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Reading thread

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by rjbman, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. dan138zig

    dan138zig Senior member

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    would you call it a heavy read?
     
  2. GraphicNovelty

    GraphicNovelty Senior member

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    read that it was kind of a love letter to russian literature so i figured i'd actually go backwards instead of forwards. started crime and punishment. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  3. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Oh, cool -- and thanks -- The Gift still sounds pretty awesome, then. As long as he's referencing the digestible Russians. :laugh:

    I dunno, regarding Ben Marcus, I liked his first two books OK -- I think what I said was he wasn't the first person I'd reach for, or recommend to someone looking to get into recent North American fiction -- especially when you usually only get one shot with that sort of thing -- they'll read one if you're lucky. I'm sure part of it is also just some lingering jealousy over the rise of that extended McSweeney's clique, everyone within a stone's throw of Dave Eggers getting book deals (everyone and their husbands and wives), grants, exposure through his Best American Non-Required series, those sinecures that places like Stanford like to dole out under the rubric of a contest. I also think that that particular brand of cleverness gets boring after awhile. And for me, even feels a bit dated. (I'm not sure about journals in the UK, but here, for like a five year run, we were absolutely saturated with that type of thing, all these short, zippy stories with over-elaborate titles for each section, warmed-over metafiction straight from the seventies, that whole rich white person I'm so over it super-ironic tone... )

    I'm not even sure how 'rated' he is right now. It'd be interesting to find out. I do see he had another novel come out about a year ago...


    .​
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. robinsongreen68

    robinsongreen68 Senior member

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    if you mean pale fire, no not at all, you quickly get used to the format and then its really funny and towards the end has an almost filmic momentum.

    Thanks for the reply noob, I notice there's a lot of pre-publicity for his new collection here, plus some parts of it have featured in the new yorker- they actually read as bizarrely conventional compared to the one thing i've read of his (notable american women). I didn't know he had links with mcsweeney's, i've never read any eggers but from what i thought i knew about him, their writing seemed very different: notable american women was kind of a dystopian sci fi-esque premise as narrated by thomas bernhard with a few odd recurring tropes: a kind of aleatory dread, gender/power shifts and an obsession with the harmful effects of language. I hadn't come across that particular mix before...
    Anyway the reason i asked is that INS dude really rates him so I need to give him a proper shot, just wanted to get an impression from someone more immersed in contemporary US literary culture, much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  5. dan138zig

    dan138zig Senior member

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    ^ I think what's been putting me off from pale fire is that I still haven't found a way to appreciate poetry. they just sound... disjointed to me.
     
  6. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Oh, nice. Yeah, that's a pretty genius description of the book. I'm definitely curious to hear your thoughts on the new one (ones?) ... and should probably just grab it myself. It will definitely be interesting to see where be takes things. It is my guess that in that particular mode he said all he needed to say with his first novel (and the first collection, a spiritual tie-in) and my hope that he might become one of those writers like Lydia Millet or, I dunno, TC Boyle, sort of?, who continue to grow and experiment and concoct something wholly new each time out.

    Please don't take my opinion as representative of much of anything, though. :embar:

    But -- if you'd like a tiny bit more context for Notable American Women, you might check out Mathew Derby, and his collection Super Flat Times, if you haven't. My recollection is that it's very Marcus-seque. It was workshopped with Ben Marcus while they both studied under Robert Coover, at Brown. It has more than a bit of that same feel, that same anemic dystopia (well, similar anyway) -- and the two at least appear to have influenced each other, early on.

    Man, i wish I lived in a city that publicized books. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. Exdeath

    Exdeath Senior member

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    Any Douglas Coupland fans here? I think his later stuff gets a bit too self-parodying these days, but his older stuff was perhaps some of the best writing on modern disaffected twentysomething life ever. Shampoo Planet is one of my all-time favorites.
     
  8. dan138zig

    dan138zig Senior member

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    just added this to my to-read list:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. eluther

    eluther Senior member

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    A lot of Nabokov's writing isn't about the writing at all, but intertextual work. "How art itself works." Subjective narration, analysis, the structure of stories, self-narration, etc. I look at a lot of his work like a puzzle – he litters in anagrams and really recondite allusions, so it seems like an inviting challenge.

    Everyone has a different experience, but I certainly don't enjoy Nabokov for the beauty of the writing itself.
     
  10. dan138zig

    dan138zig Senior member

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    My only experience with Nabokov is Lolita. I hated it.
     
  11. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    has anyone else read the monarchies of god. my favorite fantasy series. nobody ever talks about it though :(((
     
  12. eluther

    eluther Senior member

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    What did you hate about it?
     
  13. dan138zig

    dan138zig Senior member

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    I don't really remember, but it has something to do with the glorification of underage sexuality. I felt disgusted. And I'm not a goody two shoes either, I love Tropic of Cancer for example.
     
  14. fireflygrave

    fireflygrave Senior member

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    I mean... the novel is narrated by a pedophile. Wouldn't you expect that? Non-sympathetic narrators are interesting, and I think the "uncomfortable-ness" of the book is part of the point.
     
  15. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    The novel involved underage sexuality, but I certainly don't think that it glorified it. Quite the contrary, in fact. As fireflygrave points out, Humbert Humbert is a very unsympathetic protagonist and Nabokov was quoted as having referred to his literary creation as "a wretch".


    At the risk of sounding pedantic, the narrator is technically a "hebephile", someone who is attracted to young teenagers instead of younger children.
     
  16. noob in 89

    noob in 89 Senior member

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    Wait, did Iroh get banned? Is this guy Iroh? This feels oddly familiar...

    I remember awhile back, Iroh sent me a few PMs exactly like this, expressing bland contempt for near-objective works of genius, asking me, repeatedly, if David Foster Wallace ever wrote anything shorter, and could I please locate and produce such a work. Took me a minute to realize I was getting trolled. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  17. DividedWay

    DividedWay Senior member

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    Girlfriend gave me Tenth of December, by George Saunders. It's fantastic. Collection of short stories that are, for once, best consumed individually rather than en masse, and they hit hard.
     
  18. GraphicNovelty

    GraphicNovelty Senior member

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    I liked it a lot but too many I the stories were total bummers
     
  19. chinesealpha

    chinesealpha Senior member

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    The Difference Engine co-written by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Entertaining, but the story is all over the place, which may be the whole point of it. How two people get together and write a book, I'll never know. I have a hard enough time cooking a meal with someone else.

    Just picked up Revelation Space, Absolution Gap, and Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds. Epic space opera, which is new to me.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. DividedWay

    DividedWay Senior member

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    It's weird, but I somehow always feel better having finished a story that ends this way than a happy/ success story. Feels more complete to me. Recently read Hemmingway gave me the same feeling.
     

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