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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 324158 times)
Filuwaúrdjan
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« on: December 10, 2010, 03:32:47 pm »

Non-Fiction: The Making of the English Working Class by E.P Thompson. Needless to say I am interested in the views of one particular forummer this book. I“m about half way through

In what respect? Tongue

It's an extremely important work from a theoretical/historiographical point of view; Thompson's understanding of class was extraordinarily sophisticated and much of that side of things is still surprisingly 'fresh' now. Particularly amusing has been the way that his approach to class can be used to demolish the arguments of postmodernists and poststructuralists who entered into the ever-vicious world of working class history in order to... er... debunk Thompson's approach to class. That's basically why the book was important and is important, and was, more or less, the point of the book all along.

Other things to comment on might be (for example) Thompson's weird style; he never really wrote in an academic fashion, and his work tends to read like a cross between polemic and literature. I suspect that may be way certain people found it all too easy to misinterpret his thesis. On the other hand, while it's brilliant, it's also flawed, and often quite obviously so; he actually repeated the argument that Methodism led to political conservatism amongst the working class, despite that theory having been totally discredited by Hobsbawm in the late 50s.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 08:00:35 pm »

Who said I was talking about you? ,)

The magical pixies, I think.

Quote
That has been pretty my perspective on it so far as well (Though I can“t claim I know the period too well and I wish I had more foreground knowledge before diving into the minutae of the London Corresponding Society but oh well...).

Yeah, that's the other thing about Thompson.

Quote
Regardless of probably the worst argued pieces of the book, I enjoyed the takes on Methodism (even if clearly wrong and/or dubious) simply because I went to a Methodist school.

LOL

Actually the interesting thing about him on that subject is that his attitude is oddly contradictory; you have (of course) the over-the-top condemnation of the church leadership and various laughably inaccurate stuff on certain aspects of the religious practice, but then you have clear and obvious admiration for elements of it as a movement. Interesting, that is, as an example of how hard it presumably is to write about something that you have reacted against but which is, despite that, sort of fundamental to your worldview (whether you care to acknowledge it or not) as well.

One of the best little passages, btw, is his take on the ideology of the New Poor Law. It's a rant, but a brilliant one - and entirely justified and basically accurate.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 02:07:46 pm »

despite all the reactionary Catholic nonsense it contains at times.

Though the name 'G.K. Chesterton' on the cover presumably counts as a fair warning for that.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 01:51:08 pm »

GB84, by David Peace.
Yes, it inspired my current sig/username/map location. Why do you ask?

Like it?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 02:19:30 pm »

Yes. Or a lot of it. Not an easy read though

Peace has an odd style, but it can be very effective.

Read any of his other stuff?

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(besides, I found out that I don't actually know the subject well enough.)

Perhaps that's for the best; it's seriously depressing.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 02:51:34 pm »

I read 1974 quite recently; after reading a glowing review of the tv adaptation of the Red Riding series (which was shown at some ungodly hour on German tv. And which I didn't watch). It's the only part of it that the Frankfurt library system stocks... but they got three German copies (at different branches) and one English copy of that one. Go figure that one out. (If it weren't the first part, I wouldn't have bothered.) When I left for the Mosel a week ago, I looked through the English fiction section at a bookstore at the station. And found this other title by him, thought the subject matter interesting, and invested a tenner.

Swans.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 08:04:02 am »

Second volume of Somerset Maugham's short stories

Could you be more predictable in your reading habits, lol.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 09:11:37 pm »

Capitalism and Social Cohesion: Essays on Exclusion and Integration (eds. Gough and Olofsson). For work, y'understand.
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2011, 09:00:18 pm »

The Strange Death of Liberal England - Dangerfield

What do you make of the general thesis?
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 10:20:49 am »


My point is that Gogol's satire is depressing and grotesque. (Unless you mean that your suggestion wasn't serious, and in that case, yes, I did miss it.)

Russia was a fairly depressing place at the time.  He lightened it by making fun of it.

That's a... novel... interpretation.
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2011, 10:21:41 am »

but  Dostoyevski was kind of grim.

Heretic.
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2011, 08:38:12 am »

I recommend you start with Demons. It's great and also frequently hilarious.
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2011, 12:29:53 pm »

I recommend you start with Demons. It's great and also frequently hilarious.

I usually hear Notes From Underground recommended to those beginning to read Dostoevsky. Admittedly, I've never finished Demons, but Notes is less intimidating at about 60 pages.

I wasn't being entirely serious; Demons is a very complicated book (multiple layers, multiple genres, the usual unreliable narrator...) and is probably not suitable as a gateway drug to Dostoyevsky. It is wonderful though.
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2011, 01:32:35 pm »

I saw the satire.

Yes... you see... it's not spotting that it's satire that is... um... novel.
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 04:58:50 pm »

And everyone who bought it would immediately regret having done so.
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2011, 08:11:58 pm »

And everyone who bought it would immediately regret having done so.

I've only ever had to read a 9 page excerpt.

It's the equivalent of smashing a brick into your head.

Except that doing that would probably be more productive.
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2012, 01:36:58 pm »

Border Country
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 01:11:39 pm »

Very short book then?
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 07:47:04 pm »

No, it were a little (unfunny) joke. You mentioned two books dealing with the rise of Socialism in Flanders. Thus the joke.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2012, 06:32:59 am »

Spoiler alert: Alyosha is the killer.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2012, 10:58:54 am »

I got bored of Niall Ferguson

Ah, I see that you are a man of taste and distinction.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2012, 07:50:53 pm »

Border Country

Meant to add this a while ago: it's actually very, very good. My Nan's from that corner of the world as well, which gives a degree of added meaning or something.
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2012, 10:21:21 am »

Beyond terrible, really. Some bleak netherworld of antiliterature.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2012, 07:49:34 pm »

Or you could read something good.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2012, 04:42:35 am »

To be honest, though, there's really no excuse for reading Fuckuyama.
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