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Thread: Who haven't you read?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    Yeeees.... but a few years ago I realised most books I'd read were by men and I was missing out on some perspective so I wanted to change that.
    Same. Also it’s recognising that your unconscious bias may have denied you some sources of insight, pleasure whatever.

  2. #32
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    19th century France is my blindspot. Proust, Hugo, Baudelaire.
    It wouldn't be my strong suit either for some reason.
    Although looking at the list on Wikipedia there are quite a few on there I have read. But yeah there are gaps.

  3. #33
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    Same. Also it’s recognising that your unconscious bias may have denied you some sources of insight, pleasure whatever
    Exactly, it's not about quotas but about sometimes thinking "maybe I can gain something from this book" and reading it for that reason. There is nothing wrong with picking the first thing that looks interesting to you or the nearest one on the shelf but maybe doing that absolutely all of the time means that you will miss out. Same for other languages. I know I've read a lot of books that were written in English and quite a few that were translated from French or Russian or even Spanish... but after that the number from other languages goes down and every now and again I make a conscious effort to rectify that and I don't think it's tokenism.

  4. #34
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    Also, probably if you were gonna make a list of those that can't be dodged surely Don Quixote would be on there.

  5. #35
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    Princess of Cleves maybe

    La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel which was published anonymously in March 1678. It is regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madame de La Fayette.
    The action takes place between October 1558 and November 1559 at the royal court of Henry II of France. The novel recreates that era with remarkable precision. Nearly every character—though not the heroine—is a historical figure. Events and intrigues unfold with great faithfulness to documentary record.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Princesse_de_Clèves

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    I like Borges' prose though. It tends towards the simple but it's precise and clear and has a kind of beauty in that neatness I think.
    It's just serviceable, imo. It reads like an instruction manual which is fine for the stuff he writes.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    With Tolstoy, there are a couple of shorter works by him which are well worth reading: The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Hadjit Murat. Again, this is a good way of understanding why Anna Karenina and even War and Peace might be worth reading.
    Father Sergius is a good one.

    http://www.online-literature.com/tol...her-sergius/1/

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    It's just serviceable, imo. It reads like an instruction manual which is fine for the stuff he writes.
    Unless you both speak/read Spanish I should imagine neither of you knows what his prose is like? Not to be facetious but talking about a writer's prose style in translation is tricky. (Granted that something of that style is preserved in translation.)
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  9. #39
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    Good point.

  10. #40
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    Imagine having to read Shakespeare in German or whatever. No doubt there are brilliant translations but you could never really replicate that, perhaps only a German genius of the order of Shakespeare could do it.

    Which reminds me - never, under any circumstances, read "Wilhelm Meister" by Goethe. Or at least, don't read it in English. It's ted-i-ous.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  11. #41
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    It is frustrating, not being able to read these great authors in their native tongue. Particularly someone like Flaubert, where the style is supposedly so much the point.

    Not that I think this should stop anyone reading them in translation. So much of style IS "content", after all.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  12. #42
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    I've heard that Borges reads similarly in the original Spanish but I've only read him in translation and there are apparently issues with pretty much every translation of him.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    It is frustrating, not being able to read these great authors in their native tongue. Particularly someone like Flaubert, where the style is supposedly so much the point.

    Not that I think this should stop anyone reading them in translation. So much of style IS "content", after all.
    Was there any particular reason for Beckett writing a bunch of his novels in French?

  14. #44
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    I've been wanting to read William Gaddis for ages but his books are always either out of stock or stupidly expensive.

  15. #45
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    It's just serviceable, imo. It reads like an instruction manual which is fine for the stuff he writes.
    I thought that at first but now I take more pleasure in that kind of simple precision than I used to... I went the same route with others, can't think of many off the top of my head bu Graham Greene is one.
    Fair point re the original Spanish... but books in translation is a whole kettle of worms in itself. But I think it's fair to say that you can see a difference between the styles of, say, Marquez and Borges, and that surely represents a difference that was there in the original even if it's not exactly transposed.

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