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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #961
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Re: Recent Reading

I really like Hellboy too. The spin-offs have also grown on me: BPRD, Abe Sapien, Lobster Johnson, and Witch Finder. There also a paperback devoted to The Black Flame which I'll get around to sometime.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #962
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Re: Recent Reading

I'm slightly depressed after reading Andreyev's "The Man Who Found the Truth," knowing that I will probably never write anything comparable in quality. He has such a beautiful intellect.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 1 Week Ago   #963
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Re: Recent Reading

Today I shall start reading Michael Cisco's 'Celebrant'. This shall be the fourth Cisco book I've read this year, following 'Wretch of the Sun', 'Secret Hours', and 'The Narrator'.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #964
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Re: Recent Reading

The Spirit of Place and Other Strange Tales: The Complete Short Stories of Elizabeth Walter

Well written entertaining stories. I am enjoying this book very much.

Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen

“The wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” – Oscar Wilde
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Old 1 Week Ago   #965
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Re: Recent Reading

Having finally gotten around to watching the 1964 cinematic masterpiece that is Les amitiés particulières last month, I felt inspired to read the 1943 novel of the same name as soon as I could, though it did cost me more than I anticipated that it would... it seems mind-boggling to me that a novel which won the Prix Renaudot when it was first published, and which no less a luminary than André Gide declared that the book would still be read a century after it was published, is currently out-of-print in English; one may only hope for an eventual Penguin Classics reprint, so that a new generation of readers can experience this novel (for that matter, here's hoping that the film version gets a DVD release as well, though the curious can easily see it for free on YouTube: incidentally, the film stays very true to the book, with only a few minor details changed).

The setting is a Catholic boarding school called St. Claude's, in France in the 1920's. The main character is one Georges de Sarre (himself modeled after the writer in question, Roger Peyrefitte), a 14 year-old boy of nobility who develops a crush on a fellow student, a 12 year-old boy named Alexander. The two embark on a special friendship that, while slightly ritualistic and totemic in character, is still pretty chaste by our modern standards: despite the scandal the book caused at the time, there's nothing overtly sexual about the friendship of Georges and Alexander (indeed, they don't even so much as kiss on the lips). Ah, but gay courtship rituals were certainly something back then, weren't they? Making gifts of flowery poetry, sharing blood, forging death pacts... sadly something of a lost art in these days of Grindr hook-ups. The book unfolds at a leisurely pace, beginning at the start of the school year (on October 3rd) and finishing during the summer break (in July). If you ever wanted to know what it was like to be a student at an all boy's Catholic boarding school in France in the 1920's, this book is for you, as Peyrefitte spares almost no details.

Seeing as the book examines both old-school French Catholicism (I come from French ancestry myself, and am pretty much a lapsed Catholic) and sub rosa homosexual themes, it's only natural that I would be drawn to such a novel, though the last one hundred pages are almost overbearingly sad. It doesn't give up much of the plot to say that it all ends in tragedy for almost everyone involved, from school boys to priests. As it is, this tragic ending is foreshadowed by Peyrefitte throughout the novel, with his frequent allusions to Christian boy martyrs of antiquity such as Pancras of Rome and St. Tarsicius.

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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Old 1 Week Ago   #966
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Re: Recent Reading

I started reading this recently:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...he-sublime-and

The first line of Part One, Section I has a familiar kind of ring to it:

"The first and simplest emotion that we discover in the human mind, is Curiosity."

Do we know if Lovecraft read Burke? It seems likely.

The treatise deals with, among other things, the aesthetic appeal of terror and tragedy. Some of the ideas I find artificial and unconvincing - others I find both surprising and oddly compelling.

I think if I had browsed the book before buying, the section headings alone would have decided my purchase:

Magnitude in BUILDING

INFINITY in pleasing OBJECTS

DIFFICULTY

MAGNIFICENCE

The cries of ANIMALS

The vibrations must be similar

DARKNESS terrible in its own nature

Why DARKNESS is terrible

Concerning SMALLNESS

And so on.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 5 Days Ago   #967
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Re: Recent Reading

I've just finished The Loser (Thomas Bernhard). I feel a mild disappointment though I'm not sure what I was expecting. Maybe I should have read it in one go...

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 5 Days Ago   #968
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Re: Recent Reading

I've been reading "The Woman of the Pharisees" by Francois Mauriac and the story "The Sufferings of Prince Sternoch", which is beautifully horrid.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #969
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Re: Recent Reading

I read Howard's "The Tower of the Elephant." I normally dislike fantasy, but I must say - it was awesome! It made me feel like a boy again.

Howard was way ahead of his time, and his "sword and sorcery" stories show it.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 4 Days Ago   #970
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Re: Recent Reading

I highly recommend "The People of the Black Circle" and "Queen of the Black Coast" if you liked "The Tower of the Elephant."
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