Author Topic: Your cultural "to do" list  (Read 2212 times)

Your cultural "to do" list
« on: September 11, 2008, 08:22:00 PM »
I was wondering which sub forum would be best for this thread and decided on Picture Box as being the most appropriate, although there could well be, hopefully, a fair amount of music-related discussion too.

I thought it might be interesting if people discussed all the various things on their cultural “to do” lists and whether people think they'll ever have enough time to do all the things they want to do, at least from a short term perspective, obviously in life you're never likely to do all the things you want to do.

What prompted me to start up this thread was a couple of things, namely the 2 shelves' worth of books (about 62 inches of shelf space, which translates to 64 books, excluding the two which I'm reading at the moment) in my living room and the purchase today of 21 James Bond films, bought almost entirely on the grounds that they cost a mere £65.  There also seems to be about a million unlistened-to CDs in my house, a stack of computer games which I've not really gotten into on the grounds of not having enough time.

I don't really watch TV, other than for the odd sporting event, which means that I've never gotten into The Wire, The Sopranos, 24, etc, all things which I have been advised are brilliant and are “must see” viewing, but things that I just don't have time for.  The last TV series I watched was Twin Peaks, but that was only 29 episodes (plus pilot) which is a fraction of the length of some of the series I've named above.

The main obstacle to me experiencing anywhere near the amount of things I want to experience is that I have an office job, one which takes up anywhere from 40 to 70 hours per week, although some of the more eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that I post a fair bit when I'm pretending to do work. 

The intended purpose of this topic is fourfold:

Does anyone have the same sort of problem/feel the way I do?
List out some or all of the stuff which is on your cultural “to do” lists
Discuss the stuff on your cultural “to do” lists
Recommend shit to others on here

I'll post some of the stuff on my list into this thread in a bit, which is, admittedly, making the major assumptions that the thread doesn't get completely ignored and that people are vaguely interested in discussing this sort of thing.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2008, 08:41:11 PM »
I've got Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky, Don Quixote by Cervantes & Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky on my bookshelves, and one day I'll read them, honestly.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2008, 08:42:27 PM »
Books mainly. I am going to start to actually read more and began reading 1984 earlier today, something I've been meaning to do for a long time. The trouble is, I have so many ways I can enjoy my time it's just silly and books take an incredible amount of time and effort to read in comparison to playing a game, watching a TV show or film.

I also want to build up my collections of CD's vastly and there are at least 20 bands I really should try to get into instead of doing what I am at the moment and listening to my favourite albums repeatedly.

Games wise, I can wait. I am multitasking however with this as I am playing some old PS1 games I never completed (Crash Bandicoot 1, 2) whilst watching all of the shows of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report from 2006.

Basically if I even start to consider this I become depressed at how little time I have to do everything I want to and become a lot more knowledgeable on certain subjects and enjoy much more varied forms of music, films, literature and games.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2008, 08:49:18 PM »
After I finish the book I'm reading just now (Arthur Machen's The Three Imposters, lest anyone give a monkey's), I'm going to read War & Peace.  This will be my first attempt, but I see no reason why I won't manage to chew my way through it.


Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2008, 08:56:44 PM »
I'd like to get back into reading. I've only read about 5-6 books in the past five years, half of which were just light reading music biographies.

I'd also like to try and see some pre-1970 movies.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 08:58:21 PM »
I've seen all of The Wire and now it's finished, so my cultural 'to do' list is empty :(



I kid, of course!

Music-wise I still haven't seen dEUS, Cardiacs, The Walkmen or Bjork live, four of my fave artistes. I also really want to go to a European festival, because I keep getting rained on every summer.

I also have a giant pile of books to get through. I have the lingering fear that as a literature student there are many, many "must-reads" which I've neglected over the years in order to get wasted and play pro evo. I don't get the feeling that there's not enough time for these things (no doubt partly because I have so much time on my hands at the moment), but if I keep procrastinating, this will probably change.

The key, I think, is to become very selective with what you waste your time on. Don't waste your time on 24, for example, and go straight to Deadwood!


Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 09:03:09 PM »
Where to begin? The canon of great artworks is so bewildering that it might be more helpful to mention some classics that one could safely ignore. For instance, would it make me a bad person if I die without ever having read anything by Dickens.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2008, 09:09:37 PM »
The key, I think, is to become very selective with what you waste your time on. Don't waste your time on 24, for example, and go straight to Deadwood!
I would really like to add Lost and Heroes to that list, don't even think about it.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008, 09:29:19 PM »
My plans are to become a great cook; to buy a house with a huge back garden and to spend years landscaping it; to have elocution lessons, to learn another language, to become one with nature and to transcend the desire of money.

I think I'd like to travel around Europe for as long as possible, before then I'd like to learn how to flirt. I'd like to read big books on long distance train journeys over Á la carte, I'd like to have a Masters Degree. I'd like to dine at ElBulli and demand one of the dishes be taken back.

There's a few other things too.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2008, 09:29:29 PM »
I can't watch all of the films and TV shows or listen to all of the music I wished to listen or play all of the games that I have wished to play, simply because I do not have the time or money and several other conveniences that would allow me to. Books, now, I can read books and have been doing so often recently - they seem to be my only real access to culture at the moment -  but all the other things I have postponed until I am relieved of my circumstances and that is when I completed universty, got a job and living by myself. A long wait, I know.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 10:26:53 PM »
For instance, would it make me a bad person if I die without ever having read anything by Dickens.
Not especially, no: I've no particular dislike of the man's works, but the ridiculous levels of melodrama and bizzare pacing of his tales do make them quite hard work that's not always rewarded.

My main cultural black hole is probably in terms of cinema: I know a little bit about films, there's a few directors whose work I follow with a great interest, but I really do get the feeling that there's a hell of a lot of fantastic movies out there of which I have absolutely no awareness, not to mention the vast legion of movies which I would like to watch but just haven't got round to.  It dosn't help that when I'm on my own, my first choice is rarely to watch a film - I'd much sooner read a book, listen to an album, play the guitar (well, playing in the loosest of terms anyway) or go on the internet, and even when I do watch television or put on a DVD it's usually for a show rather than a film...it might just be that I have a shorter attention span than I'd like, but I can happily do any of those activities all day, so I'm not entirely convinced that that's the reason.  I'm aware there's plenty of gaps in my literary and musical knowledge, but I always feel like I'm especially lacking in my film knowledge.

I've got Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky, Don Quixote by Cervantes & Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky on my bookshelves, and one day I'll read them, honestly.
Do read Crime & Punishment and Don Quixote, they're quite rightly acclaimed as classics, but I'd skip the Chomsky if I were you.  Every time I've tried reading anythingof his I just end up getting annoyed with him about five pages in, and I agree (or at least have sympathies for) his ideas for fuck's sake.  Really, really not worth it.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 11:00:48 PM »

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2008, 12:18:32 AM »
This one-click buy option on Amazon is really annoying, i've ended up with some books that I really don't think i'll be able to read this decade.

On my films to watch list, I have a couple of Fritz Lang films that I need to watch:-

M,

Testament of Dr Mabuse

I have a few french films to watch as well, but after my last escapade into French cinema via, 

Feu Follet

I don't really want to watch another depressing film.

I have a few Russian films that need to be watched too,

Andrey Rublyov

With the baby too, its impossible to watch these films.. I can't really shush a 4 month old baby for an emotional scene, and by night time when she goes to sleep I get really knackered to divert attention to slow moving films.

Books wise.. I started reading philosophy now bi-monthly and ordered a few off their recommendation list.  I don't think philosophy suites those with mentally draining professions unless you are a lecturer or something. I find it impossible to hold threads of thought in my head without notating. When I do notate it makes it feel like more of a chore.. maybe one day when I retire or something...


Your thread raises a great question though,

One the somethingawful forums someone posted the diary of a 20 something kid from an American state, might have been New York. The writers main hobby seemed to be reading, I think he got through several books a week. Some of them were on mundane boring subjects like buildings and architecture.. I'd love to have that kind of stamina to read anything and everything to just understand a subject of choice better. I don't think this kid was educated either, he was a labourer working 10-12hrs a day. I guess books were the main source of entertainment back then too.

How do you lot read books with pretty complicated ideas? I don't feel like i've had a good go at a non-fiction book unless I can reference back important themes in its message.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2008, 12:18:57 AM »
Quote
Do read Crime & Punishment

I made to Part 5. It's not that it wasn't enjoyable, but it was very, very heavy going, for me anyway. Prior to that, I'd mostly been reading Douglas Adams where the 'rewards' , so to speak, came much quicker - a neat turn of phrase, a funny name or clever observation etc, - whereas C&P really swims about in some heavy character-based stuff.  I definitely want to give it another bash at some point. The detective in it was the main inspiration for Columbo, would you believe!

I ticked off a few classics last year - War of the Worlds and Turn of the Screw, both very enjoyable. I found the language in Turn of the Screw quite difficult to wade through at times, but that didn't stop it being genuinely frightening! I tried some Coleridge poems too, but I think I need someone to explain to me how to appreciate and understand it a bit better.

PG Wodehouse is next for me.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2008, 12:23:15 AM »
I've got Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky, Don Quixote by Cervantes & Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky on my bookshelves, and one day I'll read them, honestly.

Manufacturing consent is on DVD ;)

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2008, 12:44:46 AM »
I enjoy spending ages in old book shops, hoping to stumble upon one of the great classics I've had on some unwritten 'to do' list in the back of my mind.

This goes for films too, just swap book shops with torrent sites.

The list of classics is, of course, too great, so the books/films have to be given precedence based on whatever mood or philosophy I'm currently swinging around. I'm currently interested in existentialism, so upon discovering The Stranger by Albert Camus for cheap in the local 2nd hand book shop, it instantly leap frogged over the other 'culturally important' books I've had lying around for some time: Inferno by Dante and The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde. At the same visit I also saw Don Quixote for cheap, but it looked massive, so I think that one can wait.

Filmwise, I think one of the best approaches is to scroll down the top 250 list at imdb and fill in your gaps that way. I really hope to see The Seven Samurai soon.

Games: it helps that there aren't a lot of current games that are any good, but the majority of my gaming time is spent on the golden oldies. A hacked psp is a godsend for this; you can get an emulator for any of the old consoles and supply it with roms of the much loved favourites you missed the first time around. As a fan of the later Zelda games I'm doing what I should have done ages ago and started playing SNES A Link to the Past for the first time.

I'm also perusing the Old Video Game Gems thread (and similar topics elsewhere) and adding the wiki pages for any interesting sounding PC games to a sub directory on my favourites list. God knows when I'll get through that, or even make a start on it.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2008, 01:06:05 AM »
Not especially, no: I've no particular dislike of the man's works, but the ridiculous levels of melodrama and bizzare pacing of his tales do make them quite hard work that's not always rewarded.
Phew, that's a load off.

Now I'm wondering if hypothetically someone could forego art entirely in favour of life experience and that. If I was to travel the world and see humanity in all it's glory and grotesqueness, would I be better off than someone who has consumed all the great artworks? I mean, what is art but other people's opinions of the world?

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2008, 01:48:01 AM »
I didn't think this would be a thread about which DVD box sets you have to watch before you die.

Ooooh! Bitch!

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2008, 01:53:36 AM »
Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky

That was on my list for a while, but I'm glad it's now off; it was well worth the read.

Currently, finishing Stephen King's Dark Tower series (I'm around halfway through the third of seven books), Seinfeld (just started season 9) and Arrested Development (not started yet, they'll wait until Seinfeld's done) are my priorities. I've also got Camus' The Outsider waiting to be read, but that won't be for a while yet, pending completion of The Dark Tower.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2008, 02:22:12 AM »
Film-wise I'm pretty happy with my lot, since I was about 14 I became addicted to watching everything and anything, and I've seen pretty much everything that's considered to be worthy (bar the very odd thing, I guess), but musically there's loads I need to catch up on. My knowledge of anything post 1990 is strong, but bar the usual suspects anything post 50's is fairly weak, and before then basically non-existant. I want to be in to classical music a lot more too, there are pieces I love, but I rarely have the urge to check out more, and I just don't know why.

I feel I should give opera one final shot - I've seen a couple of televised ones, but they've never gripped me, but I really should see one live at the very least before deciding if it's for me or not. And perhaps ballet too, though I have seen one and was bored to tears with it, and that was very well received at the time.

Other than that, there are a few books I know I should check out, but I've read at least one novel by most acclaimed authors, and so don't feel I'm missing out on too much.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2008, 10:15:27 AM »
This thread reminds me of this one: http://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=12531.0

Yeah, except that that thread was last posted in two years ago so I thought it better to start a new one, oh, and also this thread isn't actually about cultural black holes, it's supposed to be about stuff that you have, or thinking of getting, that you haven't gotten round to ploughing through.  It's also supposed to bee about recommending stuff to others, be it to try out new cultural things or to avoid them as they're not worth spending the time.

I'd be interested to see what your response to the actual thread aims would be, rather than seemingly suggest that I should have bumped a very old thread, or indicate that I seem to have ripped off an old thread which isn't about the same thing at all.

Unless you linked to the thread for information purposes, in which case, ho hum, move along, nothing to see here.


Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2008, 10:34:37 AM »
I can't watch all of the films and TV shows or listen to all of the music I wished to listen or play all of the games that I have wished to play, simply because I do not have the time or money and several other conveniences that would allow me to. Books, now, I can read books and have been doing so often recently - they seem to be my only real access to culture at the moment -  but all the other things I have postponed until I am relieved of my circumstances and that is when I completed universty, got a job and living by myself. A long wait, I know.

That's how I felt when I was a student, I was permanently skint.  Now I have a very well paid job, so money isn't really an object for most things within reason, so I end up buying tons of stuff that I can't possibly hope to get through in the next year or so.  I read at least two books a week though so that should whittle down my reading pile although, needless to say, I will have purchased a heap of new books before I get through the current selection.

This one-click buy option on Amazon is really annoying, i've ended up with some books that I really don't think i'll be able to read this decade.

Amen to that, Amazon marketplace has compounded the issue for me!  It's the "People who bought this book also bought such and such" option which really causes the problem for me as it leads to me buying tons of books that I would have never bought or even thought of had I been browsing at the local Waterstones, WH  Smith, etc.

Your thread raises a great question though,

One the somethingawful forums someone posted the diary of a 20 something kid from an American state, might have been New York. The writers main hobby seemed to be reading, I think he got through several books a week. Some of them were on mundane boring subjects like buildings and architecture.. I'd love to have that kind of stamina to read anything and everything to just understand a subject of choice better. I don't think this kid was educated either, he was a labourer working 10-12hrs a day. I guess books were the main source of entertainment back then too.

That sounds really interesting, I might have to check that out as I love reading people's everyday stories.  *Inserts plea for link to be posted in this thread*

The list of classics is, of course, too great, so the books/films have to be given precedence based on whatever mood or philosophy I'm currently swinging around. I'm currently interested in existentialism, so upon discovering The Stranger by Albert Camus for cheap in the local 2nd hand book shop, it instantly leap frogged over the other 'culturally important' books I've had lying around for some time: Inferno by Dante and The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde. At the same visit I also saw Don Quixote for cheap, but it looked massive, so I think that one can wait.

I've got my reading list going on strict cab rank lines to avoid me putting things off.  I'm looking nervously at the Don Quixote, Count of Monte Cristo, Moby-Dick triple header I can tell you.

As for The Picture Of Dorian Gray, I would strongly recommend that you read it as soon as possibly can.  It's a brilliant story written in an impeccably flowing style, and it's quite short too, so shouldn't take you long to get through.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2008, 10:52:27 AM »
After I finish the book I'm reading just now (Arthur Machen's The Three Imposters, lest anyone give a monkey's), I'm going to read War & Peace.  This will be my first attempt, but I see no reason why I won't manage to chew my way through it.


I've just finished it, and it's definitely worth it.  It's truly a stunning achievement and a shame a lot of people just know it for being really long!  I think it's important to have a good translation, because if you get one that is not that pleasant to read, you'll be stuck with it for a long time.  I read the one by Rosemary Edmonds which is pretty easy reading, although I suspect she took a few liberties here and there.  The new translation by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky is meant to be really good - closer to Tolstoy's original style, which is quite quirky and had a lot of weird repetition and stuff.

The list of books I intend to read is astronomical and just keeps growing.  I also share the mundane office job problem!  I've decided to rectify the situation by going to Europe to teach English - thereby making my life into more of a 'cultural' experience generally.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2008, 11:14:52 AM »
I loved Don Quixote, it's one of those books that gets under your skin – not least because of the amount of effort involved in reading the whole thing. BUT! I really would recommend to anyone else tackling it, that they have no qualms about skipping whole chunks if they find it boring. The book meanders so much in so many different directions, changing not just the focus of the plot but the whole style and genre, that I think you can just stick to the actual Quixote story, skimming through the diversions, and still claim to have read the book at the end. You'll probably enjoy it all the more that way, in fact.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2008, 11:54:09 AM »
I'm just trying to get through my massive book mountain at the moment as I have a habit of buying books faster than I can read them. This makes moving house a lot more difficult so I'm working my way through the pile before allowing myself to buy any more.

I'd like to get back into reading. I've only read about 5-6 books in the past five years, half of which were just light reading music biographies.

I've read at least two of those this year, I don't have a problem with them as I like to alternate between fiction and non-fiction, and "lightweight" and "heavyweight" reading. I'd been getting more into biographies lately until I read Mark E Smith's and found it really disappointing.

I loved Don Quixote, it's one of those books that gets under your skin – not least because of the amount of effort involved in reading the whole thing. BUT! I really would recommend to anyone else tackling it, that they have no qualms about skipping whole chunks if they find it boring.

I wish I'd been told this two years ago... I just found the book too repetitive: Don Quixote sees trouble, Don Quixote tries to save the day, Don Quixote fucks up, Don Quixote sees trouble... At the moment I'm struggling with The Count Of Monte Cristo, which has gotten rather boring in the middle after an exciting start. I started reading it after reading Alfred Bester's science fiction rewrite, The Stars My Destination, and loving it, so I know the plot and want to follow it to the end.

Distance learning is the other thing on my to-do list. At the moment I'm self-employed half the time and work in a rather unstimulating job the other half of the time. I think now is the time to learn some new stuff so I can have something to ponder during quiet times at work. I've always wanted to do an MSc in genetics but I don't really have the time or the money right now, maybe one day. An A level seems more manageable and I fancy studying physics. All this LHC stuff has inspired me but even before then I was reading loads of stuff on Wikipedia about particles and wishing it wouldn't all go over my head. I also wish I'd done physics instead of chemistry at A level as chemistry bored me to tears, while physics seems to suddenly get interesting after GCSE. And I really miss doing sciencey things and talking to people who understand sciencey things, and actually give a shit about sciencey things. In my current job I got into a big argument with a creationist about the Big Bang and evolution which left my brain feeling like it would atrophy.

So... how do I go about doing an A level then? There seem to be a lot of places online selling access to the courses, "minus exam fees", but they all look a bit dodgy. Most of them have "Oxford" somewhere in their names, which always looks suspect. Anyone done this and can point me in the right direction? I've researched MSc degrees too and it seems easier to find legit ones, just none I can do right now. I've always taught myself new things and want to get back into it.

And finally, I see lots of you mentioning travel, I've got to admit that I'm almost 27 and still not arsed about travelling. I really don't like holidays but if I have some reason to travel, like work or going to a festival, then a bit of sightseeing is a bonus. I couldn't go somewhere for two weeks just to go round looking at things and going to restaurants. I also have Bernard Black's attitude to holidays and what a pain in the arse they are, and I'm also the worst person to go on holiday with. Oh yes, and I'm only really into city breaks, backpacking and camping "off the beaten track" or lying on beaches aren't my thing. It feels wrong as I'm from a family who love to travel and they think I'm mad.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2008, 12:04:11 PM »
And finally, I see lots of you mentioning travel, I've got to admit that I'm almost 27 and still not arsed about travelling. I really don't like holidays but if I have some reason to travel, like work or going to a festival, then a bit of sightseeing is a bonus. I couldn't go somewhere for two weeks just to go round looking at things and going to restaurants. I also have Bernard Black's attitude to holidays and what a pain in the arse they are, and I'm also the worst person to go on holiday with. Oh yes, and I'm only really into city breaks, backpacking and camping "off the beaten track" or lying on beaches aren't my thing. It feels wrong as I'm from a family who love to travel and they think I'm mad.

No, you are right, and they are wrong wrong wrong, and probably not doing the environment much good either.

I hadn't noticed mention of travel on this thread, gawd knows what travelling has to do with 'culture', in the main. The very few places I'm interested in seeing are down to the museums etc that would be at my destination – tracing Don Quixote's route, for instance, would be interesting – but I'm in a tiny minority there, no question. And I'm not really that bothered, as I could easily read a book about it without adding to the hordes of holidaymakers piling onto planes around the world. We need to devolve our travelling instincts – if you want to go to Ibiza, get on a stinking ship and travel with the cargo for a month, you cunt. Taking any non-essential flight, especially for sunbathing/drinking purposes, should be punishable by boiling in hot shit.

Yes, I'm exaggerating. I just think travel is overrated, and certainly broadens the mind far less than is claimed. People who say 'travel broadens the mind' have probably read nothing but glossy magazines since they left school.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2008, 12:08:29 PM »
I agree, if people want to discuss travelling to "find themselves", etc, they're welcome to start up a new thread.

Self-abridgment is something I've been recommended to do with Moby-Dick as it happens as it contains huge swathes of text to do with outdated studies of whales which have nothing to do with the story.

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2008, 12:19:58 PM »
Yes, I'm exaggerating. I just think travel is overrated, and certainly broadens the mind far less than is claimed. People who say 'travel broadens the mind' have probably read nothing but glossy magazines since they left school.

You've reminded me of this truly hateful [paul calf]student[/paul calf] I met in a pub in January. He was talking about his gap year spent backpacking in India, and the time he couldn't find a hostel one night, so he banged on a stranger's door and offered him 100 rupees to let him sleep on the sofa. He was saying "you couldn't do that in Britain, if you offered someone £100 they'd tell you to fuck off or call the police." The girl he was trying to chat up seemed impressed by this but I pictured the guy waving the equivalent of £1.23 in a poor Indian's face, practically mocking him for being so desperate for cash he couldn't refuse to take in this hateful rich Westener.

Travel definitely hadn't broadened his mind and I know some very ignorant well-travelled people who should probably learn more about their own country before barging into other people's, polluting their air and clogging up their beaches.

Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2008, 12:34:51 PM »
I agree, if people want to discuss travelling to "find themselves", etc, they're welcome to start up a new thread.

Some good points are being made about travelling, particularly about having a decent understanding of your own culture first, but I don't necessarily think it's fair to say that it's not relevant to this thread.  I think you can learn a lot about being human, for want of a better phrase, by spending some time immersed in another culture, and that, ultimately, aside from simple entertainment, is the purpose of most, if not all of my 'cultural' activities.  Not to mention of course that's it's a great way to learn a language, which certainly is high up on my 'cultural' to do list.

'Travelling' and 'cultural' are both very broad terms in a sense.  I guess people are approaching them from very different points of view based on their experiences/priorities/aspirations.

Back on topic, I always plan to start seriously writing - stories, artiocles, poems, whatever, and for some reason can't seem to get into it, as it were.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: Your cultural "to do" list
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2008, 12:58:36 PM »
I've just finished it, and it's definitely worth it.  It's truly a stunning achievement and a shame a lot of people just know it for being really long!  I think it's important to have a good translation, because if you get one that is not that pleasant to read, you'll be stuck with it for a long time.  I read the one by Rosemary Edmonds which is pretty easy reading, although I suspect she took a few liberties here and there.  The new translation by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky is meant to be really good - closer to Tolstoy's original style, which is quite quirky and had a lot of weird repetition and stuff.

I've got the one by Rosemary Edmonds.  In fact, I read the first dozen or so pages of it in bed last night and it seems enjoyable enough.  Still got 1350-odd pages to go, so I may change my mind.

On the subject of Dickens, A Christmas Carol will take you about an hour or two to read and will give you an idea of whether or not you'll like the longer works.  Needless to say, it is a cracking story and a ridiculously easy/pleasurable read.

Some good points are being made about travelling, particularly about having a decent understanding of your own culture first, but I don't necessarily think it's fair to say that it's not relevant to this thread.  I think you can learn a lot about being human, for want of a better phrase, by spending some time immersed in another culture, and that, ultimately, aside from simple entertainment, is the purpose of most, if not all of my 'cultural' activities.  Not to mention of course that's it's a great way to learn a language, which certainly is high up on my 'cultural' to do list.

What he said.  Travel can be great.  Not even foreign travel necessarily, but going to see all of the the things that make the UK an interesting place.  It'd be a pretty poor lookout for you, culturally speaking, if you died having never left your home town.