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Amph What book are you reading right now?

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

  1. Sk_Skywalker14

    Sk_Skywalker14 Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    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

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
     
  3. AmazingB

    AmazingB Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2001
    About to start The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    Amazing.
     
  4. RC-1991

    RC-1991 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2009
    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

    Laine_Snowtrekker Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2003
    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

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Priests of Mars. (Warhammer 40K).
     
  7. Chancellor_Ewok

    Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Most of the way through The Casual Vacancy. Very different from Harry Potter, but its an excellent read.
     
  8. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    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

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Bummer :(

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

    Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    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

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    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

    JackG Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 15, 2011
    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

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    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

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    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

    RC-1991 Jedi Master star 4

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

    Everton Force Ghost star 10

    Registered:
    Jul 18, 2003
    Andrzej Sapkowski's "Blood of Elves".
     
    Mar17swgirl likes this.
  17. Kiki-Gonn

    Kiki-Gonn Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 26, 2001
    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

    SWpants Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2004
    WOOOOOO


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

    Danz Borin Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 16, 2012
    I think I might be the only one that never cared for A Song of Ice and Fire..... :-\
     
  20. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I'm not into the whole Games of Thrones saga - just not my cup of tea.
     
  21. DarthWickett

    DarthWickett Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2004
    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

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    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.
     
  23. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Malleus Maleficarum star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2003
    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

    Togruta Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 2010
    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..
     
  25. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi

    Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Jedi Master star 6

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