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    1. The 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Olga Tokarczuk, and the 2019 Prize to Peter Handke

      Short link. Probably more to follow. The Swedish Academy handed out two prizes this year, after they were forced to suspend the prize last year amid a metoo scandal which saw most of the Academy’s...

      Short link. Probably more to follow.

      The Swedish Academy handed out two prizes this year, after they were forced to suspend the prize last year amid a metoo scandal which saw most of the Academy’s members either resign voluntarily or be forced to resign. There’s been a lot of speculation about how they were going to restore their reputation this year, and they spent a long portion of the press conference explaining their new process, whereas in past years they haven’t felt compelled to do so.

      It was expected that at least one of the two prizes would go to a woman, with Margaret Atwood being one of the odds favorites (the bookmakers’ picks never win, so I don’t know whether we should put much stock in them, but they do reflect pre-award buzz). I’m not too familiar with either author, but it’s interesting that they chose Peter Handke. He’s one of Europe’s most controversial authors for his decades-long support of Serbia and Slobodan Milosevic’s actions during the Yugoslav Wars. He once compared Serbians to the Jews during WW2, visited Milosevic in prison when he was on trial for war crimes, and spoke at the man’s funeral. He’s also hailed as one of the greatest living German-language authors. It’s like the Academy decided to throw feminists a bone by awarding a woman the prize, but then couldn’t resist jumping headlong into controversy again right away.

      10 votes
    2. International literature #6: French

      I'd put this series on hold, because of lack of activity. Now I'll give it another go, with French, one of the languages with huge amounts of influential literature. So, without further ado,...

      I'd put this series on hold, because of lack of activity. Now I'll give it another go, with French, one of the languages with huge amounts of influential literature.

      So, without further ado, please share your favourite French books and authors!

      14 votes
    3. International literature #5: Polish

      Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many...

      Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many different forms: Commonwealth, Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, Russia, German Empire, Soviet Union, and now in it's current form. Poland has produced many famous figures, such as Chopin and Marie Skłodowska Curie, and now it's time to share Poland's best authors.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Polish?

      5 votes
    4. International literature #4: Arabic

      This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions! Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3...

      This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions!

      Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3 Portuguese. It wasn't the most commented post, but it had some good recommendations.

      8 votes
    5. The greatest lesson you've learned from classical fiction?

      I am currently enjoying a very thought-provoking semester of American Literature. Prior to this class, I wouldn't have considered fiction as useful in my everyday life, as opposed to something...

      I am currently enjoying a very thought-provoking semester of American Literature. Prior to this class, I wouldn't have considered fiction as useful in my everyday life, as opposed to something like a self-help book. What I've found is exactly the opposite, and I have found novels such as Great Expectations to be even more influential than anything I've ever read.

      So I ask you all, what is the greatest lesson you've learned from classical fiction?

      12 votes
    6. International literature #3: Portuguese

      The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go. This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of...

      The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go.

      This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of course other places as well =)! The only writer of Portuguese that I know by name is Paulo Coelho, so I look forwards to your recommendations.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Portuguese?

      13 votes
    7. A poem in honor of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's upcoming 100th birthday.

      #19 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti So rent a museum and see yourself in mirrors- In every room an exposition of a different phase in your life with all your figures and faces and pictures of all the...
                                                    #19 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
      

      So rent a museum
      and see yourself in mirrors-
      In every room an exposition
      of a different phase in your life
      with all your figures and faces
      and pictures of all the people who
      passed through you
      and all the scenes
      you passed through
      all the landscapes of living
      and longing and desiring
      and spending and getting
      and doing and dying
      and sighing and laughing and crying
      (what antic gesturing!)
      And walking through the house of yourself
      you climb again to all
      the rooms of youself
      full of the other lives & selves
      who passed through them
      Rooms rooms rooms
      piled up haphazard
      in the architecture of time
      And all the bodies clinging to each other
      or rushing to windows
      to break out of the room
      which they boxed themselves into
      All the people of your life
      in one house in the night
      all lights lit
      like a cruise ship at sea
      And you run up and down
      knocking on all the doors
      through which you hear
      all the once-familiar voices
      laughing or sobbing or singing
      And you run to the roof
      and look up to the mute night sky
      And in the wheeling template of stars
      see the faces of the figures
      of the lovely lovers who
      had once made time stand still
      now all fixed
      in their constellated relations
      motionless in time

      So that
      some day
      as time bends around
      to its beginning again
      you find them all again
      and yourself

      4 votes
    8. International literature #2: Korean

      Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language,...

      Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language, but I won't get mad if you post Nabokov in the thread about Russian. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Korean?

      8 votes
    9. What's the deal with Proust?

      I've never read Marcel Proust, and I know very little about his work. But every serious reader of literature I know absolutely gushes over him, but never seems to be able to explain what's good...

      I've never read Marcel Proust, and I know very little about his work. But every serious reader of literature I know absolutely gushes over him, but never seems to be able to explain what's good about it or what the books are even about.

      The scarce pop-culture references I see to his work (like in "Little Miss Sunshine") seems to cast an affection for Proust as kind of a mark of being an unmoored and depressive romantic.

      So is he worth reading? The full collection of "Remembrance of Things Past" is nearly $100, so that's not a trivial amount to invest. Is there a recommended/definitive translation or edition I should read? What should I keep in mind or be open to if I do try giving it a shot?

      By that last question I mean like, I'd have hated "Catcher In the Rye" if I wasn't told ahead of time to approach it from the mindset of a 15 year old boy. Or I kind of hated 'Madame Bovary" but when explained to me that this was Flaubert's exercise in trying to make people see themselves in an adulteress, a generally reviled archetype, and this was groundbreaking for the time lets me at least appreciate it for accomplishing what it's set out to do. Are there any literary contexts like I this should have in my head before I delve in?

      11 votes
    10. International literature #1: Italian

      This is the first post (a test post, to see if there is any interest) of a series of posts where we can share our favourite texts in foreign languages. I will try to include the large languages,...

      This is the first post (a test post, to see if there is any interest) of a series of posts where we can share our favourite texts in foreign languages. I will try to include the large languages, and some small as well. You're welcome to request a language too. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Italian?

      14 votes
    11. What are the most influential books to you?

      I'm young, I'm looking to understand more ways of looking at the world. What books do you recommend people to read that had profound impacts on your world outlook, character, or anything else like...

      I'm young, I'm looking to understand more ways of looking at the world. What books do you recommend people to read that had profound impacts on your world outlook, character, or anything else like that. Future me says thank you.

      Edit List (Books listed so far by Title):
      "Accelerando" by Charles Stross
      "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess
      "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
      "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson
      "Brave New World" by Huxley
      "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold
      "Collected Fictions" by Jorge Luis Borges
      "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoyevsky
      "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick
      "Don Quixote" by Cervantes
      "Daughters of the Dragons" by William Andrews
      "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
      "Fragile Things" by Neil Gaiman
      "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
      "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas R. Hofstadter
      "Great Books" by David Denby
      "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
      "History of Violence" By Édouard Louis
      "Homo Deus" by Yuval Noah Harari
      "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
      "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
      "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami
      "Maus" by Art Spiegelman
      "Naked Economics" by Charles Wheelan
      "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
      "Neuromancer" by William Gibson
      "Paid Attention" by Faris Yakob
      "Personality-Shaping Through Positive Disintegration Processes" by Kazimierz Dąbrowski
      "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari
      "Shogun" by James Clavell
      "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut
      "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu
      "Tales of Power" by Carlos Castaneda
      "Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science" by Peter Godfrey-Smith
      "The Ancestor's Tale" by Richard Dawkins
      "The Bible" by :contentious_topic_here:
      "The End of Eddy" By Édouard Louis
      "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
      "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood
      "The Lucifer Effect" by Philip Zimbardo
      "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes
      "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins
      "The Singularity Is Near" by Ray Kurzweill
      "The Stranger" by Camus
      "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff
      "The Three-Body Problem Trilogy" by Cixin Liu
      "Where Mathematics Comes From" by Lakoff and Nunez
      "Where I'm Calling From" by Raymond Carver
      "1984" by George Orwell

      20 votes
    12. What are some good Spanish books?

      I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original,...

      I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original, non-translated literature.

      What Spanish-language books would you recommend (that are not too difficult to read)?

      6 votes
    13. The Ceremony

      This is a short, experimental story I wrote. Hope it's interesting. As I opened my eyes the whirl of indistinction calmed and I was standing there in a room paneled in wood, rich and dark and...

      This is a short, experimental story I wrote. Hope it's interesting.


      As I opened my eyes the whirl of indistinction calmed and I was standing there in a room paneled in wood, rich and dark and polished slightly. It was time for the oath. She stood at her lectern with her book open in front of the priest, who turned to the needed page and bid her to sing, which she did, sweet and calm and certain, without dramatics or pomp. Why would she need it? It was what she was to do. She smiled, I think, her form was not clear except for the vague impression of her gently rounded cheeks and lips the color of a rose too pale a pink to be said red. And now the priest was across from me and my book opened to its song page. Seven squares, (or was it nine?), filled mid grey onto the paper ruled across with needle fine lines the color of rust. It was old, plainly, but still strong. I felt looking at the page a feeling I had never known, not quite joy or determination or happiness or fear but an immensity as if I had for a heart now an infinitely faceted gem in whose faces you could find any color if you would only let it catch the light. It was like madness melded together with a certainty so strong anything less than “it is” fails to reach it. I feared I could not voice it, and said as much to the priest. To point at the page and utter “Sing.” was his only response. And I did, tremulously and weakly, but I sang, and through it came a sweetness despite me. And it was done. Through the haze now I remember the ascent up the stairs and my body collapsing onto the white couch my head landing in her lap, and her final exclaim “_______! We are!”.

      5 votes
    14. Modern Portuguese literature, any hidden gems you know?

      Hello to all! Since I first read a Saramago novel (All the Names), I've grown to love Portuguese literature. Later I read Gonçalo Tavares and Pessoa, and I have some names to discover from their...

      Hello to all!

      Since I first read a Saramago novel (All the Names), I've grown to love Portuguese literature. Later I read Gonçalo Tavares and Pessoa, and I have some names to discover from their classics (illustrious ones like Gil Vicente or Eça de Queiroz), but because I don't know Portuguese yet, I have to make do with translations, which impedes me from following the current, less famous authors. So, I wonder if you could tell me about some of these ones. Which are your favourites, which ones would you suggest? Does not matter if translated or not, I can read in a couple other languages and will learn Portuguese soon too. Thanks in advance!

      7 votes
    15. Tolkien fans unite! Which is your favourite Tolkien book and why?

      I've personally read The Silmarillion 3 times and have found comfort and connection with the book and its stories. Sure, the names are still intimidating and the geography confusing sometimes but...

      I've personally read The Silmarillion 3 times and have found comfort and connection with the book and its stories. Sure, the names are still intimidating and the geography confusing sometimes but all that is part of the enjoyment for me.

      11 votes
    16. [NSFW] TIL Jame Joyce liked fucking the farts out of someone named Nora.

      “My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes,...

      “My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also.

      You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly.

      Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.”

      ― James Joyce, Selected Letters of James Joyce

      https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/504662-my-sweet-little-whorish-nora-i-did-as-you-told

      5 votes