A place where a man can be a man


    books you are currently reading or just read

    Share
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:09 pm

    I just read The Dice Man (1971) by "Luke Rhinehart", which is a pseudonym and the name of the main character in the novel. It was really entertaining, even though it was not written very well. Its about a psychoanalyst who decides that he's full of shit and bored with life and fucks everything up by starting to base all his decisions on rolling dice. He begins by raping his best friend and coworker's wife.


    The other book I just read was True to Life: Five Years of Conversations with David Hockney, a companion/counterpoint to Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: 25 Years of Conversations with Robert Irwin, a bio/interview with Robert Irwin that I loved sooo much. It was really disappointing, Hockney did nothing to counter anything that Robert Irwin laid out in his interviews or even really create a coherent point of view of his own, and it overall made me less interested in David Hockney. It is always encouraging, though, to find that my point of view re: visual art is more sophisticated than that of some wildly successful artist. So... Robert Irwin >>> David Hockney

    Next up: Understanding Media, by Marshall McLuhan
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:54 pm

    a few weeks ago I put down The Rest Is Noise. highly recommended!

    the book is trying to be a new telling of the history of the twentieth century through the work and lives of its musicians - sounds right up my alley - but I wound up overlooking the effort in name of establishing a narrative for myself of how music (er, WESTERN music) went from dissident composers like Stravinski to raised-on-pop music/sound theorists like Reich (hint: it has a lot to do with stuff John Cage said), and to this end I found it much easier to read the chapters in reverse order because I was already intimately familiar with the minimal icons. he's a great writer, so much so that the (new-ish?) non-fiction trope of using anecdotes to suggest broad themes didn't bother me - his felt genuinely illuminating and carefully chosen.

    the section on Gyorgy Ligeti (from the Kubrick soundtracks, most prominently in 2001 but also appearing The Shining, I think) really shook me -- his entire family was sent to Nazi camps with only his mother surviving alongside him -- and that he went on to make music after experiencing that kind of horror, surely with it always in mind, is incredibly compelling to me. I mean, how could you not want to hear music made by a Nazi prisoner?

    there's a point to be made, one that in my mad rush to be current I'd never considered, that musicians of the era (the first half of the century) often led amazing and/or tragic lives and that ought to draw us to them. of the modern music I listen to there isn't anything remotely interesting to say, biographically, about the minds behind it, and I feel like that matters now. though I highly doubt I'll stop wanting to know whats new, ever.

    something I just remembered about it: its amazing how little he addresses jazz, considering how much it informed most of what he's writing about. but even though this is probably a flaw in the narrative I didn't mind, just because jazz isn't super-interesting to me right now.

    I forgot what made me want to but I also picked back up an H.P. Lovecraft anthology last week. the prose was a lot better than I remember.

    the other thing I'm re-approaching/carrying with me everywhere is Imagined Communities, which absolutely blew my mind in college.
    avatar
    The Rebirth

    Posts : 196
    Join date : 2010-08-14

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  The Rebirth on Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:59 pm

    The last book I read was The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo because I am currently all read up with my small library and has just bought it for my mom recently. I thought it was pretty good, but it was fairly predictable. I was only reading it to see if I was right.

    Currently I'm reading White Jazz by James Ellroy. Its from the LA Trilogy he wrote which includes Black Dahlia and LA Confidential. Its a neat read because its written from a cop's perspective and has certain qualities of a police report throughout.

    After that I'm gonna steal Mao II by Delillo from my sister's room.
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:08 pm

    KCLU wrote:the (new-ish?) non-fiction trope of using anecdotes to suggest broad themes
    about two months ago I read a book about the supreme court, The Nine, and it was a decent read (and I learned a lot, which is always what I'm trying to do when I read) but its effectiveness fell victim to EXACTLY THIS, every few pages, chapter after chapter.
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:15 pm

    what DeLillo do you like? I loved White Noise when I read it (I've still never read a book so fast), but Underworld, Ratner's Star, Running Dog.. couldn't stick with 'em.

    even my opinion of White Noise changed quite a bit after I listened to a debate on Slate about it.
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:27 pm

    Understanding Media sounds awesome, and I'm sure Imagined Communities cites it.

    reminds me: IC points out that the idea of a state would be impossible without the printing press/media. think of what newspapers did/do for nationalism!
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:33 pm

    history of film in relation to the rise of the USSR is really interesting. they used to have a cinema train car that would go around to all the rural communities and play films. obv the state controlled the film studios.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:34 pm

    Would read that James Ellroy trilogy, I like crime novels.

    Also, I wanna borrow The Rest is Noise from you Kyle.
    avatar
    The Rebirth

    Posts : 196
    Join date : 2010-08-14

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  The Rebirth on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:47 pm

    I really liked White Noise. I was glad I took a post-modern literature class in school or else I probably would have never picked it up. I really want to pick up Ratner's Star and Cosmopolis. You couldn't stick with Ratner's though? It sounded interesting and I've heard Underworld was one of his best works although I haven't read it yet myself. What turned you off about them? The pace?

    It's been so long since I've read anything that wasn't straight fiction. I think the last thing that would even come close would have to be 1776 or maybe it was the book on Patton and Rommel.
    avatar
    The Rebirth

    Posts : 196
    Join date : 2010-08-14

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  The Rebirth on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:47 pm

    I really liked White Noise. I was glad I took a post-modern literature class in school or else I probably would have never picked it up. I really want to pick up Ratner's Star and Cosmopolis. You couldn't stick with Ratner's though? It sounded interesting and I've heard Underworld was one of his best works although I haven't read it yet myself. What turned you off about them? The pace?

    It's been so long since I've read anything that wasn't straight fiction. I think the last thing that would even come close would have to be 1776 or maybe it was the book on Patton and Rommel.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:58 pm

    The only thing I've read by Delillo was the first 150 pages or so of Underworld. I put it down, iirc, because some of the stuff about baseball and some of the dialog didn't do it for me. I had just come off reading Infinite Jest at the time so my expectations were super high. I ended up just reading everything else by DFW instead.

    I still wanna read White Noise, though. I might pick Underworld back up at some point.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:14 pm

    also finished 2666 by Roberto Bolano recently. it was really great, but felt extremely, insidiously, evil in a way i can't quite describe.

    avatar
    DopeMasterJFlow
    Admin

    Posts : 232
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Madison, Wisconsin

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  DopeMasterJFlow on Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:50 pm



    I just finished reading Henry Miller's classic Tropic of Cancer. It is a pseudo autobiography of henry miller's life in Paris where he delves deeply into his views of society, the human condition, philosophy and life in general. He comes at you from the perspective of an "inhuman". His perspective is truly enlightening, though some parts can be difficult to follow. It's really hard to describe why this book is so powerful but i'll just say that there are quite a few good pages in it... In Miller's own words even if a book has only one solid page, then it is worth reading.

    "When a man expresses himself perfectly I will not say that he is not great, but I will say that I am unattracted...when I reflect that the task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the choas about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment os that be the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life, then it is that I run with joy to the great and imperfect ones, their confusion nourishes me, their stuttering is like divine music to my ears."

    I really liked that paragraph and when you read the book it will click.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that Tropic of Cancer was banned in the US for 30 something years. It was first published in France in the 30's but wasn't seen in the united states until the 60's.




    I am currently tearing through Dune. I find it immersive in story and character depth. I'm loving everything about it and find it hard to put down.

    In queue is Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene which was recommended to me by MC many moons ago. I finally found a copy at the bookstore today.
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:48 pm

    DopeMasterJFlow wrote:In queue is Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene
    this will change you!

    it'll arrange a lot of little things you already kinda know, in just the right way, and flesh them out to utter profundity.
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:49 pm

    its the reason I couldn't stop talking about atoms that one night.
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:04 pm

    I didn't like The Savage Detectives at all - but I only read the first part, and now that I remember how different part two is, and that it makes for the bulk of the book, I feel bad about it.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:46 pm

    The Savage Detectives was good, the first part was one of the best parts.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:11 pm

    okay, Understanding Media is gonna be awesome.

    the first paragraph:

    "After three thousand years of explosion, by means fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man--the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media. Whether the extension of consciousness, so long sought by advertisers for specific products, will be "a good thing" is a question that admits of a wide solution. There is little possibility of answering such questions about the extensions of man without considering all of them together. Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex."
    avatar
    KCLU
    Admin

    Posts : 234
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  KCLU on Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:56 pm

    oh my god
    avatar
    Newmantopia

    Posts : 109
    Join date : 2010-08-16

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Newmantopia on Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:45 pm

    Karl wrote:okay, Understanding Media is gonna be awesome.

    the first paragraph:

    "After three thousand years of explosion, by means fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man--the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media. Whether the extension of consciousness, so long sought by advertisers for specific products, will be "a good thing" is a question that admits of a wide solution. There is little possibility of answering such questions about the extensions of man without considering all of them together. Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex."

    Do you really find this thinking unique or particularly intriguing? I figure the paradigm of media/technology as human extension is a vision that comes naturally to you.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:22 pm

    it's always nice to read someone expressing thoughts that appeal to you eloquently. and that's just the first paragraph of a book that goes into extreme detail about a shitload of different media.

    do you really not think Marshall McLuhan is original and intriguing? he is essential reading for anyone who is interested in information technology, communication, art... for anyone interested in the world we live in.
    avatar
    Newmantopia

    Posts : 109
    Join date : 2010-08-16

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Newmantopia on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:27 pm

    I wasn't responding about the author- just that paragraph.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:37 pm

    yeah, i think it might just seem already familiar because McLuhan wrote in the sixties and since then he has had such a huuuuge influence on modern ways of thinking about communication technology that its filtered through into pop culture in the same way as like Andy Warhol for example.
    avatar
    Karl
    Admin

    Posts : 321
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 30
    Location : Tampa

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Karl on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:37 pm

    the term "global village" was coined by McLuhan
    avatar
    DopeMasterJFlow
    Admin

    Posts : 232
    Join date : 2010-08-12
    Age : 32
    Location : Madison, Wisconsin

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  DopeMasterJFlow on Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:42 pm

    that sounds awesome! Damn my amazon queue keeps growing =/

    Sponsored content

    Re: books you are currently reading or just read

    Post  Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:44 am