Home Forums Robert Wyatt Shipbuilding Wyatters’ Delights III (what are you reading?)

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  • #371

    Max_Gate
    Participant

    “What are you reading?” Share your private pleasures here without risk of prosecution.

    Me? The Irish novelist George Moore, who had his portrait painted by Manet, knew Zola, and worked with Yeats. He was also the natural father of shipping heiress Nancy Cunard. Most importantly, he’s a superb wordsmith.

    Max Gate

    #1250

    theallgolden
    Participant

    gerhard henschel – die liebenden (the two lovers)

    a family portrait in letters from two lovers. german postwar decade.

    #1251

    zeebras
    Participant

    a new discovery for me is a british author by the name of russell hoban. our local chain bookstore has a pile of his books in their cutout section at great prices, so this was a chance for me to check out a name i’ve seen over the years.
    so far, i’ve read “the medusa frequency”, “the bat tatoo”, “kleinzeit”, and i’m finishing up “angelica’s grotto”. there seems to be common themes or literary tricks running thru the four i’ve read so far, in particular the myth of orpheus. i prefer him when he’s telling a straightforward story as opposed to the more hallucinatory “kleinzeit”, which reminds me of kafka with a sense of humor, but i have enjoyed all four.

    #1252

    Max_Gate
    Participant

    Zeebras, my favourite Russell Hoban piece is the apocalyptic ‘Riddley Walker’, where he invents a language that reads like a hybrid of the mad poet John Clare’s journals and Anthony Burgess’ ‘The Clockwork Orange’. Here is the opening:

    On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. He dint make the groun shake or nothing like that when he come on to my spear he wernt all that big plus he lookit poorly. He done the reqwyrt he ternt and stood and clattert his teef and made his rush and there we wer then. Him on 1 end of the spear kicking his life out and me on the other end watching him dy. I said, ?

    #1253

    zeebras
    Participant

    “ringolevio – a life played for keeps” by emmett grogan
    this is emmett’s autobiography. a junkie while in grade school in brooklyn, he becomes a master cat burglar who takes off for europe for a few adventure-filled years when things get hot at home. upon his return, he’s drafted, fakes craziness and receives a dishonourable discharge, stays in san francisco circa 1965 and is one of the founders of the diggers, dedicated to creating an alternative life style based on “free” – free food, housing, clothes – “free because it yours”.
    if everything this guy writes about is true, he led one hell of a life. he died fairly young of a drug overdose in 1977 or ’78 ( dylans “street legal” is dedicated to his memory), and only had one other book published – “final score” – a crime caper which got the FBI interested in him because of the details of the heist laid out in the book.
    ?

    #1254

    Max_Gate
    Participant

    I’ve made good on a long-standing promise to myself: I’ve finally read ‘The Lord Chandos Letter’ by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Librettist to Richard Strauss, Hofmannsthal wrote this in 1902; it puports to be a letter to Francis Bacon by a younger acquaintance who explains why he can no longer write books, only an erudite explanation of his inability. As such, it reads like a proto-existentialist text on the problem of bad faith.

    Max Gate

    #1255

    Jaakko
    Participant

    Mainly modern physics, cosmology and Terry Pratchett
    (ofcourse!)

    Fiction has begun to wear me out.

    Not Samuel Beckett though, he’s my Elvis. Or should
    I say “Ernest”?

    But our particular friends were the rats, that dwelt by the stream. They were long and black. We brought them such tidbits from our ordinary as rinds of cheese, and morsels of gristle, and we brought them also birds?

    #1256

    Max_Gate
    Participant

    I’ve been travelling, and consequently wanted a brief book of substance rather than a substantial book of puffery. I chose to take along Ronald Wright’s sober (and sobering) ‘A Short History of Progress’. He references extensively and convincingly in support of his arguments, and I was struck by the prescience of the Pre-Raphaelite William Morris, who is cited as follows:

    ‘The happiness of the workman at his work, his most elementary comfort and bare health….did not weigh a grain of sand in the balance against this dire necessity of “cheap production” of things, a great part of which were not worth producing at all….The whole community was cast into the jaws of this ravening monster, the World-Market.’ [News from Nowhere]

    Max Gate

    #1257

    theallgolden
    Participant

    a few days ago i finished jonathan lethem’s book ‘gun with occasional music’ from 1994.

    last year i read with a lot of enthusiasm his last book ‘the fortress of solitude’. especially the first part, in which he tells the story of a childhood in brooklyn fascinated and pleasantly affected me.

    i found the ‘gun’-book at a fleamarket at my sons school. so i bought it. but the first half bored me. first i thought: why wasting time on this book, but then i restarted reading and the book changed from a boring crime noir novel with a touch of fictional into an amusing one.

    #1258

    theallgolden
    Participant

    melville’s bartleby, the scrivener. never read this book.

    #1259

    theallgolden
    Participant

    russell hoban. i never recognized this author.

    curious as i am i tried to find some books in german language. what i found is one children book. but i noticed that many years ago there books of him translated in german were some published. i hope that i can find an antiquarian issue.

    #1260

    theallgolden
    Participant

    flaubert’s ‘salammbo’.

    in the eighties i devoured flaubert’s books. all of them, except ‘salammbo’. i never read it. i can not say why.

    but now i started to reading it. and the first pages are phantasmagoric and with full of gorgeous swell of sentences and words. will it go on like this? i am curious about it.

    #1261

    Ally
    Participant

    I’m currently a few chapters in to “A Scanner Darkly” by Philip K Dick. I’m a biiiit of a sci-fi nerd, I must admit.

    #1262

    Max_Gate
    Participant

    I’ve been re-reading Ruth Dallas (b. 1919), of whom The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature notes: “The concentration on place?

    #1263

    zeebras
    Participant

    this summer’s readings has consisted mainly of books of a musical nature, mainly biographical.
    “zappa” by barry miles. barry concentrates more on zappa the person rather than disecting his music. an interesting read.
    “joni mitchell-shadows and light” by karen o’brien. another very readable biography, and one that made me go back and re-listen to some of her later albums (wild things run fast, dog eat dog, chalk marks. . . ) that i never really dug. i still don’t like them.
    “have not been the same. the canrock renaissance” by michael barclay, ian jack and jason schneider.
    a history of the canadian music scene 1985-95. a highly entertaining read. and one that made me check out some bands i didn’t know about.
    “words and music. a history of pop in the shape of a city” by paul morley. part novel, part theory, part history, with alvin lucier and kylie minogue as central characters. part entertaining, part frustrating, part pretentious, a second reading is in store down the line.
    the one non-musical bit of reading was “after many a summer” by aldous huxley. i read this about twenty years ago, and a mention of it in the zappa bio prompted me to re-read it.

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