Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 27 Nov 2017, 2:55pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 2:51pm
Silent Majority wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 2:46pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 2:28pm
Silent Majority wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 2:13pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 1:10pm


I don't know that you can confidently conclude that Orwell thought Marx was right or communism is correct. It's certainly populist, that elites will always betray the people, but communism seems just as likely in his telling to collapse into hierarchy. It's despairingly populist, I'd say (which comes across even stronger in 1984).
I think Orwell lays in hope and possibilities around the farm revolution and is fairly onside with Snowball.
There are good "people," definitely. The common animals are noble if naive, which makes their fate all the more unjust. Snowball has the advantage of being exiled by the sinister Napoleon, automatically elevated by the latter's villainy, but there is no certainty that if he had triumphed over Napoleon that things would have been better, that he wouldn't be as bad. Orwell just doesn't play that game of individuals (again, see how things play out in 1984). The initial rush overthrowing the old system, when everything is up in the air—anarchic, one might say—are the good times, but then old patterns re-settle, the state reasserts its domination. Communism proves to be as awful as capitalism for it is, in fact, an authoritarian state capitalism. If there's an ideological advocacy to be gleaned, I think it's in the direction of anarchism, not communism.
I can dig that. I'll amend my original statement to the book being pro-revolution.
Definitely. If there's an advocacy of Trotsky in AF, it's for permanent revolution.
In pop culture, its come down as a book for centrist dads advocating for the status quo.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 27 Nov 2017, 3:01pm

Silent Majority wrote:
27 Nov 2017, 2:55pm
In pop culture, its come down as a book for centrist dads advocating for the status quo.
In the same way that Martin Luther King, Jr. has become every conservative's favourite black leader—he's dead (so he can't rebut their distortions) and civil disobedience can be twisted into a rejection of protest and confrontation, into the tut-tutting of respectability politics. Superficial readings and convenient corner-rounding in both cases can undercut the demand for radical change that guided both Orwell and King.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 30 Nov 2017, 3:26pm

33) Cameron at 10. Audiobook by two journalists whose names were probably Nigel. An inside look at David Cameron's first five years as Premier, based on hours of interviews and reporting. Written before the EU referendum answered all the questions raised here about the pigfucker's legacy. Dave comes off as the elitist patriot we always knew him to be. Indeed the book, even with its sympathetic centre right slant, confirms every one of my assumptions about the coalition and everyone involved. Clegg is in particular worthy of scorn. George Osbourne needs to be guillotined and Gove is a wanker
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 30 Nov 2017, 4:02pm

Silent Majority wrote:
30 Nov 2017, 3:26pm
33) Cameron at 10. Audiobook by two journalists whose names were probably Nigel. An inside look at David Cameron's first five years as Premier, based on hours of interviews and reporting. Written before the EU referendum answered all the questions raised here about the pigfucker's legacy. Dave comes off as the elitist patriot we always knew him to be. Indeed the book, even with its sympathetic centre right slant, confirms every one of my assumptions about the coalition and everyone involved. Clegg is in particular worthy of scorn. George Osbourne needs to be guillotined and Gove is a wanker
:lol:
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 05 Dec 2017, 7:56am

34) Moonraker - Ian Fleming. The Bond of the books isn't quite the absurd superman of the films but he has some fun extra snobbishness and obsession with fine dining to make up for it. This was my first reread of the year, I got this out from the library when I was about 12 and I'd retained very little of it. The bridge game that took up a tenth of the book wasn't appreciated, but I liked this quite well overall.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by JennyB » 05 Dec 2017, 10:18am

I just started the Richard Blade autobiography. Not very well written, but entertaining.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 09 Dec 2017, 10:01am

Bedtime book:
Image
Started this a few nights ago, close to halfway thru. In the style of Nicholson Baker's Human Smoke, this isn't a tight, connected narrative, but a series of vignettes from the year, mostly set in Europe. But it's not without an overarching theme, and that's of people haunted by how to reckon with Nazism—or, often, how to avoid reckoning with it—and a dread for the future. Refugees and orphans are everywhere, making choices that, with hindsight will seem significant, but at the time are done by instinct, while those charged with documenting and prosecuting Nazi crimes are stuck in a political mire that makes it hard to continue. This kind of history is tough to pull off, something so fragmented in construction and dominated by anxiety, but Asbrink's prose is quite affecting.

(Love the cover design, too.)
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 09 Dec 2017, 11:22am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
09 Dec 2017, 10:01am
Bedtime book:
Image
Started this a few nights ago, close to halfway thru. In the style of Nicholson Baker's Human Smoke, this isn't a tight, connected narrative, but a series of vignettes from the year, mostly set in Europe. But it's not without an overarching theme, and that's of people haunted by how to reckon with Nazism—or, often, how to avoid reckoning with it—and a dread for the future. Refugees and orphans are everywhere, making choices that, with hindsight will seem significant, but at the time are done by instinct, while those charged with documenting and prosecuting Nazi crimes are stuck in a political mire that makes it hard to continue. This kind of history is tough to pull off, something so fragmented in construction and dominated by anxiety, but Asbrink's prose is quite affecting.

(Love the cover design, too.)
Looks like a good one. I always find poat-war based stuff a lot more interesting than tedious accounts of battles won and lost and flanking the enemy and all that shit you get in accounts of wars. The society's struggles to deal in the aftermath is where you find the informative parts.

Agreed on the cover. Period appropriate and striking.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 13 Dec 2017, 8:18am

35) The High Window - Raymond Chandler. Library borrow. Only my second ever Chandler after the Big Sleep. Fun, sad, human, with a grace and wit from one end of a sentence to another. Plot's meaningless and the explanation at the end is my least favourite part. This has a reputation as a lesser Chandler. I'll be reading the rest. Going to rewatch Bogart as Marlowe and maybe return to the excellent Elliot Gould flick.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 13 Dec 2017, 8:49am

Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 8:18am
35) The High Window - Raymond Chandler. Library borrow. Only my second ever Chandler after the Big Sleep. Fun, sad, human, with a grace and wit from one end of a sentence to another. Plot's meaningless and the explanation at the end is my least favourite part. This has a reputation as a lesser Chandler. I'll be reading the rest. Going to rewatch Bogart as Marlowe and maybe return to the excellent Elliot Gould flick.
Love Chandler, but they're all basically the same to me. There is, I think, something deliberate about the meaninglessness of the plots.

BTW, finished 1947 last night and highly recommend it. The book, it turns out, is an indirect autobiography of sorts. Asbrink is the daughter of a Jewish boy who features prominently in the story, his father murdered in Ukraine but is saved by his mother, who also survived. But the book, I suspect, intentionally echoes contemporary refugee crises and the return of fascism. It's an odd thing, but the older I get and the more I read about the Holocaust and other war trauma, the less I'm able to understand it. That so many people were—and are—capable of crossing a line of perception and behaviour that allows them to rationalize inhumane, utterly ghoulish treatment of others. On a gut level, at the level of some kind of hardwired conscience, I don't understand it at all, even tho our collective past and present shows it's not that unusual. Anyway, a worthwhile book to absorb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 13 Dec 2017, 9:15am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 8:49am
Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 8:18am
35) The High Window - Raymond Chandler. Library borrow. Only my second ever Chandler after the Big Sleep. Fun, sad, human, with a grace and wit from one end of a sentence to another. Plot's meaningless and the explanation at the end is my least favourite part. This has a reputation as a lesser Chandler. I'll be reading the rest. Going to rewatch Bogart as Marlowe and maybe return to the excellent Elliot Gould flick.
Love Chandler, but they're all basically the same to me. There is, I think, something deliberate about the meaninglessness of the plots.

BTW, finished 1947 last night and highly recommend it. The book, it turns out, is an indirect autobiography of sorts. Asbrink is the daughter of a Jewish boy who features prominently in the story, his father murdered in Ukraine but is saved by his mother, who also survived. But the book, I suspect, intentionally echoes contemporary refugee crises and the return of fascism. It's an odd thing, but the older I get and the more I read about the Holocaust and other war trauma, the less I'm able to understand it. That so many people were—and are—capable of crossing a line of perception and behaviour that allows them to rationalize inhumane, utterly ghoulish treatment of others. On a gut level, at the level of some kind of hardwired conscience, I don't understand it at all, even tho our collective past and present shows it's not that unusual. Anyway, a worthwhile book to absorb.
It's based in a purposeful ignorance, a brain-dance, to sustain an ability to survive in a world of avoidable horrors. Both the perpertrators and witnesses look past the worst actions. Even those of us who try and fight against unspeakable deeds can't allow their full ramifications into our little Ape skulls. We'd be immobilised.
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Who gets up and works for fifty grand


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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 13 Dec 2017, 9:28am

Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 9:15am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 8:49am
Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 8:18am
35) The High Window - Raymond Chandler. Library borrow. Only my second ever Chandler after the Big Sleep. Fun, sad, human, with a grace and wit from one end of a sentence to another. Plot's meaningless and the explanation at the end is my least favourite part. This has a reputation as a lesser Chandler. I'll be reading the rest. Going to rewatch Bogart as Marlowe and maybe return to the excellent Elliot Gould flick.
Love Chandler, but they're all basically the same to me. There is, I think, something deliberate about the meaninglessness of the plots.

BTW, finished 1947 last night and highly recommend it. The book, it turns out, is an indirect autobiography of sorts. Asbrink is the daughter of a Jewish boy who features prominently in the story, his father murdered in Ukraine but is saved by his mother, who also survived. But the book, I suspect, intentionally echoes contemporary refugee crises and the return of fascism. It's an odd thing, but the older I get and the more I read about the Holocaust and other war trauma, the less I'm able to understand it. That so many people were—and are—capable of crossing a line of perception and behaviour that allows them to rationalize inhumane, utterly ghoulish treatment of others. On a gut level, at the level of some kind of hardwired conscience, I don't understand it at all, even tho our collective past and present shows it's not that unusual. Anyway, a worthwhile book to absorb.
It's based in a purposeful ignorance, a brain-dance, to sustain an ability to survive in a world of avoidable horrors. Both the perpertrators and witnesses look past the worst actions. Even those of us who try and fight against unspeakable deeds can't allow their full ramifications into our little Ape skulls. We'd be immobilised.
I agree, certainly, but it is undeniably strange that greater knowledge, greater awareness results in more incomprehension.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 13 Dec 2017, 6:04pm

Bedtime book, starting tonight:
Image
I mentioned a few weeks ago seeing the movie for the first time and being totally captured by the romance of it all, so I'm going to give the original book a shot.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 13 Dec 2017, 6:07pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:04pm
Bedtime book, starting tonight:
Image
I mentioned a few weeks ago seeing the movie for the first time and being totally captured by the romance of it all, so I'm going to give the original book a shot.
I've wanted to find an audiobook of that for a while.
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Who gets up and works for fifty grand


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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 13 Dec 2017, 6:17pm

Silent Majority wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:07pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Dec 2017, 6:04pm
Bedtime book, starting tonight:
Image
I mentioned a few weeks ago seeing the movie for the first time and being totally captured by the romance of it all, so I'm going to give the original book a shot.
I've wanted to find an audiobook of that for a while.
I just looked on audible.com and it's not there, which makes me suspect that an audio version doesn't exist (or has never been digitized).
Endut! Hoch Hech!

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