Deleted User
Deleted User

December 2nd, 2011, 3:21 am #4211

^^ A reminder, yet again, of why I feel reluctant to join any book groups/clubs, etc.

But yeah, it could have been worse: like one of those [The Girl Who...] novels?
Quote
Share

Elie
Literary lunatic
Elie
Literary lunatic
Joined: September 29th, 2011, 7:22 pm

December 2nd, 2011, 9:34 am #4212

I have a different problem with my book group. By and large the members pick really good books which I am happy to read, but half of them don't read the book. We set a 400-page limit in the hope that it would make it easier for people to get through the book in the month, but no joy so far. It begs the question, of me at least, why would you want to be in a book club if you can't (be bothered to) read a 400 page book each month?
Quote
Like
Share

byrd
Forum junkie
byrd
Forum junkie
Joined: August 11th, 2009, 10:01 am

December 2nd, 2011, 11:14 am #4213

oneofmurphysbiscuits wrote:no, no, look :) In Beckett's work, i f you begin by looking for real versus imaginary you will surely drive yourself bonkers, ok? If you'd started with a different play (!) or indeed the novels or some of the short prose, you may well have taken these questions in your stride, but Beckett will have characters who are creations of characters who are creations of other characters but nevertheless retaining bits and pieces of themselves, because if they can invent a character who might remember them, they themselves won't be forgotten - what makes them most meaningful - and frequently - most meaningful for being most tormenting - is how the very slightest understanding of self might hang on, because it understands that if it's to survive at all it needs must be mischievous, yes, so to the self reflexivity? That's as true for a voice in a head or an ear as it is for a self in a body, howsoever ridiculous or parlous a body might be, selves have to go somewhere, until and perhaps texts for nothing, say :) . Beckett's writing is purposive, and testing things to the limits and often beyond. Don't worry that you don't understand everything as to Embers, i don't either :) In just the same way, i've read the Trilogy many times and still can't say for certain, "i know who that is!" It's fine not to have an answer some of the time, and wher Sam's concerned it's a good idea to get used to it :) I might say, and to really see what kind of a writer he is and why he matters (because he does matter, so very much) don't worry so much who the who is, but instead watch and listen to see what he does for them, and repeatedly and throughout.
Biscuit, this is an awesome post!

I have plans to read more Beckett at some point (i've only read Godot), and I know your comments/commentary/recommendations will prove very helpful/enlightening.
Quote
Like
Share

byrd
Forum junkie
byrd
Forum junkie
Joined: August 11th, 2009, 10:01 am

December 2nd, 2011, 11:20 am #4214

Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing.

I agree with Liam's eloquence on the subject: http://s11.zetaboards.com/thefictionalw ... 1&t=783021

As well as Birne Helene: http://s11.zetaboards.com/thefictionalw ... 5&t=783021


What more can I add? Is this what passes for Nobel winners? Big 'issues' unsubtly signposted in clunky prose? I'll put a tenner on Auster in 2012 in that case... I didn't enjoy it or the act of reading. I must have been spoiling myself over the past couple of years with my reading choices that I've forgotten what dull literature is like. It's a reading experience so poor (relatively speaking) that it almost put me off reading itself. I cleansed myself this morning with a DFW essay on State Fairs. In three pages he far excedes Lessing's novel.
Quote
Like
Share

Deleted User
Deleted User

December 2nd, 2011, 12:13 pm #4215

Well, in THAT book's defence, I will only say that it was her first novel, :)

But yeah. Didn't sway me. Didn't move me to seek out more.
Quote
Share

Deleted User
Deleted User

December 2nd, 2011, 12:23 pm #4216

byrd9999 wrote:I'll put a tenner on Auster in 2012 in that case...
well, on this board mine seems to be a minority opinion, but the issue with Auster is not that his writing is so poor (which it is) but that his mind is just as poor. Auster rehashes postmodern tropes, adding reactionary, sexist etc. elements to it. His mind at work repulses me. This is not true for Lessing, at least not for me. Mind you, I have not read many of her books, mainly the one that probably ended up getting her the Nobel, The Golden Notebook, and a few minor novels/books, but still. And The Golden Notebook was so influential that it boggles the mind. So she doesn't write very good or even good prose. I don't believe that the Nobel should award good prose or even excellent prose. I enjoy seeing her mind at work, and yes, I enjoy reading her books, despite the bad prose. I think her project even in the odd horrible book (The Cleft, god >.< ) is one which I enjoy reading a lot. She herself lacks sometimes an instinct for what makes her books so great, the best example is the useless and annoying sequel to the fifth child. the fifth child continues her look at mental states, at breakdowns, human cruelty, whereas the sequel is nonsense blather. But she is an accountable, a thorough writer, and while her prose is bad, it's not thoughtlessly so. I think her prose is labored, which explains the boredom some feel, because it shows the effort that went into it. At the same time, it's not the same as bad prose writers who seem thoughtlessly bad. I do think her morals contribute to the bad reception sometimes, because readers will see it as "pushing the right buttons", but her early work came at a time when these buttons didn't exist the way they do today. Other writers of singularly horrific prose like Murakami get a pass because of their 'clever' structure (Auster seems to be a subset of this), but morally pronounced writers rarely get the same pass. Nadine Gordimer, who also doesn't write dazzling, but in other wayas powerful prose, is attacked by the same kind of readers for the same kind of misperceived faults. It's lazy and slightly, implicitly, unsavory. Especially the Auster comparison, since the two writers share only superficial similarities, and those only if you rob them of cultural and historical context.
Quote
Share

Deleted User
Deleted User

December 2nd, 2011, 12:26 pm #4217

BirneHelene wrote:[OK thanks, I will try getting used to it then

Yes and I have already started to read and listen repeatedly :)
Just realized that the wonderful voice of "Beckett: Works for Radio" is Patrick Magee. (If not from Beckett) you might know him from Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange, the writer. Great.

And everybody remotely interested in Beckett, get this audiobook, it is fantastic.
Quote
Share

Deleted User
Deleted User

December 2nd, 2011, 4:55 pm #4218

John Gargo wrote:my thesis kept me away from personal reading
Gawd, do I know this music, :eh:

What's your thesis on, friend?
Quote
Share

oneofmurphysbiscuits
Forum junkie
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 9:12 pm

December 2nd, 2011, 4:55 pm #4219

byrd9999 wrote:
oneofmurphysbiscuits wrote:no, no, look :) In Beckett's work, i f you begin by looking for real versus imaginary you will surely drive yourself bonkers, ok? If you'd started with a different play (!) or indeed the novels or some of the short prose, you may well have taken these questions in your stride, but Beckett will have characters who are creations of characters who are creations of other characters but nevertheless retaining bits and pieces of themselves, because if they can invent a character who might remember them, they themselves won't be forgotten - what makes them most meaningful - and frequently - most meaningful for being most tormenting - is how the very slightest understanding of self might hang on, because it understands that if it's to survive at all it needs must be mischievous, yes, so to the self reflexivity? That's as true for a voice in a head or an ear as it is for a self in a body, howsoever ridiculous or parlous a body might be, selves have to go somewhere, until and perhaps texts for nothing, say :) . Beckett's writing is purposive, and testing things to the limits and often beyond. Don't worry that you don't understand everything as to Embers, i don't either :) In just the same way, i've read the Trilogy many times and still can't say for certain, "i know who that is!" It's fine not to have an answer some of the time, and wher Sam's concerned it's a good idea to get used to it :) I might say, and to really see what kind of a writer he is and why he matters (because he does matter, so very much) don't worry so much who the who is, but instead watch and listen to see what he does for them, and repeatedly and throughout.
Biscuit, this is an awesome post!

I have plans to read more Beckett at some point (i've only read Godot), and I know your comments/commentary/recommendations will prove very helpful/enlightening.
thankyou,Paul! I've posted many times in variois Beckett threads here, saying different things or the same things differently, it's good to know that they might be useful, as and when

And yes to the Works for Radio, BirneH! :)
I only think, if that is the name for this vertiginous panic as of hornets smoked out of their nests, once a certain degree of terror has been exceeded
Quote
Like
Share

oneofmurphysbiscuits
Forum junkie
Joined: April 15th, 2007, 9:12 pm

December 2nd, 2011, 5:06 pm #4220

I'm happy to let Marcel speak/type for me as to Doris and the Dreadful Auster and etc. What he says as to Doris lacking an instinct for, is spot on. It's also something that might be integral to the whole thing. You take that away, you'd get a different Doris, perhaps.
I only think, if that is the name for this vertiginous panic as of hornets smoked out of their nests, once a certain degree of terror has been exceeded
Quote
Like
Share