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Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West

At last got around to reading my first novel by McCarthy - went into it basically "blind" & it definitely surpassed all my expectations. It's often referred to as an "anti-Western", but compared to it e.g. the movies of Peckinpah or Alex Cox's Walker are like children's cartoons (though the latter does capture some of the immorality at least in spirit if not in imagery). It's aesthetically more akin to the apocalyptic paintings of Pieter Bruegel, the landscapes of Bloodborne or death metal (curiously also conceived in the mid-80s). Its imagery is propped up by a unique language style which is often archaic but strangely poetic with its abstract similes and deceivingly simplistic and-structures (cf. Whitman).

I'll just drop a few quotes here:
>"They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them."
>"In truth they didnt look like men who might have whiskey they hadn't drunk"
>"He hooted softly and his voice passed from him like a gift that was also needed so that no sound of it echoed back. He entered the water. Before the river reached much past his waist he'd lost his footing and sunk from sight. Now the judge on his midnight rounds was passing along at just this place stark naked himself - such encounters being commoner than men suppose or who would survive any crossing by night - and he stepped into the river and seized up the drowning idiot, snatching it aloft by the heels like a great midwife and slapping it on the back to let the water out. A birth scene or a baptism or some ritual not yet inaugurated into any canon."

Also just ended up watching John David Ebert's commentary in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtQsY5369GI
He rambles a bit and some of his interpretation (esp. regarding the ending) is questionable, but I appreciated it for the historical/geographical facts, esp. about the different Native American tribes and their precursors.
No. 57403 Kontra
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Don't want to veer off too far from discussions of the written word but I just had a galaxy-brained moment for a second when I figured out the missing link btw Bruegel and Bloodborne is of course the late Kentaro Miuara's great manga Berserk (started in 1988 - sth about those 80s huh). Which now that I think about it has quite a few parallels with Blood Meridian, even a big bald guy somewhat reminiscent of the Judge though I doubt there were any direct influences.
No. 57427
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This is literally not literature at all but well here's the books thread so
Did anybody ever read/look at these picture books as a kid? I think they truly do deserve the title of fantastic for once. I distinctly remember the tank one, some type of sailing/galleons one, and a medieval castles one in fact I'm so smitten by it I'm now considering trying to find a few used copies of my childhood books for cheap. I am an adult now and I want the whole collections. I never got the chance to see inside things like Giant Machines and Giant Buildings. I forget how detailed they are for descriptors from an engineering standpoint or if they'd go into any detail about load bearing structures and so on. In retrospect I think of these as kids books but maybe they weren't illustrated just for kids
Man am I now getting serious flashbacks to how fucking dumb and boring I thought all the other children were and likely still are as adults
No. 57443
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It's basically literary junkfood but I've just finished reading World War Z by Max Brooks (again).
Also the Zombie Survival Guide.

There's a few remarks I wanted to make about it but can't remember right now, beyond it being amusing in retrospect reading it again a decade into the future after a pandemic where China basically did act like in the book but think he ended up being way off the mark to what would actually happen. Not just China's effective response at least compared to Westerners and third world countries, but also the fact that a zombie plague is basically a mass civil disturbance and pandemic all rolled into one so I have no doubt the PLA would just shoot everyone in the head and try to make it sound like they're cracking down on dissidents.

Also the author's murican exceptionalism may come across as a bit cringey to certain non-murican audiences, which also in future tense looking back from when I first read it is way off the mark because clearly murican society will simply break down. We won't likely unite into some Team America making some inspiring speech at the UN, but rather immediately descend into rioting, violence, mass chaos, and civil war. Basically, I think that we'd act like China did in WWZ. It's Mel Brooks' son so he has a somewhat pro-Israel bias too, which I'm not entirely sure I agree with both that and depiction of the Arabs in that regard, but otherwise is probably pretty accurate, also mirroring reality with right wing Orthodox basically acting like moronic jackasses fucking things up for everyone just like they basically did for Israelis IRL for this pandemic.

Honestly it's just a really funalso paranoia inducing at night book that's a lot more interesting when you read it after the 2020-2021 pandemic and gauge where the author may be uncannily accurate or hilariously off. He also lampshades the fact his zombie survival guide is basically murican perspective and so a good amount of it isn't really applicable to non-Americans, i.e. everyone just going out and getting a sidearm and his advice about freeways.
No. 57445 Kontra
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Also here, this book was published in 2006 and here is the map of his future predictions for life after the gobal zombie war. Rate
No. 57451 Kontra
>That map
Hahaha oh wow
No. 57462 Kontra
Your review gave me really want to read this novel. I placed it in top of my list.
No. 57505
That map is even worse than most fantasy world maps.
No. 57571
Pelevin also has entire book with Galkovsky as main character, in which he meets with KGB officer on Sosach /fg/ board (one for transgenders). The joke is that Galkovsky calls his fans "ducks" and sosach trannies call each other "ducks" too. Also it has form of review in progressive left-wing journal on Galkovky's book about his own adventures.
But it's garbage, most of Pelevin's recent writings are just low effort funposting for money.
No. 57583
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Yu Hua - Chronicle of a Blood Merchant

Second novel by Yu Hua I read this month.
I encountered its title first in English, and based on that I expected it to be some gripping tale of someone trying to cope with the fact that he's profiting off blood donations in China, but the plot of the novel has nothing to do with the institution of "blood merchants" aside from the fact that the main character uses their services to sell his blood.

The Hungarian title is different yet again, it's "The Blood-giver's Chronicle" or "The Blood Donor's Chronicle". Because the two titles mean very different things I decided to quickly check the Chinese original, and it's "The Record of Xu Sanguan's Blood-seeling", but I initially interpreted it as "Xu Sanguan the Blood-seller" on the tram, because I thought 卖血记 formed a single word and 记 was actually denoting an occupation or doing something on the regular like in 记者 (Reporter), because I mixed up the two characters. It's actually 者 that denotes an occupation or doing something regularly, so it's like "记 record/chronicle 者 -er" in this word.

I liked this one more than "To Live". The relationship between the characters felt deeper and more genuine, even if ultimately it had no coherent plot to work towards to. It was more like a collection of episodes from the Xu Family's life from circa 1948 to the 70s, usually involving adultery, conflict with the neighbours or a historical event like the cultural revolution and the great leap forward impacting the family's wealth and daily life.

Honestly if you cut some of the episode short, you could make a pretty sick stage adaptation of this. The sometimes repeated dialogues are asking to be played out live. Like when Xu Yulan starts crying, inevitably ending in a monologue that starts with "What did I do in my past life to deserve x and y?", eventually even the author omits these, which would imply that on stage the actor would repeat it but the other characters would go on ignoring it while its played out in the background.

I never read a book that was good by itself but is actually begging to be adapted/changed for a different medium like this one.
The repetitions of blood giving, the monologues and the dialogues at the blood-boss' office especially would make very fine gags on stage. (It has an "all is well that ends" well type of ending, so I think it wouldn't be that alien to stage it as a sort of tragicomedy.)
The dialogue is where it really shines in my opinion. It's very lively.

The plot is basically that one day Xu Sanguan encounters two peasants and he accompanies them to donate blood to prove that he's healthy and strong before marriage. For this, he earns 35 yuans, which he spends on marrying Xu Yulan. They have three sons, but as it later turns out, Yulan got raped by her former suitor, which means that the first child Xu Yile isn't Sanguan's. This serves as a basis for a series of conflicts throughout the novel.
Usually an episode involves either a conflict around Yile and Sanguan's relationship, or something that saps the family's funds, forcing Sanguan to sell his blood to earn enough money to fix the problems.

The "Chronicle" word does make sense, because otherwise the plot never really "goes" anywhere, even if the last episode + the epilogue does feel like it's more high stakes than the other conflicts they have throughout the novel.
Basically it's just the MC+family living through 20 turbulent years and growing old as they eventually settle into normal lives thanks to China stabilising.

It's a much better novel than "To live". "To Live" is a good novel too, but at times it feels like something that you'd have to read at school to help you construct a national identity/connect with history through literature.
Essentially what I'm trying to say is that it felt like this novel had much more soul poured into it and was more about the characters growing older and making amends with the mistakes they made throughout their lives than about being a tortureporn of a novel where everyone fucking dies because sickness-war-cultural-revolution-famine-random-accident-just-for-the-sake-of-it.
(And CoBM isn't a "novel of inaction" in a sense like "To Live", where the characters seem to suffer at the hands of fate without any agency of their own. Here they actually assert themselves and solve their problems.)

What I also found interesting is that in "To Live" the main character, Fugui never really gives a damn about politics or ideology. He's such a rural and "small" person that he can't afford to even comprehend the government's policies or positions. He just keeps his head down and does what's asked of him if politics interferes in his life.
Here, Sanguan is actually quite well versed and gives a very harsh description of the Red Guards and the Dazibao craze of the cultural revolution, explicitly stating that it's used as a tool of petty revenge among the people, causing immense harm and chaos.

I'm quite interested at this point what his magnum opus novel "Brothers" is like. I'd like to think that because it's longer, it's going to be better, simply because the author has more space and length to deepen his characters and plot, but I'll see once I actually get to it. Eventually.
No. 57762
I've been really digging this YT channel by Michael Sugrue lately, recorded lectures from the 90s(?) about various "Great Books" & philosophy etc - the prof manages to cover the topics well while also being entertaining.

My favorites have been so far the one on Robinson Crusoe - it's one of those books I'm not too eager to read myself but he gives a very solid interpretation of how it encapsulates the Enlightenment/Anglo imperialist worldview of its time.
And the one on Don Quixote (which I'm currently reading on and off) - gave me some motivation to get through to the superior second book.

Nice, hope you'll enjoy it.

Thanks for the detailed review, been also meaning to read this some time.
No. 58907
28,1 MB, 379 pages
Idema-Haft - A Guide to Chinese Literature

Finally done with this monograph. I enjoyed reading it, especially the first half or so.

The first few parts deal with the foundations of Chinese literature, establishing the properties and general outline of different genres in Chinese literature and their context in History.

But there's also the thing that it's just a monograph. To actually get the most out of it, you need to read a large chunk of the works it talks about, otherwise it quickly turns into a slog of just
>[Author](XXXX-YYYY) lived in [Province] and his most important work was [XY], which is remembered for its [Z] qualities and language.
I was lucky enough to have read a lot of what was talked about or knew the synopsis beforehand. In a sense, it's better at contextualising what you've read from Chinese authors before than to introduce you to Chinese literature as someone who has never picked up a Chinese book before. (Unless you drop the monograph from time to time to read some of the mentioned short stories and poems.)

The only issue I can find with the book is that the part dealing with the literature of the PRC and Taiwan is pretty short and very out of date, but that's because the book is 24 years old now, so I have the benefit of hind sight.
(It also somewhat applies to the post-1911 part, which is less detailed than the parts dealing with classical literature.)
It's not that big of a deal, since in the foreword they mention C.T. Hsia's "A History of Modern Chinese Fiction", which covers the period of 1917 to 1961 and is pretty detailed at over 700 pages.
I guess this isn't really a worthwhile criticism, since it's an introductory book you're supposed to move past, and the bibliography is incredibly detailed and plentiful, so by leaving the reader curious for more is actually a feature, not a bug.

Very good book, I'm sad that I haven't found out about it before university.
No. 59054
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This book makes for an interesting history of the social sciences and American-euro cold war history then.

The social sciences after 1945, especially during the 1950s underwent a fundamental shift, that was concerned with systems and their models and as well as US democracy/society. Basically, you can find a certain view in disciplines like game theory, cognitive psychology, operations research, economics and social sciences in general.

What was the object of social sciences?

It is about systems that are characterized by their relations.

>In short, the subjects of social science were systems structured by relations, the method employed was behavioral-functional analysis, and the goal was a theoretical model, one that potentially could be made an operational guide to practical action-in some other, future publication.[@heyck2015, 19]

Interesting here is the remark about operationality, one models in order to make operational applications possible with it, at least that is the goal.

According to Heyck, high modern social sciences are associated with what he calls a bureaucratic worldview, which entails certain methods and concepts:
>The central concepts of this approach were system, structure, and function, and the ideal product (not always realized in practice) was a model of a system's structures, functions, and relations, preferably one based on quantitative behavioral data. [@heyck2015, 21]

Things are treated as a system, which is formalized and then can be made into a model, which then can by parameters give outputs for systems of various kinds, i.e. is one step prior to operativity or lends itself to operativity, formally playing out possibilities. Later it is said:
>The high modernist era was oriented around the concept of system and the consequent attempt to create a social science that could map and manage the structures, processes, and functions of systems, usually by tracing the flows of information, communication, or control in them. [@heyck2015, 187]

high modern social science and bureaucratic view are in the following relation for him: they are to be separated from each other, one is a corpus of ideas, the other a practical or concrete shaping of science:
>The term high modern social science refers to a constellation of ideas, practices, and social relations; bureaucratic worldview describes the (sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit) basic assumptions about the structure of the world and the nature of science that underlay high modern social science.[@heyck2015, 22]

He counts them among the modern social sciences, high because they had exuberant ambitions, high self-confidence in their own methods and views, etc., and because their view was one from above, claiming universal validity.[@heyck2015, 23]

A whole chapter is dedicated to a model of man as homo adaptivius:

>>Homo adaptivus (a complex, error-controlled, hierarchically structured, functionally differentiated, system of nested systems whose structures, functions, and behaviors are fundamentally shaped by its cognitive limits) has assumed many guises: a cybernetic problem solver and category maker, a homeostatic stress manager, an economic and political decisionmaker, a creator of new cultural gestalts, a traveler in a mental mazeway, and a model-building conceptual schemer, thinker, tinker, and science maker. The different disciplinary clothes that homo adaptivus wore did matter, but in 1956–57, beneath those clothes walked much the same man—for those who embraced high modernism, at least.

Heyck elaborates this development as the consequence of an organizational revolution that continues to unfold.
The point was that the ideas could actually have an impact, those who think systemically and can implement that win wars. In addition, there is a technical development that opens up new spaces, also for thoughts. Today, this is even more true as these technologies have evolved.
>In addition, technological advances in organizational technologies provided new tools to think with, from radio and television and their associated networks to feedback controlled servomechanisms (frequently used in weapons systems and in electronic circuitry), to the first digital computers, which had an enormous inspirational effect on experimental psychologists, among others, especially once those computers were able to store programs.[@heyck2015, 124]

Heyck notes that this preference for system does not destroy the agency of individuals, which would also be fatal due to counter-ideologies (Soviet Union/Marxism etc), but instead a middle course is taken that grants individuals bounded rationality, whereby the individual can continue to be autonomous, but is limited in his rationality or overview of things/reality. The goal is then to construct the systems in such a way that they support the bounded rationality.[@heyck2015, 125] This is then probably the subject of the fourth chapter titled Producing Reason. And it is the chapter that deals with worries about democracies.
The high modern social sciences were concerned with the decision itself and no longer with the decision-makers. Around 1900, writings were published in the social sciences that questioned the rationality of individuals. People were not rational, but they could act rationally by developing rational systems in which they would find themselves. I.e. the decision theorists within the social sciences (and there were many of them at that time and they spanned many disciplines) were interested in developing systems that promoted rational decision making and thus action, so they had a practical/real goal. They redefined reason/rationality.
One reason, among others, was the perceived threat to democracy by actually irrational individuals who were then rationalized by systems. The irony, according to Heyck in the conclusion, was that people got a problem with these bureaucratic/administrative systems and protested against them."[@heyck2015, 126-142]

Also in the Conclusion is an interesting critique of the game-theoretic prisoner's dilemma, which accuses it of only making certain choices within an authoritarian context. There would be possibilities/decisions in the sistuation that are simply not considered as a decision, e.g., cooperation. [@heyck2015, 141]
No. 59751
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The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin

Chinese sci-fi book. It's a bit poorly written: some characters are unrealistic and one-sided, plot relies on "pure coincidences" in multiple times. However the concept is great, and it fully compensates what mentioned above. Gonna read other two books in trilogy one day.

Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
About a retarded guy who was turned into genius by scientists, and his relations with other people. Nice book, but author's attempt to write about 160 IQ while not being 160 IQ is a bit naive. For example, the character managed to learn multiple languages but didn't manage to learn that for other people it's very rare to know more than couple of languages.

It's Me, Eddie, Eduard Limonov
Kohlchan in a form of book: moron with inflated ego lives on welfare and shit in the giving hand. In the meantime he hangs out with commies, sucks BBCs, goes to meeting for Palestine, gets drunk and cuntsuffers (I thought this word invented by sosachers, but no) about his ex-wife.
Very funny and entertaining. And somewhat relatable:
> I was brought up in a cult of insanity. "Schizo" - short for schizophrenic, as we called strange people, and this was considered praise, the highest assessment of a person. Strangeness was encouraged. To say about a person that he is normal meant to offend him. We sharply separated ourselves from the crowd of "normal".
> Many of my friends in Kharkov and later in Moscow received pensions, as they are called in the USSR - "groups". The first group was considered the height of praise. Shizp of the first group - there was nowhere to go further. This game took many people far, it was a very dangerous game. The poet Arkady Besedin killed himself painfully and brutally, the poet Vidchenko hanged himself, we were proud of ourselves. There were just several hundred of us in the whole city.
No. 60147
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Marx's ecology
A woman offered me a book for the first time in my life, actually, it was the first gift offered to me spontaneously by someone. It's the result of larping hard enough as an intellectual. Thanks dog the book was actually really good.

The first title "Marx's Ideolgy" is clickbait, the second title, "materialism and nature" should be considered as the main one. I don't know wether the first title is originating from the author or the printers. Anyway, it serves it's goal to attract idealistic young ecologists, the author has for a goal to set a purely Epicurian materialistic basis for ecological thoughts and politics. The research and documentation are gigantic. I don't really know if this book has actually achieved its goal but I wouldn't be surpised if it was the most important theoretical book about contemporary ecology.
No. 60193
It took me the third time scrolling down to understand what was meant by this.
>not knowing it's hard
Ohh, okay so meaning the character did not understand this is hard for most people.

Nah I'd say that would actually be fairly accurate to be so naive particularly if the character is very young. He would simply assume himself the baseline more likely than not and then spend much of his youth perpetually confused by those around him, and moreso if he went to some gifted kid program where he didn't interact with the bydlo. It's pretty common for actually intelligent people to have poor estimation how low the bar really is for other people. I'm not 160IQ but even I am continously baffled the things others say with a straight face and it has taken me decades to really appreciate the combination of low IQ and low access and/or interest in accurate knowledge. This would be more strange for him not to understand learning a new language is hard or that multilingualism is uncommon were he born in a place like Russia, America, or China however, where fluency in multiple languages is way more rare in certain other places like Western Europe.
No. 60219
The text of the publisher for this book sounds interesting. Indeed with Marxists you can think that they never spent a thought on what the relationship of humans to nature as developed (ontologically?) by Marx and also Engels will mean for nature/planet. Therefore some other writings of them usually less read could be very interesting for second thoughts. I'm curious now how the ecological thought is developed in this book and if it is against the New Materialists, that cut some important chunk of Marx, or heavily modify the human/nature relationship (usually they propose this difference does not really exist)
No. 60252
I still find it mildly interesting and perplexing to no short order the fact that through the 20th century most ideologies seemed to be rather incoherent with each other. For instance, the fact the 60s counterculture not just ideologically but even aesthetically stood in sharp contrast to the right wing Christian Conservative ethos, or that somehow it would be the GOP which most openly embraced the kind of progessivist pillage and industrialize nature approach I would have associated with Soviet mentality in stark contrast to the naturalist and conservationist romanticism one may expect of reactionary ideology. To me it all just ends up seeming that no one is ideologically sincere and thus there's no reason to take anybody seriously because their own thinking contradicts itself.
No. 60284
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Started reading this on my breaks at work. Not for everybody but if you're interested in the post-Crimea Russian military then it's probably worth a go. It is a dry text but very informative in terms of understanding why the Russian military is how it is (very fucking weird to look at from the outside).
No. 60285
Looking forward to read more detailed review. Would be interesting to compare with what I heard from friend in army (he serves as employee, not as conscript).
No. 60289
>he serves as employee, not as conscript
You bring up one of the things that interested me a lot in the first section, that being the Contract NCO as a concept. I'd not really thought about the deeper implications of skill retention in a military built on a core of conscription with little career opportunity for enlisted men. It's actually a pretty elegant solution to getting the technical skills required in a modern military in place without the cost blowout of having to professionalise the entire military (many of whom really are only needed as a 1-year conscripts with some high school and/or DOSAAF experience) and rewrite their entire book on warfighting. I think that last one is really key though, since the actual numbers of officers in the Russian military has achieved close to parity with western militaries nowadays, but the general distribution and makeup of the overall structure remains distinctly Russian rather than evolving into the more distributed chain of command found in western forces.

Indaresting stuff so far in the first section, and it's just about recruitment, training and pay.
No. 60537
Sorry for being such a pleb, but what should I read to get into William Blake? I enjoy the atmosphere and moods of his paintings, but I barely know anything he has written except The Tyger.
No. 60538
You can probably start with just about any edition of Selected Poems from a decent publisher. Maybe look for one with an introduction/commentary by Northrop Frye, he is afaik the foremost Blake scholar. He wrote a book on Blake called Fearful Symmetry which is probably where you wanna start with secondary sources. Haven't read it myself yet, but some other stuff by Frye and he's very good.

I recently read a random edition of some Selected Poems of Blake I had lying around forever - it was alright but I didn't get that much out of it aside from the poems I already knew, maybe a couple more I liked from the Songs of Innocence & Experience. It also didn't really help me get into his mythology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake%27s_mythology) that much, since this is apparently more covered in his epic poems. So watch out for those if that's what you're interested in, my edition didn't include them.

Also this documentary was alright, even though a bit silly with the re-enactment bits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDAIzERYzcY
No. 60726
Thanks. Got some "Selected Poems" by Oxford World's Classics with a foreword by Nichloas Shrimpton. All the Frye stuff is from the 60s or so and wasn't available.
It's like 400 pages of that thin bible paper and had something like 20 pages of introduction alone.
Now I know about a bunch of crazy christian sects and read the first few poems.
Something about that ancient english language is more appealing to me than ancient german. I have huge difficulties reading stuff from before 1900 in german because it's all so roundabout and convoluted and, frankly, arduous to read, whereas here, except for the numerous apostrophes and old timey spellings like "shewn" for "shown", it's not any more difficult than a regular modern english text.
About to start the Songs of Innocence/Experience.
No. 60789
101 kB, 640 × 957
Submission, Michel Houellebecq
I expected it to be about rotten wect becoming caliphate. But it's rather about Western boomer's problems: no challenges in life and complete comfort result in low energy and lack of motivation. Main character has no kids, no wife, dull and useless job in academia: all his work are articles about some 19-th century writer. I always despised that kind of people, so called "pushkinologists" for example. It's like they don't have any value on their own: all those people serve just as an attachment to Pushkin and parasitize on interpret his works (which are pretty clear and great without any additional interpretation).
Can't relate, but still interesting.

Situation is the following: he was retard until 30. Then scientists made him 160IQ with operation. Then he started to learn and quickly became genius: he became erudite in many fields of knowledge, from humanities to STEM. It's not possible that he wouldn't know a simple fact about outside world: "being polyglot is very rare".
No. 60791
121 kB, 220 × 352
>Also the author's murican exceptionalism may come across as a bit cringey to certain non-murican audiences
If you want to read an extreme example of Amerishartian culture there's a book called ''One Second After'' that is about the power going out and a town trying to survive and figure out what happened.

It's the most Clappistan shit I ever read, but pretty entertaining
that feel when
>other states

I really did like World War Z though, it was like a load of short stories in sequence and didn't take itself too seriously.
No. 60799 Kontra
>all his work are articles about some 19-th century writer

Not by accident I guess since that writer is known for À Rebours which is about a decadent dandy. Otherwise, the writer Huysmans has something to do with catholicism.
No. 60802
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It's a thin book from 1967 or 1968, quite hard to read. Yet quite 'insightful' with some secondary knowledge that is a critique of operationality and explains why Piagets book is so important. In a certain sense, this book explains how structuralism as a method found its way in all scientific disciplines and the humanities. And Piaget point is that structures do not exist apriori but are rooted in operations. Structures are homeostatic forms of operations (operations construct systems of transformation).

Since the group theory of maths plays in important role it was not that easy to grasp the actual details. Anyway, it's a valuable book if one wants to understand how systemic knowledge is part of our thinking.

The critique I read beforehand goes on about how operations and operationality as primary cannot work unless in a purely formal way, i.e mathematics
No. 60805
That kind of books are lovely.

On main topic, I have ended The Commintern and the Spanish Civil War, which was a nice book.
No. 60895
Pelevin's review on "The collector" by Fowles is review on EC:

> For example, Miranda writes in her diary:
> "I hate the uneducated and the ignorant. I hate this whole class of new people. The new class with their cars, with their money, with their television boxes, with their stupid vulgarity and stupid, servile imitation of the bourgeoisie. New people are the same poor people, it's just a new form of poverty. Those have no money, and these have no soul. Doctors, teachers, artists -- it cannot be said that there are no scoundrels and apostates among them, but if there is any hope for the best in the world, then it is connected only with them."
> So, reading this diary, I could not get rid of the feeling that I had already seen something similar somewhere. Finally I realized where: on the last page of "Independent Newspaper", where short essays are printed from issue to issue in which Russian intellectuals share with each other their thoughts about present life. These essays are completely different: from a stylistically impeccable report on the last binge to the tragic inner monologue of a man who hears in the noise of Mercedes and Toyotas almost a stomp of the Mongol cavalry.
No. 61580
15 kB, 250 × 343
1,2 MB, 1597 × 2500
Finally had the willpower to sit down and read this thing.
I read the Hungarian edition while also consulting the Chinese original wherever I deemed it necessary, since it's for my workshop project and I'm going to be translating some of it into Hungarian.
Kinda exciting, especially considering I just read my first swearing in Chinese. It's like this project is leading me to a deeper level of linguistic initiation.
The language itself is very clear and simple.

Though there seems to be two versions of the text. One includes an epilogue and a prologue, and one doesn't, but the contents seem to be the same otherwise. The Hungarian translation seems to be based on a 1954 Beijing edition that doesn't have the -logues.
(Same goes for the print version I got my hand on from 1978, by the same Beijing press.)
But the online editions all have it, so what's the deal with that?

I can see why this was the modern, European style drama's breakthrough piece in China.
It's not just a servile copying of our methods, but an actually quite well executed synthesis. Even with all the traces of Sophocles (though this might just be me reading too much into it), Ibsen and Chekhov in it, some of the characters retain ways of expressing themselves and their situation that's quite reminiscent of Beijing Opera/Chinese theatre.

It's a family drama, which has some traits on common with Chinese theatre, like those longer segments where a character wails, while also having characters who are reminiscent of western theatre, like an almost hopeless idealist. It also ventures a bit into the socialist-realist side of things by having one of the characters be the leader of a strike with a very high class consciousness.
So the drama not only tackles the collapse of Confucian morality but also the economic inequality of the times, which is pretty neat if you ask me.
It's especially great how the socioeconomic/socialist aspect of the drama never feels overly dogmatic. Da Hai is a strike leader because of the abysmal working conditions and he's forced to be one, not because the political meta-forces demanded there be a socialist aspect to the drama too.

It's very much a closet drama in the sense that every act and newly introduced character is accompanied by a relatively lengthy description, with the act-introductions describing the set vividly, and based on that and the drama's length, it must be a pretty costly piece to stage unless you go minimalist and do away with the sets, which I can totally see some "revolutionary" and "imaginative" directors doing to "make a point", but I'm just a cynic who has no clue about theatre.

My only complaint is that the tragedy at the end feels a bit too sudden. You see it coming, Checkhov's gun is hanging there, but it's just very sudden for me.

So ultimately, it's a pretty cool piece that's fine to read even outside the context of the development of western-style drama in China.
I enjoyed the tension it created throughout the drama.
No. 62158
409 kB, 1200 × 1856
I was reading the Bhagavad Gita at work last Friday and an old fella in his 60s was working with me.

He thought it was the Kama Sutra and asked if I was learning some sexy tricks for the wife or something. I told him there's no way I'd be learning any sexy tricks with my bad back.
No. 62160
Ay m8 if you do it the right way bad back doesn't matter. Of course you're a male so we both know you spent a lot of time thinking "maybe if I just made my approach from a slightly different angle..."

I think the Bhagavad Gita is quite possibly the best thing I've ever read for a description on the nature of God in a cosmic sense. Too much Abrahamic religion concerns itself with legalism and anthropomorphizing God than really trying to understand the scope of something that exists outside time and is in and is not and flows through all things in something as big as material reality within temporal dimensions.

I try to argue with it but I can't. That is admittedly a very today thread EC tier type of post that had you not said that I'd just assume it's an ernst complaining about things in the usual fashion.

You described the book at length yet the feel is still like knowing nothing about it. Not sure how to describe it, like much is said without saying anything.

What is the actual story? It's about a guy struggling economically and watching Confucian morality decay during the time period with his family's drama?
No. 62174
Well, I usually avoid talking in depth about the plot simply because it's an old feeling of "I shouldn't spoil anything". I know it's unreasonable but that's how the internet socialised me.

The play itself is very complex. It's about the Zhou and Lu families in 1920s China.
The Zhou are a blended wealthy family headed by the patriarch Zou Buyuan who owns a coal mine.
His smaller son from his current wife is an idealist who thinks he can help the poor, while his older son is an alcoholic from his previous wife who killed himself supposedly some 28 years ago after the affair, taking another sone with herself to the grave.
This older son, Zhou Ping is having an affair with his stepmother, Zhou Fanyi, but he hates the woman, whom everyone in the family conveniently dubs crazy, either to get her to shut up or to place her lower in the familial hierarchy.
The Zhous are known as an upstanding family with good morals, but in reality, Buyuan's affair, his exploitation of the workers at his mine and his treatment of his wife shows that behind the Confucianist facade they aren't very good people.

The Lu family is a "working class" family. Lu Gui is the chief servant at the Zhou household and serves his masters diligently. But through nepotism he brought his daughter, Lu Sifeng to serve in the household too.
The younger Zhou boy is madly in love with Sifeng, but she doesn't return his feelings, instead, as it later turns out he's having a love-affair with the older Zhou boy, from whom she's expecting.
Gui also got his son, Lu Dahai a job at the coalmine, where he became a strike-leader, posing a problem for the Zhou family and irritating his father with him irresponsibly "not thinking about the effect this might have on the family".

Mrs. Lu comes to visit her daughter and husband, and when he meets Zhou Buyuan, the latter realises that she's the woman she had the affair with 28 years ago whom she thought was dead, and this also means Dahai, the strike leader is also the son of the old Zhou, and a brother to older Zhou kid.

Through a series of intricate confusions, mix-ups and intrigues (like Zhou Fanyi trying to get rid of the Lu's from the household, kicking them out) they all return to the Zhou household during a storm.
Mrs. Lu and Zhou Buyuan and the rest realise that what's happening with Lu Sifeng and Zhou Ping is looking to be the same exact thing that happened between them 28 years ago as the couple tries to run off, but an exposed electrical wire kills Sifeng and the younger Zhou boy as he tries to get her untangled, just as the two families are about the reconcile, leading to Zhou Ping to run off into his father's study and take out the revolver from the drawer his father said he could use if he needs, shooting himself, ending the drama in a tragedy.
No. 65465
3,9 MB, 576 × 1024, 0:47
In case you never thought about it, I think semicolons can be quite exciting. You don't see the often these days, or am I not reading enough literature?
No. 65477
Huh, just a few weeks ago I was approached by a monk on the street asking if I wanted a copy and would be willing to make a small donation in return. I gave him 20 Euros and took the thing because he was the nicest chap and not at all like your usual suspects trying to sell/give you religious stuff on the street.

Maybe I should actually have a look at it...
No. 65478
Hare Khrishna followers usually hand it out for a pretty penny here too.
It's kinda like a Gideon Society Bible in a sense. (Though as I've found, the critical apparatus of the Khrishna edition is very impressive, albite afaik a bit biased to their streak of Hinduism that places the greatest importance on Khrishna as a central god. But this is only something I've heard online, and I've never really engaged with Hinduism as much as I probably should have as someone who's interested in the East.)
Don't know what the German edition is like, but the one I have that's published by them has the Sanskrit original + transcription + lexicon of words used in those lines + Hungarian + commentary.
No. 65487
I don't think there is a german version. What I have is "with roman transliteration of original Sanskrit text".
No. 65488 Kontra
*in english
No. 65519
Strange that they made a Hungarian version of it while not making a German one.
I guess that's what you get for having a society that's literate in multiple languages.
No. 65536
I am currently reading The Godfather.
No idea if it's the translation or the author's own style, but I somehow expected something else...
This thing reads like a train station bookstore pulp novel, and it doesn't help that it has a lot of sex scenes.
It's weird, it lacks in "style" what the film has. In fact, it's such an easy and lowbrow writing that I am fairly positive to finish the book in one more day. Today I didn't read because of reasons, but I am already at the last third or so, and that only after one evening.
For comparison: I am currently also reading LotR and a single chapter sometimes takes me an hour (though that is also in part due to the numerous location descriptions and "green hills north and the river X running south of a creek" takes me longer to imagine than some office with a secret phone).

In fact, contrary to my usual opinions, in this case I do think the film is better. It's hard to verbalize, but the filmmaker who made the film is a better at making films than the writer of the book is at writing books, if you catch my drift. Although I found it cool that there is a lot of inner monologue, so some of the action of the characters in the film become more comprehensible, and especially Tom Hagen and Sonny get a much better characterization than in the film.
No. 65538
First time I read LotR I stopped in the middle of the second book. Tolkien might have been good at world building but he was a shitty storyteller.
No. 65560
I swear I've seen this exact post on the 4chongs some time ago.
That said, I never understood this argument. I never had a problem with the storytelling. What would be good storytelling in this place?
No. 65561
Read my yearly fiction book. Confederacy of Dunces, 5/5 buk. I got cryptonomicon in my shelf waiting but I think I'll read "The Political Behavior of the Portuguese Military in the 20th century" first :DD
No. 65587
> yearly fiction book
You read one fiction book a year? Well, it's more than I currently do. Haven't read anything not on a screen that was longer than a newspaper in ages. And on screen it's random articles, forums and imageboards only.

I wouldn't know what to pick anyway. Pratchett is dead, regular fantasy breaks my suspension of disbelief and science fiction is full of technobabble.

I read Confederacy years ago, even gifted my parents a copy.
No. 65590
Give Mitchell a try. If you trust some random ernst engouh, just buy "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet". It was what I picked (pretty much random) when I was in a (possibly) similar situation as you. Hadn't read a book in years, just short texts on the internet really, and upon realising I no longer had the patience to read books but still felt a nostalgia for the memory of reading books with a passion from my childhood and teenage years, I just grabbed a book from my mums book shelf on a visit and started reading in the train on my way back. And honestly, I picked it because the cover was beautiful.

It's fair to say that one taught me how to read books again. That was about 6 or 7 years ago now and I've been reading daily since.

The German translation is sensationally good, btw. I've read both the translation and the original and I recommend both (or either).
No. 65591
>You read one fiction book a year?
Maybe a little less. I read every day, but it tends to be same things. Assorted non-fiction about Russia or Portugal.
No. 65593
I don't think I'd have a problem reading a (reasonably sized) book right now from start to finish. I just don't have a life/a job, so I have to fill A LOT of time every day. Sitting in front of a computer gives me choice. I can read while listening to music, and when it bores me I can switch to forums/imageboards, youtube, chaturbate, solving nonograms, doing quizzes, or to a game.
No. 65828
142 kB, 768 × 1185
Just finished. 9/10, by my stringent standards.

Highly recommended.
No. 65829
Read that in my world literature class in high school.

Didn't like it. The story was simply not engaging me at all.
No. 65864
Right, so in a second sessions I finished The Godfather. While, as mentioned, it's nice to get some more background and a view into the inner workings of the characters, the film is definitely better.
There is a whole chapter in the book about Sonny's bridesmaid affair and her wide cunt. I am certainly not a prude, but I also don't like unnecessary sex scenes, and the sex scenes in this book seem to have been inserted for spectacle only. The doctor character is funny, though.
No. 66246
27 kB, 200 × 277
47 kB, 600 × 600
The Infinite Dead-end, Dmitry Galkovksy.

Book consists of a small article about Vasily Rozanov (obscure Russian philosopher), footnotes to it, footnotes to footnotes and so on. So majority of content of the book is hypertext of footnotes and links between them. In them author, lonely virgin nerd instead of cleaning his room reasons about Russian history, philosophy, literature, as well as about his own pitiful life, especially about death of his alcoholic father.

As a small heda lumpen-prole, I don't like him overcomplicating things. But the covered topics and his thoughts about them were very amusing to read. And structure of book, inconvenient at first, fits human's way of thinking by associations very well.

Interesting that Galkovsky finally found some happiness and acknowledgement while being 50-60 years old. He started his "esoteric politics"-tier activity to find a wife according to his own words. And it worked! He married a woman who wrote a book "How to marry Putin" but married Galkovsky instead. She gave birth to three sons in this marriage. In addition to that his stories about British spies under his bed attracted popularity to his books.
No. 66248 Kontra
Funny quote. "Big soviet encyclopedia" about queen Victoria:
> "Victoria's paternal family consisted entirely of petty tyrants, drunkards, debauchees and degenerates. The king himself had been mentally ill for half a century, and his eldest son with the title of prince regent, an extraordinary glutton and drunkard, who had only one daughter, Charlotte (a wild creature), performed royal duties. In addition to her father, the king had six other sons, gamblers and drunkards, among whom the most capable was the Duke of Cumberland, a terry despot and reactionary ... the Duke of Kent was and remained a rude soldier and gambler and did not possess any skills. Until the age of 50 he remained unmarried, but... since all the other sons of the king were either unmarried or childless... he decided to marry in order to secure the succession to the throne for his However, his older brother came to the same brilliant idea ... Victoria inherited many family traits - mediocre abilities, unattractive appearance and unusually quarrelsome and despotic character ... "
No. 66249
Holy ebin.
No. 66260
This is still true with the royals today :DDD
No. 66897
18 kB, 325 × 500
From 2013, short book, about 110pp.

I liked it, it gives a good idea on chemistry in general, but while reading it quickly became clear that one really needs to go into the details to get it. At least I understand now why atoms can be charged positive or negative, in school I think I wasn't able to get why + and - occur in chemistry :DDD It all makes more sense now.
The last third is a celebration of chemistry (and its future) and what it has done and for what it is used, I just skipped most of it this morning, while it is certainly nice to know, the book on earlier pages made clear that without chemistry the world would look very different. There is other stuff to read that is more important to me rn than getting into the natural sciences and such, while I want it, it would be an enterprise taking years upon years anyway.
No. 66898
Well, chemistry is certainly something you can't just jump into right away, because everything builds upon each other. And beyond what you learn in school there is so much more.
As my old chemistry teacher always said "Chemie ist nicht alles, aber alles ist Chemie".
No. 66899
In the end, no academic subject can be jumped into right away, it gets more vast with every step one takes. But I appreciate the book nonetheless as baby steps towards a better understanding of the natural sciences. Next up is Paul Nurse's What is Life? a recent book on biology, built up on five key concepts of biology (cell, gene, evolution, life as chemistry and life as information). I'm missing mathematics, which is planned but not in a pop sci attempt but as introduction to non-mathematicians who need maths for their subjects (for instance biology/chemistry, comp sci, sociology and all others)
No. 66901
317 kB, 1050 × 700
Read and re-read some of Dovlatov's stuff recently. Sergei Dovlatov is a Soviet Jewish-Armenian writer and journalist who emigrated to the US later. Most of his works are autobiographical and usually humorous due to the pretty absurd situations they describe, but there is plenty of wistful reflections as well.

Pushkin Hills — book about the time when Dovlatov worked as a guide in Pushkin Hills reserve. It's really funny, with most of the humor being provided by the characters like alcoholic "landlord" Mikhal Ivanych, fellow guides Mitrofanov and Pototsky, crazy photographer Valera Markov and of course the protagonist himself, but it also deals with protagonist's relationship with his wife and her influence on his decision to emigrate from the Soviet Union.

The Zone: A Prison Camp Guard's Story — stories about Dovlatov's military service as a prison guard after he dropped out of the uni. They range from fairly serious to hilarious like the one about inmates putting on the play about Lenin and Dzerzhinsky (this premise was later borrowed for the Russian movie The Comedy of Strict Regimen, although the plot is different) to pretty horrifying like the story of thief in law Kuptsov. Very solid book told from an interesting perspective of a prison guard instead of more common perspective of an inmate (Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov).

The Compromise — Dovlatov's stories about being a reporter in an Estonian newspaper. Each chapter begins with a short excerpt from a newspaper article and continues with the description of the actual events that the article was about. IMO, one of Dovlatov's best and funniest books delving straight into the absurdity of Soviet life.

Solo on Underwood and Solo on IBM — two collections of jokes, stories, anecdotes and aphorisms from the lives of Dovlatov's numerous acquaintances. Both are kinda meh, but still good for a few laughs.

Affiliate — Dovlatov as an employee of an American-based immigrant press reporting on a conference of Soviet (Jewish) immigrants. During that conference he encounters his former gf from student years, and that leads to a lot of retrospecting. One of the Dovlatov's weaker works, I think; it's basically Solo on Underwood/IBM mixed with a lot of cuntsuffering. Still, just like Solos, it's pretty funny, so it's worth checking out.

The Suitcase — another personal favorite of mine. Dovlatov looks at several articles of clothing from his immigrant suitcase and tells the story which lead to that article's procurement. Similar to the Compromise and just as funny.
No. 66905
>In the end, no academic subject can be jumped into right away, it gets more vast with every step one takes.
True, reminds me also of this:
No. 66906
273 kB, 1544 × 1080
Currently reading protopope Avvakum's autobiography. Author was high ranking old-believer priest who was sent to exile (to Siberia) for heresy, then was allowed to return from there (as Tsar had conflict with patriarch Nikon), then was sent to exile again (to North) and finally was burned alive there.
Among other things it contents:
  1. Theological arguments (on why "Hallelujah" should be repeated twice and not three times in prays).
  2. Stories about his divine apparitions and exorcisms (once he used prosphora corrupted by new-believer liturgy and same night entire squad of demons attacked him).
  3. Stories about his hardships including tortures.
Interesting to see world by eyes of 17-th century priest. And to see what was Russian language like back then.
Going to read more about old-believers topic in general. I heard they contributed a lot to collapse of Russian Empire. As example, industry tycoon giving money to Bolsheviks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savva_Morozov

Also read "The Sacred Book of the Werewolf" by Pelevin. About fox werewolf disguised as prostitute. His usual shit: jokes over contemporary topics and Buddhism for housekeepers. But in contrary to his better books there is nothing more than that. And even these things are weaker than usual. Still OK to read once, quite funny.

Just was going to reread "Suitcase". It's really humorous as I remember it.
No. 66908
358 kB, 1551 × 2000
I read Pushkin Hills, IBM and Underwood and a novel he wrote on his family's history, and I like Dovlatov's works.
My main issue with his books is that they're really fun and interesting right until the main character leaves the USSR. The it just falls flat. There is no climax, no more jokes. It turns into a flaccid dick.

Still a good author to blow off steam with.
No. 66910
The "slice" might be even slimmer :DDD
No. 66911
I guess compared to the crazy reality of USSR the boring, complacent, sedative life in the US doesn't make a good source of experiences to put on paper. No conflict, no drama, no nothing. Still, beats dying in poverty in crumbling sovok, I think.
No. 66912
USA have a shitload of poverty and violence, what are you talking about?
No. 66914
Somehow I doubt that Dovlatov experienced much of that American poverty and violence after immigrating.
No. 66915
Ah, you meant him specifically.
No. 66923
It's not about poverty and crime, it's about absurdity of life. Yes, Dovlatov lived poorly compared to average American despite belonging to soviet upper-middle class. But very prosperously compared to average Indian. And his life was more crazy and therefore more interesting to read about compared to both of them.

First reason is planned economy. The most obvious thing: very basic types of goods can lack, so you have to buy it for much higher price from smugglers, find connections among elites who get stuff from "specdistributions" or among retail workers (very profitable profession in USSR for this reason). Either way it's entire adventure. If you want to acquire book (in contrary to beef), it's worse than that because additionally there is an ideological aspect, first of all censorship. Consequently adventure becomes more complicated (google Samizdat).

Second reason is total hypocrisy. No one believes in communist ideology yet everyone has to actively support it. So people constantly play this schizo game of doublethink.

And third reason is superfluous bureaucracy. This one isn't something specific to USSR, you can find same thing in "The Trial" by Kafka or "The Good Soldier Švejk" by Hašek. except these books are grotesque exaggeration
No. 67359
36 kB, 500 × 500
A nice read. As with the chemistry book by Atkins, one quickly asks how the details are and realizes these are very deep and not easy to comprehend in such a length. But the five ideas concerning biology (the cell, genes, evolution, life as chemistry and life as information) are good to understand and there relations have been made obvious. I especially like the chapter on life as information as it is close to systems theory. Otherwise there was an interesting remark by Nurse in the chapter about biology and intervening into life. When he says science comes before politics and not the other way around this borders a technocratic understanding (politics should listen more to science is what he suggests well) which I think is not unsurprising for a scientists to say, bc the paragraph is short on this one, it's ok, but I think Nurse should think different about the relationship of these two than he does on the book, politics is different from science and yet there interfere more than it is represented in that paragraph. You can come with Lyssenko but it doesn't help that politics and economy still shape scientific endeavors these days quite a bit. On the other hand, scientific rationality as guidance for politics didn't play out as good in history but this gets sweeped under the rug by Nurse, a problem when you consider that he uses historic examples to make the point for his distinction. Nurse didn't spent any thoughts on the details here, probably due to the books contexts, I guess he might have some more elaborate views on this in private.

No. 67360 Kontra
I forgot to mention there are some strong paragraphs when he describes processes in their myriad ways and interconnections going on in organisms, really a joy to read these.
No. 67361
> On the other hand, scientific rationality as guidance for politics didn't play out as good in history
Like when? Scientific rationality has never been allowed to guide anything.
"Science" has been coopted numerous times though to support political paradigms, like faith.
No. 67364
33 kB, 333 × 500
For the proponents of certain policies during certain periods, scientific rationality was their stated purpose for carrying such policies. It might be easy to just write it off "they coopted science", but this isn't how these people felt at all. They did believe their policies - that is their analysis of societal issues and the solutions proposed - were simply scientific.
No. 67402
23 kB, 328 × 500
A novel fragment from the 1940s. Can't say too much about it. I read it because it was mentioned by Alexander Galloway in one of his lectures. Some themes reverberate with what I was reading in Ryan Whites Hidden God as can be read in the Today Thread.
It's an adventure novel, it's about alpinism, it's about pataphysics and it's about the absolute, the Mount Analog 'is hidden but has to be accessible' a metaphor for something exceeding 'common' experience or thought in my reading. Daumal really did well to fuse alpinism, philosophy and put in an adventure style blanket, it reads smoothly as the adventure style is powerful enough to come through.
Sadly, it is unfinished due to Daumal dying, he died of tuberculosis which is due to experimenting with tetrachloromethane (an insecticide) when younger in order to dissolve consciousness and experiencing the 'border regions'. The 1920s and 1930s sure make for interesting history in what people did, mysticism, occultism and such in a world that is often described as a breakthrough of modernity (or mass culture and mass media in other words)
No. 67442
Vita Nostra, Maryna and Sergei Dyachenko.

Russian response to Harry Potter. There is also like a university of magic, only inside it is a shabby barrack with filthy and smelly toilets and no hot water. All learning consists of memorizing huge pieces of incomprehensible texts, from which students start to have incomprehensible illnesses (and by the end of the 1st year they all already have disabilities of different degrees). In their free from memorizing time students drink wildly, engage in denunciations and erratic unappetizing sex among dried vomit.
Book ends with the acquisition of superpowers: the few students who have not died from diseases turn into parts of speech.
Pretty interesting, somewhat relatable.

Librarian, by Mihail Elizarov

One more "urban fantasy" book. Premise is the following. There was an outstandingly mediocre hehe writer Dmitry Gromov. He wrote instructive and kind yet boring socrealism books about war heros, innovators in industry and so on. His books were mass printed despite no one was reading them. Some years after he died but his books gained magical power. Different people in different parts of country started to notice it, collect them, organize in secret societies ("libraries") and small cults ("reading rooms") and fight each other for his heritage.
First half of the book is historical chronicle of "Gromov's universe", great thing. Second half is passionate description of violence, gore and other trash content which is a bit too tightened but maybe author hoped for film adaptation where such action would look epic.
Author is nice singer-songwriter btw:
No. 67633
36 kB, 299 × 474
Finished Superluminal (1983) by Vonda McInytre. Came across it as it was mentioned in Donna Haraways Cyborg Manifesto (1985). A great scifi novel. I haven't read much scifi but I'm interested in it for a longer time now (narrative of the future, narration and imagination and its ties to politics/society). Scifi as narration makes me think of preparing and shaping the future. Now, climate fiction might be an interesting genre.

This novel has interspecies communication, the porosity of species-man and man-machines distinctions and philosophy that reminds me again of what can be read in Ryan Whites Hidden God. It also has space travel with more than 4 dimensions an such. I'm not going to retell the plot, but it's a nice story, I was more interested in the cyborg aspect and that went well. Its future is ofc dated at times, but nonetheless, some themes aren't dated at all and that makes it enjoyable.
No. 71367
214 kB, 1200 × 1600
147 kB, 535 × 622
492 kB, 1280 × 1024
94 kB, 773 × 599
Christ and Antichrist Trilogy by Dmitry Merezhkovsky
A relatively forgotten(?) trilogy in the wect, but has some cult popularity here. Merezhkovsky (1866 - 1941) is regarded as a represtentative of the Russian Silver Age and one of the founders of Russian Symbolist movement. A religious thinker and critic of the Soviet Union, he died in Paris in exile. The trilogy of historical fiction is written in a cinematic and philosophical language, and as a religious (and political) enterprise. In his own words:
>When I began the trilogy Christ and Antichrist, it seemed to me that two truths existed—Christianity, the truth of heaven, and paganism, the truth of the earth—and that the absolute religious truth lay in the future union of these two truths. But as I was finishing it, I already know that the union of Christ and Antichrist was a blasphemous lie; I knew that both truths—of heaven and earth—had already been united in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God.
《Death of the Gods: Julian the Apostate》 Modern historians don't think highly of Julian's emperorship, but Merezhkovshky still depicted a romanticized version of him following the likes of Gibbon. The story is breathtakingly intense mostly due to the already epic setting. Merezhkovsky's writing is icing on the cake. The novel can be summed up in the following quote: "And Julian himself, in all his character, in all his aspirations, was a typical Christian. Only the conditions of his upbringing made him an enemy of Christianity. In a different environment the young man would have written just as brilliantly 'Against the Gentiles' and pursued them with no less fervor. This is Julian's greatest personal tragedy. It is also his tragedy as a historical figure. He could not understand the direction of historical development and wanted to turn back the course of history. Therefore, his case was doomed to failure, and he himself died." ―S. I. Kovalev, The History of Rome
《Resurrection of the Gods: Leonardo da Vinci》 Probably the strongest one out of the trilogy. Despite the title, it's more about the ensemble cast of Renaissance Italy: Michelangelo, Raphael, Machiavelli, Gioconda, Borgias, Medicis, Sforzas... Da Vinci stayed rather aloof from them. The humanism and scientific spirit of Reinaissance were appropriated as a rebirth of paganism. The gods are revived, but are they still the same gods?
《Antichrist: Peter and Alexei》 Peter the Great and the Tsarevich. In the previous two titles, the struggle between "two truths" has always alluded to the split in Russian politics then (and now). The implicity is no more here. Tsar Peter is the antichrist and westernizer, while Alexei is the Son and symbol of Slavophilia. One might expect a synthesis in the last book of the trilogy after the thesis and antithesis, but as quoted above, Merezhkovsky decided to have Christ as the ultimate truth and fully rejected westernism. After the filicide, masses hope the tsarevich returns and there have been impersonators. His spectre still haunts.
The influence of Dostoevsky cannot be too obvious in Merezhkovsky's writings. As an interesting side note, this is how he described his meeting with Dostoevsky:
>In Petersburg in 1880, my father took me to see Dostoevsky after having met him in the house of Countess S. A. Tolstoy, the widow of the poet A. K. Tolstoy. I remember the diminutive apartment in Kuznechny alley with its low ceiling and cramped living room, piled with copies of The Brothers Karamazov, and the study, almost as narrow, in which Feodor Mikhailovich sat over galleys. Blushing, turning pale, and stuttering, I read my childish, paltry verses. He listened silently, with impatient annoyance. We must have been disturbing him. "Weak, bad, worthless," he said at last. "In order to write well, one must suffer, suffer!" "No," said my father, "let him not write any better, only let him not suffer." I recall the pellucid and penetrating look of the pale blue eyes when Dostoevsky shook my hand. I never saw him again, and then very shortly learned that he had died.
No. 71409
> A relatively forgotten(?) trilogy in the wect, but has some cult popularity here
Curious, in Russia this author is unknown too (I heard his last name, but I thought that he was a poet). However I heard that he was popular in "samizdat" in soviet times.
No. 71426 Kontra
>A relatively forgotten(?) trilogy in the wect, but has some cult popularity here.
Intredasting-. Some time ago I read an essay by him called Грядущий Хам or The Coming Vulgarian/The Ham of the Future. Kinda wild stuff, rather prophetic, reminiscent of Spengler (for better or worse).
Though I'm not sure you would like what he has to say about the Chinese :D Basically he sees the Chinese culture as spiritually dead ahistorical positivists and fears that rather than the "yellow peril" from outside this sort of sinicization is in store for the West

I like him mostly as a poet tbh. Sakya-Muni is a pretty great poem e.g.

I'm sure you can find the original in russian, for our non-Russian speaking friends here's a translation (from https://vardomskaya.com/2016/07/21/sakia-muni-d-merezhkovsky/):

Mid the mountain cliffs and the dark gorges
Blasted by an early autumn gale,
A crowd of homeless pilgrims to the Ganges
Trudged one evening on the forest trail.

Beneath rags, their frail bodies strained
Going blue from the cold wind and rain.
For two days and for two bitter nights
They had seen no sheltering roof nor light.

Mid the gloomy trees as thunder rumbled
Something glimmered out on their path.
‘Twas a temple — through the doors they stumbled
To find haven from the weather’s wrath.

In the empty shrine on them loomed down
Marble Sakia-Muni on his throne,
Glittering in his porphyry crown
A colossal wondrous diamond stone.

Said one beggar, “Friends and brothers mine,
No one sees us, dark the night and cruel.
There’s much bread, and cloth, and silver fine
They would give us for yon precious jewel.

Buddha doesn’t need it; brighter truly
Do the diamond stars in myriad courses
Gleam for him, lord of the heavenly forces,
In the sky as in cups of lazuli…”

He gave sign; and through the temple hall
The thieves softly to the statue crawl.

But when they reached out with trembling hands
In their need the holy shrine to plunder
A fiery whirlwind and a roar of thunder,
Echoed out in the hinterlands,
Threw the starving mendicants asunder.

And all froze from fear all around.
But one of the beggars, calm and strong,
Forward stepped out of the silent crowd
And said to the deity, “You are wrong!

All those ages, were your priests all lying
That you’re gentle, generous and kind,
Like the sun, you conquer gloom and dying,
And you love to comfort the maligned?

Yet you strike us for a petty pebble,
Us, stretched in the dust before your name
But immortal souls all the same!
What’s the feat to make the wretched tremble
With some show of fire and thunder? Shame!

Shame on you, lord of the heavenly skies!
To deprive the poor of crusts of bread
Full of dread and power you arise!
King of kings, strike from the thunderheads,

Smite the madman who dares to defy —
Here I stand and hold my head up high
Equal to you with my fellow throng,
And before all earth and all the sky
Say: lord of the world, you are wrong!”

Silence — and a miracle transpired:
So that they could take the jewel down
The god’s statue in porphyry attired
Bowed and bent to earth its visage crowned.
Meekly kneeling, humble and contrite
For a beggar crowd the lord of light,
God, great god, lay on the dusty ground.
No. 71443 Kontra
That's a pity. I thought at least people like monarchists and duginists would have remembered him. Wikipedia says he was nominated for nobel prize nine times during his lifetime.
There're multiple chinese translations available for this trilogy. The one I read has four different editions published over the past 25 years. I also first learnt about him on a video game forum, which says a lot about his popularity.

A book review I read quoted his comment on china and commented that he might not like it that the chinese are fond of his works. I believe the "china has no History" cliché was borrowed from Hegel. Many chinese would unironically agree with him I'm afraid. The spenglerian conception of history is rather influential here. Even cpc talks about "the rejuvenation of chinese nation".
No. 71569
There are no "duginists" (maybe 10 people in whole country), it's just an internet meme. People sympathizing to Russian empire are often fans of Vasily Rozanov (because Galkovsky, blogger and conspiracy theorist popularized him).

Funny but after your post I watched an opinionated lecture about Merezkovsky, and lector says that Merezhkovsky and Rozanov were opposites of each other. Latter was mostly ironic shitposter. Probably that was very original century ago but today there is too much of this stuff.
No. 71580
725 kB, 1507 × 2412
Re-read The Two Captains. The first time I've read it I was in middle school and it was in the recommended summer reading list. I didn't remember much about the plot, but I did remember that I quite liked it, so I decided to give it a go again and see if it will be enjoyable for me after 20 years.

The plot follows Sanya Grigoryev, a boy growing up in a provincial Russian town of Ensk (don't bother looking up the name; it's the default fictional name for a provincial Russian town) during the WWI and the October revolution. He becomes an orphan and ends up in Moscow, where he meets Katya Tatarinova, daughter of captain Ivan Tatarinov, the leader of a failed Arctic expedition who disappeared in 1913. Sanya's fate becomes intertwined with Katya's and her uncle (her father's cousin) Nikolay Tatarinov, who sponsored Ivan's expedition and might have been the cause of its failure. Sanya becomes an aviator and aims to uncover the truth about Ivan Tatarinov's expedition, but Nikolay's meddling and other circumstances like Spanish Civil War and WWII prevent him from doing so. He doesn't stop though, and keeps persevering for his and Katya's sake.

The best thing about this book is that it's not very heavy on communist ideology. Soviet fiction novels for young adults and children were often spoiled by including some ultra-boring and/or ultra-cringey moral about evil capitalists exploiting everyone in the world or goody good communists bringing the light of Marxism to everyone in the world, but thankfully this one is not like that. It deals with more general concepts like determination, treachery, dignity and hope, and in my opinion, it elevates it above most of the other socrealism literature being pumped out in the Soviet Union back then. Characters are a bit one-directional though: the good guys are inevitably heroic, honest and strong, and the bad guys are always treacherous, wily and assholish, and even if they seem somewhat decent at the moment, they still end up being pieces of shit. Still, I'm willing to forgive that, because the book is well-written and enjoyable, and probably one of the best Soviet adventure novels ever written.
No. 71614
167 kB, 700 × 1134
My evening lecture for the past week was Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre. A good little Sci-Fi book. I mean it is not surprising why it was looked down upon, it is easy entertainment, but the things that are issues in the book are actually about human issues that are valid to think about. Pop culture has its own way to interrogate problems and questions while going about classic narrative structure.

A World after an atomic war is split in tribes and classically different climate zones that the main character is traveling through. The mix of "middle age/pre modern" and future technology (that is the tribes and zones are nomadic/dessert and European climate with middle age vibes, but they have or have not techniques like gene manipulation) is interesting. The theme of the snake as healing animal and the healing as profession are central. Also, the understanding of family is contested as it is about tribes. Besides that it is also a classic journey structure with a love story, a conflict/problem that is solved, namely that a type of snake dies that is hard to replace but necessary for the healers to do their profession properly when they travel the post atomic war world.
No. 71636
Cool, you made me download the book. Thank for the recommendation.
No. 71694 Kontra
>There are no "duginists" (maybe 10 people in whole country), it's just an internet meme.
Thanks for the clarification. I know Dugin isn't some mastermind in Kremlin as western media claimed, but didn't realize how minimal his influence was.
No. 72189
No. 72873
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Despite that I was born in the Soviet Union, I grew up on Western SF and stayed largely unfamiliar with Soviet SF except for a few books by Belyayev, Bulychov and Strugatskis. So I decided to give Ivan Yefremov a try, since he is considered to be one of the most important Soviet SF authors. I chose his probably most famous novel — Andromeda Nebula — and I have to say that I was really disappointed.

This book is about a communist utopia of the far future, which is already not very exciting, because settings where everything is fine don't usually allow for complex plots, deep character study, conflicts or drama. This novel, unfortunately, is no exception: there are several plot lines, but none of them is very engaging; the numerous characters are all clever, beautiful, talented, athletic men and women of the future with high moral convictions, and if these convictions get eroded somehow, there is always another clever, beautiful, talented athletic men or woman of the future that will surely bring the strayed one to the right path; and conflicts and drama fizzle out almost as soon as they start. It also doesn't help that the book is written very awkwardly, with stupidly long dialogues filled to the brim with exposition, pathos and poorly hidden contempt for people of the past who weren't blessed with the light of Marxism, and giving an impression to be compiled of propaganda slogans. They usually go something like that: "Ooh, those ancient people were so silly, they completely misunderstood [a field of science or technology]" — "Yes, good thing that the dialectic method made possible the advances in [another field of science or technology] which gave us [the miraculous future technology or theory] that allowed us to solve that contradiction". To add insult to injury, these boring "dialogues" are also very long-winded, despite that it's mentioned in the novel that it's improper for future people to talk too much. Oh, and there is also a curious little detail concerning science, Marxist dialectics and Yefremov's wrong predictions. Usually I don't mind SF authors mispredicting science or technology developments, like Heinlein's slide rules, Lem's telegraphs on spaceships or Gibson's "3 megabytes of hot RAM", but this one was pretty ironic: there is no mention of genetics in the book, and instead of it there's something weird called "hereditary cybernetics". I suspect that it's because when the book was written (1955-1956), Lysenkoism was still alive, and Lysenkoism actually was the result of communist ideology influencing experimental sciences.

So, I guess that's what you get when you put a socrealism story in an SF setting. It may have been an important milestone for Soviet SF, but it's still pretty bad as a book. The only reason you should read it if, at the same time, you are a huge fan of communism, you can tolerate flat characters and unrealistic dialogues, and you want to read something disgustingly optimistic.
No. 72878
I'm going to read "Another now" by Yanis Varoufakis one day. As I understand, it's a fiction book descripting fully automated luxury gay space communism. Seems interesting to me because western communists focus mostly on criticizing status quo, and I'm curious what's their positive program (and how much it's different from Strugatskiye/Efremov/etc).

Also, what would you recommend from Belarusian literature? It's primarily linguistic interest but would be cool to combine it with some good story.
No. 72881 Kontra
  • same question about Belarusian music and cinema
(though it doesn't belong ITT)
No. 72885
>Belarusian literature
My knowledge of it mostly comes from school, so I'm not much of an eggspert. Uladzimir Karatkievich is probably the only Belarusian author that I can wholeheartedly recommend to pretty much anyone. He worked in historical fiction (or, as people sometimes say, historical detective mysteries), and his books are genuinely interesting, unlike most of the stuff that was shoved into our school literature curriculum. The books by him that I've read are "Каласы пад сярпом тваім", "Дзікае паляванне караля Стаха", "Чорны замак Альшанскі", "Ладдзя Роспачы" and "Хрыстос прызямліўся ў Гародні", and I liked all of them although some of them I remember only vaguely and have to re-read them. But eh, whatever you'll pick from Karatkievich will probably be good anyway. Then there's Vasil Bykau who wrote mostly about WWII, so it's mostly dark and tragic stories, but if you're in the mood for that, you may check him out (probably start with "Жураўліны крык", and if you like it, you can try "Сотнікаў", "Знак бяды", "Дажыць да світання"). The rest of the Soviet Belarusian writers are kinda meh, but you could also try Yakub Kolas' "Новая зямля" (a buddy of mine who was a bit of a jock actually loved it; I just find it okayish) and Ivan Shamyakin's "Сэрца на далоні" (pretty damn socrealist, but quite interesting nonetheless). As for contemporary Belarusian literature, I haven't the slightest idea about it, and neither do I want to have any idea about it.
No. 72888 Kontra
Don't know much about either. For music, try Стары Ольса, Рокаш and Нагуаль, maybe stuff by Лявон Вольскі. RAC would probably be able to recommend more than me, heh. Nobody really cares about modern Belarusian cinema, and Soviet movies you probably already know about ("Белые росы").
No. 73965
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Two books

One by Claus Emmeche from 1994, The Garden in the Machine. A pop book albeit critical. It does a good job and is a nice entry info source in artificial life. Basically life as information and discussion about life in a different medium. People like Stephen Wolfram are mentioned who popularized visions of informational life and who were concerned with the computational universe for example. Emmeche (a danish biologist btw) discusses whether that information life is actually life short answer of him: no, but artificial life nonetheless might be very fruitful for the life sciences and how they understand life or could be called life; a large part of the book is also about cellular automata and what they are and do.

The other was by Sandra Mitchell, a published first in German even though it was translated from English, Mitchell was part of some Max-Planck Institute, that is why I guess. It's called Komplexität/Complexity. Why we only begin to understand the world

Roughly the following will give an insight, as I took notes:

The extent to which theories of knowledge must be reconsidered in the light of research into complex biological systems. However, Newtonian physics has not simply become obsolete. It can still achieve successes. Mitchell, however, asks about the limits and proposes an "integrative pluralism" that can bring together both simple and complex systems. [@mitchell2008, 21f.]

Their thesis is:
>Complexity, whether in biology or elsewhere, is not beyond our capacity to understand; rather, it requires a new kind of understanding. This requires that we analyze in more detail the many ways in which the context of natural phenomena helps to shape it. [@mitchell2008, 22]

Method and its features:
Pluralism: more than one way, explanation, model.
Pragmatism: different illustrations can "work"
Dynamism: knowledge evolves, is not static

It speaks of a pluralistic realism, an ontology that assumes that there is only one world, but different approaches. Which does not mean that every approach is correct or useful. [@mitchell2008, 23]

In addition, the book is intended to guide a discussion about science and knowledge generation:
>This book is intended to initiate discussion of how to renew the traditional views of science and knowledge acquisition formulated in the 19th century by English philosophers [she mentions Mill, among others, at the outset]. At that time, the goal was to make every scientist a little Newton, and such views continue to play a dominant role in philosophical considerations of science today. In what follows, I treat three areas of thought and action in which complexity requires us to revise ale notions of rational thought and action. I will examine how the complexity and contingency of natural processes changes three things.
[-] the way we conceptualize the world;
[-] the way we explore the world; and
[-] the way we act in the world.

One thing is that Mitchell questions that laws must have universality everywhere or must be universal. That is the physical view of laws. Mitchell reviews discussions on biology and their "natural laws" and how it is debated either none at all or they do, and Mitchell tries to go a middle part. The wants to go around a discussions she considers a dead end, namely if biology is a science (laws) or not.
No. 75277
8 kB, 177 × 285
Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau. It tells a story in 99 varieties of style. A person on a bus see two others have a sort of fight then sees one of them two hours later again. It's really cool to see how differently it can be told. So in that regard I think it is useful for people who write themselves to have a look. Some varieties seem to be intended to be extra funny, but they just gave me nothing. Perhaps the translation is bad but I don't think that is the sole reason. Also some styles I consider more or less useless. They made the story basically unreadable (perhaps only work in original as well, dunno)
No. 76536
85 kB, 960 × 711
Linguistics. From Aristotle to Computational Linguistics
Vladimir Alpatov

Pop-science book with review of linguistics, its history, its methods, its main ideas (old and new) and its connections with other domains such as neurosciences and sociology. Some of covered topics: How languages change and why? What is common for all languages and what is different between them?

Some of interesting points:
-- Humans can produce gorrillion of different sounds but distinguish only some of them. Groups of undistinguishable sounds are called phonemes and they are different in different languages. In Old East Slavic "f" and "v" were perceived as one sound. But there was phoneme "ѣ" which merged into "е" in Russian and into "i" in Ukrainian.
-- Linguists usually assume "tree model" in which languages are created by divergence. Like all Indo-European languages came from a single Indo-European, all Germanic languages -- from Proto-Germanic language and so on. That's probably not true from historical point of view but such hypotheses works surprisingly well.
-- There is a disorder when people after being hit in heda forget most of their vocabulary but are still able to make sentences. And there is an opposite disorder when they still have vocabulary but can't make words into sentences and just pronounce them separately. This is one of indicators that "word" is a biological concept rather than social construct.
No. 77364
344 kB, 1520 × 2333
A late 19th century French novel about a neurotic aristocrat who decides to live a life withdrawn from society and indulge in different luxuries, his idiosyncratic theories about art and ranting about how degenarate modern society has become. Almost nothing happes plotwise, each chapter mostly consists of the protagonist's musings about some topic like gemstones, flowers or different literary epochs.
It's probably quite relatable to the average literature-interested imageboard user, also the influence on Houellebecq is quite clear (he mentions it in Submission where the protagonist is a Huysmans scholar).
I for one enjoyed it a lot, very refreshing read after mostly being glued to reading textbooks recently.
No. 77365 Kontra
510 kB, 800 × 1188
304 kB, 800 × 1117
2,6 MB, 1989 × 2757
17,3 MB, 5832 × 3455
Btw the book definitely had me hooked at the point where he starts talking about one of his favorite paintings and it sounds familiar and upon googling it, it turns out it's the current screensaver I set on my phone (The Apparition by Gustave Moreau - I wasn't sure about the artist's name before, just liked how it looked)
No. 77372 Kontra
I heard it's the novel that made Dorian Gray fallen.
No. 77373
>17,3 MB
U wot m8
No. 77376
Yes, good book!
No. 77379
Hey I remember this!
Got recommended it during HS ("this book is so you"), but I never finished it for some reason.
Might as well finish it once I'm done with my current book.
No. 77404
Yeah, I remember liking it, I need to re-read it someday, along with the one about Giller de Rais and Satanism.
When I was reading that part, I took the trouble of looking them up, and the coolest thing is that those ridiculous flowers which I thought were made up really do exist.
No. 77417
1,2 MB, 1524 × 2339
23 kB, 321 × 500
I don't know why I read this. Just randomly walked up to the bookshelf, picked it up and started reading it.
I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much as I did if it didn't feel oh so topical. Honestly thought it was written in 2016, but as it turns out, it's a 2006 book.

Sorokin's novel takes us to the far-flung future of 2028. Russia is more the same than ever before.
Ending the "Era of white chaos", a new Tsar came to the throne and he returned to the Ivan the Terrible model of ruling.
The nobility is reinstated, a wall is raised between East and West, diplomatic relations are basically relegated to the sale of natural resources to the (now poor) west via pipelines, which the Tsar threatens to turn off to gain leverage over them.
The only country this "Russia renewed" has foreign relations with is the Empire of Heaven, and so the book is littered with Chinese words and phrases as sometimes the two nationalities interact. (And it also sheds light on this uneasy relation between the two states IRL, where afaik it's an issue of Russia being scared of China in a sense, but hating the West so much more that they'd rather work with China to take revenge to oversimplify it.)

But while this Russia is very reactionary politically, with serfdom, servants, strelets, gold currency, rayguns and so on, it's also very high tech with smartphones, "news-bubbles", video calls, and superhighways connecting Guangdong, Russa and Western Europe. (Which is how the Russians in the book describe it, is overrun by Arabo-cyberpunks who drink kumis and too poor to afford actual drugs, so they huff paint thinner. Drugs like weed and cocaine are legal in Neo-Russia, because they help people work better or relax better.)

We follow the day of a member of the oprichnina, the Tsar's personal, multi-purpose commando, as he eliminates rebels, conducts "state affairs" and takes part in the rituals of his unit.
And it's just that. A day of praying, violence, rape, corruption, and loyalty (to the Tsar) in the life of Andrei Danilovich Komiaga, a senior member of the commando.
(He liquidates a nobleman, commits insurance fraud on the border to get money out of the Chinese, sees a clairvoyant for the Empress and so on.)

The thing is, aside from maybe the vivid description of the oprichnina forming a caterpillar via anal sex at the end, the fun comes from the fact that I think I can see someone from Russa with 10IQ more than me or 40 less read this and say "This guy thinks he's describing a dystopia but I agree with everything and support this."
In a sense it reminds me of an 1870s Hungarian novel I read, titled "The Novel of the Coming Century" which describes a Magyarized House of Habsburg ruling from Budapest and being the dominant power on the continent, defeating Russia by inventing the Aeroplane in the 1930s.

It's a very dense and richly written book, lots of references and paraphrasing of other Russian literature. I think even the title is a paraphrase or nod to Solzhenitsyn's A day of Ivan Denisovich.
Plus it's not really about the plot (which has no twist at the end), it's more about the universe that unravels through the daily affairs of Komiaga, as every action is accompanied by a bit of exposition from the characters about the state of affairs, be it the Oprichnina's rivalry with the customs bureau or the way art is censored in the country.

So yes, it's a great little book. As I said, it feels way too topical at times.
No. 77421
522 kB, 364 × 767
Cool. I don't think that Sorokin intended the book to be utopia or dystopia, just the most probable future scenario. BTW czar's father's name is "Nikolai Platonovich". It means that czar is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Patrushev . His father is FSB director, who called chekists "new nobility".

Can also recommend "Telluria", it's kinda sequel to "Oprichnik's day". To rusophones -- "Zemlyanka", first of all. There is also "Sugar Kremlin", collection of short stories in "Oprichnik's day" setting. It's fine but nothing remarkable.

Just started "Blue lard". That's a second attempt because plot takes place in far-far future, and reading Ruso-Anglo-Chinese creole is pretty hard.
No. 77448
It definitely is not a prognostic scenario. Just some random elements from the 16th century basing on which he tried to create something futuristic to satisfy one's imagination. Also it seems he doesn't quite understand what the historical Oprichninia actually was.
No. 77456
I thought that it wouldn't be great in translation, but since you enjoyed it, it seems that it's okay after all.

>lots of references and paraphrasing of other Russian literature
Sorokin just loooves this sort of thing, maybe even a little too much. The most interesting thing about these references (tributes? parodies?), IMO, is just how twisted they become at the end, like the passage in the style of Tolstoy in Blue Lard ends with BDSM sex, and the passage in the style of Bunin in The Norm culminates with the act of copulation with Russian soil.
No. 77458 Kontra
> It definitely is not a prognostic scenario.
Let's talk about it again in 2028.
No. 77464
Noice, also read this one a couple years back in a single day on summer vacation and enjoyed it, though I totally forgot about the whole connection with China. Been meaning to pick up another book of his, mb "Blue Lard" or "Their Four Hearts"
No. 77513
The short Sorokin-discussion ITT exemplifies what I like about Russians so much. You take a look at a piece of their culture and suddenly they come out of the woods in groups and tell you 10 interesting things about it you wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Honestly I don’t really see why it wouldn’t work in translation. A lot of the stuff he quotes is quite canonised in Hungarian too, and even if I’m not an expert on Russian history, even the titles at least feel vaguely familiar.
(Plus if I wasn’t sure, the footnotes helped.)
I don’t want to overhype it but we have around forty or so years of shared history, and it was a crucial period in developing public education and culture, so the Russian World isn’t all that alien even if we’re not Russians ourselves.

Yes it’s not very long at all, but I still took my sweet time and spent more than a day on it.
No. 80107
1,3 MB, 426 × 230, 0:02
I liked Nineteen eighty-Four.
It's always fun to engage with something that has penetrated public consciousness so deeply, most people don't even need to read the original work to be able to refer to its concepts.

The reason I picked it up is because I want to write an essay on it this semester, comparing Ingsoc and Legalism, so my notes mostly focused on the state-building of Oceania rather than the bits that make you go "oh wow this is just like real life", though I must confess that since finishing it every day I have a moment or two where I go "Oh wow this is just like 1984!" to myself.

Maybe the internet just poisoned me a bit too much, but as the book kept focusing on the "how?" and "why?" parts of Oceania, I somehow found myself asking after the two questions "why not?"
Why be afraid of power when someone is inevitably going to use it?
Though it's not like I feel like I'd be able to have this conversation with anyone yet.

Anyway, it was interesting to see some of the book's concepts at work in real life. The latino white nationalist who says that Hitler would have sent him to the camps but that's all right, the American upper-middle class kid who loves Stalin. They all love Big Brother.

It's a truly fascinating book.
No. 80108
This trait actually comes from pride, one of deadly sins (at least in my case). Feels good to talk from a position of le expert. And being Russian is one of few things in which I'm more competent than average.
No. 80140
Because most people are Untermensch. They do not have a will to power, they suffer from slave morality. They weak and pathetic. 1984 is not dystopic novel, but an utopic novel. The strong equipped with a will to power use it and execute it without restraint, all led by the Übermensch big brother. Oceania is the end point of human development.
No. 80397
74 kB, 500 × 500
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>Seeing like a State

10/10 attack on the folly of high-modernism and the attempt of the state to render society as legible on paper. To give you a feel of the journey you're on it opens by talking about the failure of German scientific forestry in the 18th-19th century and the pitiful attempts at recrafting a new forest onto the stump. It then moves on to attack city planners, Lenin and industrial farming.

It's quite a seminal work but for some reason nobody has read it and it's making me mad.


Fucking hilarious dystopian novel of a future where big data companies take over Germany. The main plot covers a guy who can't return a pink dolphin vibrator because the algorithm says it's what he wants but there's so much more from consumption robots hanging out in shopping malls to boost the economy, war machines with PTSD and Germany renaming itself because of certain unfortunate historical connections.

>Liberalism and Its Discontents

I don't care what they say, Fukuyama is still extremely relevant to modern society and his critiques of the right and left are very incisive. I again wish he was more read as he does a very good job of attacking the left for abandoning the working class, the right for doing the same with globalisation and he's probably one of the few people who understands critical race theory and sees it as shaping the far-right.

He even talks about why liberalism has failed thanks to the rise of neo-liberalism and the ossification of society to the individual that leaves westerners groping for meaning.

>The Consolation of Philosophy

It's not especially profound in the modern world but for a book written in 523 from an Ostrogothic prison cell as the author awaited execution you can see why it was so influential on Christian thought in the middle ages. It seeks to address matters like the problem of evil as a kind of punishment itself that feels a little like the philosophy of Star Wars EU. Yes I read it because of Confederacy of Dunces.
No. 80399
>It's quite a seminal work but for some reason nobody has read it and it's making me mad.

I read part of the introduction, and have seen it referenced on different papers/articles/books. Seminal indeed, also central for any understanding of modernity as attitude. Now I think of the relation of planning and prediction. Prediction seems to have more stake in later discussions on how to organize and "control" things in comparison to planning which seems "older"
No. 80400
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>I always despised that kind of people, so called "pushkinologists" for example. It's like they don't have any value on their own: all those people serve just as an attachment to Pushkin and parasitize on interpret his works (which are pretty clear and great without any additional interpretation). Can't relate, but still interesting.

One of your countrywomen unleashed upon me a similar book that I'm still mad about. Call me autistic but I just couldn't get over the characters living in the shadows of greater men in Possession even if it goes some way to satirise such men and the general horror of academia.

Although I suspect I'm also too dumb to get it.

I had similar thought while reading it, that we're in something even more strange now and it's going to in-turn impose something even more insane on the ground than top-down high-modernists once we throw in 'impartial' predictive processes. You'll like Qualityland

You can tell the book is slightly old because he talks about the differences in urban design between men and women with men preferring the sim-city style zoning and women recognising the value of mix-modal. I wonder if predictive modelling using smart cities is going to produce something that's altogether alien in perspective. Or we'll just end up with the same bullshit because politicians and urban planners are always going to prefer the monuments visible from the high in the sky to pragmatic solutions visible within the community.
No. 80407
I'm not too deep into it, I would count it as part of the systems science complex (which is gigantic, perhaps inflationary and not that useful as category). Prediction as method is thus scalable, depending on the systemic borders you chose and it can be used by various actors, it can be community controlled or from above (technocratic control). Now I wish I could say more about prediction as method and its implications that are not often thought about, but my head's spinning, meaning I cannot recall viable knowledge from fleshy memory rn.
No. 80735
What do you think of Dostoevsky's great novels?
No. 80739
I read "Crime and punishment" in school. Liked it a lot though it's a bit dishonest how the author manipulates the plot to fit the narrative.

Tried to read "Demons" but there are too many characters and everything is too hysterical, like in Brazilian soap operas.

Also watched adaptation of "The idiot". And a parody on same book.
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Idiot_(TV_series)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_House_(film) )
They're nice.
No. 80745
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Currently participating in a group read of pic rel, Schattenfroh by Michael Lentz. It's a pretty dense surreal & metafictional novel about the protagonist/author being trapped and forced to write this book by a malevolent being that is somehow related to his father. There's a lot of references to paintings (many epsisodes seem to take place "inside" the paintings, e.g. Bosch's The Last Judgement), German medieval & post-war history and oftentimes the names of real-life figures are written as anagrams (e.g. Moses Videos Nikon instead of Simonides von Keos). I'm only a quarter through it so not sure yet where it's going, but I'm impressed so far as style-wise it's reminiscent of modernist novels which is something I didn't expect from contemporary literature (though admittedly I haven't read a lot of it).

I only read Crime and Punishment and Brothers Karamazov. Really enjoyed them and I think I read both at just the right time to get the most out of it. Crime and Punishment really sucked me in as at the time I was also a young student living in slightly destitute circumstances (getting immersed in the book ofc magnifies that perception). Brothers Karamazov took me a while to get through, I made some breaks, but it's also great and rekindled my interest in religion. Overall they're a great mix of entertaining & thought-provoking.
I've been meaning to read The Demons or The Idiot for a while, mb I'll get around to it this winter, haven't read anything in Russian for a while so it might be getting a bit rusty.
No. 81237
English poetry.

At this moment I only know "Raven" (nevermore!) and "White man's burden" (huehuehue). What else would you recommend?

Btw at first I planned to post the request to music threda. Do you think poetry is closer to music or prose?
No. 81244
Two favorites:

Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson

Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

Brilliant reading:

>Do you think poetry is closer to music or prose?
I consider it prose, but the line between a poem and lyrics is thin and blurry:


Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue (Live)
No. 81274
No. 81330
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Where rhyme? Is this "modern art"?
No. 81332
If you dislike these modern times
Try this one with verse which rhymes

The Tyger by William Blake
No. 81341
Thanks. Not like I don't accept poetry without rhymes, but it surprised me, because in Russian it's something exotic.
> Blank verse is poetry written with regular metrical but unrhymed lines, almost always in iambic pentameter.[1] It has been described as "probably the most common and influential form that English poetry has taken since the 16th century",[2] and Paul Fussell has estimated that "about three quarters of all English poetry is in blank verse".[3]

Could use it as argument against >>81258 , but English music usually has rhymes, so it's not about language probably, but just historical coincidence.
No. 81344
But no, the Brit is surely wrong. Yes, perhaps humans can only produce limited number of sounds. But in different languages there different subsets of sounds in different distribution. This already makes them sound different, like different musical instruments.

Also there are different grammatical rules. In Russian it's mauvais ton to rhyme verbs, because it's too easy if they have similar suffixes under stress. In English it's fine. Or some languages have different word order ("Homo sapiens"). This can even affect semantics.

Cover of a song is a different thing from the original song and it often sounds unnatural.
No. 81346
The Tiktok about uncle Grisha ( https://www.youtube.com/shorts/3WzqPdVEvIQ ) is literally Ostrovksy's "Thunder" drama. Actually, it's much better because it's:
  1. Laconic (20 sec vs play in five acts).
  2. Contemporary.
You can read the famous article about "a ray of light in a dark realm" but keep in mind that actually it's about the tiktok.

No. 81357
It's not that we can produce limited sounds - which having watched Police Academy I dispute. There's a real limitation attached to human hearing and what we consider pleasant, we're also obviously approaching this from different sides between the role of language and non-verbal instruments.

>like different musical instruments.

I'd say the instrumentation is actually where broad similarities most clearly emerge (obviously a drumbeat and a violin is different but then one of them is just counting to 4). By extension voices are themselves an instrument and will be tuned to hit various notes on a modern scale while working in synergy with the instruments. Maybe you could argue spoken word songs are different but broadly I've even tried this before with Mando tonal and while there's a fuckton of godawful ballads there's also a lot of music that sounds very in tune with the west.

The real differences you're picking up on are genre and cultural influences; the classic example being that Japanese music is jazzy because after the war the government decided that children would have the option of classical or jazz which they just kept on as the rest of the world turned. Another example is that African music across genres tends towards a much faster beat from influences of dancehall and the dance that emerged in tandem with it.
No. 81364
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No. 81408
Reminds of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, with its ABABCCDDEFFEGG rhyming.
No. 81412
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Turns out Office is now so fucking smart it can auto-generate tables, so I don't actually have to do any work to get statistics of my collection.
It's ultimately meaningless, or rather, I don't think there's any worthwhile conclusion that can be drawn from it, but it's a fun little activity to look over the results.
No. 81462
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>James C. Scott
I've only read The Art of Not Being Governed. I think it's written more by an ideologue than an (armchair) anthropologist. Basically he assumes that governing = le bad and stateless = le gud and gauge everything by it. Even the loss of written tradition was teleologically to prevent the formation of a state. Scott cited too many sources that he doesn't really have a good grasp on and the theorization seems forced and wishful thinking. Eventually it's not convincing that the form of Zomia society was completely due to noble savages' agency. There's never an art of not being governed. Scott manufactured one.
Of course now we know Scott is a three letter agency glowie so it all makes perfect sense.

I keep myself from reading Demons so that I know there're worthy things I've yet to do with my life.
No. 81481 Kontra

I would say something similar from viewing his publications list. Yet, I think that especially Seeing Like a State can illuminate something about the state itself that is valuable or something worthy to consider. One does not have to share the same political opinion to get something out of a book.
No. 81727 Kontra
>One does not have to share the same political opinion to get something out of a book.
I agree. It's just immensely amusing to me that one of the flagbearers of anarchism secretly works for CIA.
His perspective to treat the Zomia region—from northeast India to Sichuan—as a whole also enlightens me. I've got the idea that one can go one step further and call all of south China and Vietnam sinified Indochina, whereas NE India and the rest of mainland SEA Indianized Indochina. I'm not sure whether anyone has made such comparison before.
No. 82086
Anna Frank's diary: nothing special, but that's the point: any teenage girl, including your sister could write it. So she wasn't some green-blooded reptilian, just a usual human, and nazis killed her. A cute thing is that Anna understood history as genealogy of ruling dynasties.

Forgot to write an important thing: Dostoevsky was buck-broken (see his biography).
This explains why his books are so hysterical. Stockholm syndrome victim, addicted to gambling and suffering from epilepsy, trying to make sense of his fate. He is pretty talented anyway, but when someone so deeply ill is presented in school curriculum as a source of wisdom, it's a national catastrophe.
No. 82111
It happens semi regularly actually. There are large segments of anarchism which glow like the fucken sun. There was a famous example a few years back when one of the most celebrated anarchist writers ended up being a South African neo nazi.
No. 82130
A true anarchist would never diverge from CCP's party line.

Andrew Anglin, "Daylistormer"'s admin was vegan and antifa when young. What matters is a certain personality type, and which specific ideological insanity is chosen, is secondary.
No. 82149
You joke, but there was bullshit around syndicalist international drama around voting politics that ended up causing attacks on infoshops down here. It's why I kind of dislike the anarchist groups here. They're either just students or spooked by ICL/IWA drama. Geelong's group is undeniably solid though. Not big or anything but consistently avoids having bad politics.
No. 82365
I loved "A Gentle Creature", "White Nights" and "Notes from Underground" when I read them. "The Gambler" didn't do much for me personally. Haven't read his other works.
No. 82970
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The basics of sex, by Vladimir Zhirinovsky & Vladimir Yurovitsky

I've read some of chapters in this book. Posting the hottest takes:

>No to prostitution, yes to sexing
He meant that word "prostitution" should be replaced with this euphemism. Imho it's better than "sex work", because word "work" has negative connotation.

> A silver ring tradition as part of new sexual culture:
> • The Silver Ring is evidence of the girl's entry into sexual life
> • The absence of a Silver Ring in a girl or woman suggests her virginity.
> • The Silver Ring is put on by a girl or woman after the act of losing her virginity and wears it all her life and is buried with it.
> • A silver ring is given by a man who has committed an act of deprivation of virginity. A man is given the title of “sexknight” of the woman to whom he gave the Silver Ring for life, and the woman is given the title of “sexlady” of the man who gave the Silver Ring for life.
> • The leader of the LDPR, Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, publicly declares himself the sex knight of all girls who have lost their virginity as a result of sexual violence.
In order to become a sexlady of Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky, the applicant asks him to attach a copy of the statement to the police about initiating a criminal case on the fact of violence. The decision is made irrespective of the decision of the police or the court.
> • The victim submits the application and documents to the nearest local branch of LDPR.

> If a mature man becomes a sex knight of a girl twenty years younger, and it is unlikely that everything will be limited to one act of eliminating virginity, then the wife of this man will quite legitimately decide that she can also get a sex page (or pages) for herself from young boys of sixteen or older, who will be to teach sex, and in the future, perhaps, it will become their patronage and help in making a career. As a result, there will be extensive inter-age sexual relations, which are now almost non-existent. It is clear that in such sex there will hardly be a place for drugs, why does a mature wealthy lady need a drug addict page? And the problem of drug addiction itself will begin to reduce its severity.

> So, in its state policy, Russia needs to focus not on the sexually backward United States, but on the sexually highly developed Thailand.

> It seems that the Day of sex could be the day of St. Mary Magdalene, the patroness of all prostitutes. The Orthodox Church celebrates this day on August 4th.

There is also funny terminology of "annual semenyield", "heterosex", "homosex", "monosex", "computering", etc.
F for the real one.
No. 82972 Kontra
5 kB, 378 × 378
>Russia needs to focus not on the sexually backward United States, but on the sexually highly developed Thailand.
Why didn't they listen?
No. 82973 Kontra
What sane proposals.
No. 82975 Kontra
26 kB, 720 × 749
I just gotta wonder why he felt he needed to write this book in the first place :D
Like, I can understand a megalomaniac geogpolitical theory book from a guy like Zhir, but this weird boomer sex-theory thing is just baffling.
Also, I'm guessing "sexknight" and "sexlady" aren't any less clunky in the Russian original.
No. 83845
61 kB, 1280 × 620
>Call me autistic but I just couldn't get over the characters living in the shadows of greater men in Possession even if it goes some way to satirise such men and the general horror of academia.
Turns out, besides pushkinologists, there are pushkonologistologists.
No. 86366
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Read Don DeLillo's Libra from 1988. It's a fictional account of Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassination. I came upon it because DeLillo is regarded as a typical author of "system culture". Basically, several figures and their stories within "the net" are dispersed, like in an episode movie. It is really well written, finally an "American" novel again that is touching upon the (historic) American experience, as far as I can judge. Oswald was quite an Ernst. Later I looked up stuff on Wikipedia and while the novel is a fiction, it builds upon all the weird facts the Warren commission dug up, I suppose. For example the mother.
No. 86514
18 kB, 200 × 313
As I have reached the middle of this book, I've started to wonder: what the fuck am I reading? Is this really Sorokin that I'm used to? What is this cheesy slavophile utopia in the XIX century Russia, with strict, but just and magnanimous nobles, and simple, but wise and hardworking peasants, with its unrestrained admiration for rustic life, Orthodox Christianity and the Motherland, and with a disgustingly sweet romance plot to boot? Where is coprophagy, murder, rape, gay sex, fantastic drugs, genetic abominations, where is at least one mat word? I only decided to carry on out of curiosity, and when I read three quarters of it, the book suddenly took such a turn, that there were no doubts left that it's Sorokin all right. Too bad that it didn't work well at all.

Roman Vospennikov, a young nobleman who lost his parents early in his childhood, gets tired of living in a big city and working as a lawyer, so he comes to the countryside to live with his uncle and aunt and enjoy painting. He socializes with local people, his relatives and neighbors, priest Agafon, doctor Klugin (who is a jaded nihilist and misanthrope, and is meant to be the foil for the idealistic and life-loving Roman) and many peasants, encounters his past love, parts with her for good and then encounters a new love and in the end gets married. That's pretty much all I can say without spoiling anything, if somebody actually will want to read it.

So yeah, this is probably the first Sorokin's book that I wouldn't recommend to anyone, not even for memeing's sake. For being just an unfunny postmodernist prank, the book is too damn lengthy. The first three quarters are written with impeccable style that would make Chekhov, Turgenev and Bunin proud, while the last quarter consists of one extremely long paragraph made of extremely short sentences, and feels as if it was written in some sort of an assembly language designed specifically to describe twisted sacrificial rituals. I am not really sure who could possibly enjoy this book: normies who are into the XIX century Russian literature would definitely like the first three quarters of the book, but will start vomiting from the last part and drop it right there and then, while sickfucks who are well aware what Sorokin is about will be vomiting because of all the sweet and sugary idealism going on in the first three quarters only to be pretty disappointed by the last one. Avoid it, there's nothing really worthy in this book.
No. 86518
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After reading some of his short stories for a course last semester I decided to read another novel of Kobo Abe and my choice fell on "The Box Man". It takes the form of a series of diary entries by a guy who decided to live in a cardboard box and it's often not clear whether what he's describing is really happening and to whom (say Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground meets Beckett). There's some interesting musings on the nature of watching and being seen, and also some pretty horny passages once the box man gets involved with a nurse and doctor who want to exploit him for their own interests.
It was an alright read, Abe can be pretty funny at times, but I feel like towards the end the plot gets lost and then just peters out without any sort of climax which was a bit disappointing.
I'll end with a fun fact - apparently Hideo Kojima is a big fan of the book and it inspired him to add the cardboard box disguise in MGS. (Another Abe Book called "Kangaroo Notebook" was the inspiration for the plot of MGS 2)
No. 86566
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Goyda! I've been reading Sorokin recently too. Never heard of this particular book, perhaps other people don't like it as well as you don't.

Blue lard, Sorokin
People of future make ugly dwarf clones of Russian writers, who write texts and as side effect of that produce precious blue lard with unique molecular properties. Members of occult order of Earth-fuckers kill them, kidnap blue lard and send it to past, to alternative universe, where Stalin and Hitler defeated Anglos together. Large part of the fun is the language. People of future speak Ruso-Anglo-Chinese creole with some weird futuristic terms. And texts generated by clones are parodies on corresponding writers. Seems like author became tired while writing the second half of the book and didn't bother to polish it. Anyway a great funposting.
Also reminds me of myself training LSTM on books for generating blue lard lulz.

De feminis, Sorokin
Collection of short novels about women, it was published couple of months ago. Half are mediocre, half are fairly decent. My favorite three are about German professor's vaccine-related dream, about chess player, and about writer who sewed her vagina. Relatively few trash-content, pretty kind and empathetic stories.

Now started Snowstorm. Part of retrofuturistic universe, happens after "Oprichnik's day" and "Telluria", and made in 19-th century style.
No. 86571
Snowstorm was breddy gud, especially the scene with the pyramid drug.

And yeah, most of Sorokin's books are just sophisticated shitposts (a buddy of mine even used excerpts from Hearts of the Four to troll normies on social media), but Roman isn't like that either. It simply doesn't work in any aspect, in my opinion.
No. 86741
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Because of a /lit/ chart and the fact that this book was looking at me from my shelf for a while already, I recently started reading "Stoner" by John Williams. Let me say this right at the beginning: it is a good book and an even greater novel. In it we follow the life of William Stoner who grows up on a farm in Missouri as a child of simple people and eventually moves to the city to study agriculture in university. There he discovers his love and fascination for English literature. His mentor, Archer Sloane, pushes him to get an PhD and become professor, which Stoner will stay until his death many years later. We as the readers discover the world through the eyes of Stoner, an intellectual and lonesome man. I could relate to him very well as he is portrayed as someone who doesn't have dreams, doesn't have hopes, but just exists searching for life and love. He goes through the stages of life: marriage, fatherhood, love (affair), decay and finally death. I think, we can see him as a hero in the truest sense. He hasn't done any heroic deeds, but he was longing for something, he lacked the connection to the world and still he was a good man. I am struggling with depicting this character accurately, because he is so nuanced and complex. John Williams did something wonderful with this book. I could hardly put it away and at time found comfort in the intellectual and university life shown in it. Stoner became a friend to me in the last few days. With his decay, I became sadder and felt with him. I am still thinking about his death and whether his life could be good or whether he failed.
I read the "New York Review Books" edition with an introduction by John McGahern. The foreword was fitting and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although you shouldn't read it, if you solely read for the story. To add to this: don't read this book for its exterior story, read it, if you want to experience the nuanced soul life of a man who might be not so dissimilar to you? John Williams just wrote a fantastic book with this one and I'm glad I've read it. I think, I will return again and again to it to find solace and a friend in its protagonist Stoner.
No. 86833
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I just finished "Demian" and reading it was an intense experience. Again with this book I felt a familiarity of struggle and ideas. The protagonist Emil Sinclair is on a journey of self-discovery and the book basically consists of the retelling of his path. You may wonder, why the book is called "Demian", when actually Emil Sinclair is the protagonist. The character of Max Demian is as much a protagonist in this book as Emil Sinclair, but he represents far more than that, he represents an idea, a certain kind of man and discovering what he is is one joy of reading this book. Demian is such a well written character and as a reader you just have to take an interest in him. But back to Sinclair: we know from the first moment onwards he is special, but in the beginning he still does not know what exactly is special about him, why his dreams and thoughts are like they are, who he is? Hermann Hesse is a master of this kind of novel where the protagonist goes on a journey of self-discovery and I think every person who is searching for something, searching for his self and true meaning can relate to his books and the ideas formulated in them. Hesse is an agent of this particular world philosophy I am fond of as well, which makes reading his books much more enjoyable. In "Demian" he touched many topics, but in the end all of them relate to one thing, to the inner self. This book is very spiritual in a sense, matters of religion and faith are plenty in it. If you are not interested in such matters, this book may not be for you.
Nonetheless I enjoyed reading this book very much and just as with "Stoner" I am certain that I will return to it from time to time to experience its wisdom once again.
No. 86839
>Hesse is a master of this kind of novel where the protagonist goes on a journey of self-discovery

I enjoyed exactly these aspects in Steppenwolf and Siddartha. But even though you can find many similarities between these two stories, they feel entirely different. I've been meaning to read more from Hesse for years (instead I've re-read Siddartha and Steppenwolf). How would you compare Demian to either of those, if you've read them?
No. 86840
Steppenwolf and Siddhartha are two of my all-time favorites and like you I re-read them occasionally. Demian is a synthesis of both. It combines the dream-like reality of Steppenwolf with the philosophy of Siddhartha. Haller, Siddhartha and Sinclair are the same person, just different inflections of it.
No. 86841
Okay, I'm sold. This goes on my xmas wish list, thanks :>
No. 86849
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Currently reading the most recent instalment of the Children of Time series. It's still some great science fiction, I think I preferred the earlier two books (although I think it just got good with crows) but there's still some moments of sheer scale for the universe and speculation of how sentience would express itself differently across species. This one is more grounded in humanity trying to eek out an existence in the extreme of a planet without biodiversity.

The world building involved is something else, if you've not read the first then it covers spiders on a lost terraforming project and their crawl into their own civilisation over multiple generations with adventures in each era in a universe where human civilisation had destroyed itself barring a small remnant trying to traverse the madness of the distances involved without FTL.

It's still one of my favourite books of all time and I love how Hesse's work changes as he aged and with the times. There's so much in every page of this book that I remembered devouring it almost in a sitting - the sheer feeling of the time he evoked was hair raising stuff alone without getting into abraxas and the analogies of the path to being a man.

Next on your list is Narcissus and Goldmund. It has some very similar elements to Damian despite being written when Hesse was more mature and there's lots of naughty sex :DDDD

>This book is very spiritual in a sense, matters of religion and faith are plenty in it. If you are not interested in such matters, this book may not be for you.

Nonsense. I'm as materialist as they come but after finishing Damien I was quite ready to become a fire worshipping gnostic, you don't have to believe it rationally to not be captivated.

I didn't take to Siddhartha. I got it but it seemed like a lot of words to say something very simple.
No. 86880
>Next on your list is Narcissus and Goldmund
I have already read it. Sinclair reminded me of Goldmund and Demian of Narcissus. Very good book as well!
No. 86906
I liked Rosshalde. Normal literature for normal people to read. Steppenwolf? Infantile brain-farts of a man in midlife-crisis going through second puberty, borderlube insane. Glasperlenspiel? Oh god, why is it so long. Insufferably tedious.
No. 86907 Kontra
Hm I was wondering about the Hesse praise. I read a few: Peter Camenzind, Demian and I think the glass beads. They get one blob in my memory, melancholic boys going ways and ending badly?. It was ok but for the themes and ways of storytelling, I would look for people that did it better. So in conclusion I don't understand the Hesse "hype".
all your Ernsts are free to like Hesse
No. 86913 Kontra
Marcel-Reich Ranicki did not like Hesse, either, calling him a third-class author. So you are not alone. But then again, Reich-Ranicki was just a tv-personality pretending to be a literature critic, and an eternal polack kike who hated the German genius. His moronic takes were created to appeal to the petite bourgeoisie.

So I think you are free to not like Hesse. It says more abou your meager intellectual abilities than anything else. Maybe be silent and do not speak your lower mid-wit mind.

And the same goes for you.
No. 86914 Kontra
Here's another one who didn't enjoy Hesse. I wouldn't have the courage to make this post but for yours. I read Steppenwolf, Siddhartha and Demian, didn't finish Glassbead. They're all about the platitude of searching one's inner self, snowflaky protagnists which are but kitsch ingratiation with their readers, and typical naive occidental enthusiasm towards imagined oriental spirituality. No wonder the counterculture murricans like him.
I consider Hesse a slightly better Somerset Maugham. Never heard of Maugham? That's about right because Maugham is a third-rate sensationalist writer that could be popular only in china.
No. 86915 Kontra
The same goes for me! Yay!
No. 86919
Let me just say that I never read anything by Hesse, but my gf likes him.

But I hate Thomas Mann's works with a passion.
No. 86922
>But I hate Thomas Mann's works with a passion.
Why? I have only read The Magic Mountain, and it was pretty nice; a bit too long and quite slow, but not too boring and not overly pretentious.
No. 86937
Same here, I already didn't like Steppenwolf but recently succumbed to read Siddharta after all since it's such a popular book and ended up rather hating it, my polemics of choice being "orientalist fan-fiction" and "babby's first esotericism"

I think you put it well with:
>platitude of searching one's inner self, snowflaky protagnists which are but kitsch ingratiation with their readers, and typical naive occidental enthusiasm towards imagined oriental spirituality
Though my initial thought after reading it was that he didn't really grasp the depths of Buddhism/Daoism/Hinduism and ended up with a hodgepodge of everything, also due to his professed universalism. But maybe that's also just me succumbing to my naive occidental enthusiasm...

>No wonder the counterculture murricans like him.
Yeah, he also lived in a sort of commune for a while (which ofc turned into a shitshow) and did lots of what one would nowadays call "hippie shit"
No. 86939 Kontra
>and an eternal polack kike who hated the German genius
If you insist on sounding like an imageboard cliché moron at least get your content st8, he loved the German genius.
No. 89362
56 kB, 800 × 1189
Could any University Ernst help out providing this book? It's not available online. There is only a 2012 edition of another book with the same name on libgen. Would be much appreciated.
No. 89363 Kontra
Of course I meant it's not available freely online
No. 89366
I checked it but my institution doesn't have access to it.
No. 89382 Kontra
2,2 MB
1,8 MB, 624 pages
There you go
No. 89398 Kontra
Thank you very much!
No. 90188
123 kB, 265 × 420
After collapse of yet another Georgian horizontal queer commune, I realized that beatniks' books are literally twitter gossip ramblings, you just need to replace "Tbilisi" with "Tangier".

So what do you think about Burroughs, Kerouac, etc, Ernst?
No. 90190
83 kB, 1024 × 581
>So what do you think about Burroughs, Kerouac, etc, Ernst?

I read Naked Lunch and On the Road. I think Naked Lunch would be more interesting if I knew more about American history and culture.
Kerouac on the other hand I simply don't like. It's too much.
No. 90191
Fun edgy stuff, probably won't stop being edgy for another several decades. Also, one of the few gay authors who is not an obnoxious homo, doesn't wallows in his faggotry and just either presents it matter-of-factly or constructs some entertaining plot out of it — that is, one of the few gay authors who might be interesting for non-gay and non-SJW people.

Only read On the Road, and it was pretty forgettable and felt overrated. I read it in Russian, though, so maybe if I re-read it in English, I will have a better impression.
No. 90197
>After collapse of yet another Georgian horizontal queer commune
What happened?

I've only read Naked Lunch and I very much liked it back then but I really do love the movie which is more of a mix of the book and autobiographical material but it creates such a dense atmosphere and is quite a ride.
No. 90421
141 kB, 1280 × 720
> it was pretty forgettable and felt overrated
I guess it was overrated by the same generation and social circle American bohemia of the 50s to which the author and his characters belonged. For them this book is kinda very relatable, so nostalgia and so on. And then everyone else just accepted their assessment under weight of their authority.

Yes, "Naked lunch" movie is really epic. Dropped the book at the start though.
"Videodrome" by same director is cool too btw.

> What happened?
Harassment accusations.