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BeholdtheNicktopus
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
Posts: 322
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:37 pm 
 

Caspian, if you want to read Hegel's Phenomenology you ought to find a companion volume! Kojeve's "Introduction to the Reading of Hegel" is the most famous, and it is indeed pretty good.

Earthcubed: Jack Vance is the GOAT of sword and sorcery. Tales of the Dying Earth (esp. "The Eyes of the Overworld" imo) is my favorite fantasy of all time. Supremely witty.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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Location: Tyrn Gorthad
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:59 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
I don't know what you two are going on about. Granted, I've only read two of McCarthy's books but the thing that most stood out to me about his prose (other than never using quotation marks, ever) was its superfluidity, not its staccato. His aversion to commas seems nearly as total as his aversion to quotes, so his sentences tend to lack any implied pauses. They run, even when they're short.


Was one of those two The Road? That one definitely left me with a feeling that he was trying to use these super short, I guess I would call it staccato sentences (or fragments) in order to set the mood through the removal of the emotion that can come with longer, more fluid sentences. I'd say the style contrasted pretty strongly with Blood Meridian's much purpler, more Faulknerian style and seemed much more of a conscious departure rather than a gradual evolution, though of course I don't know that for sure since I haven't read anything that came between those two.
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Earthcubed
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
Posts: 4323
Location: eccaira nare epë Anar
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:54 am 
 

Yes, that was one of them. I suppose the sentences were shorter in that one than the other I've read (Outer Dark) but even his shorter sentences run. His only stop/start stuff that forces you to pause is dialogue.
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Earthcubed
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:14 pm 
 

BeholdtheNicktopus wrote:
Earthcubed: Jack Vance is the GOAT of sword and sorcery. Tales of the Dying Earth (esp. "The Eyes of the Overworld" imo) is my favorite fantasy of all time. Supremely witty.


I'm reading it now; I started and finished The Dying Earth proper yesterday in a few hours. I must say I did not expect Clark Ashton Smith/Lin Carter-esque fantasy when I bought this compendium and it threw me off a bit, but I've gotten used to it, even if his prose is a bit clunky and/or over-stylized at times.* The work shows great imagination if nothing else; I will definitely buy some of his other work that I know is held in higher esteem around here like the Demon Princes and Alastor books.



*"Solemnize the connubiality" has to be the most awkward and unintentionally funny way of saying "let's fuck" ever put to paper.
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iamntbatman wrote:
On Friday I passed an important milestone in my teaching career: a student shat himself

FloristOfVampyrism wrote:
That wasn't meant as a k.o. though, he specifically targeted an area of the cerebellum which, if ruptured, renders you a Jehovah's witness indefinitely

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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 7074
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:36 pm 
 

Vance is easily my favorite writer of all time but calling that stuff sword and sorcery is off-base I think.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:33 pm 
 

I'm not super familiar with sword and sorcery but that seems to be the best fit for this book so far, based on my understanding of the genre. It's certainly not science fiction or Tolkien-esque epic fantasy.
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iamntbatman wrote:
On Friday I passed an important milestone in my teaching career: a student shat himself

FloristOfVampyrism wrote:
That wasn't meant as a k.o. though, he specifically targeted an area of the cerebellum which, if ruptured, renders you a Jehovah's witness indefinitely

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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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Location: In the Arena
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:12 pm 
 

Do you really think Jack Vance is ever unintentionally funny?
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:15 pm 
 

I got a real kick out of the Demon Princes books. Nice, punchy fun. Very direct and yet also imaginative as hell.

Bruce Dickinson's autobiography is great fun. Really inspiring to see how he got where he is, actually. And cool to read about the makings of all their classics. He's a really solid writer and keeps you engaged and doesn't come off as some kind of vapid asshole.
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BeholdtheNicktopus
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
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Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:52 pm 
 

My favorite Vancian line: "Stop, I do not care to hear you speak, for obloquy injures my self-esteem and I am skeptical of praise." Ha!

I would, though, definitely call Tales of the Dying Earth a kind of sword and sorcery. It has the episodic, premise-heavy encounters (probably the most important non-thematic trope); the lack of epic good-versus-evil quests and focus on small-scale ambiguities; bizarre magic and sorcerous characters always causing trouble; the lone (anti)hero, and so on.

Now, a lot of S&S overlaps with heroic fantasy and those tropes (Conan), while Dying Earth does not so much. But the lineage is so obvious from Conan to like... Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, to guys like Moorcock and Vance. I might even say it's a shorter step from Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (paradigmatic S&S) to The Eyes of the Overworld than it is from Conan to Fafhrd. Or it seems so to me. I mean even Conan had some of the weirdo sci-fi elements that Vance employs. Of course Vance is writing later and plays with the tropes more, specifically subverting the more heroic fantasy elements present in much S&S.

There may be other genre-terms for Dying Earth that also fit, of course. Maybe "post-S&S"? :P
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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 7074
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:21 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
I'm not super familiar with sword and sorcery but that seems to be the best fit for this book so far, based on my understanding of the genre. It's certainly not science fiction or Tolkien-esque epic fantasy.


He actually dipped into the high fantasy genre as well, with the Lyonesse trilogy. It's jaw-dropping. I would recommend reading any thing and everything you can get your hands on. I end up describing most of his works as sci-fantasy. There are some killer one-off novels that you shouldn't miss. Five Gold Bands is like a neo-noir space adventure full of over the top capers and hijinks. The Dragon Masters is pure fantasy, pulpy and easy to read. All of the Demon Prince series rules, but a few of them in particular represent some of his highest water marks. To Live Forever is a twisted sci fi tale with a mindfuck ending. Oh and did I mention he wrote mystery novels under various pennames? The only two I've found were both completely immersive page-turners.

To me, Sword & Sorcery conjures images of Conan and Kull and Fafhrd/Grey Mouser. The Dying Earth mostly follows the exploits of a COMPLETE shitbag as he schemes his way to "revenge". One of the best stories ever, just fairly light on the swordplay and even the magic has that special Vancian flavor.

Don't sleep on the Rhialto tales from Dying Earth. They aren't as epic as Cugels journey but they are laugh out loud funny.
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Waltz_of_Ghouls
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:24 am
Posts: 397
Location: Quebec City, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:58 pm 
 

All these posts about Blood Meridian convinced me to finally try it. I've heard about it before, either here or elsewhere and I decided to check the page on Wikipedia, avoiding everything about the actual story. The first few pages are a bit destabilizing, due to the way it's written, no quotes and all. Add to that that English is not my first language... but it looks promising enough. After the first chapter I'd say I'm hooked enough.
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PETERG
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Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:48 pm
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Location: Greece
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:52 pm 
 

Ok so this is going to sound weird but I just started reading the Bible. I am reading the English King James Version (I also plan to read the Greek version as well ). I have read the first 150 pages (finished Genesis now on Exodus. I can say that there are a lot of great messages there but also some really fucked up things for example Genesis 13:19 where Abraham's daughter literally have sex with him in order for him to have a son. The only irritating about it is the length; more than 2000 pages...
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nekuomanteia
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:37 pm
Posts: 594
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:09 pm 
 

Anybody ever read Sound, Symbol, Sociality: The Aesthetic Experience of Extreme Metal Music by Matthew Unger? I haven't read it myself and was curious to know what others thought about it.
https://youtu.be/CIWLcRG_6Mo

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CoconutBackwards
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:02 pm
Posts: 423
Location: Walled Lake, MI
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:17 pm 
 

I couldn't withstand the hype for Blood Meridian any longer, so I picked it up over the weekend.

I've read a chapter or so and I'm enjoying it so far, but I am finding myself at times struggling to keep track of who's POV I'm reading from. Sometimes it seems to bounce back and forth without much explanation. Either that, or I'm just an idiot and not comprehending. I did get lost during the fight the Kid had outside the bar with some guy who wouldn't move out of his way and was then knocked out by a completely different person with a shillaleigh? Who the hell was that person?
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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 1917
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:47 pm 
 

PETERG wrote:
Ok so this is going to sound weird but I just started reading the Bible. I am reading the English King James Version (I also plan to read the Greek version as well ). I have read the first 150 pages (finished Genesis now on Exodus. I can say that there are a lot of great messages there but also some really fucked up things for example Genesis 13:19 where Abraham's daughter literally have sex with him in order for him to have a son. The only irritating about it is the length; more than 2000 pages...


There's nothing weird about reading the Bible whatsoever. It is the cornerstone of Western literature, after all.
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StainedClass95
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:14 am
Posts: 758
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:55 pm 
 

PETERG wrote:
Ok so this is going to sound weird but I just started reading the Bible. I am reading the English King James Version (I also plan to read the Greek version as well ). I have read the first 150 pages (finished Genesis now on Exodus. I can say that there are a lot of great messages there but also some really fucked up things for example Genesis 13:19 where Abraham's daughter literally have sex with him in order for him to have a son. The only irritating about it is the length; more than 2000 pages...


I remember opening my copy one right and randomly coming across the story of Lot and his daughters. Suffices to say, it was not what I expected.

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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 Sep 25, 2018 4:58 pm 
 

As a historically-important text, the Bible is absolutely fascinating. As a work of literature, it's mostly garbage with a few inspiring stories and bits of vivid poetry floating about.
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andersbang
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:28 am
Posts: 996
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:25 pm 
 

CoconutBackwards wrote:
I couldn't withstand the hype for Blood Meridian any longer, so I picked it up over the weekend.

I've read a chapter or so and I'm enjoying it so far, but I am finding myself at times struggling to keep track of who's POV I'm reading from. Sometimes it seems to bounce back and forth without much explanation. Either that, or I'm just an idiot and not comprehending. I did get lost during the fight the Kid had outside the bar with some guy who wouldn't move out of his way and was then knocked out by a completely different person with a shillaleigh? Who the hell was that person?


Just some guy. Noone we know.

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InnesI
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 1062
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:30 am 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
As a historically-important text, the Bible is absolutely fascinating. As a work of literature, it's mostly garbage with a few inspiring stories and bits of vivid poetry floating about.


I agree on this. I find few passages in the Bible that work great as literature especially compared to many other religious texts of the major religions. The Bhagavad Gita and the Quran are much easier reads for example. But it is such an interesting text in how it has effected our part of the world so much for so long.

I've read parts of the Bible here and there throughout the years but never the whole thing. A while ago I decided to listen to it as an audio book. I made it to 2 Samuel before I was interrupted with other readings. Haven't returned since, it is a chore to get through. Especially the parts of the tanach with all the rules are just hard to sit through. Interesting to reflect upon but not a very intriguing read.

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Rippingheadache
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 742
Location: Vietnam
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:44 am 
 

Reading Pynchon's Vineland atm.

I could care less if it's not profound as Gravity's Rainbow, it's still entertaining and wild as anything Pynchon conceived. Harold Bloom and DFW can suck it.

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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 5452
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:43 pm 
 

I read my first Murakami book, Kafka on the Shore, which I really liked. Beautiful book. I hear that most of his books are all pretty much the same, but I imagine I'll get to a few others at some point.

Now I'm on a horror kick. I began with Laird Barron's Occultation collection. Been meaning to get around to him for a while. Overall I thought it was pretty great. A bit uneven as horror collections tend to be, but the good stories, like "The Broadsword" and "Mysterium Tremendum" were top-tier cosmic horror.

Now I'm reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, which seems cool so far.

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Rippingheadache
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:42 pm
Posts: 742
Location: Vietnam
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:05 pm 
 

Just started Generosity by Richard Powers.

His name caught my eye due to comparisons to other high-brow, metafiction writers (Pynchon, Delillo, Vollmann) so I decided to check out his work this past month. Currently the 3rd book of his that I'm on.

Aaaandd it's really good shit. Such an underrated prose stylist; lyrical, obsessional and positively fucking rhapsodic. David Foster Wallace eat your heart out.

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Razakel
Nekroprince

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:36 pm
Posts: 5452
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:27 am 
 

Rippingheadache wrote:
Just started Generosity by Richard Powers.

His name caught my eye due to comparisons to other high-brow, metafiction writers (Pynchon, Delillo, Vollmann) so I decided to check out his work this past month. Currently the 3rd book of his that I'm on.

Aaaandd it's really good shit. Such an underrated prose stylist; lyrical, obsessional and positively fucking rhapsodic. David Foster Wallace eat your heart out.


You might be interested in this interview with Richard Powers and DFW if you haven't heard it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5VlOOWf-Qk

I haven't read any Powers but I'd like to get around to him sometime soon. Gahhh Ithe literal pile of books next to my bed has been growing rather than diminishing lately.

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Rippingheadache
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:42 pm
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Location: Vietnam
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:46 am 
 

I'll definitely give it a look! Thanks man.

I'm aware that DFW was an admirer of Power's fiction, so this would interesting to see if Powers has an opinion on his works, if any. And yeah, speaking of backlogs, I too have a crap-ton of books to catch up on. Just ordered the following...

Lost Empress - Sergio De La Pava
Novel Explosives - Jim Gauer
The Goldbug Variations - Richard Powers (supposedly the Moby Dick of his oeuvre, and one I've been meaning to read for ages now)
I Am Radar - Reif Larsen

Anyone who's into super dense, recondite novels a la Pynchon/Gaddis feel free to recommend books my way.

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TheConqueror1
With a 120kbps bitrate!

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:05 am
Posts: 635
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:06 pm 
 

I finished Anna Karenina a couple of weeks ago and now I'm thinking about reading A Raw Youth by Dostoyevsky. Damn, I really love Russian literature!
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TheConqueror1
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:18 pm 
 

Alright I'm going to start reading Nietzsche. Any suggestions on which of his novels to start with?
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Morn Of Solace
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1284
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:41 pm 
 

TheConqueror1 wrote:
Alright I'm going to start reading Nietzsche. Any suggestions on which of his novels to start with?


On The Genealogy of Morality showcases all of his strenghts as a writer and is about a famous part of his philosophy, it's probably the best for starting out

Others i really liked where Twilight of the Idols and The Joyful Wisdom. The Birth of Tragedy is important but i've never been particulary a fan and Thus Spoke Zarathustra is still an enigma to me

As always with philosophy books i would suggest to familiarize a bit with the author with an handbook (even a school one) before reading, in particular with one with so many interpretations (and misinterpretations) as Nietzsche

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BeholdtheNicktopus
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
Posts: 322
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:01 pm 
 

TheConqueror1 wrote:
Alright I'm going to start reading Nietzsche. Any suggestions on which of his novels to start with?


If you must read Nietzsche, I agree with Morn of Solace that "On the Genealogy of Morality" is probably the best full-length work to start with.

Although, the short essay "On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense" is a good way to just dip a single toe in.

I personally prefer "Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks" to pretty much anything else by him, but then I personally can hardly stand Nietzsche so take that with a grain of salt.
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