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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:53 am 
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Location: State College, PA
Vaughn wrote:
James Morrow.


I have personally met and had talks with James Morrow on several occasions because he lives in State College and goes to the UU down the street from where I live. Every year, he does a lecture on Charles Darwin Day. If you want, I could easily get you a signed copy of one of his books or something.

Fun Fact: He thinks Bret Easton Ellis is a hack.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:57 am 
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Oh, and on the subject of Danielewski, did anyone read The Fifty Year Sword? It's a pretty short read, but superb, and the idea of what's happening always sends chills through my spine.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:02 am 
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I have a copy of it, I was pleasantly surprised. The idea of a horror story children's book told from the perspective it is in his style sounded awful pretentious, but he really did handle it with delicate flair, and when it all came together in such a fun cheesy fashion it felt satisfying and fun as opposed to cliche or predictable.

Also, the edition they put out for retail recently is really really great. I'm glad it's available to the public now, and with such lovely stitchwork.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:07 am 
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I went back and saw the picture you posted. I bought the same one. It was so good that I read it in a single night starting at one in the morning by book light while my girlfriend slept beside me. It was chilling and unforgettable.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:49 pm 
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It was pointed out to me today that the timeline in "Othello" doesn't make any sense. The action happens across three days or so, but there's lots of dialogue (and indeed the general feel of the timeline) suggesting it's much longer, a few weeks or thereabouts. I'm now rereading the play trying to sort it out one way or another. Curse you, pointers-out of plot holes in the classics!

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Well to be fair Shakespeare is a classic more for his use of the English language than for his actual skills as a storyteller.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 4:56 pm 
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He also wrote the things in like three days, there're a bunch more inconsistencies. I think Cassio is mentioned as being married or engaged when we first encounter him, and then it's never mentioned again and he goes on to be a massive slayer of babes.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 1:12 pm 
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I've almost finished House of Leaves, I'm in the poems section. I really enjoyed the novel and the creative way he wrote it. The traditional style of writing would not have done the book any justice.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 12:56 am 
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Double post to mention I finished the novel today. I had a headache translating his mother's writing. Still great novel.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:37 pm 
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This is one of the draws of Mark Z. for me. Even if you don't have the patience for standard English prose, you can sit down and enjoy his books. After having started and needed to put down Only Revolutions, I do have to say, however, that it is very open to interpretation and, as a result, can sometimes be hard to follow. I only put it down because I've been working on a novel and I admit that the books I read while working on anything of significant length tend to cast a shade of themselves into my own style and I wouldn't want something as erratic as OR pushing my hand. I'm still in the thick of plot development, after all.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:49 pm 
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You know, I don't know if I love HoL, or massively hate it. I can't sit down with it and read it for hours, but I find it really fun to pick through. I think I like it as an 'exercise' in what a narrative is, and to turn it around and read all asides and footnotes and academic references and bibliographies and coloured letters and things about the house. I enjoy that. But actually sitting down and reading through it, I can't say it's something I'd read cover to cover again. It's like a table-book, or whatever you call 'em, fun to pick at, but not fun to sit down with. And I spent four years reading incredibly dense, academic tomes about the entire history of Soviet economy and politics and found it fun. And I -like- meta, and I like weird and wonderful books, and I don't mind dense and wordy - in fact that's what grabbed me about HoL in the first place. But I dunno, maybe it's too try-hard. Maybe the central narrative isn't strong -enough- to justify itself and thus it feels thinly patched together. Maybe it's just a little too precious, even for a pretentious academic (heh!). Maybe it's just too long for what he was doing. Whatever it is, I like the book in pieces, and I like the idea, and whenever I pick it up and have a quick skim, it's fine. But in itself, I don't know. I'm torn, tending towards vague mehness, disinterest, something like that, I don't even know.

It makes me think vaguely of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Did anyone else read that book or try to? I don't know why I hate it so much, it's not challenging or something, but it's so try hard and flowery and ridiculous and pretentious that it drowns in its own stuffiness. HoL is much livelier, of course, and less likely to make me gag like a loon, but they both have this element that puts me off really engaging in them, and I can't put my finger on what it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:28 pm 
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So, there's an important kickstarter going on for once, and I don't mean a game that I think looks really neat or a webcomic book that I like.

Fantagraphics is, at least in the medium of comics, one of the most important publishing companies ever. They've been doing their thing since the late 70's now, determined to publish the best of the best out there, past, present, and hopefully future. At any cost. They got the rights to release the complete Peanuts, and kept releasing volumes even as they were going bankrupt by digging further and further into their own personal pockets. Their work is twofold, firstly publishing the greatest classic comics they can get their hands on, and secondly finding the best contemporary works to give a voice to. They work in loads of languages, with stuff from all over the world, and made their mark as a cornerstone through every step of the Alt Comics movement from the moment it started until present day.

too long;didn't read, these guys do what they love, and have consistently done everything they could to bring loving quality printings of what they feel to be the most significant sequential art out there. They never give up on a series they think is great once they've begun. No matter what.

Right now, they're in trouble. One of the two founders, who still handled almost all of their translation work on European publications personally, died of lung cancer last year just a few months after being diagnosed. They'll have to drop a huge portion of their 2014 lineup, and as a result lose a lot of their income unless they can get some support. They want 150,000 dollars to help keep their heads above water during all this. Tons of important cartoonists are chipping in with great rewards. If you've got the money lying around, or see something you really like, please consider chipping in.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fan ... hic-novels

(also I'm putting this **** in literature because we don't really have a thread for print comics, sue me)

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:49 am 
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[quote="PulledTeeth"]Oh, and on the subject of Danielewski, did anyone read The Fifty Year Sword? It's a pretty short read, but superb, and the idea of what's happening always sends chills through my spine.


I read this recently. Now before I get into the stuff that sounds really negative about it, I want to say I did really really enjoy the story and the stitchart. Both of them were beautifully done.

However: Mark Z. is a genius, it seems, if he got people to pay hundreds of dollars to buy such an incredibly short story just because his autograph was on a limited number of copies. I am not exaggerating when I say I read it in 45 minutes and that the entire story is basically on the left side of the book. That is some grade-A pretentious **** right there.

But like I said, I really really enjoyed the story and the art anyway. I hope to add it and Only Revolutions to my collection as soon as I financially can.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Speaking of "House of Leaves", has anybody here read Nabokov's "Pale Fire"? Because holy ****, you should. It isn't as structurally elaborate as "House of Leaves" and not as immediately mindfuckingly weird, but it is just as interestingly layered. Once you realize that Charles Kinbote is not just a huge egotistical ******* but that he is completely unreliable as a narrator, you start wondering where the lies and truth are separate, and suddenly you're down a rabbit hole where you question who actually wrote the poem and the commentary and if it was actually written by some minor character that's only mentioned twice or even by the ghost of John Shade's dead daughter (that's not a spoiler; it's part of the poem). Or if Kinbote was Shade or Shade was Kinbote or where the hell is Zembla (somewhere north).

Anyway. Yeah. If you haven't read it, you should read it.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:03 am 
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Sounds interesting. I got bored with House of Leaves but I admire its ambition. Something similar but better could be great.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:24 am 
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I picked up Night Film, and it's really interesting. About a disgraced reporter chasing down an enigmatic niche horror director, who has gone into hiding after retiring. Mixed media sort of project, with fake web pages and stuff inserted as visuals for things the main character researches. The writing is kinda iffy occasionally, and the author does that fucking annoying Stephen King italics thing every third sentence or so, but it's probably my favorite "high concept" novel since House of Leaves so far, got a genuinely creepy air and some really original ideas.

I also nabbed Emily Carroll's book, which should probably go in the webcomics thread, but she's a REAL PUBLISHED ARTIST now I guess. I was super pleasantly surprised that everything in it was original, except for His Face All Red, which I guess is her Big Famous One so that makes sense. Very good.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:37 pm 
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I also bought the Emily Carroll book, and I agree it was pretty fantastic, though I would say I still prefer her webcomics stuff, I think some of her webcomics like The Hole the Fox did Make and Margot's Room are really fantastic while the stuff in Through the Woods is more sort of straight horror.


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:23 pm 
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daily reminder that asoiaf is best fantasy series


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 Post subject: Re: Discussing Literature
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:45 pm 
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