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Books: The elves shelves

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Jenny
29279.  Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:26 am Reply with quote

Good idea Abe1ng - that has a definite 'interestrings' feel about it.

 
abe1ng
29322.  Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:07 pm Reply with quote

Thank you for considering my idea. It occurred (spelling?) to me after I had submitted that some sort of comments could be appended to each addition to the list as to why an association had been made ... on second thoughts, perhaps this would be to spell something out that should be left to the reader's imagination .... long day & too tired to think it through ... sorry

 
abe1ng
29328.  Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:45 pm Reply with quote

Talking of books that must be read ... or in this case, even if you never read it, take a look, House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski.

The layout of the text reflects the words being written ... it is a story ... not sure story is the right word but it will do for now ... of someone who is going mad.

I was reading this book on a train, and by the time I had turned the book upside down, sideways, slapped over a dozen pages then shot to the back, the front and then finally ended up somewhere in the middle, the carriage had emptied ... my fellow travellers thought I was mad and all I was doing was following the text and footnotes!

Believe me, not an easy read but made riveting by your own actions and the sound of the pages.

Someone out there must have read, seen or heard of it ... tell me I'm not the only person who finds this book difficult to let go of?

 
Jenny
29383.  Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:18 pm Reply with quote

I haven't even seen it, but it sounds fascinating and I'll look out for it next time I go to a bookshop.

 
Jenny
29818.  Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:03 pm Reply with quote

Elves - I've just finished a most entertaining book called Northern Pride by John Grundy. John does a local TV programme in the North-East, about architecture, and this book may be connected with the series - not sure.

 
Ciggywink
30184.  Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:07 pm Reply with quote

A stunning trio of David Mamets for the aesthetic/moral philosophy/What maketh Man section... On Directing, True or False and the one i've finally just laid my mits on Three Uses of the Knife.

So devoid of flab, their author has distilled them almost to pamphlets. If you have room for only one of the three, Three Uses is the most universally relevant, and a brilliant analysis of that most human of needs, the search for truth.

 
Gengulfus
41986.  Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:20 pm Reply with quote

The World's Writing Systems, ed. Peter T. Daniels and William Bright. I know that it's technically a reference book, but my Word, is it interesting! It's actually a collection of essays written by experts on the various writing and notation systems found in the world. It is said to be one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive reference book of its kind, certainly in terms of breadth.
It does have its shortcomings, I'll be the first to concede that (well, others have said it before me, but I'm afraid I can't enumerate them quite...), but it is doubtlessly an amazing and always QI book.
And because of the way in which it is constructed, it's always possible to dip into it just for a little bit if you've had an intriguing thought about, say, Georgian, or Dance Notation. (Come to think of it, dance notation is a possible topic for series D!)

 
Gengulfus
41992.  Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:48 pm Reply with quote

Confessions of a Homing Pigeon, by Nicholas Meyer

Stephen Fry's novel The Liar (which I love and admire to bits, incidentally) seems to get quite a few mentions here on various book-related threads, and it could be summed up (somewhat crudely, granted) as a "growing up" story (with a twist). Confessions of a Homing Pigeon offers a very different growing-up story--certainly a much more straightforward and in many ways simpler one (I use "simple" in a completely non-disparaging way; I mean it in the positive sense), but at the same time a more realistically unusual and at times fantastical one.

I wrote a paragraph trying to describe the story without giving too much away but still making it sound good... It just didn't look right, so I got rid of it. So I guess that was my way of describing it without actually describing it. If that makes any sense (which it doesn't).

I believe this is what it says on its back cover.

Lovely novel; wouldn't miss it if I were you. Anyone else here read it?


Last edited by Gengulfus on Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
iluphade
42003.  Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:19 pm Reply with quote

I suppose you'll allready have the books I'll be proposing over time, but I'll propose them anyways.

For starters: books by Saramago. I'll translate the titles directly from dutch, so they might be somewhat different in English, but I'm sure you'll know which ones i mean.

Saramago's writing technique is both genius as absurd at times. I remember a long time ago in college we had to write a short essay on a given subject. I tried to copy Saramago's writingtechnique, offcourse implemented in my own limited way. My teacher went berserk. He said that he didn't understand what i had written, and that "my way of writing" was wrong.
You can imagine my anger. (Actually you can't imagine it, literature is the only thing in the world that really can entice me, but it's also the only thing in the world that can antagonise me, specially when it's being criticised by ignorant beings). At any rate, I protested heavily in a follow-up essay, defending the freedom off technique, and the importance of openmindedness towards literature.

This is just an example off how Saramago's writing can touch someone's life indirectly. However there is much more to him. His writing is lucid and inspirational. He has a clear view of the world, and of what's wrong with it. Part of my adoration for him might very well be the fact that i simply have to agree with many things he writes. But it's hard for any educated person not to be swayed by his views of humanity. His stern atheism seeps through in "the (...) according to Jesus Christ", in which he portrays another view on life in old Galilea. Besides being a great writer, awarded with a nobelprize in 1998 he is also a vivant man, still writing 83 years of age. Only recently was his latest book "city of the seeing" released.
Even iff you don't like something he wrote, you're likely to like another of his books. Every book has a different feel to it. But they all make you want to curl up in them. These are books which are worthy of being wept upon should they ever be lost.


P.S.: I want to apologise for my failure to produce decent English sentences, I seem to be rather tired. Therefor I'll wait untill tomorrow before i plug Maeterlinck, the only belgian ever to win a nobelprize.

 
samivel
42010.  Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:59 pm Reply with quote

iluphade wrote:
I'll wait untill tomorrow before i plug Maeterlinck, the only belgian ever to win a nobelprize.


Actually, Maeterlinck is the only Belgian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; other Belgians have won other Nobel Prizes.

1977 - Chemistry: Ilya Prigogine
1919 - Medicine/Physiology: Jules Bordet
1938 - Medicine/Physiology: Corneille Heymans
1913 - Peace: Henri-Marie Lafontaine
1958 - Peace: Dominique Pire


There might be others who shared the award

 
iluphade
42027.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:15 am Reply with quote

As i said, it was late. Offcourse i ment the only belgian to win the nobelprize for literature. (I'm quite obsessed with that, as I really don't want Hugo Claus to be the next belgian to win one. It'd be a tragedy for belgian literature, and all literature for that matter.

 
laidbacklazyman
42036.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:36 am Reply with quote

For Christmas I received the wonderful Pedant's Revolt. Oh I would have loved the author to use the nom de plume "What Tyler"

Brit Wit - a collection of wit. I used to have a copy of Scorn by Mathew Parris but "lent" it to someone.

Schott's Miscellany - I have been after a copy of this book for aaaaaages

and Stephen Fry's Ode Less Travelled. Soon I shall be amazing the world with my Peotic Verse. Watch out Cowper

 
Gray
42069.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:03 pm Reply with quote

I've just begun to read that book myself,
And everything, without my knowing why,
Is falling into neat iambic verse.
He'd make a splendid teacher, Stephen Fry.

 
samivel
42084.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:25 pm Reply with quote

iluphade wrote:
As i said, it was late. Offcourse i ment the only belgian to win the nobelprize for literature. (I'm quite obsessed with that, as I really don't want Hugo Claus to be the next belgian to win one. It'd be a tragedy for belgian literature, and all literature for that matter.


I've only read one of his books, The Sorrow of Belgium, so maybe I'm not in a position to comment, but it seems a little harsh to say that awarding Claus the Nobel Prize would be a tragedy for all literature. :)

 
iluphade
42099.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:49 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:

I've only read one of his books, The Sorrow of Belgium, so maybe I'm not in a position to comment, but it seems a little harsh to say that awarding Claus the Nobel Prize would be a tragedy for all literature. :)


I know I'm a bit harsh on him, but I honestly believe he deserves it. What's most important is that i don't like his writing. It's condescending, but in a way the people who thought the earth was flat were condescending to the people who claimed it was round.
It might be partly because you have to read Claus as a belgian. Iff they don't force it in your homes, they'll spoon it in at school. I remember having to make an analysis of one of his "plays" (notice the ""'s) called cheese. Our terribly cruel teacher made us read it during the lessons, out loud by the way, after which he asked stupid questions, such as: how many pages does this chapter have? What does this character say to that character? etc. etc.

But it's not simply the inadiquate ways of this one teacher that made me dislike Claus. It's simply his writing. It's dry. It's cold. It lacks the enthralling factor that makes a good book. I think it'd be an embarresment for literature iff he'd get a Nobelprize, because frankly, his work is far from outstanding. I can't suggest another (living) belgian who'd be worthy getting the Nobelprize, but I'd rather see the end of belgian literature (which might be very imminent) than see his mediocraty rewarded.

Ah well, it's just an opinion i suppose. I dislike most modern writers. I dislike most modern things actually. I hate modern reenactments of old plays. I suppose I'm just grumpy overall :)

 

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