Amph What book are you reading right now?

Discussion in 'Community' started by droideka27, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Sk_Skywalker14 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Im for the most part, concentrating on Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America by Harm de Blij for my geography class...:_|
  2. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  3. AmazingB Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2001
    star 7
    About to start The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    Amazing.
  4. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    I read the Dunk and Egg novellas by George R. R. Martin (set about 80 years or so before Game of Thrones) over the weekend. I can't wait for the fourth novella to be finished.
  5. Laine_Snowtrekker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2003
    star 5
    King Lear, for Shakespeare class
    The Sound and the Fury, for 20th Century Writers
    Anything connected to my research project for History Research Methods
  6. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Priests of Mars. (Warhammer 40K).
  7. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    Most of the way through The Casual Vacancy. Very different from Harry Potter, but its an excellent read.
  8. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I might check it out when it comes out in paperback. It got such mixed reviews here in the UK that I'm not going to spring for the HC.
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Bummer :(

    I'm halfway through my reread of New Spring (WoT prequel). It took me a while to get into it.
  10. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    I don't usually read adult contemporary fiction, but I've found TCV to be a very well written book, I think that critics aren't reviewing the book so much as the author in this case. I would also suggest that any negative reviews are due to the fact that on a tonal level The Casual Vacancy represents a total disconnect from Harry Potter.
  11. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    The Dada Painters & Poets (1951) - Robert Motherwell

    [IMG]

    One might say that the public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with.

    In 1951, abstract artist Robert Motherwell decided that the time was ripe for someone to print a really good book about Dadaism, the strange art movement of the late nineteen-teens and early nineteen-twenties. In what could be more or less fairly described as a response to World War I, a bunch of people, of varying nationalities, had more or less decided that it was time for things to get really crazy. In doing so, they had more or less created the movement known as Dada and it was such a controversial, divisive and absolutely mind-blowing movement that Motherwell felt, rightly, that the only fair way to talk about Dada was to gather texts created by the Dadaists themselves. The artists themselves then would defend their own movement, tell their own story.

    It’s a story certainly that needed to be told. Anytime the art world gets too hidebound and dull, which seems to happen every ten minutes or so, it’s worth dragging out this anthology and reminding everyone in the vicinity of when art was mad enough to be an absolute blast. One can, and I perhaps will, debate the genuine artistic merit of what the Dadaists were doing. What is not up for debate is that the Dada movement was essentially a party that never stopped, except for a brawl/riot every now and then. But Dadaism was one of those parties that only gets better with the first brawl. There’s a mad exhilaration, a vibrant energy, that still pulses in these seminal texts of Dada. It’s here that we find the roots of surrealism, abstract art, performance art, self-conscious media critiques, etc. Essentially every time someone in the twentieth century did something in the art world that was just completely ridiculous and insane, that artist was reaching for the ol’ Dada spirit. That guy who hid under the floorboards and masturbated to the footsteps of the gallery goers and called it art? Dada. That time that guy went down in the museum basement and ripped a bunch of holes in the wall and called it art? Dada. That time that woman and her lover got naked in the middle of the gallery and made the gallery goers walk between them to get to the next room? Man, was that ever Dada. Artists keep getting more and more shocking and more and more confrontational. No one’s outdone Dada yet.

    In this anthology, which was given a magnificent reprint in 1981, with some added material, Motherwell collects the writings of some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century: composer Erik Satie, poet Andre Breton, photographer Man Ray, agitator Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, Kurt Schwitters. This is a who’s who of foundational modern art. You’re missing the early Futurists and the late Impressionists and beyond that, there’s really nothing worth calling modern art, as far as I can tell. It’s this magnificent collection of writers that makes the book come to life. In order to be a Dadaist, one thing was necessary above all, that being an insanely strong personality. Those personalities come across in this stuff as vibrantly as if the artists were sitting directly across from you, shouting their opinions in your face. The writing, at its best, crackles with energy and controversy.

    Years may have rolled by, but these artists retain their inability to be dull. There was apparently originally some idea of having the original Dadaists sign a new Dada Manifesto for inclusion of this book. It fell apart when the Dadaists couldn’t even agree on how they came up with the name Dada. The entire point of the name was, they all agree, to create an entirely meaningless name for the movement. But who actually created the meaningless name they used is something that is still hotly contested. That’s somehow a perfect summation of the movement itself: tempers flaring and controversy exploding over something that is, by its own admission, meaningless.

    It’s still an exhilarating experience to hang out with these maniacs. Tristan Tzara says he’s writing a Manifesto for Dada and then simply repeats the word “roar” one hundred & forty-seven times. Marcel Duchamp submits a urinal to an exhibition art show. Arthur Cravan, a professional boxer, publishes a review of an art show where he compares the paintings to, among other things, watching a farmer “pour kerosene on a cow’s ass-hole.” Kurt Schwitters writes a play that calls for living people to be used as the backdrop and the main characters to be two locomotives. Erik Satie forces himself to wake up every Tuesday at 3:19 A.M. for no reason at all. And then Hans Arp, most ridiculously of all, writes a piece entitled “Dada Was Not a Farce.” What was the madness that compelled these men (and a few women too) to create a movement dedicated, above all, to thumbing the nose at social norms? Was it the chaos of the Great War that lead these individuals to a movement where chaos was a raison d’etre? Were they simply reflecting back the madness they felt that the times cast upon them? Does any of it stand up as actual art? Some of it, I think, actually does. Some of it, undeniably, does not. But what the Dadaists did more than anything else was to simply move the boundaries, to push against the limits, to fly by all nets, in their quest to create something that would speak to their times. That pushing, that pulling, that stretching is why art exists. One does not have to believe that someone taking several minutes to recite a poem that consists entirely of the letter “W” is necessarily art to be glad that it’s happened. What Dada is about is creating a world where anything can, and most everything does, happen. The spirit of spontaneity and insanity burns bright still through these exciting texts. There are moments in this book that are infuriating and moments that are baffling. There are no moments at all that are dull and, while one simply can’t ascribe whole-heartedly to the Dadaist philosophy (in part because there isn’t really one to be ascribed to), there’s still something to be said for an art that is confrontational, aggressive, and absolutely, completely free. The Dadaists don’t, as they thought they did, replace a contemplative stroll through a gallery packed with the old masters; that is still as vibrant and beautiful an experience as it ever was. But after spending a lot of time in hushed reverence and quiet respect, it’s a beautiful thing to stand up and shout, as Tristan Tzara does in one of his manifestos, that “2 = three.” May the spirit never die. To quote Tzara one more time, “Take a good look at me! I am an idiot, I am a clown, I am a faker.” To be Dada is really nothing more or less than that: to acknowledge that the artist is all of those things and still worth looking at.

    4 ½ out of 5 stars.
  12. JackG Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2011
    star 4
    Are these worth reading? I need me some Westeros action and don't know whether it's worth investing in these considering I just bought Lands of Ice and Fire.
  13. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    You can always borrow it from the library to see if it's even worth your money.

    @NYCitygurl - I felt the way about "New Spring." It felt like it was written differently.

    @JackG - I felt they were worth reading, especially if you have a good memory. I don't, so some of the places and characters went over my head. But they were still fun to read, and not terribly long.
    JackG likes this.
  14. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I did leaf through the book in the local bookstore. Decided against it at that point. I've got plenty of books in my reading pile so I'm not too bothered at waiting for it in PB.
  15. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Like Cor said, they are definitely worth reading. Really fun adventures, compelling characters, and lots of neat history slipped in.
  16. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Andrzej Sapkowski's "Blood of Elves".
    Mar17swgirl likes this.
  17. Kiki-Gonn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2001
    star 6
    Just finished the first of the A Song Of Ice And Fire books on lunch and have the second one ready to go.
  18. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    WOOOOOO


    Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin, SJ
  19. Danz Borin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2012
    star 1
    I think I might be the only one that never cared for A Song of Ice and Fire..... :-\
  20. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I'm not into the whole Games of Thrones saga - just not my cup of tea.
  21. DarthWickett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2004
    star 4
    So, it's probably, literally, been years since I posted at TFn, and I can't guarantee I won't be a jerkwad this time around, too, but I've got a question for the community, the reading community in specific. If anyone remembers me, I'm a writer, and I've recently self-published a collection of short fiction; an introduction to me, as a writer, and an evolution of my writing style. Either here, or a friendly pointing in the right direction if one doesn't mind, would it be okay to share some of that? Would anyone be interested? Sci-fi & horror are my general fare. I don't want to spring a bunch of links, looking like a tool just peddling my wares, I'm seeking valid interest and interaction...
  22. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    I didn't enjoy my foray into WEsteros several years ago. I'll try again at some point, but I thought it was just eh.

    I'm getting more into New Spring ... I think it was a mistake to start my reread here, though, considering how much I've forgotten about this world.

    @DarthWickett, welcome back! You can start a discussion thread (tagged Amph) of your book if it's available or will be soon, but it can't be an advertising thread.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Oct 17, 2012
  23. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations by Martin Goodman. Second time through this book since it was first published. It is easily the most comprehensive compare/contrast on this specific culture clash that I have ever had access to.

    Also, just started this...

    Decoding the IRA by Tom Mahon and James J. Gillogly which was given me by my friend Evie. It is a verbose book wherein the authors share their method (and results) of breaking the IRA's communications coding. Being as I am from Northern Ireland, this book is probably far more tolerable a read for myself than for the average casual reader, but it is quite insightful.
  24. Togruta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2010
    star 4
    I'm hardly interested in reading anymore, and this may not count, but I opened some part of "The Dragonbone Chair" and I actually got into what couple pages I read. But I wish fantasy covers didn't look so corny..
    Last edited by Togruta, Oct 19, 2012
  25. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    I am currently reading "Distraction" by the same guy who wrote "Holy Fire."