witty creation myths that introduce the main archetypes of Krabat - the "rightful" man, his wife Smjala - "the girl Pure Joy", Miller Kuschk - Krabat's more simple-minded friend, and Wolf Reissenberg - the self-righteous exploiting antagonist.
But after this introduction there are layers and layers of different time- and storylines with a plethora of characters, and often the setting changes from one paragraph to the next which is really confusing at times. The main plotline though is about a geneticist who discovers the "formula of life" and is subsequently abducted by elites who try to coerce him into using his discovery to make all people into content drones.
At times there's a bit too much pathos and somewhat undifferentiated anti-capitalist rants but I greatly enjoyed the more surreal parts and the sheer complexity of the novel. It's definitely one I might attempt rereading at some point.

Also I read The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the last Prince of Lampedusa. Also really liked this one, it's a story centered around the head of an aristocratic family in the Italy of 1860s during the unification of Italy (Risorgimento). Gives great insight into this historic period of regime change and combines some great characterization of various social strata with at times really beautiful poetic language without overdoing it.

Right now I'm reading an introduction to Luhmann's theory of social systems, though I can't say I've gathered any new insights so far. It just seems like a pretty well thought out framework with which you can basically describe just about anything that is somewhat related to a "social" level of analysis but I'm not sure how that's useful beyond theory.

There's some Essays by Kobo Abe about the relationship between sci-fi and "literature", it's kind of related: https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/88/abe.htm
I also ended up reading his Inter Ice Age 4, it was quite thrilling but the writing style was a bit odd.

Not sure trying to read a language with just a text book is a good way, you probably want to incorporate some spaced repetition learning/ANKI technique as well. At least that's what I'd do if I ever pick up Japanese again.
No. 34186
>Right now I'm reading an introduction to Luhmann's theory of social systems, though I can't say I've gathered any new insights so far. It just seems like a pretty well thought out framework with which you can basically describe just about anything that is somewhat related to a "social" level of analysis but I'm not sure how that's useful beyond theory.

Look at Dirk Becker (ed): Schlüsselwerke der Systemtherie and Peter Fuchs Luhmann - beobachtet, you find them both on libgen.

Fuchs seems great, I read the first 30 pages only tho, but it was very understandable, I read Vertrauen once, it has all the basics like money and power as medium between systems etc. + it's short, around 130p I think.

Luhmann comes from cybernetics which had the same universal approach and super important for Luhmann is George Spencer Brown and the logic of decision, laws of form. Luhmann is nothing more than explaining how society works, no politics whatsoever. I'm interested in it but it lacks something, deconstruction would go on a rampage against it: http://www.passagen.at/cms/index.php?id=62&isbn=9783709203866&L=0

Dirk Beckers edit about key texts is interesting because these fields had a great impact on postwar society and history, we still move within such concepts and fields today somehow. My knowledge is minor, I have to admit tho.

Anyway I don't really know much about it and I always wondered how all systems seem independent from another as yet there seem to be short influence. And really it is debatable if systems work only after a single binary. Perhaps they are guided by something else.
No. 34189 Kontra
I actually finished the book I was reading just now, it's called Niklas Luhmanns Theorie sozialer Systeme by Kneer/Nassehi. I think have a pretty good grasp on what it is about by now, that it stems from cybernetics/biology etc., but I have some fundamental qualms with it.
To put it shortly, Luhmann seems to claim that his theory is free of normative judgements but of course it really isn't. Particularly insidious I find the usage of examples with implicit normative/moral claims that then can't be attriuted to the theory itself. Also whenever he has some "suggestion" to imprive some aspect of society it seems to be utterly milquetoast or tautological stuff that just showcases how the theory is mainly just useful for descriptive purposes and propagation of further theory.
Then it's also quite ridiculous for a theory that is built around 2nd order observations to fail to properly apply these 2nd order observations to itself. At least this is not touched upon enough in the introduction I read, knowing Luhmann's volume of output he probably wrote a book, if not a couple, on that topic.
It seems that the book you linked to attempts to do something along both of those critiques, but I think they are ultimately not resolvable, it will just replace implicit normative judgements with others and add another layer of observation, and this can be repeated ad infinitum.
I guess there's something interesting there & thanks for the recommendations but I think I've had enough of Luhmann/system theory for now. I don't really see the point in engaging with a ridiculous amount of works just to be able to understand and speak a language that seems to me only marginally more useful thatn natural language.

Alright, enough with the rambling, but I just had to get it out now after finishing it. Have a good night everyone!
No. 34197
I think this is neat and surprisingly burgerish
Apparently some people devised an actual system for categorizing folktales. I did not know about this. I didn't even occur to me that you would need to systematize such information but it is oddly satisfying to know that someone did.
No. 34320
>Jurij Brezan
Damn I didn't think I would read this name again in close future. Actually read his short story "Krauzezy" about a sorbian family and its struggles in the GDR in an old ass anthology of GDR-authors I found in of that public used book containers.
I was quite impressed actually, eben though or especially because I didn't grasp everything. Still the prose was very unique. I think before reading his Krabat-adaption I would read his german translation of the original story though. Maybe that's what you should do before you read it again.

Also I remember how long I didn't post here as most of my readings are for means of publication these days so I write enough about them elsewhere.
But anyways there are a couple of books I'm reading at the moment, one of them being a history book about the old pommeranian city of Kolberg. Even though I thought it would be quite dry as it's really just a 70-page chronicle it's a really interesting and fulfilling read. It's fascinating to see the developments of hundred of years compressed to a few pages. Reminds me of how small and unimportant my own existance is, a solace.
Another book lying around are the collected operas of Richard Wagner which I would recommend to anyone, only then you realize his true genius.
Also I'm reading some philosophy, a compilation of passages by Ludwig Klages but it's insanely hard and incomprehensible but beautiful. Not really a surprise thinking that he was an early companion of Stefan George.
No. 34715
Really enjoyed this Japanese detective novel with the atrociously translated title "Inspector Imanishi Investigates" by Seicho Matsumoto. The original title afaik can be literally translated as Castle of Sand, and though I'm not sure how that relates to the story at all, iw would've still been better than this horrible triple alliteration.
It really was a page turner, and gave some very interesting insights into various spheres of post-war Japanese culture from intellectual circles to the poor countryside. Most of the action takes place in various districts of Tokyo, but the protagonist, a middle-aged detective, also takes lots of trips to other places to investigate. I've really enjoyed the very realist approach to characterization, i.e. most of the characters are quite normal people with petty problems and joys.

Now I've started reading some texts by René Girard about his mimetic theory. Some interesting insights so far but his writing is a bit repetitive at times.

Also can recommend this blogpost about Henry Darger, the infamous outsider artist and author of a 15000+ page fictional work:

>I think before reading his Krabat-adaption I would read his german translation of the original story though. Maybe that's what you should do before you read it again.
Yep that's a great idea. It's quite short too IIRC so maybe I'll even read it this year to meet my reading challenge, still have 12 book to go.
No. 34716
220 kB, 750 × 703
I think this was a pot shot at Houellebecq. Made me smirk, anyway
No. 34754
Why do people get so asshurt over Houellebecq's writings and opinions?
No. 34755
Having never read him I can’t speculate.
No. 34763 Kontra

I doubt that she is really butthurt about him. Since he is not 34 years old but way older and political incorrect, hence the butthirt. I'd say it's just a twitter pun targeting "american girls" and their supposed illusions about a cultured europe and is the same frame nails french culture as politically incorrect. The later is probably not even well researched. I read his book on Islam taking over as state religion or whatever it was exactly but the protagonist likes the patriarchy that comes with it. So it was not without discussions but nowhere was written that arabs are subhumans. It's also not implicated in his description of arabs in that book.
No. 34902
No. 35094
Is there an autismo who could recommend which warhammet 40k books to avoid and chase after?

Lately I've been rereading Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra. Excellent booger that really picks the mind and it goes well with Spinoza's Ethics.
No. 35180
236 kB, 400 × 649
62 kB, 480 × 640
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Last week I finished reading this excellent novel from 1913 by Hungarian writer Mihály Babits.
It tells the story of a gifted, well to do young man who lives two lives. Whenever the protagonist, Elemér Tábory goes to sleep, he wakes up in the body of a carpenter's apprentice. And when that day is over too, and the apprentice goes to bed, then Elemér wakes up and goes about his day as a gifted schoolboy.
The novel tells how he tries to cope with and rationalise how he has reverse schizophrenia, that his soul has two bodies.
He feels that this other life of his casts a shadow on the idyll that he is supposed to enjoy. That it somehow destroys his innocence.
Meanwhile, his other self feels that this rich, gifted and educated life he has is giving him unreasonable goals that he'll never be able to reach.

The contrast is great, and it's a really interesting read and I'd recommend it. (It's also extremely short, clocking in at around 130-140 pages if that's any help)
It was published both in English (Titled:The Nightmare/King's Stork) and German (Der Storchkalif) translations.
The German title is a literal translation of the Hungarian, which is a play on a short fairy tale written by Wilhelm Hauff in 1825 titled Die Geschichte von Kalif Storch.
No. 35488
64 kB, 422 × 624
Akutagawa Ryunosuke is an author I find myself coming back to in times of spiritual hardship for some reason. He isn't a cheerful fellow. Nor is his writing particularly deep.

But his short stories are good and emotionally touching. And most importantly, they are short.
When I can't keep on going, I stay up an extra thirty minutes past my bedtime, and I read one of his pieces to clear my mind a bit.
If Stephen King calls himself The Big Mac of literature, then Akutagawa for me is the Digestives with a side of tea of the literary world.
When we are sick, we fast a bit. Tea, biscuits, and laying about.
My favourite story of his is one called Mori Sensei (Professor Mori in the East German edition of his works).
It's a short, touching piece of perspective change. How we view our elders, and how we view them once we've grown up.
No. 35527
Finished the "Girard Reader", his mimetic theory is definitely a powerful framework. Though my initial infatuation with it cooled off a bit now as my religious fervor waned, I'd still recommend everyone to check it out.
The premise starts out simple but develops coherently into a pretty grand theory: Humans are mimetic creatures who desire what others desire. This inevitably leads to conflict, and the archaic way of resolving a conflict is by sacrificing a victim/scapegoat. This is exemplified through the practice of ritual sacrifice by various religions and (indirectly) through mythological texts.
Until here, it's all quite innocuous anthropoligical stuff, but then he moves on to exegesis and claims that the way Jesus staged his crucifixion was so that through his murder the scapegoat mechanism would be revealed which would lead to humans realizing the violent roots of society and hopefully avoid sacirficial violence in the future. Now I think he gives some sound arguments and ties his theory together with e.g. the works of Freud and Nietzsche, but as of yet I'm still very conflicted about my relationship towards religion/Christianity.

Read some plays, namely Othello and Pushkin's Boris Godunov which I've recently seen performed at the theatre, though it was actually Mussorgsky's opera based on Pushkin's play. Despite some silly postmodern aesthetic choices I quite enjoyed the auditory part and overall pathos of the performance. Though I guess Pushkin's poetic strength gets rather lost within all the singing.

Othello I found somewhat underwhelming, it's a bit too straightforward of a story and while I did enjoy it, it just doesn't reach the depth of Hamlet or Macbeth.

On a whim I started reading Marx's "18th Brumaire" and surprisingly really enjoyed it. In the text he analyses the political developments in France from about 1848 to 1952 that lead up to the coup d'état of Napoleon III. He certainly doesn't mince words when it comes to the shortcomings of the various factions vying for power, be it royalists, bourgeois or the proletariat, and there are many truly hilarious & literary passages. It was a bit hard to get into the text since I initially knew virtually nothing about this period and my edition lacked any introduction/footnotes, nonetheless it was a very interesting text that somehow gave me a bit of a different perspective on politics in general.

Sounds interesting, I just ordered "Der Storchkalif" with some other books online, somehow the title sounds oddly familiar but I'm not sure from where.
No. 35562
203 kB, 898 × 1500
Our namesake Ernst Bloch gave lectures about the history of philosophy in Leipzig during the 1950s. I stumbled across the transcribed lectures on Renaissance philosophy by pure accident in the library and I'm really, really glad I did. Halfway thru I will give a short impression of my excitement.

In the beginning Bloch gives a historic contextualization and classification:

- Man becomes the center of attention, the individual; self-empowerment as man becomes the working and promethian man

- Natural science are on the rise (materialism instead of transcendentalism); develops from philosophy of nature; conflicts with the church as keeper of order cannot be avoided

- vastness/range/wideness dunno which translates best gets attention (merchant capitalism, universe)

- law of nature instead of transcendent laws

It's a period of crossing and transformation it seems. Mysticism and Mathematics.
I read about philosophers that are as immanent as Deleuze.
And I read about Jakob Böhme, who was adored by Hegel as Bloch says. Böhme, a shoemaker, was contemplating about being and came up with the "objective dialectic" - Objektive Dialektik - while watching a tin plate in his room: to make light visible, you need a dark grounding, the one cannot exist without the other.

Also since it's a transcribed lecture, the tone is rather easy going and informal, which is quite beneficial for getting sucked into philosophy you rarely have heard about these days or which are rather fringe in comparison to the usual suspects but nonetheless touch upon subjects which are not closed cases in the presence.
No. 35564
I hope you'll enjoy it. It always scares me a bit to recommend a book, because it feels quite awkward if someone doesn't like it and sacrificed money and time to do so.

Still, I'm firm in my belief that this is an actually good novel.
No. 35638
153 kB, 442 × 341
Should I get an e reader?
No. 35640
207 kB, 794 × 1126

Nice vibes when a book from here is in a library from a civilized country. I'm reading it now. It's OK

Cover here: https://www.todocoleccion.net/libros-antiguos-teatro/1117-josep-carner-tristan-bernard-menjar-franc-teatre~x25786711#sobre_el_lote

Unrealhated pedicure.

I have a Sony reader and frankly I don't recommend it
No. 35641
You should think about how many books you could buy for the cost of one of those instead and then realize that unlike those you will actually be able to own the books forever no matter what happens as opposed to some piece of crap you're going to throw out in the next ten years tops like some old toaster.
No. 35644
If you don't feel uncomfortable reading from the phone/tablet/computer screen, then there is no point in it. Some people say that they get less tired using those e-ink screens than usual LCDs, but I personally don't feel much difference. Readers also have much longer battery life than phones or tablets, so if you have no means of recharging a device for long periods, then that might be of use to you.
No. 35651
454 kB, 848 × 478
Here's my poor translation of one juicy moment from Khrushchev memoirs, I think I already mentioned some bits from the memoirs a year ago but I didn't provide any direct quotations. Khrushchev talks about Soviet famine in 1946 in Ukraine. There is also lots of other interesting stuff in the memoirs.

We didn't receive any messages from Moscow. The famine started, signals began to arrive that people were dying. In some places there was cannibalism. I was informed, for example, that they had found a head and human feet under the bridge near Vasilkov (town near Kyiv). That means corpse was eaten. Then such stories became more frequent. Kirichenko (he was then the first secretary of Odessa regional party committee) said that when he arrived at some collective farm to check how the people live at winter, they told him to visit particular woman. He entered the house: "I saw a terrible picture. I saw that this woman has cut the corpse of her own child, I couldn't recognize if it was a boy or a girl, and she said: "We ate Manechka (girl), and now we will pickle Vanechka (boy). That should be enough for some time [to survive]"
This woman went mad from hunger and and killed her children, Can you imagine it? The same situation was in Moldova, Stalin sent Kosygin to the republic. Kosygin was a minister of trade back then and dealt with issues of food stamps. Kosygin returned, he reported that the people are starving and suffering dystrophy. Stalin went mad and shouted at him, and then each time meeting Kosygin until his death he often jokingly said: "Here is my dystrophic brother." Kosygin was very skinny, so some people called him like that trying to imitate Stalin. I reported about the famine to Stalin, but in response I got only anger: "Spinelessness! You are being deceived, the people are purposely reporting that to make you feel pity and force to use the reserves"
No. 35652
34 kB, 750 × 639
4,8 MB, 1070 pages
I also found a Russian PDF of all stuff that imprisoned Bukharin wrote, it's 1070 pages long so apparently he didn't waste time there.

I personally admire Bukharin, I believe he was an even better version of Deng Xiaoping and could have prevented WW2 if only he won in the Soviet power struggles in the 20s. There's a large chance that Bukharin could have prevented the war, he had much more favorable views on cooperation with non-radical leftists than Stalin, he certainly wouldn't pursh the far left parties in the West to conflict with socdems like Stalin did, the fascists would find it harder to win in the German parliamentary elections and there's a possibility that Bukharin wouldn't try to forge an alliance with the nazis because he was afraid of the movement more than Stalin and paid attention to the beer hall putch in 1923. Here's his quote on fascism, totalitarianism and personality cults: "Fascism destroys class mobility, strenghtens the exploitation [of the workers], the monopoly on education [for higher classes], camouflaging that with new names. It words the word "totalitarianism" to cultivate the spirit of future soldiers and to fixate the working class masses to the lowest categories" "Fascism erected an omnipotent "total state" over all institutions", "The vast majority of people turn into simple performers connected by discipline that has entangled all areas of life - production, everyday life, family, physiology, thought, etc., dominant ethical standards consist of the trinity: devotion to "nation" or "state", "loyalty to the leader","soldier's spirit"

So, here's his translated poem that I wanted to show you, I found it fascinating that he chose to write this while being in prison. I'm not a poet, so it's more about showing you his state of mind

The whole world lives in the grass
In the green grass
Flies, grasshoppers, bugs,
Moths and worms,
Crawl under the grass
Hurry to enjoy life.
Climbed a leaf of a bush
Thick-bellied leaf cutter,
Along the blade of grass creeps up
Sews a thread of legs,
Moth caterpillar.
Fluttering on a flower, sits down,
Like on a pink throne
Long tailed Swallowtail.
Under a stick
Drags an ant another bug
Fussing and throwing
Grabbing the leg again
And stubbornly drags
Black shield of the dead victim,
Under a leaf, half asleep
Grassy grig
Sitting on a stalk
Moving its mustache quietly.
The bumblebee, buzzing, clung to the clover,
The fly sat on a camomile,
To the blue bells
Gray bee is crawling
And from the burrow jumps sideways
Black, like an African, cricket.
Fat, like an old priest,
Stink bug
In a multi-colored cap
He found himself on my arm.
I'm lying in the fragrant grass
Cloaked in golden
Web of rays
And the silence of the speeches...
No. 35653
Another person already elaborated my thoughts on Bukharin much better than I could have

In order to answer whether or Stalin was necessary, it is necessary to consider who could have replaced him. In order to do so, let us posit that in 1927, at the height of the debate between Josef Stalin and Nikolai Bukharin, Stalin dies from a bad batch of borscht. Thus, Bukharin, considered to be a more moderate leader, assumes control of the Soviet Union. What would the USSR, under the command of a man who said, “we have to tell the whole peasantry, all its strata: get rich, accumulate, develop your economy,” look like? Bukharin’s policies would have entailed a modification of the NEP, and its continuation. It is therefore worth asking how the USSR would have industrialized under him. Stalin’s industrialization is often held up as an example of his success, and so it is worth asking if Bukharin could have done the same.

To begin with, it is clear that collectivization, the cornerstone of Stalin’s policy, was a disaster. Gross farm output declined 20% between 1928 and 1933, and this is allowing for a recovery after the initial great famine. It has been estimated that “not until the mid 1950s did agriculture regain the level of output achieved in the last years before the Great War”. The number of livestock in the Soviet Union also fell dramatically, and it is estimated that half of the nation’s cows, pigs, and horses were killed between 1928 and 1932. This is especially tragic as the last years of the NEP witnessed increased crop diversification and access to new equipment such as horse drawn plows.

Admittedly, the NEP had problems. The Revolution, by breaking up the large estates and farms of prosperous kulaks who had produced for the market, ended up producing millions of subsistence farms which were simply less efficient. This meant that while agriculture production recovered and surpassed the 1913 Russian levels, grain sales actually declined during this period. Thus, collectivization did have some benefits, by forcing peasants to provide grain for the Soviet Union’s burgeoning cities. It has also been suggested that the famine caused approximately twelve million Soviet citizens to flee the countryside for work in the USSR’s new cities between 1928 and 1933.

In addition, the NEP years saw marked instability in pricing. 1922 witnessed high prices for grain and low prices for manufactured goods, while 1923 witnessed the “scissors crisis”, in which peasants refrained from buying industrial goods because the price of grain was low while the price of manufactures was high. Grain prices offered by the state in 1927 were low, while industrial consumer goods were in short supply. As a result, peasants simply withheld their grain from the market. As the state needed grain to industrialize, these problems have led to the belief that the NEP was essentially a dead end, and it is therefore worth asking how Bukharin could have come to terms with them.

First, by by December of 1927, even Bukharin wanted “to speed up the tempo of industrialization and put pressure on the kulaks, though [he] believed the free market had to be maintained”. Secondly, by 1927 Soviet investment in industry had already surpassed investment by Russian and foreign capital in Russian industry in 1913, and industrial output slightly exceeded prewar levels. Thus, even without any modifications, industrialization and development would have continued, albeit not at the pace of Stalin’s Soviet Union. However, a variety of mechanisms to stimulate agricultural production, and thus industrialization, present themselves. For instance, the Soviet government forced peasants to sell a certain amount of grain to state procurement agencies or to machine tractor stations for their services. The state also imposed a high sales tax on goods but not on food, ensuring that what money peasants received by selling crops would go to the government.

Thus, Soviet policy ultimately consisted of taking grain from Soviet peasants at artificially low prices, and selling them industrial goods at extremely high ones. There is no reason to assume such policies could not have been followed sans collectivization. This would have resulted in a system that squeezed the peasants, but allowed them to maintain a profit on what was left of their crop, but need not have entailed collectivization. Such a system would probably have squeezed less grain out of the peasants, meaning that industrialization would go less rapidly than historically. However, it would have provided better long term prospects for Soviet agriculture once industrialization had been achieved.

It is also worth considering Bukharin’s historical plan provide more grain for the cities. Bukharin historically proposed selling manufactured goods at low prices and buying grain at high prices to encourage peasants to market more grain, but it is unclear if this policy would have worked. However, when the People’s Republic of China began paying peasants more for agricultural products in the late 1970s and early 1980s, agricultural production and the sale of agricultural products boomed as peasants responded to the new demand. China’s economic success is well known, and this suggests that Bukharin’s policy may have let the state have its cake and eat it too. The Soviet Union may have been able to build an industrial base which, if not as large as the one it possessed historically by 1941, was not significantly smaller.

Two additional points suggest that Stalinist policies harmed industrialization. Collectivization and the ensuing slaughter of livestock also harmed the Soviet textile industry as well as exports of wool and leather. As money from exports was used to finance purchases of machinery necessary for industrialization, a more benign policy may have helped the Soviet Union purchase more foreign technology. It is also worth asking what the effect of the famines the ensued from collectivization was. Estimates put the number of deaths from famine between four and nine million, and the birth rate declined in the mid 1930s, ultimately rebounding by the end of the decade. It is therefore worth asking what the net economic effect of the loss of six million Soviet citizens was. One of the purported benefits of the famine and collectivization was that it drove peasants to the cities, where they worked in the USSR’s new factories.
No. 35654
Would the number of migrants from the countryside have been significantly less in a Bukharin led USSR if we assume that at least some of those peasants would have immigrated to the city? Furthermore, many of those purged were among the USSR’s intelligentsia, and it is evident that the Soviet economy would have done better if engineers, instead of chopping wood in Siberia, had been able to use their skills productively. It is unclear how much of difference fewer purges would have made, but it may have been significant.

It is also worth considering whether or not Hitler would have risen to power without Stalin’s support. In 1928, the Comintern leadership in Moscow took a much harsher stance against collaboration with Social Democrat parties in Europe, on the belief that the collapse of capitalism was imminent. In Germany, the results were disastrous. From 1928 onward, the German Communist Party (KPD) “party directed its venom principally against the Social Democrats”, while the Red Front-Fighters League became a paramilitary force. The KPD were particularly vocal in attacking the Social Democrats, who they denounced as “social fascists”, and by the end of 1932 Germany’s military was worried that a crackdown on the Nazis or Communists would result in civil war. Initially, Josef Stalin and the KPD welcomed the rise of Nazism, believing that he was a crazy fool whose rise to power was a sign that the German revolution was at hand. History has proven how wrong this belief was.

In these circumstances, one may well wonder if Nikolai Bukharin would have made a difference, and the answer is an emphatic yes. In contrast to Stalin, by 1928 Bukharin had become notable for advocating collaboration with the Socialist parties of Europe, and as the KPD followed the line set down in Moscow, it would have followed Bukharin’s policy as well. While it is unlikely that the Social Democrats and KPD would have collaborated in any meaningful way, if the KPD had emphasize on stabilizing the Republic the German military may have been more willing to crack down on the Nazis. This would not have resulted in a shiny, happy German democracy, and the possibilities range from an authoritarian state run by the military, to an unstable democracy, to a German civil war.

All three alternatives would have been preferable to the Third Reich. Even a militarist dictatorship would have been unstable, possibly annexing Austria and warring with Poland, but it is unlikely to have been as aggressive or uniquely successful as the Third Reich was. It must also be remembered that before the rise of Hitler Germany and the USSR had been close, with joint military exercises and discussions about a partition of Poland. Thus, in the Bukharin alternative the Great Patriotic War may never occur.

Even if one assumes Hitler still rose to power, and that things are the same until the beginning of Barbarossa, then it is possible Bukharin’s policies would have still let the Soviet Union win. On the one hand, the Soviet Union would have a smaller industrial base. First, it is unlikely that Bukharin would have been caught by the surprise the way that Stalin was, which may have resulted in a different outcome in the opening stages of the Great Patriotic War. It is also unlikely that the purges would have taken place, with their well known effects on the Soviet officer corps. Finally, peasant disenchantment with the regime, so obvious in the summer of 1941, may have been much less significant in a USSR that followed Bukharin’s policies. All told, even if we assume a somewhat smaller Soviet industrial base, there is good reason to think that the USSR would ultimately prevail in the war, as it did historically.

Thus, Bukharin would have emerged from the Great Patriotic War as the head of a USSR with a much more vigorous agricultural sector, and one with millions of more citizens than had died in the famine. Perhaps Bukharin’s Soviet Union would not have turned the former breadbasket of Europe into an importer of American grain. Perhaps calls for increased autonomy in the economy would have been more successful in the 1960s, and the USSR’s economy would not have stagnated and ultimately crumbled.

At the risk of being speculative, in such a scenario it is possible that the Soviet Union would still exist today. If so, Stalin, far from being necessary, may have ensured the USSR’s ultimate demise.
No. 35657
Also, I guess it's not common knowledge that Bukharin and a small bunch of other purged Soviet officials were rehabilitated only in 1988, 30 year after the Khrushchev thaw, because, according to Khrushchev's memoirs, the delegates of French and Italian communist parties themselves asked not to do it in the 50s, they approved of the trials in the 30s and it would undermine their popular support in their respective countries if it turned out that they supported the execution of innocent officials.
No. 35666
>On the one hand, the Soviet Union would have a smaller industrial base.
Historically, the Soviet Union had an excess of industry, so I don't think that a somewhat smaller industrial base is going to hurt them too much. They did however suffer immensely from a horrific state of agriculture, leading to food shortages at virtually all levels of society, both at the battlefront and the homefront. I think sacrificing some industry for some more food would be an excellent idea.

Don't know about the rest, haven't read that deeply on Soviet history outside of Barbarossa.
No. 35667
To state what I mean by an excess of industry, I meant that they had more guns than hands to hold them, more tanks than they could crew and maintain, while also facing mass starvation in the ranks. Material superiority is definitely an advantage, but so is the morale boost of not starving to death in your own country where supply lines should benefit you, and the success of Barbarossa can be largely attributed to morale. Large sections of Ukraine were just abandoned by the Red Army because what little confidence they had (driven down by lack of supplies) was shattered by a seemingly unstoppable force of Germans.
No. 35678
Couldn't sleep so I almost read the whole of Tolstoy's Hadji-Murat and finished it on the next day. Really enjoyed it for the unique setting of the invasion of Central Asia by the Russian Empire in the mid-19th century. As far as the realist style goes, it's extremely well written, though not surprising as it's apparently one of his latest works. Also he actually participated in that war in person & seems to have done lots of research to stay true to historical sources.
It's written in episodic chapters many of which seem to focus entirely on characterizations of characters quite marginal to the main plot resulting in a broad socio-historical picture of the time. Meanwhile the main plot is about Hadji-Murad, a legendary warrior who falls from favor with the Imam and defects to the Russians in order to avoid being assassinated. He is determined to help the Russians win the war if they help him rescue his family. As they keep stalling him on that matter he finally decides to attempt to escape back into the mountains and save his family by himself but is killed in the process.
There's lots of themes touched upon but most prominent for me is the contrast between the religious & principled Hadji-Murad and his people vs. the various vices exemplified by many of the Russian characters, i.e. there's a chapter devoted solely to a particularly vile characterization of Nikolay I as a lecherous narcissist. Though maybe that makes it sound too one-dimensional. Of course Tolstoy highlights certain episodes to make some point, e.g. an extremely pointless death of a Russian soldier to highlight the futility of the war, but overall the story & characters are quite ambiguous, as a well-crafted realist work probably should be.

If you can afford it, absolutely IMO.
I got a Kindle Paperwhite almost exactly a year ago and I've been reading on it a lot(~30 books so far). It's easy on the eyes, the battery lasts forever, you don't have to carry around extra weight, it's easy to just pick up and read without worrying about bookmarks and it's more comfortable to hold in your hands during prolonged reading etc.
Don't get me wrong, I still like paper books but now I mostly either buy whatever's a bit more obscure and not available as ebook or if it's some nice edition.
Also I got the Kindle "with ads" which is cheaper and then just asked the customer service to turn the ads off (well known trick). Though I also got a really good deal on it in general, so if you're a cheapskate might be worth to look at some other options but I can't help you there.
Pretty much my only gripe with it is that the screen is too small to read many unconverted PDFs, so you're limited to what's available as MOBI or EPUB mostly, since PDFs often don't convert well to MOBI. Though limited is maybe a bit of a strong word here, most newer books and classics are available as MOBI or EPUB on libgen/Project Gutenberg. Also don't forget to use Calibre to manage your ebook collection, maybe even if you don't get an ereader.

Interesting poasts, thanks for sharing.
No. 35679
>believing that he was a crazy fool whose rise to power was a sign that the German revolution was at hand
Proving once again how fucking stupid accelerationism is an always has been. Of course that being stated, he did manage to leave not just Germany but the whole of Europe a smoking ruin within 12 short years and managed to almost permanently discredit eugenics, racism, antisemitism, and whatever the Stalinist view on "imperialism" means, and paved the way for the Commuminists to pretty much seize half of Europe and export Communism all over the globe for the next 60 years. So, I guess his calculations were true in a way, leaving the United States and Britain as ironically the only countries left supporting fascism anywhere.

I think that what often gets overlooked is the sheer destruction that war wrought on Russia and the East generally, which is probably one of the main reasons the West was able to resist them for so long. They also had unlike the rest of Europe nowhere near the full competent industrial capacity of say Germany or Britain.

Also on a somewhat related note, it finally occurred to me at work today that Capitalism actually had nothing to do with lifting everyone out of poverty and increasing material prosperity in the West--technology and automation did. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before. The only real reason we ended up with such excess to begin with was because the United States was untouched by the war and got tons of money by assuming a central role lending out money and rebuilding everyone else, not to mention that this huge leap in leisure time actually coincided largely with the advent of automation and the freeing of energy first in the industrial revolution and later with the widespread surplus of energy we had entering the atomic age. I think that if anything this was inevitable, and that modern America is more an argument against living in a hyper capitalist society as being corrosive to our material living conditions, particularly given that a large amount of the wealth of the West both before and in present times has more to do with a legacy of theft and exploitation of other countries (which ironically the Soviets also did).
No. 35680
The USSR agriculture suffered from poor yeilds compared to the West until the union's collapse and no amount of money pumped into the sector by the planners could solve the problem, so I believe that the problem was structural. Whatever, much more important is the impact that the NEP could have on politics of the union and its economy AFTER the WW2, if it even occurs. There would be an incentive to develop favorable conditions for foreign capital and certain amount of market freedom is absolutely neccessary to encourage economic growth, the main reason why the Soviets let the union fall in 1991 was their weakened faith in socialism and the belief that the 1st world countries provide its citizens with higher quality goods. The fetishization of imported Western goods in the USSR was rampant, by the end of 80s everyone wanted to have Western electronics and clothing, cigarettes and furniture instead of shitty Soviet goods. Autarky and the planned economy are discredited economic ideas, which the USSR followed almost all of its existence. No amount of terror and oppression could solve the problem of Western economic superiority, which could not have been challenged with our rigid economic policies.
No. 35684
I have been reading "The Mystery of the Grail: Initiation and Magic in the Quest for the Spirit" by Baron Julius Evola. He sheds light on the myth of the Holy Grail and King Arthur and delves into their pre-Christian origins. I'd not recommend it if you haven't read any of his works before. An understanding of his weltanschauung (explained in his better known work "Revolt Against the Modern World") and a general knowledge of myths would help the reader.
No. 35772
35 kB, 1 page
34 kB, 1 page
Gonna post two of my translations.
One I just finished (The ant and the grasshopper), the other (Excerpt from The Book of Habi-Sadi's Struggles) is a bit older, but I forgot to post it.

Quite strange that whenever I translate something into Hungarian, it's usually a tragical piece. But when I translate something into English, it's usually a comedy.

Anyway, about the authors:
Milán Füst was a Hungarian writer of Jewish background, and he was a prominent lyricist in the mid 20th century. The prize bearing his name is quite prestigious.
Don't really know much else about him, I just found this short piece from the book funny and decided to take a crack at translating it.

Péter Hajnóczy was a Hungarian writer who suffered from alcoholism and he achieved prominence in the 70s and 80s before he passed away at the ripe age of 39 from his prolonged addiction to alcohol. He wrote while working odd jobs, mostly manual labour.
"Péter Hajnóczy" wasn't his actual name, he was originally called Béla Hasznos, but later changed his name to Ödön Hajnóczy and eventually to Ödön Béla Hajnóczy.
He's mainly remembered for his semi-autobiographical novel, Death rode out from Persia.
This attached piece of his is a response to La Fontaine's classic tale of the same name.

Arigathanks Gozaimuch in advance for devoting a bit of your time to read my work.
No. 35775
I find the first piece grossly unrealistic, as no starving Frenchman artist would look admiringly upon an English army officer. Each one perceives himself to be the pinnacle of creation.
No. 35780
On a more serious note, thank you for your translations. The first was very well done, and it's a valuable if small contribution to literature in translation.

The second has a few problems:

1."The November winter was tearing the last dried out and soggy leaves off the trees" sounds awkward, for literary English at least. "The November winter was tearing the last dried and soggy leaves from the trees" would work, I think. "Dried and soggy" is of course an oxymoron. Even if I'm sure it means "dried brown autumn leaves that are then made soggy by rain or snow", the wording makes the reader go "wait, what?" and takes their mind out of the passage for an instant.

2. "when by the forest met the grasshopper and the ant" is borderline ungrammatical outside of poetry. You just can't write like this in English prose.

3. 99% sure that any proper editor would tell you to replace "fag" with "cigarette" in all instances. It comes across as very specifically and markedly British, which is fine and all, but it adds a cultural coloring to the work that shouldn't be there. "Cigarette" and variants like "cig" are universally understood and culturally neutral in the US, UK, and all English-speaking countries, and using "fag" makes the reader wonder why you chose to be specifically British, if there is no obvious context. In this case, there is nothing British at all about a Hungarian ant and grasshopper engaging in thinly-veiled social posturing, so the reader will probably just assume that you're an edgy Anglophile who likes the idea of writing "fag" and getting away with it.

4. "shook his head the ant" - Again, ungrammatical. You can't write like this in English unless you're doing weird experimental shit.

5. "The ant directed his eyes on the ground and went silent for a bit, and after that, he spoke to the ant in an imploring tone:"
Awkward/ungrammatical language again. You direct your eyes to something, not on something, and either way that phrase feels awkward here. "The ant shifted his eyes to the ground," or just "...stared at the ground" would work. And of course, the ant was talking to the grasshopper, not to the ant, but that's just a minor slip-up.

That sounds like a lot of nit-picking, but I enjoyed reading the selection. It's a nice inversion of the fable and it is, again, a valuable addition to the corpus of works in English, except for the problems mentioned above, and a few punctuation and formatting issues.
No. 35781 Kontra
Thank you.
I'm going to fix it tomorrow and then repost it.
Good night.
No. 35783
No problem. If you ever get around to translating your short stories into English, please post them here. Original content like this is the best part of EC.
No. 35784
17,0 MB
13,3 MB
I realize now that I have a very good Christmas presents for you guys.

These are the full collected works of Jack Vance and Philip K Dick. IMO these are the two best writers from the Golden Age of science fiction, and some of the best writers in the history of the English language. You will need a dedicated e-reader program to open the PKD files. This one is good: https://fbreader.org/win32
No. 35791
Tbh I find american sci-fi of that period narrow minded and bland. Its all basically adventures in a weird setting. Its more about the person and feelings, emotions, politics, morale and other shit like in every other adventure novel than about ramifications of scientific progress or being utterly alien to humanity. You could as well read about pirates or musketeers or whatever.

European sci-fi of that period, especially Lem, are much better - they make you think how the advancement of science erodes the very basis of our many our natural assumptions. Some modern sci-fi is also pretty good. American "golden age" sci-fi is shit though, its basically comic book-tier stuff for children.
No. 35793
>american sci-fi of that period
If you mean the so-called New Wave of science fiction, then PKD isn't exactly a part of it. He is definitely not a "hard SF" writer, but he doesn't use SF elements for the sake of telling old tired parables either.
No. 35794
Campy pulp sci fi and Sword & Planet are fucken kino though.
No. 35802
34 kB, 1 page
Nitpick as much as you'd like. That's the whole point.

All of what you pointed out should be pretty self evident if I were to distance myself from my work (as in, re-read it after a week, so I forget the creative process, allowing me to correct it more objectively.)
I too had mixed feelings about the fags at the time for example.
Being removed from your text helps a lot, that's why in retrospect I'm happy that my novel translation took so long, because it allowed me to look more objectively at the oldest parts of the text and comfortably call myself an idiot.

And then there are of course things like
>4. "shook his head the ant"
Which was because my brain probably stopped functioning for a moment apparently, and not because I tried to be poetic.

The dry and soggy leaves thing, now that was an idiotic mistranslation.
The Hungarian word could mean that the leaves are literally "dry", or simply just dead and all shrivelled up. I guess I didn't feel smart enough in the heat of the moment to solve the glaring issue last night.

Thank you for your help. Hopefully I managed to remedy all the problems.
You have no idea how much anxiety it gave me to face my errors, knowing I was wrong. But in the end, I'm glad. Probably I just have to get used to the idea of correcting myself. Sort of how I got used to reading my essays and short stories. Gotta build up some psychological endurance, man!

I'd like to try to translate at least some of my writings into English, but it's really hard, because I'm so preoccupied with language games like alliteration and rhymes while constructing my stories.
And another problem is that I'm writing about the Hungarian condition. We'll see, maybe tonight. After a shot of espresso or a jug of tea. I have a splitting headache, and I can't think like that.
No. 35814
85 kB, 300 × 397
65 kB, 600 × 1000
I stumbled across the German translation and since its quite short, only 50 pages, I read it today.

Haven't read anything this good for a longer time. It's like taking a deep deep breath from the cosmos, from human consciousness and while you breath in you become aware of the killing infinity, an ecstatic trajectory of life that always ends at the urinal, that gets flushed away down into the sewer. The ecstatic feeling while fucking/masturbating into the climax, releasing everything and then sink into the void.
Ivanov knows how to pinpoint the dissolution if everything, the self in the center of that movement.
Everything is fleeing, fleeing, striving, striving
The pressure mediated here is enormous, moments as needles that become artillery fire. Existence as experiencing bombardment.

I'm pretty sure that some of you will like this text very much.

I will quote from the German translation
>ein Heringsschwanz, eine tote Ratte, Speisereste, Zigerettenkippen trachten, einander zu überholen, während sie in die trübe Tiefe sinken oder an die Oberfläche tauchen. [...] dieser Atem der kosmischen Hässlichkeit - verfolgt mich wie die Angst

>Ein Atom ist bewegungslos. Es schläft. [...] An seinem Wesenskern rühren. Ihn anreißne, erschüttern, spalten. Eine Millionen Volt durch die Seele ziehen lassen und dann in Eis tauchen. Jemanden mehr als sich selbst lieben und dann das Loch der eigenen Einsamkeit sehen, ein schwarzes eisiges Loch.

It's very nihilistic but combined with the motif of infinity, of movement it becomes salvation and crash in one.
No. 35823
That description has nothing to do with PKD, and only partially describes Vance. Lem actually thought quite highly of PKD, while essentially viewing the rest of American SF the same as you do:
https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/5/lem5art.htm (I'm sure there's a translation into Russian as well)

Vance is 70% adventure stories and 30% mysteries, but his creative anthropology overlaps with the themes you find important. He doesn't center them, but they're always there in the background. The opening line of Lem's critique of American SF at large is "No one in his right mind seeks the psychological truth about crime in detective stories", but I would say that Vance actually proves him wrong, in that you can gain insight into some important truths by reading what are, on the surface, mere adventure stories.

Besides, his stories are the most entertaining you'll ever read. Even without any higher intellectual merit, they're worth it for that.
No. 35824
68 kB, 1 page
>You have no idea how much anxiety it gave me to face my errors
On the contrary, I know that anxiety so well that I vicariously cringed when hitting "reply", for it is an anxiety I've experienced a thousand times myself.

And for that reason, I have to warn you that you will probably feel much greater anxiety after reading this post, even if objectively speaking there isn't any reason to. With that out of the way...

There remain enough problems that I found it easier to make edits to the text directly. Changes are italicized, except for the quotation formatting and most punctuation changes. There was still a lot of awkward wording that just doesn't work in literary English, which I've seen before from other highly educated and fluent ESL speakers. Fully idiomatic writing in a foreign language is exceedingly difficult - the last great hurdle - and I don't think there's any way to achieve it besides just reading a ton in the target language. Which I think you do, but you should probably work more contemporary (20th century and later) English fiction into your reading. It's the only place where you'll absorb the natural idiom that you want to translate into.

On a more positive note, that was a genius inversion of the traditional fable. Kind of an obvious premise in hindsight, but the execution was superb, if your English reflects the Hungarian. It was 95% of the way towards being an ideal translation. The changes I had to make were relatively minor, and after them the translation is probably worthy of publishing. Getting that last 5% on your own will be a bitch, but that just comes with the field.
No. 35825
While he does have a point

it's also a gross generalization that ignores plenty of good American scifi that really grapples with much deeper questions, a good amount of which was fully blossoming into film starting in the 80s. Actually come to think of it, that might've had more to do with why there was so much good horror and scifi films happening in the 80s, because it took a little while for the novels to become popularized and finally end up becoming film adaptations or films inspired by them.

Tbh though I've really not read a whole lot of scifi novels to have any worthwhile input on the matter.
No. 35830
34 kB, 1 page
>Getting that last 5% on your own will be a bitch, but that just comes with the field.
That reminds me of an interview with the translator of Krasznahorkai's novels, George Szirtes.
He said, that he can count on one hand the number of people who can properly translate Hungarian into English.

Probably the biggest hurdle in all of this is the fact that whenever I'm translating, I'm trying to be an intermediary not only between two languages, but two entirely different language families.
That's what makes it incredibly hard.

So, I fixed it up a bit. The only fix I didn't implement was in the first paragraph, because I found it too repetitive, and that's one of the things I try to avoid. But I did fix it up a little.
The final ornaments to be placed on an otherwise solid structure.

I guess we should both be happy that after three days of correspondence, we finally managed to get one page right :D
Thanks again!

Anyway, my next project is either translating one of my own pieces, or another short story, this time by the realist author Zsigmond Móricz.
No. 35856
>He said, that he can count on one hand the number of people who can properly translate Hungarian into English.
It's a truism in the translation community that you should only translate into your mother tongue. Which like most truisms isn't 100% true, but points to an important truth. My Spanish is absolutely terrible, but with a dictionary I was able to translate the first few chapters of an awkwardly-styled early 20th-century memoir without much trouble. However, if I ever want to translate into Spanish, I'll have to develop a virtually native mastery of the language, including literary style.

>I guess we should both be happy that after three days of correspondence, we finally managed to get one page right :D
>Thanks again!
No problema. I'm happy to help correct any other translations you make - it helps to keep me in a creative mood myself.
No. 35890
Thank you for your reply, which I only saw now.

One aspect you mention that I had not considered before: The exceeding number of
identities required by an increased number of social groups one person is part
I would say that you are wrong with the assumption that this was not the case
before the times of cities and civilization. Even in the time where people such
as germanic and celtic tribes lived in the context of ethos rather than a
scripture based societal structure like a civilization with its cities, laws
and organized economy, people would have had different identities at least for
the contexts of inner family versus foreign people.

But I agree that they would not have to switch between more than a handful;
certainly not nearly as bad as is common today.

Have you read Harari recently? I find similar arguments in your post. If you
have not read "Sapiens" I would like to recommend it for the thematic interest
No. 35892
I guess that's why in some cases translators work in pairs. One is a native of the original text and the other is a native of the target language.
(Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky and Yang Xianyi & Gladys Yang come to mind at first glance on the topic.)

>My Spanish is absolutely terrible
I have a similar case with German. I can speak it well enough, I can read it well enough, and apparently I can translate it well enough, but to write anything in proper German is a lot of trouble.
(Though I'd like to get a certificate to show that I actually speak the language. They say I can do it, and I believe in those that believe in me.)
No. 36022
8,3 MB, 291 pages
I've been a bit burned out in regards to reading lately after I've binged some books in an attempt to meet my yearly quota of 52 books read. I'll probably stop now at 47, ironically in part influenced by the latest book I read, "The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods" by Antonin Sertillanges.
It comes off as a bit pretentious with the title but I'm very happy I decided to read it. It's a fairly concise guide to leading the life of a (Catholic) intellectual worker written by a Catholic monk about 100 years ago. As such it builds quite heavily on religious themes such as faith and it's heavily influenced by Thomas Aquinas' works. Despite that it's incredibly practical and sober-minded in many regards. In particular I felt extremely called out by some of the vices that are talked about in the book, i.e. the afore-mentioned "gorging" on books without a proper direction.
In any case I'd heavily recommend it to anyone who's not militantly irreligious and interested in doing intellectual work - there's quite a bit of plain common sense in there for sure but it's extremely well expressed & structured in a way that really inspired me to attempt some changes in my life.

I'm not entirely convinced by the quotes but I'm intrigued by the title & cover.

Very interesting essay by Lem, I enjoyed the part where he talks about realistic vs. allegorical fiction, that's been occupying my mind for a while. Also this passage is incredibly on point:
>SF can never be on a par with the epic, since what the SF work presents belongs to one time (most often the future), while how it tells its story belongs to another time, the present. Even if imagination succeeds in rendering plausible how it might be, it cannot break completely with the way of apprehending events which is peculiar to the here and now. This way is not only an artistic convention, it is considerably more—a type of classification, interpretation and rationalization of the visible world that is peculiar to an era.

Glad to see you guys working together with great results!
No. 36124
>I can speak it well enough, I can read it well enough, and apparently I can translate it well enough
You misunderstand me when I say "absolutely terrible". I can read it with the help of a dictionary, but I can barely understand or use the spoken language at all.

And yet, I can produce a satisfactory translation from Spanish to English (if I can find it, I'll post it here). The disparity between translating into your native language and out of your native language is ridiculously unfair. You can translate into your native language while basically not even knowing another language, but to translate into another language, you basically need to know it natively.

yes, I came back 10 hours later to delete and repost this comment because I misquoted myself
No. 36138
I was recently reminded of this great old piece, analyzing the sickness at the heart of the American mainstream left. Posting this in the literature thread because it touches on cultural and rhetorical analysis, rather than mere discussion of current events:


This was written almost 10 years ago. The cultural virus has mutated since then, but the underlying pathogen is, I think, still the same. The biggest change is that the center-left has now found a hill they're willing to die on, but that hill is actually the eternally flaming sinkhole in Turkmenistan. Destroying the gender binary in support of the .01% of the population that can't comfortably adhere to it is now more important than mass poverty and national suicide. Functionally, this is worse than standing for nothing, because the goal is impossible, and seems specifically designed to alienate the flyover country people that need to be won over.

This will be a fascinating age to study in the future.
No. 36152
He just makes the same point a dozen times and uses a memeworthy understanding of libertarian theory as his strawman, as though Randian libertarianism is the only definition. I wouldn't call that a great piece by a long shot. Distinctly average maybe, which I suppose is 'great' by opinion piece standards, but still.
No. 36174
Before christmas I read "Night Flight" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Beautiful prose and furthermore enriching you with authentic insights into the souls of those who risked their lives in early aeroplaning. Especially the character of director Rivière is greatly written, asking the question whether the life of a man is worth the triumph of a great idea and answering it with a strong and heroic yes.

Then I started reading Tarjei Vesaas "The Ice Palace" and on the first couple pages already the mood is quite gloomy though rather cheerful things happen - two young girls befriend each other. There's something about Vesaas prose, which already really captured me in "The Birds" before, that penetrates the inmost chambers of my heart in a mysterious way.
Those of you who lack the time or will to read novels, you should definitely watch the great polish cinematization on it. The dialogue is close to the original so the film doesm't lose as much of the novels original poetry as it's usually the case. (Though they sadly left out the scene where Matthew is going mad on shrooms, probably too offensive for the commies)

No. 36194
46 kB, 344 × 500
So I finished reading this book by Mihály Babits. The title roughly translates to "All over my life", which I think sufficiently expresses that the author wasn't intent on writing an all encompassing work about his life.
Really, it's not even a biography. There are a few chapters that deal with his experiences IRl, but most of the content is essays about what it means to be a poet and a writer, about what it means to be European, and what it means to be a Hungarian.

The most enjoyable chapters were the ones where he described his time as a teacher in Southeastern Transylvania, teaching kids and the other was one titled Creative Imitation where he describes how he used to consciously copy authors as a schoolboy, but not in a sense that he'd read Zola and then imitate his style, rather that he was forbidden from reading a lot of "grown-up books", so instead of trying to get a copy, he'd try and "make his own Zola" by writing what how the thought Zola wrote for example.
Quite interesting philosophically imho.

I want to render a few passages of it into English, especially one written about an Australian writer who was his contemporary.
But it feels intimidating. Babits's language is quite complex and he wrote in the magical time when the orthography was already kinda standard, but the standardised, academic rulebook was just being assembled, of which he survived the first edition of by a mere 10 years.
Still, I want to have a crack at it, even if it means just working on a few half-page long fragments from whole chapters. Translating the whole book or even whole chapters feels kinda pointless, since his writing only makes sense if you're Hungarian or know a lot about Hungarian history. (As in, you're able to take sides in shitflinging about 1848 for example.)

Out of all the first generation writers of the Nyugat-journal, I feel the greatest admiration for Babits. I don't think there has been a greater personality in Hungarian literature since his passing.
A literary historian, an essayist, a master of prose and lyre, the beating heart of progressive literature in the interbellum period.
And to top it all off, his learnedness was a stuff of legends even among his contemporaries.
He was fluent in English, German, French, Italian, Latin and Greek.
It's not even he was "great at the time and is just "living off" reputation today". After 90 years, his rendition of the Divine Comedy remains a gold standard and benchmark for every Hungarian translator, ordering every aspiring artist in a divine voice: "THAT", yes "THAT" is your aim, that quality, erudition and greatness!

Now, I'm onto reading our "national epic", The Siege of Sziget. It's a baroque epic in the vein of Tasso.
I never bothered to read it when it was assigned. I actually tried reading this one, even borrowed it from the library, but the teacher was going so fast, that I would've had 3-4 days to read it, and it's a quite old text, so you can't rush it. (And it's not like she herself was a fan of it. She explicitly told us to don't bother reading it.)
So now I repay this debt to my culture and myself.
(This one was actually translated into English and German. In English as The Siege of Sziget, published in 2011, and in German as Der Fall von Sziget, but that has been out of print since 1944. If it was ever printed.)
No. 36202
This feels like it's been a long year, and I wanted to list off every book I read during it, or tried to read, along with brief comments on each.

>The Witcher series (first two books)
Finished the first one, and partway through the second. These two are collections of independently published short stories. They're pretty good fantasy fiction - not spectacular, but written with good craft. The premise of a superhuman mutant who wanders medieval not-Poland slaying monsters is great for fantasy vignettes. You quickly get a sense for the personalities of the important characters, and they all act believably based on the situations they're put in. These situations are arranged skillfully to heighten tension and character drama.
The world itself is too generic to be all that interesting, and I get the same feeling I got when first playing Dragon Age: Origins - why should I care about this completely unoriginal fantasy world, which lacks any of the haunting mythic beauty of its ultimate origin in Tolkien? But like DAO, the story and characters grabbed me enough to keep me going, and I'll keep reading the books.

>The Aztec, by Garry Jennings
Superb historical fiction. I can nitpick about a lot of things, but he did a very good job of portraying pre-Columbian Mexico as a living, breathing, alien-yet-familiar, beautiful world. If someone created a fantasy universe identical to old Mexico, people would probably reject it as being too weird and unbelievable.

>The Shahnameh (about half of it?)
I picked up a prose translation, as I have no stomach for English verse, especially not at book length. Despite being an adaptation from verse, it was surprisingly readable, until it got bogged down in a long series of filler arcs that are of little importance to Iranian myth. In the best parts, the haunting beauty that marks every good myth of doomed heroes shone through.
As far as I know, I was nearing the end of the pure mythical/epic cycle, and approaching the part that deals with a mythologized version of Sassanid history. I'll probably return to it at some point, but this is a case where I really want a bilingual version so I can follow the original. Sadly, all of these omit the fucking vowel markings in the Persian, so if you don't already know archaic literary language 100%, you won't even be able to pronounce it, which is kind of important for rhyming verse...
Overall, I strongly recommend the Shahnameh for someone interested in heroic myth, especially if you can find a verse translation that you can get into. It's no Iliad, but it's probably at least the equal of any other verse epic out there.

I can't recall reading any other fiction this year. Most of my reading was historical works, with my demand for fiction being filled by movies, tv serials, and video games.

I didn't expect this to form a category of its own, but I've done more reading on this matter this year than I have since I was a teenager. tl;dr I take non-materialism more seriously than I did before.
>Memoirs of St. Peter
A translation of the Gospel of Mark that aims to rigorously preserve the tense, aspect, and tone of the original Greek, which is closer to a one-sided casual conversation than it is to elevated literary prose. For this reason, the translator and many other scholars take seriously the idea that the Gospel of Mark is actually in large part the direct words of St. Peter, as dictated to St. Mark.
I haven't been religious for over 10 years, but this intrigued me enough to read the book. The translation very much feels like an old man recalling the events of his youth to a scribe, and I'm largely convinced that at least some of the real words of Simon Peter are included in the Gospel of Mark.
It produced a stronger emotional reaction in me than I expected. I still don't believe in the wider scaffold of Christian belief, but this produces a feeling for Jesus as a real person with a genuinely sacred vision than any other religion's prophet. Of course, the casual mention of miracles clashes with my natural skepticism, and if this is really a first-hand account by one of the closest companions of Jesus, it invites you to either dismiss the entire narrative, dismiss the narrators as selectively delusional, or accept the reality of miracles. Every other case of miracle literature was easy to dismiss as delusion and propaganda, but the credibility of this source feels fundamentally different.
Ultimately, I want to cop-out with the idea that I still have too much emotionally invested in the matter to evaluate it independently. The easiest solution is to simply dismiss the narrator(s) as unreliable, and putting down the words at too far a removal from the events described, but this feels too easy.

>Deliverance from Error, by Al-Ghazali
This experience prompted a more serious examination of religion and spiritual experiences. Al-Ghazali is probably the smartest and most intellectually consistent theologian in the history of Islam, and Deliverance from Error is his account of his personal struggles with religion and the long process that led to his firm belief in Islamic orthodoxy.
He correctly realized that everyone just follows the religion of their parents, and he had a huge crisis of faith due to his inability to justify his belief in Islam, despite already being a highly respected jurist and academic on Islamic thought. He went through a brief period of complete epistemic meltdown, essentially stuck at the point of "like, how can I even know anything, man?", before conquering it and moving on to an autistically thorough study and refutation of every school of thought that competed with Islamic orthodoxy.
Except Sufism. Ghazali played a huge role in integrating Sufi thought and practice into orthodox Islam. His point was, essentially, the rational arguments are ultimately insufficient to justify religion, and the direct personal experience of higher levels of existence and the divine are of fundamental importance. In my opinion, at least, he actually makes a convincing case for taking claims of supernatural experience seriously. I do not, however, think he makes any convincing case for Islam, because the kinds of mystical experiences he ascribes to Sufis are not exclusive to Muslim mystics. I think he recognized that he wasn't making a good case for Islam in particular, because toward the end of the work he abandons the extremely meticulous detailing of his thought process that characterized the first part of the work.
Ultimately, after these two works, I'm more sympathetic to a non-materialist worldview, although I remain skeptical because I recognize that I have an emotional investment in recognizing a non-materialist worldview.
No. 36208
>Carthage Must be Destroyed
In-depth history of the rise and fall of Carthage as a state and society. Very academic book despite the title, but also readable. Only about 1/3 of the way through, will definitely finish though.

>Res Gestae by Ammianus Marcellinus
Long narrative history of the period from approximately 350AD to 370, written by a Roman soldier and government agent who directly participated in many important events of the era. He was apparently very thorough in using archival sources and interviews for events that he did not directly witness. The language, properly reflecting the Latin original, can be stilted and awkward at times, but you can sense past it the voice and mind of a reasonable, fair-minded individual. It feels like stepping into another era.
Interesting so far. The translation I'm using also includes a long preface describing late Roman imperial administration, which was interesting and rewarding in its own right.
I will try to read more first-hand accounts from ages past in the future. Especially when you get to the Early Modern period, you get a lot of travelogues and memoirs from all over Europe, and even a few from the Islamic world. I know that China has them from much earlier as well.

>The Storm before the Storm
Short and sweet history book about the first great crisis of the Roman Republic, a generation before Caesar and Antony and Augustus. Eerily similar in a lot of ways to what's happening in America today, and I don't make that comparison lightly. The sheer suicidal intransigence of entrenched elites is always infuriating and fascinating.

>Empires and Barbarians (~50% through)
Details the rise of barbarian kingdoms and the fall of Western Rome. Argues for a middle point between enthusiastic pre-WW2 volkerwanderung mythos and the post-WW2 "nobody ever migrated ever" over-reaction to it. Presents a plausible picture for how Germanic society along and beyond the Roman frontier evolved over the centuries, eventually resulting in societies that could challenge Roman political hegemony.

>Ultra Society, by Peter Turchin (I'm only mentioning authors when I find them to be as important as the book)
A brief examination of the evolution of social complexity among humans. Very interesting and informative, even if the author frequently debases his language to pop-science levels.

>Aztecs: An Interpretation, by Inga Clendinnen
A collection of rambling, introspective and philosophical essays on Aztec life and culture by a major scholar on the subject. I'm inherently skeptical of specific claims due to my lack of desire to read the primary sources myself (the most important of which, the Florentine Codex, has been translated into English). But, assuming good faith on her part, the portrait she paints of Aztec society is fascinating. Every self-respecting intellectual should try to educate themselves about Mesoamerican culture, to understand the farthest limits of what is possible for human societies, and what remains common even in the most disparate cultures.

>Conquest: Cortes, Montezuma, and the Fall of Old Mexico
A good narrative account of the conquest of Mexico, with copious historical and cultural background given on both Mexico and Spain. A good book to read if you only have a cursory understanding of the events and cultures in question. In addition to one of the most fateful cultural conflicts in history (due to the total erasure of one of the primary human civilizations), the conquest itself is one of the most fascinating episodes in human history in its own right. One crazy Spaniard committed treason, looked at a continent, and thought to himself, "huh, guess I have to conquer that now", and the absolute madman actually did it. Cortes is, I think, the best example in human history of pure amoral masculinity, in all its glory and horror.

>The Broken Spears
A collection of translated Nahuatl-language accounts and reactions to the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Less interesting than advertised, if you know the original story, but still a worthwhile read. I would really like to be able to appreciate Nahuatl poetry in the original.
Not that I consider learning Nahuatl to be personally productive and worthwhile, but it's amazing how much survives in the language. There was a huge output of writing in it in the early post-conquest centuries. A sizable corpus of poetry, which was one of the preeminent artforms in pre-Columbian Mexico; a few lengthy historical accounts; and a whole hell of a lot of administrative and legal documents, because both Spanish and indigenous Mexican society were highly litigious, and Nahuatl was the practical language of administration into the 1600s.

>The Road to Disunion
A detailed examination of American Southern thought on the issues of slavery and their place in the Union, in the decade leading up to the Civil War. I stopped reading about 10-20% of the way in, because I got tired of endless case studies in the mental gymnastics of slaveholding aristocrats. Worthy history and anthropology, but not all that interesting to read.

>A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind
The subtitle is stupid, but it's a pretty good general overview of Iranian history. It has a really weird tangent on how Manichaeism is the root of all evil, though.

>The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring
To be honest, I read this hoping to massage what remains of my American nationalist ego, expecting to see at least one exasperated comment about the sheer ridiculous scale of our industrial war effort from someone on the receiving end. But, I found that Kesselring is pathologically reluctant to admit anything positive in the slightest about the US or its military. As I understand it, our campaign in the Mediterranean was far from the most genius in military history, but he seems to go out of his way to praise the British and shit on America at every opportunity, to the point that I question his neutrality on the matter. Ultimately, it was a fun read, if only as an exercise in reading between the lines of a Nazi general trying to whitewash his personal image in a post-war world.

I'm sure there were a few more books, but I can't recall what I read in late 2018 vs. early 2019, and this post has gone on long enough. I did, however, forget one fiction book:

>The Blue World, by Jack Vance
One of the few novels by my favorite author that I haven't read yet. Another masterpiece in creative anthropology, even if the narrative is lacking and predictably similar to many of his other works. The setting is a small human society on a far-flung world, existing entirely on floating habitats constructed around the stems of massive sea-plants. The society is divided between those who seek to appease a giant specimen of local sea life similar to a kraken, and a minority of rebels who want to break free from its influence.
No. 36212
>Translating the whole book or even whole chapters feels kinda pointless, since his writing only makes sense if you're Hungarian or know a lot about Hungarian history. (As in, you're able to take sides in shitflinging about 1848 for example.)
I think you underestimate the universality of human experience. Also, such work can serve to educate about the uniquely Hungarian experience in a better way than a typical history book, provided you include footnotes and/or an extensive preface to give necessary basic info on events.

Currently I'm reading through a book written by a Greco-Roman from 4th century Antioch, for an audience of erudite Latin-speaking Roman metropolitans. Aside from specifics of late Roman administrative structure, which is explained in the preface, nothing is all that alien or incomprehensible such that it affects my enjoyment of the work, and I have less knowledge of 4th century Rome than I do of 19th century Hungarian history, which is to say barely any.
No. 36213
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What you write about it is completely justified. The "problem" with a lot of epics (Especially ancient ones) is that they aren't as carefully edited and they try to encompass everything its creating nation has to offer.

The Iliad and the Odyssey don't try to be all-encompassing. (Though we can hardly judge, because the other epics in the Epikos Kyklos didn't survive in verse, only as dramas and prose.)
But even then, it only tells you the extended story of the Trojan war and the things that happened with the characters after that as they went home.
It doesn't start it off from Adam and Eve, it doesn't give you a Cosmogony or a Theogony, it just expects you to know that.

The Sahnahmeh is a bit different. It's long and "unpolished" because Ferdowsi wasn't aiming to write an epic in the traditional sense. The Sahnahmeh was his attempt at trying to compress the entirety of Persian culture and history as it was before Islam into a single poem to save it.
It's essentially a giant back-up file of Persian culture and language. That's why it's so unwieldy and overflowing, but also so valuable to its people.
(And that's why a lot of translations only include a few episodes instead of including all of it. It's episodic nature lends itself to it.)
Personally what little I've read of the Sahnahmeh in an old verse translation, I found very interesting.

Honestly, it's really rejuvenating to see that my culture actually has this much depth to it. When you look at something with the eyes of a foreigner, it becomes a pristine wonderland waiting to be explored and re-explored.
Still, the only chapter I'd probably translate out of the book completely are the ones I've mentioned. The one about his time as a teacher, because it describes inter-ethnic relations of the time in an interesting manner, and Creative Imitation, because I found it funny AND interesting.

There is too much stuff I want to do something with. I still haven't started working on that short story I said would be my "next project" MONTHS ago.
And I can already tell that next time I get on stage that "I made a thing", it's not going to be either of these but a third thing I made hastily one night because I felt like doing it.
No. 36228
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I probably wrote about most of these books ITT already but I guess I might do a year round-up as well.

As for classics I have to say I've only really enjoyed the Iliad, and didn't like the Aeneis or Divine Comedy that much.

I didn't read that many non-fiction books but a few of them really stuck with me and I feel like they've influenced my thinking in some way:
Introduction to the Reading of Hegel by Alexandre Kojeve
The Girard Reader
Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan
Otaku by Hiroki Azuma

As for fiction quite a few of the "modern classics" feel somewhat underwhelming in hindsight. I've definitely enjoyed reading Nabokov, Borges, Gogol, Gene Wolfe etc. but ultimately most of that reading wasn't that stimulating. I guess the most interesting works were Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Ballard's Atrocity Exhibition for being narratively/structurally unconventional.

For next year I want to read a few longer & influential novels such as Don Quijote, something by Proust & Joyce, more by Pynchon & Ballard. Oh, and I want to make a it a habit of reading a bit from the Old Testament every day.
As for non-fiction I don't have a clear plan yet. I've lots of interesting books on my backlog but nothing that particularly stands out as wanting to be read by me. Maybe I'll just tackle Spengler after all.
No. 36237
You said many were not that stimulating. Why are you reading so many classics then, just because they are classics? As a literature student or because there is a need for canon, ok. But I wouldn't focus so much on canon, but on your interests. If you are the aspiring writer German, even then try to look for canon that will resonate with you, exceptions for absolute canon classics are good I think, but also books that are not so known could provide you with more insights and a better reading experience.
As with Deleuze, go with minor literature, literature that become foreign in its native language really creating the exceptional and not the bloomy style, swelling metaphors, Großer Stil . And instead of reading bits and pieces you could try to focus on one author that really gives you something and explore his/her novels more than just surfacing classics.

You see I have something against reading classics just because they are called classics. Canon is construction of canon, it always changes in the end, so I wouldn't rely to much on what other people call a necessary read. If you want to be a literature professor that's a different thing, a writer never is a literature professor in my understanding. A writer reads a lot yes, but not necessarily the canon but what is important to him/her on various levels I'd say.

Don't take it as a critique but more a thought because if you think it was somehow wasted time, stop wasting time on that. Thinking about wasted time is a mania of mine I guess. It comes from too much books you can read, selection becomes crucial
No. 36238
>Essays by Pentti Linkola
Finally, I finished the book I've been procrastinating since October! There were some good parts here and there, mostly about overpopulation, and that's why I had to read through the boring chapters to find them. Still embarrassing it took 3 months to finish a 400-page book.

Last night I restarted Where is Everybody? by Stephen Webb, and got the feeling I will finish this one faster.
No. 36239
23 kB, 1 page
Well, I also planned on making a post summarising my reading this year.
In January, I assembled a list of what I want to read. It had 17 books on it. Out of those, I only read four, which were Crime and Punishment, Hamlet, The Kudrunlied and Testimony.
Of course the list I posted doesn't include books I' haven't read cover-to-cover. There were quite a few I started reading but didn't finish (like The Idiot), or I just simply needed one chapter from the book (like the the 100 page long Plato chapter from a philosophy book.)

I'd say it definitely shows on the list how my studies took control of my reading by the second half of the year. But then again, some of my favourites this year were books I've read for school.

The best books I've read this year were:
>Shostakovich-Volkov - Testimony
>Yu Hua - China in Ten Words
>Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment
>Thomas Bernhard - The Lime Works & Old Masters
>Sophocles - Philoctetes
>Michel Houellebecq - Whatever
>Péter Hajnóczy - Death Rode out from Persia (& his essay, The Isolator)

I'm quite sad that nothing by last author isn't available in English. It's a great book about what it probably felt like to live under the "soft dictatorship" of Kádár if you had intellectual ambitions.
His essay, The Isolator I read this morning. It's a 30 page long interview with doctors, nurses and patients discussing the state of Hungarian mental healthcare in the 60s-70s, and it kind of explains why people have an aversion to psychology in this country to this day, especially older people.

Philoctetes I'd say, despite its age, is a quite fresh drama, a lot better than the other works of Sophocles that I've read. Really, it's timeless.

All in all, I'd say it was a good year. I stumbled upon a lot of new and interesting subjects.

The others I think I wrote about rather extensively (and excessively) on here as I read them.
For next year I'm not setting any plans. It feels pretty pointless, because I go off-rails at the first possible opportunity.
[spoilers]Not to mention, that hopefully, by next time this year, I'll be "forced" to read what's assigned to me at university[/spoiler]
No. 36313
I totally get where you're coming from & I do want to go in a similar direction and be less afraid of dropping books that I don't like. But I feel like I'm still somewhat in the process of developing a taste, and though I definitely have a better idea now of what direction I want to read into, it's still quite broad. Anyways all I planned for this year, i.e. Cervantes, Proust, Joyce, is really all I want to do in terms of "canonical" reading that I'll force to some extent.

I don't really have a topic/author that I'd really want to deeply dive into. Though probably I should spend some more time thinking about it.

>aspiring writer German
Not him, but petty literary aspirations aren't alien to me of course.

>As with Deleuze, go with minor literature, literature that become foreign in its native language really creating the exceptional and not the bloomy style, swelling metaphors, Großer Stil .
Not quite sure what you mean by this though.
No. 36317
>Not quite sure what you mean by this though.

Deleuze and Guattari develop their concept of a minor literature with Kafka as example Kafka. Für eine kleine Literatur /Suhrkamp. I think Thomas Bernhard could be a minor literature as well. It's foreign to the major style of literature. which is the representative one, following the quotes. I just browsed thru the book and took quotes that I marked

>'Die Metaphern' sagte Kafka einmal, 'sind eines dem vielen, was mich am Schreiben verzweifeln lässt' (T 343). Bewußt zerstört Kafka alle Metaphern, alle Symbolismen, jede Bedeutung und jede Designation. Die Metamorphose - das heißt die Verwandlung - ist das Gegenteil der Metapher. Es gibt keinerlei Sinn mehr, weder primären noch übertragenen, es gibt nur noch Verteilung von Zuständen über das Aufgefächerte Wort.

The last sentence is a reference to the concept of intensities and affects. There is no sense but affects, movement of the reader directly thru the words, not the hidden meaning.

>Alle diese Merkmale sprachlicher Armut meaning no big swelling style, metaphors finden sich bei Kafka wieder, nun aber kreativ gebraucht, in den Dienst einer neuen Nüchternheit gestellt, einer neuen Expressivität, einer neuen Flexibilität, einer neuen Intensität. [...] Die Sprache gibt ihr representatives Dasein auf, um sich bis an ihre Extreme, ihre äußerste Grenze zu spannen.

>Die Formel seiner Anti-Lyrik und Anti-Ästhetik heißt gerade nicht: 'Eindrücke von der Welt gewinnen', sondern: 'die Welt erfassen', mit den Gegenständen selbst arbeiten, mit den Personen und Geschehnissen, mitten im Wirklichen, nicht mit Eindrücken oder Impressionen; die Metapher totschlagen.

>Wie Kafka sagte: Es gilt weniger ein Spiegel zu sein, als eine Uhr, die vorgeht.

I my advice for minor literature in retrospect is a call for odd literature that is not intended in representing some things of the world with metaphors but in other ways. Thomas Bernhard e.g. does not work with metaphors really. His style is also very nüchertn, his literary machine just want to copy the vocabulary works different. And perhaps you are more thrilled by that then the classics that are done in a representative style. But I could be wrong with that. Deleuze wrote a book on Joyce and one Proust, but it's inconvenient usage of their works I suppose. Usually Deleuze wrote books on literature in which he thought to have found the same movements as in the philosophy he was developing, but I not sure if you can say it like that, it's very simplified.
No. 36348
Funny you read the first two Witcher books; I read all but the first two in 2019 (after having started with the first in late 2018 and finnishing the second on new years eve).

Based on what you write, you should keep reading. I don't want to get too much into details to avoid spoilers here; know that the points you made will be addressed. Also, Sapkowski starts to do really interesting things with the structure of his story. There is one book where every chapter goes one level down the hierarchy of a story (being told inside-, being told inside-, being told inside- etc) until the middle where something quite weird and original happens just to unroll the loop in the second half. And all that without the necessity for twists or moments of "A-Ha!".

I might post the list of books I've read this year when I get home too my reading-log-book. Just like last year I've managed to finnish the last book on new years eve (Roadside Picnic from the Strugatzkis).
No. 36358

I'd emphasize what >>36237 said about the classics, even though I wouldn't necessary advise against the bloomy literature. Guess it's a matter of taste. But thinking of a bloomy style I wouldn't take Nabokov as a prime example, his writings so far rather seemed like intellectual onanism to me. I dropped Lolita 3/4 through the book, something I've literally never done before. Without any great emotions I just laid it away, thinking that was enough of him.
Personally I rather love the bloomy style of the romantics like Achim von Arnim, Clemens Brentano, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Ludwig Tieck or even Jean Paul though he is said to be a pain in the ass to read for today's readers.
Romantics weren't just Eichendorff poems about the setting sun and soul-wandering, some of the stories they wrote rank among the wildest stuff I've ever read.
Heinrich von Kleist would also be a classic writer whose prose really got me.
Maybe also read some plays inbetween, that can be fun too. Or some opera librettos. Literature is not about charts and classics as 4chan /lit/ maybe makes you wanna think.
Let your mind stray off and check antiquarian bookstores, especially the ones where they sell old books for low prices.
Maybe also check if the writers character and personal history sparks your interest. Even though that old french fart said that the author is dead, sometimes knowing about a writers biography can change a lot.
Some might think of Kleist's stories as exceptionally painful, cruel and tragic but knowing how he suffered with his life and himself. He wasn't very successful until he killed himself in a double suicide with a deadly ill woman and thought of himself as a useless parasite and bottom of the society.
Another tip on finding new interesting literature: excessively browse wikipedia and look through every public bookshelf (if your city got those) you find.
If you're into a special time and epoch in literature you can check out what contemporaries read, instead of what's the assigned canonical reading for that period.
Or you can focus on a special theme. Why not try out novels about norwegian farmers? Hunting novels? Ancient greek love stories? Erotic novels of the 19th century? Theatre of the absurd? Historic epics? Autobiographies? Some obscure anecdotic prose from a viennese decadent?
You get where I'm aiming at, maybe be a bit more anarchistic and impulsive in your choice of lecture. Maybe then you'll find some actual joy in your reading.

(t. "aspiring writer german")
No. 36359 Kontra
>Some might think of Kleist's stories as exceptionally painful, cruel and tragic but knowing how he suffered with his life and himself
you can see it as a form of catharsis. A successful and highly loved writer as Goethe would have never written such disturbed stuff.
No. 36360
1,5 MB, 120 pages
>Literature is not about charts and classics as 4chan /lit/ maybe makes you wanna think.
This. For the love of God, don't ever take anything those retarded fucks say on that board.
Those charts are so retarded and make everything a slog.
The fact that the board is borderline unmoderated also doesn't help, but the biggest problem is that it's full of adolescent "beginner" fuckwits who only want to read because they want to look smart or want to make an identity out of it.
I wish I could personally bash in the head of every last brainlet Yankee teen who makes "how to book" threads on that fucking board.

The only good thing to ever come out of that board was the collaborative novels they made. (The Legacy of Totalitarianism in a Tundra is pretty good and funny, even if it drags on a bit at times. Currently reading the relatively new L'anomie, ou le tumulte des Tapirs, now this one has me laughing whenever I pick it from my desk and flip it open.)(I'm going to include a pdf of it because why not.)

I can only say what my history teacher told me in 10th grade:
>Don't worry Josef, just as Thomas Mann said: you'll piece it together later
You can always interlink bits of information. No need to follow a rigid order from the Big Bang to the Avantgarde.
That of course doesn't mean that a solid foundation in ancient literature and the Bible is unnecessary, but you'll come to realise that since it's "western culture", you know a lot of the stories unconsciously. (And if not, you can always just read the most important ones in in a Griechische Heldensagen edition or something, no need to sweat over it.)

The wikipedia thing might be a good starting point, but after a while it becomes simply unnecessary as you begin to assemble you future reading list based on recommendations given to you by the footnotes and sources used in the previous books you've read. At least I found that happening the more I read.
There is a reason why the canon is called The Great Conversation. It's all interlinked. A giant dinner-party. We're of course a bit late, but there are still seats left at the table.
No. 36369
Can any philosophy pros recommend me introductory texts on cybernetics
No. 36375
Kind of a broad subject. Any concern in particular as related to cybernetics?
No. 36403
No. 36404
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You know that feel when you find a new topic, and every second thought that comes to your mind is occupied by something related it?

Books, Epics, Translations, the Chinese, Anime, Shostakovich, and now it's Babits. Such a splendid and important Hungarian author, and prolific too.
Just finished reading another one of his novels. This one was titled The son of Virgil Tímár. It's about a high school teacher in a religious school named Virgil Tímár who forms a bond with one of his students who is orphaned.
Since Virgil is a priest and never experienced actual bonding with anyone, his love manifests itself as a fatherly and mentor-instinct towards the boy.
As time goes on, the boy becomes rebellious and liberal, a complete antithesis of the Catholic school he is attending, and while he is thankful to Tímár for taking good care of him, in the end, he decided to leave for Budapest with his (jewish) father who works as a journalist/author. Tímár accepts the boy's decision, because even Augustine went through a rebellious, hedonist phase before finding peace in God, and it's only natural for the boy to want to see the world.
It's a beautiful novel(la), with rich allusions to classical stories and full of Latin phrases.
Such a shame it was never released in English. (Though a German translation was published in 1926 under the title Der Sohn des Virgilius Timár.)

Besides the theme of fatherhood and inheritance, it was also interesting to see how anti-semtism was portrayed in the third part of the book. Especially the vocabulary at times. You guys know of the meme letter by Marx that uses the phrase "jewish nigger" (http://hiaw.org/defcon6/works/1862/letters/62_07_30a.html)? Now, apparently it must've been pretty common back then, since this novel also has similar phrase Negro-jew in one passage.
And there was also the expression Judapest, a portmanteau of Jude and Budapest. It was surprising to see that this expression that sometimes I still see being used, is actually older than my great-grandmother.
I must mention that the author himself wasn't an anti-semite, he just described scenes where anti-Semitism was necessary. (I mean, we're talking about an ultraconservative catholic school in 1908.)
I felt it was necessary to mention it, because people oftentimes fail to separate the author's beliefs from the things he chooses to portray.

In retrospect, I'm kinda sad we just brushed over Babits's work in school. His prose is really something. His essays are really something. I don't hate poetry, it's just that I prefer prose or epics to poems.

Just dawned on me that I haven't even described how to pronounce the guy's name. It's Baah-bitch. Makes me remember of 2010 memes. There was this image of him floating around the web where in the fashion of the Yao Ming meme, his face had the phrase Babits Please written under it. Pic attached is a recreation.

This is why I don't like reading Hungarian literature. I have this amazing experience, and then I can't share it properly with anyone because of the language barrier. It's a true curse.
It comes off as a nonsensical ramble. Truth be told, I could say anything about the guy and it wouldn't make a difference.
In 1937 he wrote an epic in the vein of Homer. It's an utter lie, but you can't check it. And that's sad. For me, for you.
It's killing me.
No. 36446
>This is why I don't like reading Hungarian literature. I have this amazing experience, and then I can't share it properly with anyone because of the language barrier. It's a true curse.
That's why you've gotta become a translator, mate. Just go for a Masters in Britain or Ireland or some other Anglophone country, and after a few years of total immersion you'll have the native-like language instincts to work without a partner.
No. 36506
I've been thinking for a while, and decided I'd like to delve deeper into avant-garde 20th century & post-soviet Russian literature since I'm a native speaker and that stuff is really interesting & relatable to me but not that well known in the West.

Also I finished Neuromancer by William Gibson a few days ago, that was good for the alcoholidays since it didn't require too much concentration. The best episode was the Space Rastafari colony where they consider Dub music sacred and it's used at some point to rescue the protagonist from being trapped by an evil AI. I guess it reads rather schlocky nowadays though I'm sure it was quite cutting-edge at the time it came out. Still, can't help but appreciate Gibson sticking to his curt style throughout though I don't find it to be aesthetically pleasing.

Thanks for elaborating, it's an interesting view tho I'm not sure I'd adapt it for my writing.
I haven't read anything by him in a long time though I enjoyed him greatly as a teenager. I tried re-reading Amerika about a year ago but I just couldn't bear his minimalist and surreal style then. I'm afraid I can not relate to his desperation as much at the moment, though I'm sure the time will come again. Actually I just had to think of this Kafka quote:
>“Ich glaube, man sollte überhaupt nur solche Bücher lesen, die einen beißen und stechen. Wenn das Buch, das wir lesen, uns nicht mit einem Faustschlag auf den Schädel weckt, wozu lesen wir dann das Buch? Damit es uns glücklich macht, wie Du schreibst? Mein Gott, glücklich wären wir eben auch, wenn wir keine Bücher hätten, und solche Bücher, die uns glücklich machen, könnten wir zur Not selber schreiben. Wir brauchen aber die Bücher, die auf uns wirken wie ein Unglück, das uns sehr schmerzt, wie der Tod eines, den wir lieber hatten als uns, wie wenn wir in Wälder vorstoßen würden, von allen Menschen weg, wie ein Selbstmord, ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns.”
Maybe that's some good advice as well. I feel a special connection to it since I wrote eerily similar to "breaking up the frozen sea in our heads" in a notebook once as well (though rather refering to my own inability to write)

>You get where I'm aiming at, maybe be a bit more anarchistic and impulsive in your choice of lecture. Maybe then you'll find some actual joy in your reading.
Thanks for the impulses, though I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding. I definitely see the value in being spontaneous reading outside of my comfort zone & I try to do so (ir)regularly. And my issue is rather about finding a niche, like German Romanticism for you, rather than not enjoying reading or not having enough interesting reading to choose from. If anything, I have a too large reading list which I just went through and skimmed off a good ~150 books that I'm very unlikely to ever read onto a separate list.

> you'll come to realise that since it's "western culture", you know a lot of the stories unconsciously.
For sure you know the most famous stories, but I've started reading the OT now and there's already been quite a few puzzling & interesting episodes that I've never heard about before (900 year old men? nephilim?? noah cursing his son for covering him up with a cloth when he was passed out drunk???), not to mention the literary/poetic aspects of it that you'd miss out on.

>There is a reason why the canon is called The Great Conversation. It's all interlinked. A giant dinner-party. We're of course a bit late, but there are still seats left at the table.
Almost made me tear up a bit, haha.

>Pic attached is a recreation.
Ebin, saved

>This is why I don't like reading Hungarian literature. I have this amazing experience, and then I can't share it properly with anyone because of the language barrier. It's a true curse.
Maybe it's a blessing in disguise if you can find your vocation in translating.
No. 36649
I finished reading a study On the Hungarian Character by Babits.
It's always interesting to read summaries of your existence.

One of the terms he used repeatedly in his writings is Magyar Globus or Hungarian Globe.
Apparently it's a 19th century term originating from a Viennese newspaper's anecdote in which a Hungarian man walks into a bookshop and asks the clerk:
>Geben Sie mir ein Globus von Ungarn. ("Give me a globe of Hungary")
Basically it's a summary of the national spirit. We're too occupied with our small little universe and the outside world is cared for only so long as it doesn't trouble us. It's not ignorance, we're just too busy with this part of the world.

He describes our nation as observant. We observe the world, but rarely choose to do anything about it. The only time a Hungarian takes action, is when his rights and dues are threatened.
>He gives you even his shirt
>But what is due to him he wouldn't give
He quotes a poet.
Really, thinking about our history, it's not a series of rebellions for freedom, but a series of rebellions for the rights we've been handed by previous rules.
"When [the Hungarian] fought against his king, he'd rather view the king as a rebel for taking away his rights and breaking age-old principles."

Anyway, there was this great passage describing one of my woes that I've shared with you: (From Chapter 7 titled Action and Creation)
"We're a poetic people" - writes Gyula Illyés on one page of "The Hungarians"; but even Ady called his nation "poetic". Indeed, there's plenty of poets around here. From a list of the stereotypical characters of the Hungarian village, the rhymer can't be excluded. Arany's Bandi Kósza is neither imaginary nor exceptional. And the blossoming of higher poetry didn't lag behind either. Moreover, on multiple occasions I've read the more or less open and consciously stated woe that compared to the smallness of our nation, our literary culture is "oversized", our literature and art, which are fundamentally one and the same, is disproportionately large and high. This is kind of paradoxical and laughable, just like every woe that could also be presented as boasting. Was the Athenian culture oversized because it was made by a people few in numbers? Or is the proportion of a culture's spread what determines its worthiness? Less people deserve fewer books?

This one passage expresses a lot of my feelings. 80 years ago this man figured me out.
No. 36650
And I also just found the holy grail. The Petőfi Literary Museum actually compiled a database of translations. Now I can actually check if something has been translated.

As it turns out, the novel titled Death rode out of Persia was actually translated to German (as Der Tod ritt aus Persien hinaus but not English. This seems to be the case with a lot of stuff.
Probably just the fact that we're neighbours.
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well thats what im trying to read

i also have paper book i got a while ago but it turned out to be gay (i unironically have to skip pages because its some 18century chad's cool stories, although some bits of teh book were interesting at first)
No. 36766
Well, after a few days of ardent reading, I'm finished with /lit/'s latest meme travesty, L'anomie.

Now, what is there to say about it? It's quite funny at times, when the anon who wrote the given segment wasn't Hell-bent on trying to make those two pages as hard and painful to read as possible.

The book itself is subtitled Un Roman Existentialiste, but besides the few times they lampoon on Camus's writing, it has nothing existentialist about it.
(Though one of the funnier running gags is related to Camus. Characters keep making statements about things that happened today and then second guessing themselves and asking Or was it yesterday?)
Once chapter feels like has been lifted from L'etranger word for word, only the protagonist was replaced with a Tapir.

Everything about the book is there to built this pompous, up-its-own-ass feeling of a teenager writing his own existentialist novel, from the French chapter titles to the cover aping the first edition of the Stranger.
(On Goodreads the publisher was given as Not Gallimard)
Though the print edition is toned down, removing the Gallimard logo and adding the 4chan four leaf clover instead.)

There is a really thin plot thread that actually progresses. (About Anon defeating S.C.H.O.P.E.N.H.A.U.E.R. with the help of Virgil while Detective Gumshoe is trying to capture him to prevent an apocalypse, but honestly, who gives a shit about the plot of a meme book?)

My favourite chapters were
>"Le Interlude" - Waiting for GF
>"Le Bouldeur"
>"Le Pirate Autistique"
>"Il Paradiso"
>"Regenerador deux: Gumzapato"
>"Le Dialogue de les Fetiches en Societe"
>"Un Dialogue á Propos de Vore"
>"Crise Existentielle de Jean Vert"

It's a nice collection of memes over all, and it's also relatively short, clocking in at 144 pages. Compared to The Legacy of Totalitarianism in a Tundra, that's pretty lenient and edited down.
And just like with LoTiaT, you shouldn't feel bad to skip a few pages while reading it. Some of it was written to be as irritating as possible, after all.
No. 36818
In an effort to delve more into Russian literature, I read (or rather I listened to a reading of) The Ratcatcher by Alexander Grin (translations are available in English & German).
It's a novella about a run-down young man discovering (or merely hallucinating?) a ploy of rats in an abandoned bank. Very mysterious & haunting, some allegory but not too much. Also very interesting for me to see how it influenced the aesthetics of Pathologic (Мор. Утопия) whose makers Ice-Pick Lodge actually performed the reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDhdrx4cqK8
The style is somewhat similar to Poe or Hoffmann, but it's refreshingly more optimist at the conclusion.

I also gobbled down a pretty good book on rhetorical figures, The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth, which is very concise and full of great examples from the Bible through Shakespeare to modern pop lyrics though his dry humor starts to be somewhat grating after a few chapters. And a book on screenwriting called Save the Cat!, which I didn't like as much as it was quite sloppily written in salesman-ish style by an author who's too full of himself. But some questionable ideas aside, it did contain some useful tips for writing and especially planning, in particular I liked the detailed description of his storyboarding methodology & his "beat sheet"(quite similar to e.g. the "hero's journey").
No. 36905
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I finished Bernhards The Lime Works. Great novel and better than Holzfällen/Woodcutters because of the madness. His novels seem to be very similarly styled and this is also a topic of literary studies. Will read his other novels chronologically I guess over the nexts months/years.

Lime Works is aphoristic and repetitive in that its makes the madness in mania evident and vivid. I can hardly say much besides one of the main topics of Bernhard novels, the impossibility to find an end, an absolute that can be expressed, is central. The novel performs this phenomenon in a mad but also very comical way. The absurdity of Konrads life is hilarious, but at the same time his struggle is yours.
Since the text is basically a 200 pages block without any paragraph you have to divide it into smaller aphorisms that circle around certain situations and phenomenon, also one might say these novels are recursive. The block form and repetitions, variations and contradictions make it hard to say what these novels really are about, you certainly don't get a simple story to follow but need to be a bit more (or very much) concentrated on what is said.

For the "plot":
Konrad lives with his crippled wife in an old lime works where he tries to finish a study on hearing. The narrator is an insurance agent who more or less pieces together the story of other hearsay, Konrads "neighbors" Fro and Wieser and some officals. So taken this as a base, you don't know what really happened. But anyway what is sure is that Konrads wife was shot on Christmas eve and the story unfolds from this event going into the past and back to the present, the time after Konrad supposedly shot his wife and was arrested two days after. In the beginning it is stated that it could have been suicide but the story more or less suggest that Konrad shot his wife.
No. 36906
The remarkable thing about Bernhard’s writings is that besides a his early short stories and poetry, everything after the release of Frost is basically the same. Same quality, same style, same crazyness. (Except for his dramas maybe)
Nobody preceded him and nobody follwed him.
A true literary anomaly.
No. 36907
And I only intend to read Frost and everything that follows, not so much interested in the dramas, tho I bought Jagdgesellschaft for a euro or two once. I think they are more openly political. I read Jagdgesellschaft is about stalinism and I think Heldenplatz is about Austro-fascism and centered around jews dinning while the Anschluss is happening/announced at Heldenplatz.

It's just coherent to make the "same" novel over an over again, it sticks to what the novels say afaik. But then again there is a noticeable difference between Lime Works and Woodcutters. I'm not sure if his autobiographical pieces are also similarly styled as Lime Works. Perhaps tho.
No. 36908
>nobody followed him

it would be bad to just copy the style and I guess very obvious. Rainald Goetz is associated with him, especially is first novel Irre
Goetz writings tend to have repetition that function as assurance. Everything written before 1990 by Goetz is darker and deals with philosophic thoughts and madness e.g.
No. 36915
I've read Kafka's Metamorphosis.
It's great. Not as good as the Trial, but still good.

I don't feel ready to give a detailed analysis, and I think the oh, it's purgatory interpretation would be cliché, but I'm going to write down some of my thoughts.

The situation of the novel itself reminded me of what it's like to be sick, and what it's like to have a dying relative.
As in, when you're sick for months, at first you feel a bit liberated, but after a while, the care of the family becomes embarrassing. It starts to feel like you're taking advantage of them unjustly. "I don't want to be sick, but I can't help it" (At least consciously can't help it.)

On the other hand, having a terminally sick relative is tormenting for both parties, doubly so for the party that gives care to the sick family member.
You know that they're going to die. You know that there is nothing you can do.
Yet there you are, pouring time and resources essentially into a hole. And not only are you pouring resources into a hole, you're also prolonging someone's suffering. But why? Because despite knowing there is nothing you can do (really, anyone can do), you do everything you can out of courtesy, to appear nice.
Nobody wants to be the faggot that calls for the death of an ill person.

This is what Gregor consciously realises in the end. He'll never "recover", and his "existence" (If you can call it that) is just a hindrance to everyone, so he decides to just give up living to let the others go on, instead of being a parasite, sparing his family from having to kill him.

Is it true that Kafka actually laughed while reading his stories aloud to people?
No. 36916
>Is it true that Kafka actually laughed while reading his stories aloud to people?

I think Max Brod wrote that.
Kafka has humor, perhaps an odd one. Some people even wrote books about Kafka and humor.
No. 37091
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Started studying Spengler's Der Untergang des Abendlandes. I'm really enjoying the lofty prose (his endorsement of Nietzsche is quite apparent in his style) dealing with such an impressively broad synthesis of the histories of art, politics, philosophy/science etc. of different cultures/civilizations(he considers these different phases), or as he calls it morphology of world history. I've only finished the first two chapters as of yet, but the book already contained lots of surprisingly astute analysis, much more nuanced than what you'd expect from someone decried as a mere declensionist.

In the meantime I've also read a collection of poems called Das Jahr der Seele by Stefan George, which I liked for the simplicity of form he uses, most of the poems consist of 3x4-line stanzas with common rhyme patterns, in combination with a dreamy yet simple language. I found it hard to really get excited about most of the poems except for a few expressions that really hit home. Maybe I should read poetry a bit slower to digest it better.

>Yu Hua - China in Ten Words
Thank you for the recommendation, I've been meaning to read something on China for a while so I picked that up on a whim. It was quite a page-turner and I had to laugh at many of the anecdotes, though knowing virtually nothing about the book or author I expected it to be more systematic & informative rather than entertaining. I guess it did provide some insight, but it was still rather vague and only whetted my appetite for something more thoroughly theoreticized in regards to the history, politics etc. of China.
So I've tried reading some essay by Jiang Shigong who's apparently considered to be a major ideologue of Xi Jinping Thought, but abondoned it after a few paragraphs as it was about as dry as a legal text. In case anybody's interested in it though: https://www.readingthechinadream.com/jiang-shigong-philosophy-and-history.html

Btw, I realized Der Rattenfänger by Alexander Grin was released in the same book series as Der Storchkalif, so if that's anything to go by, I'd recommend it to you. Not that it's the best indicator but judging by your taste I think you'd like it. Though sadly I don't know if there's a Hungarian translation and the English one isn't freely available either afaik.
No. 37095
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> I've been meaning to read something on China for a while

Not sure, if I already recommended it at one point, but Alec Ashs Wish Lanterns was a good read about the one child generation, afaik it was more or less biographies of friends he made in China as expat or whatever. Their stories are told from childhood to working life/present and they come from all over China, northeast, north west, south etc.
You can read thru it easily.
No. 37201
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Found this handy pdf containing Arany's epic poetry in English, accompanied with notes and a relatively handy introduction.
I mentioned Toldi when I posted my translation of a medieval poem. Arany's Toldi from 1846 uses that poem as a foundation.

I've read two out of the four works included in the volume, besides Toldi's Love, all are taught either in elementary or high school.
I just thought I'd share it with you guys.

Later today, hopefully I can post that essay I was working on, and that short story.
The former is thought provoking, the latter is funny, so stay tuned.

I checked out Grin's writings when you first mentioned him, and he has multiple volumes available in Hungarian.
It's just that whenever I was in the library recently I was either helping people to find something or studying for tests and haven't had the chance to check the catalogue if we have any of them.

Gonna look into it when I have the time. Thanks.
No. 37202
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I'm going to let the essay ferment for a bit, but I'm going to post two short stories.

These pieces are from István Örkény's volume titled "One Minute Stories". The volume contains stories that take roughly one minute to read, but despite their length, they're completely worthwhile works.
Basically flash fiction, written in a grotesque and cynical tone.
Örkény was a novelist and a playwright.

>Why these two?
One I found while randomly flipping through the book at the library, the other as a photocopy laying at on a literature teacher's desk.

Though looking the volume up online, I translated something that probably already exists in English. Whatever, I did it for the fun of it.
No. 37207
Both are excellent, and easily worth a minute of Ernst's time.

Some suggestions on In Memoriam dr. K. H. G.:
>asked dr. K. H. G. while digging the ditch for the horse
"while digging a ditch for the horse" sounds more natural.

>Him too. - said the German guard, his face turning boiling red, and he...
"Him too. - said the German guard, as his face turned boiling red, and he..."
The two actions, 'said' and 'turned', occur at the same time and should be in the same verb tense. I expect you know that and just missed it while proofreading.
No. 37210
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>I expect you know that and just missed it while proofreading.
Actually I didn't proofread that one at all. I just sort of remembered that I read this one too, and translated it without a second thought to make my work feel a bit more substantial.

The first one I gave special attention. Basically I came home, translated it, re-read it, and then shelved it. Then I proofread it after a week of not thinking about it at all.
I call it Alienation of the text.
One method I also found useful was reading it aloud mimicking a British accent. Essentially posing myself the question, Would this sound good, if Sir Humphrey were to say it?, which might sound silly written down, but in practice, it makes a lot of sense.

Thanks as always for the suggestions. It's a big help to have someone read my stuff, and I'm infinitely glad that you take some of your precious time to do so.
No. 37221
>I just sort of remembered that I read this one too, and translated it without a second thought to make my work feel a bit more substantial.
I'm glad you did. For such a short piece, it left an impression.

>the suggestions
You're welcome. However, I must now announce an error on my part.
Regarding the second suggestion, my re-wording was correct, and sounds more natural, but my explanation was incorrect. In fiction, the "dialog tag"(said the German guard,) can be in a different tense than a subsequent verb(his face turning). In this case, there is an implied 'while', which makes clear that the two actions occur at the same time.
So while my suggestion was one way to make your sentence better, the original verb tense wasn't necessarily wrong. Also, I see you changed 'shot' to 'shooting' as a result of my mistake. (Was this because I added "..." in my post? I used the elipses to indicate that the rest of your original sentence was ok). Since the story is written in the past tense (asked, enjoyed, said), this last verb should be as well. (To clarify, the only present tense verbs are digging and turning, both of which occur in conjunction with a past tense verb).
Anyway, thanks for sharing your translations, and I'm sorry for turning something you did for fun into this convoluted post on sentence structure.
No. 37224
Perfectly good translations, although you should work on standard English punctuation and quotations. The unedited Hungarian formatting (that's what I assume it is) is really jarring, and despite being an entirely superficial issue it gives the impression of an unfinished work.
No. 37279
>Anyway, thanks for sharing your translations, and I'm sorry for turning something you did for fun into this convoluted post on sentence structure.
Don't feel bad about it. Being a pedantic fuck about grammar is what this is all about after all :D
It's part of the fun. I mean, I'd be unhappy if I lived in a bubble where I couldn't fail.
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Read a novella called Imitation of Homer [based on a post-true story] by Natan Dubovitsky, rumored and basically confirmed to be the pseudonym of Vladislav Surkov, an infamous aide of Putin, considered by many the éminence grise of the Kremlin. The plot, as the title suggests, is inspired by the Iliad, mainly the epsiode of the feud between Agamemnon and Achilles over Briseis, except that it's set in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. That is, until the Pelevin-style plot twist, when it turns out that it's actually a staged war game set in the future. This war game descended from MMA, and is played out by the remainders of the violent populace, while the pacified masses only watch them for entertainment. It's rather schlocky but has some decent literary moments, but as with his other book Almost Zero, it feels very rushed from about halfway through, like he just got tired of going through with the premise while maintaining the quality of the first chapters.
But possibly more interesting than the book is the persona of Vladislav Surkov, who basically came from nowhere and rose to occupy a key role in the Russian government, as to even be considered the major idelogue behind Putin's post-truth politics, all the while being obsessed with Hamlet, Tupac and Allen Ginsberg.

Here's a quote from an article about him:
>The reporter asked Surkov about the sanctions list he has been placed on by the West. ‘Won’t this ban affect you?’ the reporter asked. ‘Your tastes point to you being a very Western person.’
>Surkov smiled and pointed to his head: ‘I can fit Europe in here.’
>He later said: ‘I see the decision by the administration in Washington as an acknowledgment of my service to Russia. It’s a big honour for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the US are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.’

This quote, while somewhat unrelated, also made me laugh:
>One blogger has noted that ‘the number of references to Derrida in political discourse is growing beyond all reasonable bounds. At a recent conference the Duma deputy Ivanov quoted Derrida three times and Lacan twice.’

Other than that I've been reading some of Shakespeare's sonnets and I think I'm slowly grasping the pentameter.

About halfway through with The City & the City by China Miéville which was mentioned by some book reviewer in the same breath as Pelevin. It's basically a detective novel, except it's set in this weird place where two cities with different governments intertwine & are watched over by some higher power. I guess telling more would spoil too much. It began quite promising, but I feel like the pacing is a bit slow and I can't wait for the climax to develop.

I don't think that's quite what I'm looking for, I want some grander, more abstract analysis of Chinese culture/history rather than personal accounts. I suppose there'll be something in the Spengler book about this at some point though of course that'd miss out on all the important recent developments in China.

First one's pretty good, but I don't get the second one :D
No. 37290
> I want some grander, more abstract analysis of Chinese culture/history rather than personal accounts.

You could plow through the many university presses and get more detailed accounts on China than with Spengler I think.


Did not look it up but I guess you can find some of the English one on lib.gen, seeing the Amazon recommendations, there are actually quite many synthesizing smaller history books on China in German language.
No. 37292 Kontra
>writer of something that does indeed sound schlocky
>obsessed with Ginsburg, Pollack, Tupac
Holy christ. Well, I mean...
No I was going to say something but that guy just needs better taste all around. Ironically the only thing I'm not taking issue with here is the rapper. The painter and the "poet" if you can even call him that
Well let's just say we beg to differ widely and dramatically on anything even approximating American cultural contributions. Pollack isn't terrible just not very good imho. I suppose an argument can be made for abstract composition at least but Ginsburg? Seriously? He sounds like the worst sort of mediocre intellect pretentious twat college freshman with a head full of nothing. But then again I widely rail against the whole beat generation generally, and particularly despise Ginsburg on a similar level as Warhol, although at least to his credit Warhol wasnt a known pedo to boot.

Sorry for being so negative. I just wish someone like that would come up with anyone else I mean hell what about Plath? Why Ginsburg of all people?
No. 37297
I highly doubt that Spengler could give you much of value. Did he have any special knowledge about the country?

I highly recommend the blog Scholar's Stage. It's written by an academic who is fluent in Chinese, including the classical written language, and he's written a ton about modern China and long term trends in Chinese thought and culture. I find blog backlogs from highly learned individuals like this to often be more valuable on books, and always to be very useful in building your own reading list. The guy behind Scholar's Stage in particular is very widely read and has recommended years' worth of reading on various subjects, derived from his own personal reading. And of course, Chinese culture and history are a very large part of such recommendations.
No. 37298
You readed it because he left recently?
No. 37301
>First one's pretty good, but I don't get the second one :D
Basically it's a grotesque scene from a concentration-camp. The "subhuman", Jewish professor (doctor of literature) is more connected to German culture than an "aryan" soldier that can't name a single of the German greats.

The tragedy is the fact that KHG wasn't malicious at all, he was just jovially trying to chat up a conversation with the guy, but accidentally made the guard so angry that it killed him out of sheer anger and jealousy because KHG's little lecture made him feel inferior to a supposed-inferior.
No. 37327
Thanks, that's quite a lot but I'll try to have a look

>Sorry for being so negative
Don't be, I don't feel too strongly about either the Beats or Pollock. I think it's perfectly in character for him to like them since they're somewhat edgy, though from a Western perspective they almost feel like distant history

>Scholar's Stage
Oh yeah, I've been following that guy on Twitter for a while but strangely most posts I've read by him were on other topics. But it's definitely a good blog, I already found a possibly relevant article: https://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2018/12/what-to-read-to-get-into-chinese-history.html

I read Okolonolya some years ago, also some of his articles before, and recently was researching modern Russian literature so I checked whether he wrote sth new.
Only heard about the news of his departure yesterday, I wonder how that'll turn out. IIRC he already "left" the government once in 2013 but came back pretty soon.

Ah, thanks for the explanation, I didn't quite catch that it was set in a concentration camp though it makes sense now.
No. 37355
Speaking of Scholar's Stage, he just put up a post that is highly relevant to most of Ernstchan:
tl;dr You're at your best in your 30s, and you need regular doses of insight gained from actual experience to produce anything of lasting value.
No. 37566
2,0 MB
Partly inspired by the recent discussion in the Today thread about the literary life, I read the Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke, and re-read file attached and it was just what I needed to soothe my mind after failing to write a sonnet yesterday (this instance being of course only the culmination of other alluded to miseries)
Also, rather incidentally, I was reading some poems by Goethe and stumbled upon one where he describes what should be the content of poetry according to him, to paraphrase crudely: love, wine, battle and all the beautiful, but not the ugly, things. It's an interesting contrast in particular to Houellebecq's misanthropic vision, Rilke doesn't talk in too many specifics, but seeing as how he stresses the value of solitude throughout the letters, one could place him somewhere in between.

Today I read Doll's House, the play by Ibsen. Nora this, Nora that, it was quite a bore.

Also read a few more chapters of Genesis in bed, I really don't get how the Bible's got a reputation for being boring with all that crazy stuff happening.
No. 37568
Haven’t read Dollhouse, but The Wild Duck is a really good drama by Ibsen.
It’s a fun piece to dissect. Loved it.

>People think the Bible is boring
The common man has a lot of worthless opinions.
Personally I find that the more older I get the more I enjoy the Bible, especially the New Testament.
The language is superb, and the stoties are great too. It’s just that people are idiots.
No. 37570
12 kB, 183 × 276
>Momma and the Meaning of Life

If you've heard of Dr Yalom it will probably be from his collection of therapy tales 'Love's Executioner' that dealt with existential angst as a common theme. That was one of those books that marked my own life in a before and after sense - I'd still recommend it if you don't mind painful introspection.

This continues his theme of a retelling his work with patients. He deals with a woman who seemingly has everyone around her die, a therapy group of broken people and then, for some reason, I'm reading about a therapy session with a giant cat. I don't know how I feel about this. In a sense he is addressing mortality and our stages of dealing with that in a very primordial fashion but then, he's still talking to a giant cat.
No. 37571
Even when I liked reading, having to read that garbage in lessons made me want to top myself.
No. 37586
Bible is very uneven. There is certainly some neat stuff (Ecclesiastes FTW!), but there are also loads and loads of things that are curious mostly for anthropologists rather than for a reader without any professional or scientific interest. Take Pentateuch, for example: Genesis and Exodus are breddy ebin, while Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy mostly deal with ancient Jewish law, food taboos and proper sacrifice procedures.
No. 37595
>mostly deal with ancient Jewish law, food taboos and proper sacrifice procedures.
Those can be pretty interersting at times actually. It's the droning on begats of Genesis that's the most boring and tedious part of the bible. I almost wish it could be made into its whole own separate book called Generations.
No. 37597
The rest of the Genesis is fun, though, while, say, Leviticus is boring from the beginning to the end. And those Hebrew names often sound really cool, one can probably use them in some sort of fantasy story (that is, in some fantasy story other than the Bible XDDDDD), so those pedigrees are of some utility. The intricacies of burning parts of animals in the glory of YHWH, on the other hand, are not useful to anyone anymore except for maybe ultra-Orthodox Jews.
No. 37761
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451 kB, 820 × 550
This is a lovely little autobiographical book by the soviet emirgé writer Sergei Dovlatov.

The story follows a failed literati who is an alcoholic and goes to work at the Pushkin memorial park to earn some cash and escape his failed marriage.
The premise itself is quite sad, but the book is written in a rather funny way. Dovlatov's strength lies in his dialogues. It's witty and sarcastic. And it also characterises certain character types rather well.

I don't recall a book ever making me laugh out loud while commuting in the city.
Probably my favourite character in the book was Mikhail Ivanich, a drunkard who constantly talks shit about different ethnicities and capitalism.
>I respect the Jews. I'd give a dozen of hohols for a Jew. But I'd strangle all the gypsies with my bare hands.
(The topic of the Jews comes up a lot in this book, even if just on a superficial level)

Also there is this really interesting depiction how how time is perceived in a Soviet village in the countryside.
Everything becomes pre-1917 and post-1917, nothing else matters besides pseudo-communism and the constant flow of misery and alcohol.

What I'm trying to say is that it's really touching to read as someone from an ex-Warsaw Pact country. It kind of reminded me of the works of Péter Hajnóczy. He was an alcoholic too, and he too wrote an autobiographical novel about being a failed alcoholic literati, but unlike Dovlatov, he managed to gain recognition in his home country.

It's not necessarily high-art, but it describes a time period really well. The Soviet-Empire in Decay.
The text on the dust jacket says that it's an afternoon read, and it truly is. The prose flows very well, and the sentences and the story is simple.
Great book. Glad I spent time reading it.
No. 37768
39 kB, 388 × 540
I know Dovlatov by name for a while, but haven't read anything by him yet. That sounds like a fun read though, might pick it up for my next prolonged reading & drinking session.

>failed literati who is an alcoholic
Reminds me of Moscow-Petushki by Venedikt Erofeev, it's also a book I immensely enjoyed and been thinking about re-reading recently. It's full of literary, philosophical & theological references and also mordantly funny and quite short, so if you're looking for something similar, I'd recommend it.
No. 37769 Kontra
>It’s a fun piece to dissect.
That's exactly the issue, there's no life in it. It's dead and can be dissected, there might be something elegant about the way it's set up, in the way that a mathematical equation can be elegant, but that's about it.
No. 37778
Hm, if you haven't read Vladimir Sorokin, then you might be interested in his output, the earlier one in particular, like The Queue and The Norm (or The Quota; I dunno how they translated that name to other languages, because both variants make sense). The former is a slice of life during perestroika written in an experimental form – it's entirely a dialogue, while the latter is a sardonic look at the Soviet life and system with the help of the metaphor of coprophagia. Both are really cynical and by no means beautiful, but they still manage to be enjoyable somehow. There is also The Hearts of the Four (The Four Hearts?), but it's much darker, weirder and just generally fucked-up, and to be honest I don't understand everything in it myself, but it's also worth a try.
No. 37814
47 kB, 580 × 390
>Dovlatov's strength lies in his dialogues. It's witty and sarcastic. And it also characterises certain character types rather well.
Thanks for the recommendation; those dialogues drew me in right from the start. While most of the novel was taken up by the author's interactions with unique characters, I thought the section where Boris met his wife was extremely well crafted. In telling that story, Dovlatov hit just the right moments. Overall, it was very funny, and fun to read. I suppose Dovlatov wanted to lean on the absurd aspects of his/Boris' situation, rather than the morose. Something to that effect was written in the afterword of the edition I found on libgen:
“I absolutely do not want to be known as the modern-day Virgil who leads Dante through hell (however much I may love Shalamov)...”
That afterword/essay provided a biographical sketch, and an overview of the author's work. It can be read here, if anyone was interested:

No. 37876
Reading the letters of great Hungarian writers from the early 20th century, I'm surprised how human these literary titans were.
I mean, there is one letter where Kosztolányi is asking Babits, "how much I should study for the exam?"
Is that not a timeless line?

I also really liked the grand monologue of the KGB agent near the end, hinting at the decay of the system and how privatisation will fuck everything up, because people can't take care of themselves after 60-70 years of communism.
>You want to know what will destroy Soviet power? I'll tell you: The vodka.
>Every peasant would give away his land for an old gun, not to mention half a litre of vodka.
Incredibly powerful lines. Almost visionary.

I ordered a copy of it because you're the second person that recommended it. I'm eager to read it.

Sadly I can't find it in neither Hungarian nor English.
There is a lot of his stuff that got translated, but the two you mentioned are sadly not in the catalogue.
No. 37927
243 kB
I dread editing. It's quite calming and satisfying once you get into it, but before you do, it seems like the most impossible work in the world. You're not just fleshing out a good idea - you're trying to bring the result of that idea as close to perfection as possible. Close enough to stand on its own in the world as a work of art, that you would feel no shame in showing to other human beings. "This is as good as I could make it; and I think that's good enough."

And every time I think I've reached that point, and go back to read over what I've written one last time, I find some bit of wording that could obviously be improved... but which I missed the last time, no matter how obvious it is.

Well, I've come to the conclusion that this is what professional editors are for, and hopefully I will get one if a publisher shows any interest in my work. For now at least, I think it's good enough to start worrying about how to get it published. Who the hell publishes 25k word (pre-)historical fiction novellas?

I appreciate any feedback that Ernst can give. I posted an earlier version of this story some time ago, but it's undergone significant editing since then, including an entirely new epilogue.

Now that I'm confident in my ability to write long-form fiction, I have to decide whether to write another historical story, or do something fantasy or SF related. I have a better idea about how to turn the historical idea into a full-length novel, but I desperately want to escape from the hell of American serfdom, and I think fantasy/SF has a better chance of actually selling.
No. 37929
34 kB, 1500 × 1000
45 kB, 960 × 830
To be fair, people can't barely take care of themselves without Communism either. Sorry I was just watching a documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkWEDJXtsA0 and what struck me the most was when they were talking about how all the people now suddenly had to worry how will we get education? Healthcare? Housing? I mean just the very idea that I could have an apartment without paying rent is completely mindblowing. It's basically softcore feudalism at this point of, what's the word I'm looking for not indentured servitude, what's the kind of feudalism where you're tied to the land? Like that. I've dodged car payments, insurance, all that happy horseshit which I particularly don't mind avoiding because I don't want to deal with the cops fucking with me and then basically paying them bribe money if I have a tail light or busted mirror I couldn't afford to fix or was going 5mph too fast. I'm particularly loathe to deal with that because these cocksuckers are sometimes much younger than me now and like hell am I kissing some young 22 year olds boot. I'm still mildly aggravating about walking along the road and having them demand my identity papers this winter and hassling me.

I don't mean to imply such a shit system had merits, but well yeah I guess exactly what I'm implying is it had merits. Do you have any idea the federal deficit? For years people shrieked about it--and rightly so--but now suddenly and mysteriously nobody does. Over one TRILLION dollars every year over budget. A TRILLION. Not total spending--I'm talking about strictly the money of ours they are spending that we don't even have. I wouldn't even care if it was for education, healthcare, housing and shit like that, but instead it's for stupid shit in the military industrial complex to such an extent I wonder if we're as corrupt as modern Russia. I was just watching a video claiming we could build a moon base for $20-40 billion over ten years. Why the hell don't we do that? Why the fuck is my money being wasted on Israel. Why is my money being wasted on stupid shit like drones. That drone Iran shot down cost $100 million dollars. I just keep thinking what the fuck I could do with even half that money. But it's all being wasted. Iraq alone cost us at least a solid trillion dollars, and probably much much more than that.

So yeah I'm pretty pissy thinking about things like money and rent and what these assholes in Washington are doing with our money that they stole from us. It is at the point where I don't think taxation is theft in general, but our taxation sure as shit is, and every time I look at our deficit and the absolute state of America I'm convinced that we're in the late stage of empires as Glubb talked about and that we are at the same late stage as Soviet Russia.

Sadly I have the Cassandra problem and while I know that America's fall is going to come hard and fast there is absolutely nothing I can do about it and I'm going to be trapped here when shtf and I have no idea at all how I'm going to survive except I'd like to save up for armor piercing rounds and something not an AR meme gun for those rainy days.
No. 37932 Kontra
This should really go in the news or today thread at this point, but I share your same doomer fears.

My current plan/hope is to GTFO the country before shit hits the fan, but my back-up plan is to move to Utah. Say what you will about Mormons, but they've figured out how to maintain a sense of meaning and community in the modern world, and even if the rest of the country goes to shit, their society will keep functioning.

You wouldn't have to convert, just live in Salt Lake City and reap the benefits of Mormon stability as a respectful outsider. And even if shit really hits the fan and the white shirts show up at your door offering the Book of Mormon or deportation, it's not the worst religion to be a part of.
No. 37955
>I appreciate any feedback that Ernst can give.
This is a great story, which I remember from your earlier post. I read it this morning, and made a few notes(I also noticed you still had a few notes to yourself in there on pages 7, 15, and 23).
I'm not going to use "Spoilers", but Spoilers follow:

In section XI it is revealed that a seed-eater has been visiting the People, just as Krow was visiting their settlement. I thought that this detail could have been briefly mentioned earlier on, and would serve to foreshadow this scene.

In section XVII the Kind Man reveals how the seed-eaters found the body, which Krow thought was buried. This is great twist, and might have even more impact if you switched from narration to a dialog exchange.
I had a similar thought at a couple of other points. The paragraphs where we learn about the dark girl and her father are brief, but important. Breaking the naration to add a few lines of key dialog could emphasize that. And following the feast in section VI, the Kind Man expresses his concern they don't have enough food stored. Including a few words of the Kind Man explaining this would be a good way to break up the narration and increase the emotion.
Adding the Epilogue was a good decision. It completes Krow's story, and ties it to the broader world.
I also made a few other marks on some small things like phrasing etc, but didn't know if you were looking for someone to go over this with a fine-toothed comb. Like you said, there's always some wording that can be improved.
No. 37956
Thanks for the feedback.

>I also made a few other marks on some small things like phrasing etc, but didn't know if you were looking for someone to go over this with a fine-toothed comb. Like you said, there's always some wording that can be improved.
Get as fine-combed as you like. Every imperfection I clear away is progress.
No. 37964
>The only good thing to ever come out of that board was the collaborative novels they made. (The Legacy of Totalitarianism in a Tundra is pretty good and funny, even if it drags on a bit at times.
Oh hey I wrote the introduction of Adam Weishaupt and his tea party in that. Late reply, but what was your favorite part? Personally I'm torn between favoring the dialogue between Weishaupt and the Archon (that someone else, much better than me, wrote) and the internal monologue of the hikkikomori with the Mr. Popo dakimakura.
No. 37965
I’m gonna be honest with you: I’ve read it roughly 4 years ago and I don’t remember a single thing or plotline from the book besides the fact that it called Sailor Moon Crystal a “travesty” in the first few chapters.
No. 37972
1,8 MB
You're welcome.

>Every imperfection I clear away is progress.
I hope these notes are able to help in some small way. To save you from having to scour the entire document, I also added a number to the upper corner of each page I marked. I wasn't sure if I should upload it as a PDF or in a zipped archive, but since you used 7z, I did the same. You'll probably notice the inflated file size; blame that on my "Write On PDF" app.
No. 38108
This Blok poem is hitting me pretty hard, rarely has a poem stirred me this much emotionally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgPMQ_BjSCA

Besides I finished Pynchon's Slow Learner, a collection of his early short stories. It wasn't particularly impressive, but still interesting to see how he started out, and to read his own later commentary on what he considers the faults in those stories.

Just started reading Der Untergeher by Thomas Bernhard, first time I'm reading anything by him.
No. 38119
I lately watched Drei Tage

It's from 1970 when he already published two novels and a few stories. Comparing Das Kalkwerk with Holzfällen, one of later "artists/art novels" it's better. People say that the late Bernhard is not as extreme as the early and from my rather small reading (Kalkwerk, Alte Meister, Holzfällen) I'd say it might be true, I'm eager to read is early work, since Kalkwerk blows Holzfällen out of the water any time.
No. 38165
Had to just finish Der Untergeher today since I likely wouldn't have ever finished it otherwise. Found Bernhard's style utterly maddening with all the repetitions over and over, it's actually quite similar to Glenn Gould's humming which I find similarily irritating but captivating at the same time. Maybe I'm just too much of a sucker for the classic five act story structure, but I couldn't really enjoy the book's endless depressing monologue, even if it was quite comical at times. I still respect him for creating his own style and making it work at all, there's at least that, and for making me rediscover Glenn Gould.

Maybe I'll give Das Kalkwerk another try then, but not for a while I think, this book has worn me out with all it's negativity.
No. 38166 Kontra
No. 38187
All his books are monologues and even tho I did not read Der Untergeher, Holzfällen at least is tame in its monologue in comparison to Das Kalkwerk. They are negative, the characters who try to finish their Studie in the earlier novels are running against human barriers, it's both tragic and comical at the same time and I guess that is one essential of a Berndhard text. The philosophical weight combined with the style is crushing everything else. Bernhard says in Drei Tage, that he is a >Geschichtenzerstörer
Geschichten die hinter einem Prosahügel auftauchen, werden ohne zu zögern abgeschossen.

The human prison and its torture, evoking laughter when you look at it from certain angles. I can understand that it wore you out, it's pretty excessive, yet I personally crave for another mad splinter in my mind, reality is both more boring but at times less distant ofc than the novels. I need the madness excess, I'm fascinated by that kind of madness, not the uncontrolled drunken madness, the catlady or haldol shit, but the one striving for precision and being awake, enlightened. The Vernunft that stays awake all the time and then gets crazy, having to acknowledge that staying awake like that alters the core of Vernunft, Vernunft in trying to reach its peak but getting something else, a mean twist that was not expected by rationale calculation.
No. 38359
24 kB, 335 × 499
I finished reading this short novel by Vladimir Voinovich yesterday.
It chronicles the story of one Yefim, a Jewish writer who's been a member of the Writer's Union for 18 years and wrote 11 books after serving in WW2.

Yefim is a less than mediocre writer who has a relatively high quality of life thanks to writing apolitical novels about "good men". And he's really happy and proud about writing books only about good people.
The main conflict of the novel originates in this very fact. One day the Writers Union announces that everyone will get a fur winter hat, but everyone will get the hat they deserve based on their place in the hierarchy.
(This in itself is already funny and satirical: the USSR's Writer's Union declares that there's a hierarchy at all instead of everyone being equal.)
Basically Yefim tries to get the hat (really, he's after the status) he thinks he deserves.

The book itself is easy to read, gives a good glimpse into the life of this privileged class that existed in the USSR.
Voinovich is satirical, but I wouldn't say he's funny like Dovlatov is. (Though it felt refreshing to read something that isn't about an alcoholic written by an alcoholic after Dovlatov and Yerofeyev.)

I think every satirical novel must have a big monologue delivered by an insider that awakens the main character to the situation.
Dovlatov had it, this one has it too, and it's a really good monologue.
It's another one of those afternoon reads. 120 pages of easy prose with simple, well constructed sentences about Soviet life, this time about a wealthy, privileged Moscowite instead of a drunkard literati working in Pushkinskiye Goriy.

What is with Soviet dissidents talking obsessively about the Arab-Israeli conflict?
No. 38502
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[An English publication exists as well under the title: The Weather Fifteen Years Ago], on goodreads there is this in short:
>Metafun with Metafiction
>Don't be put off by all the Metas! You have to realize that this is no European egghead producing some experiment that only a few intellectuals will want to read. Wolf Haas is a best-selling Austrian writer of crime fiction featuring his sleuth Detective Brenner. Nevertheless, after six books in the series, he wanted to try something different

I read Das Wetter vor 15 Jahren a book published in 2006 and written by Wolf Haas, an Austrian.
The novel has the form of an interview like in a Feuillton. The interview revolves around a fictive novel written by Wolf Haas himself. So what we have here is a novel that consists of an interview about a novel, which is also the "story", but both layers of fiction are intertwined as well. You get meta poetological thoughts, a brain bending form and technique of narration and a love story with an Ernst as main character. He is Wettkandidat at the famous entertainment show Wetten, dass...?; he knows the weather data for everyday of the last 15 years in a small austrian resort. Because 15 years ago was his last time in that resort, where his parents dragged him every year and where he was playing and receiving his "first kiss" from Anni, daughter of the guesthouse owners. The title could also be re-read as Das Gewitter vor 15 Jahren, which plays a prominent role in the whole text. The topic of weather is ofc also of interest. Tho what seems to be the story is always corrected, a nice twist is the resentfulness of the story, as it gets told in the interview, it becomes a bit silly but made me smile nonetheless. It's a well constructed modern romance novel, about teenage love and beyond.

For a "contemporary" novel, I really like it. It's not mind changing but a satisfying read with at least a pinch of specialness.
No. 38615
I had a Bernhard phase, every mention of Austria was immediately changed in my mind for Spain and it was very cathartic; that also worked with Fear and Loathing in las Vegas (in Mallorca, in my mind). I still like Bernhard and his manic sonata style, but Thompson reads a bit juvenile now. Sad.
No. 38742
175 kB, 2 pages
The issue of the literary journal I bought because of the Yerofeyev drama also included some translations of a poem by the prominent Hungarian poet János Pilinszky.
It included two German translations and one in English, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, French and Finnish.
The English translation was made by Ted Hughes, which is interesting in my opinion.
Wanted to share them with you guys.
Sometimes I think what I'm doing is eerily close to propaganda-work
No. 38745
I know you put Fear & Loathing there, not Bernhards writing, but there is an interview with him while he is living/working on Mallorca on youtube, which is pretty entertaining. I don't know if it has subtitles available however.
No. 38748
It's in youtube, "Thomas Bernhard - Monologe auf Mallorca", but no subs. But, there are some long text interviews he did while living there translated to English and Spanish, easy to find. Robert Graves was also living there at the same time, as did the ghosts of George Sand and Chopin.
No. 38791
50 kB, 3 pages
After a two month hiatus, I looked through this again, and fixed up some of the text. I'd say it's readable now.
(But still, I'd like to hear the opinion of a native speaker as per usual.)

About the work itself:
Babits published a volume titled All over my life in 1939. It's a collection of autobiographical essays.
This here essay is the seventh in the book, and deals with imitating a made-up image.
It's a short, but interesting piece in my humble opinion.
Tell me what you guys think!
No. 38794
That first German translation, particularly the 2nd and 3rd quartets, blows the other German one out of the water, not to mention the English one. Interesting how some subtle changes can make such a difference.

>Thomas Bernhard - Monologe auf Mallorca
Watched this, had some good laughs

>manic sonata style
That's a fitting description! :D
No. 38796
Thanks for posting; I enjoyed this, and it was an excellent translation. In 2 1/2 pages of dense text, I only noticed a few small things:

apocryph ==> apocryphal
We immediately begun creating ==> immediately began
This sentence:
"We imagined as people storm some popular book stores to get Jeopardy’s books".
Could be changed to:
"We imagined people storming popular book stores to get Jeopardy’s books." Here, using "some" with plural "stores" is acceptable, but sounds a little unnatural.

Finally, a few typos which I spotted and only mention so that you can easily Word Search and fix them:
There was an inconsistant spelling of Jeopary/Jopardy/Jeopardy
our fellow writes ==> writers
on multiple occasion ==> occasions
No. 42169
24 kB, 220 × 336
42 kB, 496 × 400
I just don't get Blood Meridian. Maybe I was just meme'd into reading it. The narrative style lacks any internal monologue or sense of coherence so you just drift between violent events that happen for no reason. I can see it having more impact during a time when westerns were quasi-idealistic to the American psyche but now, it's just "women as young as 12 were kept as slaves" this, "babies heads bashed in" that and "puppies abused" which loses any impact beyond general disgust.

Contrast this with Clockwork Orange where Alex is a parody of the moral panic seen in the press. Even then he has humanising traits and, in the novels British ending, he decides to grow up and be a good boy.

The story does get better after finding out that it's based on real events. I guess that makes my comparison slightly unnerving: