Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 504288 times)

Offline SteveJ

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #105 on: April 20, 2008, 07:25:20 AM »
I could never get through Dostoyevsky.  I've tried, just can't do it.  Your brain must be much larger, Steve.  Probably a size 08, or something like that. :)

Honestly, Don, if Dostoyevsky's writing was that complex, I certainly wouldn't be able to understand it ;D
As it happens, his main character in the novel, Prince Myshkin, is a very simple soul, but his simplicity is akin to the great Greek philosophers, in that he makes people question themselves, their behaviour and motivations, their thoughts, their emotions; not in a confrontational Socratic manner, or in the 'looming' fashion of J.B Priestley's Inspector Goole, but in the contrast between his gentle character and theirs - like Christ, he is sometimes ridiculed by other characters for his simple ways and modes of thought, but eventually, all recognise his influence, and are fundamentally changed because of it.

Myshkin's anecdotes about his life & times are set in 'black and white', rather like the Gospels, in that they show his world to be one which focuses on the important matters of existence - compassion, empathy, and understanding.

Also, there seems, to me at any rate, a telling parallel between the moments of enlightenment that Myshkin feels before his epileptic attacks begin, and the onset of inspiration a writer or poet sometimes feels; but this is just a personal view, and may have little realistic merit; it's very well described in the novel, and could easily apply to both situations, I feel.

'The Idiot' is a simple tale, told by inspired prophet-like 'poets' - Myshkin and Dostoyevsky.
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Offline SteveJ

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #106 on: April 20, 2008, 07:35:47 AM »
I should add that I believe the novelist was trying to posit Myshkin as a Christlike figure, cast into (what was to Dostoyevsky) the modern world, with it's modern yet timeless obsessions.
The novel is rather dated, in some respects, particularly in the episodes featuring the Nihilists, and the book ( and it's author) have plenty of critics - Dostoyevsky was always a rather disorganised novelist,
and was prone to those great 'faults', melodrama and 'pity'. Like many great writers, his sentiments are poetic and therefore, somewhat overblown...but I love his work for all these faults, and perhaps, because of them - there's quite enough cerebral, and trivial, authors around, so it's good to find a 'voice' that is thoroughly human.

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Offline alec

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #107 on: April 20, 2008, 08:42:04 AM »
on Dostoevsky, I think a reader may be intimidated by his status and reputation but really his works are very accessible. they may be works of literary genius but first and foremost they are good stories, very well told. approach them as such and they are a very easy read. then, when you've read them once, read them again and start unpacking the depth.

then read them again.

Offline SteveJ

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #108 on: April 20, 2008, 08:46:10 AM »
on Dostoevsky, I think a reader may be intimidated by his status and reputation but really his works are very accessible. they may be works of literary genius but first and foremost they are good stories, very well told. approach them as such and they are a very easy read. then, when you've read them once, read them again and start unpacking the depth.

then read them again.

Great post, and very true.
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Offline alec

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #109 on: May 01, 2008, 07:06:02 PM »
today I am mostly reading... Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

Offline ellie

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #110 on: May 01, 2008, 07:20:51 PM »
At the moment Im reading Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia'  and still reading 'Dubliners' by Joyce...
also reading Monica Ali's 'Brick Lane'
The cure for boredom is curiosity.There is no cure for curiosity
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Offline allyrose

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #111 on: May 01, 2008, 08:53:51 PM »
Just finished reading the Kite Runner.  Couldn't put it down.  Saw the Movie last night, it has a lot of subtitles.  Read the book First.

Offline Talisman

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #112 on: May 02, 2008, 12:36:10 PM »
Can't wait to see that movie and agree it was a brilliant book - I have recently finished his second - A Thousand Splendid Suns and that is just as good, written from a female perspective though rather than male. I couldn't believe it when the heroine was executed - I was in shock. I would never have put up with half the things that she did - that husband wouldn't have lasted 30 seconds with me let alone 30 years !

I am currently reading a non fiction book actually though that I have been resisting buying for a while - A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle - I always resist the books that I learn the most from, and that force me to look at my 'stuff', and this is no exception.
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Offline fire-fly

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #113 on: May 02, 2008, 05:29:53 PM »
STATION SHORTS

I just got my copy ;D ;D
I'm A Binge Thinker: Do It A Lot Somedays, Then Not Much At All.

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Offline thatLous

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #114 on: May 03, 2008, 07:52:08 AM »
Currently going through Lovecraft...

I think when some people in my classroom asked me what I was reading and I said 'Lovecraft'-- I think they thought I was reading a romance novel or something.

;D ;D If only they asked me to borrow it.

'It's really a wonderful book, where this man falls in love with a woman and it turns out that she can't because she's his second cousin on his mother's side. Tragic, really, a very sad story.'
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 07:54:40 AM by ThatGuy »

Offline SteveJ

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #115 on: May 03, 2008, 07:53:48 AM »
Currently going through Lovecraft...

Beware the eldritch unspeakable tentacled thing that lurks on your shoulder as you read, Louie... ;D ;D
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Offline thatLous

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #116 on: May 03, 2008, 07:58:35 AM »
And beware, Mr. Steve Jerymn, your ancestry which holds many secrets...

MWAHAHAHAHHAAHH!!!

That story's my favorite part. Monkey grandma ;D ;D ;D Personally, as Arthur, I wouldn't do that. I'd be like Spiderman but then I'd be half monkey half man. Like Monkeyman.... err- woman.


Louie

Offline ellie

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #117 on: May 03, 2008, 01:38:36 PM »
Currently going through Lovecraft...

I think when some people in my classroom asked me what I was reading and I said 'Lovecraft'-- I think they thought I was reading a romance novel or something.

;D ;D If only they asked me to borrow it.

'It's really a wonderful book, where this man falls in love with a woman and it turns out that she can't because she's his second cousin on his mother's side. Tragic, really, a very sad story.'

Ive read  a few of his stories TG, 'Imprisoned with the pharoahs' ..'The Thing on the doorstep'
my youngest lad is a fan of his.
The cure for boredom is curiosity.There is no cure for curiosity
Oscar Wilde
http://www.goldstarbooks.co.uk/ellie_Bowdery.htm

Offline SteveJ

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #118 on: May 04, 2008, 06:16:13 AM »
Poe & Lovecraft have many critics, but they certainly knew how to end a story
in unforgettable style; check 'Masque of the Red Death' & 'Pickman's Model'. :)

Also, 'The Dunwich Horror' is practically surreal, such is it's atmosphere.

Currently rereading David Morrell's brilliant short story 'Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity'.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2008, 06:23:34 AM by Steve08 »
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Offline josiebee

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #119 on: May 04, 2008, 07:03:04 PM »
Evening

After reading an interview with her in a writing magazine, I went and ought My est Friends Girl, by Dorothy Koomson. Loved her writing style so much I have since bought and read three others by her and introduced my Mother in Law to the novels also.

I tell my family - as  I curl up with my book - that it is all in the name of literary research.................


Jo x