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  What Book Are You Currently Reading? (search mode)
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 336405 times)
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afleitch
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Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« on: June 04, 2012, 02:33:02 pm »

"I Want My Hat Back"
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afleitch
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E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 04:18:35 am »

Currently reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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afleitch
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E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 12:21:27 pm »

I'm reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It's a 2002 translation that actually reads very beautifully.
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afleitch
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E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2013, 10:11:29 am »

Rereading the His Dark Materials trilogy for the first time in ten years.
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afleitch
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E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 03:00:23 pm »

1491 by Charles Mann

So good. Can't recommend it enough, even if you don't really care about pre-Columbian American history.

Bought that book on a whim last year. I echo your endorsement; very eye-opening.

I concur. Read 1493 next.
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afleitch
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E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 12:26:07 pm »

Morrisey
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afleitch
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Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 07:08:04 am »

I'm reading Tintin. Because it's Christmas.
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afleitch
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E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2014, 11:54:10 am »

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afleitch
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Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 06:34:31 am »

Socialist Realism: An Impossible Aesthetic.

Yey! Finally a brainy book mentioned on here that I've read. Though it was ten years ago.

I have a soft spot for Socialist-Realism, though artistically it was horribly romantic (which I'm not fond of) but architecturally could be functional (which I do like). I also like Brutalism so whatever...
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afleitch
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Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 04:44:40 pm »

Just read the very short Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru by Kenji Miyazawa.
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afleitch
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Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 05:46:02 pm »

Just read the very short Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru by Kenji Miyazawa.

!!!!!!!

What did you think? Miyazawa is one of my favorites.

It was lovely. I was sent it by e-mail; it's a 'good' translation as I don't know Japanese and I trust the opinion of the person who sent it to me!

I didn't read it to discern what are obviously multiple syncretic metaphors. That takes the fun out of reading the story. So I read it at face value, then read it again. I think there are a number of different  ways to look at the story and I think that's wonderful. I suppose I do get a bit of free thought and humanism from it and I suppose I should outline why.

Campanella (which must surely be a nod to the Campanella who 'inadvertently' (wink wink) made one of the greatest cases for free thought of his era) is beautifully written, even if there's very little we know about him other than his immense kindness. Given the name, we seem to be looking at two sides of the same person in Campanella and Giovanni. I see a bit of 'free thinking' within Giovanni, especially when he is awed by the fossil hunter. The 'Christians' seem to depart the train at the 'Northern Cross' and the Southern Cross which is interesting because the Southern Cross was imposed as a sign by a Christian west and Cygnus has at various times been co-opted but deep down is linked to the story of Phaethon and Cycnus; the themes of drowning and brotherly devotion coming through there. That might just be me though.

The exchange between Giovanni and Kaoru on the nature of god is very curt. I laughed as it's essentially a shortened but word for word version of what I talked about on the forum a few weeks ago. Giovanni seems more interested in the journey rather than what each stop is, but he was sorry to say goodbye to them. Campanella does not have the same ticket, but he never get's off the train. He never takes any of the stops. He's happy for the company and he vanishes, blissfully it seems in the 'nothingness' of the coal sack. Every end, every happiness, every 'duty' is on that train and it keeps going.

So it is what it is. And it was beautiful.
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afleitch
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Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -8.17

« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2015, 07:00:30 am »

I haven't actually started reading either of these yet, but a couple of days ago I found and bought two modern Japanese novels in a used bookstore in my town. One is The River Ki by Ariyoshi Sawako; I'm not sure what this is about, exactly, but it seems to be a family drama along roughly the same lines as The Makioka Sisters--which is probably my all-time favorite novel and definitely in the top five--and was apparently Ariyoshi's first major work. Ariyoshi, who died young in 1984, seems to have been an enormously popular and respected writer in her lifetime, at least in part because her writing was more topical than that of most of her contemporaries--many of her novels are the equivalent of 'very special episodes' on certain types of television shows, but by all accounts of vastly greater artistic merit. This seems, however, to have changed since her death, and I was never taught her in my major, nor had I even heard of her until I found this book.

The other is an interesting edition of Miyazawa's Ginga tetsudō no yoru, usually translated Night on the Galactic Railroad and occasionally Night Train to the Stars, which afleitch read recently. Miyazawa is a writer I like a lot but I'm mostly familiar with him as a poet; this is the only one of his prose works I've actually read before--efforts to find a copy of 'Kaze no Matasaburō' have met with failure. It's by far his best known work overall, with the only remotely conceivable contender being the didatic poem 'Ame ni mo makezu' ('Not Losing to the Rain'). This edition is unusual in that it's an English translation, given the non-standard title The Night of the Milky Way Train, published in Japan, with Japanese paratext even, as school study material for English learners. There are glossaries before each chapter. I'm very interested to see how if at all the choices that the translation itself makes differ from more general-audience English versions of the text.

Let me know who translated it. I've read two translations so far; Roger Pulvers and a really old library copy from John Bester.
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