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What have you just FINISHED?; Sure you can start em....
Topic Started: Oct 28 2007, 05:28 PM (253,385 Views)
Funhouse
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Perpetually Lost
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Elie
Nov 8 2017, 03:25 PM
Bjorn
Nov 7 2017, 02:32 PM
Swing Time, Zadie Smith.

Easily Smith's best since White Teeth and perhaps ever. A novel about and of dance; big structures and everyday moments captured mid-movement, in positions that could never be held statically without falling over, but constantly propelled by their own movement and a polyrhythm stretched across three continents.
I recently read this too and was captivated by it! She's such a great storyteller.
I actually found this the weakest of all her novels. I was underwhelmed and irritated by it at times, particularly by the Kylie Minogue-inspired character.
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Funhouse
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Perpetually Lost
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Atlantic Black, AS Patric

I was extremely impressed with the Miles Franklin-winning Black Rock, White City and this one is even better. Taking place over the course of a day on New Year's Eve 1938 on the ocean liner Aquitania, this novel ranges more broadly over time and space as it explores the life of its main protagonist, Katerina Klova. Beautifully written. I think a lot of people here would really dig this novel by a very talented Australian novelist.
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nnyhav
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itinerant kibitzer
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Zachary Mason, Void Star [FSG]: interesting foray that doesn't come together (amid other problems), echoes of Neal Stephenson [grauniad, OLM]
Franz Kafka, diaries 1914-1923 (Martin Greenberg w/ Hannah Arendt) [schocken]: so diaries not my thang, even prosesketchbook led to little new insight
Nicanor Parra, Antipoems: How to look better and feel great (Liz Werner) [NDP]: good fun, sometimes slight but oft with bite of wit: eg via Bashō, "el poeta se viste de hombre rana / y se zambulle en la pileta del parque" (the poet dreeses up as a frogman / and kerplunks into the pool in the park) [MAO; Edith Grossman]
Christine Angot, Incest (Tess Lewis) [archipelago]: separations with an immediacy to efface but not erase distances between (incl author-text-reader); distinct from autofiction (per author) (questions of subjectivity, subjectivities questioned)
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suzannahhh
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Funhouse
Oct 22 2017, 01:29 AM
Speak, Louisa Hall

An absorbing look at artificial intelligence, not in any technical sense, but rather its implications for human interaction and conversation. Much of the text is set in the past, as it merges the journal of a seventeenth century pilgrim with the stories of Alan Turing, an estranged couple involved with the development of a chatbot in the sixties and eighties and then into a dystopian future where AI 'baby-bots' have been outlawed. It's very moving at times and well-crafted. Another one for your 'novels by poets' list as well, Dave...
Yup a really wonderful book. I've just finished it
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suzannahhh
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Jennifer Egan - Manhattan Beach
perfectly wonderful tale of the Brooklyn Naval Yard
during WWII; the protagonist, the first female salvage diver

she's such an intelligent compassionate, empathic writer
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mandm
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Woolf: The Waves.
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Cleanthes
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Dinanukht wannabe
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mandm
Nov 17 2017, 02:25 AM
Woolf: The Waves.
And? What did you think?
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mandm
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Cleanthes
Nov 17 2017, 03:38 PM
mandm
Nov 17 2017, 02:25 AM
Woolf: The Waves.
And? What did you think?
I made a mistake: I AM READING it now; in fact I'm a quarter of the way in. It's a long time since I last read To the Lighthouse, but it remains my favourite Woolf novel, at least for the nonce, and this one (I suppose you can/should talk about late-period Woolf?) is putting me right into the same luxuriant language experience. I love the ritournel-like exchange of voice. The inter-chapters in italics that provide a kind of chorus of nature-poetry frame the whole thing magnificently. (Recently saw a minor French film called Les Sentiments which used a chorus-framing device in a different way, but this kind of resonated, strangely). I'm reading lots of it aloud; the language is a joy, and is its own philosopohy, if that makes sense. Of course, superb imagery and rhythmic language that bears you away. So pleased I finally got around to this. I'd been planning on reading her early noves (before Jacon's Room), which I haven't read either, but they'll wait.

She struggled to finish this novel, but it doesn't feel that way.
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Jacek
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Thanks, mandm. Woolf is Ursula Le Guin's favorite writer and your recent writing on her is fueling my eagerness to discover the work.
Edited by Jacek, Nov 17 2017, 05:29 PM.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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And mine to reread. Woolf and Le Guin alike are easy for me to take for granted, Woolf more so, because I read her such a time ago.
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nnyhav
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continuing uptick in readings, wherein style meets substance:
B.S. Johnson, House Mother Normal [NDP]: progressive dementia ward of the state
Wolfgang Hilbig, Old Rendering Plant (Isabel Fargo Cole) [Two Lines]: fat of the land gone rancid
Mike McCormack, Solar Bones [Soho]: the hour or day of reckoning
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Funhouse
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House of Day, House of Night, Olga Tokarczuk (trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones)

Brilliant. See authread.
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roger
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War and Peace - Tolstoy
I finished the last 500 pages of my re-read in a two day frenzy, this despite the lengthening of Tolstoy's repetitive sermonizing, and the piling up of Dickensian coincidences. I hadn't remembered the petering out of the narrative, and then a pointless, meandering epilogue. All of little consequence as the novel contains the greatest love scene I've ever read, the greatest death scene, the greatest war scene(s), the greatest depiction of despair, the greatest depiction of bliss... I could go on.

Manhattan Beach - Jennifer Egan
I was disappointed I couldn't share suze's (and the general consensus) enthusiasm for this, I found it overly researched, the constant arcane cultural references diminished rather than enhanced the verisimilitude of the historical re-creation, and I think Egan watched one too many Hollywood 1940s movies for her archetypical gangster plot. There is an exceptional scene of explicit sex (you won't find that in Tolstoy) something difficult to accomplish in fiction, very intense.

Journal - Walter Scott
Scott began this a few months before twin calamities hit him - the loss of his beloved wife of 30 years, and then financial collapse. He shunned bankruptcy vowing to write his way out of his debts (he never quite made it). A sense of honor and poignancy pervade his musings especially when his own faculties decline. Some great passages including the fetes that King George IV threw for him (little Victoria in the background) on his trips to London. In all, a remarkable portrait of the writing life.

.





Edited by roger, Nov 20 2017, 09:46 AM.
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suzannahhh
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roger, Manhattan Beach was much better than
today's finished - Zadie Smith - Swing Time

not bad, mind you, but not spectacular
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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marmalade modernist
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suzannahhh
Nov 20 2017, 07:29 PM
roger, Manhattan Beach was much better than
today's finished - Zadie Smith - Swing Time

not bad, mind you, but not spectacular
I read (a small sample) and to me it seemed so clumsy, stolid as to apperceptions, captures, if this is Smith at her best then i'm in no rush
Edited by oneofmurphysbiscuits, Nov 20 2017, 10:50 PM.
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sub-pet
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I have a pony
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Jaakko Yli-Juonikas - Jatkosota-extra

Searching for coherence in a vast neo-(nazi)dada matrix. A wonderful big mess, lots to digest. Yli-Juonikas maintains his position as the finest writer in Finland.
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mandm
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Shakespeare

2 Henry VI. More interesting than 1.

A dynamic of poetry that brings you along. Will read 3 soon.
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Funhouse
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The Island Will Sink, Briohny Doyle

I was a bit disappointed with this one. It's an intriguing concept and Doyle can write, but it doesn't quite hang together and the characterisation is minimal. It doesn't compare favourably to other Australian 'cli-fi' like Steven Amsterdam's Things We Didn't See Coming or James Bradley's Clade.

Against Everything, Mark Greif

I didn't love this collection of essays as much as some other people have, but the essays are very interesting and well-written and well worth reading.
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nnyhav
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not quite up to the standard of prior posting, but all worthwhile:
Robert Desnos, Essential Poems and Writings (Mary Ann Caws ed and et al) [Black Widow]: less essential than I'd hoped, Desnos rightly overshadowed, though not without moments or merits
Andrés Barba, Such Small Hands (Lisa Dillman) [Transit]: orphanning the flames, tight but slight [MAO, interview]
Pierre Michon, The Origin of the World (Wyatt Mason) [Yale/Margellos]: a near-myth, not his best but still quite good (cf authread)
Bae Suah, North Station (Deborah Smith) [Open Letter]: Korean takes on Europe esp Germany, surreal episodic dreamy and digressive, strands between incidents almost incidental (cf K-lithread)
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Bloß ein Língshān
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You're posting in the Michon and Suah threads later, nnyhav?
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