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Mamont
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:49 pm
Posts: 41
Location: East Russia
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:35 pm 
 

Things I've read recently:

Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Corn Belt, by Tristan Egolf. Wow, apparently this is a classic and everyone I know told me there's before and after reading this. I was really impressed by this apocalyptic, and satyrical depiction of a righteous community in Central United States. Violence, tornadoes, people riding pigs, methodist women trying to steal all your belongings, and people ready to kill for the local basketball team. Is it really like that there? It was one of the best social satire I have read.

Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. This story of people dying or surviving on Mount Everest is fascinating and frightening. It is amazing to see what some people can do, or risk, for what seems to most of us something really futile. I read this just after hearing about rescue of French alpinist Elisabeth Revol (and partner Tomasz Mackiewicz, who died because she had to abandon him), who spent two nights by -60°C above 6000 m of altitude. Jon Krakauer is not a writer, his style that of a journalist and rather flat and boring, but he writes about interesting things. The book gave me better perspective on what can happen at such extreme altitudes, and what these people went through (including Elisabeth Revol, and partner, and people who rescued her).

All that should be resolved (approximate translation of the title in English), by Zakhar Prilepin. This is my first time reading a book by Prilepin, who is considered to be the biggest living writer in my country. Prilepin is a very engaged (committed? sorry I use google translate to find the right word) writer who took part in first and second Chechnya wars in the special forces, and now in military forces of Donetsk Popular Republic. This book will probably never be translated to English (the only foreign language it has been translated to is French), because it would be considered controversial in the Anglo-Saxon sphere: he tells the story of the Donbass war from the side of the pro russian Donestk Popular Republic. The story of its people, men, women, what they are trying to build, how they see their future and their relationship with Ukraine.

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TheConqueror1
With a 120kbps bitrate!

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am
Posts: 642
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 8:55 pm 
 

I just have started reading R.A. Salvatore's Ascendance. I'm really enjoying the novel so far.
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TheConqueror1
With a 120kbps bitrate!

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am
Posts: 642
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:45 pm 
 

You know what? I'm going to watch Nosferatu and listen to the Nosferatu demo by Moonblood...simultaneously!.
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Mamont
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:49 pm
Posts: 41
Location: East Russia
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:58 am 
 

TheConqueror1 wrote:
R.A. Salvatore's Ascendance


I need to read it someday. I read good things about this book online.

Currently I am reading or finishing the following:
As Wolves Among Sheeps: History and Ideology of National Socialist Black Metal, by Davide Maspero. This is not very well written but some facts are interesting to discover. I got to learn more about the behind the scenes of French NSBM scene for example, or connection between the different European scenes. I didn't know much about it. Has anyone read it? What did you think about the book?

The Forest of the Hanged Foxes, by Arto Paasilinna. Another funny ecolo story by Arto Paasilinna, about bad men that run away from their life and end up in Finnish Lapland and start to change. There are a lot of comical situations. I like this a lot. The satyrical tone reminds me a lot of Vladimir Lorchenkov, but the story is much lighter than Lorchenkov's books.

The Reindeer People: Living With Animals and Spirits in Siberia, by Piers Vitebsky. This one is great but not easy to read (I could order only an English edition so I read it super slowly). This is the story of the first Western scientist that went to live with the reindeer tribes in North East Russia.


Last edited by Mamont on Tue May 08, 2018 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Andreas_Hansen
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 316
Location: Anywhere in the Galaxy
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:58 am 
 

Currently reading "The Man in the High Castle" by Philip K. Dick. I'm not very far into the novel but so far I really like it. It's much easier to read than "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" ("Blade Runner" for the movie). I was completely lost while reading it and I was angry because I really like Dick's prose.
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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 5452
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 6:10 pm 
 

Cool, I'd like to go with The Man in the High Castle as my next PKD book. I just finished A Scanner Darkly and loved it.

I'm currently reading The Terror by Dan Simmons which I'm really into so far. It's about the doomed Franklin expedition to the Northwest Passage with a supernatural horror twist. I'm about 350 pages in (it's almost 800 pages) and there's undeniably quite a bit of historical fluff/narrative coasting, but I've always been interested in the Franklin expedition so I've been enjoying the historical aspects as much as the supernatural stuff. I'd say if you didn't already have an interest in the subject though, it might be a trudge to keep up with.

I've heard the TV adaptation that just came out was really good, so I'll be checking that out when I'm done.

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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 7074
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:05 pm 
 

Ayyyy I finally read some Ligotti! Specifically The Nightschool and Masquerade of a Dead Sword: a Tragedie.

Jesus his style is awesome. It's got some of that over-the-edge-of-madness dreamlike quality that makes CAS my favorite. But its so much darker. Masquerade was weird and fantastic, surely inspired by Masque of the Red Death. The Nightschool was really short and basically a non-stop mounting terror.

Can't wait to dig into some others
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HeavyMetalHippie
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:05 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:10 pm 
 

currently reading Bram stokers Dracula, iv recently finished Frankenstein and a clockwork orange, lord of the fly's in on the list to

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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 5452
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:58 pm 
 

Jonpo wrote:
Ayyyy I finally read some Ligotti! Specifically The Nightschool and Masquerade of a Dead Sword: a Tragedie.

Jesus his style is awesome. It's got some of that over-the-edge-of-madness dreamlike quality that makes CAS my favorite. But its so much darker. Masquerade was weird and fantastic, surely inspired by Masque of the Red Death. The Nightschool was really short and basically a non-stop mounting terror.

Can't wait to dig into some others


Awesome. Are you reading a collection or just random stories? Most people point to Teatro Grottesco to begin with but I prefer Songs of a Dead Dreamer, and the recent Penguin Classics collected edition of Songs... and Grimscribe has made a lot of his stuff which was notoriously out-of-print readily available.

Like every single other horror/Weird writer who I've read a lot of, Ligotti's stories are hit-or-miss but his hits are unmatched, in my opinion, and even his misses are well written with memorable imagery. Some of my personal favourites are "Dr. Voke and Mr. Veech", "The Sect of the Idiot", "The Shadow at the Bottom of the World", "The Troubles of Dr. Thoss", "The Town Manager", "The Bungalow House"... well, I guess there's a lot! There're also quite a few fan-made audiobooks on YouTube if you're into that and you don't have a physical book.

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Jonpo
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:24 pm 
 

I've got the Penguin collection! Appreciate you recommending some specific stories. I've just been choosing at random based on cool names.
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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 9:31 pm 
 

Haha, awesome! I'd still recommend reading all of them in that collection, but yeah, those were some of my favourites. Now I'm remembering other cool ones like "The Library of Byzantium" and "The Last Feast of Haluquine", which is one of his more overtly Lovecraftian tales. Oh well, let us know which ones you like best and enjoy!

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Andreas_Hansen
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 316
Location: Anywhere in the Galaxy
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 9:21 am 
 

HeavyMetalHippie wrote:
currently reading Bram stokers Dracula, iv recently finished Frankenstein and a clockwork orange, lord of the fly's in on the list to


You liked it? If you want some more, check out The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, it's in the same vein as Shelley's one!
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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 5452
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:39 pm 
 

I was just gifted all four Hyperion books. So I think I understand that the consensus wavers between "the first book's amazing and the other three are heretical garbage" to "the first book's amazing and the other three are different but still good". Oh well, I'm really excited to read the first book and maybe I'll regret reading the whole series, but I'm going to anyway.

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tahu157
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:22 pm
Posts: 441
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 12:23 am 
 

The most recent Ahab album inspired me to listen to The Boats of the Glen Carrig on audiobook. It was alright I guess. I did enjoy how it leaves any explanations of the anomalies encountered by the crew up to your imagination quite a bit. It suffers from pacing issues though and it kinda feels like it was supposed to be an anthology but the author only finished 3 stories and called it quits.

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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1293
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:25 am 
 

1Q84 was a ride, i read it in english and even with the language barrier i was completely immersed in it.

Packed with interesting characters, a compelling, strange story and a talented writer (he really knows how to use the right words to conjure images) it was a real pleasure to read. I was a bit skeptical after not being really caught by somo of his other books, but this was truly a step above.

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Andreas_Hansen
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 316
Location: Anywhere in the Galaxy
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:10 pm 
 

As writing is my biggest passion with music (I already wrote a book) I'm gonna try writing a book in which you are the hero (don't know the correct name in English). I just don't know how to do, which software I have to handle...
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MARSDUDE
Shitposter

Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:17 pm
Posts: 2144
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:33 pm 
 

Andreas_Hansen wrote:
As writing is my biggest passion with music (I already wrote a book) I'm gonna try writing a book in which you are the hero (don't know the correct name in English). I just don't know how to do, which software I have to handle...


If I'm understanding right, are you referring to writing in second-person perspective or a Choose Your Own Adventure–type book?

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Earthcubed
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
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Location: eccaira nare epë Anar
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 9:00 pm 
 

also which software will make me the next Dan Brown
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Andreas_Hansen
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:44 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am 
 

MARSDUDE wrote:
Andreas_Hansen wrote:
As writing is my biggest passion with music (I already wrote a book) I'm gonna try writing a book in which you are the hero (don't know the correct name in English). I just don't know how to do, which software I have to handle...


If I'm understanding right, are you referring to writing in second-person perspective or a Choose Your Own Adventure–type book?


"Choose Your Own Adventure" was the type I meant, thanks. :) I may have translated literally the name of the genre from the French term. :lol:
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:58 pm 
 

Just got a copy of "Sleeping Beauties" by Stephen King (guest-starring Owen King), and I was wondering what the consensus is on it. Am I in for a treat?
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MARSDUDE
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:17 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:39 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
Just got a copy of "Sleeping Beauties" by Stephen King (guest-starring Owen King), and I was wondering what the consensus is on it. Am I in for a treat?


I thought it was too long for its own good. The editor went to sleep with that one.

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Razakel
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:13 pm 
 

I still haven't read very much Stephen King but I think "too long for its own good" is what a lot of people say about a lot of his novels.

I did actually pick up a copy of Skeleton Crew (a collection of his short stories) for cheap a while ago and have been reading stories out of it every now and then, and man they're hit-or-miss. The plain fact is that his prose just fluctuates between competent and eye-rollingly bad depending on the story. I started with "The Mist" because I knew that was one of his more well-known shorter pieces and I thought it was straight-up terrible - wretchedly unlikable protagonist, completely unbelievable plot developments, cliche after cliche in terms of description - just nothing I liked about it at all. But then there's been a few stories I've really enjoyed like "The Jaunt" which was a science fiction piece that actually had some pretty cool world-building for being like 20 pages long, or "The Raft" which had a very basic premise but gripped me until the very end.

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theposega
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:42 pm
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Location: Neo-Allegheny City
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:28 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
Just got a copy of "Sleeping Beauties" by Stephen King (guest-starring Owen King), and I was wondering what the consensus is on it. Am I in for a treat?



i liked it a fair bit. it's basically a mix of under the dome and joe hill (his other son)'s the fireman, but lesser than the two. owen seemed to help most of all in making the characters feel more like real people instead of just stereotypes, which is probably my biggest complaint re: stephen king.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:58 am 
 

About to embark on Castle of Days, which will be my first Gene Wolfe collection (short stories and essays). I know at some point I will have to stop reading it or skip a chapter or two (I've never read anything by Budrys, for example, and I don't want the two chapters about him to spoil anything), but otherwise I am looking forward to it.
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FloristOfVampyrism wrote:
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 77
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 10:46 am 
 

Recently, I discovered a used bookstore approximately five minutes from my residence, and picked-up two books at a very reasonable price--I'm excited to explore these works within the coming weeks.

1. The first compilation that I snagged was Roy Flannigan's, The Riverside Milton, compiling most (if not all) of Milton's poetic output, prose, and well-known epics: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regain'd, and Samson Agonistes. I'm looking forward to savoring each facet of this compilation (with the exception of the elongated introductions that preface each major literary work).

2. I did manage to snag Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy as well, which will be without a question, an enjoyable read--certainly excited to begin this novel.

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Andreas_Hansen
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 1:18 pm 
 

I studied some Milton's work in my classical English literature studies, it's hard as hell to get but damn this is so well-written!
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Naught
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Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 3:27 pm 
 

Andreas_Hansen wrote:
I studied some Milton's work in my classical English literature studies, it's hard as hell to get but damn this is so well-written!


Absolutely! After reading the first few verses of Paradise Lost last night, the verse is elegantly written, yet very much thick to digest. More than likely, multiple readings of his work are necessary to understand exactly what Milton is conveying.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 3:47 pm 
 

Milton might be super dense, but goddamn if he didn't coin some excellent phrases. "Music of the spheres" is a wonderful descriptor, for example.
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Razakel
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 4:15 pm 
 

Paradise Lost is amazing. I often flip through some passages of the first two books to remind myself how powerful they are. It gets a bit dryer content-wise as it goes on, but Milton was obviously a genius. I have a really nice, really old edition filled with artwork by William Blake. I love it.

Naught wrote:
I did manage to snag Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy as well, which will be without a question, an enjoyable read--certainly excited to begin this novel.


Amazing! I envy you that you're about to read those books for the first time. Enjoy them, savor them.

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Andreas_Hansen
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:25 pm 
 

At the same period as Milton's, I also studied some poems in my lessons and damn, when you analyze some of them you understand that poets were really horny!
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TheConqueror1
With a 120kbps bitrate!

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:41 pm 
 

Paradise lost is considered an epic poem, right? I'd like to read Milton including Alighieri's work. I've already read a couple of Russian novels. Tolstoy can be quite detailed as you can see considering how long War and Peace was. He has kind of a smooth style compared to Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky has a more forward approach. I think his writing is a little bit more exciting than Tolstoy. Tolstoy would've done better writing novellas rather than novels. Also, I think the writing by the interpreters can be slightly pretentious. In other words, some of the words are difficult to conceive, but it is comprehensible to the point of where you're understanding what's going by both authors.

I'd like to read Nietzsche but damn you basically have to be a genius to understand his work! So I'm guessing about more than half the metalheads on MA can probably read his writings on philosophy! :-P
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Morn Of Solace
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Location: Italy
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 4:40 am 
 

^
I'd say he's one of the easiest philosophers to read, he was a really good writer and knew how to keep the reader's attention

Excluding Thus Spoke Zarathustra, wich requires deep knowledge of his philosophy, books like Genealogy of Morals and The Joyful Wisdom aren't hard to read (unlike material from Kant, Husserl..) and engaging

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BeholdtheNicktopus
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 6:50 am 
 

About Nietzsche: Yeah in some sense he is easy to read in that the writing is not dry, he's very engaging, grabs you by the gut and so on, but on another level I would say he is one of the most difficult thinkers you could read. What he gains in rhetorical force and emotional resonance he more or less sacrifices in conceptual clarity. As evidence, you can interpret him in many radically different ways, and few scholars really agree... I can't make heads or tails of Nietzsche once I push beyond the rhetoric and try to hash it out conceptually (I gather from his defenders that this is my problem haha!).

On the other hand his earlier stuff is way less difficult, like The Birth of Tragedy or Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks. But the Genealogy is probably where to start.
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Morn Of Solace
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:11 am 
 

Grabs you by the gut is exactly the word i would use! :)
It's really hard to not feel something while reading his works, even when you take your time and analyze his words he is contradictory and prone to multiple interpretations

I said one of the easiest philosophers, but i meant that the standard difficulty for philosophy starts from hard and goes up to mind bending :lol: i enjoyed his books and even if my knowledge about them is far from being good i can talk and discuss about them, unlike material by Heidegger, Hegel.. where i can't even start, even if i studied them a lot

In short: genealogy of morals is a great and enjoyable book whatever stance you take :)

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Andreas_Hansen
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 9:47 am 
 

Never read Nietzsche (actually yes, a bit of him during my high school years) but I hear a lot of people talking about him and even using him as an authority argument when it comes to politics and anarchism like it seems to be the trend here with students.

Talking 'bout Tolstoï, I read a long time ago a short story whose I don't remember the name (a poor kid traveling in a cart from his hometown to Leningrad in which he would study), but it was really good. Not just because it's beautiful or the story is interesting but because in less than one hundred pages Tolstoï explained us very well every aspect of the Russian rural life at that time, the myths and the stories that were told, as well as all the villains and the dangerous aspects...
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BeholdtheNicktopus
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:55 pm 
 

Man that's one thing I'll never get is the radical left-wing appropriation of Nietzsche. The way some of my colleagues talk, it's like they think Nietzsche is a full blown anarcho-communist or something. Bizarre. To me it seems like he would rub pretty much every political faction the wrong way. But really there's a huge difference between being a reader of Nietzsche and being a Nietzschean. I think being a Nietzschean might even be antithetical to being a reader of Nietzsche. Hell, I'm even of the opinion that the only Nietzschean (or at any rate the only one I've ever heard about) was Aleister Crowley. Maybe Georges Bataille or Julius Evola, but maybe not. Definitely not any professors of philosophy or graduate students lol.

Haha Morn of Solace, you are right about the difficulty curve, especially in so-called continental philosophy. It's honestly one of the most impenetrable discourses ever concocted. Nietzsche is basically worshipped in continental philosophy circles, his influence is absolutely immense, from Foucault and Deleuze to the Frankfurt school to Heidegger and Freud. Can't say that it's always been a good influence, however!
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InnesI
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 2:25 am 
 

BeholdtheNicktopus wrote:
Man that's one thing I'll never get is the radical left-wing appropriation of Nietzsche. The way some of my colleagues talk, it's like they think Nietzsche is a full blown anarcho-communist or something. Bizarre. To me it seems like he would rub pretty much every political faction the wrong way.


Nietzsche has many different phases and was never easy to put into one particular fold. This has led to him, as you say, being appropriated by so many different political movements. The, sometimes radical, lefts appreciation of Nietzsche has a quite strong tradition in Sweden for example. All the while people on the other end often refer to him as well as liberals and sometimes more traditionally conservative thinkers as well. I think all of them can create a good argument as to how and why they embrace Nietzsche. Nietzsche really wasn't a political thinker per se however so he himself I don't think can be put into any one political folder. His ideas can however be interpreted into many political traditions and make, at least some, sense.

In that way he is a very interesting figure. There are also many different interpretations as to how one can interpret his relation to religion and faith. Some claim he was an ultimate anti-religious figure while others claim he was very much spiritual and just wanted to unveil true spirituality and get rid of that which clouded real spiritual growth. And both sides has strong arguments they can bring forth.

He was multifaceted and that is part of his charm. I still like Thus Spoke Zarathustra best. However for anyone not knowing Nietzsche it might not be the best book to start with.

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Gastjale
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:31 am
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 5:57 am 
 

TheConqueror1 wrote:
Paradise lost is considered an epic poem, right? I'd like to read Milton including Alighieri's work. I've already read a couple of Russian novels. Tolstoy can be quite detailed as you can see considering how long War and Peace was. He has kind of a smooth style compared to Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky has a more forward approach. I think his writing is a little bit more exciting than Tolstoy. Tolstoy would've done better writing novellas rather than novels. Also, I think the writing by the interpreters can be slightly pretentious. In other words, some of the words are difficult to conceive, but it is comprehensible to the point of where you're understanding what's going by both authors.


Dostoevsky has a more forward approach? In what way? I think his style is much more abstruse than Tolstoy's – indeed, I remember some Finnish translator complaining about Fyodor's apparent pathological inability to express his views clearly. (Therein lies the beauty of his style, though - it's not inscrutable, yet it's challenging enough to add that valuable dimension of interpretation which makes some of the more modern novels the masterpieces they are. One feels like connecting on both textual and non-textual levels with the characters...) I do agree on his writings being more exciting than Tolstoy's, however. Whereas Tolstoy seems to write in a very matter-of-fact way which facilitates understanding yet mars the aesthetic enjoyment (I find his descriptions of the milieus usually fairly boring), Dostoyevsky presents us humans as the capricious mysteries that they are, and his narrative reflects this tendency.

Obviously, I prefer Fyodor's pen and ink (pardon my French), but I'm not really trying to disparage Tolstoy. Tolstoy was a much more perspicacious observer of the life around him, and tries to impart his ideas as they are, without any gloss. Sure, he could be a bit of a windbag at times, especially when he starts to harp on about strategic manoeuvres, but the exactitude and clearness of his style is really enviable. It just happens that I love poetical tosh, and Leo can't always supply me with it.

Or I could be completely wrong, having only read translations!

Also, I concur that Paradise Lost is really powerful stuff. Truly majestic, even relentlessly so. One shivers to think how magnificent it would've been, if Milton had added a bit more juxtapositional elements in the midst of all the celestial-cum-Satanic grandiloquence.

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dystopia4
Thumbman

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 4372
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 5:43 pm 
 

Brave New World
Devil's advocate hot take: Brave New World is the perfect mix of capitalism and communism, and a better world than our current one. No one is an individual and no one cares about meaning - but those things are irrelevant to their lives. Perhaps the pressure to be a successful individual and the suffocating freedom of choice actually makes people unhappy. All the soma and casual sex actually sounds quite awesome and not having to worry about finding a job would be great. It's authoritarianism using the carrot rather than the stick: they don't even really have to ban books because no one would want to read them. They have different values which is why everyone considers it dystopian, but there are no real human rights atrocities. I find it absolutely hilarious that to suppress a riot the cops come rushing in with a mist of feel-good drugs and soothing music and the worst method they use is a fucking water gun that makes you fall asleep. Also, childbirth is gross anyway.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Didn't quite make me think about society to the extent Brave New World did, but absolutely a solid book. People being obligated to own animals to prove they have empathy (and buying fake electric ones if they are poor) is a fascinating part of this version of Earth. The whole hunting android plots (and its larger implications) is pretty interesting and the plot twist in the middle was fairly cool. I feel the whole Mercerism could have been further developed. The guy who makes an effort to debunk Mercerism and his following seems especially prescient in current times.

Also finished Sapiens by Yuval Noah Hariri and it's one of the better general big picture history books I've read. He definitely has some interesting perspectives such as the positive sides of empires on human progress and how modern capitalism could not have been so successful without the mass marketing of individualism as an essential human value. The rise of writing and money is always interesting to read about. The questions he leaves for the future are quite interesting and I definitely plan on checking out his next book.
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:35 pm 
 

ya, capitalism and individualism go hand in hand. Foucault has some nice thoughts about that.
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