The result of our polls leave us with Thomas Mann's Death In Venice. It's only 42 pages long (in the pdf), so I suppose we can finish it in 5 days to a week. It's a very comfortable timeframe for such a short read. Now, Im aware there's another up-and-coming /lit/ book club, but they're direction is different from this one's. We hope that at least one of us can last longer than all the failed attempts at a /lit/ book club. We hope for in-depth discussion concerning the lit we read, but let's be realistic -- this is only an excuse to read among "friends" and share resources concening our chosen lit. Let's hope for the best.
I'm in. When are the discussions going to be?
Well, I think while we read we can clear doubts and share resources and experiences, etc itt. We can still discuss during before the due date but with spoilers. And after 3-4 days we can discuss without spoilering.
Super down with this. I've been slowly working through Mann this year but haven't read Death In Venice yet, so this is a good excuse.
Question: is the organization and discussion and etc. going to just be limited to threads on here? As opposed to say, the dead reading group on goodreads. My only concern is that having the discussions publicly on here will leave them susceptible to shit posting and other behaviour nonconducive to discussing books with my fellow anons. Who knows, though, I might be pleasantly surprised? Lit has proved itself,capable off sustained civil conversation before.
>My only concern is that having the discussions publicly on here will leave them susceptible to shit posting and other behaviour nonconducive to discussing books with my fellow anons.
That's part of the fun.
I'm sure your fancy book club meetings don't let you call anyone a faggot or a nigger.
> is the organization and discussion and etc. going to just be limited to threads on here?
I think so. Keeps it all contained.
> My only concern is that having the discussions publicly on here will leave them susceptible to shit posting and other behaviour nonconducive to discussing books with my fellow anons.
It's bound to happen, but we're all used to that. It's best to just leave it here.
>Who knows, though, I might be pleasantly surprised? Lit has proved itself,capable off sustained civil conversation before.
That's the spirit.
I only plan on making threads if the current one expires. If it doesnt, I dont see the need. Also, there's no reason why anyone else taking part shouldnt make a thread if he doesnt find one. But for easy-finding let's tag the subject field with "New /lit/ Book Club" to seperate us from the other book club.
That would be godsend! Getting a professional opinion on the meaning and significance of the localization of Mann's stories, if there is one. I once took a short lit class and we spend a week just talking about the significance of St. Petersburg in C&P.
No, there's significantly more overlap in "intertextual work" - think intentional overlap of plot structure/themes, rather than a reference to something Plato may have said in one occasion in the novel.
>Ao pesquisar sobre o romance, encontrei uma curiosidade: o personagem Tadzio foi inspirado numa pessoa real, um jovem nobre polonês que Thomas Mann encontrou numa viagem a Veneza, exatamente no hotel onde se passa a história
As I researched about the romance I found something curious: the character Tadzio was inspired by a real person, a young Polish nobleman that Thomas Man met in one trip to Venice, exactly on the hotel where the story is told.
It's pretty obvious.
I'll try to tell it to you with as little spoilers as I can.
Tonio Kroeger is a Bildungsroman (coming-of-age story) in this way its about the story of the main character's growth and becoming mature.
The story starts with him as a child living in his hometown (small coastal city in Northern Germany), we accompany his teen years and finally his early adulthood (in Munique if I remember well).
As an adult he decides to go back to his hometown to better understand himself and his place on the world.
His trip doesn't end there, as he goes up North to Denmark.
The location (and the whole Tonio Kroeger) is an obvious metaphor for Thomas Mann's "condition", that is, being half Brazilian and half German.
About location in Death in Venice I found this: >>5276904
I translated it from this website that does critiques.
That's interesting because Klaus Mann's Mephisto is also inspired by real people. The German word for a work that is based on real events and individuals, with different names or details is Schlüsselroman. No literal translation into English exists, but it is best described as a novel with a key, because the knowledge of which character represents what or how the author changed certain details can be used to remove the facade of fiction.
No, but I've read Act I and parts of Act II of Goethe's Faust. I imagine you will find knowledge of the legend of Faust valuable if you do read that. There are many adaptations of the legend.
As long as we are on topic.
Got this rec from /mu/
I don't actually know, I've never read Doctor Faustus, nor do i particularly like Schoenberg. But nonetheless:
>In Chapter XXII Leverkühn develops the twelve-tone technique or row system, which was actually invented by Arnold Schoenberg. Schoenberg lived near Mann in Los Angeles as the novel was being written. He was very annoyed by this appropriation without his consent, and later editions of the novel included an Author's Note at the end acknowledging that the technique was Schoenberg's intellectual property, and that passages of the book dealing with musical theory are indebted in many details to Schoenberg's Harmonielehre.
That's legit. My edition has an addendum where Mann apologizes for doing that.
I find it fun to make up a south american country and give it a fucked up quirk and seeing americans believe me. I once said I was from Mangano and that our national anthem was written by Ricky Martin and David Bisbal.
>It was a spring afternoon in that year of grace 19-, when Europe sat upon the anxious seat beneath a menace that hung over its head for months.What is >that year of grace 19-, when Europe sat upon the anxious seat beneath a menace that hung over its headreferring to?
Here, when you read it you can start commenting, but please spoiler so you dont ruin anything for the others. We can have unspoilered discussions in about 4-5 days when everyone has read it (including those who have yet to join us).
I just read the first quarter or so of it and it's off to a pretty good start. Damn Mann's prose is extremely rich, it feels both classic and modern in a really unique way, the only comparable example I can think of is Nabokov.
I read it a year ago and it's a book that I don't feel the need to read again. I would like to discuss, though, maybe after everyone's finished.
I think my interpretation of it is less popular.
Good Morning. I hope you're all enjoying it so far. Let's keep at it. Remember, this project is suppose to be complementary to your reading habits. It's still only the second day, so let's keep spoilering only the specific things relating to the plot. Cheers, mates.
NABOKOV ON THOMAS MAN
Mann, Thomas. Dislike him. Second-rate, ephemeral, puffed-up.
Death in Venice. Asinine. To consider it a masterpiece is an absurd delusion. Poshlost. Mediocre, but anyway plausible.
OP: "So guys, what do you think of Thomas Mann's Death In Venice?"
"I love it"
*anime reaction image*
"Mann, Thomas. Dislike him. Second-rate, ephemeral, puffed-up. Death in Venice. Asinine. To consider it a masterpiece is an absurd delusion. Poshlost. Mediocre, but anyway plausible."
>Poshlost' is the Russian version of banality, with a characteristic national flavoring of metaphysics and high morality, and a peculiar conjunction of the sexual and the spiritual. This one word encompasses triviality, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity, and a lack of spirituality.
[Please reply with more audiobooks of the chosen book in other languages]
>Nothing stirred behind the hedge in the stonemason's yard, where crosses, monuments, and commemorative tablets made a supernumerary and untenanted graveyard opposite the real one.
This is some stunning imagery.
Would say movement
>"Animo" = animated ?
Anima = soul. I think it's "animated" but with a sort of conscience
Pretty much this
>it looks like "continued animation"
What about the movement?
I would say the "continuous movement of the soul" (see soul as "conscience of creation")
But what I said here :>>5279214
is the "original" translation of the quote
I have a question.
At the beginning, the narrator says that:
>What pleases the public is lively and vivid delineation which makes no demands on the intellect; but passionate and absolutist youth can only be enthralled by a problem. And Aschenbach was as absolute, as problematist, as any youth of them all
But later he says that :
>And certain it is that the youth's constancy of purpose, no matter how painfully conscientious, was shallow beside the mature resolution of the master of his craft, who made a right-about-face, turned his back on the realm of knowledge, and passed it by with averted face, lest it lame his will or power of action, paralyse his feelings or his passions, deprive any of these of their conviction or utility
So basically Aschenbach became a writer for the public? Is being a "master" all about writing "vivid delineation which makes no demands on the intellect"? Is it what the narrator is trying to say? Or did I misunderstood something?
Accidentally posted before finishing, but I was going to say that the scenes on the bench and Asenbach's interaction with the performers were a couple of my favorites. His writing is great.
I didn't read the entire thread, but let me pour my thoughts about the work into it nevertheless.
First things first: Aschenbach, as a name, is subtle foreshadowing at its finest. "ash (black) creek" would be the literal translation of the name, and it alludes to the death of cholera that Aschenbach will suffer in Venice. Cholera, in german atleast, instantly makes you think at the word "Kohle", coal, the colour black, and then again ash, while the word creek has a pretty obvious connection to Venice.
This might seem obvious to german readers, but for non-native german this might be a funny little surprise.
About the meaning of the work: the general theme is the conflict between the Apollonian and the Dionysian aspect of art - and of life. The calm and the wild, the mind and the heart, the constructive and the destructive, the rationality and the emotionality.
Aschenbach, a german historian, (both the cliché of the german and the profession of the historian fit well into the apollonian) goes "down" (southwards) to Venice, the city of art and wild festivities. Italy in general is associated with romance (Goethe: "Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor."), and what happens to Aschenbach after his arrival? He falls in love, with a boy. A young boy. How would a rational, calm, "boring" dude like Aschenbach do something like this? This does not fit into his character at all! Because, guess what, he now finds an appretiation for the "dionysian". It destroys him - morally and eventually physically as well - but this destruction his just a side-effect (or the most important aspect?) of the wild dionysian art. It is decadence par excellence! (Thomas Mann is often included in academic lists of decadent writers, and I think Der Tod in Venedig plays an important roll there.)
In the end, it is not the contaminated strawberry he eats that kills him. It is the conscious decision to continue the new lifestyle he finds in Venice, the conscious decision to embrace the beauty (of loving a young boy), and the finiteness and vanity thereof. If the cholera of the strawberry wouldn't have killed Aschenbach, something else would have, but it doesn't matter. Important is only that he dies, and that he dies doing something he enjoys.
In that sense there is a lot of symbolism in this simple summary of the plot: a person goes from Germany to Italy and dies there.
He goes from the north to the south, from the head to the heart, from the solid land to the flowing streets of Venice. It's a fall. Mann himself called the novella „Tragödie einer Entwürdigung“, the tragedy of a degradation. I am not sure, however, if he meant that in a positive or a negative light, I think both options are highly possible (and intentionally so).
Please excuse if I made a few mistakes here, it's been a year or two since I read it. I am not sure if Aschenbach was a historian or just an unspecific writer, but I think he was a historian.
> being a "master" all about writing "vivid delineation which makes no demands on the intellect"?
What i understood was that like he was already a Master, writing no longer required an effort for him.
>So now, perhaps, feeling, thus tyrannized, avenged itself by leaving him, refusing from now on to carry and wing his art and taking away with it all the ecstasy he had known in form and expression. Not that he was doing bad work. So much, at least, the years had brought him, that at any moment he might feel tranquilly assured of mastery.
So, his mastery allows him to always get the bare minimun required for work "that's not bad". Which i believe is what "vivid delineation which makes no demands on the intellect" is referring to.
>Thomas Mann's 1939 novel, Lotte in Weimar: The Beloved Returns, or otherwise known by Lotte in Weimar or The Beloved Returns, is a story written in the shadow of Goethe; Thomas Mann developed the narrative almost as a response to Goethe's novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, although Goethe's work is more than 150 years older than Lotte in Weimar.
This sounds very interesting. A kind of want to read them in a row later on, but I've never read any Goethe.
It's a love story about a young person who then kills himself, and it's supposed to be very tragic, even though, really, the moral of the story is summed up very well by saying "yolo".
>mfw seeing a book club thread and then realizing what the book is about
Why do we always have to read such gay shit?
Three passages in and I've taken four pages of notes. I like to think I've deduced what this story will be about: a lonely man simply wants to be left alone in order to philosophize about the world around him, but after realizing there are too many distractions in this very world (work, other people), he ends up believing death will provide him with the "peace of mind" he craves.
From the very first paragraph, we are given Aschenbach's goal in the phrase "motus animi continuus" which many of you have mentioned in the thread. Cicero meant this as a 'perpetual effort of the mind; or, to continually arouse the consciousness', which Cicero viewed as the essence of eloquence. Aschenbach is too overworked to not only 'arouse his consciousness' but to even think on the very simple matters. His inability to philosophize has caused him stress and insomnia.
Throughout the first page, we are given very subtle references to death and the elderly, which are played against scenes of livelihood and youth. I'll pass on the name meaning of Aschenbach for the time being since >>5279361 did a pretty good job at summarizing the origin of his name. The month the story takes place in is another big clue into elder vs youth. May, which is the month the story begins, typically marks the beginning of summer. The narrator states that an early summer came this year. May is named after 'maiores', the Latin word for "elders", and the following month (June) is named after 'iuniores' the Latin word for "young people". Summer represents the "end of elders". This foreshadows how Aschenbach, the elder of the story, is either closer to dying than normal or is more ready to die than others, but he is still relatively young for his age (I'm guessing about 60). I also believed I heard this book was similar to Lolita in some way.
Aschenbach's stroll was to find "peace of mind" so that he may have a relaxing sleep. He becomes tired upon reaching the cemetery. He comes close to getting the "peace of mind" when near death. Now, I'm not very good at architectural or religious references, so I feel like my notes begin to fall apart a bit at the third passage. I decided to focus more on the flow of Aschenbach's thoughts and his eyes, and how they mark shifts in this single passage. Following his tiredness, Aschenbach is now able to 'continually arouse the consciousness'. In the peaceful solitude of the empty grave site, Aschenbach contemplates two scriptural texts hung on a near by Chapel, but this is cut short at the realization that another man has been watching him.
In this passage, Aschenbach changes focus from Munich to a chapel to a shadowy man. I don't believe this is what Cicero meant by a 'perpetual effort of the mind'. Aschenbach is not able to focus his mind on any of these topics and contemplate their meanings, but rather, Munich, the chapel, and the man serve only as distractions in Aschenbach's quest for "motus animi continuus".
Might as well post some other notes I have.
The scriptural quotes, mainly "They are entering into the House of the Lord" serve as reassurance to others who have a loved one buried in the cemetery. This 'mystical' quote is the one which throws Aschenbach close to reaching "motus animi continuus". He wants to go to the House of the Lord, a place in which he able to contemplate for as long as he likes, with no distractions.
On the opposite side of the North Cemetery is the stonemason's yard. The stonemason has made an overabundance of tombstones that they have formed into their very own (fake) cemetery. This overabundance of tombstones may serve as reassurance to those who are about to die. Seeing this, Aschenbach realizes that the North Cemetery has enough tombstones and grave sites, that he is guaranteed a place in the grave, and therefore, a place in the 'house of the Lord' heaven.
This is probably just a huge coincidence, but "the stonemason's yard" may be the first reference to Venice in this story. "The Stonemason's Yard" is a fairly famous painting depicting a Venetian scene showing on one side, many citizens doing their own thing, and on the other side, isolated from everyone, is an old stonemason hammering away at his work.
Oh, my bad. I thought I put that in my second post. As I said, "the house of the lord" is where Aschenbach wants to be. One could see the chapel as being the "house of the lord", so on a physical level, all Aschenbach needs to do is walk into the chapel. However, this ginger-haired man, guarded by apocalyptic beasts, is blocking the passageway into the chapel. This very man is also the one which brought Aschenbach 'back into reality' and away from his thoughts.
I haven't read onwards yet, but I feel like he might be a villain of some kind, but I'd rather not put any premature judgement on what something represents yet.
The book isn't really, I'm kind of a pleb but took it as a tired man that always focused on work and success realizing the other side of life that he missed - youth, beauty, love more or less. But he discovers these things too late and life and it turns into a sort of debauchery in the end when he becomes like the old man at the beginning of the story that he despised.
The movie was kinda gay though, Visconti made it much more straightforward to Aschenbach having a physical desire for Tadzio. It'd be kind of cool to do a livestream of it for everyone to compare.
Hey guise, how long does a book club go on for until it dies? This is the first time I've encountered a book club on /lit/ but I don't know whether or not this one is counts as a 'success'.
Didn't follow the thread closely and not the guy you quoted, but recalling what >>5279361 said, the most obvious interpretation of the wanderer, with his outlandish looks is the greek god Dionysus, which is closely associated with foreignness.
If you've not read the whole story, pay close attention to the characters Aschenbach meets at his journey, they all foreshadow, what he does, or what he himself experiences later.
I have a question about the Apollonian and Dionysian concept. Are these ever used to describe paintings, architecture, or other works of art?
Like, I could call the statue of David "Apollonian" since its traditional and requires a lot of discipline and structure to make, while an abstract painting would be "Dionysian" since most of them don't have any order.
I honestly am not so sure if it really is a thing throughout art history, or if it is just a concept that Nietzsche came up with.
You should, however, read The Birth of Tragedy to get a background on this subject. It is mainly about the conflict between the apollonian and the dyonisian, and the two extremes are defined there the best.
Dionysian however doesn't just mean abstract, it is more about liveliness and movement. Music, for example, is generally considered to be dyonisian (even though Apoll was also associated with the lyre, but maybe because he was just a god of art in general, and the lyre is the symbol of art in the greel pantheon.)
>But it seems that a noble and active mind blunts itself against nothing so quickly as the sharp and bitter irritant of knowledge.
What does he mean by "noble mind"? That is putting my interpretation of this line on stress.
I really liked the way in which the inner change in Aschenbach is portrayed. First, he is intimidated by the Dionysian, which the ginger symbolizes as previously discussed here, however, later on he decides to search for him on the tram station. Meaning that he is ready to leave the Apollonian behind and change his life. I think this is the first of many times we'll see the contrast. Can someone explain what was the idea of the vision Aschenbach had ?
The "master" of this quote :
>And certain it is that the youth's constancy of purpose, no matter how painfully conscientious, was shallow beside the mature resolution of the master of his craft, who made a right-about-face, turned his back on the realm of knowledge, and passed it by with averted face, lest it lame his will or power of action, paralyse his feelings or his passions, deprive any of these of their conviction or utility.
Good morning and welcome to day 3. I took the liberty of creating a poll to see how far we are in our reading and how many of us it can be said are participating in this project -- like a census.
Balzac, Honoré de. Mediocre. Fakes realism with easy platitudes.
Camus, Albert. Dislike him. Second-rate, ephemeral, puffed-up. A nonentity, means absolutely nothing to me. Awful.
Céline, Louis-Ferdinand. Second-rate. A tense-looking but really very loose type of writing.
Cervantes, Miguel de.
Don Quixote. A cruel and crude old book.
Conrad, Joseph. A favorite between the ages of 8 and 14. Essentially a writer for very young people. Certainly inferior to Hemingway and Wells. Intolerable souvenir-shop style, romanticist clichés. Nothing I would care to have written myself. In mentality and emotion, hopelessly juvenile. Romantic in the large sense. Slightly bogus.
Faulkner, William. Dislike him. Writer of corncobby chronicles. To consider them masterpieces is an absurd delusion. A nonentity, means absolutely nothing to me.
Freud, Sigmund. A figure of fun. Loathe him. Vile deceit. Freudian interpretation of dreams is charlatanic, and satanic, nonsense.
Lawrence, D. H. Second-rate, ephemeral, puffed-up. Mediocre. Fakes realism with easy platitudes. Execrable.
Maupassant, Guy de. Certainly not a genius.
Plato. Not particularly fond of him.
Pound, Ezra. Definitely second-rate. A total fake. A venerable fraud.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Even more awful than Camus.
Nausea. Second-rate. A tense-looking but really very loose type of writing.
Wilde, Oscar. Rank moralist and didacticist. A favorite between the ages of 8 and 14. Essentially a writer for very young people. Romantic in the large sense.
And here about Dostojewskiy:
A cheap sensationalist, clumsy and vulgar. A prophet, a claptrap journalist and a slapdash comedian. Some of his scenes are extraordinarily amusing. Nobody takes his reactionary journalism seriously.
The Double. His best work, though an obvious and shameless imitation of Gogol's "Nose."
The Brothers Karamazov. Dislike it intensely.
Crime and Punishment. Dislike it intensely. Ghastly rigmarole.
Totally listening to the audiobook at the moment.
When do we talk about it?
Just wondering as we aren't yet talking about DiV should we start talking about creating a system to choose the next book? By which category of lit should we choose our next read? Should we have a specific theme, language, country, or movement as our category to choose from? Or is it best to just take general recommendations? I think having a general category that we choose from that changes after each book we read would be best to keep the books we read varied and to have some sort of organization to our reading history. What do you guys think?
Is it just a miracle we have made it this far?
>should we start talking about creating a system to choose the next book? By which category of lit should we choose our next read? Should we have a specific theme, language, country, or movement as our category to choose from? Or is it best to just take general recommendations? I think having a general category that we choose from that changes after each book we read would be best to keep the books we read varied and to have some sort of organization to our reading history. What do you guys think?
That sounds interesting. My own idea was to use the old list and put it up in the choices as default and the new recs are made and the choices become more numerous and therefore we have more to choose from. And after every choice the other options are dragged along to the next picking, but the ones with 0 votes get casted away unless they're rec'd again.
I think whatever everyone wants to do will work but a system of choosing seems to help avoid reading in a rut or getting stuck reading one type of lit, which I feel /lit/ might get stuck in with it's recommendations because we have our own standard canon, if you will, that is always brought up and we could be/start missing out on books with comparable value. (humor me by assuming we can all imagine a value table of lit)
TLDR: a(ny) system of choosing our next book will help keep things fresh and new, while still allowing the people of the club to choose what they read.
I was thinking of creating more or less guidelines to follow, while keeping everything up to the people,citizens?,members? of the club.
Basically at this point have a vote for which theme the next two(or which ever number is best) books we read will follow. (IE: Russian lit, Fantasy, Romanticism.) This could also include specifics in books like the main character is a recluse or the novel follows a persons journey? (Just throwing ideas out there)
Vote on the theme or category of lit, and have them shown in a google docs page or some other way to let people know what type of lit we are going to read next so as to give an idea of what we might read instead of just having books randomly recommended.
This is wholly unrealistic because we would actually need to be somewhat organized.
The idea of creating the default list and adding/removing recs based on votes/lack of votes is good too, would be nice to have it posted somewhere.
If anybody else wants to comment on this idea of having a system of choosing our next book please voice your opinion. It is a conversation we should have sooner than later.
Pic quasi related
Good morning. This is day 4 of our project. One more day and we can begin an open discussion. Or if it is preferred, we can start the day after tomorrow. Nonetheless, we are in the homestrech now. To those who just joined us, it would be wise to get as much reading as possible done by the end of today.
If we do a system, my vote would be to divide the possible lit according to the literary movement they belong to (ie. modernism, naturalism, romanticism, antiquity, etc... ) and our options would be rec-based.
The old book club was awesome.
What we wood do is make a thread and everyone posted the book they wanted to read.
OP would then make a a top 5 and then make a poll and link to some website.
Then we read.
The books were
1.The Sorrows of Young Werther
2.The Epic of Gilgamesh
3.Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Was a solid fucken list, but everyone quit because the discussions were filled with fucked up arguments over nothing (stuff not even pertaining to the books, it was just about semantics and bullshit as usual).
In hot days with no wind, there might be a little stench, but most of the times there isn't any. It's a giant lagoon with only a little water exchange, it's normal that it isn't always nice.
>That's a fault of the translation.
"Gustav Aschenbach oder von Aschenbach, wie seit seinem fünfzigsten
Geburtstag amtlich sein Name lautete, hatte an einem
Frühlingsnachmittag des Jahres 19.., das unserem Kontinent monatelang
eine so gefahrdrohende Miene zeigte, von seiner Wohnung in der
Prinz-Regentenstraße zu München aus, allein einen weiteren Spaziergang
Just finished reading it.
It was awful.
The meanderings of a boring and vacant non-person self-insert who can't get over how cute a boy is and talking about himself and pontificating about "his craft".
Fucking boring as hell. What makes it worse, is there is nothing funny or dramatic in it, it's just boring as hell bullshit. Yes, and I do understand some of the underlying themes.
Of how the hedonism, perversion, and debauchery of Venice is reflected in the cholora outbreak, how everyone knows it exists yet everyone pretends it doesn't for the fact of prolonging the hedonism and debauchery.
I also understand further more that the short-story is a satire on the self-important "pretentious idle-gentleman".
Regardless, the story sucked ass. Nothing, and I mean nothing made me enjoy it.
>The meanderings of a boring and vacant non-person self-insert who can't get over how cute a boy is and talking about himself and pontificating about "his craft".
Not a fan of proust I take it?
Do your own homework T.A. of Queer literature course.
I'm not even a quarter the way through the book at the moment but I never really understood his attraction to the young male form - then I came across this pic and I think I understand it better (I know the polish kid Aschenback is infatuated with is much younger), just the general attractiveness of the male. I recall seeing a marble statue of some pretty boy which I almost mistook for a female until I looked at the chest and penis as well which this guy reminded me of which I had forgotten. It's strange - I don't find him sexually attractive but he has certain features which are a charm to look at and admire.
Good Morning. This is Day 5. I feel this is as good a day as ever to begin the full discussion. But Idk, you tell me. Should we wait one more day considering there were a few who had just started the book yesterday?
You see, im all for complementing the project with the steam chat, goodread, and any other medium. However, I think that to limit it there is a bad idea and would ultimately lead the project astray. For this project to be successful, it must become a staple of the board and self-perpetuating. /lit/izens should be able to take part in it within the same medium they know, 4chan, to be allowed the same anonimity and elements that makes us keep coming back. If we isolate the discussion (the main attraction of the BC) somewhere else that requires and account and to leave 4chan, we severly limit its potential to grow. I think it's great to have something like a steam chat to go along with it, but the threads, in my opinion, should be the main medium for this project. Though, this is ultimately a cooperative between the partakers, so if most want to do it in the steam chat, i'll gladly join.
The point of a critique is not what they thought but Why they thought so. Most of these are probably false in their full encapsulation of what the book meant to the writer.
Example A: Nabokov on Cervantes from an essay on the Quixote by Simon Leys
The first of the critics I shall consider is Vladimir Nabokov. Nabokov gave six lectures on Don Quixote when he was a visiting lecturer at Harvard during the early Fifties.2 When preparing his course, at first he relied upon the memory he had retained of the novel which he had enjoyed in his youth. Soon, however, he felt the need to go back to the text—but this time, he was appalled by the crudeness and the savagery of Cervantes’ narrative. In the words of Brian Boyd, his biographer, “He detested the belly-laughs Cervantes wanted his readers to derive from his hero’s discomfiture, and he repeatedly compared the vicious ‘fun’ of the book with Christ’s humiliation and crucifixion, with the Spanish Inquisition, with modern bullfighting.”
He enjoyed so much thundering against Don Quixote in front of a large student audience that he eventually upset a number of colleagues on the faculty, and he was solemnly warned: “Harvard thinks otherwise.” When, some years later, he applied for a chair at Harvard, his candidacy was rejected, which was a bitter blow for him. Other factors were probably more significant, but the Don Quixote lectures may well have had some part in this fiasco.
Nabokov always found particular enjoyment in challenging received opinions. On the subject of Don Quixote, his taste for the unconventional helped him to formulate at least one original and important observation: contrary to what most readers believe, the narrative of Don Quixote is not made of one monotonous series of disasters. After a careful check, episode by episode, Nabokov was able to demonstrate that the issue of each adventure was actually quite unpredictable, and he even compiled the score of Don Quixote’s victories and defeats as games in a tennis match, which remained full of suspense till the very end: “6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7. But the fifth set will never be played. Death cancels the match.”
His distaste for Cervantes’ sadistic treatment of Don Quixote reached such a point that he eventually excluded the book from his regular lectures on foreign literature at Cornell: he could not bear to dwell on the subject any further. But the corollary of his virulent hostility toward the writer was a loving admiration for his creature, which he expressed in a moving tribute:
[Don Quixote] has ridden for three hundred and fifty years through the jungles and tundras of human thought—and he has gained in vitality and stature. We do not laugh at him any longer. His blazon is pity, his banner is beauty. He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant.
The point here being that Cervantes has always been a strange author in that he is the only author who has written a character that has transcended the author to, in effect, make people believe that the character has more authenticity as a human being than the author. Most people hate Cervantes because of the cruelty inflicted on Don Quixote, his most endearing character, throughout the book. One-liners are always useless the capture the full aspect and they become the fuel of stupid memes.
If you analyse why Nabokov hates Conrad you have to look into Nabokov's own writing philosophy. Both are authors that were born in other countries and only adopted English later in their life yet both became famous in a language that was not their own. Nabokov's attitude to his work is that of illusion and playfulness. He wants his work to be a toy box or a puppet show which is why he plays such games like making the commentary of a poem the significant crux of a story, why he plays with unreliable narrators and hides mysteries in his work. Conrad on the other hand is a writer of pure sincerity. His books are Romanticist in nature and are taken from his own experiences which he tries to recount as exact as he can. His work has no illusions and express truly what he feels. Obviously these two would be against one another.
Yeah, and link to the last thread.
As long as it's clear that it's a continuation of the previous thread all should be fine. We should try and use a similar picture to start each thread as well as title to make it easier to find (e.g. from the catalog).
Even /a/ have more organisation then /lit/ - they have a learning japanese continuous thread (i.e. making a new thread each day) which lasted well over 2 years with a new thread every day without fail. /int/ manages it with a japanese discussion thread as well which is well into the hundreds.
This /lit/ reading club could be pretty great if only it was seriously kept up.