So, what books are you reading right now?

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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby maryshelley » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:31 am

Frankenstein wrote:
maryshelley wrote:'Frankenstein' again. I'm sure I missed a typographical error in there somewhere. :-k


Hello Maryshelley,

What is your favorite theme or quote from the book Frankenstein?
-Dr. F.


The book in its entirety, a slim volume of only 223 pages, is worthy of reading but if I must quote something then this penultimate paragraph, for me, is timeless:

"I shall die, and what I now feel be no longer felt. Soon these burning miseries will be extinct. I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames. The light of that conflagration will fade away; my ashes will be swept into the sea by the winds. My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell."
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Frankenstein » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:18 am

Nice quote Maryshelley!
Man's burning question of what happens after death. Also, a little ways above your quote the monster says, "he is dead who called me into being" The created came to master his creator. Very Nietzchean, in a sorrowful way.
This is my favorite passage from Volume 1 Chapter 4 paragraph 3 from Frankenstein.

"The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and the breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."

I thought that so many themes and messages are within these couple sentences alone. I love it. The romantic sense of play and our authentic self at work is opposed when we take a passion and turn it into a career. When we turn our passions into a job, it loses its aesthetic appeal. The mentioning of rest also goes back to god and how god even took time to rest when creating us. Even further, the sole purpose of creating life shouldn't be merely to create life, but also to cultivate the mind-- with poetry and art.

Cheers, Frankenstein.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby maryshelley » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:05 am

Frankenstein wrote:Nice quote Maryshelley!
Man's burning question of what happens after death.

No, more death as a release from the burning miseries of life. Death as an end - 'lost in the darkness and distance'. The monster is not questioning the inevitable 'farewell' more pondering upon the cruelties that life and, in particular, his creator had bestowed upon he the 'innocent'. If you listen very carefully on the quietest of quiet nights can you not hear this lament in the prayers of every earthly believer? 'Father, have I not been a good son to thee? Then why dost thou forsake me! O Lord!'.


Also, a little ways above your quote the monster says, "he is dead who called me into being" The created came to master his creator. Very Nietzchean, in a sorrowful way.

Shall the sins of the Father be visited upon the son?

This is my favorite passage from Volume 1 Chapter 4 paragraph 3 from Frankenstein.

"The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and the breathless horror and disgust filled my heart."


Ah the feelings of human nature when faced with the accidents of life. Be careful what you wish for, Frankenstein. Those who would be gods more often become monsters. Omnipotence is a heavy yoke to bear without the balancing load of omniscience.

I thought that so many themes and messages are within these couple sentences alone. I love it. The romantic sense of play and our authentic self at work is opposed when we take a passion and turn it into a career. When we turn our passions into a job, it loses its aesthetic appeal. The mentioning of rest also goes back to god and how god even took time to rest when creating us. Even further, the sole purpose of creating life shouldn't be merely to create life, but also to cultivate the mind-- with poetry and art.


It seems to me to be relatively easy to create life. Many humans do it without any sense of compunction. Does the farmer bear responsibility for the seed which is sown? Frankenstein had worked hard for two years in the hope that he would become like a god in the eyes of his peers and society beyond. He was a slave to his ambition. His ambition blinded him to the consequences of his action. The inherent dangers of humans and their alchemy:

Image

Monsters be-getting monsters?

By the way Frankenstein it's maryshelley
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:33 pm

Just began reading -

Marcus Aurelius  And His Times.jpg
Marcus Aurelius And His Times.jpg (22.54 KiB) Viewed 2621 times
“How can a bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?”
― William Blake


“Little Fly
Thy summers play,
My thoughtless hand
Has brush'd away.

Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?

For I dance
And drink & sing:
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.

If thought is life
And strength & breath:
And the want
Of thought is death;

Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die”
― William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
― William Blake
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Phoebus » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:15 pm

Just finished reading American Gods and wondering how I've only just 'discovered' Neil Gaiman.

Currently reading a very early 1900s translation of Nietzsche I found in a second hand book store in Hay on Wye, it makes absolutely NO sense.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Xunzian » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:07 am

I'm starting the Red Wheel series. I liked Cancer Ward, so why not? I will say that August, 1914 feels somewhat unfinished. There is a vitalism to that unfinished nature -- is it a book, a screenplay for a movie, a play, something else? It can't quite decide. It often feels sloppy but the narrative itself is compelling. Like the Big D, I wish that I had an appendix of some sort to keep the names straight as Russian naming patterns aren't something that is intuitively obvious to me but it isn't too hard to keep things straight from context. Though there is a very large cast, which makes it a little harder than other Russian novels I've read.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:54 am

Alright ILP, I just finished Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf (introspective, surreal kind of read) and now I need help deciding my next book. Here are my options:


A Tale of Two Cities (because I've never read it and I just found an old copy laying around the house)

OR

Narcissus and Goldmund (immediately continuing my journey through the novels of Hesse)


What do you think?
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Skymning » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:39 pm

Aristotle's Metaphysics, plus some other stuff. Notably Leonard Mlodinow's excellent The Drunkard's Walk.

EDIT: fuse, that was not necessarily an answer to your question. But then again, why not? After all, the latter title treats of randomness.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Gobbo » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:20 am

"Magic without tears" - Aleister Crowley

An all-around guide to the occult
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby _________ » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:13 am

Switching to Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1 (Proust) because I need a break from Les Miserables...still 500 more pages or so on that one...and he's not even Russian!
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Skymning » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:54 am

MathIsACircle wrote:Switching to Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1 (Proust) ...


Good stuff, enjoy.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby turtle » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:56 pm

"The China Study" by Colin Campbell.......
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Trevor » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:15 am

I'm currently indulging in a bit of popular culture with Game of Thrones.

@fuse: Did you continue with the Hesse? I read...Daemon/Damien, whatever it was called, a year or two ago and have been tempted to get stuck into some more of his stuff but I can't help but remember a kind of wetness to his works :lol: I don't know, something about the books and the gospel-seeking devotees of his works just puts me off...
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:53 pm

Hey Trevor,

Wetness? What? lol, I decided to continue where I left off with Nietzsche instead. I'll get back to Hesse eventually.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Trevor » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:41 am

Yeh...wetness...it's hard to explain because that's just my lasting impression of him, but his books are about the inner self, and destiny, that kinda crap...I also remember a sense of passivity in his writing, placid and passive. Wetness. Maybe he was gay...
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:39 am

Yeah, he's definitely concerned with the inner self. And I might be able to relate to what you mean about passivity... I've read Siddhartha, Demian, and Steppenwolf now and all three novels develop in dreamlike fashion, as if the narrator is a more or less passive observer of a series of surreal events. Is that at all what you meant? Anyhow, Steppenwolf was the most nonlinear and subsequently the most difficult to read, while Demian is my favorite of the three because I relate to its story and characters the most.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Trevor » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:00 am

I guess I just struggle to take the whole "search for self" subject seriously...Siddharta was the other one I had read but forgotten about. Huxley can also be a bit too wishy-washy like Hesse, they're work is deeply related, but Huxley has a cyncial vein running through him and his work which is his saving grace. Maybe this is what Hesse lacks - teeth. His work has no bite, it's all gums. Soft, wet gums.

:-?
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:34 am

Ah...no bite you say? I understand that. Although, I personally think Hesse has an enormous bite, but maybe it's too subtly expressed or maybe only certain types of people are receptive to it. I think the "search for the self" theme appeals to people who have often been internally conflicted and who tend to be introspective about their struggles and their identity. ...like moi.

And the subtlety I am talking about refers to the seemingly vague and indistinct "message" of each of his novels. In all his stories about finding oneself and living authentically, I think Hesse's intent is always positive. I think he is looking more to inspire a like-minded reader to continue in his/her own journey of the self than to impart any distinct "moral" or knowledge.

And I like Huxley, too. Brave New World was one of the best books I read growing up in terms of the incredible stimulation it provided for new thoughts and ideas. If I ever get the time, I want to read Point Counter Point next.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 am

The wetness metaphor is interesting. ..soft, wet gums. It reminds me of kissing.


Different people like to kiss and be kissed (romantically) in different ways. For instance, if I am making out with a girl I prefer slow, concentrated, sometimes very light, teasing kisses. I like the subtlety and sensation of it. I have had girlfriends, though, who like to kiss furiously, almost violently -- but that's rather boring and mechanical to me.

So in a similar way, while I seem to experience the bite of Hesse's novels for some reason, you don't for a related reason. I dunno. Just thinking. And I thought the kissing analogy was funny.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Skymning » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:01 pm

This made me think of Hoffmann, particularly The Sandman. It doesn't really have a bite, nor did I get the feeling of soft, wet gums, but ... it kind of nibbles.

Anyway, I'm still on Aristotle. But I picked up Timothy Williamsons The Philosophy of Philosophy earlier. So far (I'm on ch. 2) it's been both thought-provoking, extremely interesting, and something of a disappointment.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Trevor » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:39 am

fuse wrote:Ah...no bite you say? I understand that. Although, I personally think Hesse has an enormous bite, but maybe it's too subtly expressed or maybe only certain types of people are receptive to it.


Are you implying he's too subtly expressed for my dim intellect? :wink: :lol:

And I like Huxley, too. Brave New World was one of the best books I read growing up in terms of the incredible stimulation it provided for new thoughts and ideas. If I ever get the time, I want to read Point Counter Point next.


Same here; I haven't read Point Counter Point but I have managed to read Island and Eyeless in Gaza, both of which I recommend.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:45 am

trevor wrote:
fuse wrote:Ah...no bite you say? I understand that. Although, I personally think Hesse has an enormous bite, but maybe it's too subtly expressed or maybe only certain types of people are receptive to it.


Are you implying he's too subtly expressed for my dim intellect? :wink: :lol:


Maybe :P Or you might just not have the attention for it if you find his writing uninteresting.
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby JocelynR » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:48 pm

I started reading Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist, finally. I'd been planning to read it for so long and I finally have read first 22 pages. I like it actually:)




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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby Trevor » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:51 pm

fuse wrote:Maybe :P Or you might just not have the attention for it if you find his writing uninteresting.


But then that suggests I have some form of attention deficit. How about, I simply dislike his writing, but that in no way reflects negatively upon my character. :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: So, what books are you reading right now?

Postby fuse » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:10 pm

Sure, but I wasn't referring to any type of disorder. Preferences affect attention. Nothing deficient about that.

And I don't consider ADD to reflect negatively on a person's character anyway.

BESIDES, do you think I would aim veiled insults at you? I'm not the passive aggressive type.
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