• T Clark
    10.3k
    Incidentally, I posted something about it in the Shoutbox a few hours ago. It’s also relevant to your discussions of literary interpretation.Jamal

    Yes, I saw that. That's why I asked. Thanks.
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    Yeh, I forgot you already responded to that post.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    I loved it, but I gather that several other intelligent readers do indeed find it tedious and obvious.Jamal

    Got it from the library electronically. What a wonderful world we live in.
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    :cool:

    I know you have a cherished dislike of emojis, so I’ll translate: cool.
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    There are a couple of sections in the book that I did find a bit tedious, but on the whole I thought it was intelligent, insightful, inventive, and, most importantly, playful and light, though not in a remotely stupid or trivial way.
  • Pantagruel
    2.2k
    Existential Anthropology: Events, Exigencies, and Effects
    by Michael D. Jackson
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Revolutionary Jews from Spinoza to Marx: The Fight for a Secular World of Universal and Equal Rights, Jonathan Israel
  • Noble Dust
    6.2k
    The Stand - Stephen King :groan:
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    August-December readings:

    Due to laser surgery to treat acute retinapathy in early September and again a couple of weeks ago, I'm still reading the following:
    August-October readings:

    Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Karen Barad
    Critical Realism: An Introduction to Roy Bhaskar's Philosophy, Andrew Collier
    The Origin of Phenomena, D. B. Kelley
    Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics, Peter Lewis
    Defending the Axioms: On the Philosophical Foundations of Set Theory, Penelope Maddy
    Giving Beyond The Gift: Apophasis and Overcoming Theomania, Elliot Wolfson
    180 Proof
    Also added to the pile

    Philosophy in Crisis, Mario Bunge
    A Philosophy of the Unsayable, William Franke
    Revolutionary Jews from Spinoza to Marx, Jonathan Israel

    rereading:

    Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity, Graham Oppy
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age!, Kenzaburo Oe
    Asleep, Banana Yoshimoto
    Hunger; Pan, Knut Hamsun.
  • T Clark
    10.3k
    Rouse Up O Young Men of the New Age!, Kenzaburo Oe
    Asleep, Banana Yoshimoto
    Hunger; Pan, Knut Hamsun.
    javi2541997

    Where in Japan is Knut Hamsun from?
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    Where in Japan is Knut Hamsun from?T Clark

    Aomori!

    Jokes aside, I want to give a try on Nordic existentialists.
  • Pantagruel
    2.2k
    Understanding and Explanation: A Transcendental-Pragmatic Perspective
    by Karl-Otto Apel

    edit: @180 Proof
    I see you are very familiar with this work. Not too many references to Apel on TPF either.
  • _db
    3.6k
    The Worst Journey in the World, Apsley Cherry-Garrard.
    The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century, Amia Srinivasan.
    Talking to My Daughter About the Economy or, How Capitalism Works - and How It Fails, Yanis Varoufakis.
  • Pantagruel
    2.2k
    Introduction to Systems Theory
    by Niklas Luhmann
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    Ubik by Philip K. Dick. I think I'm finally beginning to appreciate his work.

    Just got a copy of Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon. That's 1232 pages that will keep me occupied for a while.
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon.

    I thought I ought to finish it before starting Against the Day. It's good to be back into it.
  • Manuel
    3k


    Cool! Mason & Dixon is wonderful.

    I did not like Against the Day too much, maybe your experience will differ.
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    Mason & Dixon is wonderfulManuel

    I agree. I've found it fairly easy to get back into the language, although I've forgotten some of the characters. I reckon I'll re-read it in the near future.
  • Noble Dust
    6.2k
    Ubik by Philip K. Dick. I think I'm finally beginning to appreciate his work.Jamal

    Excellent. Curious to hear your thoughts.

    The Battle For God: A History of Fundamentalism - Karen Armstrong
  • Maw
    2.7k


    This has been on my list to read but I've been waiting for the paperback edition (along with The Enlightenment That Failed)
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Damn goid stuff. :up:
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    Excellent. Curious to hear your thoughts.Noble Dust

    It's a wild ride, very enjoyable, original, and stimulating, and obviously hugely influential. He's full of ideas and has the ability to pile them up and repeatedly surprise while also maintaning a good story. He can make you feel you know a character with only a few words. He makes ideas as exciting as action. The corny, anachronistic, sixties-drenched stuff won't please people who look to science fiction for credible predictions (at least about technology), but it's humorously weird and also obviously satirical. The descriptions of clothing are ridiculous and seemingly pointless, but perhaps knowingly so. I liked that about it.

    The ending threw me off. I can't tell if it was a mischievous afterthought or if it had been part of the design all along. It ends making you feel like the layers of reality can continue to be peeled back indefinitely.

    So I like it a lot and I'm happy for people to class him as one of the literary greats of the twentieth century, and yet something about it rubs me the wrong way. Never mind the unreliable narrator: I feel with Dick we have an unreliable author. I don't quite trust him or feel an affinity with where he's coming from. I can get used to the occasionally clunky prose, even though I sometimes find it annoying, and I don't mind that characters are still using phone books in a world of commercialized precognition, flying cars and robot shop assistants, but there's something bordering on madness that's a bit alienating (could be I'm just saying that because I know he went mad in the end, in which case strike it from the record).

    Also I think he uncritically assumes a philosophical position that I don't get along with, namely the soul or mind as in principle independent of the body and the physical world, as in fact tied down by the physical world to its detriment. This seems basic and unexamined for Dick, but to me it's a cliché.

    I'll definitely read more though.
  • Noble Dust
    6.2k
    It ends making you feel like the layers of reality can continue to be peeled back indefinitely.Jamal

    I think that was my impression. It was a bit cheeky. He was known to write a lot of these novels under deadlines and on a wide variety of drugs, so my guess is that very last bit wasn't very premeditated. I can understand the frustration. It didn't bother me so much, but my feelings on endings are apparent from my short story contest submissions...

    there's something bordering on madness that's a bit alienatingJamal

    I get that, and yeah, I've always assumed that his own mental states influenced this aspect of his stories. I don't think it's correct to say he went mad, though. There's an interview with him on French television on youtube towards the end of his life that shows him as very cogent, to me at least.

    Also I think he uncritically assumes a philosophical position that I don't get along with, namely the soul or mind as in principle independent of the bodyJamal

    He was very deep into investigating spirituality, mysticism, religion, etc. It's a hallmark of his work, and it's more and more a part of it later in the chronology. So I suppose that automatically alienates some readers.

    But why charge a fiction author with uncritically assuming a philosophical position? Isn't that a given? It's a story, not a treatise.
  • Jamal
    5.2k
    It didn't bother me so muchNoble Dust

    It didn't really bother me either; it was just disorientating. To end the book "making you feel like the layers of reality can continue to be peeled back indefinitely" is far from being a bad thing.

    But why charge a fiction author with uncritically assuming a philosophical position? Isn't that a given? It's a story, not a treatise.Noble Dust

    Well I agree with you, and that's one reason I'm going to read more of his work.
  • Baden
    13.8k
    The Science of Storytelling - Will Storr

    Excellent. For its general theory of how human minds operate, for its exposition of effective narrative and for how well written it is.
  • Baden
    13.8k


    Welcome bruv, think you'd like it.
  • Manuel
    3k


    A Scanner Darkly, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Palmer Eldritch, Dr. Bloodmoney, A Maze of Death, etc., etc.

    He's fantastic and highly philosophical.

    And also, he was schizophrenic and detailed this episode in his book VALIS and followed it up with two more books. Very strange beliefs, but unique, nonetheless.
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