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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
    anthonykay, I don't think it's that important to understand everything, in fact Borges' The garden of forking paths could be said to be all about how things can have many meanings and that it is impossible to see them all. So in some way, you understood it perfectly. I think it is much more important to feel as though you are taken on a journey and most importantly that you enjoy it. Like anything, meaning and historical reference in literature can be learned, I certainly did. When I started studying I was very much like yourself and these things never occurred to me either, and it's only thanks to the wonderful teachers who showed me how to see these things that I now see much more. Like all worthwhile endeavours, the more you understand the more you realise how much you don't know.
    But it is still more immediately satisfying when I understand at least some of the references. A few years ago I read Good omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, which is full of references to the first and last books of the Bible, as well as the Pendle Witches, all of which I have some knowledge of, so I think I understood most of the jokes. Similarly, on a rather different level, Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid: I have loved both the music of Bach and the art of M.C.Escher since I was a teenager, and although it took a long time, I never felt bored while ploughing through 700+ pages aimed essentially at explaining a single theorem.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonykay View Post
    But it is still more immediately satisfying when I understand at least some of the references. A few years ago I read Good omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, which is full of references to the first and last books of the Bible, as well as the Pendle Witches, all of which I have some knowledge of, so I think I understood most of the jokes. Similarly, on a rather different level, Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid: I have loved both the music of Bach and the art of M.C.Escher since I was a teenager, and although it took a long time, I never felt bored while ploughing through 700+ pages aimed essentially at explaining a single theorem.
    Does it make me a really sad case if I admit that I have also loved Godel's incompleteness theorem since I was a teenager?

  3. #23
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post

    For something with a similar vibe but much more accessible, try Under Milk Wood, here's the full audio, it's an hour and a half, but well worth it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJtzOD3KbLM

    .
    Under Milk Wood, incredible, for some reason the opening section always reminds me of running into town from above in the twilight at this time of year, the streetlights just on and smoking chimneys, funny things is my eldest daughter hates the audio version, she says the voices freak her out

  4. #24
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Dylan Thomas was a master of evocation. Is your audio version the original one with Richard Burton as the narrator?

  5. #25
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheeze View Post
    Dylan Thomas was a master of evocation. Is your audio version the original one with Richard Burton as the narrator?
    The Richard Burton version, what a voice

  6. #26
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daletownrunner View Post
    Under Milk Wood, incredible, for some reason the opening section always reminds me of running into town from above in the twilight at this time of year, the streetlights just on and smoking chimneys, funny things is my eldest daughter hates the audio version, she says the voices freak her out
    Funnily enough Under Milk Wood also reminds of Ivor the Engine, a strangely haunting and beautiful kids teatime short

  7. #27
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    I'm delighted that Under Milk Wood is so appreciated here - it's wonderful piece - I never seem to tire of it and cal just let it burble away in the background sometimes

  8. #28
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattPo View Post
    I've had Finnegan's Wake in the 'to read' pile for a couple of years, but have never had the fortitude to start it.Read Ulysses and really enjoyed it. On holiday soon, so may get stuck in.
    I forgot to reply to this before; that's great - Ulysses is wonderful, it's much more accessible than FW and gives you a lot of hints as to what is to come.

    My recommendations:

    1) avoid trying to understand FW and just let the words flow over you - like a river!

    2) Accept that you could read it 1000 times and still not understand it all.

    3) Read it out loud. This works especially well in groups, we did this as a lunchtime activity for a year and every single time we would all be crying with laughter by the end of our meeting, if not at the text itself, then at each others attempts to read it.

    4) Realise that it is a comedy - it is hilarious!

    5) If you like a paragraph or section, read it again and again and again.

    Good luck, I hope you enjoy it as much as you did Ulysses

  9. #29
    Master DazTheSlug's Avatar
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    you do not want to get me started on what I'm reading
    500 books over the last 5 years
    almost entirely "classics" old and modern
    I did DNF Ulysses though ;o)
    Scramble the rock face through the glare of morning sun — to run

  10. #30
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    Haha, that's incredible DazTheSlug, one book every 3 or 4 days?

    Feel free, I certainly won't mind and it's a free, as in free speech, forum as far as I know!

    Maybe just share your favourites?

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