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What are you reading?

rousseau

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I saved myself some money doing my own reno recently, so treated myself to a fresh copy of Max Weber's two volume Economy and Society (at 120 CDN). I've been trawling my local book store waiting for it to appear for a couple years, but lately I've realized that it's just not going to happen. Realistically I could just use the library, but I really wanted my own copy.
 

rousseau

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I saved myself some money doing my own reno recently, so treated myself to a fresh copy of Max Weber's two volume Economy and Society (at 120 CDN). I've been trawling my local book store waiting for it to appear for a couple years, but lately I've realized that it's just not going to happen. Realistically I could just use the library, but I really wanted my own copy.

This is just what I needed after a year of poetry and being locked out of the library: dense, challenging text. I'm planning to go end-to-end across both volumes, page by page, despite it being about 1500 pages long.

It may also spur some more extensive reading in Sociology. I've been doing a bit of research and came across some more names: Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck, and Zygmunt Bauman, who all came after Weber, Marx et al.
 

rousseau

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For something a bit more fun, I pulled The Sexual Sensitivity of the American Male off of my shelf last night. You'd think it'd be an interesting read, but honestly.. not much of it was very surprising. I had a similar experience with Kinsey's Sexual Behaviour of the Human Female. When you boil it down people just like having sex with each other.
 

Tharmas

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Just started Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich. It looks fascinating.
 

TSwizzle

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Just rattled through a few books I found on my kindle.

Animal Farm, I’ve read this many times over the years and it’s still one of my favorite books.

The Naked Sun by Asimov. Meh, a space age Whodunnit. It was ok

2001 A Space Odyssey. Fantastic book and I’m trying to hunt out a streaming service to watch the movie.

Childhood’s End also by Clarke. Just getting into it and enjoying it. Seems there was a tv miniseries made based on the book. I’d like to check that out.
 

bilby

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Just rattled through a few books I found on my kindle.

Animal Farm, I’ve read this many times over the years and it’s still one of my favorite books.

The Naked Sun by Asimov. Meh, a space age Whodunnit. It was ok

2001 A Space Odyssey. Fantastic book and I’m trying to hunt out a streaming service to watch the movie.

Childhood’s End also by Clarke. Just getting into it and enjoying it. Seems there was a tv miniseries made based on the book. I’d like to check that out.

Obviously Clarke is legendary, but IMO his most underrated work is "A Fall of Moondust". I just love that book. Rama and 2001 get all the raves, but I rarely see Moondust mentioned anywhere. It's still my pick of his work, and it is even more impressive when you realise it was written in 1961, when project Apollo was still a new idea, and mankind on the Moon still almost a decade in the future.
 

Mediancat

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Fall of moondust is an excellent sci-fi thriller.

I love The Naked Sun, as well, but Asimov did better.

Rob
 

Mediancat

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I finished a Sister Fidelma mystery, Blood in Eden.

She's a nun in 7th century Ireland, and also a legal advocate/official detective for her brother, who happens to be a king. She solves crimes with Brother Eadulf, an English priest, who is basically her Watson.

Rob
 

bilby

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Just finished Children of Time, and am now reading the sequel, Children of Ruin, by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Tchaikovsky is a master of making the truly alien relatable, if not always pleasant; And of making the truly human relatably unpleasant in mind-bending ways.

I have been on a bit of a binge of his scifi; I read his excellent and very weird The Expert System's Brother a few years ago, and made a mental note to look up the rest of his work, but then completely failed to do so until now.

Walking to Aldebaran is also well worth a read.
 

rousseau

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Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology by Keith Basso. I've been wanting to read a study of a North American Indigenous language for a while, and this book is exactly what I've been looking for.
 

rousseau

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I was wondering if you'd have something to say about this one. I've only read the first essay as the kid keeps me reading at a slow pace, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
 

DrZoidberg

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Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology by Keith Basso. I've been wanting to read a study of a North American Indigenous language for a while, and this book is exactly what I've been looking for.

So, please tell us. What exactly does "Uga-chaka" mean?
 

rousseau

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Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology by Keith Basso. I've been wanting to read a study of a North American Indigenous language for a while, and this book is exactly what I've been looking for.

So, please tell us. What exactly does "Uga-chaka" mean?

I was trying to channel my Politesse answer, but I'll go with this Quora comment:

In the first song by Johnny Preston, "ooga chaka" is basically some white backup singers trying to sound like they're doing an "Indian" (i.e., Native American) war chant. According to the Wikipedia entry on "Running Bear," the singer responsible for the "ooga chaka" is country & western singer George Jones
 

Politesse

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Western Apache Language and Culture: Essays in Linguistic Anthropology by Keith Basso. I've been wanting to read a study of a North American Indigenous language for a while, and this book is exactly what I've been looking for.

So, please tell us. What exactly does "Uga-chaka" mean?

It's a Standard Amercian English (SAE) word meaning, roughly, "I am a racist, and I laugh at racist jokes".
 

Mediancat

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Tried to read Henry Bushwick's book on Johnny Carson. I'd thought it was a biography, but it's not. That misunderstanding is on me. It's instead a memoir of Bushwick's time working with Carson, which ended badly, so it's a bit of a hatchet job and contains a lot more gossip than I like in biographies. Gave up after about thirty pages plus a bit of skimming.

Rob
 

spikepipsqueak

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This month I'm reading books that have been lying around for decades and I've never gotten around to.

Shogun. Game of Thrones. Handling Sin.

Having fun.
 

ideologyhunter

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A reprint edition of High Tide at Gettysburg (1958) by Glenn Tucker. I sought a Gettysburg history for a general readership, with anecdotes and incidentals along with the tactical side of the story, and that's what Tucker wrote. The style is concise and fluid, and the chapters are broken up into subsections, which are about three pages long -- perfect for the casual reader. I am in the early chapters, which provide reportage of encounters between Pennsylvania villagers and the invading Southerners. A Pennsylvania Dutch farmer, seeing his prize mare being requisitioned for the South, said, "I've been married, sir, t'ree times, and I vood not geef dot mare for all dose voomans." (He got his mare back.) Other scenes depict the Southern boys making light of the scowling looks they were getting from women staring at them from windows. One yelled back that if they would speak their names, he would write them down, throw the paper into a water jug, and make vinegar.
 

Wiploc

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Premonition by Michael Lewis.

This is going to be about the covid pandemic. It's early days yet; we're only a few chapters in; but thus far it's riveting, like a great novel.

This may be Lewis's best book.
 

laughing dog

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Just finished William Faulkner's Sanctuary. I've started (about 1/4th into) Apollo's Arrow by Nicholas Christakis. Very interesting, frightening and appalling - it is about covid and mostly the US response.
 

DBT

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rousseau

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I picked up A History of Greece by John Bury yesterday (originally published in 1900). It covers Greece up until about 300 B.C., and the author intentionally made it a political history. For the price of a movie admission it'll be fun to poke around for a few hours.

I also picked up The Constitution of Society by Anthony Giddens from Weldon a few weeks ago. I've flipped through it and am not as impressed as I thought I'd be, but it's a decent book. So far I'm enjoying my Weber titles a bit more.

And related, as my shelving space fills up once again I'm debating getting some custom shelving units done in our basement, potentially filling a wall. A possible winter project.
 

DrZoidberg

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I'm reading 6000 year old Sumerian religious hymns. Here's a good one. Religion has lost some of this old magic:

Inanna spoke:
"What I tell you
Let the singer weave into song.
What I tell you,
Let it flow from ear to mouth,
Let it pass from old to young:

My vulva, the horn,
The Boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.

As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?

As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will station the ox there?
Who will plow my vulva?"

Dumuzi replied:
"Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva.
I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva."

Inanna:
"Then plow my vulva, man of my heart!
Plow my vulva!
 

rousseau

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I picked up A History of the Scottish People: 1560 - 1830 by T.C. Smout off of my shelf last night and am planning to give it a bit of time. It's an interesting one as it's one of the first history books I bought back around 2012. When I first read it I liked it but had no frame of reference. I picked it up a second time a few years ago to see if there were any references to the printing press (there weren't). This time I'm finding re-visiting some of the histories in my collection a lot of fun, ten years later they're taking on an entirely new complexion.

Smout is also a great historian and writer.
 

WAB

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I'm reading 6000 year old Sumerian religious hymns. Here's a good one. Religion has lost some of this old magic:

Inanna spoke:
"What I tell you
Let the singer weave into song.
What I tell you,
Let it flow from ear to mouth,
Let it pass from old to young:

My vulva, the horn,
The Boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.

As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?

As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will station the ox there?
Who will plow my vulva?"

Dumuzi replied:
"Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva.
I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva."

Inanna:
"Then plow my vulva, man of my heart!
Plow my vulva!

Oh, I dunno, kinda yuck.

Yeah, yuck.
 

Wiploc

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I'm reading 6000 year old Sumerian religious hymns. Here's a good one. Religion has lost some of this old magic:

One of my favorite quotes from The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History:

"Stone penises and Venuses suggest religious practices of appealing simplicity."
 

rousseau

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Capitalism and Modern Social Theory by Anthony Giddens, where he interprets Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle translated by Michael Swanton, both from Western libraries.

I'm looking forward to Giddens' writing on Max Weber.
 

southernhybrid

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"The Cruelty of Free of Free Will" by Richard Oerton

I read this book a couple of years ago, but I enjoyed it enough to read it again. It's the follow up to his book: "The Nonsense of Free Will". It's a short, easy read, which is good for me since my attention span isn't what it used to be.



Does the idea that we have free will serve to foster our cruelty to one another? Richard Oerton has already dismissed the idea of free will as incoherent and illusory, doing so in The Nonsense of Free Will, a book described as "wonderfully clear - and very clever" by the New York Times bestselling author Sam Harris. The Cruelty of Free Will starts by recapitulating the theme of the earlier book, but then goes on to develop it in important ways. It asks two questions: why - and how - does free will belief persist so stubbornly? Philosophers and others who try to uphold free will are guided less by reason than by their own (probably unconscious) emotions. Blind to the fact that our everyday explanations of human behaviour are based, not on free will, but on an unacknowledged determinism, they try to preserve the idea of free will by means of sophistry and word-play. Their methods include a conjuring trick: that of replacing our common idea of free will with some other concept which, though they call it by the same name, actually involves no freedom of choice. Free will is thought to be a good thing and determinism a bad one, but Richard Oerton insists that we've got this the wrong way round because belief in free will fosters ignorance and cruelty. It allows us to think that those whose lives are bleak have only themselves to blame, and that criminals and other bad guys are embodiments of self-created wickedness deserving of retributive punishment - whereas in reality, we are all of us simply the products of biological and environmental luck. The Cruelty of Free Will asserts that human beings belong to what is still a savage species with few inhibitions against harming one another, and that we cling to the idea of free will mainly because it purports to justify the escape and expression of this savagery.
 

rousseau

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I picked up The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology last weekend which is a surprisingly good read.. but it doesn't have an index and it's killing me.

I get that it was designed as a self-indexing reference book and not to be read cover-to-cover, but I really want a list of it's (short) articles, and not have to parse through three hundred pages to see what's in it.
 

ideologyhunter

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The Day the Century Ended by Francis Irby Gwaltney (1955; filmed as Between Heaven and Hell and later republished under that title.)
The WWII generation, after returning from war, produced novels that depicted youth and first love or novels of war and the end of youth. Gwaltney's novel does both. He saw action in the Pacific theater, and his descriptions of jungle fighting are stark and unsparing. In flashbacks, he writes about adolescence, courtship, and marriage. Gwaltney is uncommonly honest -- for a book that came out mid-Eisenhower, the sexual frankness is a real surprise. And since GIs say fuck as commonly as hello, the book is full of f-bombs, but, in a strange concession to prevailing standards, they are spelled without the 'c'. The dialogue is crowded with fuks and fukens.
I forget where I heard about this book. It is nearly forgotten today, and, as far as I can tell from looking at Amazon, all of Gwaltney's books are out of print. He is referenced only in discussions of Arkansas authors, or, perhaps, in connection with Norman Mailer, whom Gwaltney knew in the service and with whom he did some collaborations. For any reader of WWII fiction or good, naturalistic writing, it is worth your time to find a copy of this novel.
 

ideologyhunter

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I'm reading 6000 year old Sumerian religious hymns. Here's a good one. Religion has lost some of this old magic:

Inanna spoke:
"What I tell you
Let the singer weave into song.
What I tell you,
Let it flow from ear to mouth,
Let it pass from old to young:

My vulva, the horn,
The Boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.

As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?

As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will station the ox there?
Who will plow my vulva?"

Dumuzi replied:
"Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva.
I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva."

Inanna:
"Then plow my vulva, man of my heart!
Plow my vulva!

I dunno, Inanna. Do you really have to promote your cooter that much, to get some action? You can't just put it out on the street? Is there something broke in it? Around here, the women who are groaning and moaning about plowing have generally done so much meth and cheap whiskey that they're completely used up. You sound like one big Sumerian mess.
 

rousseau

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Books I'm not reading but that are coming in the mail:

The Penguin Dictionary of Physics for a nice juxtaposition with The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. Robert Bringhurst's Selected Poems which I grit my teeth at as I paid 45 dollars from Amazon to buy. But the guy is a wonderful writer so I had to have it.

Books I'm actually reading:

Robert Bringhurst's The Beauty of the Weapons. This was a book of poetry released in a limited run in the early 80s that scarcely exists now, that I managed to buy for 15 dollars at the local hipster bookshop. Bringhurst is an interesting guy and worth reading about.
 

WAB

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In another thread [MENTION=377]Jarhyn[/MENTION]; dropped a couple book titles but didn't mention the author(s). One was The Stranger. Wondering if I knew about it (thought maybe it was Dostoyevsky), I looked for it, and saw it was Camus. Alright, I said, I haven't read Camus yet - always avoided him for some reason, perhaps because I don't generally love transtations - so I figured I'd take a look.

Man am I glad I did. I'm only about thirty pages in but I love it, particularly the details of mundane things, the general dreariness of boredom and living in a way that seems almost pointless.

Thanks, Jarhyn, oh ye Grand Wizard, for the drop. I can now be glad I didn't die without checking out Camus! :joy:
 

Jarhyn

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In another thread [MENTION=377]Jarhyn[/MENTION]; dropped a couple book titles but didn't mention the author(s). One was The Stranger. Wondering if I knew about it (thought maybe it was Dostoyevsky), I looked for it, and saw it was Camus. Alright, I said, I haven't read Camus yet - always avoided him for some reason, perhaps because I don't generally love transtations - so I figured I'd take a look.

Man am I glad I did. I'm only about thirty pages in but I love it, particularly the details of mundane things, the general dreariness of boredom and living in a way that seems almost pointless.

Thanks, Jarhyn, oh ye Grand Wizard, for the drop. I can now be glad I didn't die without checking out Camus! :joy:

I might recommend reading more of Camus, namely The Rebel. It's more academic, but it discusses a very interesting aspect of philosophy surrounding concepts of agency. It's right up there in my list with The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K LeGuin).

My current read though, as far as the last pages I scribed my eyeballs over, though, is Foundations of Mathematics. It's about five orders of magnitude more dense than Camus, whose text is roughly the density of neutronium.

Interestingly, I read The Stranger along with Voltaire's Candidae, which had very similar themes
 

rousseau

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Sociobiology: The Abridged Version by Edward Wilson. I accidentally checked this out of the library instead of the original text, but it does the job. I was a bit biased against a biology text published in 1975, but that ended up being unwarranted as it's pretty good.

The Triumph of Sociobiology by John Alcock. I also checked this one out, which looks like it reviews modern controversy surrounding Sociobiology. I haven't actually picked it up yet.

Travels of Ibn Battuta: Vol 1. I was looking to read about his travel along the East Coast of Africa in the 14th century but accidentally checked this one out, not realizing there are 5 volumes. Still a good read. I've since requested Ibn Battuta in Black Africa.
 

WAB

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In another thread [MENTION=377]Jarhyn[/MENTION]; dropped a couple book titles but didn't mention the author(s). One was The Stranger. Wondering if I knew about it (thought maybe it was Dostoyevsky), I looked for it, and saw it was Camus. Alright, I said, I haven't read Camus yet - always avoided him for some reason, perhaps because I don't generally love transtations - so I figured I'd take a look.

Man am I glad I did. I'm only about thirty pages in but I love it, particularly the details of mundane things, the general dreariness of boredom and living in a way that seems almost pointless.

Thanks, Jarhyn, oh ye Grand Wizard, for the drop. I can now be glad I didn't die without checking out Camus! :joy:

I might recommend reading more of Camus, namely The Rebel. It's more academic, but it discusses a very interesting aspect of philosophy surrounding concepts of agency. It's right up there in my list with The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K LeGuin).

My current read though, as far as the last pages I scribed my eyeballs over, though, is Foundations of Mathematics. It's about five orders of magnitude more dense than Camus, whose text is roughly the density of neutronium.

Interestingly, I read The Stranger along with Voltaire's Candidae, which had very similar themes

Hm?*

I finished The Stranger yesterday. Very engrossing, breezy read. Albeit a translation (Stuart Gilbert), the writing was top-notch, calling to mind a scrummy blend of voices, ie: John Dos Passos, Pio Baroja, Steinbeck (kinda), even Hemingway (the testosterone).

I was a wee tad disappointed when (rather abruptly I thought) I reached the end. I didn't know it was a novella (77pg via PDF doc).

Disappointed because I wanted to find out more about the guy. Why the hell did he....

Spoiler alert:


shoot the guy at all, let alone five times?? In fact, the more I thought about it, why the hell did he take the gun along, and why the hell take a walk on the beach by himself, right there, that place, that time????



But the more I thought about it, like right now, I thought: that's just the thing! Sometimes one finds oneself somewhere doing something automatically, and then wondering why one did it, or why they were even there, then. And then, aha!

ME!

The poet Rilke wrote, profoundly: You must change your life.

The poet James Wright, profoundly, wrote: I have wasted my life.

Now, which me did I apprehend?

I am entangled.





*For some reason Candide is not jibing with me. I have tried to read it twice, once many years ago, again about a year ago. Both times, stopped somewhere in the middle. :shrug:






Did you put a spell on me, Jarhyn, O ye Great Wizard?
 
Last edited:

Jarhyn

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In another thread [MENTION=377]Jarhyn[/MENTION]; dropped a couple book titles but didn't mention the author(s). One was The Stranger. Wondering if I knew about it (thought maybe it was Dostoyevsky), I looked for it, and saw it was Camus. Alright, I said, I haven't read Camus yet - always avoided him for some reason, perhaps because I don't generally love transtations - so I figured I'd take a look.

Man am I glad I did. I'm only about thirty pages in but I love it, particularly the details of mundane things, the general dreariness of boredom and living in a way that seems almost pointless.

Thanks, Jarhyn, oh ye Grand Wizard, for the drop. I can now be glad I didn't die without checking out Camus! :joy:

I might recommend reading more of Camus, namely The Rebel. It's more academic, but it discusses a very interesting aspect of philosophy surrounding concepts of agency. It's right up there in my list with The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K LeGuin).

My current read though, as far as the last pages I scribed my eyeballs over, though, is Foundations of Mathematics. It's about five orders of magnitude more dense than Camus, whose text is roughly the density of neutronium.

Interestingly, I read The Stranger along with Voltaire's Candidae, which had very similar themes

Hm?*

I finished The Stranger yesterday. Very engrossing, breezy read. Albeit a translation (Stuart Gilbert), the writing was top-notch, calling to mind a scrummy blend of voices, ie: John Dos Passos, Pio Baroja, Steinbeck (kinda), even Hemingway (the testosterone).

I was a wee tad disappointed when (rather abruptly I thought) I reached the end. I didn't know it was a novella (77pg via PDF doc).

Disappointed because I wanted to find out more about the guy. Why the hell did he....

Spoiler alert:


shoot the guy at all, let alone five times?? In fact, the more I thought about it, why the hell did he take the gun along, and why the hell take a walk on the beach by himself, right there, that place, that time????



But the more I thought about it, like right now, I thought: that's just the thing! Sometimes one finds oneself somewhere doing something automatically, and then wondering why one did it, or why they were even there, then. And then, aha!

ME!

The poet Rilke wrote, profoundly: You must change your life.

The poet James Wright, profoundly, wrote: I have wasted my life.

Now, which me did I apprehend?

I am entangled.





*For some reason Candide is not jibing with me. I have tried to read it twice, once many years ago, again about a year ago. Both times, stopped somewhere in the middle. :shrug:






Did you put a spell on me, Jarhyn, O ye Great Wizard?

So, that's the thing. I did put a spell on you, because at their core, a "spell", as may be cast upon another only ever takes that shape of an idea whose effects impact others in predictable ways.

Anyone saying different is selling something.

It's OK to not like Candidae. It's more bawdy and tongue-in-cheek, and admittedly I understood the theme by halfway and put it down for some years, then read to the end and was not surprised. It's really just an exhaustive list of ways determinists fuck up living properly, either by slipping into fatalism, or fatal optimism, or just living without control, when all these options rob someone of seeing their own fundamental agency.

As befalls The Stranger, this is a discussion of what thought process makes of someone "the stranger", the other who does not say "yes" nor "no" but lives the same fundamental flaw of Candidae: they do not accept that their decisions create agency, nor consider that they have choices and must spend some time thinking on them.

He took the gun and shot the person, fundamentally, because in that moment he wanted to and was not of a sort to care. This is more often the shape of evil in the world than the spectacular kind we are taught to fear.
 

DrZoidberg

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I bought this boardgame. It's based on the Arabian Nights

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/34119/tales-arabian-nights

I realized that, while I know these stories quite well, I only know them as cultural artifacts. Through Disney, sketches, etc. I had read the stories, but bowdlerised as a child. So I decided to read the Thousand and One Nights.

I wanted to read the best translation. It turns out that that was more complicated than I first thought. I've now read a bunch of scholarly texts on it and listened to lectures.

There's numerous western translations and they're, pretty much all, terrible racist and exotist products. Produced to justify colonialism. With all manner of stuff added for effect. That's added layer one. The original core stories and frame is set in pre-Islamic Sassanian Persia. So has undergone filtering through a Persian lens hellbent on slandering anything pre-Islamic. That's layer two. It's popularity in the west in the 1700's led to a bunch of other stories added, like Sindbad, which was a completely different tradition and type of story. They added Indian stories, also completely different context. And in the desperation for oriental content French authors were asked to produce more. This brought us stuff like Ali Baba's forty thieves.

It then later made it's way to Egypt and India translated from French. And from there back into English by Richard Burton. He added a bunch of pornographic elements. He was an outright racist and thought brown people were debauched and immoral. His work was focused on colonial apologetism.

This explains why this is not a work famous in the Middle-East or India. They don't seem to have ever cared about any of these stories in particular. They have plenty of other, more famous, traditional stories more relevant to their historically accurate history.

Based on what I've read now I think Thousand and One Nights should be seen as a western racist work made to show how brown people need to be led by their moral superiors, with the original works as inspirational source material.

The story of how this work came to be, I think is more interesting than, the work itself.

I highly recommend reading up on Richard Burton. Truly the a kind of colourful character that could only have existed peak colonialism. Quite the man of his time. For good or for ill.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Francis_Burton

Enjoy.
 

Wiploc

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Based on what I've read now I think Thousand and One Nights should be seen as a western racist work made to show how brown people need to be led by their moral superiors, with the original works as inspirational source material.

It portrays women as bad people too.

Thanks for the information. I read a translation without suspecting how it had been modified.
 

rousseau

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African Art by Frank Willett. I dropped in on a local this week and picked this up. It includes a brief history of African Art which I'm not completely through, but is pretty interesting so far. It breaks African Cave painting down into a number of periods, and describes stylistic change in sculpture over time.

A nice addition to my set of books on Africa.
 

rousseau

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Still a good read. I've since requested Ibn Battuta in Black Africa.

Also reading this. One thing I didn't anticipate was how prominent a place food played in his descriptions and experiences everywhere he went. It made me realize why agriculture was such a big thing for so long: in a harsh world the very least you can do is cultivate food for pleasure.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Persepolis Rising - Wow. I can see why Amazon doesn't want to go with Books 7 to 9 with individual seasons. It'd cost a fortune if 8 and 9 end anything like book 7.

Still pretty easy reading. I really don't know where the author is ultimately going which is a nice change of pace, but they clearly have a destination in mind. Have started Tiamet's Wrath, so I'll find out soonish. That'll easily be finished before the last book comes out and I can finish that before the last season of The Expanse, which I think will be borrowing a bit from books 7 to 9 to finish everything up.

I really do like how he manages to shift the plot around, making things contingent on other events. Not in an overly complicated way, but a sensical enough way.
 

rousseau

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Agrarian History of Western Europe, A.D. 500 - 1850 by Bath. This was a title I bought my father-in-law for Christmas two years ago, it was originally written in Dutch and so I had a Dutch copy shipped to me from Europe. I also went through it back then myself, but decided to pick it up again this week. Very interesting book and this time I noticed that it mentions the ideas of Henri Pirenne who Tharmas pointed me to some time ago. Although I still haven't read Pirenne or formed an opinion about him.

Wisdom Sits in Places by Keith Basso. This was a recommendation from Politesse earlier in this thread. I haven't gotten too deep into it but it looks like an interesting read.

Everywhere Being is Dancing: Twenty Pieces of Thinking by Robert Bringhurst. Same guy whose poetry I posted about earlier, but this is a work of philosophy. The guy is clearly clever and an interesting writer. I don't find his ideas revelatory but they make for an interesting read.

Most of my attention is going to the Agrarian History of Western Europe because it's a very good and well put together book.
 
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