Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 105768 times)

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #900 on: February 13, 2020, 08:13:16 AM »
Totally get the dreamlike qualities. I'm not entirely sure I 'got' the whole book, and it's something I can imagine coming back to in the future. It's a terrific book, albeit one that often confounded me.

When I mentioned Satantango earlier in the thread, the film adaptation got mentioned. This was apparently turned into a film by Béla Tarr called Werckmeister Harmonies. Despite the vividness of parts of the book, it seems totally unfilmable, which is only making me more curious. Has anyone actually seen this? It sounds really interesting.

When I read The Melancholy of Resistance I felt it was saying something I didn't understand about the Hungarian psyche, something very unflattering. I didn't really know about Orban and Jobbik at the time, but in retrospect wonder if that type of idiot groupthink is a manifestation of what he was driving at. I could be way off though.

Hymenoptera

  • You fill me with inertia.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #901 on: February 13, 2020, 08:14:30 AM »
I read High Life by him. It's good, but depressing.

I gave that a cursory Google - it sounds great! I'll have to pick that up after Cows as a palette cleanser.

Just finished the audiobook of A Scanner Darkly which I found pretty incredible. Haven't been immersed in the world of a novel like that for a very long time. I have been evangelizing about it to pretty much anyone in my immediate vicinity.

I listened to this a while back and loved it. Boyfriend is a massive Philip K. Dick fan but I'd only ever seen film adaptations, so I popped this on one day and ended up forfeiting an afternoon to it. Brilliant and absolutely devastating, especially with the dedication to his lost friends right at the end.

buttgammon

  • How thick is wall?
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #902 on: February 13, 2020, 08:50:13 AM »
yeah it's great, quite faithful to the book's atmosphere and the whole 'nightmarish quality''. you should definitely check it out.

Excellent, that's me sold!

When I read The Melancholy of Resistance I felt it was saying something I didn't understand about the Hungarian psyche, something very unflattering. I didn't really know about Orban and Jobbik at the time, but in retrospect wonder if that type of idiot groupthink is a manifestation of what he was driving at. I could be way off though.

Yeah, there's certainly a political dimension that went over my head (knowing virtually nothing about Hungary can't have helped). I think it was originally published in 1989, so there's naturally going to be a certain amount of soul-searching about the end of communism, and anxieties about what next. The message I took from it is that when one order breaks down, people try to find another, so it makes sense that the collapse of Eastern Bloc communism would open up the possibility of fascism.

Inspector Norse

  • nothing here is required
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #903 on: February 13, 2020, 12:38:13 PM »
When I mentioned Satantango earlier in the thread, the film adaptation got mentioned. This was apparently turned into a film by Béla Tarr called Werckmeister Harmonies. Despite the vividness of parts of the book, it seems totally unfilmable, which is only making me more curious. Has anyone actually seen this? It sounds really interesting.

I saw it ages ago and wasn't keen: a bit too obviously Tarkovskian in its sloooooowness and starkness without seeming to say all that much. But exquisitely filmed and atmospheric. I'd like to give it another go now I'm older and have more patience for that kind of thing.
The only thing of Krasnakorhai's I've read was Satantango which was very good; I have the film of that (also by Tarr) on the shelf but it's about a week long so I've not dared dive into it yet.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #904 on: February 13, 2020, 06:38:55 PM »
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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #905 on: February 13, 2020, 08:25:18 PM »
Homecoming by Colin Grant. An oral history of the Windrush generation. Dead good. Did you know that the people who came over had only ever seen chimneys on factories so presumed that all the houses (with chimneys) they saw were factories? Also introduced me to Peter Rachman, slum landlord extraordinaire. Utter cunt who would have felt very much at home today.

Quote
According to his biographer, Shirley Green, Rachman moved the protected tenants into a smaller concentration of properties or bought them out to minimise the number of tenancies with statutory rent controls. Houses were also subdivided into a number of flats to increase the number of tenancies without rent controls.[9] Rachman filled the properties with recent migrants from the West Indies. Rachman's initial reputation, which he sought to promote in the media, was as someone who could help to find and provide accommodation for immigrants but he was massively overcharging these West Indian tenants, as they did not have the same protection under the law as had the previous tenants.[10]

Someone also mention Michael X/ De Freitas who was someone I hadn't heard of before. Sounds a bit rum, that one.

I find this period really interesting. There were parts in an otherwise tedious novel on a recent Booker longlist that spoke about the experience of people who had just arrived from the West Indies in the fifties and it was so good. Got the Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon on the shelf but am yet to read it. Is there a decent photographic archive out there? I have the Honest Jon's 'London is the Place For Me' compilations (well the first four anyway) and wish they'd do an accompanying book.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #906 on: February 13, 2020, 08:57:40 PM »
Peter Rachman

He became a by-word for evil slum landlord, but I've seen some stuff claiming that he was essentially a fall-guy and posthumous victim of a tabloid monstering. There was also a strain of anti-semitism running through the vitriol against him. It helped that all of the stuff about him came out after he died, so no fear of libel. Still a landlord who made a mint off of exploiting others, but maybe not as evil as he's been portrayed. More here: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/12/23/the-real-meaning-of-rachmanism/

Someone also mention Michael X/ De Freitas who was someone I hadn't heard of before. Sounds a bit rum, that one.

I've read his autobiography. An interesting guy, but overall seems like a cunt. A lot of 60s/70s white radicals excused his behaviour on spurious grounds.

I find this period really interesting.

Tainted Love by Stewart Home is good.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #907 on: February 13, 2020, 10:54:19 PM »
Ah, cheers for all that. Will see if I can find a copy of Tainted Love and De Freitas' book.

buttgammon

  • How thick is wall?
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #908 on: February 17, 2020, 12:01:57 PM »
I read two books last week. First was Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes's extraordinary book about photography. It's a brilliant mix of critical theory and personal reflections that is often genuinely moving. It's short enough that I read in in one sitting, which is something I hardly ever do. Then there was Strange Hotel[/], Eimear McBride's new book. It's nothing earth-shattering compared to A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, but still an enjoyable read that uses hotels really well as spaces of transience, and touches on my own love of staying in hotels and the sense that they are places where normal life is somehow suspended.

Twit 2

  • I have cum now and the foolery is over.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #909 on: February 17, 2020, 04:15:06 PM »
Got a mauling in the private eye (Mcbride). I love Barthes, along with Levi-Strauss (of the more Tristes Tropiques end) he is one of the most readable and humane of the critical theory bastards.

buttgammon

  • How thick is wall?
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #910 on: February 17, 2020, 07:26:25 PM »
Got a mauling in the private eye (Mcbride). I love Barthes, along with Levi-Strauss (of the more Tristes Tropiques end) he is one of the most readable and humane of the critical theory bastards.

Although I thought the book was quite good, I'm not entirely surprised it got a mauling. I have a feeling she may be one of those writers who set the bar too high with her debut. I liked The Lesser Bohemians a bit more than the new one and even that felt like a bit of a step down.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #911 on: Yesterday at 01:44:39 PM »
Having just finished 'Up River' by Jack Trevor Story I am most amused by THIS story.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dad-stuck-permanent-erection-unable-21519007


gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #912 on: Yesterday at 02:19:48 PM »
Peter Rachman

Tangential figure in the Profumo scandal: Mandy Rice Davies was his girlfriend.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #913 on: Yesterday at 03:14:23 PM »
"The Resisters" by Gish Jen.

It's an oh-god-this-is-probably-going-to-happen-for-real near future, where AI has taken over all branches of government and the world is divided into "netted" and "surplus" people. One of the surplus discovers she has an incredible talent for baseball, so when the remaining super-countries decide to take on the USA at baseball, literally beating them at their own game, she is forced into service.

It's an interesting story, and well told. So far, anyway.

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