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Old 05-02-2008   #31
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

I just finished reading Martin Dressler: The Tale of An American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser. This was an entertaining novel. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1997. I think a few of Millhauser's short stories would appeal to fans of Ligotti. "In the Penny Arcade" is a great story that has a nice insight into the life of inanimate objects. It can be found in his collection of the same name or in the anthology that he shares with Ligotti: American Gothic Tales edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Another wonderful tale is "Eisenheim, the Illusionist". This was the basis for the excellent movie The Illusionist starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, and Jessica Biel. The story and the movie are very different because the screenplay had to build a two hour movie around a short story, but they both share a similar tone, and they are both equally good. This can be found in his collection The Barnum Museum.

I also read an very good non-fiction book called Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant. This book tries to explain why working class Americans would vote for Republicans who pass legislation against their interests. Bageant was born in redneck country into a working class family. As an adult, he moved away and got an education, but most of his family and friends have remained in that situation. After many years away, he went home to visit them and research this book. He makes a good case as to why they are entrenched in their way of thinking. He may be too generous with them, though. He has a British journalist friend who visited him and Bageant showed him around town and talked to his friends. Before leaving, he told Bageant that these people were "the most intellectually squalid people he had ever met." They elected Bush so it is hard to be sympathetic.
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Old 05-09-2008   #32
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

Technically I have not "just finished reading" it; in fact, I haven't begun. Today, at a secondhand bookshop, I found a book that aroused my interest, so I bought it. The book, published by a mob calling themselves "Allison & Busby Fantastic Fiction Library," is Lilith by George Macdonald. The front cover, which features Dante Rossetti's painting Pandora, carries the following quote by W. H. Auden: "Equal if not superior to the best of Poe." As I say, it aroused my interest. The back cover carried a quote by C.S. Lewis: "Most myths were made in prehistoric times, and, I suppose, not consciously made by individuals at all. But every now and then occurs in the modern world a genius--a Kafka or a Novalis--who can make such a story. Macdonald is the greatest genius of this kind whom I know."

The story, according to the back cover of the paperback, is as follows: "A young man, just down from Oxford, returns to the family estate to take up residence as master of the house. But, before he can settle to a life of apparent ease, a strange and raven-like apparition leads him to a garret room where the walls dissolve and he finds himself in a strange land. Here nothing at all is certain, least of all the true nature of the beautiful and bewitching Lilith."

I have so many books open at the moment that this tantalizing volume (Does it promise a personal confrontation with the Medusa?) will have to wait a few weeks. I was wondering if any of my fellow Ligottians have read it.... and if so, what did you make of it?

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz

Last edited by BleakИ 05-09-2008 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: I really need to stop posting when drunk. Perhaps Dr. B. could introduce a breathaliser for TLO members.
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Old 05-09-2008   #33
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

"Last edited by Bleak&Icy : Today at 10:34 AM. Reason: I really need to stop posting when drunk. Perhaps Dr. B. could introduce a breathaliser for TLO members."

Heaven forbid! I would never be allowed to post again. I would say that my drunken to sober ratio of posting here tipples - I mean tips - toward the former.

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

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Old 05-10-2008   #34
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

Quote Originally Posted by G. S. Carnivals View Post
"Last edited by Bleak&Icy : Today at 10:34 AM. Reason: I really need to stop posting when drunk. Perhaps Dr. B. could introduce a breathaliser for TLO members."

Heaven forbid! I would never be allowed to post again. I would say that my drunken to sober ratio of posting here tipples - I mean tips - toward the former.
My apology.

But you should keep in mind that Dr. B., in his capacity as psychic surgeon, has no need for breath testers: he scoffs at such blunt tools. He KNOWS exactly what is contained within the noble domes of our poor-suffering skulls. He can HEAR the neurotransmitters misfiring due to our inebriation. He can SEE our braincells popping like the sprightly bubbles in a gin and tonic. The question is: Does he revel in our disintegration? Or far more horribly, is he twirling the strings that encircle our wrists as we nightly lift glass after glass to our lips? O puppet master... and to think I'm entirely sober.

"Reality is the shadow of the word." -- Bruno Schulz
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Old 05-10-2008   #35
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

Just finished reading "Pop 1280" by Jim Thompson.Dark and hilarious.I have "The getaway", by the same author, which I will start very soon...
Tried to start "The Story of O" butcouldnīt past the 1st chapter.I donīt know exactly why...I wasnīt taken by surprise because I knew what I was getting when I bought this one but...

Will give it another chance later sometime.

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Old 05-12-2008   #36
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

I finally finished reading "The invention of Morel", by Adolpho Bioy Casares.It is a very intelligent and perfectly assembled book.

It tells the story of a fugitive condemned to life sentence who manages to escape to an Island at the Pacific Ocean.This island is uninhabited due to a plague which kills "from inside out".But the fugitive sees people at the higer parts of the island and falls in love with a woman.Unfortunately she ignores him with unhuman arrogance.But, maybe she canīt see him...

According to Wikipedia and this article: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/conten...marienbad.html

The book was the inspiration to the Movie "Last Year at Marienbad".I know some ligottians discussed this movie not so long ago.I am almost with my hands on it so, I will read the articles only after seeing the movie.


I recomend this one...

Coming up next:Berlin Alexanderplatz (will try the book and then think about buying the Movie adaptation recently released by the Criterion Collection) or a collection of short Stories by Julio Cortazar (which I believe it wasnīt translated to Enligsh) which includes stories about a house which quietly expells their habitants and man who vomits rabbits that eat everything ...

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Old 05-24-2008   #37
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

Quote Originally Posted by Severini View Post
I finally finished reading "The invention of Morel", by Adolpho Bioy Casares.It is a very intelligent and perfectly assembled book.

The book was the inspiration to the Movie "Last Year at Marienbad".I know some ligottians discussed this movie not so long ago.I am almost with my hands on it so, I will read the articles only after seeing the movie.
Thanks for the info on this book, Severini. I am always interested in the source material for good movies.

I spent last week reading Arthur Machen. I read three books: Tales of Horror and The Supernatural Volume I & II and The Three Imposters (which included The Red Hand)

Volume I

The Great God Pan
The White People
The Inmost Light
The Shining Pyramid
The Great Return

Voume II

The Novel of the Black Seal
The Novel of the White Powder
The Bowmen
The Happy Children
The Bright Boy
Out of the Earth
N
Children of the Pool
The Terror

There was a little overlap between the volumes. The Three Imposters included "The Novel of the Black Seal" and "The Novel of the White Powder". I really enjoyed Machen's work. His stories are often scary, but he can also be very funny. He took some nice shots at the scientific materialism of Mr. Phillipps. ( I bet Lovecraft had a nice chuckle when he read these stories). But Mr. Dyson, the romantic, did not get away unscathed either.

I had only read Machen's most famous stories prior to this. I still feel "The Great God Pan" may be his best. I know many people, including Lovecraft and T.E.D. Klein, prefer "The White People". So what good Machen stories have I missed?
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Old 05-24-2008   #38
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

Quote Originally Posted by bendk View Post
what good Machen stories have I missed?
"A Fragment of Life"

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Old 05-25-2008   #39
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

I finished the V for Vendetta comic by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. It is quite good although it doesn't have the supreme storytelling and characterization of the Watchmen.
Also read Frankenstein which was very entertaining depite the somewhat dusted style. I liked to read it as if the monster only exists in Frankenstein's imagination.
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Old 05-26-2008   #40
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Re: I Just Finished Reading...

Just finished reading John Gale's A Damask of the Dead. Quite exquisite, rather perfumed, prose poems about decadence amongst beautiful noblemen and -women. Recommended, though in small doses - one shouldn't overdose on lines such as: "Your face of ivory, smooth and unblemished as the perfumed sheets of silk we lay amongst in that time of gold and pearl air in that house of pale stone with its terrace overlooking the sea of blue glass; its towers of gleaming white quartz ever before me...", etc. But very well worth the read.
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