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What are you reading? - Page 411

post #6151 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

If you're enjoying it in that particular way (in slow, readerly fashion, pausing to appreciate the language), you might want to check out Stephen Booth's essay/chapter "On the Greatness of Lear," in his book _King Lear, Macbeth, Indefinition & Tragedy_. Really great essay--but one that only really works if we primarily think of Lear as a text to be read rather than a play to be performed.

Thanks! I will check it out.

I have read Lear several times before (like pretty much all of Shakespeare's major works) but it has been a few years since I've revisited any of them. I tend to read the plays and see little movies of the action in my head, but sometimes I just get caught up in the language and forget about that part. Either way: good times. biggrin.gif
post #6152 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

If you're enjoying it in that particular way (in slow, readerly fashion, pausing to appreciate the language), you might want to check out Stephen Booth's essay/chapter "On the Greatness of Lear," in his book _King Lear, Macbeth, Indefinition & Tragedy_. Really great essay--but one that only really works if we primarily think of Lear as a text to be read rather than a play to be performed.

Booth is (or at least was back when I was at Berkeley) a likeable, enthusiastic nutjob. And if that ^ is how you think of Lear you're doing it wrong.

While "ripeness is everything" is a fine passage, because I'm a mean-spirited, judgmental a-hole the bit that truly brings joy to my heart is:

KENT

Fellow, I know thee.

OSWALD

What dost thou know me for?

KENT

A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.

OSWALD

Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail
on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee!

KENT

What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou
knowest me! Is it two days ago since I tripped up
thy heels, and beat thee before the king? Draw, you
rogue: for, though it be night, yet the moon
shines; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you:
draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.
post #6153 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.

Y
post #6154 of 6297
Marjorie Garber is my favorite Shakespeare commentator.
post #6155 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

Booth is (or at least was back when I was at Berkeley) a likeable, enthusiastic nutjob. And if that ^ is how you think of Lear you're doing it wrong.

While "ripeness is everything" is a fine passage, because I'm a mean-spirited, judgmental a-hole the bit that truly brings joy to my heart is:

KENT

Fellow, I know thee.

OSWALD

What dost thou know me for?

KENT

A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.

OSWALD

Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail
on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee!

KENT

What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou
knowest me! Is it two days ago since I tripped up
thy heels, and beat thee before the king? Draw, you
rogue: for, though it be night, yet the moon
shines; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you:
draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.

I just read this part last night. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #6156 of 6297
This is probably the best thread on this site. The run on celebrity deaths has me worried that Cormac McCarthy's last book he's writing will never make it out. The guy's in his eighties and hasn't exactly taken good care of himself. And he's been working on three novels for almost 7 years now.
post #6157 of 6297



A friend of mine edited this and since I've read all of Poe I thought I'd give it a shot. Haven't finished all of the selections, but it's a good group and a nice jumping off point for fans of horror stories.

Leslie also knows everything about Sherlock Holmes so if you're into that check out some of his other books.
post #6158 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post

Booth is (or at least was back when I was at Berkeley) a likeable, enthusiastic nutjob. And if that ^ is how you think of Lear you're doing it wrong.

While "ripeness is everything" is a fine passage, because I'm a mean-spirited, judgmental a-hole the bit that truly brings joy to my heart is:

KENT

Fellow, I know thee.

OSWALD

What dost thou know me for?

KENT

A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.

OSWALD

Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail
on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee!

KENT

What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou
knowest me! Is it two days ago since I tripped up
thy heels, and beat thee before the king? Draw, you
rogue: for, though it be night, yet the moon
shines; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you:
draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.

So if that's your favorite passage, the book to read is Gordon Braden's _Renaissance Tragedy and the Senecan Tradition: Anger's Privilege_. An amazingly good scholarly book.
post #6159 of 6297
I finished King Lear late last night. Now I'm reading A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T337A using Tapatalk
post #6160 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

So if that's your favorite passage, the book to read is Gordon Braden's _Renaissance Tragedy and the Senecan Tradition: Anger's Privilege_. An amazingly good scholarly book.
Cool. Will check it out. Or forget. One or the other.
post #6161 of 6297
Dairy of a very bad year-confessions of an anonymous Hedge fund manager
post #6162 of 6297
Dairy does go bad very quickly.
post #6163 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave View Post

I finished King Lear late last night. Now I'm reading A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T337A using Tapatalk

Finished Doubter's Almanac in a couple of days. I couldn't put it down.

Now I'm reading a manuscript of a book written by a friend of a friend as a favor to my friend. It's pretty bad. I'm not sure I'll make it all the way through. It's not that it's all that terrible--it's just so boring that I find myself falling asleep after a few pages. Too many generic "salt of the earth" types living earthy, drab lives (even though they all went to Yale, for some reason), with lots of non-linear storytelling that seems more gimmicky than anything else.
post #6164 of 6297
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderDave View Post

Finished Doubter's Almanac in a couple of days. I couldn't put it down.

Now I'm reading a manuscript of a book written by a friend of a friend as a favor to my friend. It's pretty bad. I'm not sure I'll make it all the way through. It's not that it's all that terrible--it's just so boring that I find myself falling asleep after a few pages. Too many generic "salt of the earth" types living earthy, drab lives (even though they all went to Yale, for some reason), with lots of non-linear storytelling that seems more gimmicky than anything else.

Maybe I will return to the manuscript later. I read another 50 pages or so and had to stop. I just started We Are Now Beginning Our Descent by James Meek. So far so good.
post #6165 of 6297

It's been probably a decade since I read a book. I never liked reading very much - I was always skipping paragraphs because the text was too boring (and then obviously missing out important info such as a character dying). But I had been going to the library recently for DVDs and figured I might as well exercise my brain for a change with a few novels that were made into films I enjoyed.

 

I liked Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice (better than the film which I've never finished) and Double Indemnity (seems like Chandler actually changed some of the dialogue which makes sense as I don't think the original lines would work as well on the big screen). His style is extremely tight and precise. With both his novellas clocking in around 100 pages each, Cain exemplifies that less is more. On the other hand, I couldn't stand Mildred Pierce (despite actually enjoying the film) so I stopped by Chapter 2 I think.

 

Raymond Chandler was enjoyable and it's a little bittersweet that I started with him as I think he really is the master of detective fiction - The Long Goodbye is wonderful and a worthwhile finale of the series (OK there's Playback, but Chandler himself probably didn't lose sleep over that technicality). All the other ones leading up to it are good as well. Only his later short stories show the style he is famous for. Nevertheless I read them all because you can practically taste his ascendance from another bland pulp writer to the cream of the crop by the time he finished his last short and started his string of novels.

 

I actually do not find Dashiell Hammett that great. I think the Dain Curse and Red Harvest were readable. I couldn't get into Maltese Falcon or The Thin Man. I felt the same with his short stories.

 

Read Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me (no, never saw the film). It's well written psychologically in terms of how the main character feels. But from a literary perspective it's a little lacking. I've got The Grifters on hold - will see how that reads.

 

Ross MacDonald's The Drowning Pool was readable. Some lines were good maybe even better than some of Chandler's. But overall the novel rates slightly below Chandler's first 6 (it's probably on the level with Playback). I was interested enough by it to check more of MacDonald's novels but I've given up reading them as they just weren't good. Oddly enough it seems the writing became more boring and more formulaic and he was going through the motions of writing detective novels whereas Chandler seems to write with a purpose and the novels just happen to be about a detective.

 

I'm now reading James Crumley's The Last Good Kiss and it is excellent. That first chapter is practically flawless, and he's got a sort of poetic cadence that really does make reading fun - very much like Chandler's prose. That is not to say the content is similar though. It's set in 1978 and people just don't seem to give a damn (well with Vietnam, the hippies, and most of the action taking place in California, Denver, and Montana I can see that). Certainly that sort of refined English sensibility that Chandler appreciated had all but disappeared from American/Pacific Coast lifestyles by then. But I think Sughrue (Crumley's detective) is not nearly as deranged as what I've read about him in reviews. He's pretty close to what I'd assume to be normal for the era and geography. But then again I'm not finished yet, so maybe he'll execute someone with a baseball bat in a few chapters from now.

 

Based on what I've written - does anyone have any suggestions for where to go from here? I'm looking for writing that is fun to read and I'm less focused on the story and big picture and themes. Doesn't necessarily need to be crime fiction either.

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