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_Liam_
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Joined: 03 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: What are you reading? Reply with quote

As requested by VV, a place to discuss Books, Graphic Novels, Cereal Packets and Teletext...

At the moment I've been reading Batman : Cacophony by Kevin Smith, which was pretty good, visuals were bang on but the story doesn't really kick you in the balls the way The Killing Joke does - which it clearly styles itself as a sequel to. Worth a look though, very funny dialogue courtesy of "Silent Bob" himself. For those who don't know him, Smith rose to fame making low budget indie dramas which were littered with pop culture references, a generation x sort of sensibility & a post Tarantino approach to waffling dialogue. Might sound revolting, but people like George Carlin wanted to work with him, so he's worth a look imo
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Chancellor Valium



Joined: 10 May 2007
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Location: Behind the First Mystery which is the Last Mystery which is the twenty-fourth mystery and Great Amen

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a few things, actually.

For starters, I'm slowly grinding my way through The Great Gatsby. I loathe this book, but I really ought to read it all the way through. If nothing else, the book highlights how brilliant Waugh's Vile Bodies is.

I'm also working my way through the collected poems of Eliot, although so far I've only got through 2, more from time and my habit fo re-reading them several times than anythingelse.

I also made a start a while ago on Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua. Originally written as a defence of his conversion to Catholicism, and, by proxy, Roman Catholicism, following an article written in an 1863 edition of Macmillan's Magazine by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, and a popular novelist. Kingsley's remarks bear quoting:

Quote:

Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue within the Roman Catholic clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which Heaven has given to the saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so.


Newman prepared his defence in early 1864, and on March 20th, Kingsley wrote an angry pamphlet entitled What, Then, Does Dr Newman Mean?. Newman's diaries note that he began work on the Apologia on April 10th. It was published as a sequence of pamphlets on consecutive Thursdays, starting on April 21st, and is a defence of his disillusionment both with his evangelical background and the Church of England, and his eventual conversion to Rome.

I've go as far as the preface, but given the number of books I have on the go right now, I find I've got little time for each of them.


I'm also re-reading Erik Hornung's Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt, which does what it says on the tin. A little old, but very much worth reading. Accessibly translated by John Baines, its easy to get into, and a book that, when I first read it, blew my mind, quite literally. Both academically sound and easily accessible, it manages to strike the balance for both the layman and the academic well.

The Coptic Apophthegmata Patrum is a collection of sayings and stories relating to the early desert monastic fathers, living in the desert in Egypt. Currently, I've just finished reading the tale of Apa Makarios and the Devil. Makarios, also known as Makarios the Great, founded the monastery at what is now the Wadi el-Natrun, or Scetis, in around 360 AD, which still exists today. Makarios is one of the great saints of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Stylistically, the tales are often parabolic, with a "moral", or kernel of wisdom at the centre of the story, though this can sometimes be a little difficult to see. They do, however, give an interesting insight into the lives of the early monks and their thought and traditions.

I'm also still trying to wrap my head around Aquinas, with the help of Brian Davies' Aquinas: An Introduction, but that's taken a bit of a pause recently.

On top of that, I recently got a copy of Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy which I intend to settle down with at some point.

Oh, and Papyrus Leopold II/Papyrus Amherst.
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Vector-Victor



Joined: 21 Oct 2008
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Location: Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chancellor Valium wrote:


I'm also still trying to wrap my head around Aquinas, with the help of Brian Davies' Aquinas: An Introduction, but that's taken a bit of a pause recently.


Is that one of the Oxford "Very Short Introduction" books? I love those-they explain difficult subjects in a accessible way, without dumbing down. My favourites were the ones on "Northern Ireland", "African History", and
"Schopenhauer".

I'm reading Andy Anderson's "Hungary '56", about the the Hungarian revolution-very good account.

Bought William Morris' "News From Nowhere" last week, but haven't got
beyond the introduction yet.


EDIT: Thanks for setting this up, Liam.
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Nuggan



Joined: 22 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just started "The Affinity Bridge" by George Mann, some people might have heard of him he has written stuff before for Telos and Dr. Who. Its a Steampunk lite Alt Reality Victorian thriller/sci-fi/horror/detective novel. Very Doctor Who.

Non Fiction i've been reading low budget film making books as I've just started my own low/no budget Horror and Scifi film company.
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Chancellor Valium



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Location: Behind the First Mystery which is the Last Mystery which is the twenty-fourth mystery and Great Amen

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vector-Victor wrote:
Chancellor Valium wrote:


I'm also still trying to wrap my head around Aquinas, with the help of Brian Davies' Aquinas: An Introduction, but that's taken a bit of a pause recently.


Is that one of the Oxford "Very Short Introduction" books? I love those-they explain difficult subjects in a accessible way, without dumbing down. My favourites were the ones on "Northern Ireland", "African History", and
"Schopenhauer".

No, although the series is a good thing, I agree. This book goes a bit broader and deeper, though, into St. Thomas' work, looking at it at as a system of thought, and placing it in the context of medieval philosophy and theology. Unfortunately I'm rather slow, so I'm still trying to understand all this form and essence stuff...
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B3



Joined: 09 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently on my desk:

Martin Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe Band 88: Seminare (Uebungen) 1937/38 und 1941/42, 1. Die metaphysischen Grundstellungen des abendl√§ndischen Denkens 2. Ein√ľbung in das philosophische Denken

Rudolf Bultmann/Martin Heidegger, Briefwechsel 1925-1975

Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Augustine and the Phenomenological Question of Time

St. Augustine, Confessions, (trans. H. Chadwick)

St. Augustine, Confessions, (trans. RS Pine-Coffin)

St. Augustine, Was ist Zeit?, (Latin-German edition of Confessions Book XI)

You did ask.
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B3



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chancellor Valium wrote:
Vector-Victor wrote:
Chancellor Valium wrote:


I'm also still trying to wrap my head around Aquinas, with the help of Brian Davies' Aquinas: An Introduction, but that's taken a bit of a pause recently.


Is that one of the Oxford "Very Short Introduction" books? I love those-they explain difficult subjects in a accessible way, without dumbing down. My favourites were the ones on "Northern Ireland", "African History", and
"Schopenhauer".

No, although the series is a good thing, I agree. This book goes a bit broader and deeper, though, into St. Thomas' work, looking at it at as a system of thought, and placing it in the context of medieval philosophy and theology. Unfortunately I'm rather slow, so I'm still trying to understand all this form and essence stuff...


Anthony Kenny wrote a good short introduction to Aquinas.
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Chancellor Valium



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B3 wrote:
Chancellor Valium wrote:
Vector-Victor wrote:
Chancellor Valium wrote:


I'm also still trying to wrap my head around Aquinas, with the help of Brian Davies' Aquinas: An Introduction, but that's taken a bit of a pause recently.


Is that one of the Oxford "Very Short Introduction" books? I love those-they explain difficult subjects in a accessible way, without dumbing down. My favourites were the ones on "Northern Ireland", "African History", and
"Schopenhauer".

No, although the series is a good thing, I agree. This book goes a bit broader and deeper, though, into St. Thomas' work, looking at it at as a system of thought, and placing it in the context of medieval philosophy and theology. Unfortunately I'm rather slow, so I'm still trying to understand all this form and essence stuff...


Anthony Kenny wrote a good short introduction to Aquinas.

I'll have a look for it. I'm making little progress at the moment...
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Sir John Sudbury



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arthur Conan-Doyle by Andrew Lycett

RD Laing by Adrian Laing

Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love by Sheila Rowbotham.

And just so it's not all biographies, I'm working my way through the Centenary Edition of RE Howard's Conan stories.
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Vector-Victor



Joined: 21 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir John Sudbury wrote:
Arthur Conan-Doyle by Andrew Lycett

RD Laing by Adrian Laing

Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love by Sheila Rowbotham.

I've heard of Carpenter-he was a friend of Oscar Wilde and
William Morris. Might have a look at that book when it comes out
in paperback.

Quote:
And just so it's not all biographies, I'm working my way through the Centenary Edition of RE Howard's Conan stories.


I was more of a Lovecraft/Clark Ashton Smith fan,but Howard wrote
some good stuff as well.
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Pex



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Shirer's Berlin Diary - one of the advantages of the US not joining the war until December 1941 is that we have this fascinating Anglophone account of the first two years of the war from Berlin itself.

I find it depressing reading about Nazi Germany these days because I realise that we face basically the same choices under New Labour as the Germans did under Hitler: either go along with the government, or be thrown in prison/concentration camp.

Sure, even privatised British prisons aren't as bad as a concentration camp, but the nature of the choice is essentially the same.
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_Liam_
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah but on the bright side we have Weimar levels of drugs and decadence Laughing

I just read the first issue of Neil Gaiman's new Batman 2-parter, pretty good, although it doesn't make the greatest deal of sense at this point.

Bookwise, my toilet book is a mawkish biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles Cross, and my tube book is Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter Thompson, which is very funny.

He has a reputation for being this outrageous, drug fuelled journalist who wrote scathing, humorous books, but I find the general gist of Thompson's work to be very poignant.

Here was a chap who in many ways could be considered one of the original hippies, his enthusiasm for what he believed was an impending liberal utopia buoyed by the various progressions in the 60s.

Ultimately he became jaded as the decade drew to a close, things like vietnam, kent state & the various assassinations gradually convinced him that the american dream was severely delayed in the post. Eventually the Iraq war (among other things) convinced him he would never see it in his lifetime & he shot himself.

So yeah, his most famous book fear & loathing in las vegas documents he & his attorney's attempt to reduce themselves to a primal, childlike, animal state using drugs, to see if, in that state, they can enjoy the consumer capitalist dream of las vegas & understand the way america is heading.

At least I think that was what it was about, maybe they just went on a huge bender for the sake of it.

But yeah, campaign trail is basically him going after nixon & describing the media circus around a US election in a way that still resonates today. top quote - "I put another log on the fire. When a man gives up drugs, he needs fires in his life. Big ones"
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Pex



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liam wrote:
Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter Thompson


I picked that up second-hand last month, it's excellent (though I doubt if I'd have enjoyed it as much if McCain had won the US election last year). HST has a gift of making superficially very dry and straight stuff, like election canvassing or Superbowl betting or staying in hotels, extremely interesting.

I love the passage where he travels in Nixon's car, discussing American football with him. (Can that really have happened?)
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with HST is, there are so many incredible things happened in his life that are well documented, I find his tall tales aren't easily dismissed...

By the way Thompson's the Rum Diary is being adapted, with Johnny Depp as Hunter again, and it's directed by Bruce Robinson of Withnail fame. Should be good! Thompson often praised Withnail, and while Depp is a pretty boy, he proved he can do a spookily good hunter in the Fear & Loathing film
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Pex



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just read Under The Volcano for the first time - rather like The Lost Weekend (novel not film) but with a protagonist who isn't quite so sorry for himself.

Moral of the story: don't get off your face on mescal in Mexico in 1938 and then wander into a bar full of Fascists (real fascists not just the Jacqui Smith kind).
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