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whoopi88
Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 3:51:47 AM

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I've been meaning to see the film but I can't find good copies. I heard Jack Nicholson's performance is quite laudable. Applause
TheParser
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 7:07:02 AM
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I am reading Jane Austen by Marghanita Laski.

If you are an avid Jane Austen fan, this very short biography is for you: it is profusely illustrated and full of details about Miss Austen's family and friends.

On the other hand, if you are someone who (like me) has never read any of her novels but is interested only in her writing style and in an explanation for her continued popularity, then this book is not for you.

(I was amused to note that in her private letters Miss Austen spelled believe as "beleive." Furthermore, the biography says that she did not usually spell "niece" that way. Apparently, even during her lifetime (1775 - 1817), English spelling was not completely settled.)


James
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 7:58:31 AM

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I noticed the same with handwritten pieces by Lewis Carroll, a little later.
Not so much normal spelling at that time, but contractions and punctuation - sha'n't, and wo'n't and (what I consider to be) random commas.

I recently finished reading the "Swords of Albion" (the first book of a trilogy), which I mentioned earlier. I liked it - it is a mixture of adventure, horror and dark humour. I'll be looking out in the library for the next instalment.

I've just started a book called "Earth" by David Brin. It is too early to give a good opinion. The first couple of chapters are disjointed, but that is because they skip around the planet introducing different characters. I guess they will meet and interact later.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:50:26 AM
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If you are interested in the nurse's nurse, I can enthusiastically recommend what I am currently reading:

Florence Nightingale by Mark Bostridge.

In another book, I found this touching message sent to the Lady with the Lamp from the International Conference of Red Cross Societies:

"Miss Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of the first Red Cross movement, whose heroic efforts on behalf of suffering humanity will be recognized and admired by all ages as long as the world shall last."
aamir ah
Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 1:45:59 PM

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sonnets of shakespeare
Luker4
Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014 2:43:35 PM

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I liked it!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, May 3, 2014 10:52:08 AM

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Another masterpiece - we've reached a point at which equality of the races on Discworld (or at least in the great city of Ankh-Morpork) is becoming accepted and acceptable.
Even the die-hard, conservative, established businessmen see that different people have different skills and can be very useful, no matter their 'ethnic' background (or even species!).

Steam - the railway looks set to become 'the great leveller' - spreading the advantages of the 'melting-pot' across the disc - along with making trade between nations much simpler and faster.

Of course, this brings a few reactionaries out of their holes with their threats of everlasting doom if anyone should consider any other race to be equal to their own - along with threats (and action) of individual doom for any person who they consider to be betraying the 'real traditional attributes' of their race (i.e. hating everyone else).

Lord Vetinary shows his true character - a totally and absolutely self-centred tyrant - but one who knows that his own self-interest is best served by having a happy and prosperous population in his state.
He's still a tyrant - that is his title, after all - and anyone acting against the best interests of his city can expect to have kittens (literally, it is a torture invented by Moist von Lipwig out of his own nightmares).

Add in a down-to-earth, flat-capped, working man in clogs; a lawyer who will literally shatter in a thousand pieces if he tells a lie; and The City Guard, and you have the ingredients of an army who can defeat any real injustice. Some of their methods may not be quite within the letter of the law, but the spirit of justice is there somewhere (hiding behind her mask).



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
J-P
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:24:11 AM

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"Red or Dead", by David Peace. Published in Britain in september 2013, in the U.S. this month, in France next month. A brilliant novel based on the biography of football legend Bill Shankly, manager of Liverpool Football Club 1960-1974.
omicrom
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 11:27:12 AM

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Hi dragon,
Nice to learn you too like Terry Pratchett's books. At the moment I could not buy this one I have to wait.

I'm now reading Science of Discworld III. I'm not at ease in Physics and my poor neurons had some distress at the parts related to relativity and quantum. I've been almost completely lost when arrived to the string theory and I've got more dimensions I would ever be able to manage. A good headache anyway.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:08:32 PM

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To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson I started to read the Moomin books again.
(my granddaughters love them ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Absurdicuss
Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 7:56:23 AM

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The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, by Gary Habermas & Mike Licona.

Setting aside the divine inspiration debate the authors look at both biblical and extra biblical evidence using a minimally agreed upon facts approach to present a rational basis for believing the resurrection.

At the end of the day the question remains an either/or proposition: Jesus either did or did not; is or isn't what HE claimed.




"Now" is the eternal present.
J-P
Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 11:44:17 AM

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A strange and fascinating mystery novel published in 1950, "Portrait in Smoke", by Bill S. Ballinger.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, May 10, 2014 9:49:39 AM

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Hi omicrom!

I'm lucky that my local librarian likes some of the books I like.
So any new Terry Pratchett book is available to borrow within a month or two of being published.

d'oh! don't strain your neurons!

I learned about relativity by reading Einstein's little book. It is a lot simpler to read than any 'explanation' or 'interpretation' I've seen
Quantum mechanics - well - I 'sort of understand' the basic idea . . .
String theory is a bit of a mystery, even to 'string theoreticians' I think.

Three space dimensions, one for time and one to play about with - five is plenty for me.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
uuaschbaer
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2015 7:10:51 PM

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Luker4 wrote:


Do You know Eoin Colfer ?, Artemis Fowl series is very good


Ooooh I remember that one! I used to read a translation back in school. It's probably the first book I read with an intelligent main character (if I remember correctly—honestly I remember not so much).

This thread has made me realize that after 2,5 years I've still only finished one of the War & Peace books ... How I'm ever going to read the Tale of Genji at this pace I don't know.

On the other hand I did just finish a translation of Arrian's The Campaigns (Anabasis) of Alexander (do others here also like to read many books in parallel?), it has been fascinating to read such an old but literarily sophisticated text. The description of trees growing around the Indus river was especially interesting as there aren't now many of them left (according to wikipedia).

Lastly, I think someone, somewhere—I think it may have been JJ but I can be mistaken—recommended or mentioned the Little Prince, which I then read for the first time when I was quite ill. Any memories of it I have may have mingled with delirium, but they're lovely memories, it's a beautiful book.

*
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2015 7:21:39 PM

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I confess, uuaschbaer! That was most propably me. ;-)

Now, you could read The Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2015 7:54:39 PM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
I confess, uuaschbaer! That was most propably me. ;-)

Now, you could read The Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot.


Well thank you JJ, I enjoyed it. I'd love to read the Old Possum's book, I think this type of children's literature has a special loveliness. Alice in Wonderland is marvellous too. Of course you can only convince yourself so many times that you're just following C.S. Lewis' advice.*

*
Quote:
“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”


*
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, July 13, 2015 8:05:27 PM

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Old Possum is not children's book. It's a jingle poetry book for grown-up child-like humans ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 3:56:30 AM

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uuaschbaer wrote:
*
Quote:
“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. . .”

What a great quote!



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 6:10:00 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
Old Possum is not children's book. It's a jingle poetry book for grown-up child-like humans ;-)


Oops! How wonderful that people still think about this important demographic!Pray

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
uuaschbaer wrote:
*
Quote:
“Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. . .”

What a great quote!


Yes, I thought so too. Where it's from exactly I don't know; it's one of those quotes you find going around the internet, like good quotes do, I suppose.

*
IMcRout
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 8:22:41 AM

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The quote is by C.S.Lewis.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 11:04:06 AM

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IMcRout wrote:
The quote is by C.S.Lewis.


Yes I actually found that same page when I looked up the quote, however whether the quote derives from one of his works, an autobiography or an interview I'm not sure, not having read his work. I don't really mind either, I think a good quote may be better without context.

*
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 3:30:32 PM

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From Old Possum:

Mr. Mistoffelees by T. S. Eliot

You ought to know Mr. Mistoffelees!
The Original Conjuring Cat--
(There can be no doubt about that).
Please listen to me and don't scoff. All his
Inventions are off his own bat.
There's no such Cat in the metropolis;
He holds all the patent monopolies
For performing suprising illusions
And creating eccentric confusions.
At prestidigitation
And at legerdemain
He'll defy examination
And deceive you again.
The greatest magicians have something to learn
From Mr. Mistoffelees' Conjuring Turn.
Presto!
Away we go!
And we all say: OH!
Well I never!
Was there ever
A Cat so clever
As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

He is quiet and small, he is black
From his ears to the tip of his tail;
He can creep through the tiniest crack,
He can walk on the narrowest rail.
He can pick any card from a pack,
He is equally cunning with dice;
He is always deceiving you into believing
That he's only hunting for mice.
He can play any trick with a cork
Or a spoon and a bit of fish-paste;
If you look for a knife or a fork
And you think it is merely misplaced--
You have seen it one moment, and then it is gawn!
But you'll find it next week lying out on the lawn.

And we all say: OH!
Well I never!
Was there ever
A Cat so clever
As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!

His manner is vague and aloof,
You would think there was nobody shyer--
But his voice has been heard on the roof
When he was curled up by the fire.
And he's sometimes been heard by the fire
When he was about on the roof--
(At least we all heard that somebody purred)
Which is incontestable proof
Of his singular magical powers:
And I have known the family to call
Him in from the garden for hours,
While he was asleep in the hall.
And not long ago this phenomenal Cat
Produced seven kittens right out of a hat!
And we all said: OH!
Well I never!
Did you ever
Know a Cat so clever
As Magical Mr. Mistoffelees!


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 4:59:40 PM

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I know cats like that, when you can't find them on their usual spot, you might as well not look. Well, once one went missing for days until I finally found her sleeping on the roof. Miss Mephistopheles she should've been called.

I like the jingle poem (why is it called that?), it's charming and an amusing way to tell a simple story and lend it a specific air.

*
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 10:12:24 AM

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C.S. Lewis "On Three Ways of Writing for Children" (1952) — published in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1967)

The guy is undoubtedly a genius with words and ideas.
Did you ever read the 'space' trilogy? An amazing concept.

Another one:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
"God in the Dock" (1948)

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 10:40:03 AM

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Reading through various quotes from CS Lewis reminded me of this from last year:

Absurdicuss wrote:
The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, by Gary Habermas & Mike Licona.

Setting aside the divine inspiration debate the authors look at both biblical and extra biblical evidence using a minimally agreed upon facts approach to present a rational basis for believing the resurrection.


CS Lewis wrote:
Then he tried to recall the lessons of Mr. Wisdom. “it is I myself, eternal Spirit, who drives this Me, the slave, along that ledge. I ought not to care whether he falls and breaks his neck or not. It is not he that is real, it is I – I – I.

Pilgrim’s Regress

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:36:30 AM

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I haven't read the space trilogy—actually, I'm having a bit of a hard time finding out what it's exactly about. Is it a a religious science-fiction story commenting on politics? Come to think of it I did listen to recordings of some of the Screwtape Letters, which are quite amusing.

His quote on tyranny is trenchant. I sometimes fear that people in general would rather be governed by anyone rather than govern themselves.

*
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2015 5:30:54 AM

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Yes - they are a strange mixture.

CS Lewis is, himself, a Christian apologist - and a very educated man.
The 'base concept' is that each planet is guarded by an incredibly powerful alien/spirit intelligence called an 'eldil'. The one running Mars (Malacandra) is sort of masculine and a bit belligerent, reminiscent of the Roman god Mars - the one for Venus (Perelandra) is sort of feminine and embodies all types of love, very reminiscent of the Roman goddess Venus.
The eldil for Earth has been injured and is now in some sort of trauma and is affected mentally. It is just called 'the bent eldil'.

The eldil look up to a higher being, which started physical life on Mars, millions of years ago, but that race failed and died out.
Then the human race was a next attempt - and we can all see the state of Man
Then when Man get to Venus, they find . . .

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
uuaschbaer
Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 6:22:36 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Yes - they are a strange mixture.

CS Lewis is, himself, a Christian apologist - and a very educated man.
The 'base concept' is that each planet is guarded by an incredibly powerful alien/spirit intelligence called an 'eldil'. The one running Mars (Malacandra) is sort of masculine and a bit belligerent, reminiscent of the Roman god Mars - the one for Venus (Perelandra) is sort of feminine and embodies all types of love, very reminiscent of the Roman goddess Venus.
The eldil for Earth has been injured and is now in some sort of trauma and is affected mentally. It is just called 'the bent eldil'.

The eldil look up to a higher being, which started physical life on Mars, millions of years ago, but that race failed and died out.
Then the human race was a next attempt - and we can all see the state of Man
Then when Man get to Venus, they find . . .


Interesting, it sounds like a bit like a complicated parable. I'm sure Mr. Lewis had a great imagination. Next time I'm in a bookshop I'll look for his name. Actually, your description reminds me of Stanislaw Lem, although he left his religion according to Wikipedia, I associate some of his works with strong views on morality. Perhaps unjustly, though, I haven't read him well at all, whereas others here probably have.

*
uuaschbaer
Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 10:33:03 AM

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And there I am in a book shop asking for a book of cat-related poems by C.S. Lewis because my brain is a mess.Brick wall

*
fatredwings
Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2015 10:42:08 AM

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Essays On Freedom And Power by Lord Acton.Translating a few of Shelleys' poems

FC Levadia
MANJUICEBUBBLES
Posted: Friday, October 23, 2015 12:42:21 PM

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Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (1999)

"Foolishness is indeed the sister of wickedness."
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 8:25:44 PM

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I borrowed The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, by JRR Tolkien, from the library a few days ago.

I haven't even arrived at the start of the poems yet - the introductory pieces are so interesting I keep looking back and re-reading bits . . .

Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford for many years, but - according to this - many of his lectures were concerning the Old Norse language (basically Old Icelandic, as almost nothing was written in it except in Iceland) rather than Anglo-Saxon.

I'm just reading (again) his notes for a lecture he gave in about 1930 concerning the whole history of Norse/Scandinavian literature and why it is so different from other Germanic literature of the time - and why the style changed so dramatically between 1000 AD (when these stories - The Elder Edda - were written down) and 1300 AD when Snorri Sturluson wrote The Younger Edda.

Quote:
In Old English breadth, fullness, elegiac effect, were aimed at.
Old Norse poetry aims at seizing a situation, striking a blow that will be remembered, illuminating a moment with a flash of lightning - and tends to concision, weighty packing of the language in sense and form.
. . .
Old English verse has an attraction in places that is immediate.
But Old English verse does not attempt to hit you in the eye.
To hit you in the eye was the deliberate intention of the Norse poet.


The actual poems are not translations of the Elder Edda.
He realised that modern readers do not have the cultural knowledge to understand the stories correctly - they were not brought up with Oðinn and Frigg sitting in the hall just over the bridge.
Also, there are several independent stories in the original, each with a different 'author', meant to be heard separately. There are inconsistencies and direct contradictions between them.
Tolkien did what Wagner did (only more so).
Wagner read the Edda and then wrote his own epic 'sort of based on the Edda' - Der Ring Des Nibelungen.
Tolkien read and understood the originals and then wrote the same stories as two epic poems. They are in 'classical' English, but using the same alliteration and stress patterns as the originals, with the same "hit you in the eye" brevity.
Where there were contradictions, he chose the version which allowed a single consistent story.

Quote:
His spear he raised:
sprang asunder
the sword of Grímnir,
singing splintered.
The king is fallen
cloven-breasted;
lords lie round him;
the land darkens.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
MelissaMe
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 10:02:21 PM

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My current bedtime reading is The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself). Not exactly a page-turner, but as an amateur editor, I am finding it interesting enough to continue reading and I'm glad I bought it.

Just recently I worked my way through the whole hardbound Discworld series I own, and The Lord of the Rings.

I don't want to bother with library books, but I've read everything I own almost too many times!

LotR was about my 50th time! I no longer read it every year.

This is my only now.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 4:16:38 PM

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I should do that - the Discworld books, all in sequence.
Sounds like fun. Some brilliant characterisations in there.
My favourites are Nanny Ogg and Tiffany Aching - who are very real characters - and Death and Lord Vetinari (the only democratically elected tyrant ever) - who are not.

A UK Postage stamp from 2011, just after "Going Postal" appeared on Sky TV



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
MelissaMe
Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2016 5:31:13 PM

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Gytha, you old baggage! Shame on you



There's scarcely a character that I don't like! I can only name a few. Vimes! Lipvig von Moist, but I do tire of seeing his entire name written out about halfway through the book. Carrot! Casanunda! Magrat! Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle! That errant sentient cheese, whose name escapes me at the moment. Horace! Greebo, especially after his enchantment to be human starts kicking in at odd moments!

Love them all dearly.

This is my only now.
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