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  •  You realize you'll have to diary on beloved Marcel (8+ / 0-)

    one day, don't you, Radiowalla?

    I'm surprised I haven't seen more on the centenary of Remembrance of Things Past. Not that I've been keeping up with book news. But it's really only the centenary of Swann's Way; perhaps they'll make more noise for Proust in 2027, on the centenary of the entire opus.

    Musicality. I noticed a lot of sound, and meanings behind sound - especially bells. I've read that Woolf was bipolar, and "her mental stress made her hyper-sensitive to sound" might fit - I don't know. I need to study both her and Mrs. Dalloway more. I'm most interested in reading her recent omnibus of collected essays: she's so full of sharp and original insight. But perhaps I'll find a good biography, too.

    Sometimes I feel like I'm working out a graduate degree in literature on my own, just with a lot less teachers and significant pieces of paper involved. If I find more on Woolf and sound, I'll let you know.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 03:07:12 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  There were a few discussions on NPR (7+ / 0-)

      about the centenary and here is one: Link

      Our illustrious Supreme Court justice Steven Breyer, a truly cultivated humanist, is also an admirer of Proust and he was interviewed (in French, mes amis!) in the Nov 7 issue of The New York Review of Books:  On Reading Proust.  His breath of understanding is just amazing to me.  God, if we only had more of him on the Court!

      As I continue my reading of Lighthouse I will keep thinking about Woolf and sound.  I do remember the "leaden circles" of Big Ben "dissolving in the air."  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 03:31:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm taking my aunt and 2 friends to wine & cheese (8+ / 0-)

        but I look forward to On Reading Proust later on.

        "God, if we only had more of him on the Court!" It seems, at the very least, we should require active, flexible, first-rate minds of our Supremes. Scalia's an annoying troll, but he can think honestly and hard when he chooses. Thomas and Alito should never have made the court (especially the lies and manipulation it took to get Thomas there) - they're an insult to all the sharper legal minds that didn't make it.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 04:18:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Breyer is one of the justices who (7+ / 0-)

          believes in looking at jurisprudence from around the world in order to broaden the court's perspective on the difficult issues of the day.  This is not at all acceptable to the purists on the right, including Scalia, who think the court should only consider the "original intent" of the framers, whatever that is.  I once saw them debate this on C-Span and it was a beautiful, learned discussion.  

          Yeah, Scalia is a nimble thinker, but he is also narrow-minded and seems to lack compassion.  In my view, Breyer is a figure of the Enlightenment and Scalia is a figure of the Middle Ages. (I was going to say the Inquisition, but that might be exaggerating…)

          As for Thomas and Alito:  you called it!

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 04:38:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice comparison; and a powerful debate, no doubt. (8+ / 0-)

            I know full well I'll read all of Proust in time. Reading and writing are practically my religion, so Proust is a saint or a demi-god to me. I'm enjoying the interview.

            "To me, Proust is the Shakespeare of the inner world." Good god. Well, that settles it, then.

            Also, what a worthy exploration for a jurist to attend to. How can you hope to define Justice, if you cannot exactly measure the whole human heart? Hearts, I should say, in all their variety.

            Ah, it turns out Breyer sums this perfectly:

            In my view, only by studying the humanities can we hope to escape this fundamental limitation and understand how other people live. Because literature, history, or philosophy all provide extraordinary windows on the world. Foreign languages, too, are fundamental.

            The French language gave me an entrée into another culture. It allowed me to discover different means of expression, a different way of life, different values, a different system of thought. Because when you’re a judge and you spend your whole day in front of a computer screen, it’s important to be able to imagine what other people’s lives might be like, lives that your decisions will affect. People who are not only different from you, but also very different from each other. So, yes, reading is a very good thing for a judge to do. Reading makes a judge capable of projecting himself into the lives of others, lives that have nothing in common with his own, even lives in completely different eras or cultures. And this empathy, this ability to envision the practical consequences on one’s contemporaries of a law or a legal decision, seems to me to a crucial quality in a judge.

            What large and humane wisdom.

            Ah, thanks for that most thoughtful interview.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 09:51:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  There was something about Proust's (5+ / 0-)

      centennary in the NYT but I don't remember exactly, except that there were going to be epic readings of Swann's Way (ala Bloomsday readings).

      Oh, and apparently the cognoscenti have finally agreed to properly translate A Recherche du Temps Perdu as Searching for Lost Time(s) or something like that: it was (I think) in that same article.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 09:57:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Searching for Lost Time' has been gaining ground (6+ / 0-)

        for several years now.

        I hope someone will be inspired to write the definitive, perfect, clear, poetic translation of the whole thing. So I can read one set of books and get 90% of Proust out of them. Though it's possible someone recently did that, and I just didn't notice.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 10:06:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I'm glad. (5+ / 0-)

          It was always so jarring to see that translation and be translating in my head and KNOWING it was wrong.

          Good luck on the translation thing. If you find it, let me know. Although I think it's probably hopeless: English is so terribly rhyme-poor, while French is incredibly rich.

          Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

          by Youffraita on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 10:13:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Read it in the French, slowly (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Radiowalla, Brecht, suka

          I finally did (just Swann's Way). It was immensely gratifying, particularly in that it's one of my all-time, all-time, all-time favorite works of fiction. The most recent translation, not the Moncrieff butchery but the Davis translation, matches the original pretty well and keeps the texture far more fidelitous.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:12:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  In Search of Lost Time (5+ / 0-)

        and also the 'proper' translation of each of the volumes as well i.e. Cities of the Plains has been restored rightfully as Proust had titled it Sodom and Gomorrah.

        The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

        by micsimov on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:08:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And do you know the best translation for capturing (3+ / 0-)

          Proust in English? Is there one that almost gets him, captures the subtleties and glow, and flows smoothly?

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:23:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In 1954 a revised three-volume edition of (5+ / 0-)

            A la recherché ... was published in Gallimard's Bibliotheque de la Pleiade, edited by M. Pierre Clarac and M. Andre Ferre; this edition is known as the Pleiade edition so you want the English translation of the Pleieade edition (and not of the earlier Nouvelle Revue Francasie edition).

            The Modern Library of New York put out in 2003 the six-volume paperback edition of In Search of Lost Time translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin; revised by D. J. Enright

            -- so, in short, the definitive English translation of Proust's Search is:
            Translated by C. K. Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin as Revised by D. J. Enright.

            The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

            by micsimov on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:46:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  sorry, one more time (6+ / 0-)

              Translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin as Revised by D. J. Enright.

              The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

              by micsimov on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:48:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you very much. (5+ / 0-)

                "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                by Brecht on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 10:03:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Read the Lydia Davis editions of the text (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest, Radiowalla, Brecht, suka

                  I've read Swann's Way in both the French and in English. This is considered to be a far superior translation, and I can see why -- it captures Proust's prose (I'm a huge Proustian, in truth):

                  http://www.amazon.com/...

                  This is the very best translation I've seen to-date.

                  Moncrieff doesn't even READ like Proust. Frankly, the liberties he took with the text are fairly egregious and change the flavor of Proust in ways that, to me, are totally unacceptable. Up there with cheap hazlenut-flavored coffee or something -- not quite like the real thing.

                  Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 12:15:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  André Aciman (4+ / 0-)

                    wrote copiously about the new translation of  Proust in the NY Review of Books.  I believe Aciman is a Proustian in his own right.  
                    Here are a couple of links, behind a paywall if you aren't a subscriber:
                    http://www.nybooks.com/...

                    http://www.nybooks.com/...

                    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                    by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:37:53 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I've only compared the first (5+ / 0-)

                      by Davis... the others sound... totrured, although it's behind a paywall for me. Translation is always very, very tricky, and really, I don't believe that literature can be translated, in truth: it can only be approximated. Having read more "bad" translations than I can count, well, I'm still not satisfied by most, and yet short of reading in the original, not much to be done. My usual aggravation is less concerned with syntax, to be honest, and more with vocabulary (just my personal pique).

                      They should have really had Davis translate all of these. Argh.

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:48:27 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Agree completely about translations. (5+ / 0-)

                        Too much is lost in the rendering.

                        I read Proust in French, but now I'm reading some Russian novels and wondering how much I am missing.  Just finished "Fathers and Sons" and loved it in spite of all that.  

                        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                        by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 01:52:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Beowulf is always my example (5+ / 0-)

                          of lost in translation. I'd be lying if I said I could read more than a smattering of Old English. Mr. Overdrive, however, is quite fluent. It's one of my all-time favorites. He says there has not yet been a single decent translation of it, and he likes to point out the liberties taken. I like the Heaney translation, but he often points out that much is changed.

                          The premise in Linguistics and Literature both, I believe, is that poetic language is not paraphrasable by definition. But translation requires some degree of paraphrase. So there's that.

                          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:03:22 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  A translator needs to be an alchemist (4+ / 0-)

                            and a mind-reader as well as a musician, a historian and a linguist.  It really is asking too much of one person.  Maybe that's why tandem teams make sense (Pevear and Volokhonsky, for example).     If translators seek accuracy above all else, then they wring the very life out of a text.  If they seek to re-create the mood and the poetry of a text, they lose accuracy.  It's not an easy job.  

                            I loved the Heaney translation of Beowulf, but I don't read Old English at all so I can't judge.  

                            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                            by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:43:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Translation is imperfect: Pevear and Volokhonsky (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Radiowalla, RiveroftheWest, micsimov, suka

                            show us plenty of ways to aim higher, though:

                            The husband-and-wife team work in a two-step process: Volokhonsky prepares her English version of the original text, trying to follow Russian syntax and stylistic peculiarities as closely as possible, and Pevear turns this version into polished and stylistically appropriate English. Pevear has variously described their working process as follows:

                            "Larissa goes over it, raising questions. And then we go over it again. I produce another version, which she reads against the original. We go over it one more time, and then we read it twice more in proof."

                            "We work separately at first. Larissa produces a complete draft, following the original as closely as possible, with many marginal comments and observations. From that, plus the original Russian, I make my own complete draft. Then we work closely together to arrive at a third draft, on which we make our 'final' revisions."

                            Just as Nate Silver has raised the game of prediction, Pevear and Volokhonsky have raised the game of translation. I've read a few articles by them, and am well impressed at their care and comprehension.

                            I have their Anna Karenina, Brothers Karamazov, and Gogol's Tales. They themselves said they're best on Dostoevsky (hence their 9 of his) and weakest on Turgenev.

                            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                            by Brecht on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:49:58 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've only read their War and Peace translation (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Brecht, RiveroftheWest, suka

                            and was happy with it, but, as I said before, I don't know Russian so it's hard for me to judge the worth of a translation.
                            All I can say is whether it reads smoothly and without obvious awkwardness.   This one did.  

                            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                            by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 08:16:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree there are problems with Moncrieff (5+ / 0-)

                    since he based his translations on the "abominable" Nouvelle Revue Francaise edition (Samuel Beckett) and not on the far superior Pleiade version so when one judges Moncrieff one must keep in mind that he was using NRF and should look for instead the Pleiade English version with Moncrieff AND Kilmartin listed as translators along with 'Revised by D. J. Enright.'

                    I've noted in a previous post the translation of Swann's Way by Lydia Davis which is much admired but as Christopher Hitchens has pointed out she did a marvelous job, one only wishes she had translated the rest of Search which was a part of some special project and they assigned separate authors to each volume which lost, after her, some of the singular voiced Proustian flavour; I myself started with Davis's Swann's Way but for the rest have been using the Moncrieff-Kilmartin-Engright.

                    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                    by micsimov on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:51:53 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I was wishing Davis would translate the rest but, (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiveroftheWest, micsimov, suka

                      now I've done a little research, I reckon I'd better look into her own fiction instead. Here's a nice 17-line story of hers.

                      I'll probably follow in your footsteps, translation-wise. It'd be nice if I could find a library or a friend in possession of all those books. But it'll be awhile before I get there.

                      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                      by Brecht on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:11:38 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks so much (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Brecht, suka, RiveroftheWest

                        I've been meaning to check further into Lydia Davis's work as well.  I believe my library has the whole Proust, but the recommended translations hit-and-miss; I own volumes III-V of the Moncrieff-Kilmartin-Enright, now I just need to obtain and read the final Time Regained -- saw the French film version years ago with Catherine Deneuve and John Malkovich it was wonderful; I believe in the 70s/80s a film version was made of The Captive/The Fugitive but reviews were mixed; Time Regained was most excellent and received rather well.

                        The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                        by micsimov on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:10:01 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  How did they translate (6+ / 0-)

          "A l'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs?"  This isn't that easy to render nicely in English and I've always found "Within a Budding Grove," unsatisfying.  

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:55:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The 2003 Modern Library of New York edition (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht, Radiowalla, suka, RiveroftheWest

            has rendered the title in English now as In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower.

            The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

            by micsimov on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:27:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I like that better (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht, suka, RiveroftheWest

              although it is less poetic.  The "shadow" part is essential to the meaning of the volume as it conveys the way the narrator stalked around the troop of young girls.  He was much in the shadow at that time.  Actually, this was one of my favorite volumes.  I loved Balbec and the scenes with his grandmother.

              It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

              by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:30:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  His precious grandmother (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                suka, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

                and her death.  And his waiting up in his bed for his mother to come in and tuck him in was it?  I forget who wrote it now but I did read a wonderful slim monograph I suppose one might call it, 'How Proust Can Change Your Life' --something like that.  His prose, truly gorgeous, and when he slips in some observation one finds oneself nodding away while reading, thinking, yes, I think I have always felt or thought that way too ...

                The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                by micsimov on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 12:05:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The scene where he is in bed, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest, Brecht

                  at the hotel in Balbec, yearning for the comfort of his grandmother asleep in the next room, but so ashamed of his neediness.  OMG.   So beautiful and so poignant.

                  His grandmother was his most cherished relative, even more, I believe, than his mother.  

                  Well, I could go on and on and I sense you could, too….  

                  I did read "How Proust Can Change your Life," and there is another one I loved as much, "Proust's Overcoat."  

                  It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                  by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 03:09:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiveroftheWest, Brecht

                    I will have to check into "Proust's Overcoat."  

                    And then there's Swann and Odette; I've forgotten the title, I think Pleasures and Days, a volume of Proust's short stories, quite remarkable to trace his refinement; I've read he was quite the student of among others John Ruskin so I feel I must at some point get my hands on at least what he craved.

                    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                    by micsimov on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 05:57:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I swear, I could spend the rest of my life (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiveroftheWest, Brecht

                      just wallowing in Proust!  

                      Ruskin I have always meant to read.  In fact, I have something of his on my Wish List as a reminder that I need to go to the library and get some of his works just so I can see what Proust admired so much.

                      I'm not sure if this is the "Pleasures and Days" you referred to.
                      I am not familiar with it, but there is much I don't know.

                      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                      by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:12:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes that's it; (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Brecht, Radiowalla, RiveroftheWest

                        although I read the compilation translated by Joachim Neugroschel as The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust that includes PD as well as some uncollected works; also read some of the essays in On Art and Literature.  And reading Proust, I agree, it must be just like heaven ;)

                        The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                        by micsimov on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 06:08:37 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

    •  Julia Briggs Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life (6+ / 0-)

      is an excellent critical biography and each chapter is in reference to each of her works; for instance
      Ch 1. Beginning: The Voyage Out (1915)
      Ch 6. 'What a Lark! What a Plunge!': Mrs Dalloway (1925)
      Ch 14. The Last of England: Between the Acts (1941)

      Briggs:

      Mrs Dalloway is the story of a day in the lives of a man and woman who never meet -- a society hostess who gives a party, and a shell-shocked soldier who commits suicide.  What they have in common  or why their stories are told in parallel, the reader must decide, for this is a modernist text, an open text, with no clear climax or final explanation, and what happens seems to shift as we read and reread.  Woolf intended her experiment to bring the reader closer  to everyday life, in all its confusion, mystery and uncertainty ... For Woolf, fiction's traditional focus  on highly charged moments threatened to devalue daily experience.  In Mrs Dalloway, she set out to restore 'the life of Monday or Tuesday' to its proper, central place in fiction.  At the same time, avoiding familiar narrative sequences [for instance, Dalloway is a novel without chapters, one long foray] made greater demands on her readers, requiring them to take a more active role in the process of interpretation. ... Using the technique of interior monologue ... [Woolf] records the 'myriad impressions' received by the hostess ... and the soldier ... and those around them.  Seeing their experiences from within gives the reader a more fluid and changeable sense of who they are--more like the confused and fluctuating sense we have of other people.
      I found my first read of Mrs D to be rather challenging; I wasn't sure what Woolf was doing and where she was going.  I was living in Holland at the time and had checked it out at the local library--they had an English section--my Dutch boyfriend and I at the time were doing a little 'experimenting' of our own, shall we say, he was a nurse and had stolen from the hospital some syringes and morphine and dosed us and I found reading for several pages Mrs D aloud in that state was quite remarkable (I could not stop/restrain myself I seem to remember, this was about 13-14 years ago) the prose was so stunning and quite tingling, especially given our own 'interior' states and he loved the sound of English as well anyway and though he spoke English rather well, Woolf was way out there for him, but again, in our state, quite enthralling; he kept asking me to continue reading (I thought he may have tired of the whole thing).  Subsequent (and sober lol) readings heighten the beauty and the understanding (and the still in grasping), too, of course; and the parallel stories of Mrs Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith: were these characters both fragments in some way of Woolf herself; two 'stories' she felt compelled to write about and found the best way was to interweave them?

      Writing a decade later, Djuna Barnes in Nightwood added quite a lot of humour to her story and certainly wasn't sublte about lesbianism as Woolf only very delicately alludes to in Mrs Dalloway's past; of course, if we use today's common parlance we might say Woolf was bisexual or Sapphic as she might (and did); Barnes, of course, was living in Paris, and like Jane Bowles around the same time, found a whole city, or certain Parisian corners, with lesbians seemingly everywhere considering the time and as compared to other places.  Barnes writes all over the map, so to speak, but in a different way than Woolf, which can make them both challenging and quite rewarding.  Barnes is much more 'conventional' in some ways than Woolf and in others less so; their focal point, their commonality is TS Eliot.

      Back to Briggs:

      E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence had rejected the old [Victorian novel] forms, while Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson and James Joyce had, in their various ways, all attempted 'to come closer to life,'as Woolf had defined it in [her essay on] 'Modern Fiction,' aiming 'to record the atoms as they fall upon the mind ... (to) trace the pattern ... which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.'  Mansfield had remained primarily an author of short stories (thus posing less of a threat), but the fiction of Dorothy Richardson and James Joyce, Woolf thought, was ruined by 'the damned egotistical self.'  Could this be avoided?  'Is one pliant & rich enough to provide a wall for the book from oneself?' she wondered.  Joyce was most nearly after the same thing as she was.  Reluctantly she acknowledged the 'brilliancy' of his writing, while disliking his 'sordidity', his masculine approach to the physical and sexual aspects of life.  Nevertheless, she adopted from Ulysses the idea of describing a June day in the life of a city, substituting London for Dublin; and the separate paths of Stephen Daedalus and Leopold Bloom ... may also have contributed to the construction of her novel
      .

      The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

      by micsimov on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:04:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm going to order a used copy of this book (6+ / 0-)

        today!  Thanks.

        And thanks also for the description of your Dutch reading.  That was epic!  

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:14:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A delicious comment. You take the Madeleine (6+ / 0-)

        or trifle, if you prefer, with your rich layers.

        the fiction of Dorothy Richardson and James Joyce, Woolf thought, was ruined by 'the damned egotistical self.'  Could this be avoided?  'Is one pliant & rich enough to provide a wall for the book from oneself?' she wondered.
        For a modernist experiment, it's lovely how open and inviting Mrs. Dalloway is. Okay, I've lived in England, and read Somerset Maugham, Waugh, Greene, Ford Madox Ford - so London in 1923 isn't so foreign to my mind. But I never once felt the need of a footnote, the main story was always accessible (I think - who knows how much I missed). I never felt lost. Perhaps in two paragraphs, I got halfway through and saw that I'd mistaken who was speaking right then.

        Well, we know Joyce was willfully obscure: he wrote Finnegans Wake. But, from your Briggs quote, he had more impact on Mrs. Dalloway than I knew.

        Your pleasure trip in Holland was charming, even seen briefly from a distance. I smoked opium once, and it did something weird and wonderful, breaking the experience of time into a non-linear flow. As if moments connected to each other, not by chronology, but relations of subject and significance. An evening in Slaughterhouse Five.

        I'll read Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life , after I've done all her novels. Thanks for sharing your fascinating experiences and ideas, micsimov.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:55:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Certainly, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla, Brecht, RiveroftheWest, suka

          I loved Holland and enjoyed the 5 years that I lived there, mainly in the south in the city of  Tilburg, but also one summer in Amsterdam (it's, of course, much more expensive compared to the rest of the country; the canals are beautiful but they tend to raise the cost of real estate, etc) and also in Leiden, home to the famous University of Leiden, where the current King, Willem Alexander, studied; I took a Dutch language course there once but furthered by Dutch language studies at the University of Tilburg, they had a much better language immersion focused curriculum.

          I've read Joyce's Portrait of the Artist ... and not all but some of  The Dubliners, The Dead to be sure, absolutely exquisite and the John Huston filmed version with this daughter I also enjoyed.

          Proust was the main influence from what I have gathered on Woolf, but aspects of Joyce are striking as Briggs has noted.  And yes, with Woolf you can 'plunge' right in, unlike the major works of Joyce, I tried but gave up after 50pps or so Ulysses when I was much younger, before I even began to engage with Woolf; I would like to try again one day U and FW.

          The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

          by micsimov on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:38:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd read all of Proust in French before Finnegans; (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, micsimov, suka

            though my brother was in a book club who met in an Irish pub, once a week for years, to discuss the next few pages of FW.

            I've already touted my best book diary ever downthread. Here is my take on FW:

            Finnegans Wake, and other Volcanoes of Tharsis.  There are volcanoes on Mars much higher than any earthly mountain.  Olympus Mons is about 2.5 times as tall as Mount Everest.  Finnegans Wake is the Olympus Mons of my Bookcase.  I have tried to read it.  I got about 30 pages in, and discovered a rather short paragraph, about a third of which made sense to me.  I put the book down with a sigh, feeling a rather small sense of accomplishment.
            Ulysses is must-read, for ambitious readers; after Dubliners and Portrait.

            I spent a week in Amsterdam, when I was 16. I foolishly took my father (or vice versa), but enjoyed a lot of rijsttafel and Van Gogh. Very pleasant city.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 05:08:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I love the work of (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brecht, suka, RiveroftheWest, Radiowalla

              Elias Canetti; I read his three-volume memoir (The Tongue Set Free; The Torch in My Ear; The Play of the Eyes; collected as The Memoirs of Elias Canetti) and found it so delightful; Notes from Hampstead: The Writer's Notes, 1954-1971 is mesmerizing; so many quotables; a flavouring:

              Slumbering in every human being lies an infinity of possibilities, which one must not arouse in vain.  For it is terrible when the whole man resonates with echoes and echoes, none becoming a real voice.
              It all depends on this: with whom we confuse ourselves.
              His fear of all his endless little notebooks!  By now they are mounting into the hundreds, every page covered, and he never opens a one of them!  This prolific writer of nothing, what is so important for him to tell no one?
              Why are you always explaining everything?  Why do you always want to find out what's behind things ... How about a life on the surface?  Would that be happy?  And would that be a reason to despise it?  Maybe there is much more to a surface--maybe everything not on the surface is false, maybe you are just living in an ever-changing series of delusions, not beautiful like those of gods but empty like those of philosophers.  Perhaps it would be better for you to just arrange words one after another (since it has to be words), but you're always looking for a meaning, as if what you invent could give the world a sense it does not have.
              The true stories that we tell are false; with false stories at least there is the chance that they might come true.
              Diaries which are too accurate are the end of freedom.  Thus we should keep them only intermittently, so that the 'empty' intervals become the fullest entries.
              Don't seek the silent syllables within yourself; you will find them only in the babbling of others.
              I started with Auto-de-Fa but have heard there is a more recent English translation under the more 'proper' title The Blinding but haven't been able to find it; also read Earwitness: Fifty Characters and also his book length essay on the letters between Franz Kafka and Felice Bauer (Kafka's Other Trial: The Letters to Felice); on my list to read by Canetti are: Crowds and Power and Party in the Blitz.

              By William Gaddis I started with Agape, Agape then went to The Recognitions -- wow what a dizzy.

              Absolutely adore The Magic Mountain and The Man Without Qualities --absolutely adore Mann and Musil -- Ingeborg Bachmann's magnificent story collection Three Paths to the Lake (Simultan) abound with references/allusions to Musil and Joseph Roth.

              As for Hermann Broch, I've conquered The Sleepwalkers and The Guiltless, Death of Virgil is on my list.

              I went through a Gertrude Stein phase starting with the Autobio of Alice ... loved; Ida; Three Lives; Geography and Plays; Wars I Have Seen.

              I would count myself as an avid Henry James reader and admirer but after a few chapters of The Golden Bowl I stopped.

              I'll have to come back to your list at another point; I shall hotlist it; I enjoy William Gass's essays and read In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, need to get to The Tunnel.  Through his constant reference and praise of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano I finally relented and found superb and worthy of your classification as well as Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children --I would be interested to read your estimation of that incredible work.  Also, Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch.--which I read cover to cover, he has signposts along the way to read the novel so if you wish you can read it 'out of order' or in another rendered 'order' -however one wishes to characterize it.

              The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

              by micsimov on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 08:29:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, you're a mountaineer who scales the scarps, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest, Radiowalla

                where reason risks unreeling, where angels fear to tread. Respect.

                I'm less reckless, more measured: I'm merely trying to read every interesting or important novel. Also, I will live forever, or die in the attempt. Most of my 50 Himalayas came from hard book lists. I've only read:

                The Magic Mountain, The Glass Bead Game, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, Invisible Man (not Himalayan, it turns out), Giles Goat-Boy, The Book of the New Sun, Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, Moby Dick, War and Peace, Brothers Karamazov, Swann's Way, Ulysses, & Name of the Rose. I have started 8 others (including Nightwood), and have 4 more sitting unopened on my shelves.

                I compiled my immense TBR list mostly from consulting 7 or 8 books on books, and about 20 Best Books Lists online. Auto-da-Fé appeared pretty high on my interesting list. Your quotes speak spledidly for him.

                The true stories that we tell are false; with false stories at least there is the chance that they might come true.
                is perfect. The one with
                maybe everything not on the surface is false, maybe you are just living in an ever-changing series of delusions, not beautiful like those of gods but empty like those of philosophers.
                in the middle reminds me of a great friend who said, "What if life is just what you do, and all this thinking is an epiphenomenon?"

                But your first quote is my favorite, explosive with poetry and truth.

                My books on books said that William Gaddis's storytelling got lost in his own games. I'll read The Recognitions, then see if I really want more.

                I like Mann in general, and his Mountain is massive. Musil, I've only read Young Törless. Monsieur Georges was reading him recently. Have you read any Coetzee?

                I haven't yet read The Man Who Loved Children, though people keep recommending it, and it's high on my TBR. Cortazar sounds most intriguing, Hopscotch and his short stories.

                I'm happy to have so many weird and wonderful books before me to read - they'll keep me busy for decades.

                Thanks for checking out my love-child, my favorite diary.

                "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                by Brecht on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 12:49:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's a sort of (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Radiowalla, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

                  'temple of texts' ala Wm Gass.  I want something to read that is spellbinding, that is compelling, not just a story but the telling, the telling and the tale; is it profound? is it moving? do I have to set it down a moment or take a pause and ponder; does it make me jealous but also content and settled; disturbed and explosive.  I haven't read Coetzee but I know he's there.  Since you haven't read Gaddis, I wouldn't rush it.  Only because there is so much out there, I think though he is admirable.

                  'as if what you invent could give the world a sense it does not have' Canetti I think is so much more engaging than Gaddis who got lost, as you alluded, and in my estimation, in the inventing.  From what I have read of Thomas Bernhard he's a milder, shorter form of Gaddis in a way. Of Hesse, I've read a couple of the shorter works, Beneath the Wheel and Damien and would like to read more.

                  I'm trying, too, to read up on the contemporaries.  Dabbling with Robert Boswell and Andrew Holleran, don't think there's much there.  

                  Reading now and thoroughly enjoying Paul Bowles The Spider's House (1955), the title is borrowed from a line in the Koran and is about the unsettling of Moroccan sensibilities and rivalries between the Berbers and Arabs, different cultures and classes that make up the mosaic of Moroccan society and French colonial power.

                  The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                  by micsimov on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 05:51:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You read a lot of interesting or challenging books (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RiveroftheWest
                    I want something to read that is spellbinding, that is compelling . . . is it profound? is it moving? do I have to . . . ponder; does it make me jealous . . . disturbed and explosive
                    Those are all reasons that attract me to a book. Ultimately, with books and rock music, I want to try everything, and gauge in what ways it's objectively strong/rich/original. As if I'm mapping out the entire field on a mental map. Then, if it also speaks especially to me, I'll go back for a lot more of it.

                    Coetzee I admire for his clear, piercing, flexible mind - especially his criticism.

                    I've got a friend who loves Bernhard. Hesse spoke directly to my teenage self, so I read lots of him then. I recently got a newer translation of Glass Bead Game, because that was his biggest and deepest, I believe. Tangentially, Buddenbrooks is on my TBR shelf, and champing at the bit; as is Tin Drum; and I really ought to read more Brecht. Know thyself.

                    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                    by Brecht on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:44:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  LOL (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brecht, RiveroftheWest
                      Da wird ein Leben lang das Maul aufgerissen,
                      und steht so was dann vor Gottes Thron,
                      dann wird in die Hosen geschissen.
                      Well, now the Brecht problem is a little bit solved for now.

                      I thought I read there was a more recent translation of Hesse's TGBG, as well as of Kafka's The Castle -- I read The Man Who Disappeared (aka Amerika), was quite impressed and I've read the first volume of Kafka's diaries; I'm smitten with Kafka and Rilke.  Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain I've admired; I hate to compare the two, or put one over the other, but the farewell to Hans at the end of TMM, well, I admit, I just have to gush, especially taken together with Hermann Broch's The Sleepwalkers and Stefan Zweig's The World of Yesterday.

                      Of Grass, I've only read Cat and Mouse, some of the poetry.  I quite enjoyed the film version of TTD so I must at one point read the book.  As for Bernhard, I've only read Woodcutters and The Voice Imitator and I certainly would rather read more of him than say Gaddis for instance; I'm intrigued by the estimation of many of JR but since I've tackled already The Recognitions it's not as high on my list.

                      Thoughts on Henry Green?  I've read Caught and Loving, would like to try Party Going.  Just hope that one isn't too Ivy Compton-Burnett-esque.  I've read the short stories of Sylvia Townsend Warner, none of the novels yet; she's a gem, at least in the view of her mastery of the shorter fiction form.

                      The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                      by micsimov on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 05:58:28 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "Well, now the Brecht problem is a little bit (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        RiveroftheWest

                        solved for now." Oh, if it were only that easy!

                        I found a lot to like in Magic Mountain - the near-death Greek reverie was my favorite bit. Mann, like Hesse, is good with psychic dichotomies.

                        Rilke, I only know Letters to a Young Poet, and a handful of very fine poems I've come across. Kafka: just Metamorphosis and several stories (The Trial is high on my TBR shelf).

                        The Sleepwalkers sounds hard but revelatory. Zweig intrigues. I'll get there.

                        Henry Green is revelatory, too - just incredible that, with his strange approach, he tells stories and draws characters so well. I have a volume with Loving/Living/Party Going. I read the first two, then stopped. He felt a bit strange and rich, to digest all three in a row. I expect, when I get back to him, I'll read all three, and diary them.

                        Having read no Ivy Compton-Burnett, I'm not sure what too much of her would be. But Henry Green is very interested in capturing the authentic speech and personalities (albeit seen from outside) of his characters, and Party Going is fertile ground for that.

                        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                        by Brecht on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 07:08:16 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ivy Compton-Burnett (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Brecht, RiveroftheWest

                          think, drawing-room dialogue for 300 pages.  I enjoy Henry Green though but as you said have to take in doses, same with Bernhard, James Purdy for that matter.

                          Rilke: 'Stiller Freund der vielen Fernen ...' I adore him; I've read LTAYP as well, also have read Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge and have the Duino Elegies&Orpheus compilation.

                          Broch is masterful with the Sleepwalkers trilogy but each volume is only approx. 150ppgs so quite doable and I just love the pre-Great War era through Weimar, and so another Austrian from that epoch I enjoy and respect immensely is Arthur Schnitzler.

                          Brecht I've read quite a bit of the poetry, the Collected Stories, Mother Courage, Caucasian Chalk Circle and have wonderful recordings by Gisela May, Ute Lemper, Lotte Lenya, Dave van Ronk & Frankie Armstrong.

                          The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                          by micsimov on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 02:58:17 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  If culture is refined, erudite, artistic, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RiveroftheWest

                            you may well be better-read than me. It appears so, from this thread. Which is fine by me: I'm confident of my knowledge, perceptiveness, and voracity; and it means you have plenty to teach me.

                            But I hope that you also explore the lower slopes of literature, and occasionally read Stephen King, J. K. Rowling and Elmore Leonard - just to see what's there.

                            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                            by Brecht on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 03:40:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've read some King, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RiveroftheWest, Brecht

                            it was a story collection I believe or a series of interwoven tales, wish I could remember the title, I rather enjoyed it.  I've enjoyed, too, Harlan Ellison and Ursula K. Le Guin.  When I lived in Holland, I used to borrow and trade books with my Dutch boyfriend's mother, she was an avid reader, especially of Native American and Fantasy literature and her English was rather well so she had many titles on her shelves in English she always tried to read that way when she could, certain things of course, it just depended, was easier for her to read in Dutch translation; it was through her I was introduced to Terry Pratchett.

                            The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                            by micsimov on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 09:49:01 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Glad to hear it. Not that I have any business (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RiveroftheWest

                            telling you what to read - but that's not about to stop me.

                            All four of those write middlebrow, and also write well (at least, with awareness and notable strengths). LeGuin always writes well and, like Ellison, is generally very interesting. I tried a decent short story collection of King's (Everything's Eventual), but then found far more power in The Shining. One day I'll write an essay on Harold Bloom vs. Stephen King.

                            I aim to read everything, but Fantasy is my chiefest comfort-reading.

                            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                            by Brecht on Wed Nov 27, 2013 at 12:47:34 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No don't stop, I do like your suggestions, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Brecht, RiveroftheWest

                            and I'm always looking for things to read that I might not come across on my own.  And I certainly have, like others, various moods in what I want to read, whether I want to plunge and delve, or pass the time in a faraway place or just be entertained/amused.  And I'm not about to lug around on the bus or train Broch, Mann or Woolf ;)

                            The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

                            by micsimov on Thu Nov 28, 2013 at 08:13:45 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Interjecting here: (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Brecht, RiveroftheWest

                      Buddenbrooks is not as challenging or powerful  as Magic Mountain .  It is a good, solid read, but does not knock you off your feet with admiration in the same way or leave you pondering deep, philosophical questions.  It sweeps you up in the saga of a bourgeois German family and the pages turn almost by themselves.

                      When you are done, go to Netflix and get the German TV series which will prolong the pleasure.  I think it would be the perfect holiday read.  

                      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                      by Radiowalla on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:02:39 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Netflix keep offering me a free month to come back (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Radiowalla, RiveroftheWest

                        but I'm pruning back on TV and internet surfing, to make more space for reading novels and writing diaries.

                        It's so easy to live on the surface, skittering across the currents like a water skeeter. I need more deep, clear peace and pondering to sustain me.

                        I might take up Netflix again, once I feel that I am in charge of my time, and own and shape my schedule mindfully.

                        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                        by Brecht on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:15:03 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

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