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Hail Odin! by Christenklatscher666


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No. 38798 Systemkontra
657 kB, 720 × 781
60 kB, 567 × 610
Last one was good, but it just doesn't bump anymore like it used to. Time for the sequel

Share your literary misadventures & accomplishments ITT
No. 38805
Where do banknotes qualify?
No. 38807
Should be lawful evil. I have no idea why memorizing the page number would be evil, nor why a sentence pointer is good which I think just implies the person is borderline retarded and can't remember anything in context if memorizing the page number.
No. 38814
50 kB, 3 pages
As always: Thank you.
I remedied the errors that you mentioned.

I guess this is the way forward:
>Translate the text
>Let it rest for a few weeks
>Look through it again
>Read it aloud with the best British accent possible to see if anything sounds unnatural

Feels good that it turned out well. It's my way of showing respect to this great author.
Maybe I could try translating some of his fiction too. His poetry is too complex for me to translate, but his novels are relatively short, and only one has been translated into English. But for now, any long-term project is out of the question because of the upcoming exams, sadly.
No. 38817
45 kB, 432 × 649
37 kB, 308 × 500
Current two reads, tho I didn't start the second yet.
Burckhardt's Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtung is quite great, you learn a lot about the different phases and devlopments of religion, culture and state and how they're all intertwined. Even though it probably wouldn't be a pick for a modern scientist, lots of the books contents are true and quite fascinating. For instance, did you know that nearly all ancient mythologies and religions share the story, that their people had three brothers as forefathers?
The second will be a novella about a famous german criminal around the end end of the 18th century I guess, don't know to much about it yet as it's one of those books for which you can't find a synopsis online.
Generally I'm so occupied with work and stuff these days, that I rarely take the time to sit down and read, though I should and could do it way more often.
No. 39168
22 kB, 252 × 400
So this is the last book I actually liked, on the life of Julian the Philosopher - or Julian the Apostate for you baka gaijin.

I'm REALLY curious on whether someone who isn't into history and won't automatically recognise what Caesar and Augustus meant in the era would enjoy the book or not. It's a story of human ambition, the backdrop could have been anything else. And whatever you think of Gore Vidal and his generic democrap political opinions he is an author well-versed in his craft, the characters feel real and story urges you forward.
No. 39182
66 kB, 567 × 610
No. 39189
Do you have any tips for translating? What's your m.o.?
I guess I'll try my hand at it too since I can't produce anything original right now, and I'm sort of tired of reading too.
No. 39194
I noticed there aren't any translations of Peter Hacks to English apparently. Or maybe I'm too dumb to find them. But I am now considering giving it a try as well with a piece of him I read the other day.
No. 39209
1.Know both languages well.
Read a lot in both your target languages so that you know what feels natural. If your text uses an expression, try translating it using another expression that's similar. This is easier with European languages, because we share a lot of expressions and figures of speech. Don't loan-translate anything.
2.It's going to be hard at first, and you're going to churn out trash. Just like with programming, don't make your first piece your magnum opus. I started off by translating anime subs and copypastas for example. Those don't have terribly complex sentences, so you can focus more on the style, instead of having to look up words every 5 seconds.
3.Take notes. If your text uses terms and terminology you need to translate, take notes to make it stay consistent.
4.Re-read what you translated after a few weeks of not touching it. Try reading it without the original and polish it to make it feel right. Keep checking for errors.
5.Get a trustworthy dictionary. Also have a print dictionary at hand so that you can check if your online dictionary feels untrustworthy at times. (Germany has a a really developed dictionary culture, so getting a good one shouldn't be a problem I think.)
6.Don't be afraid to take things slow. If you feel stumped, keep pondering on that sentence or expression. You'll figure it out eventually. (Though you could always just make a placeholder, rough translation, finish the rest of the chapter or text and come back to it later.)

I don't really have anything else to say, I'm an amateur myself, and I don't know the terminus technicus of the trade or any serious methods. These are really broad and general tips. Everything else depends on your text and your work ethic.
Just be conscious that your first few translations aren't going to be evergreen classics. It's a lot of work and practice. Practice mainly.
No. 39217
815 kB, 1654 × 2516


I read some articles from this anthology Die Neue Wirklichkeit. Semantische Neuvermessungen und Politik seit den 1970er-Jahren A New Reality. New Semantical Assessments and Politics since the 1970s.
One article deals with the knowledge of networks, the net(work) as mode of description of reality and as strategy (for social change e.g).
Another article I read afilitated with it as it combines the One World image that came up with NASAs Blue Marble , calfornian counter culture and Club of Rome reports. The idea that western industrial societies are intertwined with the south in one world, one network or system so to speak, a world society - Weltgesellschaft. The article then goes on to scrutinze the consequences in pedagogy where the one world thesis and all the ideas that it is made up of are used to spread a certain awareness, the self as part of a big world system, that is responsible for the input into the world system and likewise then for its output systemic/cybenetic knowledge is used to describe the earth and the socities on it. The author argues that this knowledge mediated in schools and universities renders new subjectivities, it points to activation and self-responsiblity for a world system running and its states depending on in the individual input (e.g individual consumption, what you eat and buy affects the ecology and similar patterns like that).
Both articles also show the knowledge transfer within the western world, namely the US, GB and Germany, the latter ofc because it's a German publication that focuses on contemporary history in Germany.

Two articles are still to read: One about complexity as intellectual and political challange and one about management of the future - planning, self organization and prevention (which I guess deals with risk as a new concept, risk societies, Germans might know Ulrich Becks famous book about the Risikogesellschaft from 1986)


I also read Thomas Bernhards Watten. It's seems like shorter (90p.) and more light version of his Limeworks.
No. 39226
Most comprehensive book chronicling in detail the German economy from the barbaric age to the 21st century?
Also most succinct recording of German history?
No. 39230 Kontra
Are you going to obsessively reply to every post I wrote in the thread?
No. 39232
175 kB, 720 × 1440
Alright guys comeon, let's have some much needed integrity and respect for one another.
Pic so you don't think I'm samefagging
No. 39238
229 kB, 1684 × 2560
646 kB, 1524 × 2337
I purchased Henry Kissinger's On China and Timothy Snyder's The Road to Unfreedom.
I'll begin with Snyder's book, even though the limited experience I have with lectures of his, makes me think he's not very insightful. Still gonna give this book a chance, and share conclusions here once I'm done.
After it, I'll read Stephen G. Haw's History of China and then move onto Kissinger's book.

This is all with the premise I'll not go on a several weeks long detour on modern Russian history.
No. 39354 Kontra
Fuck it. I'm dropping Snyder's book, I can't deal with how schizophrenic it is. What garbled self righteous ramblings of a mad man.
I survived two chapters before I had to end my attempts at reading this.

He opens his book with "To journalists, the heroes of our time". After this grandiose "let's pat ourselves on the back", he goes onto describe how there are two types of societies. The societies of inevitability and societies of eternity. The first being the west, in believing that its all systems lead to a western liberal democracy and the later being Russia in believing that the problems faced yesterday are the problems faced today.

For some reason, he finds these self penned terms to be so crucial and insightful that he will repeat them over and over again throughout the first two chapters. (Presumably through the rest of the book, but I had to punch out). In the first chapter he managed to insert the idea that Putin 4d chess'd the rise of Trump 4 different times in the most smug and oblivious way, not even merely suggesting that Putin provided crucial help as is the standard, but going above and beyond the call of duty and suggesting that this was a plan by Putin that had been in the making since before 2016.

I endured this and allowed the author to have creative freedom to over dramatize reality, but when he careened into the Russian 90s with the bold claim that there were no elections that served to legitimize Yeltsin, that's when I knew he had gone too far. He makes the entirety of the Russian 90s into a smooth transition into Putin, the only people even brought up in his oversimplified or retarded rundown of these years were Yeltsin and Putin. He chose to claim that '96 was a "fake election", with no further backing or context. The first mention of the Chechen question was when he brought up FSB agents being arrested in regards to the apartment bombings, as if the entirety of the Chechen War was just willed into being by the Russian government.

Just mind numbing oversimplified garbage, but this was not enough to deter me. I knew what was coming going into this book, but I wanted to read it.

Then the motherfucker ends his chapter with
>The ink of political fiction is blood
And at that moment, I could just imagine his smug face as he looked down at his D+ essay as if it were the masterpiece of a genius.

This book is possibly the only reasonable argument for book burnings.
No. 39355
64 kB, 2 pages
Thanks for the tips, they're very helpful!

I started today with translating An Imitation of Homer [based on a post-true story] WIP title by Natan Dubovitsky aka Vladislav Surkov from Russian to English (original: http://ruspioner.ru/honest/m/single/6268)
It's a story about the War in Donbass, or is it? Anyways, it's about love, games and the absurdity of it all.

I ended up being lazy and just using Google Translate for the initial draft, then adjusting or sometimes completely rewriting some sentences.
Besides the general limits of my language skills, there are definitely some specific challenges to deal with, i.e. how to translate the nicknames of the characters properly or this beautiful fucking alliterative clusterfuck: станицы, ставки, притаившиеся возле станции стаи танков. This expression is going to haunt me for a while I think, I've no idea how to translate it without losing the poetry.

Anyways here's the WIP version of what I've got so far, less than two pages.
If anybody finds it interesting, feel free to give some feedback!

TL Notes (guess I should add those as footnotes once I figure out how to do it in Markdown):
First two epigraphs I didn't translate myself, just stole them from some already existing translation
Third epigraph is actually from a tweet by a user called RashaOnMars, which is presumably Dubovitsky's/Surkov's twitter acc, though the account hasn't posted anything since 2016. As a side project, I should probably crawl all the tweets from the account, they're actually some pretty decent beat style poems (Surkov's admitted to being a big fan on Ginsberg, there's even a recording of him reciting the Sunflower Sutra with horrible accent)
No. 39372
Nice translation, ernst.
I realize it's a WIP, and so this may not be a fair time for critique, but I'll mention one small correction in this sentence:
>he'd beat out everything outstanding out of him
The first "out" isn't necessary.
Other than that, I just want to say keep up the good work.
No. 39385
55 kB, 3 pages
80 kB, 4 pages
Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. I'll try to keep the streak going and translate a few chapters every day since I've got some spare time at my hands. Admittedly, this is taking longer than I expected.
>I realize it's a WIP, and so this may not be a fair time for critique
Not at all, I'm thankful for any corrections.

First file's the next 2 chapters, second file is everything so far.
No. 39435 Kontra
125 kB, 3 pages
Did another chapter today, had to render with a different program. Glad I managed to save some alliterations, but there's a seemingly impossible to translate wordplay in there, just had to explain it in the footnote for now. Definitely a couple of expressions that I'm not too sure about whether they work in English. I could probably rewrite them in a more legible manner, but then again I'm afraid to deviate too much from the original in terms of style.
No. 39463
This is fun to read, ernst.
I have a couple of suggested corrections in the Refusal section:

>He did it without permission, risking to provoke the enemy to inadequate retaliatory actions on the entire front.
Could be:
>He did it without permission, risked provoking the enemy to inadequate retaliatory actions on the entire front.

>In midst of a plain sky
"Midst" is usually preceded by "the".

In the Gaff section:
>should be sent from the mayors directly to the
basement. . . ”
Is being sent to the basement a figure of speech?
Other than that, I didn't notice any expressions that didn't work in English.
In the final sentence there is some repetition, which I assume was just an editting error:
>Thought Fraiser...sometimes thought.

>I'm afraid to deviate too much from the original in terms of style
I've never translated anything, but it seems like maintaining the original author's writing style would be one of the most difficult things to get right. Hungary would definitely know more about that than I do. The dialogs in this do have a distinct flair, though, so I'd say you're doing a decent job with that.
No. 39467
54 kB, 698 × 1000
It's an introduction to Philosophy of Mind from the Dimensions of Philsophy Series.

It mainly deals with physicalist perspectives and reductibility or nonreductibility of the mind to physics. Chapters range from behavorism, functionalism, brain identity theory to consciousness and mental content. Every chapter can be read independently. I skipped the last three (or dipped just into it), since I wasn't spending the right attention anymore. It also becomes more difficult and while it's systematic and with good examples the formalized parts are something I hardly have to deal with ever, which makes it hard to concentrate and understand. Kinda sad tbh. But it won't be my last book that is closer to formalized reasoning. I definitely lack formalizational skills and I want to at least gain some skills in that area, so I can handle it better and won't be excluded from such discussions in the future.
No. 39479 Kontra
42 kB, 2 pages
One moar chapter. Hope you don't mind me spamming up the thread.

Thanks a lot again for the feedback, I'll incorporate the corrections. Glad to hear it's enjoyable.

>Is being sent to the basement a figure of speech?
Not as far as I know, maybe I could just replace it with "relieved of their duties" or some slightly crasser expression.

>Thought Fraiser...sometimes thought.
That's a literal translation, I considered rewriting "sometimes thought" with "or sometimes thought" or "at least sometimes" (referring to him thinking), would that make more sense? Maybe just put the second sometimes in italics to stress it? It's supposed to be a sort of comedic dialing back from the initial "thought".
No. 39513
You're welcome, ersnt.

>It's supposed to be a sort of comedic dialing back from the initial "thought".
Ok, I see that now. That's a tricky line to translate while still keeping the humor. Any of the changes you considered would make the joke more obvious, and also would avoid confusion. I might even consider breaking the line into two sentences:

“Then what’s all this for?” Thought Fraiser, looking at the burning houses and crying women, sometimes thought.


“Then what’s all this for?” Thought Fraiser, looking at the burning houses and crying women. At least sometimes.

That's just my personal opinion, ofc. Comedy really is hard.
No. 39543
Does it discuss the ideas of Daniel Dennett?
No. 39544
I'm pretty sure I've read the name Dennett in footnotes, dunno which chapter exactly but even tho they can be read in exclusion they built upon each other somehow which means names and ideas appear in different chapters more than one time.
No. 39633
130 kB, 3 pages
172 kB, 800 × 877
Next chapter done, though it had some tricky passages I'm not sure about.
I feel like I should pick up the pace considering I don't really have much else to do at the moment :D

I've been reading some short stories by Victor Pelevin (also noted that some of them also as of yet untranslated, if I decide to keep this up), and stumbled upon this interesting interview with him from 2002: https://bombmagazine.org/articles/victor-pelevin/
He's a pretty enigmatic figure, and probably one of if not the most prominent Russian contemporary writer, and Dubovitsky/Surkov can arguably be said to copy him in some regards.

Here's a fun quote from the interview on the Metaphysics of Engineering in Russia:
>[...] In Russia, when you are trained as an engineer, you spend several years studying theoretical physics: from mechanics and electricity to elementary particles. And this training is quite deep and serious. After you graduate from your institute you are assigned to some factory where you have to work for three years (at least it was like this when I was a student and factories were still working). What happens next is they give you a crowbar, a padded coat and a cap with earflaps, and you are entrusted with the leadership of three stone-pissed proletarians (you can’t use the term “worker” here as they never work). And your task is to remove ice in the backyard. That was the metaphysics of engineering in Russia. I say “was” because these days nobody removes the ice anymore.

Thanks for the suggestion, I think for now I'll try to make do without italics though as the original doesn't use any either.

>Comedy really is hard.
It sure is, I'll try to mark down passages that are hard to translate to think some more about them later.
No. 39644
I'd have imagined Pelevin looking like more of a crazy rocker type. I expected at least a cigarette in his hand.
I guess he looks kinda wacky on that picture anyway.
No. 39646
AFAIK, Pelevin was (or even still is) into Eastern mysticism and philosophy, Zen in particular, so he often goes for enigmatic image. Note that he's even posing in front of bamboo in that photo, not in front of spruces or birch trees or something.
No. 39657
26 kB, 338 × 450
47 kB, 384 × 512
52 kB, 342 × 512
20 kB, 250 × 304
>more of a crazy rocker type
There are definitely some pictures like this, too. There's this infamous cigar picture, hope it fulfills your expectations. Also plenty of cigarette pictures besides, and most of the time wearing sunglasses.
I also like this other one, from some magazine I assume, with the uber-edgy quote:
"I'm not sure, that it's the correct thing to do - to be born here in the form of a human."
No. 39658 Kontra
47 kB, 3 pages
Two more chapters, not too much, but there was a tricky acronym I had to work around and some inserted poems that need more work too.
No. 39683
>it had some tricky passages I'm not sure about.
I only noticed this one sentence in Holy Fire:

>Not only the enemies lurking on the other side would not feel sorry for him, but his so-called allies, whom he so admired, for whom he proclaimed toasts at patriotic banquets, wouldn’t give a single damn either.

This would read more naturally if the first "would" were placed in front of "the enemies", instead of after:

>Not only would the enemies lurking on the other side not feel sorry for him, but his so-called allies, whom he so admired, for whom he proclaimed toasts at patriotic banquets, wouldn’t give a single damn either.

In Poems, it looks like you conflated two similar expressions:
>Fraiser did not offer him to sit down, because he knew that the writer could only sit down or even just stand still for more than a minute...

This expression could either be:
>Fraiser did not offer him a seat...


>Frasier did not invite him to sit down...
And if you chose to use this translation, then you could also shorten the second "sit down" in the sentence to simply "sit":
>Fraiser did not invite him to sit down, because he knew that the writer could only sit or even just stand still for more than a minute...

Translating poems has got to be tricky, but at least in the context of the story they aren't supposed to be that good, right?
No. 39732
I use pages from an old book as a bookmark.

Currently mentally preparing myself for reading some religious texts.
No. 39783
132 kB, 4 pages
Two more.

Thanks again, incorporated your suggestions.

>Translating poems has got to be tricky, but at least in the context of the story they aren't supposed to be that good, right?
Yep exactly, at least there's that, but they still need some work I guess.
No. 39943
20 kB, 390 × 640
She is a sociologist concerned with system theories.

The book (2007) is quite short, only 120p, and I got quite a bit even tho I did not take any notes.

So what the says is that people need fictions in order to observe something which does not exist. Basically what needs to be observed is the future, which is ofc not real in the presence but because people want to plan ahead - meaning to remve insecutities - they need fictions, fictions that give a plausible and realistic future as orientation. These fictions are contemporary futures and are something else then the actual future presents that come into being once the future actually arrives.
So these fictions are not necessarily become true, but as fictions they have an impact on the presence. We decide things on the base of fictions (probability calculation is such a fiction that came into being during the 17th and 18th century and one of her main concerns). Even today financial markets etc. are based on the insecurities and based on fictions (make something observable that cannot not really be observed).

Her main thesis is that in order to deal with a complex, "real" reality, humans have turned to fictions so that they can manage better. So today the relation between reality and fiction is crucial to understand, if you want to understand how things are working. People who cannot deal with fictions cannot deal with reality at all.
No. 39995
Read a detective novel by Boris Akunin, Azazel (or The Winter Queen in translation)
Pretty fun & well-written, but ultimately just genre lit, nothing I can get too excited about.
I've more appreciation for the nom de plume, it works both as B. Akunin = Bakunin, and
>"Akunin" (悪人) is a Japanese word that translates to "great bad man".

Read a bunch of Russian short stories as well, one I really liked was Crystal World by Pelevin. It's about two guards taking drugs while on duty in Petrograd 1917 & talking about Spengler and Rudolf Steiner while they're supposed to blockade a street. It was very creepy but I felt like I was missing something. And indeed after reading some more about it, it blew my mind. Really good story.
Maybe I should try translating it to German. Oh wait, I still need to finish this whole Dubovitsky project. I got a bit sidetracked, should finish at least two chapters tomorrow.

Anyways, that short story made me pick up the Spengler tome for a few hours again today. I really appreciate some of the ideas & how he expresses them with his stern German poetics, but in the chapter I finished today there was way too much musing on architectural matters that went somewhat over my head. It's quite a struggle to read really, but then he throws out some very sweeping succinct statement and suddenly it's worth it to go on.
No. 40009
>Read a bunch of Russian short stories as well, one I really liked was Crystal World by Pelevin
That's a good short story. I had tons of fun reading it last year.
I think it was about telling the reader that they might be educated and up-to date with obscure and cutting edge intellectuals of the time, but no amount of discussion among your friends will change anything, and while you're busy talking and being high, people are actually out there making history, and you don't even notice it that much.
No. 40025
160 kB, 6 pages
Four more (relatively short) chapters, almost halfway through the text I think. I guess it's still basically the exposition part of the story, though it's about to finally be wrapped up, but judging by that it's not an ideal structure.

That interpretation is pretty accurate for sure, I just didn't fully catch all the Lenin references until I read more about it. But even more than just not noticing, it's that the protagonists actually fail to do their duty and prevent that awful turn of history from happening. Then again, they're almost literally in hell on earth, so it's understandable they'd resort to getting high as to bear it.
But even just regarding the style, I'm quite impressed with the dreadful apocalyptic atmosphere he's able to create inside the text.
No. 40028
I do not know him (although I have heard about generation P before). I looked up some of his books on wikipedia and they seem ridiculous.
"S.N.U.F.F." caught my eye due to the title, but I don't know how good of a book it actually is. Reading the synopsis makes it seem like bernd's shitpost in novel form.
No. 40031
I can't tell you about his novels, but his short stories are really good if you can stomach post-modernism. Though by no means is he my favourite Russian author.
No. 40053
His first four novels, all written in the 90s, are really good.
Omon Ra, his debut, is a bit more straightforward than the others. It's about a suicidal Soviet space program.
Life of Insects is like a collection of short stories that are somewhat intertwined about anthropomorphic (but not quite, it's hard to explain) insects, it's more of a mindfuck.
With Buddha's Little Finger there's only two main narratives that intertwine, and it's probably his best book.
I've not read Generation P myself yet, but seen the ecranisation, it's on YT btw, and also pretty fun watch IIRC.
I've not read any of his later novels either (such as Snuff), but they're mostly considered to be just rehashes of his old ideas, just with some very contemporary pop culture & technology themes mixed in. Here's a good review of a one of his more recent works, where the reviewer also talks more generally about his oeuvre, if you want to read a bit more about him:
No. 40056
>I guess it's still basically the exposition part of the story, though it's about to finally be wrapped up,
I can't wait to see how the rest of the story unfolds.
A few things I noticed while reading:

In House:
>Nada wasn’t not only unaware about his eating habits.
This is a double-negative and should be
>Nada was not only unaware about his eating habits.

In Audit:
>Sam ran to the truck, his counterint officers rushed there as well, guessing what needs to be done by their chief’s pace.
To keep the verb tense consistent(ran, rushed, needed)
>guessing what needed to be done by....

In Nada
>There were private ones who lived with one of the fighters, the were public ones, there were nobody’s ones.
This is just a typo
>the were public ones ==> there were public ones

>“Ladies, who are you?” - grimly barked Fraiser.
>The ladies did not answer. They knew that he already knew who they are.
The use of "are" in the second sentence should be in the past tense: "were". Unless this was done intentionally, as a humorous repetition of the preceding sentence.

In Delivery
>Why her? Somewhy her.
Did you use "somewhy" intentionally, as a bit of wordplay? If so, then well done. If not, then you could replace "somewhy" with "for some reason" to sound more natural, since it's a very obscure word.

>you’re going too far, you really went to far
Just another typo
>went too far

I also noticed that in a few places you used an inverted question mark '¿‘ and an inverted exclamation point '¡‘. Was that done to match the original text? or to indicate irony/sarcasm?
No. 40075
73 kB, 333 × 500
I recently started reading this book, which is one of the personal favorite books of my gf.
I'm enjoying it a lot so far.
No. 40148
68 kB, 319 × 500
28 kB, 305 × 437
Well, I finished it. It's an okay novella, not even close to being Kawabata's best, but that doesn't make it bad.

The prose is typical of Kawabata, short, almost haiku-like sentences, basically the whole novella is a series of fragments both on prose level and on the plot level. He leaves out events that aren't strictly necessary to the plot.
It's another one of those books that must've been pretty interesting as a westerner when it came out, because it's another one of Kawabata's romance novels that feel a bit same-y, but in 2020 it feels a bit eh.

The most interesting thing was how he mentioned that the main character, Kikuji is completely detached from his own culture, since he doesn't know what ornaments go with which season or how a tea ceremony should be properly observed.
Now that's interesting to read about.

The dramatic aspect of the work is really good. I felt engaged while reading about this fucked up, intergenerational love-hexahedron.
Though I think the symbolic aspects of the work felt a bit heavy handed while reading.

The ending is a bit of a let down, but that's expected of any Kawabata work that isn't The Master of Go, which is his best book by far.

If I were to assign a numerical value to it, I'd say it's a strong 7/10, only worth it if you're seriously interested in Kawabata's output or Japanese literature. (And you have a few hours to kill.)
No. 40284
136 kB, 5 pages
Three more chapters, things are heating up, or rather even going a bit too fast. Guess the parallels to Homer should be clear now with the whole Fraiser-Minus-Nada triangle being the equivalent of Agamemnon-Achilles-Briseis, and IIRC that's all there is that is "Homerian" about this story.

I've been reading the OT a bit again, about to finish Genesis. The whole Joseph arc is pretty interesting, there's quite a step there compared to earlier chapters in terms of "character depth" or psychological descriptions with the whole dream interpreting stuff.

Thanks a lot again!

>Did you use "somewhy" intentionally, as a bit of wordplay?
Yep, it's to mirror the repetition in the original:
>Почему она? Почему-то она.
I'm aware it sounds a bit awkward, and I was actually slightly surprised to find out "somewhy" is an actual English word.

>I also noticed that in a few places you used an inverted question mark '¿‘ and an inverted exclamation point '¡‘. Was that done to match the original text? or to indicate irony/sarcasm?
That's not intentional, haha. I'm also seeing now that some of the quoatation marks are messed up. Must be something about the way it's rendered to PDF, I'll have a look at it but I'll probably fix it once I'm done with the text more or less. Thanks for pointing it out.
No. 40314
164 kB, 880 × 494
Read Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong. It was actually my second attempt at reading it: the first time I tried was in high school, when I played Dynasty Warriors 4 extensively, which got me interested in the novel it based on. Back then I dropped reading early because it just felt boring, but now much to my surprise it didn't seem so at all. I wonder if I became boring myself, heh?

The book itself spans about a century starting with the Yellow Turban rebellion and ending with the unification of China by the Jin dynasty. Because of that it is choke-full of characters and events, and obviously those characters and events often suffer from extremely concise descriptions. The main characters are fleshed-out decently though, but the author's bias towards the kingdom of Shu Han is evident, so people like Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei are being treated as noble and honorable heroes even when they are being dicks, while most of Cao Wei and Eastern Wu personalities are depicted as devious, ruthless, backstabbing or outright villainous with few exceptions like Xu Huang, Zhang Liao, Pang De, Ding Feng etc. The narrative is also mostly told from the Shu perspective up until Zhuge Liang's – Shu's strategist and technically commander-in-chief – death, when focus switches more to the Sima family from kingdom of Wei, possibly due to Zhuge Liang's successor Jian Wei being kind of a failure (although it wasn't entirely his fault, to be frank: his ruler and Liu Bei's successor Liu Shan was totally incompetent and easily influenced by court officials). This bias doesn't make the book completely unfair to other sides of the conflict since they too have redeeming features and interesting characters.

Also of note are many fantastic elements. Accurate divinations on characters' fates are very common, and Taoist mystics wield actual magic from summoning wind or fog to teleportation. Nanman tribes territory is full of weird stuff too, and nanman leaders like king Mulu throw battle spells at their enemies. Dead people sometimes continue their exploits even after their death, and the badassiest badass of the novel Guan Yu even manages to increase his kill count while being an incorporeal spirit, that's how badass he is. Zhuge Liang invents automotive wooden oxen and horses and uses them to transport provisions. While most of the fantastic stuff kinda fits the plot, some of that just doesn't really add anything whatsoever to it and was likely included because of the author's appeal, like anecdotes about Zuo Ci trolling Cao Cao.

I'm also somewhat suspicious of the translation. I don't know Chinese so I can't say for certain if there are a lot of mistakes, but I have noticed at least one: Guan Yu's weapon has been translated as "меч" ("sword"), while it is actually a guandao (as seen on the statue in picrelated), a weapon close to European glaive, so it would be more logical to translate it as "клинок" ("blade"). Who knows how many more times the translator fucked up these kinds of small details.

Nevertheless, it was an okay read. Although so far I prefer European historical fiction, I might check out other Chinese classic novels, I think.
No. 40318
That's an admirable feat and I'm very jealous of your dedication. I put it down after the first 110 pages of the first volume in the third grade of HS despite being the biggest China-nerd on the block.

>I'm also somewhat suspicious of the translation. I don't know Chinese so I can't say for certain if there are a lot of mistakes, but I have noticed at least one: Guan Yu's weapon has been translated as "меч" ("sword"), while it is actually a guandao (as seen on the statue in picrelated), a weapon close to European glaive, so it would be more logical to translate it as "клинок" ("blade"). Who knows how many more times the translator fucked up these kinds of small details.
From what I gather from my book on Chinese weapons is that dao had two subtypes. Long-dao that were one sided blades with long, spear-like grips and short dao that were close to ours swords.
The character 刀 could mean sword, dagger or just blade in general.
I guess the translator had no idea what the weapon looked and just translated it as a sword literally, which I can understand.

It must be able to read it in your mother tongue. I own it in English
>tfw a translation of the first 10 chapters was published but the publisher never commissioned the full version because communism collapsed and they were no longer interested in it
No. 40330
The translation dates back to 1954, so the translator probably didn't have access to all the info on the Three Kingdoms period that we have now, and neither did he have a native Chinese historical consultant to correct him when necessary. But I still think that whenever you're not sure about the word's meaning during translation and you're going with the literal one, it's better to translate it with the least specific term (in this case, "blade"). Nonetheless, much respect to the dude for translating it whole, I imagine it was a tremendous amount of work considering that the novel is very long and likely written in a pretty archaic language.
No. 40412
If I remember correctly, Three Kingdoms was written in literary Chinese with very minimal parts if any using vernacular. Literary Chinese stayed remarkably consistent over the ages and served as the main cohesive force of the empire. Kinda like what Latin was for Europe during the middle ages. It's only that it took longer for the Chinese to "get rid of it", because you can't expect millions of peasants to learn Latin. (That doesn't mean they shouldn't.)
The same goes for Journey to the West I think, while the other two Great Novels, Water Margin and Dream of the Red Chamber use a lot more vernacular because of their themes (with one following outlaws and the other two aristocratic families' intricacies.)

>much respect to the dude for translating it whole, I imagine it was a tremendous amount of work
It's very heart warming to see that these megalomaniac and monumental works actually borne fruit.
I remember reading the foreword to an edition of the Aeneid and I was happy for the dude that he could publish his translation after 10 years of work.

>I just read that they published the first volume in Hungarian translated from the original Chinese
I'm going to cry.
>It costs 30 euros
I'm going to cry

btw if you own a physical copy, could you post an image of the cover?
No. 40414
35 kB, 200 × 293
I almost exclusively read digital books, but they often have cover images from physical ones. The one I read had picrelated. The only available (as far as I know) Russian translation was published several time with different editors, not sure for which edition this cover is.
No. 40417
>I almost exclusively read digital books
Maybe I just need to get an ereader but I can't deal with this. I need a nice hardcover book to hold in my hands. It's just a problem because I unfortunately tend to move around a lot and so I've got my books scattered all over like in storage or with parents or whatever and they're heavy af. In fact now that I think of it they're the heaviest shit I own other than my only somewhat recently acquired fish tank collection and had been up til then about the biggest pain in the ass to move with.

Man, I need to start reading. I never should've paid for internet. I should just unplug my router and take the battery out of my phone. I never even finished reading something short like God and the State by Bakunin.
No. 40418
>Maybe I just need to get an ereader but I can't deal with this. I need a nice hardcover book to hold in my hands.
To each his own. I have a sizeable library of paper books at home, but they are almost entirely books from Soviet times collected by my parents and grandparents. Those books one wouldn't be embarassed to hold in his hands: nice hardcovers with good designs (I noticed a modern trend in the West (and now probably here, too) to turn book covers into ads for live-action films and series based on those books; I sincerely wish a slow and painful death from cancer to all publishers who do that), often good illustrations and no printing errors. Those books were pretty expensive, costing around 3 rubles when blue-collar worker's wage was around 80 rubles and an engineer got maybe 120 or so, but you could acquire those books by recycling paper waste: for a certain amount of recycled paper you got a special ticket which you could then exchange for books. I used to read those books a lot when I was a kid, especially adventure and SF ones. Now I find ebooks more convenient, so bookshelves with those books are more like a room decoration.

>Man, I need to start reading. I never should've paid for internet.
Sounds like an excuse. You either read or don't, the Internet doesn't have to do much with it. In fact, Internet helps me to read more: I can download older books from Project Gutenberg and newer ones from flibusta and lib.rus.ec. If I wanted to get paper books, I would still have to buy them from online stores, because I'm not sure if there are still book stores in my town (we used to have two pretty big ones, now they're probably either gone or shrinked considerably), and even if they are, it's unlikely that they have books I want in their assortment.
No. 40421
You guys reminded me of Pelevin, so I decided to re-read Generation P. I remembered that I enjoyed it a lot when I read it the first time, but I forgot just how weird, cynical and simultaneously funny it was. It's kinda hard to describe what is it about. It's mostly about advertisement, I guess, but there are also philosophical musings about nature of reality, consumerism, Russian national idea and so on, all of it seasoned with drug trips, conspiracies and ancient Sumerian cults. Maybe it isn't actually very deep, but at the very least it works as a hilarious/horrifying slice of life in 90s Russia. I'll just quote some lines from it (translated them from Russian, so there are probably some mistakes, but you'll get the general idea about the book):

>Meanwhile there were the same nauseating mugs on TV as twenty years ago. Now they spoke about the exact things which would get you prison time back then, only they were more bold, more resolute, more radical. Tatarsky often imagined Germany in 1946, where doctor Goebbels screams hysterically on the radio about the abyss into which fascism lead the nation, former commandant of Auschwitz is the head of the comittee for prosecution of Nazi criminals, generals of SS talk in a simple and comprehensible manner about liberal values, and the whole shebang is being led by the finally reformed Gauleiter of Eastern Prussia. Naturally, Tatarsky hated the Soviet rule in all of its aspects, but he still didn't understand if it was worth it to change the empire of evil for a banana republic of evil which imports bananas from Finland.

>Over the counter there was a black T-shirt with Che Guevara's portrait and the name "Rage Against the Machine" on it. Under the T-shirt was a plaque that said "Bestseller of the month!". It wasn't surprising – Tatarsky knew (and even wrote in some concept of his) that in the sphere of radical youth culture nothing sells as good as properly packaged and politically correct revolt against the world where political correctness reigns and everything is packaged for sale.

>When Tatarsky came to, he thought that it's really unlikely that he will survive this night. Just now there was five of him, and all five felt so bad that Tatarsky immediately understood what happiness it is to be only one, and he was astounded just how little people value this happiness in their blindness.

I'm concerned about the translation to other languages, though. There's a lot of wordplay, so the book will probably lose quite a bit of its humour in translation. Still, Pelevin in general and this book in particular aren't a bad way to be acquainted with modern Russian literature, IMO.
No. 40441
38 kB, 2 pages
I wanted to share this poem with you guys because I found it really pretty and touching.
It's a paraphrase of the oldest surviving Hungarian Hungarian language long form text, which was a funeral sermon.
No. 40494
1,5 MB, 1036 × 1036
Just finished reading the Upanishads, very high IQ stuff.
I will have to read a lot more to better understand it.
No. 40496
13 kB, 220 × 292
22 kB, 350 × 450
9 kB, 180 × 263
3,1 MB, 3072 × 2304
Oh if you like that I shall give you my favorite poem of all time, although there's a second by Swinburne whose name I'm trying to remember

Oh that's what it was called Atalanta in Calydon
No. 40959
155 kB, 6 pages
The hiatus is over, two more chapters done. There's only 15 or so chapters to go, so hopefully I'll be able to finish soon.
Feels like I overdid it with the footnotes in this one, but I feel these terms, despite being translatable to a generic term, add more flavor this way.
In hindsight there's more foreshadowing towards the twist than I remembered.

Pretty good, reminds me a bit of T.S. Eliot with all the somewhat conservative lamentations and contrasting of profound classics and profane modernity.
No. 40970
I enjoyed it again, and was especially glad to see this latest installment; you had left off with a bit of a cliffhanger :D.
I had a couple of suggestions for the chapter Father:

>...get rid of them them immediately,” Gaff confirmed
This is either an accidental double-word(them them), or possibly a typo(if you intended to write "them then")

>It almost drove within ten meters distance of the trench housing the raving Badshot...
Following the words "ten meters", it's not necessary to add the word "distance".

>I feel these terms, despite being translatable to a generic term, add more flavor this way
Agreed. I think the footnotes were a good decision.
No. 41030
IIRC, there are 3-4 of us interested in writing. Do you guys have any interest in forming a writing circle that would meet weekly? Essentially, we would bring a few thousand words (at most) that we wrote over the past week, read through each others' work, and offer critique.

It's really stupid, but the most productive I've ever been with writing was when I still have achievements to reach in Nimblewriter on Steam. Not wanting to blow the "write 2000 words a day for a month" streak kept me writing 2000 words a day, no matter how shit I felt or what excuses I could come up with.

To an extent we already have something like this, with original work and translations appearing in this thread. But aside from the usefulness of regular critique, I think it could be helpful to everyone to have a weekly check-in where you must have something to show.
No. 41158
166 kB, 5 pages
Thank you again, happy to hear you're still interested

Three chapters today, they basically form their own substory

I like the idea, but I've practically no writing experience and would have to wean myself into this. I'd be willing to try, but weekly meetings sounds a bit too ambitious for me right now.
But regardless, feel free to share your stuff ITT too.
No. 41223
You're welcome.
You picked a great story to translate. I read one of Harry Harrison's military satire novels- Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Robot Slaves-and this reminds me of that.

A few more suggestions:
In Archeology:
>He gave orders, Gaff reported that everything is ready, Nada dressed up a little nicer, and off they were.
At the end of this sentence, the expression is more commonly "and off they went.", or "and they were off."

>The expression on his face, also very muscular, was somewhat worried, like that of many people who knew to themselves that they could kill anyone with a single punch, and therefore constantly as if pondering how not to kill anyone.
It looks like you're missing a word here:
..and therefore constantly looked as if pondering how not to kill anyone.

In Philosophy:
>The commander was very angry, but, knowing that getting angry that late was as unhealthy as eating before bed, so he decided to get angry tomorrow, with a fresh mind.
The word "so" is unnecessary in this sentence: "...before bed, he decided to get..."
No. 41266
16 kB, 200 × 252
I'm currently reading D. Quixote
What an absolute masterpiece that book is, i must say it surpassed my expectations.

On the side i'm also reading a "A history of medieval Spain" by Joseph F. O'Callaghan. Read that it is somewhat outdated in the academic circles but since i'm a low iq layman it should cover up what i want
No. 41295
Good choice with the illustration, Doré has a bunch on Don Quixote and that one captures the spirit exceptionally well, I'm told. Haven't read the piece yet, but it's definitely on my list.
No. 41296
5 kB, 191 × 264
7 kB, 183 × 275
I read a book about the theories of the gift, gift economy etc. main actors are french ethnologists like Marcel Mauss. In that book it was stated that Mauss' Techniques of the Body could be called a foundational document of cultural studies and since it is short I read it.
It's an interesting (and easy) read as he points out how differently people sleep, bear children, climb, walk, jump etc. and how cultures also cross and change in that regard. Usually he refers to different native tribes to show it but he also does it for the western hemisphere and his own experience: how he was taught to swim and run in school and that now that he is old nobody would teach it like that anymore. Which means nothing less then the historicity of culturality and cultural practices, which are narrowed here to techniques of the body.
So if you want to read a "classic", this one is only 19 pages.

pdf here https://monoskop.org/images/c/c4/Mauss_Marcel_1935_1973_Techniques_of_the_Body.pdf
No. 41621
20 kB, 1 page
Idk if I'd be able to produce long texts like that that often.
Though I might try to do so for next week as a trial.

Sharing my English haikus in the meanwhile.
I tried copying Basho's style.
No. 41627
153 kB, 1125 × 1500
Read 1/3 of it. It's ok Journalism, German 1980s New Journalism style. Prominently featured is the change in from left 68ers/70s (running out of steam) to green alternative milieu, Horx was lefty in the 70s, in the 80s he was not one of those who went to live in Tuscany apparently some Germans moved there during that time, I remember that when I was in Italy with my father and brother, he ringed the bell at some house somewhere in the Naples area, some small village, as he and my mother visited people who moved there during the 80s or something similar, well the people who he was looking for weren't there anymore, but some other Germans were still living in the same house. He also portraited people who are chronically on low budget but still lead a lofty hedonist live, eating less but having a big flat etc. artsy Lebenskünstler. It felt kinda similar to today, like the themes he is talking about are still very prevalent yet nuanced differently.
No. 41673
Perhaps "a few thousand words" is a bit much. It could just be anything that you've written or translated that week.
No. 41902
171 kB, 13 pages
Thanks again, I'll note that Harrison book down for my reading list.
I'm posting the rest now, I'm sorry it's of subpar quality, but I grew tired of the whole endeavour and decided to just push through so I could wrap it up for now. I didn't proofread it at all, so don't worry about corrections as it's probably too many to count, but I figured I'd rather just post it now before I take way too long and lose motivation again during editing. I'll let it rest now, then do some editing I guess, maybe give it to some more people to read.
I'm rather conflicted whether I like this last part or not, on the one hand there's this terrible hamfisted and cliched exposition dump (and this was one of the reasons I didn't feel like translating it anymore), on the other hand I can't help but sympathize with some of the sentiments (and enjoy the Hamlet reference). Still, this last part feels way too rushed, even in comparison to the otherwise imperfect prose, something I only really noticed now upon closer reading.
I suppose this was a fun exercise, and again thanks a lot for the corrections (and showing some interest, I would've most likely given up otherwise). Would love to hear what you think about the whole thing.
No. 41935
>Would love to hear what you think about the whole thing.

Early on, in the chapters which introduced various characters, I wasn't sure what kind of story was developing, but upon reaching the end those threads all tied together nicely. It was very skilled storytelling, mixing random and humorous musings, with essential narrative points. In particular, the ending worked extremely well-bringing the Minus/Fraiser stories to a simultaneous conclusion (along with everyone else, ofc, with that ode to Hamlet. Thinking back to the opening chapter, I guess it had to end that way). I agree the exposition dump towards the end wasn't really necessary. The absurd elements, like weather and call signs, still worked within the context of the story and didn't need a logical explanation. Ofc it is satire, so maybe the author's decision to expand the scope of his observations beyond a single war shouldn't be surprising. Well, now I know what you meant when you first posted part 1("...or is it?").
Thanks for translating- and sharing. It was a great story, and I enjoyed reading along. This was quite a long project, and I'm glad you were able to make it to the end.

>and again thanks a lot for the corrections
You're welcome, ernst.
No. 42396
1,6 MB, 12 pages
I've been slowly reading through the first volume of Knausgard's Min Kamp obv. they didn't translate it into German that way :D. I'm sure most have heard about it, but it's basically a long-ass private autobiography.
At times it's a rather relaxing read and I find it works really well in stirring up my own memories of e.g. my teens. Then again some of these memories can be really painful to think about so most of the time we suppress them thoroughly. That combined with the difficulty of writing about intimate things, not just about yourself, but also about those close to you, and possibly hurting them in the process, probably justifies that it's called My Struggle.

I'm also attaching a small PDF with "poems" about League of Legends from Tegel Media, a sort of German indie internet publisher. I usually don't like this kind of appropriative stuff, but this is quite short and hit home, possibly because I (used to) spend an unhealthy amount of time playing MOBAs.
This publisher/label is definitely worth checking out, unofrtunately though most of their stuff is in German. It's all pretty neat small PDFs, 50% literary, 50% graphic design, about contemporary topics, and quite unpretentious for the most part, stuff like travelogues.
Incindentally, I just had a really weird case of synchronicity. I was taking a walk and just when I had "finished" thinking about Tegel Media, someone said "You know, uh, Tegel is going to be demolished" on a balcony I passed by. I though I surely didn't hear right, it would be extremely unlikely someone would talk about the Berlin Tegel Airport in my bumfuck town on the other side of Germany, but then he repeated to his listener "Tegel is going to be demolished, right?". Well, sometimes weird coincidences happen, I guess.

I think your analysis is quite on point, when I read it for the first time I didn't quite realize how many of these "character introduction" chapters there actually were. It definitely took longer than I expected, haha, but I'm glad you liked it!
No. 42454
164 kB, 545 × 800
Kind of off-topic, but since this is related to the poet/writer Heinrich Heine, I decided to put it here.

I found out there is a statue dedicated to him in the Bronx, which was originally planned to be built in Düsseldorf, but due to antisemitic and nationalist opposition towards it, it never was. So in the end German Americans in New York "overtook" it. The German wikipedia article is quite an interesting read, even with a quote by Nietzsche about the affair, but for /int/ reasons here's the English one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorelei_Fountain
No. 42475
On old EC, about 2.5 years ago, someone recommended Ultraheaven (I think it was the brick). Today I woke up at 3am after 4 hours of sleep and suddenly wanted to read it.
I've read 1/3rd of it and will stop now. But thanks, it was a ride.
No. 42798
Read The Thief's Journal by Jean Genet. It's the second his book that I've read (the first being Our Lady of the Flowers) and the second that I didn't like. Just like Our Lady of the Flowers, it tells about the lowest of the low of the society: thieves, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes. There are no continuous plot, the book is made of episodes from author's life, possibly real, possibly fictional, and his relationships with his lovers (male ones; there are about hundred of them of all kinds: ugly bum, one-handed Serb, buff drug dealer and even a policeman — it's like the fucking Village People out there). The author/narrator is a crime fetishist and he gets his kicks from thieving, robbery and betrayal (culminating in the betrayal of one of his lovers at the end of the book). His fetish is heavily aestheticized by him, and he uses an extremely pretentious, choke-full of flowery epithets and metaphors language when he speaks about it, and this feels really obnoxious. There's also tons of gay stuff (obviously), one step away from being porn, although if I remember correctly, Our Lady of the Flowers was even worse in this regard.

So I dunno, I cannot find any redeeming qualities in this book. The narrator is a shallow promiscuous asshole, so it's hard to sympathize with him, the scenes described are not interesting and they fail to evoke any emotions apart from slight disgust and a tiniest amount of pity, and there are no deep thoughts and ideas. So far Genet seems to me one of the most overrated writers of the XX century. Maybe his plays are better than his novels, but I lost any desire to read them by now.
No. 42834
9 kB, 344 × 499
It argues for the technologies of the 20th/21th century formatting culture, economy, politics, art and thought (in biology also life) mathematically. The paradigma of cybernetics information, communication, feedback, recursivity as key concepts sets out to establish itself as a controlling totality, formatting everything under mathematical calculation, what cannot be computated or does not submit to the logic of decision in the binary fashion is left out or left behind (The order is Anschluss which also alludes to the facistic character of cybernetics)

I can highly recommend it to every German Ernst who wants to understand our technologized present better, it's only 95 small pages, and read quickly!
Pretty sad it's not translated, it' quite a dense rundown on cybernetics and it's mathematical foundation which is not emphasized like it is done by Mersch in other publications, it indeed fills a void that really makes you think.
Personally it's convincing in a way, but I'm not sure that it's all that can be said. What is interesting is that he has no solution. The anarcho collective Tiqqun in their Cybernetic Hypothesis opt for refusal, but Mersch says that shows just powerlessness.
Taking up some of the Heideggerian word/etymology mumo jumbo that is done by Mersch, I was reminded of a text that said something along the lines of
>Politik ist die Eröffnung einer anderen Rechnung (mit anderen Mitteln), was wirklich zählt literally: politics is the opening of a new calculation, of what really counts

So maybe against the calculation of cybernetics, there could be an alternative, non-mathematical calculation, that does not operate with formalizations but politically, whatever that means.
No. 42875
7,1 MB, 264 pages
Finally got around to finishing this. The first third or so isn't too interesting, as the authot mostly just defines and contextualizes "entrepreneurialism", "precarity" and and related concepts. The second part is more interesting, as he analyzes more specific aspects such as productivity apps, coworking spaces, the need to adopt values like "niceness", "optimism" etc. as assets. The last major part is also pretty good, in which he analyzes the platforms LinkedIn, Fiverr and GoFundMe as integral for both entrepreneurship and precarisation. I wish the conclusion would've been somewhat longer (and would point to something more than "we need to act collectively" to prevent further precarisation, alas I suppose on shouldn't look for practical advice in critical works), but nonetheless the book provides a decent critical snapshot of current trends in the precarisation of work. A more exhaustive work would probably hard to pull off when analyzing such a fluid topic, in fact apparently during the writing of the book LinkedIn changed it's design which made some of the writing outdated already. I enjoyed the many references, not only to other theoretical works, but also to related contemporary art, memes etc., depictions of which actually take up quite a few pages.
No. 42888
Can Ernst point me towards a website where I can get epub/pdf books for free?
No. 42889
http://libgen.li/ - watch out as fiction and non-fiction are separate categories
http://flibusta.is/ - for russian books
https://www.gutenberg.org/ - for classics, though I think most things from there are also on libgen (and it's banned in e.g. Germany, not sure about Russia)
rutracker has ebooks section as well afaik, I almost never used it but worth mentioning I guess
No. 43251
133 kB, 444 × 627
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1,9 MB
It's been quite a while since I managed to sit down and read a book cover to cover because of the exams and all the stress, but I finally managed to actually go through one.

The book I've read was Föld, Föld!... by Sándor Márai. (In English it was published under the title A Memoir of Hungary and in German as Land, Land!.... I attached an epub of the German edition to this post.)
I've read little of his works before (just the poems and the diary excerpts in the HS anthology volumes), but he always seemed like the kind of person who is less of a writer and more of a judge. In his writings, he's standing on a pedestal, his eyes as serious as lightning and he passes judgement upon people, movements and history he lived through and with.
But despite this, he never feels or seems overly-opinionated or malicious, he's doing this because he thinks that it's his duty to his people as an emigré writer.

Márai was an offspring of a Hungarianized German family that belonged to the upper echelons of society. Doctors, lawyers and politicians. He's what history here calls a "polgár". The term itself doesn't really have an equivalent in English (while in German I think the word Bürger suffices). It denotes someone who was an educated member of the middle classes. Usually an urbanite who was well off and had enough income to participate in cultural activities like theatre, going to salons and reading and writing.
(And this is the class that felt the most betrayed by the West when the Soviet troops stayed in the country.)

He spoke German, French, Latin and English, and he also studied in Paris and Berlin, but he always came home because he thought that Hungary is the only place where he can actually exist as a writer, the only place where he actually belongs and he isn't just tolerated as an emigré.

Before the war, he was a widely published writer, constantly writing novels, articles, critiques and essays. He was beloved. But after the communists took over, he slowly faded from memory.
In 1948 he left, not because the system didn't allow him to be critical loudly, but because it didn't even allow him to stay silent. So he left, and he spent the rest of his life in Italy and the United States where he continues writing novels and more importantly his diaries.
His fading from the general consciousness was facilitated not only by the censorship in Hungary, but because he forbade the publishing of any of his works or the staging of any of his plays until the last Russian troop has left the country. Sadly he committed suicide in 1989, so he didn't get to triumphantly return to his homeland.
But his works did, and since than everything he has ever written was published and republished.

This book of his is a memoir that tells his experiences in Hungary between 1944 and 1948, from the first time he met a Russian soldier to the day of his departure.

Reading this book made me feel kinda sad. I expected to find out something about being Hungarian, and instead I found an eulogy for a culture, lifestyle and idea (a democratic Hungary run by the middle classes that failed to displace the remnants of the feudal classes).
If I had to make up a metaphor, then I'd say it's as if Márai is a weird uncle living and your mother, Hungary was raped by Russia, but at least Russia had the decency to move in with her until his death to raise the kids.

Nobody will ever be Hungarian like the people before the Russians were. Any nostalgia felt for the coffee houses, baths and the old world is fake, because I can never actually know what it was like.
I think this is what makes Márai's account so gripping. He knows that he's one of the last of his kind, and after his passing, things will be different.

Things change I guess.
To quote the book itself: ...We thought we were having lunch. Later we came to understand, that this was "History"

It's almost amusing to see his recollections of meeting the first Russians, living together with the occupying troops and knowing nothing about them.
Oh, how much the country learned about the Russians later on.

The book itself couldn't have been written anywhere else, but here, and it's a great chronicle of the author's life and times up until the breaking point of no return.
No. 43590
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I'm not cultured enough to know how a literary journal is supposed to be read. Do you read everything, or do you just read the articles that seem interesting? (Am I obliged to read everything, basically, or can I just sample?)

Anyway, there was an interesting article about Peter Handke I read. It gave a short summary of a few of his novels, and then it went on to talk about his relationship with Yugoslavia and the backlash over his articles defending the Serbs, which reignited when he got the Nobel-prize. Basically the article said that if it wasn't for his career as a writer and artist, his "reasons" for supporting Serbia (and Slovenia before its independence) would land him in an insane asylum because they're not normal, but artistic and insane.

Strangely enough, in a short paragraph the author also talked about the publication history of his works here, and I was surprised to find that he only had a volume of four novellas published and republished three times since 1972, and Die Wiederholung in 1990, and since then, absolutely nothing, besides reissuing the novella-collection in 2020 and staging one of his plays in 2006.
It's weird because you'd think that an author that qualifies for the Nobel-prize would be popular with the intellectuals and literatis, if just for the sake of his ability to captivate the establishment enough to rake in prizes.
But just three volumes were published. Compared, the controversial Thomas Bernhard received numerous reissues and had nearly all of his works published over the years.

Some of his novellas seemed interesting based on the excerpts and summaries in the article, so I'm going to get a copy of the 2020 reissue if I actually can.

Any of you German-ernsts read anything by Handke?
No. 43591
Funnioy enough, I currently have a book with diary-like aphorisms lying right here.

He's a bit of an edgelord. I mean I can understand him and feel his feels, and obviously he's quite the Assburger as well (tbh I look up to him career-wise, if only I could be so eccentric, eloquent and absolutely confident.)

However, he embodies all I hate about the literature society in general. At least he has skill. But everything these days seem to consist of viewing things in the worst possible way and then flaming about it. And then they gather in meetings and circles and pat each other's backs about how intellectual and sophisticated they are.

I actually know a "literat", we meet sometimes. It already starts with him being able to live the literature Insider life because his family is rich and he owns several flats, generating enough passive income to be a "literat". Sure enough he spends his time socializing with others of the same kind. Everyone is ~quirky~ and ~eccentric~ and they all circlejerk each other into extasy and then pass around prizes amongst each other's, and the newspapers gobble it up because who else should be an authority in literature if not literats?

God, how I hade this pretentious facade. And I'm jealous as well. It reminds me of my cringey deviantArt phase when I was 14. And those people actually make real money with it .
No. 43593
>how a literary journal is supposed to be read. Do you read everything, or do you just read the articles that seem interesting? (Am I obliged to read everything, basically, or can I just sample

I'd say you read what interests you. I sometimes just sample texts because I don't have the time for all texts and I have to set priorities. Those samples are nothing more than glancing and maybe find a reason to read it still. A magazin or journal is made for browsing and special interest alike.

>Any of you German-ernsts read anything by Handke?

I had to read the play or "text made for performance" Publikumsbeschimpfung for seminar once. I wrote a short analysis for the portfolio that would give me the credits for the seminar. The text really works when performed, it's postdramatic stuff that has no characters, just "voices" that can split the text to their likings. The text is ofc polysemous, it is after all a meta commentary on the theatre as place, a commentary of plays and both combined a commentary on this small universe in which the audience is a part of it. I also remember that the text performs what it states. It creates no fictious world to get sucked into but a meta performance that IS the content, form as content maybe.

Here, the Uraufführung, you really want to watch that and then read it maybe. The text really is crucial, but I don't know how well you can follow it. Might be easy.

No. 43594 Kontra
Also since it is one of the first post dramatic plays, it really is provoking to the audience, since they expected a typical play, but this is nothing like a typical plays, as you will see. The text comments that even.
No. 43671
Read Michael Moorcock's Runestaff tetralogy. As always with Moorcock's fantasy, it's rife with illogical plots and deus ex machinae, but this time there's so many of them that it crosses some sort of threshold and becomes okay to an extent. I liked it better than Erekosë cycle (that one was among the crappiest fantasy I've ever read) but less than the first Corum trilogy, and it's more or less on par with the second Corum trilogy. It's set on the post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity fell back to feudalism and lost much of its technology, but instead progressed in sorcery-science. Europe is being ravaged by the Dark Empire of Granbretan (it's actually called "Dark" in the books; dunno, maybe it didn't sound as dumb back in '67 as it sounds now) which is caricaturally evil, like killing and torturing everyone on conquered territories, enslaving people, using prisoners in a twisted sex performances etc. etc. Nobody is able to oppose them since they're advanced far in sorcery and they destroy everything with their superior weapons. But one man – Duke Dorian Hawkmoon of Köln – dares to rise up against them. He gets captured though and is forced to work against Count Brass – a noble from Provence who kept neutrality with Granbretan but starts fighting them too after being slighted by Baron Meliadus of Granbretan – books' main antagonist. Granbretanians install a killswitch/surveillance device into Hawkmoon's head and send him to spy on Count Brass, but Count sees through their plot, manages to suppress the killswitch temporarily and make Hawkmoon his ally. Hawkmoon then sets out to the East to disable the killswitch completely, and after that he searches for magical trinkets that are necessary to gain victory over Granbretan and Baron Meliadus.

Well, the books are just a heap of adventures (some of which can be safely thrown away without any damage to the plot) which probably would work better as a cycle of short stories rather than a continuous novel. The characters are very uninteresting: Count Brass is a combination of all positive qualities without any negative; his daughter Yisselda – Hawkmoon's love interest and later, wife – is so bland that she's only fit to being a damsel in distress, and her participation in the final battle seems really far-fetched; Meliadus is just a murderous psychopath obsessed with revenge; Hawkmoon himself is a brave and just warrior, nothing else; and Warrior in Jet and Gold and his brother Orland Fank are simply plot devices created to get Hawkmoon out of sticky situations. The only two decently written characters are Huillam d'Averc, Granbretanian renegade and Hawkmoon's companion, who has the most pronounced personality of all (even with a little quirk like hypochondria), and Countess Flana of Kanbery, who actually undergoes a meaningful character development.

So now I'm convinced that Moorcock is a crappy (albeit quite influential) writer, but I can't help but praise the aesthetics that he comes up with for his worlds. It's more like he's painting rather than writing them: castles made of blood, bridges made of light, huge ship-towns roaming the swamps, warriors dressed in ornate animal masks and so on. He throws in a lot of cool stuff, but cannot write a good plot around it. I'd say that he was born a bit too early: two-three decades later he could become a great videogame art director.

I also noticed that I almost stopped enjoying fantasy stories where powerful noble heroes solve global problems. Would be nice to read something about smaller people with smaller problems in a fantasy world, or maybe about secondary characters in a major crisis (like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, for example, but in fantasy setting). Terry Pratchett, perhaps? I've only read two of his books, but they kinda fit, and are also really fun, maybe the rest is nice too. I also plan on seriously getting into older sword and sorcery like Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber: it doesn't seem so obsessed with overpowered characters and world-threatening villains.
No. 43689
Moorcock, hehe
No. 43708
I recently read a very good novella by Brandon Sanderson, called The Emperor's Soul. It's short but great, and exactly what you're looking for.

If SF is alright, look into Jack Vance. Lot's of fascinating worldbuilding, with simple-but-enjoyable adventure and detective stories taking place in a future with FTL but suspiciously low tech, where the founder effect has created thousands of bizarre human cultures all over the galaxy. In some ways it actually feels more like fantasy than SF.

When I read his take on Tolkien ("it like, takes itself seriously and doesn't deconstruct anything!"), I lost all interest in ever reading his works. You can't react that way to Tolkien and have a soul worthy of art.
No. 43710
Tolkien is not the same genre as someone like Moorcock. The latter is written in the pulp/New Wave tradition which is by its nature transgressive. If you understand that, then the issues taken with Tolkien's work make a lot more sense, as it does when you think of when it was written. Late 70s Britain is the environment that birthed Thatcherism. The traditioanl canon of Fantasy is virtually the opposite of transgressive and many valid critiques of it are buried under the weight of the absolute titan that is the author's name (Lewis, Tolkien etc.), while authors who break the mould must contend against a canon that asks no questions of its reader (consider the roles of good and evil in Tolkien to the morality of Elric which poses one of the classic examples of antiheroics in modern literature). He criticises Tolkien and Co. passionately in heated tone but it is on the level of underlying philosophies that define their works. The attitude you express at the end there is almost exactly his issue with the legacy of those authors.

In many ways (not all) I'm inclined to agree with him. Tolkien's work is quite excellent, but it is a morality play on manor-born perspectives of pastoralism and the absoluteness of the Abrahamic God at its heart. It's well written and has lots of lore, but is not particularly deep on the thematic front.
No. 43711
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Playing Surviving Mars makes me wish I could read the Mars Trilogy for the first time again.

If any Ernsts are interested in the colonisation of mars, the concepts of new societies or utopias or new mythologies I'd recommend the Mars Trilogy by Kim-Stanley Robinson.
No. 43712
>The Emperor's Soul
It seems like some sort of a crime fiction at the first glance. Intredasting, I'll check it out, thanks.

>Jack Vance
Any recommendations on what I should start with?
No. 43713
Planet of Adventure. A nice example of good ol Sword and Planet.
No. 43835
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So I finally got to reading the Odyssey and I enjoyed it immensely.

Hungary has a "standard" translation schools use from 1951 by an accomplished philologist called Gábor Devecseri. He translated the complete works of Homer and attributed to Homer using Hexametres. His translations are basically a culmination of a century of trials and experiments Hungarian classicists have done, and they are well written and poetic on top of being philologically sound.

So naturally I went with a version from 1959 no one has ever heard about that translates the epic into rhyming Alexandrines to make it sound like the Hungarian epic "Toldi" and "John the Valiant".
The translator, Gedeon Mészöly was also an accomplished translator, classicist and philologist, and he also wrote a 40 page long essay on why he decided to translate the Odyssey the way he did.
(He was also the first one to translate Pushkin's Yevgeniy Onegin using the Russian as a basis into Hungarian.)
It's a joy to read in general. Some parts are wonky a bit, but they don't take away much from the experience.
One thing it has over the standard version is that it's really easy to read. Hungarian is suited for hexameter, but the alexandrine is just simply better and feels more natural.
I actually found myself talking in alexandrines after my reading sessions for a few hours.

Here they teach the Odyssey as the more modern out of the two Homeric epics and how it's portrayal of Odysseus is inherently closer to us than that of Achilleus from the Iliad.
I'd say that while Odysseus is closer to us than Achilleus, he's still not a blueprint for modern man. As I interpret it, Odysseus is less of an adventurer who's driven by his addiction to new locations, cultures and riches than a mere pilgrim, who through the trials the gods put him up to reaches salvation.
His adventures are a result of divine intervention and not his own thrill-seeking.

He also readily accepts the fate woven by the Moiras, and he doesn't try to transcend or go beyond this fate, which would be a crucial characteristic of a modern, Nietzschean character. Or at least, I think struggle against fate and odds is crucial to a modern character, more so than to Odysseus, who is more of an archetype who's harder to understand for us, because we're not ancient Greeks.
He's a "culture-hero" like Siegfried or Roland, but just like them, he's the hero of a culture long gone.

It's also weird to read a primary source like the Odyssey, because over the years you encounter all these adaptations and interpretations of smaller episodes in other media (Like the plant-eaters' island, Polyphemus's blinding, Odysseus listening to the Sirens and so on.) and you're expecting something great, but they're actually kind of short in length and feel a tad bit underwhelming.

The first few parts constitute the "Telemachia", or Telemachos's journey, and it's one of the best parts of the epic. Though my favourite part is definitely the height of the poem where Odysseus reveals himself and starts a massacre amongst the suitors with Telemachos and two of his loyal herdsmen.
It's immensely satisfying to read, and the way he fires the first shot at his enemies is probably one of the greatest moments in literary history.

Guess what I'm trying to say is that I like it. It's long and some parts and digressions are a bit tiresome, but as a whole it's well worth it. Even if you don't enjoy reading works this old because of the cultural differences, it's such an important cornerstone of literature that it's a crime to not read at least a cut down or condensed version.
No. 43843
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The Devil Aspect is a thriller set in Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. Some of the Slavic mythology described in the book is a bit ridiculous, but the author obviously did some research.

The author also does a good job keeping the reader interested throughout the story, some of the twist of which are less obvious than the others, but the foreshadowing and some of the more mystic elements seem somewhat out of place. Overall, it's a well done novel and I enjoyed reading it.
No. 43884
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I translated a short story called "The Blue Lantern" by Victor Pelevin into German. It's a sort of meta-horror about growing up. There already exists an English translation, I should probably pick it up to compare it.

I've attached it if any of the German speakers would like to (proof)read it As ZIP so it's not crawled by Google, as I've seen the other PDFs here are.

>I'd say that while Odysseus is closer to us than Achilleus, he's still not a blueprint for modern man. As I interpret it, Odysseus is less of an adventurer who's driven by his addiction to new locations, cultures and riches than a mere pilgrim, who through the trials the gods put him up to reaches salvation.
His adventures are a result of divine intervention and not his own thrill-seeking.

Definitely agree, I've been reading Spengler again lately, and he's adamant about highlighting the differences between what he calls the Apollonian and Faustian spirits.
No. 43901
Nice read, thanks, although a bit confusing. Cool how it creates the meta-confusion.

The term "Kennt ihr die mit der..." rubs the wrong way in the beginning, but you quickly get used to what it's supposed to say.

The whole style is a bit wonky tbh, it's apparent that German is not your first language. But there are no actual errors as far as I noticed, and it was a really nice and smooth read. Well done!
No. 43907
Metaphysics are not real and can always be frontend against the dump like the orthodox church. Bakunins god and the state explains this leadership of idiocracy based on clerical errors.
No. 43929
Thanks for the feedback, glad you enjoyed it!

>The whole style is a bit wonky tbh, it's apparent that German is not your first language.
Yeah, I'm aware it sounds weird at a couple of points but I'm still a bit surprised you were able to tell :D
I definitely need to double check some of the tenses. And in general I guess I need to prioritize the text sounding good over giving a literal translation.
I'm rereading it now actually and the first paragraph already doesn't flow well at all. Makes me realize I didn't actually proofread the text as a whole, only went over it sentence by sentence.
No. 43957
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It's part of a short introduction series to thinkers Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Freud, Arendt, Adorno, Focault and Luhmann of the sociology and humanities.

Anyway, the Foucult one was quite good, it introduced three concepts of him: discourse analysis, governementality and genealogy. Also situated him a bit politically.

Apparently Focault's ideas are also rooted in Darwin readings: For Focault the indvidual/subject is shaped by its environment. Power is the productive force behind the shapening. And power is an open constellation. And the method of the historical genealogy is used to dismantle the historicity of that process which is the open constellation of power, turning it all into a power play that is not one sided. History is, like evolution in Darwin, disparate and accidental and does not unfold with a goal or logic behind it (e.g. historic materialism). Evolution is a complex web of dependencies of individual living beings and their change is open and not determined by any logic and does not know any identities engraved in stone.
No. 44012
>Evolution is a complex web of dependencies of individual living beings and their change is open and not determined by any logic
Well, I'd actually say that it is determined by a certain metaphorical logic of possibilities and probabilities, but it's not clear exactly what will happen within this logic.
No. 44017
Do you think that would imply continuity necessarily? I think what is important is for the author is emphasis on accidental or disruptive happenings that evade simple constant evolvement. Likewise it would imply somehow that these disruption are not to be computable, like a evolutionary function or whatever, not a maths pro at all. Note that the author refers to Darwin and Focault, so it's not like the author (P. Sarasin btw) did no read Darwin and what his thoughts on evolution were.
No. 44018 Kontra
You could say as well that for Foucault there is the logic of power (which is productive in that is constitutes, shaping possibilities etc), but that does not tell you what will actually happen empirically.
No. 44035
For evolution - no.
For the course of history I'd say there is an overall continuity, but it's not like a law of nature, so it has it's ups and downs and it might collapse at one point so much that it does not recover. For instance climate crisis might be such an event.
But I think this continuity might be due to human capabilities to preserve knowledge and to grow upon it.
No. 44036
>I think this continuity might be due to human capabilities to preserve knowledge and to grow upon it.

But nothing stands against the loss of knowledge or the withering of knowledge. The growth is not immune to cuts.

>so it has it's ups and downs

You have to explain that, I expect you to be the Spengler Ernst :DDD I have a book here about systemic thinking and Spengler is a topic in systemic view of history
No. 44037
>so it has it's ups and downs
Well, I think I mean the same thing you called cuts. Falling back again behind an already established (or seemingly established) progression of civilisation.

For instance fascism coming into power always marks such a regressive cut.
No. 44041
Which implies there is a civilizational process going on, progress towards something, a modern approach to history in a way. But I'm not sure if Foucault would have subscribed that. For him it might be just power play a few passwords that revolve around that complex and that Fooucault coined afaik would be discourse, episteme, dispositif, governementality/biopower, notion of the subject, people mould (their environment) and get moulded (by the evnironment) so to speak, nothing more.
No. 44482
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Written by a collective called Obsolete Capitalism and available for free here:

I took some notes of the parts that were not slices of an archive of dromology, which are small stories or facts on speed and its development, contemplations on antiquated leftist policy and such.
It gives a good and quick (50 pages with generous type) on accelerationism from the left.

  1. the current left politics and strategy (folk politics and technophobia) prove to be insufficient or wrong.
  2. the technoscientific complex can be thought independently of capital and need not necessarily be embedded in capitalism.
  3. an alternative must be found alongside the capitalist deterritorialisational process. A line of flight that is not inherent to capital or is used by it.
  4. distinction between acceleration and speed
  5. the question of a cybernetic Marx(ism) as the only possibility or a possibility
  6. embracing the speculative Marx (the opposite of what orthodox Marxists do. -----sidenote from the text: Orthodox Marxist practice Marxism as a science that can be confirmed as a science by itself, or can be confirmed as a science overall, and therefore is not an ideology) - All this perhaps also means breaking away from the (ontological) original class, (even from the revolutionary subject of the worker or wage-earner?)
  7. case of the profit rate has to be forgotten, old discussion, which one does not want to warm up, so much has been said about it and already in the 19th century it was already tackled against it, because theoretically or conceptually questionable.
  8. no longer production, but the management and control of financial flows is the decisive factor (if it is that easy to say, certainly the question of systems and their management and control is very important today, but without production there is nothing to control and manage, even though money or the financial world could be an exception)
  9. leave behind Marx's axioms, because although they are rich, they do not sufficiently match the present. The computerized complexity and control of processes demands a different way of thinking.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
No. 44483
Why is it that Marxism-Leninism is so ruthlessly opposed to Christianity? It is among the many things that has confused me about this world since my birth. I see visages of Christ and the apostles and prophets, and then I see hippies preaching love and peace looking much the same, and am told they are not Christians, and that the clean shaven men preaching war, and hate, and destruction, and CIA membership, and Capitalism, are all so-called Christians. Likewise has it been difficult for me to process how and why an economic system that seems far more aligned with the principles of Christianity is in fact brutally atheist, whereas the ideology which preaches frankly the ideologies of hellfire, of greed and avarice, of envy and "sex sells," proclaim themselves Christians.

The lack of internal coherence is perhaps less bothersome for them than it is for me. I do not tolerate internal contradictions well, and most of them seem rife with them, particularly the further to the right you go.
No. 44489 Kontra
My post has nothing to do with Marxist-Leninism or christianity.

The relationship of Christianity and modern ideologies is interesting though, since they seem on the follow up of an all encompassing religious ideology, hence the question what do they share and how do they differ? A question that could fill several books or even a whole sheelves of books. Just one thing to begin with: Marx said that religions are opioids. Christianity might have a certain power structure, or has a certain power structure and hierarchy that is dismissed by Marx. Which is something different than Maxrism-Leninism though.
No. 44491
One of the central tenets of Marxism-leninism is dialectical-materialism, which rejects non-materialist factors in history. (Which is also why "postmodern-neomarxism" is a colossal oxymoron that has about as much meaning to it as socialist-realism.)
God isn't a concept denoting something material, therefore it's not real.

Marxism-leninism is also a revolutionary ideology, and as such, it's against institutions it sees as tools of bourgeois control over morality and the proletariat.
These institutions include organised religions and parliamentary democracy.
MLs are not just against Christianity, but also against any church or religion that seeks to uphold the status quo of the exploiting classes that control the political and the economical.
(See for example how Mao ended the brutal serfdom the monks created in Tibet, which makes the Tibetan government in exile butthurt to this very day.)

In moderate praxis this manifests as removing clergymen from political positions and cutting off funding to Churches, and in the extreme it means torturing individual believers conducting personal worship.
No. 44509
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1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries a wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
No. 44548
>You have to explain that, I expect you to be the Spengler Ernst :DDD
Just to chime in, Spenglers whole work is based on a criticism of the idea of a continous single human history, as this view is inherent to the current Western culture, and not necessarily to others. He compares the current view of history as antiquity->middle ages->modernity to the ptolemaic system (centered around the West), whereas he tries to approach history in a "copernican" way, looking at the histories (or rather more broadly speaking "morphologies") of different cultures.
For every culture is born out of some metaphysical ideal that influences it's art, architecture etc, but also it's concepts of science and history. E.g for ancient Greeks it's the body, so their art revolves around statues that depict human bodies, similarily their mathematics only deals with real numbers and they have no concept of "deep" history. On the other hand, what we nowadays call Western culture (he calls it Faustian), has at it's core the idea of (infinite) space. Therefore, "we" concern ourselves with this grand view of some unified historical progress, and our art and science are similarily lofty and abstract.
I suppose nowadays things might be somehow different, what with the erosion of different cultures by global capitalism. I don't think it changes the fate of the West's decline though.

>to preserve knowledge and to grow upon it.
This is ofc true, but lots of knowledge also gets lost, sometimes a culture simply doesn't really value something as knowledge the same way another culture would do etc.

t. "Spengler Ernst"
No. 44550
>For every culture is born out of some metaphysical ideal

Which means that every culture is set by an essence(?). What does make Spengler out of cultural borderland and overlaps in time? The 19th. century was strong with Hegelian philsophy of history and obsessed with progress. Modernity still lives today but it did not survive postmodernism in academia. There is no single universal history these days as episteme structuring the western historic research. Mind you that change occuredd before the term globalism was even used excessively if at all. The 19th. century saw great connection made over the world via channels of travel and transport already.

> I don't think it changes the fate of the West's decline though.

History and normativity don't mix well, calling a period faustian is telling of that as well it's at least nothing for serious research attempts these days. Spengler has to be historicized like everything else that lies in the past. The beginning of the 20th century becomes interesting. There is a book by Erich Hörl that takes it as transition to symbolized thinking.
Like I said ups and downs sounds to me like rise and decline, which to me seems normative and has to be taken as an episteme. Why do people frame history as rise and decline and not something different? A first question to take off from in history taught in the west and also other places today.
No. 44553
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Anthologies of primary sources are very enjoyable, because you can flip it open and be richer with a small nugget of wisdom.
I found a small selection of ancient Greek jokes from a collection titled Philolegos. They're kind of Petrosyan-tier, but some of them got a roaring laughter out of me, none the less.

>One of the twins die. The idiot went to the surviving one and asked him: "Was it you who died or your brother?"

>When the idiot wanted to sell his house, he carried a stone from it with himself everywhere to show people (as a sample).

>A Kymenian was selling honey. A man approached him, tasted the honey and said that it was very good. To which he replied: "I wouldn't be selling if the mouse didn't fall in it!"

>The idiot wanted to teach his ass to not eat, and so he did not feed it. When the ass died from hunger, he exclaimed, our man exclaimed:"What a shame! Just when it was about to learn to starve, it died!"

The last one is especially funny, because my mother used to tell the same joke, only the idiot was replaced with a gxpsy and the ass with a horse. She'd say: Eat, because the same thing will happen to you that happened to the gxpsy's horse: By the time you learn to live without food, you'll die of starvation!


I've also read the first part of pic related. Chapter one is about how Homer's works have been taught in Hungary from the 1500s to the present day.
1500-1800 is pretty boring, most if it is just "look, this no-name noble fuckwit had a copy of Homer in his personal library and this religious school taught Greek!"
Based on my readings of Babits, I expected to find a little golden-age in the 1800s and early 1900s, but turns out I was actually longing for something that never existed.

It was always a niche thing here. People generally preferred Latin to Greek, and it was only mandatory in Gymnasien centred around the Humanities, it was at best optional for Realschules.
And in the end, the teaching of Greek in Hungary went out not with a bang, but with a whimper.
At first they allowed the students to pick between Greek classes, Greek-ersatz Literature classes where they read Greek works in translation or Art class.
Then they reduced the number of classes. During the first year of the change 42% of students opted to take Greek-ersatz Literature instead of Greek proper, and by 1914, only 12% of the students were studying Greek in Gymnasien in any capacity. It died before the Communists even had a chance to "kill it".
So it basically just withered away, and my interest in it would have been just as much of an oddity back then as it is now.

Something tells me I should have expected this. It feels bad to have your illusions of a golden-era shattered so mercilessly.
No. 44554
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It's small, 40 pages. And about a key concept of Focaults work.
The essay has 10 parts, the last three are cheap and vague culture critic, the solution is vague as well, so I did not bother copying these notes

  1. In an interview, Focault comes very close to a definition of dispositive. Agamben summarizes Foucault's remarks in three points:
a) a heterogeneous entity that has linguistic and non-linguistic elements: discourses, institutions, buildings, philosophical, scientific and moral doctrines, laws and police (administrative, regulatory, etc.) measures. The network between the elements is dispositive
b) A dispositive has a strategic function and is therefore part of power relations
c) A dispositive is the result of power and knowledge relations [How are knowledge and power related in Foucault's work? Power determines knowledge, knowledge structures discourses?]
2. Genealogically, the dispositive comes from Jean Hyppolite's reading of Hegel reception, which in turn was taken up by Foucault, and in which Hegel's concept of positivity is treated. Hegel defines it as the historical world, its rules, institutions, etc. (the force, which stands in opposition to freedom). Foucault wanted to examine the extent to which positivity (dispositifs) is at work in power games, power struggles, the mechanisms of power.
3. The term dispositive does not denote a specific measure or power technologies. Nor is it a generality like the state, but rather an operative concept. Interesting are the three meanings Agamben takes from a French dictionary: arrangement (by law), the arrangement of a machine and its elements or its mechanism in general, and the measures one must take to realize a plan (military). As Agamben notes, all three are found in Foucault's term. It is about achieving an effect, a goal, the dispositive is operative.
4. Oikonomia - Greek: management of the household, its leadership (management). According to Aristotle a practice. Picked up by Christian theology. Trinity, Father, Son, Spirit - administration (government) of God's creation is transferred by the Trinity to the Son [or people, e.g. kings??] [@agamben2008, 19f.].
5. In Latin, oikonomia is translated as Dispositio. It is
>a set of practices, knowledge, measures and institutions whose aim is to manage, govern, control and direct people's behaviour, gestures and thoughts in an ostensibly useful direction. [@agamben2008, 24]

The results of such an administration are subjectivation processes

6. In this section Agamben breaks away from Foucalt. Thus he divides into living beings (substance) and dispositives (oikonomia), the former being administered by the latter. Subjects are a third category that stands between living beings and dispositives, because subjects are the result of the administration/control of living beings. An individual can have a variety of subject positions and is not limited to a single one. Agamben also favours an expansion of the dispositive concept:
>to further generalize the already very extensive class of Foucault's dispositives [meaning prison, school etc.]: As dispositive I call everything that is somehow capable of seizing, directing, determining, inhibiting, shaping, controlling and securing the gestures, behaviour, opinions and speeches of living beings. [@agamben2008, 26]

7. The dispositive is something that comes about through "homonization", as Agamben calls it. Man as a human being is separated from his environment (Agamben says the division of being and acting, similar to how God was divided by the theologians) and no longer one with it. This makes the world of homo sapiens open and shapable. Agamben is looking for a strategy of how to deal with dispositifs, when they cannot simply be destroyed.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
No. 44580
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>The relationship of Christianity and modern ideologies is interesting though, since they seem on the follow up of an all encompassing religious ideology, hence the question what do they share and how do they differ?
Marxism, and all post-Christian movements of the left, are in some sense founded in Christianity. This is inevitable, because Western civilization is inseparable from Christianity, and the default moral assumptions (concern for the weak, chiefly) are inherited from it. The Western Left today criticizes Christians on very Christian terms - chiefly, that they are not compassionate enough to gays, trannies, women, Muslims, etc.

This will continue, unless/until the West is captured by Islam, or some reactionary Nietzschean philosophy. I feel like this is also inevitable, because the present pseudo-Christianity is inherently unstable. Without a holy book or tradition, nothing but the purest incarnation of Nietzsche's slave morality remains, with an omnidirectional ressentiment that seeks to tear down everything for being oppressive.

If it survives, it will be with the help of a capital class that sees clear utility in a morality which keeps the underclass permanently divided against itself. It will support the amoral technocratic order imposed from above, an Amazon delivery robot stamping on a human face - forever.

Back to normal things...
>Jack Vance
>Any recommendations on what I should start with?
I started with the Demon Princes series, and I recommend you do the same. It gives you a great overview and feel for the wider setting of Vance's SF.

But Planet of Adventure is great too. Demon Princes is a galaxy-spanning revenge/detective story, while PoA is a more straight-up adventure. Go with whichever genre appeals to you more.
No. 44585
>The Western Left today criticizes Christians on very Christian terms - chiefly, that they are not compassionate enough to gays, trannies, women, Muslims, etc.

They are not the same though. You want to imply that Marxisms critized Christianity even though they basically are Christians, that is what I hear and this is wrong because they differ in many aspects which makes the difference afterall. What has been left of the death of god is as Georg Simmel said, a thirst for salvation, I think that might be still very deep in us. Besides, rights and acceptance for gays+ is not a specifically marxist thing but liberal these days, and liberals are not marxists, but liberals can hardly deny individual freedom in sexuality etc, it fits their bill as well if you go to the end of what liberalism is about. But liberals want gays as CEOs and don't want abolish CEOs alltogether. Marxists back then weren't so concerned about gays, but I guess it implies that these people get their rights and can live undisturbed and openly.
No. 44587
Tbh, a lot of those values are not necessarily 'Christian', but rather memed over two thousand years into being 'Christian' on the wect. It's not like charity and a degree of equality were ideas born with jebus. They're just typical attitudes for a small community, which was likely shared by most small communities, religious or not, in the same time period and earlier. Also, tbh Islam has a lot of those same values itself, with the caveat that you hear a lot more about medieval-tier cults from largely medieval countries than you do the average dude who does the equivalent of church on sundays or some crap.

Also compounded by a misunderstanding of Islamic jurisprudence which makes it far more decentralised than organised religion is typically understood in the west. It's what makes it weird when people talk about how some religious figure made a questionable statement, and how it represents or doesn't represent Islam depending on their narrative. It runs on a weird mix of local pragmatism, respect in the judicial community, and personal interpretation of Hadith and how that measures up to de facto practice. Islam is fractured as hell despite being one religion, and not just on the Sunni/Shia split. Imagine if every church had entirely different religious law based on which religious scholar they subscribe to, while also everyone claims to be the exact same thing. It's like if every protestant and evangelical and catholic church in the world said it was Roman Catholic.
No. 44594
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>What does make Spengler out of cultural borderland and overlaps in time?
Cultural borderland is not a focus for him, IIRC he'd say sth like that there's usually one culture that is truly dominant and others are adopted only at a superficial level. Maybe he talks more about it in the second volume which I haven't read yet. What do you mean by "overlaps in time"?
>The 19th. century was strong with Hegelian philsophy of history and obsessed with progress.
Yeah, he mentions Hegel a couple of times, i.e. criticizing him for ignoring other cultures: "Hegel hatte in aller Naivität erklärt, daß er die Völker, die in sein System der Geschichte nicht paßten, ignorieren werde."
>The 19th. century saw great connection made over the world via channels of travel and transport already.
Ofc, but nowadays the world is much more interconnected, what with the internet and global markets and everything. So I was wondering whether you could still view this from inside Spengler's framework as the mode of the Western Empire, or if it's something qualitatively different, such as people who tout the idea of the End of History or of super AIs and other tech utopianism might suggest. I think this is something Yuk Hui is concerned with: https://www.e-flux.com/journal/96/245507/what-begins-after-the-end-of-the-enlightenment/

>History and normativity don't mix well, calling a period faustian is telling of that as well it's at least nothing for serious research attempts these days.
I don't think you have to even read Spengler to perceive that the West is declining :D
What he does offer is just a pretty solid framework for analysis imho, at times he's ofc partial but as a reader you don't have to be dogmatic about it. Ofc his theories are too broad and/or esoteric to be empirically verifiable (so it's kind of like picrel :D). However he did make some predictions, which were arguably fared quite well, so there's that: http://avery.morrow.name/blog/2014/10/oswald-spenglers-decline-of-the-west-the-100th-anniversary-update/
No. 44596
I fucking hate that 4kanker stole wojak and ruined him for us
No. 44600
>What do you mean by "overlaps in time"?

Spengler, as far as you have let us peek, seems to have neatly seperated cultures that are born out of a metaphysical nowhere. How does he explain what would be an issue of "translation" these days, adoption and transformation of culturual techniques and such in time.

Quoting from the site you posted

>All other forms of social division will take a backseat to the huge, ever-deepening gulf between mega-city cosmopolitanism and “provincialism”

It's the old land/city divide, nothing new even back then. Might have tendencies, but it is presented very homogenic here, ofc though, it makes it's easier to have a polarization going on. But saying we have two distinct oppositions does not make it true. A city is not infested with cosmopolitical individuals but a "bucket" for all kinds of people, many of them never getting out of that city, one does not become a cosmopolit because there are Döners available around the corner. Cities play an important role and often times are economically important, but to think that all country people are traditionalists is misleading. Neuköln is not Berlin, An individual in a rural area does not represent the whole rural sphere of a country or of the world. It's pars pro toto, which is a rhetorical device here and less of a good argument. Tell some favelado what he or she thinks about being labeled a young hip cosmpolitist urbanite

>It will no longer matter whether one is ethnically Russian, German, Brazilian, or Nigerian, religious or non-religious, male, female, or Other, or indeed sexually reproductive or sterile.

Lel, lgbt+ dreams are confused with reality. Quite the opposite, it seems that it matters more and more, on the right as well in the left, identity is a big issue.

>Mid-21st century: The final draw to Western civilization will not be the promise of bread and circuses, but the promise of jobs.

Western spirit? Instead of spirits he should ask himself what capitalism is and how it reproduces itself. Also what role women have taken in it up until now. "Existential reward", kek I hear you Max Weber and the protestant ethics, yet these seem more of an enforcement and not the cause or is not existential necessity in a world where money buys you reproduction energy, where the only way to get money for people who do not rely on trusts and inheritence is wage labor. Ofc having a job is valued, otherwise the authorites and media tell you are a useless parasite. Might try it with power and interest next time you analyze something instead of mysterious ahistoric spirits.

Why is Spengler still a reactionary? Because he talks of decline. Normativity guides findings. Now these are always implict, but he frames history in a dramatic way, it really isa certain style of narration. Why decline, because an supposed entity "entartet" literally.

bonus points for explaining the "fall" (pun intended) of the CCCP with mysterious russian soul.

Spengler is a child of his time, unsurprisingly. according to your picture like many intellectuals of the time he engaged with the term mass, a history of knowledge / discourse analysis of the usage of that term during the weimar years exists As historian of the early 21st century, I have good reasons to why knowledge is "fabricated" or prestructured (historic apriori) and Spenglers as well. Predictions seem to me like extrapolations of modernity. Most things that are tackled are themes that developed in the beginning of the late 19th, early 20th century and still haunt us today.
As you said yourself, it is to be questioned if you can understand our present, our history with a lense like that. People often are surprised how writings from 100-200 years ago seem so close to the present. But just because something seems familiar it does not mean things haven't changed. We never left modernity completely imo. Postmodernism is not a good concept, post-x this post can mean anything. We are still finding out what is going on and what has changed, and we can point out what are themes that seem to be modern, like big cities and thus city life.
I doubt that Spengler is "right" as his frame can be questioned, i.e. a foucauldian notion of history is not progress in a normative-hegelian sense, even though Focault makes a recourses to Darwin. There is a difference between telos and "modus operandi" of history. More important is to know what Spengler is doinf and where is knowledge comes from. Spengler is not meta enough for the 21st century I would say and this while he predicted the aversion against a narrative of hegelian progression, "his historiographical expertise" as the authors writes, is noteably different from the one we have today, he did not presage the 20 century with his historiographical expertise but only a part of it. I don't know Spengler so I can hardly say who he come to that conclusion and how "postmodernist" came to that conclusion. Results don't make arguments.
No. 44601
It just come to my mind: Today we don't have a philosophy of history anymore in an ontologic sense I guess. Like an essence of history. For Spengler that would be the life cycle behavior ...yeah, Spengler makes an organicist analogy, rise of life science during that era, take that in mind though.
Focault also poses a movement of history I think, but he does not take an outide position anymore, his own work is part of history and the movements he made strong for what is driving "history". It's on the micro levels whereas Spengler is one of the macro guys, again, classic big picture historiography and more "a thing of the past" than the presence, Hegel also did a big picture e.g.
No. 44617
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A few shorter fictions from Georges Bataille. I was too iq89 to understand the philosophy from the texts really. (Sexual) Excess, exhaustion, waste, death etc. the themes are clear. But Bataille makes a philosophy out of this. Excess and waste as subversion. Quite interesting tbh, but I'm better of with theoretical texts then. Despite a few sentences here and there I did not had so much from the book.
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Finally finished it, took many notes but I'm so exhausted now thatI will keep it short. I'm basically happy to have finished this book which is not easy to read. It's full of interesting paragraphs and ideas, quite unconvenient, when he says that technology is treated like a foreigner amongst man he could speak of the present, still the mode of existence for many of us one might say.

The book is devided in three parts.

1. On the genesis of technical objects, which is quite technical and puts emphasis on engineering knowledge which I don't have but apparently Simondon has. The becoming of technology is layed out: from abstract to concrete technical objects and if I remember it right, the concrete object is basically a system or ensemble as he likes to say, where the elements work together and are not by themselves anymore or for themselfes if that makes sense.

2. The relationship between humans and machines or technical objects, man is not the dominator of machines but has to coexist and direct the ensemble man and machines (and machines and machines) constitute. Simondon is looking for a culture of communication/mediation.

3. By far the hardest and very philosophical, on the essence of technicity. He puts forward some kind of ontology and history and divides modes of thinking: magical thinking/mode of existence, then split up in technical thinking and religious thinking (asthetical thinkiing as reminder of the magical, as bridge between the split of technical and reglious thinking). These (tech/religious) modes of thinking and modes of existience (dunno the difference, did not understand that) are split up again into theoretical and practical thinking and philosophical thinking in this new split takes the role of the mediator between these two again. So there is a task for philosophy.
All these modes of thinking and existing are elaborated on, ofc. It really is an interesting way to grapple with, but surely debatable.

In the end he makes some remarks about work and how work is not to be confused with the machine or technicity. Technicity is functionality or operativity, basically a sort of systemic thinking (ensembles, relationality of elements) as a sort of thinking (invention, construction) and mode of existence Zur-Welt-Sein, which I think is also against Heideggers In-der-Welt-Sein, Heideggers is rejected as he poses that technicity is calculation and utility. Technicity is not utility though for Simondon, he rejects pragmatism.

Also an interesting remark on how the machine and technology is a foreigner to us, the user of a machine, which knows nothing about the technicity, the operations of the machine, is an alienated user. Alienation towards the machine is overcome by engaging in the operationality, by learning about the essence of technicity and becoming conscious about it and act. This means to be able to contruct, repair, refine, (re)develop a machine.
Made me think of a piece by Max Stadler in which he gives history of the user as figure of the 21st century, how computer became user-friendly via gui and stuff. Thought with Simondin these guis and all that research and user-friendlyness hides or denies the technicity or makes it invisible and thus keeps us alienated and distanced. The machines is a black box for us.
No. 44634
Sure you didn't get something wrong? As far as I remember those were just a couple of pervy stories Bataille sent towards a small group of readers.
He elaborated his philosophy in other works, though one might figure that the topos of excess and waste ("Verschwendung", fuck knows hoe to translate that) of life is already inherent to the erotic stories.
No. 44647
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Just finished this book.

It's about a huge retirement development in Florida. Over 100k literal boomers and even older people live there. You know that video Trump tweeted out with a boomer in a golf cart shouting "White supremacy!" to old hippy protestors? That's the Villages.

Americans may know of it for two reasons. Back in the mid '00s, commercials for it were on the TV all the time (though you probably needed a boomer parents who kept Fox News on 24/7 to see them). It's also notorious for being an elderly Sodom, with regular STD epidemics. I imagine the problem has only gotten worse now that actual aging hippies are old enough to live there.

The author of the book went to live in the Villages for 30 days, staying first with his former neighbors from Massachusetts who moved down there, and then with a geriatric playboy who calls himself and his penis Mr. Midnight. Most of the people who move there are not, in fact, creepy old sex perverts, but every aspect of the development is a stinging indictment of American civilization.

People move there for a reason: American society is so atomized and broken down that moving to a geriatric ghetto in the swamp is actually an improvement for many old people. Their kids don't want to take care of them, and they don't want to be stuck around their kids. Grandkids are great, but only for 30 days at a time. Children in general are loud, annoying, potential criminals, and something that they just don't want to put up with. They "paid their dues" already, after working productively for decades, and they just want to forget about the outside world and pretend that they're still young.

It only makes sense in a completely disintegrated society. The old generation swears off any obligation to the new, and if they weren't the fucks that raised those new generations, I wouldn't blame them. I'm in my 20s and even I don't want to live around Americans my age, let alone neo-zoomers.

Anyway, I highly recommend the book if you want to rubberneck at a collapsing civilization. It's a fascinating portrayal of the American project in terminal decline. God help us.
No. 44648 Kontra
Here's one of their old advert videos. I regret that their jingle is still stored in some deep level of my memory.

No. 44651
They are indeed pervy stories, an exploration in erotics or obscenity

>though one might figure that the topos of excess and waste ("Verschwendung", fuck knows hoe to translate that) of life is already inherent to the erotic stories.

They are, but indirect. I mean exhaustion is at least talked about directly.
Waste as Verschwendung fits, Bataille is inspired by Marcel Mauss gift economy and the potlatch, where natives waste, burn down and consum all surpluses (that would be excess).
You are right, the stories are on eroticism but to me, and the afterword made it a bit clearer it is talked about his concept of homogenity and heterogenity coppled to power and how Sade is homogenic and fascist power whereas heterogenity is subversive of the lower class or somthing like that and more of what Bataille is interested in, there are usually three people involved not two the topoi of excess, waste and death are included. Only thing I'm missing is the fear that pops up constantly.
Last but not least eroticism is not about putting a dick inside a vagina and splash into it after a couple of minutes but going beyond the necessary mechanics, that is where the excess, the waste takes place, because it wouldn't be "necessary", simple carnality is not eroticsim or obscenity as I understood it.
No. 44656


I had to stop after 45 seconds.
It's a market that works, but the ghetto aspect really is interesting. Voluntary (which might be called forced looking from the other side, the ones who can't decide) segegration is not totally new I guess but the tendency to gated communities and such could be telling of the integrative power of a society being in bad shape. How much is it a niche that was commercilazed upon for wealthy boomers, not all boomers are wealthy though.
No. 44658
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I don't get what triggers you so hard.

Most people like well-kept gardens and parks, clean town squares, moderate exercise, low crime rates and warm climates with lots of sunshine hours. For reference, I attached a few pictures of what the vast majority of humans consider ahem aesthetically unpleasant.

1.) KTS, a South-West German 'autonomous center'. It's a house that has been occupied by antifa for decades.
2.) Thamesmead, a brutalist housing estate in London.
3.) Garbage in a park, left by immigrants and woke leftist anti-racist do-gooder students. This is what practically all parks in mid-sized German cities look like on a Sunday summer morning.
4.) Stock photograph. I wish I had a decent microphone to take a recording of the hoarse old Italian woman with the loud voice who is talking in front of my window, again. If you ever lived near Italians, you know the kind. Old woman, always hoarse, always talking loud enough to be heard a block away. She's on the phone, and I know she will be on the phone for hours. Even her fucking phone is loud enough that I can hear it through my window on the third floor. The type is so damn common there's even stock photos of them. All I had to type into google was "vecchia capelli rossi".

Why do you expect those who have a choice to put up with it?

Most people hate all of that. Notable exceptions might include loud Italians and fucking leftists, like those who litter parks and live in KTS. Everyone who can afford it will pay to get away from human vermin like that. It's as simple. Leftist scum might like graffiti, dirt and garbage and prefer the absence of white taxpaying members of society. For decent people it's the other way round. If normal cities and towns weren't degraded to garbage dumps and slums, no one had any motiviations to live in a private community. But, unfortunately, muslim clans and leftist students hold their damn bbqs on lawns and ruin the parks. Leftist assholes spray-paint everything because leftist genuinly like their surrounding ugly. And Italians keep yelling in front of my damn window. I expect a rise in private communities in Germany.
No. 44659 Kontra
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No. 44660 Kontra
To clarify: muh there is no society coupled with racism and political aversion. There would be no need to make a political shitshow out of it but you intended it to do so because that is all you can.
Some empirical data don't make an essence. Fuck off anyway.
No. 44661
Exactly the answer I expected.

I take that to mean that you like your surroundings ugly and run-down. And it angers you when people find ways out of the mess you and your friends created. You want to keep everyone chained to your mess. In GDR, they built a wall to achieve exactly that.
No. 44662 Kontra
Who are my friends?

>the mess you and your friends created

So boomers and all the other people that are not outright italians, muslims or leftists hoover above what is happening? That's what you implying.

You arguments are shit and loaded with emotional management issues, Ben.
No. 44664
> So boomers and all the other people that are not outright italians, muslims or leftists hoover above what is happening?
I have no idea what you are trying to say. To hoover is a verb that derives from the brand Hoover. It is a synonym of "to vacuum". Learn your words or use a dictionary.

I suggest you do an experiment. It's 18:17 in Germany. In two hours, you can take a look and find out who our litterbugs are. I suggest you engage in a little empiricism and count the bio-German boomers present in a park.
No. 44665 Kontra
You understood me just right, pointing out my orthography won't be an obstacle to you getting what I meant.

>count the bio-German boomers present in a park.

It's not a secret that boomers don't go to the park at night. You are talking about young people trashing the parks, so? I've seen Germans and migrants doing it alike. Since there are very few Germans here how write like you, I wonder if you are the German who said the state is putting an end to his freedom by wanting fees on paint disposal, so you have to go dispose it yourself in nature. Wouldn't be surprised if that is you.

Also you framing is natural to a right winger, all muslims-browns are bad people and tax paying whites are the onyl good people, blablabla so many tax evasions by white people while turks pay their taxes just like other Germans do. Your problem are logical fallacies that every rightwinger has to deal with, you don't know all but put form your premises like that. So while I will gather emipircal evidence like you did and suggest me to do, I won't find what you think you can claim.

You perform poorly in the spaces of reason. Control your meotions, boy. After a few posts it becomes a useless engagement for me, if you do not.
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>You understood me just right, pointing out my orthography won't be an obstacle to you getting what I meant.
It's always the GERMANS ALSO DO THAT argument. Like when you find at least one German criminal, you argue 'Germans do that, too'. And somehow, this legitimizes the stay of every criminal foreigner. No, he can't be deported, Germans do that, too! (Pretending one follows from the other...)

>It's not a secret that boomers don't go to the park at night.
If you think it will be night in less than one hour, you should go out more.

>I've seen Germans and migrants doing it alike.
I mentioned those leftist student-types more than once. 'Germans do that, too' is a fucking dumb argument. Remember new years eve 2015, when you all went

I hate beer tents. My employer forces me to visit Cannstatter Wasen. It's loud place full of drunk obnoxious low-lives in mock-Bavarian dress yelling moronic songs.
Still, I don't want to stop those who enjoy it from spending their own money there. You hate ethnically homogeneous communities with a well-maintained infrastructure. And you want to stop people from moving there, so they are forced to live a multicultural nightmare with dirt, without public amenities, like public pools. I bet we need security guards at public pools because GERMANS DO THAT TOO.

>Since there are very few Germans here how write like you, I wonder if you are the German who said the state is putting an end to his freedom by wanting fees on paint disposal, so you have to go dispose it yourself in nature. Wouldn't be surprised if that is you.
Take note that I don't just dump my trash next to a garbage bin in a park or just throw it into a neighbors trashcan at night. Instead, I find a place where it troubles no one. It's completely normal to just let stuff disappear this way. It's how farmers get rid of old machinery, etc. Only a Berlin or Cologne hipster would get agitated about some paint in a brook or some buried asbestos. I could as soon bring the leftovers back to the seller or bring it to the communal recycling center. I think it's dumb that I am not allowed to just put it into the trash can, but whatever. I would do that. But then, I'm charged 15€ for my can of paint at the recycling center. And there's always enough money for asylum-seekers or "Covid-19-rescue packages". Not just for Germany, but for all of Europe.

>all muslims-browns are bad people and tax paying whites are the onyl good people
A generalization, but mostly correct.
Please, explain to me, what is it you like about graffiti and dirt? Why do leftists like ugly things so much? Do you like ugliness so much?
One thing about Turks: In private, they are very cleanly. They just love to spit on walkways, train stations, etc. They would never spit on the floor in their home. Maybe it's because they hate Germany, and when they spit in public, it means they spit on Germany. In any case, Turks would never smear graffiti on their own house. And I bet they don't like the leftists who do.

>many tax evasions by white people while turks pay their taxes just like other Germans do.
Laughable, the unemployed don't pay taxes. Neither do the 'unemployed'.

>your problem are logical fallacies that every rightwinger has to deal with
You don't know the meaning of the words.

>I won't find what you think you can claim.
Meaning you will just lie. Or find some leftist German students with their crappy little throw-away bbq and their tofu, decide that "GERMANS DO THIS, TOO". Then, because "GERMANS DO THAT TOO", you conclude that every criminal in the whole world has the right to come to Germany and stay in Germany, "because GERMANS DO THIS TOO" and make up some damn argument why trash in parks is great. Maybe
It questions the racist-nationalist notion of cleanliness and helps us built a more open society
Integration is a two-way process
or some other bullcrap.

Fact remains that you are angry when people want to lead a normal life without criminal scum, garbage, ugly buildings, neighbors who play loud music. You can't stand when someone has a better life in nice, clean surroundings.
No. 44673 Kontra
>You can't stand when someone has a better life in nice, clean surroundings.

What's the price. I don't mean the price tag, Mr. Clever.

>And somehow, this legitimizes the stay of every criminal foreigner.

I never said it's ok to litter the environment just because you can. Littering is btw and Ordungswidrigkeit and not a crime aka Straftat. The difference between deviance and delinquency is blurry with you, unsurprisingly. I don't want to come with critical criminology because you would just despise it anyway. Because you think in essences and don't believe in our making of the world discousively, in the making of knowledge basically. So what's the point. Just short: Deviance is not an essence inherent but historically conditioned.

The problem is you say it's only leftist and migrants who do it. And that is not true. Your premises are usually "all" and "only" and since you have only a few examples (which can easily be countered with another example) at hand it does not work and hence become "logical fallacies" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies#Faulty_generalizations

>I find a place where it troubles no one.

Are you serious? And you want to argue here that the trash next to the bin is a problem, while your dumpings are ofc ok. Personal sentiments are arguments, sure. Matter ofc fact, you will find many people who don't think like you, so you are wrong. It's the same case with trash in the park, your horizon stops at the level of the individual. And no, farmers as argumentative authorities don't count, a habit is not an argument.
You catter to the idea of the idyll, if the downsides are not visible it is still an idyll.
Your homogenic white state will see the same shit if you have to deal with the same social differentiation we have now. Sorry to burst your bubble, I'm not an utopist like you.

to cut this useless flinging: you think in essences, and therefore only in individual patterns and the apriori of the individual, I'm anti-essentialist and structuralist that does not deny individuation, but to me it's the result or process of environmental/systemic ongoings. You think individuals are hyper autonomous and I think that is bullshit because you wouldn't be able to even speak without socialisation.

Notice how I only used the words right winger once or twice while you get all worked up and have to slur constantly to enhance the polarized worldview you cannot hold back and force on us? Hope you get banned and deleted for not respecting the boards (unspoken) rules and debate culture. You don't like spitting on the ground in public but you do the same here. Your civilizational alloy is laughable.
No. 44676
Just to interject for a moment and against my better judgment (as we all know where these kinds of discussions inevitably lead in the end which is the death of the board) I have pointed out repeatedly that Europe's one big flaw in immigrants after looking at us is they forget the degree to which we assimilated everyone into the same fat bolus. That was not coincidental or by accident and that part of the problem was that Europeans unlike us do not have a blank slate to start from. Moreover my general impression is that the problem Europeans are having right now is because you guys keep trying to gravitate towards one of two burgerlike extremes, with the other just flatly being "IMMIGRANTS OUT!" and with no real solution or middle ground, and then wondering why nothing every changes.

What you guys have got to do is just spend more time emphasizing your Germanness and Frenchness and Spanishness and Irishness etc. and encouraging those immigrants to do so while bot taking any shit from them either. You don't have to kick them out regardless of what any reactionaries want but you do need to keep in mind the American approach if you want to keep doing that sort of thing which basically amounts to "if you set our cathedral on fire we'll beat the fucking shit out of you and probably shoot you too if you're lucky." The half hearted weak ass approach to the groping is classic example, and I think it came partly from absorbing the burgerish view that somehow all ideas are equal--they are not. Some cultures are frankly utterly inferior to others and Europeans need to get over that sheepish lack of confidence in their own values which if it is liberal democracy must be an enforcement of that cultural norm. If they want to keep getting butthurt then they can fucking leave.

But again nothing gets solved in the end because EU is running too much of a Capitalistic system and it needs them from an economic perspective that doesn't pay much attention to any other metrics.

What I am proposing is not reactionary and the reactionaries can similarly get bent. They propose no real solutions and offer no path forward and that is why they should be rejected. You need to foster the type of an atmosphere where it is the immigrants themselves who will immediately slap their shit if some other immigrant fresh off the boat comes and starts fucking things up for everyone and making them look bad. Most of our Muslims for example seem to have that sort of an attitude here too. Like we don't have those French or God help you Belgian ghettos where they can separate themselves from society and become radicalized.

Your problem is really that you need to fundamentally come to terms with a platform that's going to piss off both sides, which is hard nosed assimilation. I think that Russia loosely had the right kind of idea about this, minus their ultimate handling of certain churkas which they solved in the most lazy corrupt and half assed and arguably therefore most authentically Russian approach to this which was to pick Kadyrov and let him be rich and let the churkas do churka things in their federal state as long as they don't start the type of shit that causes problems for Kadyrov.
No. 44678 Kontra
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I'm sorry, I forgot that Americanism is a contagious disease. I will be more careful with such posts in the future.
No. 44680 Kontra
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Yeah it really is a weapon of mass shitposting. Apologies for my contribution to it. Oh that's why I've got this photo the famous running away from WTC guy just died from coronavirus last week
No. 44707
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>Deviance is not an essence inherent but historically conditioned.
Deviance is extraversion combined with low agreeableness. Character is 80% inheritable, Hans Eysenck knew this 60 years ago. People behave in the way they behave because it's their character. Certain countries are the way they are because their populations behave in certain ways.

But that's not even accounting for cultural norms. Brits drive on the left side of the road. If a British tourist or immigrant decided to drive on the left side of the road, he would certainly be stopped and would certainly lose his license. We'd call him nuts.

Yet, you can see this even in 'educated' Muslims in Europe like Hengameh Yaghobifarrah. Apparently, she still suffers from hurt feelings because, when she was a child, her friend's parents didn't invite her to have dinner with them, but kept her in her friends room while the family ate. The German cultural norm of not feeding other people's children uninvited and without talking it over with the parents clashed with the Iranian cultural norm of inviting everyone who's in the house. Clearly, you can't have it both ways. In my country, I want to have it my way. I don't want to be chastised for it by Heng.

In her opinion pieces, she keeps insisting that everything German is bad, from our toilets to food to abstaining from very ostensible displays of wealth. If she had her way, we would have squat toilets and eat Iranian food instead of German food. But if she wants to make Germany Persia, why didn't her parents stay in Persia? Why doesn't she migrate to Persia? There seem to be some aspects that make Germany a more pleasant place to live. Yet, she wants things in Germany to be like they are in Persia. To me, this is quite contradictory.

I see parallels to certain ideas present in the US. By desegregation, they changed communities beyond recognition, but that wasn't enough. Now, they are angry when people don't like the change and do everything they can to move to 98% white place.

>Your homogenic white state will see the same shit if you have to deal with the same social differentiation we have now
Quoting Tage Erlander, 1962
>Jag är övertygad om att den amerikanska regeringens svårigheter i stor utsträckning beror på det faktum att det i Amerika finns en massarbetslöshet, som gör det naturligt för många vita att försöka vältra över fattigdomen och arbetslösheten på de svarta i den tron att de därmed slipper att drabbas själva. Vi svenskar lever ju i en så oändligt mycket lyckligare lottad situation. Vårt lands befolkning är homogen, inte bara i fråga om rasen utan också i många andra avseenden. Därför kan vi angripa arbetslöshetsproblemen på ett helt annat sätt, i medvetande om att det vi gör är en sak som i varje fall inte influeras av skiljaktigheter i hudfärg eller religion utan att våra insatser får sin motivering uteslutande med tanke på arbetslöshetsfrågan själv. Därför bör vi måhända vara litet mera ödmjuka när vi nalkas det här problemet än vad vi många gånger kanske är.

And look what Olof Palme and his successors did. It's like they wanted their very own race riots. And they got them when immigrant kids started burning cars in Södertälje.

Immigration breeds conflict. Do an international comparison in police riot gear. The more 'multicultural' the country, the more militarized its police force. Cultural and racial differences don't merely create a occasion for conflict to arise, they are a cause of conflict. Police officers in Germany did not look like Darth Vader in the 80s. I wonder why?

>The problem is you say it's only leftist and migrants who do it. And that is not true
I am quite certain that it is, with very few exceptions. Leftist students and immigrants think it's their right to just dump their garbage wherever, and that it's not big deal. In areas rich in immigrants, garbage isn't collected in regular ways. Let me enlighten you about what I witnessed in Freiburg, first hand: immigrants don't separate their garbage. Why? I don't know. Probably because they think rules don't apply to them. Instead, they put everything in the yellow bags that are supposed to contain only packagings. Those bags, of course, aren't collected, because they contain way to many items that don't belong. So the bags stay at the curbs, where rats, crows and stray cats get into them and t distribute all the trash. After a few days, the city sends out a team to collect all the litter in the streets. To me, it's plain obvious that that's not a particularly efficient method. Still, my fellow students decidedly where in favor of the practice. "why get upset about such a little thing" "it does get collected in the end, doesn't it" "efficiency is a German fetish that needs to be done away with" "I think a positive is that it offers employment to more workers". Unfortunately, I'm not joking. I think none of the arguments is particularly good, but that's what they said. To this day, I can't get my head around it.

It would be nicer for everyone if the streets were clean, I'm certain of that. Yet, the inhabitants of those streets litter them. And other inhabitants of those streets make up arguments why litter is good. I think the first is due to a lack of feeling of community. In multicultural areas, social trust and feelings of belonging are eroded by cultural and racial differences. There are studies on that. No one really sees those streets as 'our streets', they are streets dumb German taxpayers pay for, so why bother. The arguments I heard from my fellow students probably stem from a sentiment that has been beaten into German pupils heads post-68: 'secondary virtues are worth nothing, you can use secondary virtues to run a concentration camp.' You can't run an outhouse without them, but no one seems to care, as long as the outhouse is not a racist outhouse, it doesn't have to be a working outhouse.

There might be other aspects to it. The very prominent separation between the public space (dirty) and private space (clean) in Muslim cultures might have to do with it, but I'm not certain if that. Japan has that separation, and their streets are clean. But the have homogenity. Still, clean homes and relatively dirty streets are a cultural norm, so dirty might be culturally accepted in some places. Do you blame Germans from moving away from dirty streets?

>You catter to the idea of the idyll, if the downsides are not visible it is still an idyll.
If the downsides are not visible, there are no downsides. Why would you consider something that has no perceivable effect a downside?

>You think individuals are hyper autonomous
You see that individuals are autonomous. They make the decision to move away from things they don't like. They don't like racial minorities and they don't like ill-behaved children. The presence of both is the consequence of political decisions. You don't like individuals acting autonomous and seeing solutions for problems that others created. It doesn't follow that autonomy does not exist.

>and I think that is bullshit because you wouldn't be able to even speak without socialisation.
So? Does that mean I should be held responsible to pay for the clean-up of streets and parks littered by immigrants or other assholes who can't behave decently. Have the assholes pay.
No. 44708
I know you are the ethnopluralist German that thinks in cultural essences. So there is no use in debating much.

Just some things: Even if traits are inhereted (have you read claims against it?) the environment is kept outside like it does not exist.

>You don't like individuals acting autonomous

Deciding something to do does not make you a fully autonomous being menaing a completely "free" decision, people can be held responsible for what they do but cannot be fully explain by the full awareness comming from within, you are not aware of so many things, you, and me as well.

For you everything boils down to culture what is culture, how does it emerge? Well for me it surely something different than you, but I guess you have not much explaining as only the metaphysical lightning or how do ethnopluralists explain it? Do they think like common academics but only add the incomatibility claim to it?, but it just becomes futile explaining society via cultural essences. The deduction of a thing never seen. So according to your reasoning with the idyll, it's not there anyway :DDD
So culture is everything, there is no differentiation behind the cultural core, weak. What is about education? What is about social status? What is about labeling? They certainly cannot play a role in German society within Germans and within a white homogenic state, as culture rules this all out, there are no problems. Conflict does not arise from social and economic conditions but is only a matter of culture.

>If the downsides are not visible, there are no downsides.

If I don't see a tree falling in the woods, it does not fall, right. Maybe you just don't want to see, eh?

So boiling to down to culture is everything and explains every behavior, while I think social relations and their development are the cause, this is more complex then saying, who it's culture and end of discussion. I guess you won't see rich turks hanging out in the park in Izmir littering all night long, you won't see them in Germany as well. They might just sit in a Shishabar or whatever. It sounds like you have to live with these people, the italian lady etc. is it a poor neighborhood? I always thought Soziale Brennpunkte are haunted by poverty. But hey, lets ignore this and correlations that pop up with being poor and say it's culture, there is no differentiation beyond it.

Also the swedish quote does not explain really what the difference is only that they should be lucky because heterogenity makes a difference, it does not say what difference
No. 44709 Kontra
I am not going to address all this because I don't feel like the standard polshit but two things,
> Immigration breeds conflict. Do an international comparison in police riot gear. The more 'multicultural' the country, the more militarized its police force.
This is completely false and you clearly have the most absolutely fucking retarded idea of how things like race riots in America work or our shitty race politics and yes most of the shitty part is coming from the degenerated racists. One of the most militarized police forces in the world are the Russians. The problem with American police is a recent thing that started far, far, far after any of our numerous immigration waves that has little to do with immigration.
I thought you were talking about some weird Islamic custom of which I was unaware that little girls were not allowed to eat with adult Muslims or something. I knew that you guys were cheap so this just feeds into my conviction that literally every negative Jewish stereotype is 100% the fault of Ashlenazim being thoroughly poisoned by their assimilation into Germanic culture and adopting the general cheapness, greediness, uptight arrogant and selfish attitudes. This is seriously a thing? You don't offer to feed your guest's children? What kind of absolutely fucking inferior backwards third world culture is this?
No. 44710 Kontra
>The German cultural norm of not feeding other people's children uninvited

May parents are German and friends were always invited to sit at the table with us and eat. Did your friends had to stay in your room while you had diner? KEK, it's the first time I hear this is a norm here. I've had turk and greek friends in elementary school and we just got food in the room, same with German friends and oftentimes sitting at the table. You are pulling things out of your ass.
What Hengameh says is not included in this, I don't want to read it anyway. I remember the Gewürzgame thing, which was cringe, but hey you have made jokes about other countries all your life I guess, so why are you acting so sensitive as well?
No. 44711
this is a literature thread, fuck off to the news thread if you want to shitfling about immigrants
No. 44712 Kontra
I wish the mod would delete the whole discussion, it is so pointless but you now the drill about someone being wrong on the internet.
No. 44713
>neatly seperated cultures that are born out of a metaphysical nowhere. How does he explain what would be an issue of "translation" these days, adoption and transformation of culturual techniques and such in time.
Cultures obviously interact with each other, it's not like they're neatly separated, also cultures consist of different peoples. Cultures adopt cultural techniques, but only if these fit with the spirit of the culture. So some things are just rejected apriori.

>It's the old land/city divide, nothing new even back then. Might have tendencies, but it is presented very homogenic here
You are just strawmanning after that with "think that all country people are traditionalists is misleading" etc.
I'm sure you know what is meant. You can e.g. look at election results. It can ofc be used to polarize, but you can claim that about just any dichotomy.

>Quite the opposite, it seems that it matters more and more, on the right as well in the left, identity is a big issue.
In a way you're right, but on the other hand you can look at international corporations who care less and less about identity. I used to wörk at a big pharma corp and in my department there worked all sorts of people from all over the world, many firms have female CEOs now etc. I'm not going to deny that there is still some discrimination going on, but compare it to 100 years ago.
From the "left" all identities are seen as equally valuable, the "right" is... I mean just look at the newest white supremacist menace here in Germany, Attila Hildmann :D

>Instead of spirits he should ask himself what capitalism is and how it reproduces itself.
Spengler would agree that in late civilization there isn't really a spirit of a culture left. He has a chapter on economics too, I haven't read it yet though, but he's definitely not oblivious of capitalism.
I think the "promise of jobs" is actually quite relevant, if you consider the public fear of AI & automation which would result in a loss of jobs.

>Why is Spengler still a reactionary? Because he talks of decline. Normativity guides findings.
He certainly has reactionary taste in regards to music and art etc., but at no point does he ever say that he wants to go back. And I think at that time it would've been easy for him to say something like that, and it would have given him a lot of prestige with the Nazis, but he didn't.

>bonus points for explaining the "fall" (pun intended) of the CCCP with mysterious russian soul.
I was (and still somewhat am) sceptical about his takes on Russia, however I can't help but think about Sorokin's recent novel "Day of the Oprichnik". In it he describes a future orthodox Tsarist Russia that has closed itself off from the rest of the world where dissidents are hunted down by a brotherly "secret police". Now, Sorokin wrote it as satire, but I still can't imagine a Western author writing anything like that.

>Spengler is a child of his time, unsurprisingly.
Funnily enough, so are we. You can play it down, but I think he got many things right. I can understand some aversion, because if you twist and stretch a couple of things about his theories, you could reach some pretty vulgar "Rassenkunde" and worse. But well, sometimes great ideas can lead to terrible results if they are instrumentalized by sociopathic people.

>As you said yourself, it is to be questioned if you can understand our present, our history with a lense like that.
Interestingly enough, I read another passage today and found that he was actually aware of this as well. He talks of the two epochs of pre-history (when there was no such thing as cultures), then history as the period of high cultures, and then concludes that a new epoch might come when his theory won't apply anymore. He does however see colonialism/globalism of his time as just an extension of the Western mode of civilization, not as something new.

>we don't have a philosophy of history anymore in an ontologic sense
Which once again would prove Spengler right :D
I don't know Foucault that well, so I can't comment on that, but Spengler definitely didn't see himself "outside" of history, don't know where you get that from. He tried to be involved in politics but became disillusioned with the Nazis, from his writings it's clear that had a bit of a complex and maybe envy towards "men of action" though, he definitely didn't have the rockstar allure of Foucault.

t. not the other Germanball shitting up the thread
No. 44714 Kontra
I don't mind closing the topic btw if it's too inflammatory, I'd just recommend to check out John David Ebert's videos on Spengler if you're at all interested. Maybe you already know him, he's well versed in post-modern philosophy (i.e. has a video series on Deleuze & Guattari too), and is rather sympathetic to Spengler but also criticizes him.
No. 44724
>spirit of the culture

What does he say about it, really only a metaphysical incident? Why is the spirit ahistoric?

That would be a difference to Foucault e.g. where history is a condition of culture and not culture a condition for history.

> It can ofc be used to polarize, but you can claim that about just any dichotomy.

Yes, but there can be further differentiation, the author just blows up to much on a classic picture of the land/city divide. Mind you there are differences but to me it's very homogenic which does not pay duty to a good analysis.

>I'm not going to deny that there is still some discrimination going on, but compare it to 100 years ago.

Absolutely, but the author again seems to be quick in his judgement. It's all a big vague regarding Spengler foreseeing. I would stick with extraolation of modernity.
It might be better but then you have to say it like that and not say it does not matter. Big corps and professional international teams force that, in that sense global capitalism indeed tears down barriers to a certain sense. Also female workforce is valued more but still carework e.g. is seen as something minor, often done by females.

>"promise of jobs" is actually quite relevant, if you consider the public fear of AI & automation which would result in a loss of jobs.

Yes, since as I think I said otherwise you are seen as parasite and feel useless, we are speaking about wage labor here not labor in general, I think doing nothing is not the goal.

>but at no point does he ever say that he wants to go back.

Does he think that the circle of rise and decline is the inevitable fate then I guess? After all I understand it like he takes it as the (natural) law of history. Which would mean that history only occurs with civilizational empires or cultures? ( I know see that you asnwer it further below with a yes more or less.)

>think about Sorokin's recent novel "Day of the Oprichnik". In it he describes a future orthodox Tsarist Russia that has closed itself off from the rest of the world where dissidents are hunted down by a brotherly "secret police".

I'm not sure how that relates to my (tbh polemic) sentence. The question that would be if tsarism is due to russian soul or because power play including power over narration e.g. interact with each other in order to create a culture that values leadership and obedience. Reading Dugin there is the fantasy of a Russian Empire, Russia being a superpower like it has been. Not that Russia is irrelevant geopolitically today but we all know the jokes about russia from the internet.

>Funnily enough, so are we.

I did not deny it. Foucault e.g. makes it explicit for his own thoughts, because that is the only consequence you can draw from it. Because his knowledge is historically conditioned like every other knowledge according to his theories. The historic apriori, a Kantian transzendentaler Status given to history. What is possible to say and deemed true is historically conditioned and ofc changes. Propositions rival as can be seen ITT the last posts.

>and then concludes that a new epoch might come when his theory won't apply anymore.

Perhaps that is when his theory might "fail" alltogether because The whole realm of history is only with a certain civilizational image in mind possible. This touches upon how history was understood in the 19th century in a way. History is bound to a civilizational progression, the questionable thing is the civilizational thing.

>Which once again would prove Spengler right :D

But what about his rise and decline? This pretty much ontological for me.

Also, we are still not over the implications of what framing history as rise and decline mean and why it has been done this way. A history of knowledge with Spengler would ask why he wrote what he wrote and not if it is true. You couln't it answer anyway "now".

>He tried to be involved in politics but became disillusioned with the Nazis, from his writings it's clear that had a bit of a complex and maybe envy towards "men of action" though, he definitely didn't have the rockstar allure of Foucault.

That is not what I meant, I don't care about what Foucault has done politically or being RL involved in history. The fame of Focault might not be his shiny head but what he wrote.At least in academia that is what he is known for not his own history as a person.
What I mean with outside of history is that Spengler perhaps separated the history as object (rise and decline, circle of life) from the subject (himself), so as to find the natural law of history.

I wonder now what does he want to explain if his theory just fits the period/life circle of the west? To me it becomes more and more a cultural critic of his present than a work of history.
No. 44725
This very different from the unbearable asshole German with foam all over his mouth.

Also I just fund out there is an "Anti-Spengler" by Otto Neurath :DD ist short so maybe you are tempted to read a critic.
Might listen to the Spengler lecture you mentioned, it's about an hour long, right?
No. 44825
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I don't usually make a post just about getting a book, but this time I'm going to make an exemption and post a few pictures.

This here volume is the 2017 German edition of Nikos Kazantzakis' epic poem, The Odyssey.
I've never seen a book this pretty in my life. This is fucking luxury-tier.

The paper is silky-smooth, it has a silk bookmark, the cover-art is tasteful and under the dust-jacket you have a fine linen hard-cover. It's beautiful.

It's also a bilingual edition for some fucking reason, even though I think there's probably 3.5 people on the entire planet who are interested in Modern Greek as a language of art.
I suppose this is the main reason why it's 80 euros.

Another nice thing is that it came with a short booklet titled Zusammenfassung des Inhalts, which contains the story compressed down to 16 pages.
I've scanned it in case any of you who speak German are interested.
Saw literally no reason not to do it.
(It's funny to think that a lot of epics survive because scholars and students made recaps like these for future use. The text itself is lost, but we have the book report of schoolchildren to tell us the contents.)

I've read short excerpts from it in Hungarian before, and it had a really peculiar aura and evoked a really solemn feeling from me.
I'm gonna brute force this with a dictionary if I have to, but I'm going to fucking read it.
No. 44827
>I've scanned it in case any of you who speak German are interested.

Absolutely fucking yes. Thank you.
No. 44889
Started translating Pelevin's Crystal World into German. It's pretty hard, luckily though I researched a bit and found a Russian paper about "The Role of Pretranslational Analysis" that uses it as an example and explains most of the references :D
& I already have a copy of a published English translation to compare with.

>What does he say about it, really only a metaphysical incident? Why is the spirit ahistoric?
>That would be a difference to Foucault e.g. where history is a condition of culture and not culture a condition for history.
He describes it esoterically with the "Ursymbol" etc., but you can easily "turn him on his head" and say that a culture arises from some unified literary, architectural traditions etc. I think it's just an instance of his "mysticism", as he also tends to criticize the overuse of cause-and-effect thinking, it doesn't really change much.
The crucial point for Spengler is maybe that once a culture with its forms and symbols is established, it is bound to go through its life cycle in a more or less pre-determined way, unless something like the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs happens, where a culture was completely destroyed from outside.

>It's all a big vague regarding Spengler foreseeing. I would stick with extraolation of modernity.
I mean, obviously he didn't foresee the future in some supernatural sense, what else do you want him to do other than to extrapolate from modernity while keeping the parallels to what we know from previous cultures in mind?
I read this quote by Adorno which is maybe quite accurate: „Der vergessene Spengler rächt sich, indem er droht, recht zu behalten“
I haven't read his essays on Spengler yet, but they're discussed a bit here: http://somedirtylaundry.blogspot.com/2020/06/adorno-kulturkritik-der-gesellschaft-s.html

>Which would mean that history only occurs with civilizational empires or cultures?
Yes, he separates the epoch of human pre-history with mostly tribes (when there were no high cultures yet), and then the epoch of high cultures, starting roughly with the Babylonian (or rather Mesopotamian) culture.

>Reading Dugin there is the fantasy of a Russian Empire
More like Eurasian iiirc, but yeah, the fact that he's able to even think all this stuff may also be evidence that Russia's culture is still relatively young. Now that I think about it, there is also this motif in Russian literature of Russia as a carriage (in Gogol), or a train (in Gumilyov) that is going somewhere unknown...
>Russia being a superpower like it has been.
I don't think Russia's ever been a superpower tbh, maybe it was imagined as such at the height of the Soviet regime during Cold War. But I doubt that's what Dugin has in mind.
>The question that would be if tsarism is due to russian soul or because power play including power over narration e.g. interact with each other in order to create a culture that values leadership and obedience.
I suppose one doesn't necessarily exclude the other, but just to clarify, Spengler sees the "Ursymbol" of the Russians as the "infinite plain", i.e. the focus is more on the "Brüderlichkeit", as it also is in the Sorokin book I mentioned (though driven ad absurdum)

>Perhaps that is when his theory might "fail" alltogether
Sure, he basically admits this

>But what about his rise and decline? This pretty much ontological for me.
I was being a bit facetious, but if we are at the late stage of civilization (i.e. End of (Western) History), people don't really need an ontology of history.
Though now we actually have quite popular authors like Yuval Noah Harari or Steven Pinker e.g. who write about history as a story of progress.

>"Anti-Spengler" by Otto Neurath
I read through an excerpt, only thing I found in German, kinda interesting to see what a contemporary of Spengler wrote, but it's rather silly. Neurath seems to be a rationalist/empiricist who's in a moral panic because Spengler doesn't provide proper proofs etc.
Btw I read some other secondary text and had a good laugh at this sentence:
Für Georg Simmel war Oswald Spenglers Hauptwerk “die wichtigste Geschichtsphilosophie seit Hegel” (ap. Felken 1988, S. 114), für Walter Benjamin war ihr Verfasser “ein trivialer Sauhund” (ap. Felken 1998, S. 114).

>Might listen to the Spengler lecture you mentioned, it's about an hour long, right?
That one's good, but it's quite superficial, he just goes over the different cultures and the life cycle of the West mostly iirc.
He has another series where he goes over the chapters in detail, I can recommend e.g. this vid, touches on a couple of stuff we talked about, "End of History", power politics, mentions Foucault & Agamben briefly etc. (funnily enough also gated communities):

Btw I also stumbled upon this quote regarding cultural exchange:
"alle Kulturen mit Ausnahme der ägyptischen, mexikanischen udn chinesischen haben unter der Vormundschaft älterer Kultureindrücke gestanden; fremde Züge erscheinen in jeder dieser Formenwelten."
No. 44900
>But I doubt that's what Dugin has in mind.

A multipolar world at least. Not ruling it all, like American world police.

>I mean, obviously he didn't foresee the future in some supernatural sense, what else do you want him to do other than to extrapolate from modernity while keeping the parallels to what we know from previous cultures in mind?

The problem that I see is that Spengler extrapolates Adorno and his verwaltete Welt will sound very familiar today as well, because we are still living in modern times in a way, not in industrial modernity, though in third world countries it is more, but postindustrial or whatever you wanna call the age we are currently living in, still modernity is widely acknowledged, especially in the sciences, systematicity is a key feature of modernity for me what we have not left yet and people think that is why his theory is valid, these to things seem to rather just correlate though.

>He describes it esoterically with the "Ursymbol" etc

And that is where I'm out, it's poetry and mysticism and should be taken as such. Grounding is necessary, I haven't found a way around it yet. I don't know how he makes it plausible but I stick to abstract things that do not construct an ontologic veil.

I'm reading about Lorenz Puntel atm, he wants to reactiveate the universal, the absolute. Studying Hegel for 16 years he came to the conclusion that Hegels system is not a system Since I haven't read Hegel I can't say much, but he says that Hegel did not adress language, only a few times and now he tries to make the best systemic philosophy we can have. He also pointed out what repells me from Heidegger (besides his romantic molasse), ontology becomes a shadowy and mystic thing, the idea of going to the core or ground is basically good but the answer is not philosophy anymore. Now myths are nothing that left us in modernity, but one has to be aware of these things. That is why asking if Spengler is right does not take you very far. The analytical depth can be made much deeper.
Anyway, I'm eager to see what Puntel will put forward, as I think a certain unversalism is not wrong, but is has to answer the question of the particular in a satisfying manner.
No. 44917
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Finished No Surrender: My 30-year War by Hiroo Onoda. Hory shit it was ebin, read it. It's about a Japanese Holdout fighter who surrendered in 1974. Really engaging, and has a genuinely awesome narrative, as in they had to dig up his commanding officer from the war, fly him out and have him hand deliver orders to stand down in the end. The Japs are fucking nuts man. Makes me want to do some Operation Downfall wargaming.
No. 45036
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The cover is cringe, otherwise for German readers this can be an interesting book, I enjoyed it as a good overview.

The book starts with some words regarding the concept of revolution (as modern phenomenon as following will show), and then proceeds to go along the US and French Revolutions, sheds light on what Kant and Hegel said about these revolutions bonus: you get a brief idea of Hegels understanding of history and its evolving to then ofc deal with Marx and Engels as turning Hegel upside down not Weltgeist is driving history but material conditions of the people, followed by anarchist conceptions of revolution (Bakunin & Kropotkin) and then the opposition between Lenin (avantgarde led revolution/state party) and Rosa Luxemburg (revolution from above or by elite/avantagde is to be denied, must come from the base).
A short excursion to the conservative revolution (capturing the term revolution to frame a disruption as regression into some authentic ("") past).
We then get to know Walte Benjamins and Herbert Marcuses concept of revolution, the later under the impression of WW2, Stalinism and Ausschwitz. For Marcuse the revolutionary subject(s) are the marginalized and also important is an imperative to reject the perfect(ed) consumer governance, or state machine This is btw. where lefties and more radical liberals met since the 1960s.
Another subchapter is given to Frantz Fanon and Focault, Fanon is interesting here because the revolutionary subject(s) are now the "Damned of the earth" (3rd world, (de)colonized states) which was also well recieved in western circles, anti imperialism etc. The Red Army Fraction understanding was, I think, along the lines of fighting in the center, while the damned were fighting on the periphery. At least that is what I read in an interview with Gabriele Rollnicke, member of Movement of 2nd June.
The last chapter was on Balibar, Zizek and Graeber, wasn't really caring so much about this. Balibar is for democracy as radical inclusion one might say, Zizek says (liberal) democracy becomes ideology and has to be questioned or else makes politically impotent, and Graeber is some anarchist who has been aligned with Occupy movement (mind it was published in 2013)

All chapters are basically trying to answer the following properties that come with the question of revolution in all theories:

1) The relationship between and new and old / disruption and continuity
2) negative Freedom: freedom from / positive freedom: freedom to
3) use of violence (from necessity to exclusion)
4) subject of revolution (history itself, people (classes, leaders, avantgardes, "bandits" (anarchists) etc)
5) temporal dimension (when and how long, a moment (event) or an ongoing process)
6) spatial dimension (local/ global ect)
7) scope of impact (politcal - change of political institutions/ social - change of social relations

The question of modernity and history simmer in the background all the time.
No. 45236
I've been thinking about the ideal way to translate poetry.

You shouldn't really try to translate it at all. What a book should look like:
>on the left-hand page
The original poem
Interlinear romanization of the poem, if the original language doesn't use the Latin alphabet
A word-for-word gloss lined up under the poem (or under the romanization, if present).

>on the right-hand page
A literal prose translation, without any attempt at art or poetry. The only purpose is to help you put the words and grammar together to better understand the poem in the original language.
Notes explaining any cultural, linguistic, or biographical context that will improve your understanding and appreciation of the poem.

At the beginning of the book, there should be a short primer on the grammar, writing system, and pronunciation of the original language, to better help you parse the original text.

The entire goal is to be able to read, understand, and appreciate the poetry in the original language, even if you don't speak it. Unless you are working between two very closely related languages, I don't think you can really translate poetry, considering how wordplay and the aesthetics of language are such an inherent part of the art. Even the best efforts are effectively the creation of a new poem on the skeleton of the old. Not that the effort can't be worthwhile, but ultimately you're not really experiencing the original work.

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any books that follow this model, or something like it. But the only times I've ever really appreciated foreign poetry is when I've effectively recreated all the steps above on my own. It's not actually that hard to follow a poem in a language you don't know, provided you do the groundwork.
No. 45237
>Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any books that follow this model, or something like it.
U wot? This isn't exactly an obscure collection of books if you're doing any research. I used them all the time back when I was at university, albeit for more academic reasons than aesthetic. Homonyms can have slight variations in tone, just like any language, and while I couldn't do it now, at the time, I did have a decent number of the common ones committed to memory.
No. 45239
>Even the best efforts are effectively the creation of a new poem

This is not an unusual view taken regarding translation of poetry and translation of literature (as piece of art) in general.
No. 45240
I'm well aware of facing bilingual translations. I suppose it's similar, but not in the way that's are most important. With anything but a Romance or Germanic language, even with a side-by-side translation it can be difficult to parse the original text. If I was faced with Kazakh or Hungarian poetry, I wouldn't even know where to start. There will be virtually zero words that I can instinctively identify, and I will have absolutely no grounding in the morphology or syntax. You can't really follow along in the original language like that.
No. 45241
Thing is though if you're wanting to seriously study a text to the point of breaking down original wording, then you're going to have to actually sit down and do some serious study. Any book that would be a one-stop shop for a proper analysis of a text would be so unwieldy as to be virtually pointless, which is why they don't exist. The alternative is to have some terrible introduction-sized bit in the front that probably causes more misunderstanding than it clears up due to need for brevity. This is the heart of research of any kind, you can't really have the result of dedicated study of something from reading one book, it's just not how it works.
No. 45242 Kontra
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>you can't really have the result of dedicated study of something from reading one book, it's just not how it works.


Wise words, there is no real shortcut to dive deep.
I think diving is a good analogy. You can read a book that tells you about this and that in a more general fashion but you actually have to study the coral reefs or whatever it is yourself to orientate yourself under see level properly and understand the environmental constellation a reef or something else forms and how it "works".
No. 45243
Tbh, even if there was a single stupidly massive book that had all the stuff in it, it'd still not be a one-stop solution because it'd still be based on the author's perspective and understanding, while good research touches base with the literature surrounding a topic and uses those arguments to position themselves within the field.
No. 45246
Yesterday I read that due to the letterpress so many books went into circulation that books got given mandatorily author, title and publisher so that reference was made possible and thus propell Ordnung into that new book cosmos.
No. 45252
You misunderstand me. The point isn't to break down the wording to reach some deep understanding of the original. The gloss would be there primarily so you knew which word corresponds to which part of the translation. It would just be one word positioned beneath each word in the original language.

The only goal is to be able to read along in the original language and know what each word means, as well as how they relate to each other. Which, in my experience, allows me to appreciate a poem in a foreign language better than any translation, and also much better than trying to follow along in the original without any more than a general idea of what each word actually means.

I don't think it would work well for an epic - spending time decoding each line would interrupt the flow, and quickly get tedious. But with a collection of shorter poems, like quatrains from Rumi, it would let you begin to appreciate the poetry on something like the terms of a native speaker.
No. 45256
I understand what kind of edition you really want, but the thing is, that kind of an edition just doesn't generally exist for most books. (Simply because anyone who'd be interested in a given work at that level, usually sooner or later decides to learn the language. The "market" is small.)
Straya posted the Loeb Classical Library, that's the only one of these series I know of that even approaches the level of comprehensiveness you're asking for.
(Basically you want a bilingual critical edition.)

Your next best option is getting a copy of the book you want in your target language, a dictionary and some basic grammar knowledge to decipher it yourself.
Not many books besides the classics get this kind of love.
No. 45264
Reading Gaunt's Ghosts. I was introduced into the 40k franchise just a few years ago. Crazy to think these stories were already around when I was in 6th grade.
No. 45578
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I had this selection of Pu Songling's short stories lying around for a while, and I finally finished reading it.
The stories in this volume were all selected from the major work of Songling's, usually rendered in English as "Strange tales from a Chinese studio", but the original title is closer to "Strange tales from the House of Chatter (Liao Zhai)", because the local peasants called his house exactly that.
Pu Songling was known as the "One obsessed with tales" in his village.
Today he'd be considered a folklorist. (Some of his other works include small dictionaries and collections of countryside expressions for example.)

He gained his material from local peasants, travelling monks and merchants who visited his village. But despite the sources he had, he actually wrote his stories in literary Chinese. (He was able to do this thanks to his classical training. He was a Xiucai, or a level one literati. He didn't pass the second level exams until two years before his death, despite trying hard multiple times.)
(Though he also used a Late-Tang Early-Song-dynasty collection titled the Taiping Guangji) (Fuck me, turning Standard Hungarian transcription into Pinyin is fucking hard.)

The collection I had contains 108 short stories, roughly a quarter of the original work's number. (The only other volume in Hungarian contains just 25 stories.)

The stories themselves, well, they're a mixed bag. Some of them are very polished and feel complete, despite their short length, and then again, there are a lot of stories that are just stumps that were apparently just notes the author took after hearing the story, but didn't develop them into a full story.
A lot of these rump-stories are just anecdotes about strange events. "This woman had a dragon in her eye during the winter. The dragon flew away and nothing interesting ever happened to the woman."
Really, a lot of them sound like you'd hear over at a pub, just a bit more supernatural. Tales without the traditional setup-punchline or introduction-conflict-peak-resolving the conflict-conclusion structure. Basically how most people tell stories IRL.

Most of the stories deal with the supernatural. Daoist immortals, fox-fairies, spirits, demons, dragons, wolves and gods all make an appearance in the stories.
This volume contained very few of my favourite Chinese story-subtype, which is "Young scholar gets the pretty girl".
But still, it's very interesting to encounter these tropes and folk-figures who despite sharing character types, always act differently.
It's really a shame the translator put in a lot of overly short rumps just to inflate the number of stories in the volume. I'd have loved to see some more developed ones.

A lot of stories have this slight anti-Qing undertone, as in, it expresses the discontent of the Chinese literati with the foreign invader who can't properly manage the country. (Officials use their positions to confiscate valuable items, the people destined to pass the imperial examinations fail, positions can be bought and so on.)
Very typical of Qing era writings.

If you ever get a copy, I don't recommend sitting down and reading it cover to cover. It's more of a "take of the shelf and read for 10-15 minutes" deal.
Perfect if you can't sleep.
Honestly, I'm looking forward to being able to read it in the original in a year or two.
No. 45641
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The German title translates literally as Digital Culture or Culture of Digitality.

The book provides three main chapters:

1. A historic sketch of what dominant processes that lead to our present have happened: It's the rise of the knowledge economy, the demand of marginalized groups to participate in cultural fields.

2. An overview of the three forms that constitute our digital culture (he says his analysis is mainly for the "wect" only btw.): referentiality, community and algorithmicity

3. two political outlooks: postdemocratic societies abolish politics for technocratic governance by elites vs. politics of the commons.

The introduction as excerpted by me, if you want more specific content info, I might provide since I excerpted the whole book more or less, with short notes:

#### Introduction

Heterogenization of the cultural potential is an expression of the culture of digitality (Stalder makes it clear in the example of gender categories), culturalization of life-worlds - more and more people participate in the process of culture, make different demands, which leads to disputes, including resentment and regressive demands, which come to the attention of a public. This process is conditioned by the embedding in "complex technologies" [@stalder2016, 10].
Comment: Stalder suggests that technology is what makes this diversity possible. How is this approached in the book?

The above thesis is only raised as relevant for the "(transatlantic) West". The monograph is divided into three sections [@stalder2016, 11ff.]
1) historical: working world, self-empowerment, rise of the design discipline and technological development
2) cultural and media studies: characteristics of the culture of digitality and forms of cultural practices (how). There would be three distinctive forms:
referentiality: references to already existing cultural objects/constellations, selection and consolidation, openness of meaning
Community_: meaning could only be stabilized in communities of whatever kind; this "frame of reference" decides on potential for action and access to resources. These are "self-referential worlds" in which existence is "modulated" in different ways, e.g. aesthetically, spatially and temporally concerning thinking/sentiments or also something like "methods of biological reproduction".
Algorithmicity_: The new culture is "characterized by automated decision-making processes that reduce and shape the information overload. [@stalder2016, 13] This processed information is finally intelligible to humans in those forms (Stalder speaks of perceptibility, but this seems to me a little too imprecise) and would be used as a basis for singular and collective actions or decision-making processes.
3) political:
post-democratic: Everybody can express themselves, have to make decisions, are in fact self-responsible [[entrepreneurial self]], but have no influence, do not decide on what the structure that conditions them should look like.
commons: Participation and decision coincide (in the post-democratic separate, in addition Baudrillard or Mersch on participation);;;; the hitherto "separate spheres of the economic, social and ethical merge" [@stalder2016, 15].

Culture as a concept_ is understood poststructuralistically (negotiation, fluid, hybrid, questions of power, no essence) [@stalder2016, 16f.].
Digitality as a concept_ as a certain kind of relationality or possibility of relationality, networks and connections (both material and immaterial, the latter not without having the former) [@stalder2016, 17f.] [@stalder2016, 17f.].

"For it is only today, when the fascination for technology has waned and its promises sound hollow, that culture and society are shaped by digitality in a comprehensive sense." [@stalder2016, 17f.] [@stalder2016, 20]

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
No. 45819
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A book by Deleuze about Foucault. I did not take any notes. It's not a good introduction for starters but it has some nice insights when you are a bit more familiar with Foucault and Deleuze as well, since Deleuze describes Foucaults body of work with his own terminology.

The first two chapters are about Focaults methodology and what he does different. The other three chapters revolve around Knowledge, Power and the Subject and how these are interrelated.
If I understood it right, power is somehow transcendetal in a Kantian sense, it conditions knowledge and the subject. Power is not located somewhere but a force between and is dispersed among. The microphysics of power, and from the this micro level big constellations between things (people, institutions, architecture etc) come into being, are getting seen/viewable.

I think it's too simple and not accurate by me but somehow it goes like this:
power determines greatly what can be said and what not, knowledge is dependent on power, so what is deemed true or not is also a question of power. The power over subjects, the governanc of the self and of others goes with the help of knowledge. But (other) subjects can rebel against that, they also can make use of power and are not just passive. For Fouault this seems to be the process of historyand it is as determined as it is also by accident. Not everything can happen, but what can happen depends on what power relations and strata of knowledge are present and happening, solidified, yet also fluid.
Deleuze says that Foucaults is a history of conditions for [power, knowledge, subjects]. And that is the Kantian thing. Kants Critique of Pure Reason asks what the conditions are for what one can know, afaik.

Tbh I'm missing something here, it's a bit more complex then what I just said
No. 45854
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I'm having a streak here :DDDD

Pretty cool book tbh. Perfect theory-fiction. It is theory that gets incorporated into narrative fiction and vice versa? The lines are blurry.
Anyway, the reader gets to know more about J.G. Ballard, interpretations of his work and the character of the novel "applying" Ballard (the book itself applies Ballard, it's on Ballard but with Ballard, "Hello Mr Ballard, I'm you") .
The novel starts in the 1990s and pulls at least into the 2000s, a failed academic beocming a travel writer, while haunted by the insights of post WW2 consumer societies, time and coneptions of reality in the work of famous british writer J.G. Ballard, about the inner space (in that world). Reality getting cracks, the book is also about madness, depression, paranoia and I got a new word (apophenia) that explains paranoic mindset and comes in handy in order to understand conspiracy theories better and my own psychotic experience.

I know a German read Ballard here, this book is more approachable and now I want to read some Ballard again and immerse in that body of work, won't have the time but this book is convincing in that Ballard is a very interesting writer that dwells on so many interesting topics it's just astonishing. A writer of the 20th and also 21st century indeed, that gives insights on what is going on, Ballard was not just a novelist but also a theorist!
No. 45891
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this is a novel about a dude who makes a living off professional pickpocketing. the other day he runs into an extraordinary situation which gets him into trouble and completely out of comfort.
over the first pages the novel seems like a good heist thriller, however it's more than that. the end left me quite unsettled and thinking a lot about determination, coincidence, power and control. i think the book is very well written too.
No. 46739
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A Geology of Media deals with the materiality of media, minerals/metals and chemistry, a new media history as well, that takes into account temporality of media. Now this already might sound a bit weird, it is written by a media studies guy, so the vocabulary is not easy and also weird to many as it deals with a academic turn that can be summed up under the banner of New Materalism (it is going away from signifiers, semiotics in the humanities). Also art projects are used to explicate the things he dwells on a lot.

Making it super short: The geophysical and geopolitical entanglement of media is the topic here

Basically the book literally grounds media in what is often perceived as immaterial realm of software, gui, virtuality, film and such. I think this quote sums up the books quite neatly:

>Media materiality is not contained in the machines, even if the machines themselves contain a planet. The machines are more like vectors across the geopolitics of labor, resources, planetary excavations, energy production, natural processes from photosynthesis to mineralization, chemicals, and the aftereffects of electronic waste.

The book examines media and its material base, for instance the temporal long range effects (waste), the millions of years for minerals to form, the burning of coals as 19th and 20th century tpe of energy to fuel 21st century computer und communications technology. It also elaborates on the effect on bodies, both the cognitive capitalist type of exhausted bodies in the creative economy and the exhausted, toxicated bodies of chinese iPad polishing workers, that inhale aluminium dust, the later is emphasized here and must be seen as addition to the nowdays often forgotten industrial part, that still is going in non-western parts of the planet. Not to forget all the miners that fuck up their bodies for a small payment, so that cool phones are cheap enough.


Thomas Bernhards Walking/Gehen from 1970s is a typical Bernhard short read, I had to laugh only a few times, especially the scene in Rustenschachers store for trousers is hilarious but otherwise the themes repeat quite a bit tbh, the secondary literature was right. I advice reading his Lime works doing it the first time was a great fun for me.
No. 46912
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Definitely political science major stuff (institutions, foreign relations, globalization etc). So something outside my usual territory. I read the first 70pages only, as they deal with think tanks in general and not specifically global think tanks.

Maybe you can boil it down to non-government research, gather information (also from secondary sources like government stats or other research conduected outside the tt) and contextualize them in order to gain knowledge for policy-making the realization of a political measures, legally, financially, socially etc and implementation as well as evaluation, as well as networking and "creative innovation" in contrast to safe playing bureacracies in their policy process. Ofc there are also ideologic opinion pusher think tanks and these types can mix.
One interesting bit of the US think tank culture and political landscape was the fact that between think tanks, government and media there is rotation. So a journalist might become a fellowship in a think tank for a year and then later goes into politics. Or a politician going into a think tank, bringing in knowledge from government routines. Or think tank members going into politics when a new administration comes into being. Or if not then just to learn about the actual policy implementation process. Knowledge and skills are shared and that benefits all people participating in it.
The book is not so much about the "evil" think tanks, but wants to make clear that there are valid and also not so valid think tanks. I have mixed feelings about this.
No. 46966
some of these so called "think tanks" are a good thing, because they compile and evaluate all sorts of data, which could serve to make policing better when that data is taken into account by rulers with good intentions. others are just lobby organisations whose only task is to influence journalists and politicians on behalf of certain "elite" individuals (in other words: corruption). and some are nothing short of privately run secret services who engage in espionage, propaganda and deception action as well as manufacturing political scandals and coup d'etats.
when the latter two are allowed to basically form a shadow government by manipulating weak, incompetent and opportunist politicians things can only get worse for the ordinary plebs.
No. 46970
Well the authors would agree to a certain extent, they haven't gone so far as speaking of shadow governments, though the notion might be misleading, it really can have influence on governance but is not one itself really. Yet the authors seemed rather "sober" about it, which was a bit unsettling, they seemed in favor of think tanks and I see the benefits but a critical history is something different, you know. I also lend myself "The idea brokers" which is a critical history of think tanks published in the mid 1990s and as I can sense it, yet it is too much to read, I have to set my priorities, given that the new semester will start sooner than expected.
No. 47290
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A 1930s expedition in the artic reveals scary things from an epoch before humans roamed the earth.
First time I was reading a Lovecraft story I think. The idea is good and it had its good moments, it is true what I read about horror, it deals with a certain otherworldliness, love the imagination and the mythological components, the other that give creeps, yet I had to really keep me pulling through at times, so not an absolutely outstanding book, but it was good for what it is. Maybe it's only average to a reader that reads more of that stuff.

The German cover Design is super cool btw. do fellow Germans know that Suhrkamp had a series on Scifi/Horror and phantastic literature in general? J.G. Ballards books were published there in German was well.
No. 47291
Lovecraft is actually a pretty mediocre writer. The best thing about his works is not the style, or the plots, or the writing, but rather the ideas. These ideas became quite influential, and when they are given form by a better writer than Lovecraft himself (like, say, Ligotti), they can make for some pretty captivating horror. Although I admit I may be talking out of my ass, since I didn't read that much of him, so maybe there are really good works among his output that I don't know about. Still, I loved Dream-quest for Unknown Kadath (a pretty unusual piece for Lovecraft, since it has a happy ending) and The Colour Out of Space (very nice alien invasion story; it shows just how alien the aliens can be, and in that regard it's probably only surpassed by Strugatskis' Roadside Picnic or Watts' Blindsight).
No. 47292
I've read every single word HP has ever wrote and can assure you that you are right.
No. 47293
Heard of Ligotti, another German Ernst mentioned him once. Lovecraft descriptions of the others "culture" was cool and since its also about aliens, they were quite alien in a sense and as you said, the idea was really what made me enjoy it the most and the aesthetic he paints of the aliens.

I also heard that Octavia Butlers Xenogenesis triology is very good and has actual alien aliens in it.

Before I read actual Lovecraft I read passages from his notebooks that are a bit like this
>idea for a story: man goes into strange city in a valley, loses his mind over statue at the townsquare
No. 47294
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I liked how Stephen King adapted Lovecraftian concepts and adding obsessive compulsive disorder in "N.". Makes it pretty dense and intense. No wonder they made this graphic novel from it.
No. 47367
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Finally finished Spengler's Untergang a couple of days ago, somehow it's a special book for me where a lot of threads about culture, history, religion etc. connected into a big picture. There were quite a few parts that were sloughs to get through, i.e. some of the drier Roman history stuff, but I feel like I'll be looking some stuff up in it for a while.

Also read Dune, tbh it was kind of a letdown considering the hype surrounding it. It has a nice story structure & decent worldbuilding, but the pacing gets pretty shaky with all the timeskips towards the end and it fails to deliver a satisfying resolution. The prose is nothing to write home about either, but as I've already read in a couple of reviews it's probably judged best as a product of it's time.

Now I'm reading Don Quixote which I suppose will take a while, it's quite fun so far but the jokes start to get a bit old. I definitely recommend skimming Cervantes biography btw, it's very ebin

Also about to finish Jeff Love's book on Kojève, The Black Circle, it's really good at giving a critical account and demystifying where Kojève's interpretation of Hegel comes from.
No. 47568
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Finally finished it, since it's quite an amount of pages it took me some weeks reading it in parallel with other stuff.
The book is quite well written, one might think popular scientific publication, dunno it comes from Harvard University Press and most of the argument they say has been published in journals beforehand. I also enjoyed it, because it was actually scientific reasoning about a field I don't look into, so yeah reading some psychology for a change was good.

My summery of the introduction might give a bit of orientation:

Mercier and Sperber pursue two questions: Why has reason developed only in humans and why does reason not fulfill the (evolutionary) purpose traditionally attributed to it by humans ( meaning that humans contrary to popular belief do not proceed objectively and logically, that they are systematically biased and therefore reason does not bring about better decisions and more knowledge) [@mercier2017, 4].
Proposition of the book: Reason has two functions
>Reason, we argue, has two main functions: that of producing reasons for justifying one and that of producing arguments to convince others. These two functions rely on the same kinds of reasons and are closely related.

Reason is important to coordinate human coexistence (we cooperate with strangers as well as family etc., we have long-term goals and that needs trust). What motivates us, what ideas we have and what we want to do must be communicated and reason helps. Reason also helps to evaluate the other person's arguments, while reason is also used to convince others of us and our ideas and intentions [@mercier2017, 8f.].
Reason, in communication/discussion, works well, because it is made for exactly this purpose (interactionist approach) and tends to the better argument / opinion, while as "solitary reason" it runs lazy and biased [@mercier2017, 10f.]

Especially the last one is interesting as I often have the feeling of getting deeper about things when talking to others. So in evolution it has a social function. We want to convince and we need to evaluate others and their reasoning that tries to convince us. Mercier and Sperber argue that lonesome reasoning is lazy and biased but gets challanged and refined in interaction and through counterarguments, thus leading to better beliefs by argumentative interaction. They cite noumerous experiments with individuals and groups going on about the same problem, but also in the "wild life" of the everyday and not just in psychology labs.

One part is also about what reason is:
Reason is not logic faculty or something, one "superpower" but there are lots of inference modules (assumption), that are highly specilaized to draw certain inferences and the reason module
>Reason is, we argued, one module of inference among many. [...] reason is indeed specialized; it draws intuitive inferences just about reasons. [@mercier2017, 328]

Did not really get that part, representations and metarepresentations are important concepts there.
No. 47716
241 kB, 1 file
Finished my German translation of Pelevin's Crystal World, if any German speakers want to read it, please go ahead, would love to hear some feedback. Enjoyed this one quite a bit, tho it surely needs some work still.

Also started reading Andrei Bely's Petersburg, as well as Fukuyama's End of History, though can't say much about either yet.
No. 47718
>Andrei Bely's Petersburg

An italian girl once recommended it to me, she was a fan of Russian language. The story sounds indeed cool and I wanted to borrow it from the library, but as so often I neglected a novel over theoritcal ponderings, history and society.

There also is a Russian short story of the Aestheticism period around 1900 where Death is going around a house or something like that. Wanna read that one day.
No. 47722
Yeah, it's interesting so far, but challenging to read. It's written in a very schizophrenic style, constantly changing subjects and breaking the 4th wall. Nabokov called it one of the best novels of the 20th century, and you can tell how it influenced his writing style too.

>There also is a Russian short story of the Aestheticism period around 1900 where Death is going around a house or something like that.
Sounds interesting, lmk if you figure out the name. I'm planning to dig a bit deeper with all the Russian Silver Age stuff.

Btw I forgot to mention what the story is roughly about: the October Revolution, cocaine & the role of the individual in History.
Maybe that makes it sound more interesting :D
No. 47724
>It's written in a very schizophrenic style, constantly changing subjects and breaking the 4th wall.

Well, maybe I should read a novel again. Have J.G. Ballard here but uni and my private read on history of marxism eat all available time.
No. 47742
1,3 MB, 2258 × 3134
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Actually managed to read two short books.

>Ivan Ivanovich Martinov - Shostakovich
It's trash. More of a propaganda-pamphlet than a proper biography.
Reading the other side of the story is kinda interesting, but not enough to justify reading even such a short book. (Since if you've read Testimony and The New Shostakovich then you already know the official story of Shostakovich, not just the secret one.)

It's especially amusing/upsetting to read about the Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk-district where the author carefully tip-toes around the topic of Stalinism while mentioning so-called heated debates around the opera.
>Today, many years later we can say, that the composer has managed to take advantage of the given criticism, and he was able to free himself from everything that prevented him from the harnessing of his truly great talent.

Don't know if the shit flew in the USSR back in the day. Even if you don't count the factual errors and such, the level of writing is incredibly shallow and it doesn't give more of a look into the composer's life than if you looked up his article in an encyclopedia and then the articles for some of his works in a musical lexicon.
The information density is incredibly low.

Maybe we just really had it good as the happiest barrack in Hungary, but I don't recall ever coming across such a shitty piece of secondary literature on a topic, not matter when it was written.

>Umemura Yuko - Japanese and Hungarians about each other
I actually had a lot of fun with this one.
Don't know what is it about Japan that creates so many interesting anecdotes that just seem funny.

I'm going to go on a tangent here, but we have this expression in Hungarian that goes tündérkert, which means "Garden of the fairies" or "Fairy-garden", essentially denoting an incredibly pretty and idealised landscape that's interesting. (Usually reserved as an adjective for Transylvania, creating the expression, erdélyi tündérkert.)
Now, this expression is what I'd use to describe my fascination with Japan. It's magical, it feels unreal. No country other than Japan has this specific aura and I don't know if you've ever felt it. (And when the topic of foreign relations comes up, it also tickles that sweet spot where I get to read batshit-insane theories and claims by turanists. A double win.)

It's not necessarily interesting to me from an academic standpoint. It's more like a refuge. I kick back and read incredibly obscure trivia that's practically meaningless.
Basically that was the idea when I bought the book. Just read something relaxing that gets a good chuckle out of me as it describes how people thought and interacted back in the day.

The book itself deals mainly with the 1867-1945 period, with a small section talking about the effects of the 1956 revolution on the Japanese public.
It describes in some detail the activities of the Hungarian Turan Society, the Hungarian Nippon Society and the jointly funded Hungarian-Japanese Cultural Institution, though most of the book is a collection of synopsises from books and evaluation of those books published about Japan in Hungary.

I had good fun reading it and extracting some trivia. Good book.
No. 47900
342 kB, 1311 × 2138
A nice book that gives a good historic overview on Marx writings and on Marxism as political strategy or ideology.

The book's first part is about Marx, chapters are either about his writings (German Ideology, Capital, Paris Manuscripts etc) or his life (Young Hegelians, live in London etc). The chapters aren't long but pack all information a newbie to Marx needs.
Crucial and perhaps unknown to many is the role of Engels in promoting Marx writings and selling dialectic materialism as scientifically sound. Already with Engels the writings of Marx get "distorted" much of Marxism builts more on Engels than on Marx. Which leads me to the second part of the book: Marxism.
Here we get pre 1914 Germany with Kautsky, Bernstein, Luxemburg, another chapter is on the Russian revolution, Lenin, Trotsky and others, a chapter on Stalin, then one on the post Stalin years. Another chapter is about euro marxism from the interwar period (Georg Lukács e.g.) up to 1968 and beyond, especially Italy and France are in focus here. Ofc a chapter on China, Cuba, Africa as well as Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Korea and such is there as well. The variety of Marxisms are presented short but seem to contain all important aspects and as I said give a good overview of what they share and what they don't share, where other stuff gets incorporated or altered from the soviet example. Claeys is quite critical of Marxism and in the end presets a long lost of failings, mistakes, cruelties and outdated theory gibberish that got produced in those years. Yet he also points put why Marx (and not those Marxisms) is very relevant today.

This book is not for detailed analysis of a certain form of Marxism or Marx body of work, but a comprehensive overview, that stresses a difference between Marx and Marxism, it's not the same, albeit there are connections to be made, but Marxism under Lenin is not plainly Marx by playbook, which also applies to other Marxism btw.
No. 47901
291 kB, 1254 × 1734
No. 47984
382 kB, 1020 × 1542
Since it's a mix of report, research and travelouge it's a nice read.
The book focuses on different topics of Chinese rural revitalization, e-commerce villages and the global entanglement of economy and culture, of countryside and city and their relationship today. For instance the Silicon Valley spirit in China. The outlook is rather bleak, did not expect it, the portrayal of the contemporary countryside and its future does not offer very much to be totally excited about, it reads more like a critic of capitalist sinofuturism that very much seems to copy the american dream in a way, albeit updated economics, still precariousness and yet plans to poverty alleviation. We get glimpses into daily lives, cultural developments like "no future" youths in the countryside, albeit without the punk asthetics but similar beliefs. urban-rural migration and history and life in the countryside with focus on economic plans of scaling up, lift the countryside out of poverty with remarks on how this model is taken up in Africa countries and other developing countries (e-commerce and drop in production). At the same time there are ponderings on online shopping, shopping as labor and desire/religon, nihilism and generally the question what these plans for the future and the current conditions do to people living in this entangled world, mainly the US and China, though but I guess many thoughts can be transmissioned to other countries. There is for example a chapter that deals with the pearl production in a small Chinese city, US pearl market, sold via livestreams on facebook and it being a ponzi schemes, and ponzi schemes making a comeback in genral.
This book seems rather soberly written by somebody who worked in Silicon Valley and that does not offer any fictionesque western sinofuturism but spotlights the chinese future nonetheless.
No. 48316
123 kB, 400 × 595
Read Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. I looked up the author first, and when I found out that he belonged to the New Wave of Science Fiction, I expected the novel to be some sort of social justice parable buried under layers upon layers of experimental literary wankery instead of a good book, but it turned out that I was wrong. Granted, the novel really is concerned with social problems like poverty, overpopulation, racism, cultural and ideological clashes, and it's fairly experimental (there are tons of characters with two protagonists among them, several more important characters directly involved with them, and all the others are there to simply paint the book's world (a rather bleak world, I gotta say) with the episodes from their lives; there are also short chaotic segments in-between the main story chapters made of newsflashes, advertisements and lines from conversations that serve the same purpose), but it manages to somehow make it work together really good. The two main characters are Norman House, a black (or, as they are called in the book, an afram) vice-president of a big corporation General Technics, who got to his position mostly through affirmative action and who got involved in a project of turning a poor but inexplicably happy African country into a rich and modernized one, and Donald Hogan, a "synthesist" (sorta like multidisciplinary scientist specializing in finding patterns and synergies which were overlooked by regular scientists) but actually a government spy sent to investigate the claim that one authoritarian country in South-Eastern Asia is capable of performing a genetic modification that makes humans perfect or even better that they can normally be (which is important, because most countries in the book's world have introduced a strict legislation that forbids people with genetic disorders to procreate). They both find out something new that they never noticed about each other, people around them and even themselves, but didn't remain unscathed from the process (or, in Donald's case, didn't remain the same at all).

Interesting that the book is at the same time proto-cyberpunk (featuring a mega-corporation, a supercomputer hinted to gradually becoming an actual AI, high tech (domed cities, holographic videos, designer pets etc.) and low life (ghettos, street gangs, spontaneous murder streaks, sabotage just for fun) and just being generally dystopian) and proto-post-cyberpunk (neither the corporation nor the supercomputer are really malevolent, high tech is shown as being capable to improve people's lives, and Beninia — the African country Norman was sent to — is pretty much a utopia in an otherwise dystopian world) about twenty years before either became prominent as a genre, so the book is at the very least worth reading for cyberpunk fans. But honestly I found it very nice as itself, despite not actually being the kind of SF that I prefer (it's soft SF — exploring people — rather than hard SF, which is exploring ideas).
No. 48337
Read the Tao Te Ching today. It was pretty interesting and had some memorable maxims, but it hardly came across as this deep font of ancient Chinese spiritual wisdom everyone hypes it up to be. It was also way more political than I was expecting. 2deep4me maybe.
No. 48355
Been wanting to read it since uni days, but somehow never got to it. I found two translated to Russian versions: one is regular short one, and another is the same but with tons of scientific commentaries and is several times longer. If I ever get to read it, I think I'll start with the regular one first and then continue to the one from those graphomaniacs with humanities degrees. XDDDDDDD
No. 48360
Well, most of the Hundred Schools are kinda political, it's just our lack of perspective that "depoliticises" these works because we usually lack historical context and we often just cherry-pick the fun bits.
If you found Laozi political then don't pick up Confucius because the Lun Yu/Annalects is basically 50% just him referencing obscure lords and literati of his time and times past as examples of virtue.
No. 50676
180 kB, 302 × 475
1,9 MB
Revival bump.

Yesterday I read The Chemical Wedding: by Christian Rosencreutz with John Crowley's commentary. It's a rather strange fairytale (or as Crowley claims the first Science Fiction novel), and I'm still confused how much of it is somehow allegorical and how much is just arbitrary symbolism (and I suppose that was intended by the author). Would recommend if you're curious about alchemy or metaficiton.

Also, anybody interested in doing a readalong of Joyce's Ulysses starting in February, a chapter per week?
There's some Russian booktuber who's doing it, but I've been meaning to read it for a while anyways.
No. 50704 Kontra
Honestly, fiction is for women and queers
No. 50851
24 kB, 333 × 499
Ive made another attempt to read through the Holy Bible from start to finish but my God parts of it is just a boring slog to get through, i barely made it through Genesis. I google searched "Why is the bible so badly and incoherently written?" and read through reddit tier atheistic posts that made some OK points about how the texts have been diluted over time and some of it was "written" by illiterate sheepherders and so on.

But i found a post that recommended me to read this book about the lifestyles and customs of the asia minor/middle east peoples around that era and it piqued my EC tier interests, more so than the Bible itself. I will pick it up some time soon.
No. 50854
Funny how these classics don't speak to us as much even though they are called foundational for the western hemisphere. But I guess you have to call in the enlightenment into it as equally foundational.
Also I attended a presentation for a book from one if my classmates, in which it was stated that Homer used words that just fit the rhyme schema and have no higher meaning in that sense or express certain qualities, they just fit better :DDD I remember Aristotle had these more strict recepie approach to literature, which ofc partly come from real restricition of ancient theatre but today reading these for entertainment or whatever is kinda foreign as we are missing reference or the form is just boring to us, does not speak to us.

Also I haven't posted in this thread as I read for uni only, couldn't finish one book so far, with the exception of a short book length interview
No. 50855
Heh, I consider reading the Bible as a kid as one of the things that contributed to my becoming an atheist. But lately I read Bible's books one by one whenever I feel like, and it's not nearly as bad as I remember it. Might post my impressions here when I finish all of it (which will probably happen in a couple of years or so).
No. 50857
[SSDI income intensifies]
No. 50865
It's really basically just when you randomly flip through it in the Old Testament, because it's literally evil. I remember back in high school I flipped to a random page and it was the part going on and on about murdering a bunch of guys and David mutilating their corpses to offer the king 200 foreskins as a dowry for marrying some woman. I stopped reading it right then and there and proceeded to either stop believing Christianity as anything but a fake religion, or to consider it the blatantly evil religion. I can see why so many Jewish people became atheists. When you take out the Gospels and the New Testament it is basically a religion of evil, particularly when you ignore the Psalms and many other parts of that. It pretty much drove me to privately consider myself a Luciferian for a number of years, and I feel like that taint has never gotten washed off. It's a stain I know will always be there inside my own heart, which I can only hope to be like an innocolation against evil, and a vaccine against the spiritual darkness, but meanwhile taken as a whole it's pretty much the basis for Western civilization emphasizing things such human rights and righteousness and good morals, and would consider a large part of that overall moral degrade to have happened directly as the result of attempting to replace a Christian ethos with money grubbing nihilistic secularism.

I'd go so far as to say that our current political woes are the combination of that nihilistic lack of objective morals or truth seeping into all spheres including the religious, combined with a rather specious interpretation of Scripture on the part of Evangelicals which largely based itself on very select OT passages while blithely ignoring the Gospels. It's been a truly bizarre experience for me to see that and experience firsthand how it's basically just the excuse to have some moral grandstanding for bigotry towards selected Others while excusing your own blatant lack of scruples, principles, or ethics. Actually in point of fact I deliberately try to avoid dealing with other Christians in America too much because while it's sprouted since long ago that mustard seed is still a sunlight deprived seedling and I know factually that my faith is still too weak to not be quashed by dealing with these people and actually seeing what little impact the alleged faithfulness of other Christians had on correcting any of their malign behaviors. It does to some people, but I truly think people raised solely within a Christian environment are being deprived of the challenges to both grow them as moral and ethical beings while also strengthening their faith, and that is how we get the godlessness in America of large sections of Evangelicalism.

Well, that, and it's just truly bizarre being around some of them and their extra-Scriptural stuff. Hearing some of the hymnals these people sing you legitimately cannot remain a part of their group without lobotomizing yourself. My favorite one is something that just sounds like it's literally taken out of Dead Space
Ah it's not this one
but that does also remind me of the lowkey sexual frustration and to anyone with an understanding of human psychology, blatantly sexually graphic hymnals that get sublimated. Trying to find true purity of faith beyond any merely psychological trickery is more difficult than the people who seem to just want surrogate parents telling them what to do.

If you care I'll try and find it today but I do want you to imagine the experience of being surrounded by fanatical reliogious burgers all singing in unison
>oh adonai please consume me, consume me whole
>Ialdabaoth, consume me, consume me uh-ter-lyyyy

Oh okay I'm pretty sure it was this one I'm thinking of in particular although come to think of it there's quite a few burger hymnals which basically consist of singing in unison with dozens to thousands of other Americans about how you want to be utterly consumed by God
Although I'm not actually sure things aren't being lost in translation to foreigners for how it's such an odd word choice.

"Consume" in English quite clearly means, put into yourself, as well as a synonym for "overwhelmed" as in "consumed by the flames" in addition the Capitalistic connotation or murican jokes about hamburger. But the thing is, that word can also be used in context of being consumed by something else's will in a cultlike manner, or as a synonym to subsumed, which is basically what that is, but while that may in fact be the overall Christian drive to Do Thine Will there's just something very odd about it getting used in that context to me. I can't help but to think of it as some kind of an ancient and terrifying Lovecraftian evil that isn't even using good lies and trickeries to con people into it, like the way the Church of Unitology at least obscures "we'll all be made whole" "one body one mind one soul" much farther from the terrible reality.

Anyway just something to think about. I've found it very, very easy to strengthen your faith by reading the New Testament, and incredibly easy to undermine it either by flipping through random Old Testament passages of Scripture, or to surround yourself in burger Christians, particularly those that seemingly ignore the Gospels on purpose and focus only on the OT with the exception of Romans. Not quite entirely sure why so many burgers love Romans, except the one part about the effeminate and homosexual, which likewise is embedded in castigating a whole range of malignant behaviors and values in that verse the bulk of which seemingly get ignored.
No. 50866
Well, any kind of spiritual value the Bible supposedly has is of no interest to me, but the literary value might be pretty high, actually. There are tons of stories in there to be plagiarized alluded to, and some of its narratives became pretty common in European literature, as far as I know. So I wouldn't be so harsh on the Old Testament: sure, there are tons of really fucked-up shit in there (like all the genocide even by Jews themselves who are supposed to be protagonists, or YHWH's petty vengefulness, or just weird sexual stuff (the story of Lot's daughters wouldn't be out of place in some Japanese cartoon porn comic)), but there are some quite engaging ones too. By now I re-read the Pentateuch and at the very least Genesis and Exodus were quite interesting, they've read as some sort of fantasy novellas. When I was a kid, I got to Ezekiel or somewhere around that, and I remember liking some other books as well, like Ecclesiastes and Job. So I wouldn't write off the Old Testament entirely. Also, there are quite a lot of funny old words to use (like "жестоковыйный" — literally harsh-necked, and it means stubborn). And yeah, any organized religion is shit, no exceptions.
No. 50871
>taken as a whole it's pretty much the basis for Western civilization emphasizing things such human rights and righteousness and good morals, and would consider a large part of that overall moral degrade to have happened directly as the result of attempting to replace a Christian ethos with money grubbing nihilistic secularism.

Tbh, I'd consider it a lot more complicated than this old notion of it being almost entirely a secularisation of Christian ideology. There exist strains running throughout pre-christian Europe that have just as much impact if not more. For one, by the time Christians can claim Rome and Greece, the republican/democratic ideals that had such a profound impact were long gone and in Anglo society, the concept of the Ceorl (which would morph into the 'Free Born Englishman' idea) has imo cast a longer shadow in terms of legal equality because it represented a longstanding consciousness among the lower classes that resurfaced multiple times over the centuries, when by contrast the christian teaching at many of those same points was the deference to the divinely mandated authority.

Also keep in mind that under the 'christian ethos', those same nations were quite happy to oversee many a bloody conquest and genocide. I think a new zeitgeist is more promising than trying that one again.
No. 50925
Finished St. Augustine's Confessions a while ago, the autobiographical chapters were interesting, even if just because they're rather relatable and also clearly well written. Only skimmed over the latter chapters with the theological & philosophical arguments though, as I couldn't really get much out of it.

Read the minor works of Venedikt Erofeev, had a blast. Despite being completely different types of texts, they share being incredibly funny but equally depressing at the same time.
Walpurgis Night, a tragicomedy play set in a Soviet madhouse. The main character, a Jewish alcoholic, tends to break out into shockingly well written iambic pentameter at the seemingly most inappropriate times, and Erofeev somehow manages to elevate this beyond just being ironic.
Vasily Rozanov through the eyes of an eccentric - an essay/short story where the main character wants to kill himself until he reads the complete works of infamous Russian reactionary writer Vasily Rozanov
My little Leniniana - a collection of Lenin quotes, mostly from his letters, contrasting demands for people to be executed if they don't comply to some of his ridiculous demands with mundane musings about riding a bike with his wife.
The former is already available in English (though I can't vouch for the translation quality considering how much wordplay is involved) I'll probably do some quick translations of the latter two.

Also read Sasha Sokolov's A School for Fools, absolutely wonderful & unique book. Really liked the second chapter which is the shortest and consists of a bunch of microfictions of unrelated or side characters, think I'll have to reread it.

>Genesis and Exodus were quite interesting
I was planning to read th OT cover to cover last yera and really enjoyed Genesis, Exodus initially too, but the whole tabernacle
I've been meaning to look up whether there's some guide to which books/chapters are "filler", but it's a nightmare trying to research theological stuff, maybe I'll just have to read a by-chapter summary and go from there
No. 51060
Ben Hur

I'll keep reading because I have exhausted all my books.

But everything is irrelevant and nothing fucking happens.

Okay for a toilet read, but would not recommend.
No. 51221
105 kB, 442 × 450
I read the short novel titled Ours by Sergei Dovlatov.
It's a fun book, but nothing more.
Basically he wrote a family novel without writing a family novel. As in, instead of a large, multi-generational narrative we get fragmentary remarks and episodes from the lives of each of his family members he held some connection with or heard worthwhile things about.
And I like this. It's easy to pick up, the anecdotes are funny and all in all I enjoyed reading it, even if besides the "fun" the only value the book has is telling the reader a bit about life in the USSR.
My favourite chapter was probably the one where he tells the story of how he met his wife.

A bit off topic, but he writes how one of his grandfathers was a 2 metres tall Jew, and I looked up Dovlatov's height out of curiosity and he was 2 metres tall too.
Really, based on looks, I wouldn't think that a man with Caucasian and Jewish roots who's 2 metres with a face like that would, well, write books.
I think he could've killed anybody with just a punch while he was alive, except for maybe people of similar stature.
It's unimportant, I just thought it was interesting.
Might have wrote about it last time I read a Dovlatov novel. My thoughts on Pushkin Hills, his other novel I've read, are remarkably similar.
No. 51223
21 kB, 400 × 600
On Historicizing Epistemology: An Essay. Stanford University Press. 128p

I read the German orginial, but there is a translation available on libgen.

The book is an introduction to historical epistemology which basically is a history of the history of science, it traces the way from philosophy of science to sociology and history of science as well as anthropology of science into a combined historical epistemology. Any attempt to find a general logic of science that is applied to all disciplines at the same time is rejected. Rheinberger is a molecular biologist himself (many of the newer historians of science come from respected disciplines and are also trained histroians which often was not the case before the 1960s or so) and for examples says that the experiment means something very different for biology than for physics concerning scientific gathering of knowledge.

To sum up: Science and scientific knowledge is historic and cannot be cleanly seperated from social and anthropological factors interfering in the scientific process(es). How we scientifically know varies over time and is not put to a simple formula as the logicists of philosophy of science imagined it at the beginning of the 20th century.
No. 51256 Kontra
620 kB, 1200 × 1793
No. 51368
Im sick of reading books from my phone via Kindle, i am sick of that feeling of my eyes being strained by the screen despite the features and options to change brightness and opacity. Ive been rekindled with a desire to own physical books.
No. 51431
I was rather harsh.
Book is okay, unless you are an uber atheist.
Just skip the first book.(The novel is split into books)
No. 51432
I learned that after a week.
Book in UK are incredibly cheap.
in £
3 books for a fiver
£8-9 for a new paperback
No. 51606
As I progress in my Japanese learning, I bought some books by Yukio Mishima in Japanese. Namely his "Sun and Steel", his short story "Patriotism" and "The Way of the Samurai". I hope to get a battery understanding of the Japanese language (also in a poetic sense) and of Japanese nationalism like Mishima lived it.
No. 51623
711 kB, 2970 × 2970
Big recommendation goes out to Pelevin's Generation "P", definitely one of his best novels I read so far. It's about a guy who gets into the advertising industry in the wild 90s of Russia and ends up discovering the secrets behind the "media spectacle" of rampant capitalism. There's some interesting "texts inside the text", i.e. some very funny satire of ad copy for various Western products that are adapted for the Russian audience & also a very tongue-in-cheek sort of Deleuzian essay about consumer society.

Planning to finally read Joyce's Ulysses this month, already read Dubliners in preparation which is a very cozy short story collection, & I'm halfway through with Portrait of an Artist which is getting a bit challening to read so I'm gonna take my time.

Awesome, I only read him in translation. "Sun and Steel" is great, got me into lifting for a couple of years, haha.
I'd love to get back into studying Japanese, but I got other priorites now...
No. 51624
>I'd love to get back into studying Japanese, but I got other priorites now...
It's definitely worth it!
>Planning to finally read Joyce's Ulysses this month
Do you read Joyce in translation or in original? Normally I prefer to read the original versions, but I heard Joyce is somewhat complicated.
No. 51643
>Do you read Joyce in translation or in original?
In original, but on Kindle so I can easily look up definitions. Dubliners isn't complicated at all, it's very readable, there's only some Irish and/or archaic terms that can pose a bit of difficulty, but if you have an annotated edition that's not really a problem. In Portrait the chapters vary in style, i.e. the first one is written in an extremely simple and repetitive manner since it is from the POV of the main character as a child. I just finished the third chapter which mostly consists of a long, detailed sermon about hell & the protagonist's bad conscience because he had sinned. It's rather oppressive & unpleasant to read right until the point when he finally confesses his sins & suddenly it turns into fairly simple prose again.
Afaik it's similar with Ulysses, i.e. the chapters are written in different styles which vary in difficulty.
No. 51647
Does anyone here read contemporary science fiction?
When I woke up I thought about how scifi, especially the stuff from 50-80ish, put their setting some decades in the future and everything was pretty advanced. Remember Blade Runner, Solaris, Back to the Future, all kinds of dystopias like 1984, Brave New World, Escape from New York.
I am currently reading "A Scanner Darkly" and it's set almost 20 years in the future, but apart from Everyman suits, the cephalochromoscope and some slightly-futuristic gadgets, it's basically 70s US, with the slang and hippie shit and all that.
Which made the wonder - how do modern scifi authors write about the future? I rad "The Martian", and apart from the cringy humor really liked it, but that was rather "hard" scifi. But seeing how in the last 20 years we haven't made any worthwhile progress, except maybe in reaching some kind of proto-cyberpunk world with the explosion of the internet, how can a modern author imagine the future? What will 2050 look like? Will we have cool tech or will we have actual wagie cages?
No. 51648
I can wholeheartedly recommend the "Southern Reach Trilogy" written by Jeff VanderMeer in terms of contemporary sci-fi. Although his novels are not really about foreseeing a whole new future, but you might enjoy them nonetheless
No. 51651
680 kB, 890 × 1024
16 kB, 600 × 225
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Since nobody can really know the future you will always have traces of the then present in it. Historically that is cool, it can also tell you about the present as well as the past. Generally I'd say some sci-fi is quite good at analysis and extrapolation (which might take another form but...you know). These will exist today, too. The future is a buzzing buzzword these days, everyone and their grandma looks to the future, I always thought it was Baader-Meinhof syndrome but I was/am caught in a massive contemporary discourse.

There is chinese sci-fi e.g. that might provide a different angle than western sci-fi

These lists contain some sci-fi novels, have a look

No. 51652
>There is chinese sci-fi
Oh yeah, right. Totally forgot that. Cixin Liu can also be recommended although I only read his short novel "Mirror".
No. 51653
IIRC I've only read Peter Watts' Blindsight & the first book of Liu Cixin's Three Body Problem, both are roughly about space/aliens and I think it's hard to get excited about that nowadays (unless you're mb an Elon Musk fanboy). While not literature, one can probably look at a series like Black Mirror for contemporary SF, on the other hand I suppose "climate fiction" is something that's probably relevant (though again I don't really have a good book example).
Cyberpunk is still kind of relevant (it is kind of what we live in after all), but I think it's also done as literature & moved on to adpatiations in other media such as movies or video games.
I'm sure there are still quite a lot of authors churning out hard scifi, but I doubt these books will exactly go down in literary history.

Something that's not too focused on technology but still deals with ideas about the future are e.g. Houellebecq's Elementary Particles or Submission.

>The future is a buzzing buzzword these days, everyone and their grandma looks to the future
Can't really relate tbh. I feel like it's not that often talked about, & whenever it is, it's usually about some dystopian stuff that is often already halfway there.
No. 51654
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>I feel like it's not that often talked about, & whenever it is, it's usually about some dystopian stuff

Yeah, many future outlooks are dystopian, but there are people trying to look for more positive outlooks, getting away from BigTech, but some capitalist fantasies of Industrie 4.0 etc the future of work, you have to move within certain feels even though some German magazines feature articles as well.

>about space/aliens and I think it's hard to get excited about that nowadays

The thing, an this is an assumption since I did not read any of that literature, is that you probably "misread" it as oh it's about aliens what an old trope, but the alien encompasses the foreigner, the outside, the whole xeno prefix is locked to the alien, therefore the alien is not just an evil creature down to destroy human lives or whatever it is. The alien can act as background for various things concerning human and life on this planet when it comes to the these tropes I just listed.

I bought this https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/dispute-plan-prevent-future-luxury-constitution a year or so ago, but it's a tour de force of various things and definitely not easy to "get", all this said from reading just a few pages. But I think I will be ready soon, since my progress in theory made some enourmous steps in the last 2 years.

Coming from theory, the cybernetization of all kinds of fields will be going on for decades I think, we are still very much in it, it has been going on longer than WW2 and it is here to stay for a longer time.
No. 51662
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>there are people trying to look for more positive outlooks, getting away from BigTech
What are you thinking of?
The only ideas in that direction I can think of are decentralization and "return to nature" anprim ideas. Both seem only possible after some sort of collapse of the current order. Otherwise we just keep cruising at the End of History with minor realignments.

>The alien can act as background for various things concerning human and life on this planet when it comes to the these tropes I just listed.
Sure, but the whole concept of the alien is hinging on the idea of space (or "the outside" if you want) & space travel, otherwise the alien is just a monster. And in case of scifi the underlying idea behind the alien can often be interpreted in a quite straightforward fashion, e.g. in the Watts book it is all basically built around certain theories about consciousness. With hard scifi especially the technology or underlying theory are often so much in focus, that the writing itself just isn't very good (from a literary perspective).
Also the idea of space travel is rather marginalized nowadays compared to its heyday of the US/Soviet Space Race, I suppose back then people could genuinely imagine that they might be going to space during their lifetimes. Considering the current trajectory this possibility seems rather bleak, so space just isn't a really exciting setting for me.
On the other hand, I do enjoy e.g. anime set in space like Gundam where they don't really try to make things align with real science and rather focus on the story & style.

>Coming from theory, the cybernetization of all kinds of fields will be going on for decades I think, we are still very much in it, it has been going on longer than WW2 and it is here to stay for a longer time.
This I fully agree with & I think that's precisely the reason why the future is generally seen as dystopian
No. 51664
The problem I have with "aliens" as a concept is that it is pretty much impossible for a human to write an alien.
It's either "differently shaped human" or "some kind of animal, either wild or organized in hives".

That's why I like for example the aliens in Roadside Picnic. They aren't even shown, just what they left, and whatever they used it for, humans certainly didn't use it the same way, which makes them elusive to our understanding.
No. 51667
>I think that's precisely the reason why the future is generally seen as dystopian

The thing with cybernetics is that it's operativity exercised by systems and control action, quite very nihilistic, it just functions and presents itself as the only way: capitalist realism. homoestasis.
There exists a left branch since the 60s, counter culture stuff, novelity etc. even Deleuze and Guattari can be counted in the cybernetic hype for novelity. But we all know how these counter cultural attempts turned out: commercialization, the 1990s mark a rift already, that the dreams won't turn out as once articulated, heck even the 1980s had it coming already I guess. And today we have the state and BigTech working together and against each other, quite weird tbh.

On the left there have been attempts to conquer the future >>51651
check the lists, it contains future oriented books which are not dystopic, yet ofc these kind of research is centered, well you can guess, on planing for instance, one of many cousins of cybernetics/systemics.

Also dystopic visions of the future spark utopic counter messures or at least spark more often than before discourse about how to get away, green capitalism, sustainability have to be counted into this. if this gets done or if it gets done at all and how it gets done, when it gets done is another question, first we have the discourse about the present and its relation to the future.
No. 51668
That is the thing. Imagine the outside, it means dealing with the outside, the most xeno-object of thought possible perhaps and yet people think about it, try to think about it. It's borderland dwellling.
It reminds me of AI fantasies that is like humans or predetor animals, why should AI act like this, like an animal or human-like?

Anyway, Octavia Buttlers Xenogenisis Trilogy, so I heard, is good and singular in sci-fi when it comes to the conceptualized aliens.
No. 51706
I think the idea of 'realistic' aliens is overrated anyway. Thematically consistent aliens are better in pretty much any case. A shit story isn't made good by sufficiently weird ayys. While uninspired ayys can serve as good a role as weird ones if written properly.

Consider that the heyday of the virtually human alien was still seeing a lot of Othering between humans. It may not be the most intelligent way to go about it, but using a literal alien as a stand-in let authors disguise 'real' stories under the veneer of science fiction.

Despite being film, Klaatu comes to mind as a very human alien, made alien by his technology more than anything buts whose outsider perspective is used to raise the point of 'fighting between nations is stupid bullshit'. He doesn't need to be some unknowable alien beastie. He just needs to be this advanced outsider looking at us. Doing so also disguises the point as harmless sci fi.
No. 51707
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It might not be made good by Other ayys but it sure as shit is going to suffer with shit ayys and a shit story. M night shyamalan, what was that called? Where they never factored in water or salt water on a water planet? But anyway when you add a shit ayy to a shit story you get the cringiest goddamn shit imaginable.

I'd posit it like that Pascal's wager diagram:
Good ayy, bad story | bad ayy, bad story
Good ayy, good story | bad ayy, good story

At least in the case of a truly great ayy what you end up with is at something at least that is interesting to watch and look at. A lot of really cheesy bad 80s scifi and horror shows tended to at least have this kind of element unless the monster itself became so fucking bad that it crossed the event horizon of shit into "so bad it's good" if not outright a scifi version of The Producers. There became a great many cheesy 80s movie monsters that became easily recognizable classics purely on the inventiveness of their FX team and concept artists, which itself could plausibly be said to have inspired some further inspiration for how to at least do the design part right for a different group of people.

Now take a bad alien/monster, and a great story. Sure you might be able to forgive that, but then it's ultimately just because you're outright ignoring how terrible it is, because it's Star Trek and you're not even suspending disbelief anymore that these things are aliens as opposed to just races of human people, or at worst it starts sinking the whole fucking story because you're now too distracted by how godawful the aliens are. This frequently happens in some areas of fiction particularly horror that unintentionally ruins the moment by the horror turning comedic, for example.

So, no, I fully disagree with that. Badly enough done aliens detract from the story. You simply need a bad enough ayy and it becomes the scifi equivalent of every time Lovecraft's cat jumps out in The Rats in the Walls. It wasn't even a bad story but when you've got Lovecraft going out of his way to say "nigger jumps out!" multiple times it obliterates anything respectable about the thing by being tonally sabotaging and you get to that point where it's like "I can't take this shit seriously anymore."

Meanwhile you can see what happens when you get both a good story and a good ayy in something like Alien which is infinitely better than anything that would've happened had you had some poorly designed ayy and it would've just become instantly forgettable rather than memorable and thrown on the trasheap of cinema history. Did they save their respective franchises from the godawful corporate rock squeezing of Alien and Predator into being the same universe and same "franchise"? No of course not. But it still is exactly what gave it those legs to begin with because each of these was superbly designed ayys on top of decent/good stories throughout the earlier films which allowed them fully to milk it for all it was worth.

Now imagine that it was not only this pic related in both earlier movies, but also take away all that other shit like acid blood, parasitic life cycle, muh ayy warrior honor, thermal vision, cloaking fields etc. and you've just got some dude that bleeds red. Nobody would give a shit and no matter how well done the story may seem it's still going to be quickly forgotten beyond some internet meme the dude jumping out as an unintentionally hilarious moment.
t. Clearly same ernst who rants nonstop about shit ayys in 4x games
No. 51712
Sure, but the point is that the alien is a tool, not the aim in and of itself. You could hypothetically do Alien as a film with various other ideas (hell, it's functionally very similar to a slasher villain). Nothing about the alien itself makes the movie good. It's the use of the alien. Things like acid blood and inventive design make it memorable, but the story itself is written around that alien which makes it work, with its traits serving a purpose. If you just do a straight swap yes, it'll suck but that's also ignoring what makes it good also. Putting that Alien in something like say Buck Rogers, wouldn't work (and thus be kind of shit) because the aliens in Buck Rogers serve a different purpose.

Old Star Trek used the old sci-fi concept of alien which was much more about using them to explore ideas rather than cultures. Them being incomprehensible would run entirely against their point of inclusion.

Basically, I don't think you can separate an element from its context. Something is good when used effectively. Something can be novel despite being badly used but novel is not a synonym of good.

Also, you better not be casting shade on my boy Gill-Man. Rubber suit monsters are fucking kino.
No. 51713
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Als ob, to go back on topic I've started reading this. Highly recommend it so far. It's interesting to read actual literature on the subject instead of the raving you normally get. The why they act and not just the how they act.
No. 51719
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Ernst, i want to buy a bible.
There are tons of differend translations and editions, which one is worth buying for someone who's just interested in reading what all that crap is about?

Also, to take part in this thread some books i recently read:

  1. NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub And Other Stories
It looks like a piece of shit and the title doesn't suggest a really good read either, but i was interested because i like the band.
And i must say i was extremely surprised by how interesting the sotries in this biography where and by how great they where edited together.
I would recommend to learn a bit about the band first, but even if you really don't like the music i'm sure the book would be worth a read.
I like it so much that i actually wanted to play the audiobook here in the radio but no one showed up ;_;

2. Do What You Want: The Story of Bad Religion

Like i said, i loved the NOFX book and here's a biography by another band i really like: Bad Religion. What could go wrong? Well, it sucks.
It's pretty much 300 pages worth of "we're so good, our lyrics are so smart. We're so great and intelligent in a world full of idiots"

3. The Sicilian by Mario Puzo

Somewhat of a sequel to The Godfather and more or less based on a true story.
Great book, would recommend.
No. 51720
>who's just interested in reading what all that crap is about?
Learn hebrew, then, aramaic and latin and read the original texts. All translations will have some kind of bias from the translator.
If your just want to know the STORIES, then just get the Einheitsübersetzung, it's the one everyone and their grandma uses.
No. 51721
I just want to read about the talking monkeys and all that stuff
No. 51722 Kontra
What talking monkeys?
No. 51723 Kontra

>God becomes angry that he went, and sends the Angel of the Lord (Numbers 22:22) to prevent him. At first, the angel is seen only by the donkey Balaam is riding, which tries to avoid the angel.
>After Balaam starts punishing the donkey for refusing to move, it is miraculously given the power to speak to Balaam (Numbers 22:28), and it complains about Balaam's treatment.
>At this point, Balaam is allowed to see the angel, who informs him that the donkey's turning away from the messenger is the only reason the angel did not kill Balaam. Balaam immediately repents, but is told to go on.

No. 51725 Kontra
> Ernst, i want to buy a bible.
Bibles can be found for free pretty easily. It’s the oecumenical translation that is distributed most of the time so it has an universal aim. I would recommend this one. You can and ask for a bible at your local church or mission and they will give it to you directly.
No. 51729
>Ernst, i want to buy a bible.
If you're actually interested in religion, I'd recommend starting with the NT. Don't remember which one I read, but heard good stuff about the Lutherbibel.
Though if you want the "crazy stories" OT is better ofc, but it's also much longer & more all over the place. I've been reading the King James version in English but taking my time.
No. 51776
Hey Ernsts do you know where I can get some pdfs? I'm looking for an educational book for someone
No. 51777
Doesn't tpb have lots of pdf torrents too? Or is it mostly just shows for bydlo? I actually accumulated a great deal of my pdfs from long extinct *chans tbh, like zerochan and freechan. You'll have to narrow what exactly you mean by "educational books." Did you mean the kind of stuff that might be available on jstor?
No. 51779
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Oh man, I haven't had a working tpb link in a while, don't think I've torrented anything in about a year or more.

I'm looking for a pdf called either
>management for dummies
>managing for dummies

I know this probably shouldn't be in the literature thread, but I can't find them myself
No. 51780
Try libgen.gs. If it isn't there, then maybe rutracker.org, although you have to have an account there to download stuff.
No. 51781
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>Ernst, i want to buy a bible.
If you're interested in the stories, then you may prefer one translated into modern German. For example, we have the "Common English Bible". It doesn't have the beautiful language found in the "King James Version", but the meaning is the same:


You can look at various german translations here, and find one which suits you:


Another option is a something like "The Illustrated Bible Story by Story". There are other similar books, but I happen to have this one. As you can see, the bible is broken down into bite-sized chunks which makes casual browsing easier:

No. 51830
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Seconding Biblegateway although frankly nothing quite beats the feel of a Bible's gilded pages in your hands. I'd also encourage KJV or whatever the Catholics use (fun fact: the Protestant Bible is missing a bunch of books from the Catholic one including iirc Jubilees, so you're missing out on some stuff, but then again it could be argued by not reading Nag Hammadi and various other non-canonical texts you're missing out regardless) however the KJV uses such flowery and archaic English that I'd imagine it being more of a chore to read as non-English speaker and besides which it is not the Koran so it isn't like reading a different version is super critical. However that being stated the NIV in particular I find myself disagreeing with certain translation choices, although again it is a compilation of centuries of texts that you'd need Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic lernu to fully comprehend so it isn't like you're going to get the full original contexts anyway, which I guess could only be emphasized with the KJV so that you're actively forced to research what every verse means.

I also discovered that it was a Catholic priest who originally came up with the Big Bang theory and that Hubble iirc simply made some corrections on his maths which is why it is Hubble associated with it not Georges Lemaitre https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre
However, apparently there's some new theories positing that the Big Bang theory itself may not be accurate with the Ekpyrotic theory and such
Regardless I would find it important for any learned man to read at least some of the Bible no matter his profession if he is in literature, athropology, or whatever, and that I'd further posit it an incredibly deep, rich, and multilayered work that will take the ordinary person many many years to come to fully appreciate. The more you look at it feels like it exists outside of time, or that its author does, who embedded Itself into time to make it understandable to a bunch of 3D dwelling savages.

One of my favorite short theories of how this worked for example is the one that posited that the woman being bruised on her heal by the snake but that her foot would smash its head was multiplanar and extrapolated both the instance of Eve (her name means basically life or mother of life in Hebrew) falling to sin and temptation as well as the coming of Messiah and Mary being the vehicle through which sin or Satan would have his head smashed through the Redeemer. Likewise one could further extrapolate that the ouroboros, a secret society that would circumnavigate the earth as conquering Luciferians, compartentalized with the body of their pyramid trailing behind them, would have even that dark court and head of the serpent smashed in the future by the returning of the Messiah and the sword from his mouth that is called Truth. It's a very interesting work, and frankly one that I think anyone who'd be so much as open minded about theology look at more akin to a hologram than a linear textual work.
No. 51858 Kontra
no joy there, got some torrents but they're dead
No. 51862
This what you're after?
t. searched 'management for dummies pdf'

No. 51873
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A short 120p novel in which the narrator becomes obessed with another person, Nicola. Though it seems not sexual, there is some ambivalance to tot, yet only in one passages. The obession stems more from the charakter trais of Nicola, his behavior and closure, also his power. The narrator wants to find out something about Nicola, like a secret.

The whole novel is kinda unsettling tbh, you don't really know what either the narrator nor Nicola really do, they have money and make it by talking, organizing. Designer clothing, cool bars, closed social circles and all that, but the narrators drift through the days and nights, the journeys that are described give off an uncanny vibe, you don't really know what these people are doing and the trained behavior, the high reflexivity (if the narrator is right in his reflexivity, well) of the social games they play just add to this unsettling yet in a way strangely relatable feel. I posted the quote in the today thread but it's also on the book back but it just hits the nail, this book is about drifting. And it does capture the drift quite well. Ofc drifts can also very ernst-like, this is somewhere inbetween.
No. 52688
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493 kB
I'm trucking on with Ulysses & read a curious little book called The Emotional Logic of Capitalism by Martijn Konings. It's quite academic & dense, but to summarize the author claims to argue against the common criticism of capitalism as a "disembedding" force that uproots social values, instead looking at the economy as a network with money as an intuitively grasped "icon" that allows actors to interact with each other. To quote a bit at length:
>This book’s critique of the disembedding account of capitalism is by no means to deny that a sense of loss and inarticulate discontent is part and parcel of modern subjectivity or that money plays a very significant role in the production of such malaise. Indeed, money generates anxiety no matter how much we have of it. The point is rather that money’s dark side does not negate its binding, generative force: the discontents of capitalist life are inextricably intertwined with the more inviting and alluring aspects of money. Capitalist socialization involves productive admixtures of hope and disappointment, illusion and disillusionment. Although money is a source of tremendous frustration and anxiety, it never fails to excite and motivate us. The anxiety that it engenders paradoxically only strengthens our attachment to it. It is such ups and downs of hope and disappointment—rather than a mechanical pursuit of indifferent utility or a drift into listless alienation—that is characteristic of our financial experience.
I'm not sure I buy it entirely & I'm sure it's rather polarizing, but it's interesting to hear some different ideas on this topic.

I'm also doing some research for a SciFi short story I want to write for a contest, the deadline is the end of the month. Would be a big milestone for me if I manage to at least finish it.
But so far I've only really collected a couple of loose ideas for a plot, nothing too substantial. I'm reading some short stories now that are related to the topic (money) but what is irking me is that the stories I've read so far, while well crafted, deal with issues that don't really interest me that much (i.e. ecological, refugee/foreign aid etc.) & I feel they lack some sort of "bite". Guess I might as well link to the stories:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/byfx74212s28321/VVEV.pdf?dl=0 pg.115 in the PDF

I also started reading a collection of classic scifi short stories called "50 Short Science Fiction Tales" which I'm enjoying quite a lot, as they're more imaginative and fun, tending to have twist endings & some more experimental perspectives. Then again, they're mostly rather shorter "flash fiction" than proper short stories.
No. 52904
Stumbled upon some resources on speed-reading recently, and one of the major techniques in that regard is getting rid of subvocalization (i.e. reading "aloud" in your inner voice), and rather taking in the visual words directly. However, it's rather controversial whether this is actually helpful in reading faster.
Does Ernst have any experience in that regard? I've been experimenting with it but I'm not sure what to think yet.
No. 52912
How does it even work? I once tried those speed read pages where you can copy a text and then get it presented to you in words/minute with the option of word chunks, like 3 words/chunk. Maybe when its fast enough you have to automatically get rid of subvocalization, but how does it work when you have a book infront of you, sounds like a tough training.
No. 52931
Hey that's actually a good idea..hey wait a minute.

You know I actually was going to say, that for me at least in my case it may actually be a little different because I don't process human spoken language super well especially if I'm listening to someone and looking at words. Then started typing and thought about it and realized, I don't think I actually hear my own voice a whole lot even typing. Fuck. No I barely hear anything at all seeing other posts.

I think I may just be an outlier. I may still have to try this technique you proposed but it's largely feeling like my grapheme input is just going straight to the brain, whereas whenever somebody talks to me I literally have 2 second long pauses as it routes around to generating different types of visual imagery, be they written words to visualize, images, mental simulations whatever. Then again I am also the ernst who, maybe it was also you, mentioned that thing about visualizations and seemed surprised I could project and rotate 3D images in my head.

This unfortunately comes at the cost of apparently having used my auditory visual language centers as a dumpstat. Maybe I should minmax more. That really did seem the better ATOM RPG path.

How much data has been lost over the years to dead nodes? It seems the whole decentralized networking ideal was not actually thinking longterm. Almost all of 1990s internet is vanished, even its archives. If we lose things like waybackmachine we've effectively lost the internet's memory. I found out people were surprised I've got half a terabyte of TV and such stored, because I guess they watch and delete? Or expect to stream it off Netflix?

I can't stop thinking about my one small town, and the nonstop garbage bins of books I always saw. People threw out books constantly. Yeah a lot of them were trash and like pulp romance novels or some form of literary shitpost, but recognizable books too. One likewise wonders what we lost between people using clay tablets and other forms of storage media. Across time your stone receipt will yell louder than a people's shared history over centuries.
No. 52944
>pages where you can copy a text and then get it presented to you
Don't really like this because that way you can't really go back if you missed something, I don't like the lack of control.

>How does it even work?
What worked for me so far is quickly scanning one line after another with my eyes, but this only works properly if the lines are short enough so your eyes don't have to move too much.
I mostly read with an ereader and it works pretty well there, you can adjust the font size (and through that also line length) to your liking. With a proper book I suppose whether it works depends on the line length. On the web, e.g. here on EC, it often doesn't work at all because the lines are stretched across the whole screen so your eyes need to move a lot to read them.

Also, it probably requires practice, after a while of reading that way I felt rather tired, but that might have also been due to it already being late.

>Then again I am also the ernst who, maybe it was also you, mentioned that thing about visualizations and seemed surprised I could project and rotate 3D images in my head.
Yeah, funnily enough it was me.
No. 53382
13,0 MB
3,4 MB
>Would be a big milestone for me if I manage to at least finish it.
I failed, of course.

From my attempts so far, I feel like my lack of imagination (or, maybe rather visalization) is holding me back from just "creating" some character or place in my head and then going from there to describe what I'm visualizing. Next time, I'll try to write a story based more closely on something that has actually happened to me, hopefully my actual memories are vivid enough.

Read a really great book on writing that recently came out called A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders. Most of the resources on writing I came upon so far are by hack authors, so I was happy to pick this up. I only read a couple of short stories by him before but being one of the few authors namedropped by Pelevin should be endorsement enough.
He analyzes seven short stories by great Russian writers (Chekhov, Tolstoy, Turgenev & Gogol) in great detail but also in a witty and accessible tone (possibly even too goofy at times). Besides analyzing the meaning & what makes them great, he illustrates many principles of writing & also gives more general writing advice.
Most of the "writing advice" is nothing new, but he's also aware of that and discusses it thoughtfully. I really enjoyed all the stories & his commentary. Would be interesting to do something like his analyses on more recent literature, but I suppose that is left as an exercise to the reader.

Spurned by my recent preoccupation with aphantasia, I read The Art of Memory by Frances A Yates. It's a somewhat academic but still fairly readable history of how memory was cultivated from antiquity until the Renaissance. The classic approach by the Greek & Roman rhetoricians actually was to visualize what one wants to remember in a certain order as objects in memory "places" (usually based on real buildings with various rooms).
In the Middle Ages this gets transformed into mainly being used by religious scholars & priests to remember theological teachings like vices & virtues. Afterwards it gets more difficult to trace the tradition, but through some intermediaries like Camillo & Lull it culminates in Giordano Bruno's rather occult & esoteric teachings. He builds up different systems of complex images drawn from mythology & religion to basically encode all aspects of the world.
The author then also draws somewhat spurious connections between this art of memory and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (since theatres were used by some of these "memory artists" as memory places) & also from Bruno's all-encompassing system to modern Science (through Leibniz). Really fascinating stuff overall, but there's also quite a bit of chaff for the casual reader.
No. 53543
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Read the introduction to pic related, the first two chapters also sounds very interesting but I will skip it atm. Hopefully I remember this book.

Cowen starts from the point where logistics as military concern becomes a field of business management after WW2, yet both are still linked together or overlap, civil and military logistics are not neatly seperated today. Logistics shape markets, actors and movements on global levels (which I think also means that it scales differently depending on what is adressed, so it penetrates both micro and macro levels of a globalized system).

>logistics as a business science has come to drive geo-economic logics and authority, where geo-economics emphasizes the recalibration of international space by globalized market logics, transnational actors (corporate, nonprofit, and state), and a network geography of capital, goods, and human flow [@cowen2014, 8]

The second take away for me from the introduction (there is more much ofc) is the concept of supply chain security and which is linked to what as been stated above. So supply chains today are treated as critical for systemic (social and economic) stability, systems that are concerned as "vital systems". This means that
>>Today, the supply chain is understood to be both vital and vulnerable and so in urgent need of protection. [@cowen2014, 9]

The case of protection is crucial, as it drives certain operations or interventions of states and private enterprises that have contracts with states etc. What kind of operations? Well, as logistics is rendered critical it means that threats or obstacles to the flow off things (be it humans or stuff) has to be regulated accordingly, which also implies violence and action that can be called imperial, so basically the imperialism isnt really over. Intervention in foreign countries, international policies and agreements that have consequences for human lifes.

Book can be found on libgen, the introduction is less than 20p long but is kinda eye opening in its birds eye view over contemporary logistics. Maybe I knew to little before but its also very fascinating if you are interested in systems. I immediately had to think of time criticality that is within logistics but does get mentioned here really, ofc not, she also notes there is so much more to the topics.
No. 53551
28 kB, 256 × 387
Read American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

I'm not really sure what to think of this book. On one hand, it's well-written, exciting and entertaining, it has a couple of nice plot twists which for a change don't appear out of nowhere but are actually foreshadowed throughout the book. On the other hand, the book didn't leave much of an impact on me: it's not the kind of book that I would care to remember or re-read, and neither would I recommend it to anyone. It was a fun piece of urban fantasy, but there isn't much else to it: basically Gaiman just takes the idea of all the gods and mythological creatures existing and being nourished by people's belief in them, puts those gods in modern day USA, creates a conflict between those old gods and new "gods" like Television and the Internet and throws an ordinary (not really that ordinary, as it turns out in the end) human right in the center of that conflict. It feels more like an adventure comic book which isn't really a bad thing per se, but it is still a bit disappointing for a novel. Also, the said conflict gets resolved in a very underwhelming way which doesn't add any points to the book either. So yeah, it's a pretty good book, but in my opinion it doesn't deserve all that praise and all those awards that were heaped upon it.

Oh, and concerning the pet peeve of mine: Slavic characters. There are some of them in the book — Czernobog and sisters Zorya Utrennyaya, Zorya Vechernyaya and Zorya Polunochnaya ("Midnight Twilight", WTF?) — and they speak with that stereotypical accent that anglos think is Russian, namely the grammatically incorrect sentences like "copular verb + adjective" ("Is good", "Is wrong" etc.). I'll just say it straight: Russian language doesn't use copular verbs in present tense! Sure, it can be argued that those are Slavic gods and some Slavic languages may use those "copular verb + adjective" sentences, but not in this case, because they are explicitly stated to be Russian. This may sound as nitpicking, but I don't care, I'm just tired of seeing those retarded fake accents and they make me cringe as much as "na zdorovye".
No. 54897
17 kB, 250 × 383
A researcher arrives to a laboratory in Solaris, a planet very far from earth.

This book is one of the great classics of the science-fiction genre and my favorite so far. I had not been exposed before to the non-comedic Lem, wich funnily have a lot of similar themes with his comedic work. Many emotions. I can only recommend you to read it and even more if you're a SF enjoyer.

I am also very impressed by the freedom of thought that all the SF writers from the eastern block had. I guess I still had some sterotypes about artistic creation insinde the Warsaw pact. Also I am not sure wether it's really welcomed to talk about really well known books in this thread. I'll still do it today, it gives an excuse to bump.

I'll now read the cycle of Tschaï by Jack Vance.
No. 54898
Why not talk about classics? I really like Kafka, I usually get bored by classics getting mentioned but Kafka really does it for me.

Also Solaris is the story where there is matter/whatever it is that plays tricks on the humans investigating it? I cannot remember it anymore, such a shame, I think it was quite well in its philosophical approach. If this was about an undercover critique of the evil SU, I did not get that, but I hardly believe it was dissent literature in that case, dunno about Lem in general.
No. 54900 Kontra
Yes you got it right, it’s that one. This is clearly not a critic of URSS but it may be seen as a criticism of positivism. Even if I saw it more as a poetic reflection on positivism. I’m just impressed that sci-fi nearly transcended the iron curtain. There’s probably books on the matter.
No. 54933
Define "classics". I, for one, just can't read anything from before like 1850. I had to in school, of course, and I tried a few times in private, but I just can't get into that roundabout way they used to write.
Kafka on the other hand has a very "modern" style of writing, which I can enjoy.
Or Jünger - he is at the border. He uses ellipses rather often and his style mirrors the pathos of his tellings pretty well, but he is still modern enough to be tolerable.
On the other hand, fuck Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, fuck Jane Austen and fuck Schiller.
No. 54989
12 kB, 325 × 499
4,6 MB
4,0 MB
Finished Joyce's Ulysses today, what a wild ride. Considering it's reputation for being hard to read (and admittedly, for the most part it is), I expected it to be much more heady or intellectual (which it, being almost encyclopedical, also at times is), but arguably the main point of it turned out to be a much more wholesome appreciation for life and love, as trite as that sounds.

Besides a few moments here and there, it really clicked for me only with the 15th chapter ("Circe") which is written as a hilarious play consisting of surreal vignettes featuring just about all the characters in the book. From then on it's fairly smooth sailing, as the remaining chapters are comparatively straightforward.

I can recommend https://www.ulyssesguide.com/ as a supplement for fairly concise chapter summaries to make sure you didn't miss anything and some gentle analysis
https://biblioklept.org/2010/06/16/how-to-read-james-joyces-ulysses-and-why-you-should-avoid-how-to-guides-like-this-one/ also quite good, including some basic further literature recommendations.

Can definitely see myself rereading it in a couple of years in more depth.

>Also I am not sure wether it's really welcomed to talk about really well known books in this thread. I'll still do it today, it gives an excuse to bump.
By any means, the bump actually nudged me to read more again.
No. 55113
A poem by Xu Lizhi, a Foxconn migrant
worker in January 2014, when this was written, later that year he killed himself. His poem refers to the Foxconn suiciders around 2010, I guess. The comparison with the context is quite taking.

A Screw Fell to the Ground
A screw fell to the ground
In this dark night of overtime
Plunging vertically, lightly clinking
It won’t attract anyone’s attention
Just like last time
On a night like this
When someone plunged to the ground
No. 55116 Kontra
Whenever this thread gets bumped up to the top I die a bit inside that I haven't managed to read an entire book cover to cover in months.
No. 55124
Start small, with a collection of poetry or short stories. Many people's brains have been fried by this current situation, all-digital life, it's not atypical.
No. 55132 Kontra
I've read a few books (less than 5) cover to cover since I started my new studies 7 months ago. As already advised, start small or take something not too long and read 15-30min, a day or every second. You might benefit by reading in small chunks as you can remember the stuff better. I also mourn at the books not read while university takes up nearly all the intellectual space
No. 55637
178 kB, 765 × 1170
This book is about a really interesting theme, however author managed to make it boring. The same things are repeated thousand times, each time unnecessary verbosely. I wonder if there is any book like this, but targeted on more prepared reader.
No. 55643
480 kB, 15 pages
442 kB, 70 pages
GeorgGyörgy Lukács - The Theory of the Novel

Aside from a few quotable and legible passages due to which it is probably still fairly well known in the first place, it's quite a mess of abstract idealist gobbledegook. There's fairly little reason for a casual reader to grapple with it unless one's interested in triggering a migraine headache - just read the great essay on it by DH Miles.
No. 55893
21 kB, 292 × 410
935 kB
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Jia Pingwa - Ruined City

This novel came out in 1993, was banned shortly afterwards (allegedly due to the large amount of sexual content), but was still widely circulated in samizdat fashion. Translated into English by Howard Goldblatt in 2016. The story centers around a celebrity writer's decline through many liaisons, but features a large cast of side characters and subplots that paint an almost anthropological picture of the city Xijing (Xi'an), the capital of Shaanxi Province and one of the oldest cities in China. It rivals other modernist urban novels in scale yet is written in a refreshingly unliterary style with lots of (often dark) humour, yet also some poetic passages. It's a realist novel for the most part, yet e.g. the opening exposition is told by way of several anecdotes/legends, and it sometimes veers into the magical (as when there is a monologue by a philospher cow) or the supernatural, or rather superstisious (as when the protagonist's mother-in-law constantly claims to see and speak to ghosts).
IIRC the first Chinese novel I ever read - had an absolute blast with it.

Further reading:
No. 55982
816 kB, 2195 × 3067
Sergei Dovlatov - Selections from "Solo on Underwood" and "Solo on IBM"

I like flash fiction, simply because it's fun to read and I can read a story in half a minute, usually with a good twist on the end or a good joke. It's the literary equivalent of eating a very nice candy in a sense.

I consider Dovlatov to be a good author. A good one, not a great one. His prose is very light on the reader, and he doesn't expect you to grasp complex ideas, he's just here to tell you his experiences, his life and his feelings. The highlight of his work is when he tells colourful, sometimes vulgar anecdotes about living in the USSR.
He's a good author precisely because of these qualities. I can pick up one of his novels, read it in two afternoons, have a pleasant experience and then go on to do something else without feeling challenged, but without resorting to the literary equivalent of fast food.

His "Miniature fiction" is very good. It's like a more personal, more sophisticated collection of old Soviet jokes. Solo on Underwood was written during his Leningrad period, while the Solo on IBM stories were written in the USA. Honestly, the ones he wrote in the USSR felt better to read, but it's maybe just that I can't accurately evaluate his experiences as a Russian emigré as someone who is not Russian. (Really, most of his books lose a bit of steam once his US experiences get into focus. Maybe it's just the fact that the US isn't all that magical to me while the USSR remains interesting.)

He makes constant references to Soviet authors, politicians and artists throughout the stories, which made me realise two things:
>I know way too much about the USSR, since I recognised a lot of them
>I know way too little about the USSR, because I didn't recognise a lot of them

Some of the small stories feel a personal, while others remind me of jokes I've seen in joke books that collect jokes from the Warsaw Pact era.
It's not a bad thing, gives them a certain charm and I often had to put down the book because I laughed so hard.

Also I want to mention the cool cover. Cowboy Dovlatov :DDDD
No. 55983
>'s not a bad thing, gives them a certain charm and I often had to put down the book because I laughed so hard.
Please post one for evaluation.
No. 55988
Literature is not good.
Regards, Philosopher king.
No. 55989
Translated a few.

We were going home with Brodsky together. It was late at night. We went down to the Metro, but it was closed. Wrought iron bars from top to bottom. Behind the bars a policeman was walking about.
Iosif stepped closer. He shouted quite loudly:
  • HEY!
The policeman heard him and turned around.
  • What an amazing sight - Iosif said - first time I can observe a policeman behind bars!

One time Sklyarinsky was walking with Dvorin. They talked about every possible topic. Including women. Sklyarinsky was talking with romantic zest, while Dvorin was talking with a straight character.
Sklyarinsky couldn't whithold it any longer:
  • What are you thinking? You keep saying fucking and fucked! Couldn't you express yourself more politely?
  • How?
  • Like "we were together", or "went out"...
They kept walking. They talked. Sklyarinsky asked:
  • By the way, what's your relationship with Larissa M.?
  • We were together - Dvorin replied
  • You mean you fucked? - asked back Sklyarinsky.

One time I called the technical editor Lev Zaharovich Lev Abramovich by accident, who immediately felt gravely insulted. I kept thinking: why he would find this thing so insulting? Finally, I puzzled out his way of thinking:
  • You bastard! You didn't remember my patronym! You only remembered that I'm a Jew!

Two billboards alongside alongside a road, one mile from one another.
The first one:
We will catch up to and overtake America!
The second one:
Don't overtake when the road is too narrow!

In Tbilisi they were holding a conference on the topic of "The optimism of Soviet literature". There were a lot of presenters. Including Narovchatov, who talked about the optimism of Soviet literature. Then a Georgian literary critic by the name of Kemoklidse stepped on the podium.
  • Question to the previous presenter.
  • Ask away.
  • About Byron. Was he young?
  • What? - said Narovchatov in a surprised tone - Byron? George Byron? Yes, he died relatively young, why?
  • Nothing special. Another question about Byron: Was he handsome?
  • Who, Byron? Yes, it's common knowledge that Byron had an impactful appearance. Why? What's going on?
  • Just asking. Another question? Was he well off?
  • Who? Byron? Well, it's evident. He was a Lord. He had a castle. He was quite well off. Rich, so to speak. It's common knowledge.
  • One last question. Was he talented?
  • Byron? George Byron? Byron is the greatest poet of England! I don't get it, what are you trying to get to?
  • You'll get it in a second! Look. George Byron! He was young, handsome, rich and talented. And he was a pessimist! You are an old, penniless, talentless cripple! And an optimist!

One time my father said to me:
  • I'm an old man. I have a long and fruitful life behind me. I'll have a large archive, which I'd like to leave to you. There are special materials in it. Letters exchanged with Meyerhold, Tolubejev and Shostakovich.
I asked him:
  • You exchanged letters with Shostakovich?
  • Naturally - my father replied - of course! We had a creative letter exchange. We exchanged ideas and views.
  • About what? - I asked.
  • I directed something during the evacuation, and Shostakovich composed the music. In the letters we discussed a number of small things. Do you want me to show it?
My father spent a lot of time shuffling around in his cabinet. Finally he took out an average sized folder. From that he took out a small, narrow white paper. I read it in ave.
"Telegram. I categorically reject your observations. Shostakovich."
No. 55996
> The first one:
> We will catch up to and overtake America!
> The second one:
> Don't overtake when the road is too narrow!

There was a joke, a combination of two propaganda slogans:

America is standing at edge of abyss. Let's catch up to and overtake America.
No. 56036
79 kB, 759 × 595
ebin :DDD

Dialectics. First America is a goal, then it's shit and will become even worse than us :DD
No. 56607
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1,8 MB, 2539 × 3401
Yu Hua - To Live

It's a pretty good novel. I read it in a day.

It tells the tale of Fugui, the son of a landlord. He starts off as fairly stereotypical in character, and if it wasn't for the fact that the plot takes place in the 20th century, he could just as well have been the protagonist of a Confucianist short story about a prodigal son learning how to keep a family together and respect his father. But history changes things.

The plot takes place starting out probably in the 20s or 30s and tells the life of the protagonist and his family until the Reform and Opening of China, or until at least they de-collectivise farming in the late 70s. (But the narrative itself is sandwiched between the notes of a nameless student/ethnographer who is in the countryside collecting folk songs. He meets the protagonist of the novel working on the field alone, and he goes back twice to hear his entire life story.)

Fugui starts out as an unlovable bastard. He abuses his servants, is disrespectful to his father in law, unfaithful to his wife and careless about money.
His family has 100 mu of land. They used to have 200, but his father gambled it away. So Fugui decided to gamble it back, only to lose everything.
From here on out, he's not the son of a landlord any more, but a simple peasant who doesn't influence history, rather just "lives through it".
Every single time life slaps him, he just accepts it and carries on. His only goal is to keep on living, be it trough war, famine or sickness.

He grows from a weak, careless aristocrat into a family man who's willing to make sacrifices and can serve as a backbone to his family, and then into an almost daoist immortal like old man who hasn't got a care for the world, since the only things he have left are his memories of his life he lived through.

It has some really strong moments. One line was especially punching. When Fugui loses his father's lands, he is reduced to a simple peasant, but the guy who won it is elevated to the status of landlord. Only for the PLA to march into the village and execute the guy in a few years. While being dragged away for being an exploiter of the peasants, he tells Fugui that "You should be the one dying".

This "exchanging a life for a life" is a motif that goes through the novel strongly. Despite being called "to live" it's full of death.

Almost cried a few times while reading it. It's such a simply written story of a single man who's not even important, but it's very well executed in its delivery. (I don't even think the main character knows how to read.)

If you know the historical backdrop to it, I think it adds an extra layer of enjoyment, but it doesn't really properly introduce the concepts of collectivisation or the cultural revolution properly, since none of the characters in the novel are actually people who're engaged in politics. They're peasants living in a village in the middle of nowhere, so politics and history are beyond them.

Yu Hua's essays (China in Ten Words) are probably a better read if you want to learn about life under the cultural revolution.
No. 56623
21 kB, 318 × 424
Just as the humanity prepares to launch first ships into space, the Earth gets invaded by mysterious aliens. These aliens take all the countries of the world under control, forcefully unite them into one and create a technological and social utopia. Humanity submits to them both due to the aliens' (which from that point on are called "Overlords") technological and military superiority, and because of seeing the benefits of living in peace, even if enforced. Some groups still distrust the Overlords though, since the Overlords never show themselves in public, hide their reasons for keeping the humanity under control and, despite sharing a lot of their technology, disallow the space travel.

It's a very soft SF novel, not only because it doesn't contain tons of big brain scientific stuff, but also because its main themes are telepathy, precognition and hive mind. Nonetheless, it's not like some of the "social SF" examples, where the the scifyishness is like a tiny ribbon on top of a huge and bulky slab of social commentary, so it keeps being enjoyable without becoming annoying. It also has some elements of cosmic horror: although its plot may not seem very original now (I recall at least two later books with the similar idea — humanity creating a species that eventually becomes incomprehensible both in their thinking and their goals and thus dooming the familiar realityGreg Bear's Blood Music and Charles Stross' Accelerando, and there are probably much more of them), it's still pretty frightening, and the ending (which qualifies as happy, I guess) manages to be really beautiful and utterly terrifying at the same time. This book totally deserves to be an SF classic.
No. 56671
Discussion of "school essays on EC" reminded me of literature lessons.
Which books were you supposed to read in school? And your opinion about them? Quite interesting what is considered "must-read for every citizen" in different countries.
No. 56674
>"must-read for every citizen"
Doesn't quite work like that in Germany, since education is state business, which means that every state has their own ideas about what is a "must read". Also, teachers have a say in what is read. That leads to
a) "politically valuable" books being read, like "Die Wolke", which is about a nuclear disaster, or "Die Welle", which is about fascism or whatever, can't remember, it was shit. Those are typical school books nobody in their right mind would read in their spare time (though I read "Die Welle" in my spare time because almost 20 years ago my mom thought it was a good idea to give it to me for christmas, while my brother got "Als Hitler das rosa Kaninchen stahl". I don't think he has read a single word yet. I read my book during one afternoon, found it dumb and haven't touched anything related ever since) and that are just read for indoctrination purposes. Then you have
b) the "classics" that can range from antique to romanticism, for example we read Antigone, but also "Der zerbrochene Krug" by Heinrich von Kleist. Also Faust (which is, as far as I know, probably the only book EVERYONE reads, because it's fucking Goethe). Also Maria Stuart by Schiller, "Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald" by Ödön von Horvath, and other assorted boring bullshit that was the teacher's taste.
That said, I probably would rate some of those books differently had I read them on my own, but talking books in school has the tendency of over-interpreting everything and thus sucking all the fun from them (which is not necessarily a problem in German classes, but also music, arts, sports are things school has spoiled for me and I only started coming back to those in my 20s).
For example books I read that I liked that are school books in other places are "Der Prozess" and "Die Blechtrommel".
In my experience it's a gamble that is dependent on two factors: Your state and your teacher. Best case is you read interesting stuff that actually provides new insights, worst case is you read propaganda bullshit that only critics like because it's propaganda bullshit.

That said, with the diversification of literature and especially literature research, the idea of a generally accepted canon has become not as sharp as it used to be, but for example the ZEIT canon gives a pretty good overview if you want a "general knowledge" of literature, though of course the works there are also not only valued by their actual content and craftsmanship, but also by their historical and international significance, hence the "Weltliteratur". For german language works, Marcel Reich-Ranicki has published his recommendations, of course also influenced by the respective author's significance.
No. 56675
There were quite a few books we had to read. From Camões' "Os Lusíadas", the grand epic about our nation discovering new worlds to more modern books - Memorial do Convento by Nobel prize winner Saramago being the shittiest book I was ever forced to read.
The cannon of Portuguese literature is mostly there, Fernando Pessoa, Eça de Queiroz, Miguel Torga and no doubt others that I've seen forgotten.

Never did like Portuguese class or even history class XDD, throughout middle school the teachers were free to impose their very subjective views on what exactly was a correct interpretation of the text. Only later did I understand that this arbitrarity was more of a peculiarity of teachers I dealt with than just something inherent to non-scientific fields.

I think the whole experience left me with less interest in literature at the end of it.
No. 56685
Main ones I remember were Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby. Most of it was just random bullshit though that I can't remember.
t. NZ high school grad
No. 56703
Woyzeck by Georg Büchner - ok
Die Physiker by Friedrich Dürrenmatt - enjoyed it
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe - loved it
Nathan der Weise by Lessing - hated it, but it was also overanalyzed to death
Iphigenie auf Tauris by Goethe - hated it, but it was also overanalyzed to death
The Messenger by Markus Zusak - YA crap, also just now realized it's a translation from English, why the fuck did we even read this in German class
Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink - ok
Maria Stuart by Schiller - hated it, but it was also overanalyzed to death

About a Boy by Nick Hornby
Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Macbeth by Shakespeare

Hated most of these, but I'm at least glad we read Macbeth & Great Gatsby.

I might have forgotten a few, but that's pretty much fucking it. Afaik that's probably less in total than one summer reading list in Soviet schools. Pretty sad tbh, I have to mostly agree with >>56674
Luckily I started reading independently of school with Harry Potter, LotR & other fantasy/SF stuff and went on to Kafka, Sartre, Camus etc. in high school so I didn't end up completely alienated from reading & literature like most people here after public school.
No. 56711
Hey, we also read Nathan der Weise! And I think at one point we were supposed to read Woyzek, but for some reason we didn't. But it's been like 15 years now, so now idea.
Also, that YA book reminded me of the very first school lecture we had - it was also a translated book. "Ein Schatten wie ein Leopard", about some latino boy in New York who tries to rob some old dude in a wheelchair, but eventually befriends him. It also has gangs and stuff. It was ok and the old dude, Glasser, basically inspired me to a comic character.

We also read Andorra by Max Frisch, we even analyzed a radio play by Alfred Andersch (Fahrerflucht), and read another book by Andersch, "Sansibar oder Der letzte Grund", which was also about nazis, because what else? But frankly, I didn't hate it. It was one of the few books that were actually some kind of thrilling to read. Oh, and we read "Das siebte Kreuz", also nazi topic and it was also kinda ok. Meanwhile the Leistungskurs was reading Berlin Alexanderplatz.

In English I can frankly only remember "A Streetcar named Desire", which was kinda shit, and "Moon Palace" by Paul Auster which was absolute fucking shit.
I remember in my Abitur exam writing about Streetcar and the Sachtext was about illegal Mexico border shenanigans. I studied exactly two days for that exam and got a 12 lel.
No. 56712 Kontra
I remembered a couple more:
Holes by Louis Sachar - English YA, actually kinda fun
Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee by Thomas Brussig - historical novel about DDR stuff, rather bad, no wonder as it was basically a tie-in for a movie
Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann - historical novel about Alexander von Humboldt, pretty OK iirc
Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon by Solomon Perel - the obligatory Nazi stuff, not sure if I even read it, but the author gave a talk at our school & I vaguely remember we watched the movie (though looking at the trailer now I'm not sure anymore)
In German class we also went to see the play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind (without reading it) which was pretty great.

>Andorra by Max Frisch
Yeah, Max Frisch is also a school reading staple. I ended up reading Homo Faber by myself because friends were reading it in their class.

>Meanwhile the Leistungskurs was reading Berlin Alexanderplatz.
Not bad!
No. 56714
There's a lot in the curriculum, and even as a "bookworm" I didn't read everything that was mandated. But basically mandatory books can be separated into two categories. Hungarian literature and World-literature/Weltliteratur.

For Hungarian stuff it's usually just selections from a poet's body of work.
>János Petőfi's "landscape poetry" + his epic "John the Valiant".
I think John the Valiant is one of those poems everyone can say at least the first 5-6 lines of and knows the plot well enough.
>János Arany's ballads and the first and last part of his Toldi Trilogy + the unfinished Csaba Trilogy's first part
Same as Petőfi in a way. "National-romantic poetry".
>Vörösmarty's Csongor and Tünde
Shame, but I haven't actually read this, even though it's "foundational"
>Authors of the "Nyugat" Journal
Basically Endre Ady, Mihály Babits, Dezső Kosztolányi, Árpád Tóth, Gyula Juhász, Miklós Radnóti
This is the meat of the last two years and usually one of these authors will be an essay topic for the matura exam.
At this point anyone who has an ounce of interest in literature will pick one of these guys and will have wildly differing opinions. I picked Babits because he resonated with me.
We also usually read the poets of the early 20th century using the translations of these guys. (Generally speaking, a good Hungarian author is usually also a good translator.)
>Frigyes Karinthy - Please, Sir!
Satire about going to school during the early 1900s. Not his best work but it's easy to digest.
Everyone knows at least the title of the book. (And a few other humorous neologisms Karinthy made up.)
>Babits - The Book of Jonah
Pretty good but we didn't have time to dissect it
>Jókai Mór's novels
It's shit. It's unreadable shit and I don't care that people will call me a limp-wristed libtard for it. It's long and tedious
>Attila József's poetry
If you're literate you're mandated to fellate this guy. You can't say anything bad about him. I said I didn't like him and my teacher looked at me like as if I were a garbage bag walking on two legs.
I don't like his style and that's it.
>Post-Nyugat poets
Guys like Gyula Illyés and Sándor Weöres. I know Weöres as more of a translator and Illyés as a writer of sociography than as a poet, but that's just me ignoring the curriculum and reading stuff that wasn't assigned.
>Madách - The Tragedy of Man
We spent half a year on this one and it's was one hell of a good time. Probably my favourite segment in the curriculum. All that philosophical knowledge, all that extra background information. It was lively and it's another one of those books most people can quote.
>Molnár - Paul Street Boys
Hated it in elementary school and found it utterly boring.

They recently added Cécile Tormay and Albert Wass to the curriculum, but that was after I graduated. It adds a "right wing slant" to the end of the literary education but I never bothered to look into Wass besides a single poem that was awful.

We also had to read some shitty novelisation of a contemporary radio-drama during first year. Only "D" I got in literature during the five years.

Foreign literature:
>Antigone and Oedipus Rex
>Selections from Ovid
>Selections from Latin poetry in general
>Christian Hymn poetry
>Villon's poetry
>Dante's Inferno
>Excerpts from Don Quijote
>Whatever Shakespeare drama the teacher decides on (We did Romeo and Juliet and later during prep-classes I did Hamlet)
>Voltaire's Candide
>Moliére's Tartuffe
>Classicist poetry
>German romantic poetry
>Sorrows of the Young Werther
>Pushkin's Yevgeniy Onegin
>Gogol's Overcoat
>Death of Ivan Ilich
>Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground (But our teacher insisted we read Crime and Punishment instead)
>Selections from the Avantgarde
>Kafka's Metamorphosis
>Mann - Mario and the Wizard
Boring trite and I hated it. I'm going to read "Joseph and His Brothers" one day but this one was trash.
>Camus - The stranger

Not a complete list, since I don't remember everything, but there's also a lot of stuff we just gloss over during classes or only "learn" it through an excerpt instead of reading the actual text.
Besides the fact that it's too fucking big I don't think there's much of an issue with the literature curriculum. It gives a pretty solid foundation I think.

Though obviously the closer we got to the end the more I ignored or augmented it myself based on my own interest. Like for the Russians I went out of my way to read War and Peace, Hero of our Time and also Notes from the Underground while also consulting secondary literature.
Thinking about it I can't really objectively evaluate the standard curriculum because my history teacher acted like a private tutor for me and showed me so much stuff outside what was "mandatory" or "in the textbook" that I can't even fathom how shallow and limited just the textbook could be.
I don't think I even consulted that thing, I just used the anthology it came with.
No. 56715 Kontra
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I am so sorry you had to see this
No. 56716
>Mario und der Zauberer
Ah, yes, we read that, too. I actually managed to suppress the memory because it was so fucking awful it made me resent Mann as a whole. Buddenbrooks is also not really good.
Also remember that "trite" is an adjective.

But I am wondering - how popular/well-known/whatever is Sándor Márai? You didn't list him, is it because you forgot about him or because he's lower rate? Some years ago "Embers" got re-published in Germany and he was quite the rave for some time. I also liked his comments about his relationship with his wife.
No. 56717
The thing is that as classes progress the whole schedule falls apart, and since Márai is an example of Hungarian emigré literature he was pushed aside in favour of studying for the maturas. (Where he's kind of irrelevant)
He's up there, he's acclaimed and widely published (by a major and prestigious press), it's just that because of the chronological order he isn't "school material". We only read one poem from him.

The meat of his works is his diaries. (And getting every volume is like a pokémon game because some are out of print and very expensive to get second hand, since people are actually willing to shell out the cash for a Márai book.)

There is also the problem if politics. Politically speaking neither camp choose to "adopt" Márai like the right did with Albert Wass for example.
He was an author that self identified as a "polgár" which would translate as "bourgeois" but without the economic and Marxian connotations. Let's just say that it's more like the German word "Bürger".
He was an educated, moderate, middle class urbanite author with a command of several languages and with a lot of thoughts.
Márai shunned the pre-1945 society as backwards, but he also said some ugly things about Jews and western liberalism in his diaries.
Basically his situation is as the saying goes "Two chairs but you fall on your ass right between the two".

For the Hungarian right he's too much of a liberal urbanite, for the Hungarian left he's too headstrong and independent sadly.
Personally I like him. His style is nice, even if the world he often describes makes me feel like I have nothing in common with the people who lived here a mere 100 years ago.
He carries himself with a sort of elegance no other author has. He isn't afraid to speak his mind in his books, but despite this I found that he never feels "opinionated". Every time he speaks his mind on a topic, it's like as if some sort of deity proclaimed it to the world. It's solemn and has a sort of sanctity to it. Márai commands respect, even if you disagree with him.
No. 56718
> has the tendency of over-interpreting everything and thus sucking all the fun from them
Oh yeaaaah, I know what you are talking about. It's called "What do blue curtains mean?" here. Once I had to write an essay about what did the poet mean by something when he himself wrote in plain text in his letters: "I have no idea what did I mean by this".
Also they tend to present writers as some 1000 IQ half-saints when in reality they were types like obsessive gambler with Stockholm syndrome or vegan hippy sectarian who glorified victimhood and suffering for entire nation :---DDDD.
No. 56730
Thank you for the explanations, they were really insightful.

Yeah, over-analyzing is a disease that's especially rampant among humanities teachers, probably to justify their existence.
I remember in english class when we read Moon Palace (which is absolute fucking shit, but I already mentioned that) we were spending almost a week (and we had that class I think three times a week, with always two units) just discussing the protagonist's name. Of course his name had a specific meaning, but that could have been dealt with in half an hour with nothing left to discuss, but of course we also had to contextualize and cross-check with the story and so on. It was really sucking any residual fun out of what was already a drab and boring experience.
No. 56732 Kontra
>Once I had to write an essay about what did the poet mean by something when he himself wrote in plain text in his letters: "I have no idea what did I mean by this".

Cool story bro. I don't know why you guys want to be edgelords in a field you did not engage in much. Intention and interpretation...

I don't think it is random, but going the route and stick to the author and his or her life is usually the high school way. As you said the author is not fully aware of what he or she is doing, I don't see why that implies something has to be without meaning? Is meaning bound to intention? No.

School interpretation game isn't fun as it is usually about check listing certain interpretations that have been done in literature before. Yet it is training in recognizing, whatever literature you read. I learned this later on. Shallow thoughts on interpretation don't rise above the level of teen schoolboy edginess.
No. 56752
We had two separate subjects: Russian literature and Belarusian literature. It actually was more like Russian-language literature and Belarusian-language literature, because it also included translations of important foreign works (we read excerpts from Odyssey as well as Shakespeare, Molière, Hemingway etc. etc. in Russian and Camus' The Stranger in Belarusian). We read the Russian "classics", of course: Pushkin (mostly poetry, Yevgeni Onegin plus stuff like Queen of Spades), Lermontov (poetry again and Hero of Our Times), Lev Tolstoy (War and Peace), Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment), Chekhov, Gogol, Gorky, Bunin, and so on. We also read some works from Silver Age of Russian poetry (Blok, Bryusov, Akhmatova, Balmont, Severyanin) which I, to my surprise, actually liked, despite my dislike for poetry in general. As for Belarusian literature, we had the Belarusian poets Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas (never liked either, because they mostly wrote about rustic life which I and most of my classmates, as city dwellers, didn't give two fucks about; a buddy of mine did like Kolas' A New Land though for some reason), Ivan Melezh's People from the Swamps (quite possibly the most boring drivel I've ever read in my life), Karatkevich (he's one of the few Belarusian authors that are genuinely good; he worked mostly in historical fiction, and we read his novel Crops Under Your Sickle; I also read some of his stuff by myself (The Wild Hunt of King Stakh, Black Castle of Olshany, Boat of Despair, Christ Landed in Harodnya) and loved it), Vasil Bykov (wrote about WWII, so his works are dark and tragic, but he's also really good; I'm surprised that they didn't ban him from the school curriculum, because he was ardently anti-Lukashenko till his death) plus tons of mediocre poets and writers that would deservedly be forgotten if not for the school literature lessons.

>Die Blechtrommel
Whoa, you read The Tin Drum in school? That's pretty risky. I'm not sure to this day if it's anti-Nazi or pro-Nazi book. And also, it includes a very erotic scene between and underage boy (well, a guy who stopped growing, but whatever) and older girl. Shit like that will never fly in here.

>Os Lusíadas
That's the first time I've heard of it, but it looks interesting. I think I'm gonna check it out someday.

Yeah, nah, fuck off. If we take your approach, then the essay consisting of a single sentence — "This work means nothing to me". — is an absolutely valid interpretation of a work. Now, care to guess what mark would you get for writing an essay like that? As a matter of fact, I once wrote an essay on one of Belarusian "poets" with the similar idea. I got 5 (of maximum 10), the teacher read it aloud to the class (they actually enjoyed my essay and cheered for me, partially because the teacher was an almost universally hated dumb cunt) and asked me if she could keep it to read for future students (she probably wanted to shame me that way, but I allowed it to her surprise, because fuck her). School literature lessons are pointless and should be abolished. Those who like books will read books anyway, and those who don't like books will forget all that they've "read" in school as soon as they graduate.
No. 56753
I was reading Hopscotch
but there's two ways to read it (just changing the order of chapters), I read the first way, but now I'm not motivated to read it again the second way
so meanwhile I'm reading The Plague
No. 56756
>Whoa, you read The Tin Drum in school?
Well, I didn't, but I know that people elsewhere have read it in school.
Mind you, it wasn't some 9th grade german lesson, but more likely a "Leistungskurs" (advanced class), which used to be one of the two tiers of senior classes (with the other being the "Grundkurs", basic class). In general, the Leistungskurs was "harder" than the Grundkurs (though of course it was dependent on the teacher) because they went deeper into the matter and for example for languages, had more "sophisticated" and demanding and "high-brow" books to read, whereas for example in natural sciences it could approach first semester uni stuff. That was grades 12 and 13, so people were 17-19.
In that context reading something with a sex scene wasn't really anything to write home about.
That said, the book is clearly anti-nazi. Just because Oscar is such a Schelm who views the world through his own view doesn't mean you don't have stuff like storming the post office, old Matzerath being a typical brown bydlo, the traumatized Herr Fajngold who came from a KZ and so on.
Maybe because the mea culpa subject isn't the focus here you could think it's not anti-nazi per se.
No. 56757
>reading something with a sex scene wasn't really anything to write home about
Well, my point was that it wasn't just a regular sex scene (sex scenes don't usually bother teenagers that much; people usually start masturbating from the age of twelve, so something like Sonya Marmeladova being a prostitute doesn't surprise anyone much), but that it was a pedo sex scene. Like, I've read Nabokov's Lolita at the age of fourteen and I liked it, but I couldn't imagine it being a part of a school curriculum because of its subject matter.

As for The Tin Drum being Nazi or not, I wasn't sure about its message because there are some parallels between Oskar's behaviour and Nazi shenanigans (like Oskar breaking windows with his scream — Kristallnacht). Guenther Grass coming out as a Hitlerjuegend member didn't help much.
No. 56766
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>"S.N.U.F.F." caught my eye due to the title, but I don't know how good of a book it actually is. Reading the synopsis makes it seem like bernd's shitpost in novel form.
One could say that. Galkovsky's shitpost in novel form to be precise. But despite all the labels that's my favorite Pelevin's book. I like the worldbuilding. It's an obvious satire on current reality and quite biased one, but it's also interesting apart from it. The story is cool as well. However, it must be really hard to translate. They would require shittone of footnotes for it.
Anyway, I urge you to read, abandon it after reading one third and then write in details ITT how shitty it.
No. 56767
It was /ss/, which is generally much more accepted than the other way round, and it was consensual and all that.
And Lolita isn't really glorifying Humbert's deeds or anything, so I wouldn't directly compare them.
Also, everybody was in the Hitlerjugend, that wasn't a thing, people took offense on him being an actual SS member, but that came out like what? 30 years after the Blechtrommel?
You also have to understand that Germans have such a schizo relationship with nazism in part because nobody ever actually did any real processing.
It was either denial or "oy vey Israel take my money, I am so, so guilty" and if somebody wrote about the nazis he was either a westerner who showed people who lived under the system, but didn't participate (The Seventh Cross is also such a case, the fugitives get lots of help from the populace) or if they were an easterner focused on their noble socialist fight against fascism (e.g. Brecht). Then the after-war literature was also mainly about how people suffered. There is a short story by Wolfgang Borchert called "Das Brot", which is, as far as I know, found in every german textbook at one point, which is about hungry people after the war. What was written about was the aftermath of their guilt, but nobody ever actually wrote anything of substance about their guilt.
And you have to look at it like that - Oskar doesn't want to grow up because grown ups suck and he simply rejects their world and thus also their politics. Considering he lives in Nazi Germany it's a clear rejection of that system, too.
No. 56850
I only read about 4 pages a day now. I used to read a lot more when I used a timer. I think it's quite sad I need to be so disciplined just to read some books.
No. 56860
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Tomihiko Morimi - The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

I sort of felt like I "owed" myself reading this, considering that I liked both Tatami Galaxy and the adaptation of this novel. (Not to mention that since at the time I had a job, I actually shelled out the cash for a physical copy which was kinda on the expensive side at the time.)

Physically speaking it's one of the nicer English books I own. The cover is made from the type of paper I'm kinda scared would get stained easily with grease if I were to touch it with my bare hands. It's the type of material that makes me want to wash my hand compulsively before touching it.

The work itself is good. Not something that will shake your world, but it fits perfectly into that niche of "the comfortable Japanese novel" that you wouldn't tolerate from a non-Japanese author if this makes any sense.
Speaking of novels. It's not really a "novel". It's more like a string of four novellas that take place over the course of half a year.
If I remember correctly the movie condensed the four plots into one night. Personally I prefer the movie in this regard. The condensed plot coupled with the animation made it feel like it was an endless nighttime festival where magic was real.

I liked the second part the best, mainly because the setting of a book fair appealed to me. (Especially as the author would namedrop a lot of books just to show that he can, and since I recognised a lot of Japanese titles too, instead of irritation, I could join him in this incredibly poseur-ish endeavour of feeling good about myself simply because I recognise a few books.)

The third one was kind of tiresome with the school festival and the inserted "work in a work" meta-drama that was part of the plot, but it served its purpose and ultimately it was well executed from a literary standpoint.

I know it's a translation so judging it for how it uses the language is a bit of a moot point, but the style of the text was kind of uneven at times.
Based on the first few chapters of the Tatami Galaxy novel I've read, Morimi has this weirdly overwrought style that's befitting for a novel that's narrated by an egoistic university student. (I know it's pompous and overwrought, but from a narrative standpoint it makes perfect sense. No idea if it's just how he writes or if it's a conscious choice on his part, but it appeals to me none the less.)
(But I'd also like to add that it's probably also the type of style that probably only someone from Japan can get away. Kazakh is right. We're too forgiving with the Japanese for some reason. If a Hungarian author wrote like this I'd walk up to him and tell him he's a retard sniffing his own farts. Don't know how Morimi is able to pull it off without making it insufferable. Maybe I just tolerate it because I'm also a university student who writes usng an insufferably pompous style.)

So my main gripe with the style is that the translator sometimes uses words like "funteresting".
But thinking about it now, it could also stem from the way the novel is narrated.

Basically it has two narrators. The "Main character" who's a university student (who has the more pompous parts when it comes to style, addressing us as "dear reader") and the object of his desire, a "raven haired" girl who is more engaged with the actual plot of the novellas than the main character. Her narrations have the "funteresting" words.

Having this two-sided narration is very interesting. I didn't expect it from a sort of middle-brow campus novel. It makes for a nice reading experience as it forces you to piece the plot together yourself. (Though it's never hard on the reader, it's usually like solving a jigsaw puzzle than restoring a broken vase.)
The author is very on the nose at times about plot elements. Like he says there is a "God of used Book-fairs" and 20 pages ago you figured out one of the characters is that God/Kami, but he still has him exclaim his status as a God. (I guess I'm not necessarily a target audience for it, but still, it'd have been better if he's less in your face at times to keep the mystery.)

I liked how he utilised ideas and concepts from Shinto and Japanese mythology throughout the book in a sort of magical realist way.

I'd day that it's several tiers about a light novel when it comes to technique and style, but it's still a notch below "high literature". It's an entertaining book and I'm glad I read it. But I still prefer the film honestly. That felt like a more cohesive experience.
I guess a lot of the enjoyment you will get out of it will come down to how relatable you find the main character's in a sense. The setting appealed to me on a personal level, so obviously I'm going to mark it higher based on pure personal preference.
No. 57184
Yes, I know that we can analyze book apart from context of it's author (something that school literature never does though). But my point is that if even author himself failed to find meaning in his writings than it's strange to demand it from students.

But I understand humanities guys' intention to interpret everything. That's how they gain money and social status. And the more complex is explanation, the more is the gain. It's same logic as with mechanic who tells every client that the car is almost broken and many of it's parts need emergency repair but he is ready to give a generous discount for that. Except there are no clear criteria for bullshit in humanities and expenses of it are spread among too many people so it's almost impossible to be caught red-handed.

However, if interpretation is not your profession, such obsession is called
No. 57188 Kontra
72 kB, 1280 × 720
>And the more complex is explanation, the more is the gain.
>compares interpretation to schizophrenic behavior

Why do I think you never really read a book about interpretation?
A good explanation does not have to be complex, I've read many brilliant but easy-to-digest interpretations. Then again a novel can be complex, a whole oeuvre of an author can be big and thus "complex", an interpretations of a novel or a whole oeuvre or an epoch thus has to be a longer text, that usually goes beyond newspaper format or imageboard conversations. Do you know that the written word is highly abstract/complex in itself? Maybe you just lack knowledge in that subject (literature studies) and its terminology and its coherences. Usually, an interpretation is built by arguments based on different theories of meaning in the broadest sense. If you don't know these or lack even second-hand knowledge then these can appear obscure. But obscurity can appear everywhere to outsiders of a "craft", why? Because they don't understand why and how what is done. All this does not rule out the existence of lame or bad interpretations, though.

You comparison to being delusional presents you as an enormously arrogant person. Delusionary people cannot really explain themselves:
>unmotivated seeing of connections [accompanied by] a specific feeling of abnormal meaningfulness

An interpretation is motivated. It's not about interpreting everything.

>But my point is that if even author himself failed to find meaning in his writings than it's strange to demand it from students.

Why exactly is it strange? Again: intentionality and meaning are not inextricably bound together. Why should an author exactly be totally conscious of everything he or she wrote? The text is more than the author and its intention, why should an author be all-knowing about his/her text? Seems like you deny pre-conscious activity by making your point. Authors don't invent everything from their asses, storytelling and its what and how has a long history and thus contexts it can draw from and that are called upon. An author is in that history and in different contexts and probably never fully conscious about it. It's like thinking that somebody has to have the exact same knowledge of the current ongoing in the world as someone who lives in the future and can look back at something closed and thus "easier" to oversee. In literature studies, you learn that interpretation is dependant on expectations and knowledge, which are more or less individual. Yet you have to give reasons for what you think something means, why something is significant or not in a text.

Last but not least your pitiful attempt at distinction-making is not totally untrue, but you participate in it from the other side. All kinds of people from all milieus do it vertically and horizontally, it's nothing special to this group of people.

Also, I don't see how exactly your analogy to a car repair works, except people not telling you the truth and instead what is exactly is the fraud in being complex? Why is complexity (do you mean abstraction perhaps?) a fraud?
No. 57192
>I've read many brilliant but easy-to-digest interpretations
I think russia wasn't talking about those, but about the vast majority of non-brilliant and anything but easy-to-digest interpretations that very clearly were just the author jerking off to their own writing.
I don't even say it's necessarily their fault, but it's rather already in the system.
I had the opportunity to proofread a Hausarbeit by an acquaintance once. The whole text would have been half as long if he hadn't been rambling so much and saying so little with so many words, but apparently that was how they wanted it.
And when those people have their degree they have gotten used to this way of writing and continue propagating it.
No. 57199 Kontra

I don't think one Hausarbeit is neither a good size nor a can it give a good representation of the quality. One interpretation can be longer than another, it depends on the interpretation. Again: it depends on knowledge and expectation, if you have a different knowledge you can write different interpretations, if you lack this knowledge, it maybe seems like a bad interpretation to you.
No. 57201 Kontra
Wow, you completely missed the point of everything I wrote. Was that intentional?
Also, what is more anecdotal about my account than "I've read many [...] interpretations"?
No. 57202 Kontra
So far you guys just delivered rather neboulous claims about wordy humanities (long texts = bad uga), without presenting anything besides a student paper and a high school situation. Both of which can be very far from humanities work that gets actually published. I've at least read such interpretations and also made myself acquainted with how these interpretations are done, or what some theories of interpretation propose this is all about.
No. 57203 Kontra
I like the irony of your whole post. Were you aware of that when you wrote your post?
But please, show me one of those interpretations you are talking about, I am always willing to learn new things.
No. 57205 Kontra
Why should I give you an interpretation of a text you probably don't know anything about?

O'Neill, Patrick: Endgame Variations. Narrative and Noise in Thomas Bernhard's Das Kalkwerk. In: Friedrich Gaede (Hrsg.): Hinter dem schwarzen Vorhang. Die Katastrophe und die epische Tradition - Festschrift für Anthony W. Riley. 1. Auflage. Tübingen/Basel: Francke Verlag 1994, S. 231-242.
briefly said the narration itself turns to noise just as the study Konrad is conducting does

Lindenmayr, Heinrich: Totalität und Beschränkung. Eine Untersuchung zu Thomas Bernhards Roman "Das Kalkwerk". 1. Auflage. Königstein/Ts.: Verlagsgruppe Athenäum [u.a.] 1982 (=Hochschulschriften - Literaturwissenschaft 50)
briefly said it is an iterpretation that carves out philosophical problems that are dealt with in the novel

And please provide a scholarly interpretation that you deem full of unnecessities first to at least have an example that is representative for all of humanity's scholarly work in literary interpretation, because only those full with uncesseary sentences are deem great interpretations and are waved through.
No. 69829 Kontra