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Thread: What book are you reading at the moment?

  1. #61
    Me not readz enuff books, I guess...
    "I don't need a nicotine patch, Penny - I smoke cigarettes."

  2. #62
    Damn that logic!!! Laurrrr's Avatar
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    Crime and Punishment - F.M. Dostoievski(or F.M. Dostoyevsky for Americans)


    What I have finished lately:
    War and Peace - Tolstoy
    The House of the Dead; The Gambler; The Idiot; Notes from the Underground; The Eternal Husband - Dostoyevsky.
    Moving on.
    Last edited by Laurrrr; 05-27-2012 at 02:57 AM.
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  3. #63
    I really liked Crime & Punishment - can't say the same about Tolstoi, though. Anna Karenina was especially boring. But over the years, I feel I've been let down by a lot of so called "classics". They're often surprisingly bland, their significance buried deep beneath layers of rather poor writing. For some reason, many literary critics tend to confuse "hard to read" with "sophisticated" and "enjoyable read" with "worthless pop".

    How did you like Tolstoi? If you enjoyed it, please note that I didn't intend to troll anybody - tastes are different, that's all.
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  4. #64
    Damn that logic!!! Laurrrr's Avatar
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    To my shame I didn't read Anna Karenina and as such I won't speak having no idea what I speak about. But as far as I am concerned by reading War and Peace, Two Hussars and a few of his short-novels I think he is alright, so-so if you want. I don't find him boring but I also don't find him hard to read or anything like that.
    I personally don't get bored too easily with books, in fact, I can't remember the last time I was bored but that depends on the person.

    I think Dostoyevsky is much better than him, I can't give any good reason but I simply feel it. And about classics, I personally enjoy them more than contemporary writers which add much more action and leave other subjects untouched.

    I think it all depends on the reader and not the author, one may find Anna Karenina a very fascinating read while you find it boring. My 2 cents.

    What other classics did you read Fozzie?
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  5. #65
    I read quite many, some of them due to studying German linguistics and literature (which included non-German authors as well) but most just because I read a lot.
    And ironically, I'm really not that big on most noted German classic literature like Goethe or Schiller or stuff like that. I do like Kafka (even had The Castle as one of the topics of my final exam), Steppenwolf by Hesse was OK, I liked Homo Faber by Max Frisch but found Stiller to be rather unappealing.

    I might have to reread some stuff, though. For example, I haven't yet made up my mind about Joyce's Ulysses, as far as modernist "city novels" go I preferred Manhattan Transfer (Dos Passos) and Berlin, Alexanderplatz (Döblin), but it was quite some time ago. Frankenstein was a snorefest, seriously, and I was also somewhat disappointed with The Picture of Dorian Gray (I think I didn't even finish it). I have yet to give Heart of Darkness a second try, because the first attempt was years ago and I didn't have that good of a grasp of the English language back then and gave up on it after a couple of chapters.

    I liked Brave New World better than 1984, although I think they are both not really spectacular and a good example for quite a lot of classics in which message and motif greatly "outshine" the actual writing. It's like with movies. "Groundbreaking", "Pioneering" or "Influential" doesn't automatically equal "Good". I could take a couple of hours to compile a complete list to show off how well educated and of course generally superior I am, but I won't for a lot of reasons.

    [Disclaimer]
    The following lines are in no shape or form trying to make any statement about you, quite the opposite. They are merely intended to make a point and of course answer your question.
    [/Disclaimer]

    I have to say, that over the years I developed a certain suspiciousness towards people sporting their allegedly high-brow taste. I've met too many dorks rambling on and on about how great this or that classic is only to discover that they hadn't actually read it - but it's a CLASSIC, it must be awesome, right? And of course it looks really sophisticated and intellectual to have it sitting on the bookshelf and be able to spout a few Spark-Notes-Wisdoms whenever they're asked about it. There's just too many self-proclaimed experts who behold certain authors or pieces of literature in some sort of religious awe and are going to tell you that you can't possibly have "understood" them if you dare not to like them. So in a way, I might sometimes be a little too harsh in my personal judgement out of a certain defiance.
    The thing is, I don't tell people what they should like or dislike. But "they" do. If you don't like what they at least pretend to like (they have to, it's doctrine), you're stupid. And that's bollocks.

    You said it depends on the reader and you can't imagine how wholeheartedly I agree with you on that matter. I prefer a reader-centered type of literary criticism derived from the so-called Cultural Studies that also rejects the opposition of high-brow and popular culture. If you like a book, enjoy it. If it gives you pleasure, excitement, meaning or whatever, embrace that. Don't feel guilty if you don't enjoy what pompous douchebags tell you to like or if you do like what they deem as not being worthy of appreciation.

    To come full circle here: if you enjoyed Tolstoi, that's great. I won't tell you not to do so (although I could, I have a degree and all, I know better by definition and thus wouldn't even need proper arguments! Muahahaha!). His big name doesn't make him untouchable, is all I'm trying to say. Some classic authors really had something important to say or a good idea and that should of course be acknowledged. Sadly, that alone doesn't guarantee an engaging read for each and every "recipient". If you choose prose, drama, film or any other form of expressive art to get your point across, not meeting everybody's taste is a risk you take.
    "I don't need a nicotine patch, Penny - I smoke cigarettes."

  6. #66
    Damn that logic!!! Laurrrr's Avatar
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    I always had a problem with these so called critics who think they know better than you and judge something on what basis? He can't be objective, it's impossible not to add some subjectivity to the review. And after all, why do we need them in the first place? Games, films, music, books are something that depends on the person itself if he or she likes it or not and does not depend on some dude who says a few pompous words and that's all. That's a problem this society has, we always need an expert to tell us what he thought about the movie or the game. Why? Apparently because we are too dumb to judge on our own and as such we need someone to tell us whether to watch/play/read/etc. it or not. Not to say the "critic's" opinion is also a factor which influences us psychologically. How so? Well, you have a critic which says that X movie is bad and you will go to the cinema with the idea that the movie is bad implanted in your head.
    The best is to let the person judge by it's own. But why do I bother, someone which has a portrait of Dickens(don't get me started!) on his wall and always reads the latest reviews will probably laugh at my post. Considering he reads it first.

    If you don't like what they at least pretend to like (they have to, it's doctrine), you're stupid. And that's bollocks.
    Unfortunately that's how the world always worked, if you are not like us you are dumb and a freak.

    Now, in my defense, I have a personal library which contains lots of classic author and I read a lot of it because if you didn't found out I have a passion for reading. I like them, I enjoy them, I love some of them but that doesn't mean I am like the type of persons you mentioned in your post. No, I personally don't like to brag with what I've read and I don't act superior just because I read Tolstoi. Here I just post what I read and finished reading because...I have no idea why but I created the thread so...so I think I was drunk when I did it.
    I know you didn't wrote that about me but I feel like I have to explain myself.

    Conclusion: This is the world we live in Fozzie and whether we like it or not we build it. Unfortunately. So...what are you reading atm?

    Sorry for the bad grammar.
    The Book thread
    The Poetry thread


    "The Zone wants to be respected. Otherwise it will punish."
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  7. #67
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    I'm currently reading Templar One by Tony Gonzales. Great Sci-Fi book so far (I only bought it yesterday!) It is the second book in his EVE series, after EVE: The Empyrean Age. These books follow the EVE Online universe, so anyone who plays that would highly enjoy these books.

  8. #68
    @Laurrrr:
    Really, there's no reason for you to defend yourself or anything, that was my whole point in the first place.

    And I think criticism is in itself a great thing. It's at least "meta entertainment" and learning about how someone else with maybe a very different angle, background or focus on the matter thinks about it, can give you a new perspective - whether you might agree with them or not. It's perfectly fine as long as it's debatable. And at the end of the day, the real "problem" are not those holier-than-thou experts but the people who take them for real without questioning.

    On topic:
    As I posted a couple of pages ago, I'm currently reading A Dance with Dragons. Haven't had much time to read lately, so I'm only about 2/3ds through, yet.

    -----
    P.S.: Why would you excuse your grammar? Looks fine to me and I'm not a native speaker as well, so who'd I be to judge?
    Last edited by Fozzie; 05-28-2012 at 01:34 AM.
    "I don't need a nicotine patch, Penny - I smoke cigarettes."

  9. #69
    Damn that logic!!! Laurrrr's Avatar
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    You make a good point there Fozzie but I still think they are useless and about the people who take them for real...well if it weren't the critics in the first place then we wouldn't have this people. However that is impossible since there will always be some smartass who thinks himself a god in a domain like literature and the story keeps going.
    I wish I could share your views on the matter but I can't and after all, where would we be if we all had the same opinions?
    The Book thread
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    "The Zone wants to be respected. Otherwise it will punish."
    "It is so quiet out here, it is the quietest place in the world."

  10. #70
    Damn that logic!!! Laurrrr's Avatar
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    Finished Crime and Punishment and now reading Teenager by the same author. I have a feeling I won't like it but meh...we shall see...we shall see...

    Have you read it Fozzie?
    The Book thread
    The Poetry thread


    "The Zone wants to be respected. Otherwise it will punish."
    "It is so quiet out here, it is the quietest place in the world."

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