New now reading

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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Deebank
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Re: New now reading

Postby Deebank » 15 Apr 2018, 22:38

I enjoy d that one - and the other Robbins novels I’ve read too.

It’s an Airstream not a Winnebago by the way - these deatails are important!

The subplot about the Israeli and Palestinian restaurant is especially topping cal these da s.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 22 Apr 2018, 20:54

Actually, that book was pretty good. I'm not sure the spoon/sock/beans surreal side-adventure was strictly necessary, though it was an interesting way to deliver a lecture on the history of the conflict between Islam and Judaism. It was properly sprawling, occasionally funny, often disconcertingly fixated on genitalia.

Now about to start:
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 23 Apr 2018, 14:55

Image
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

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Re: New now reading

Postby gash’s trollish obsession » 25 Apr 2018, 13:08



Ahead of the curve. Again.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 01 May 2018, 03:25

Hemingway’s ‘Winner Take Nothing’ which begins depressingly with hideous, detailed descriptions of animal slaughter. I always forget that element of his work. Maybe the cover, which features two hunters carrying a carcass should have been a clue...
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Re: New now reading

Postby Robert » 01 May 2018, 09:35

Snarfyguy wrote:Image



How's the book? I saw it in the shop recently and considered buying it.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 01 May 2018, 09:55

Image

The thread on "Screenadelica" made me finally open this up- a really wonderful explanation of the process for the Disney animation, from Mickey Mouse (actually before that with Steamboat Willie, Mortimer etc) through to the 90's "Hercules". This is an updated version of the original, produced in the mid 50's (and now worth a pretty penny).

If you like Disney and/or animation.... you should try this. The detail around the actual drawing/filing etc is tremendous, but there's also quite a bit of info re the company, the people, the business and the politics too.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Snarfyguy » 01 May 2018, 14:05

Robert wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:Image



How's the book? I saw it in the shop recently and considered buying it.

Very good, but also infuriating and depressing. There's an interview and excerpt here, if you'd like to check it out: http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/04/ ... mond-trump
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

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Re: New now reading

Postby harvey k-tel » 01 May 2018, 14:37

Currently on this. The title really says it all - a series of journalistic essays in which the author has immersed herself into the worlds of various social groups, and examines her own reactions and experiences within them. That sounds fairly dry, but it's quite interesting.

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Re: New now reading

Postby gash’s trollish obsession » 01 May 2018, 23:10

Just watched a tv show on London Writers during the blitz. I need to pick up The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen and The Walls Do Not Fall by H.D. The latter seems like it could be a blast

H.D. wrote part of TWDNF while living in London through the Blitz (1940–41). The poem opens with the speaker walking through the devastated city after a bombing raid, a landscape of collapsed roofs and settling ash. In this opening section H.D. begins to powerfully layer the speaker’s impressions of the Second World War with allusions to past civilisations and world mythology. Inspired by H.D.’s visit to Egypt in 1923, London’s wrecked buildings remind the speaker of the ruins of ancient Egypt or classical Greece: ‘there, as here, ruin opens / the tomb, the temple; enter, / there as here, there are no doors’. Like many modernists, H.D. uses the classical past as a frame for the disordered, fragmented present.

In the face of this destruction, however, the poem is pervaded by a sense of hope: ‘the frame held: / we passed the flame: we wonder / what saved us? what for?’. We have faced death, the poem tells us, but all is not destroyed. The summoning of ancient ruined architecture and surviving myths further strengthens the sense of endurance against the odds. The speaker’s personal response is symbolised by their transformation from shell, to worm, to butterfly.

TWDNF is as much a poem about war as it is about literature and the role of the writer. Or, as H.D. terms it, the struggle between the ‘Word’ and the ‘Sword’. Writing is a creative, regenerating act amongst destruction; ‘through our desolation, / thoughts stir, inspiration stalks us / through gloom’. H.D. casts the writer as a silk worm who consumes detritus and spins silk. She challenges those who declare ‘poets are useless’. To those who say, ‘so what good are your scribblings?’ she counters, ‘this - we take them with us / beyond death’. Her message is that literature and words endure, underpin civilisations, and bring order to chaos:

remember, O Sword,
you are the younger brother, the latter-born,
your Triumph, however exultant,
must one day be over,
in the beginning
was the Word.
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Re: New now reading

Postby echolalia » 06 May 2018, 20:07

Image

A Brexploitation novel! Actually it was published in 1972 but the edition I’m reading is a revised version from 2011.

War, disease and famine in Africa have sparked a mass exodus from the continent and migrants begin to arrive in the UK by the hundreds of thousands. With the country nominally governed by a hard-right, overtly-racist party which was originally a tory splinter group, a three-way civil war breaks out and society breaks down. Hungry bands of crusties roam the home counties. The narrator is a feckless college professor who is forever shagging his colleagues and students, and the dissolution of society at large is reflected in the break-up of his own family – they lose their home and become refugees in their own country, and then one night armed thugs invade their tent and kidnap his wife and daughter. To sell them into prostitution, he suspects. He sets off to look for them. Things come to a sticky end – literally.

I’m assuming the revision tones down the shlockier elements of the original – “unreconstructed” forms of discourse, or language now deemed to be racist… I dunno. And in what way exactly is the island darkening? But in light of the Windrush scandal and Britain’s embarrassingly bungled attempts to disengage itself from Europe it has a lot of relevance to contemporary events in the UK, no doubt about it. It’s almost visionary. And severely challenges the assumption that isolationism makes a place safer: it’s all very well to pull up the drawbridge but if the real undesirables are already in the castle – and in fact turning the wheels that raise the bridge – then no help can be expected from the exterior. It’s very good stuff and I think I’m going to read Priest in chronological order. There are a couple of his titles in the SF Masterworks series, which is really good.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 06 May 2018, 20:28

echolalia wrote:Image

A Brexploitation novel! Actually it was published in 1972 but the edition I’m reading is a revised version from 2011.

War, disease and famine in Africa have sparked a mass exodus from the continent and migrants begin to arrive in the UK by the hundreds of thousands. With the country nominally governed by a hard-right, overtly-racist party which was originally a tory splinter group, a three-way civil war breaks out and society breaks down. Hungry bands of crusties roam the home counties. The narrator is a feckless college professor who is forever shagging his colleagues and students, and the dissolution of society at large is reflected in the break-up of his own family – they lose their home and become refugees in their own country, and then one night armed thugs invade their tent and kidnap his wife and daughter. To sell them into prostitution, he suspects. He sets off to look for them. Things come to a sticky end – literally.

I’m assuming the revision tones down the shlockier elements of the original – “unreconstructed” forms of discourse, or language now deemed to be racist… I dunno. And in what way exactly is the island darkening? But in light of the Windrush scandal and Britain’s embarrassingly bungled attempts to disengage itself from Europe it has a lot of relevance to contemporary events in the UK, no doubt about it. It’s almost visionary. And severely challenges the assumption that isolationism makes a place safer: it’s all very well to pull up the drawbridge but if the real undesirables are already in the castle – and in fact turning the wheels that raise the bridge – then no help can be expected from the exterior. It’s very good stuff and I think I’m going to read Priest in chronological order. There are a couple of his titles in the SF Masterworks series, which is really good.

Sounds really interesting. I've loved the few Christopher Priest books I've read, but I never seem to stumble across anything by him in any of my usual haunts. I'd love to find the original, rather than the edition, if they have toned down the language. It seems unethical to change something of its time in that way, regardless of current sensibilities.
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Re: New now reading

Postby echolalia » 06 May 2018, 23:59

Darkness_Fish wrote:Sounds really interesting. I've loved the few Christopher Priest books I've read, but I never seem to stumble across anything by him in any of my usual haunts. I'd love to find the original, rather than the edition, if they have toned down the language. It seems unethical to change something of its time in that way, regardless of current sensibilities.

In his introduction Priest writes that he was prompted to revise the original after reading two reviews in Time Out, several years apart, the first hailing the anti-racist tenor of FfaDI and the second calling him a racist. “I did not like being lined up with racists … While I dislike political correctness, I have removed anything that I think could lead to overt political interpretation, on either side.” So there we go. I reckon the word “darkie” is involved. It would definitely be interesting to read the original. Meanwhile I’ve just ordered The Inverted World - do you know that one?

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Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 10 May 2018, 10:59

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Just started this - seems to be a good, open, detailed read thus far. He's certainly an interesting read - the neuroses/paranioa started early!
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 10 May 2018, 12:43

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Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Jimbo » 11 May 2018, 03:59

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Some say the glass is half-empty others half-full. I say. "Lemme see that glass!"

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Re: New now reading

Postby echolalia » 14 May 2018, 22:25

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The looks, styles and products of the world’s first-ever consumer boom (1955-65). It covers architecture, interior design, cars, labour-saving appliances, nuclear fallout shelters etc. It’s fascinating, if you like this kind of thing.

The illustrations are great – some of them amazing. The adverts for the products were often more interesting than the products themselves.

It’s well-written and quite witty in places. You can tell Hines loves his subject deeply, and nothing is too trivial to mention. One innovation of the populuxe period, apparently, was the corrugated potato chip, whose form was borrowed from structural engineering, the idea being to make it stronger and therefore able to scoop up more dip. But that’s an exception – in most instances the look was pure styling, with no practical function. Not that it was empty – it embodied a “fantasy”, usually a positive and optimistic perspective on the future.

The dominant visual motifs were borrowed from jet planes and rockets (most manufacturers of consumer goods were also military contractors). Stuff was curvy yet angular – both acute and obtuse, as exemplified in the “leaning forward” look that appeared in cars in about 1957. Rectangles which were perfectly happy just to sit there became parallelograms, itching to go where they were pointing. The tailfins tend to attract more attention but there was plenty of evolution at the front ends of cars too, such as the introduction of useless conical protuberances synechdochically termed dagmars after the actress of the same name. Some fronts are really beautiful – chrome bumpers that break forward and backward with the voluptuous rhythms of a Borromini façade. But not all designs were successful and one model with a curiously-shaped radiator grille was especially unloved – “like a great gaping minge bearing down on me,” as one English visitor described it.

The ability of a design element to embody meaning sometimes determined its inclusion even at the expense of functionality. He’s quite close to Americana-loving French intellectuals like Barthes and Baudrillard in his semiological approach here. So push buttons became ubiquitous features on household appliances during the period, often when a dial would have done the job better, such as setting the temperature on a washing machine or whatever. Maybe the appeal of buttons lay in their binariness and the way this prefigured the “digital” age. It was a terrible decade for the rheostat, anyway.

I want a formica-topped blob table now!

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Re: New now reading

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 15 May 2018, 12:29

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A stunning in-depth analysis of the economic crisis of 2007/8 (that never ended).

It is exemplary in its attention for detail, insight into the big picture, and it provides a deep understanding of the politico-economic system that is ruling nowadays.

Many 'important thinkers and actors' are put to shame in the process, often by providing important quotes from these people themselves (economists, bankers, and politicians), and then just asking us to interpret and think all for ourselves (which is: a guide to learning).

Perhaps the best companion to Charles Ferguson's The Inside Job there is.

Warning: after reading it, your expectations for the future might not be as positive (if they are, that is) than before.

PS: the author is an economist and a historian of science.
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Re: New now reading

Postby Darkness_Fish » 16 May 2018, 12:44

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Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: New now reading

Postby Diamond Dog » 16 May 2018, 13:20

echolalia wrote:Image

The looks, styles and products of the world’s first-ever consumer boom (1955-65). It covers architecture, interior design, cars, labour-saving appliances, nuclear fallout shelters etc. It’s fascinating, if you like this kind of thing.

The illustrations are great – ...........

.....I want a formica-topped blob table now!


Just ordered a copy - cheers Echo ! :)!
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”