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  What Book Are You Currently Reading?
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 336207 times)
Gustaf
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« Reply #900 on: November 27, 2013, 10:10:09 am »

Finished Down and Out. Interesting read, although I did sort of mind the racism and anti-semitism. I also felt it wasn't sufficiently real for him - as far as descriptions of hunger and poverty go I've read better. Still liked it a lot, of course.

After that I did No Country for Old Men which was good but worse than the other McCarthys I've read. Also I had seen the movie so no surprises in it really.

Then a bunch of Wilde novels that were hilariously nonsensical. After that I finally got around to finishing The Quiet American which was fantastic. I really do love Greene a lot.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #901 on: November 27, 2013, 11:53:38 am »

Finished Down and Out. Interesting read, although I did sort of mind the racism and anti-semitism.

Something he was himself quite mortified by in later life.
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Nathan
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« Reply #902 on: November 27, 2013, 03:32:14 pm »

Continuing my survey of modern Irish poetry by mainlining MacNeice and Heaney; also revisiting some of the Heike monogatari for the first time in a while. I still have some Mann and Greene coming down the pipeline, at least in theory.
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Scott
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« Reply #903 on: November 27, 2013, 03:56:04 pm »
« Edited: November 27, 2013, 03:57:47 pm by Speaker Scott »

I'm currently slogging thru Aquinas' Summa Theologica.  Maybe it's the translation I'm reading, but I'm not impressed so far.  He makes assumptions that while doctrinally sound are still assumptions yet he casts them as self-evident truths.  He also asks some questions I don't really see the point of, such as "Is God a superior example of oneness to all other ones?"  First off, as far as I'm concerned one is one.  Something is either one or it is not and I fail to see how one one can be different from another one its quality of oneness.  Even if it were possible for there to be differing types of oneness, how would one judge one one to be superior another one?  Aquinas doesn't say, nor does he say (at least in what I've read so far) why he considered the question worth asking.  He just points out that he had previously shown that God is one and that God is superior to all else, therefore He must be the superior epitome of oneness.

I can't really argue for or against Aquinas' position here since I don't know what he means by 'oneness' in this context, but most philosophical/hypothetical arguments are based in 'self-evident truths,' are they not?  God, for example, is superior to everything else purely by how He's defined and conceived in the realm of philosophical thought.  I don't quite understand your dilemma with the text you're reading.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #904 on: November 27, 2013, 06:44:40 pm »

Continuing my survey of modern Irish poetry by mainlining MacNeice and Heaney;

What dost thou think?
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Nathan
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« Reply #905 on: November 27, 2013, 07:00:39 pm »
« Edited: November 27, 2013, 07:02:40 pm by asexual trans victimologist »

Continuing my survey of modern Irish poetry by mainlining MacNeice and Heaney;

What dost thou think?

MacNeice is a little uneven but there are parts of Autumn Journal that really shine and 'Snow', 'Autobiography', and 'The Streets of Laredo' have been haunting me for days now--it probably helps that I find the original version of 'The Streets of Laredo' haunting as well. He comes across as definitely a creature of Frayn's 'Herbivore Britain', insofar as that term is meaningful. I also definitely appreciate the moments where he recognizes how ridiculously privileged he is. Heaney I haven't read enough of yet to have a particularly strong opinion but so far I've loved 'Churning Day'. Neither is nearly as politically problematic as for example Yeats but I'm not sure either is as artistically accomplished either (although again I haven't read enough of Heaney to say for sure yet).
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Gustaf
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« Reply #906 on: November 27, 2013, 07:27:01 pm »

Finished Down and Out. Interesting read, although I did sort of mind the racism and anti-semitism.

Something he was himself quite mortified by in later life.

Yes, I read anti-semitism in Britain (is that what it's called?) and I feel he's a bit rectified.
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #907 on: November 28, 2013, 07:15:08 am »
« Edited: November 28, 2013, 07:18:41 am by HagridOfTheDeep »

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Right now I'm getting into some texts on the 1970 October Crisis and Trudeau's invocation of the War Measures Act. There is relatively little scholarship in support of Trudeau's response to the crisis, excepting a pretty interesting account from William Tetley, who was a cabinet minister under Bourassa at the time of the kidnappings. I'm getting the other side of the story from Pierre Vallières, the radical behind White N-ggers of America and, arguably, the FLQ itself. It's been an interesting pursuit (I've read a few other papers on the subject as well). To use Trudeau's words, there do seem to be a lot of "bleeding hearts" in the camp against the WMA, but the arguments from people like Tetley seem to rely more on excuses and blame than anything else ("the police were incompetent and couldn't give us the right information—we had no other choice but to use emergency powers immediately!"). It's a good topic.
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RogueBeaver
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« Reply #908 on: November 28, 2013, 03:40:37 pm »
« Edited: November 28, 2013, 03:42:08 pm by RogueBeaver »

All 1930s Quebec politics. First is Bernard Vigod's excellent biography of Taschereau, which sheds a lot of light on the PLQ dynasty at its peak rather than Depression-era decline as is often depicted in popular history. I've read a lot on the era but Vigod taught me a few interesting things. Among the interesting tidbits were that Taschereau didn't want to be a long term premier, which is hard to square with having been Gouin's heir apparent for over a decade before finally acceding and refusing to quit till there was no alternative. Also some interesting insight on government operations and policymaking in an era where the only remotely serious opposition was extra-parliamentary. Then there's the progressive ledger: T.D. Bouchard, one of my favourite period characters, and the sad saga of Paul Gouin and the ALN. Strange thing is that Gouin could probably have remained in politics for a long time had he gracefully accepted defeat and accepted a medium-profile portfolio rather than taking his ball and running home. But he and his friends were totally unsuited for political leadership and the notion that Duplessis would ever entertain the ALN platform, which Black calls "Catholicized socialism", is both hilarious and pathetic. Classic example of the politically moronic intellectuals. I think much the same of the hydro nationalization fanatics, or "hydro-dadaistes" as they were known. But when all was said and done, these progressive pioneers did realign the PLQ firmly on the left and away from classical liberalism.

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Ernest
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« Reply #909 on: November 29, 2013, 12:03:33 am »

I can't really argue for or against Aquinas' position here since I don't know what he means by 'oneness' in this context

If he means anything by one other than one, he never states it.  Perhaps I'm stuck with a bad translation.  I could see him arguing that "God is the supreme unity" far more readily than I could see him arguing that "God is the supreme one" and I can sorta see how a bad translation from Latin might confuse the two concepts.
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Nathan
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« Reply #910 on: November 29, 2013, 12:07:43 am »

I can't really argue for or against Aquinas' position here since I don't know what he means by 'oneness' in this context

If he means anything by one other than one, he never states it.  Perhaps I'm stuck with a bad translation.  I could see him arguing that "God is the supreme unity" far more readily than I could see him arguing that "God is the supreme one" and I can sorta see how a bad translation from Latin might confuse the two concepts.

Based on what I know about Aquinas I'd be surprised if that weren't the issue here.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #911 on: November 29, 2013, 12:29:10 am »

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just finished this book

onto this one:
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20PETE20
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« Reply #912 on: November 29, 2013, 03:52:36 pm »

Selected works of Edgar Allan Poe. Feeling pretty emo today.
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Scott
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« Reply #913 on: November 29, 2013, 09:34:23 pm »

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« Reply #914 on: December 01, 2013, 10:16:06 am »

Dead Souls
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General Mung Beans
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« Reply #915 on: December 06, 2013, 01:42:08 am »

Reading the Communist Manifesto online right now.
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #916 on: December 06, 2013, 07:19:16 pm »

Reading the Communist Manifesto online right now.

we lost a while ago, nobody knows exactly when, but they know we lost.  much as in Genesis 1-3.  we know it happened, we know it's true but we don't know when it happened, which opens a window for all the exploiters to say "not this, but that", and run the world on these train tracks that lead to a cliff with a social fire on the other side.
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TJ in Oregon
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« Reply #917 on: December 07, 2013, 10:01:37 pm »

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Nathan
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« Reply #918 on: December 08, 2013, 12:47:16 am »

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!!!

What do you think of it?
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TJ in Oregon
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« Reply #919 on: December 08, 2013, 10:19:27 pm »

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!!!

What do you think of it?

I haven't quite finished yet, but I do think it is a good book with a number of places that have some really great dialogue. Unlike, say Brave New World, I don't think the general premise of society having the life cycle of a phoenix is predictive of the future really, but it's still quite intriguing. I particularly liked the Fiat Lux portion so far and wish Miller would have told us more about how that subplot turned out. I'm appreciating the struggles of the Abbot in Fiat Voluntas Tua against the regime on euthanasia as well.
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Ernest
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« Reply #920 on: December 08, 2013, 11:34:27 pm »

I particularly liked the Fiat Lux portion so far and wish Miller would have told us more about how that subplot turned out.

You may wish to read Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman then.  It's set about seventy years after Fiat Lux. Miller was working on it when he died and the estate had another author finish it.
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Cath
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« Reply #921 on: December 09, 2013, 03:17:14 am »

Been digging through "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" for my (very off-topic) Academic Writing final. That said, when I'm done with this, there's some reading I'd like to do, some of it influenced by things I either stumbled upon or was reminded of while researching this paper. "Paradise Lost" and "The Ballad of the White Horse" could be interesting.

Solid choice, TJ. I have a copy, though I've yet to read it. Nevertheless, the back cover alone looks interesting, and with it being about a monk, seems like it would be right up your alley.
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Nathan
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« Reply #922 on: December 09, 2013, 06:10:57 am »
« Edited: December 09, 2013, 09:54:12 am by asexual trans victimologist »

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!!!

What do you think of it?

I haven't quite finished yet, but I do think it is a good book with a number of places that have some really great dialogue. Unlike, say Brave New World, I don't think the general premise of society having the life cycle of a phoenix is predictive of the future really, but it's still quite intriguing. I particularly liked the Fiat Lux portion so far and wish Miller would have told us more about how that subplot turned out. I'm appreciating the struggles of the Abbot in Fiat Voluntas Tua against the regime on euthanasia as well.

That's Miller's interest in Buddhism and Buddhist cosmologies seeping through into his Catholicism. You see more of that in the posthumously-published (and really not as good, though still full of interesting characters and concepts) Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman. If 'Fiat Lux' was the part that you liked best then you might want to read Wild Horse Woman, since it follows up on the events of that a few generations later, mostly from the perspective of the remaining Plains Nomads and their allies in the Church. Just remember that Miller was in an even darker frame of mind writing it than he was writing Canticle, and had drifted away from orthodoxy somewhat. (EDIT: Ernest got there first.)

Overall Canticle is one of my favorite novels ever, though obviously not without some flaws.
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Ernest
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« Reply #923 on: December 09, 2013, 08:47:56 am »

(EDIT: Ernest got there first.)

But you gave a fuller discourse, one I was not able to provide since I have not read Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman myself.  I tend to be dubious of estate-completed sequels.  They rarely are as good as the original.

As for my own reading, Christ the Eternal Tao is currently on my plate.  It's written by an Russian Orthodox hieromonk and treats Lao Tzu in a manner similar to how Greek philosophers are often treated by the Church.  It's interesting, but I need to read some undiluted Daoist works before I can reasonably hope to comment on how faithful to the Daoist perspective the work is.
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« Reply #924 on: December 11, 2013, 06:02:48 pm »

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges in my free time, finishing up Their Eyes Were Watching God for school.

The politics of the latter are interesting, to say the least.
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