Re-reading Books

Discussion in 'Other Literature' started by Boreas, May 13, 2016.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    It's the Leg Warmer Continuum, 'bad fashion never goes out of style'.:D
    I think Miss Shirley Bassey says it better than Nietzsche or Kant ever did.



    The word is about, there's something evolving,
    whatever may come, the world keeps revolving
    They say the next big thing is here,
    that the revolution's near,
    but to me it seems quite clear
    that it's all just a little bit of history repeating

    The newspapers shout a new style is growing,
    but it don't know if it's coming or going,
    there is fashion, there is fad
    some is good, some is bad
    and the joke is rather sad,
    that its all just a little bit of history repeating

    Some people don't dance, if they don't know who's singing,
    why ask your head, it's your hips that are swinging
    life's for us to enjoy
    woman, man, girl and boy,
    feel the pain, feel the joy
    sidestep the little bits of history repeating
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
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  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Some time ago I listened to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness on audio. I loved reading it as a kid, but it was just adventure to me. This time around I understood what Conrad was doing, the undercurrents of the story, symbolism, even Conrad's own racism and imperialistic predilections. I might like to reread (or listen to on audio), some of Asimov's robot stories.
     
  3. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Lost for words; and it doesn't happen often...
     
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  4. ofer

    ofer Regular Member

    I think I said it on another thread, but here goes: Before kindle, I used to re-read a lot, both because sometimes it was hard to get new books, and because they were so bloody expensive.

    However, since I bought a kindle a few years ago, both the variety and price of books improved significantly, so these days I don't do re-reads very much. Still, over the past few years I've done a few, mainly for 2 reasons:

    1. Fun - best example would be re-reading Joe Abercrombie's books. Simply pure fun -
    pretty much like re-watching Pirates of the Carrebeans or another fun but not stupid movie.
    2. Books that I thought were sublime but so full of nuances that I felt it required a re-read to get more of them. For example - I've done a re-read of both Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion, since they were so awsome and yet too complicated to percieve everything with only one read.
     
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  5. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I finished Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion about 2 weeks ago. I really enjoyed them but there are aspects of the story I keep going back to in my head. I do need time to digest them and to brood over them so I can keep disagreeing with myself :confused: I will continue with the final two books during this summer holiday. Yes, I could see myself re reading Hyperion.
     
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  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    In science fiction, I've come up with some authors whose books I'd like to re-read: Isaac Asimov (all), Arthur C. Clarke (all), Frank Herbert (Dune & selected), Ursula K. Le Guin (some Ekumen novels).
     
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  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

  8. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    I recently reread (listened to the audiobook) Fall of Hyperion, and re-realized why I stopped with that series. It's an odd mix of hard science and metaphysics, and transcendence that I couldn't wrap my mind around. It was the same feeling I got by book three of the Dune epic, just too 'out there' for my taste.
     
  9. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I see what you mean regarding the metaphysic content. However, I didn’t think its content in Hard science was that high.
    Surely we have an incredible story line with all sort of characters. Simon is puzzling and keeps us well guessing till the end. At times, it felt like trying to complete a jigsaw with its picture facing down.

    What has been nagging me since I finished the books is the core idea behind it all.The reference to Greek mythology is obvious, what threw me was the very subtle, sparce hints to Norse mythology and, in a way, what this implies:

    You have the Ygg spaceship. This clearly refers to Yggdrasill, The Tree of Life. This, I think, is crucial in the development of the story because according to the Norse mythology the Three Spinners live underneath it and weave people lives’ thread as they wish. It really pinpoint the concept of fate and eradicate that of free will: “Fate is inexorable
    There are other references such as Valhalla, the hall of warriors and several comments, which convey the sensation the characters have that they are mere puppets.

    Once again, this is typical in Norse mythology. These Gods are not pious, expecting martyrdom nor sacrifice. These Gods are full of vices and faults, and they look upon humans as worthy creatures as long as they are honourable according to their own code, and in particular entertaining. Norse Gods love to be
    amused.
    Are the characters in Hyperion trying their best to fulfil their respective needs or simply following their preset fate?

    Anyway, I have been toying with this for a while as I keep changing my mind over it. Probably, I’m splitting hairs and overcomplicating things… :confused:
     
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  10. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    The Greek & Norse mythology is sort of mashed together, but what kept nagging at me as I was reading The Fall of Hyperion, was that I couldn't pin down what the Shrike really was. A shrike is a bird, sometimes referred to as "butcher birds", so sort of makes sense in a symbolic way, I guess, but it conjured up more the idea of the Eternal Champion mythos. Elements of Hyperion remind me of Michael Moorcock and some of his work, which revolves around Eternal Warrior myths.
    What I really didn't appreciate, was the undercurrent of some swishy kind of religion/prophesy/pilgrims that's never really explained. I kept thinking 'am I reading a Science Fiction story?'. There were parts of of the book where I was just completely lost, too many characters dreaming this or that, resurrecting, time traveling... it was difficult keeping a timeline in my head!
     
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  11. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    There are definitely parts of the books when I had to rewind hoping to understand what it meant; or at least, what I thought it meant…
    To me the Shrike has become a kind of executioner with the Joker Card power that frees him from complying to any rules. The first time I came across the word “Shrike” in the first book, I danced the vowels around and spelt it in my head “Shriek” I found it very onomatopoeic?(not sure this word translates like this) English is such a great language for round, sounding words. Anyway, it stuck in my head the image of this metallic, silent shrill, Mazinger Z. Did you have this cartoon growing up? I absolutely loved it!

    I haven’t read M Moorcock. In fact, as I have recently started reading Fantasy and in particular SF, and well behind in every possible way. I checked him out and to my dismay, I have added him to my TBR list.

    I’m curious about the ousters world so, I will carry on with the following two books.

    images.jpeg
     
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  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    The Ousters are made out to be the bad guys, leastwise that was the feeling I had. But I actually felt more kinship with them then the rest of the characters. Though they're divergent from what we accept as human, they are still genetically just hybrid Homo-sapiens.

    I live in the Deep South, believe me, we have lots of onomatopoeic words and as matter of course, everything gets rounded off.:D
    I can't actually recommend Moorcock. His work is sort of age appropriate, that is you need be a teenager, and it helps to be a boy.;)
    There's a song, it's called, 'Veteran of the Psychic Wars' by Blue Oyster Cult, it was written by their lead singer with Michael Moorcock. It sort of captures the Eternal Warrior, the poor soul whose stuck in limbo and becomes a pincushion for the Gods of War. I didn't really ever cotton to Japanese animation, except for Gigantor reruns... also Speed Racer. You must be familiar with the animation feature, 'Heavy Metal'?.. this is the portion of the story that pays homage to the eternal champion; a WWII bomber crew that strays off course, way off course.:eek:

     
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  13. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Well, Moorecock is off the list thent. I’m neither a teenager nor need advice on how to be a boy…:rolleyes:

    What did you send me…? It says: “The content of this video is not allowed in Switzerland” Now, I’m curious!!!:D
     
  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member


    Oh my, that's a bit scary isn't it.
    It's just a scene from the animated film, Heavy Metal, with Veteran of the Psychic Wars playing in the background... no sexual content, or even anything that *weird*. There are perhaps copyright issues involved... YouTube has gazillions of video clips that are in fact copyrighted material that should not be available in the way we see them. Though that said, pretty scary that your government makes those decisions for you.:eek:
     
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  15. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I felt similarly with the Ousters. But they were only properly introduced with "The Consul's Tale" at the end, so I don't remember there being enough time for too much emotional resonance to have been built up with them. I saw the Ousters as the dissident splinter-group of humanity, valuing freedom and adaptability in a bloated hegemony of man that had no choice but to fall. They were Simmons' equivalent of the barbaroi at the gates of a decayed Rome, but a fairly sophisticated and insightful barbaroi who seemed to understand the greater implications of the machine intelligences and their undue, negative influence on the species.

    As for Moorcock, I most definitely agree with @Sparrow that he is quite age appropriate and leaning more towards pubescent boys with his Eternal Champion stories, but he's written more sophisticated stuff, too, so don't discount him completely @Elvira! You could take a look at his Gloriana or Behold the Man.

    Also, his Jerry Cornelius books are a bit of a mindfuck. Very sixties, very subversive. There are tenuous connections between Jerry Cornelius & the Eternal Champion mythos, but they can be ignored.

    But I agree with @Sparrow that Moorcock will not be an essential read for you, more a curiosity if/when you find the time. Still, Gloriana or Behold the Man would probably be the two most interesting ones for you to go for. Full disclosure: I love the Elric books and other incarnations of the Eternal Champion. I was one of those pubescent boys.
     
  16. ecgordon

    ecgordon Well-Known Member

    I've always re-read my favorite books, and have been doing quite a bit of it lately since I decided I needed to review all the Hugo & Nebula winning books.

    Most commonly re-read authors are Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Pohl, Farmer, Silverberg, Simak, Spinrad, Varley, and Wolfe.
     
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  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Right, so Moorcock is back on my list! You really know how to keep derailing me from my righteous reading path…;)
    I have just checked out Gloriana and I love this period of history. In particular, all the betrayal and political affairs between Spain and the Perfidious Albion…

    Regarding the Ousters, during the final pages of The Fall of Hyperion, Simmons gives you a glimpse into this faction. I see what you mean regarding them as the barbaroi. However, this lot is far more sophisticated and developed. They seem to carry the promise of a new free era. Even though this will mean a less human and more alien like type of future.
     
  18. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    True, but admit it...you've been having fun since you joined! Life's full of derailment, but it should at least be pleasurable. Concerning Moorcock, yeah, I think Gloriana, or the Unfulfilled Queen and Behold the Man are really great works. BtM was a particularly surreal, existential satire on Jesus of Nazareth that had quite an effect on me when I was in my tenth year of high-school. We were reading Henry James for school at the time, right after we'd finished Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - it was my second time reading R&J because I'd switched school mid-semester and was confronted with another snoozefest with the same Shakespeare tragedy. I was bored out of my mind. Picked up BtM at home and it rejuvenated me (it's a very fast read). I haven't read any Moorcock since I was 18, but all my memories with regards to his works are great. I've been told his Pyat tetralogy of books are his best, but never read those.
    Yep, completely agree. Said the same thing. Like in Keats' poem, they are the new order supplanting the old.
    One of the main reasons I want to pick up and re-read many of the SF works I've previously enjoyed is because I want to try my hand at writing more reviews, too. From your list, I've read pretty much all of Asimov's and Clarke's fiction. Never read any Bradbury, Farmer and Spinrad (although I recently got myself a historical novel by Spinrad). Only read one Heinlein and some works of the others.
     
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  19. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Absolutely! I have a huge grin on my face right now. “Happy derailments" are always welcome!
    I will start with Gloriana and see where this leads…
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Wow, did you already get it? I thought you would place Moorcock way down on your priority list.
     

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