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Thread: Suggest a Book for the dissensus book club!

  1. #646
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    My girlfriend is part of a book group. They just read a sci-fi novel with a scene in which a Jesuit priest gets bumraped by a giant alien hamster. I think I should be getting suggestions from her for books for us guys, I mean she has a doctorate in literature from Oxford so she must know the good shit.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  2. #647
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    id rather read my own books and talk to myself about them and pretend it's bookclub tbh

  3. #648
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    My girlfriend is part of a book group. They just read a sci-fi novel with a scene in which a Jesuit priest gets bumraped by a giant alien hamster. I think I should be getting suggestions from her for books for us guys, I mean she has a doctorate in literature from Oxford so she must know the good shit.
    in all seriousness, that's actualy a good idea. which book is it?

  4. #649

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    I'd rather read the Canon at my own pace and choosing than some shit book imposed on me by a bunch of fuckers who would ask me "what was your favorite bit?"

  5. #650
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    he's the bad boy of the welsh literary intelligentsia. no fucks given

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  9. #652
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka. View Post
    in all seriousness, that's actualy a good idea. which book is it?
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Read it years ago,can see why it'd appeal to serious lit people. Basically a sci-fi allegory for European first contact w/indigenous cultures (i.e. Jesuit missions). Pretty good on cultural misunderstandings (author has a PhD in some kinda anthro), the hypocrisy of more "advanced" cultures, different kinds of power relations in servitude context. Lots of religious/philosophic overtone. It's faded a bit in my mind as things do but I recall a bit of an Leguin vibe but more visceral. The alien rape is well grisly.

    Also sign me up for a reignited dissensus book club. motivation to start reading serious(ish) literature again. how about Beowulf actually? in keeping with the dead boring English canon theme. could do Grendel by John Gardner with it, been meaning to read that for years.

  10. #653
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    he's the bad boy of the welsh literary intelligentsia. no fucks given
    nah that's Taliesin. or Dylan Thomas I guess.

    craner I miss your fabulous essays. the Gulnara Karimova one especially.

  11. #654
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    Beowulf's in old english good luck with that. i looked at the first page of the seafarer yesterday and i think it's put me off for life. even chaucer seems a bit too daunting at this point. and reading beowulf in translation only takes an afternoon. not really meaty enough.

  12. #655
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    Back to PL for a moment. I love the sly digs at cardinals and monks. I also love how, considering Milton was a Christian and a Puritan at that, he makes Satan come across like a total dude.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  13. #656
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    woops! asked me to read this. he loves it. anyone else care to read it?
    FUNERAL MUSIC
    William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk: beheaded 1450
    John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester: beheaded 1470
    Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers: beheaded 1483

    1

    Processionals in the exemplary cave,
    Benediction of shadows. Pomfret. London.
    The voice fragrant with mannered humility,
    With an equable contempt for this world,
    ‘In honorem Trinitatis’. Crash. The head
    Struck down into a meaty conduit of blood.
    So these dispose themselves to receive each
    Pentecostal blow from axe or seraph,
    Spattering block-straw with mortal residue.
    Psalteries whine through the empyrean. Fire
    Flares in the pit, ghosting upon stone
    Creatures of such rampant state, vacuous
    Ceremony of possession, restless
    Habitation, no man’s dwelling-place.


    2

    For whom do we scrape our tribute of pain—
    For none but the ritual king? We meditate
    A rueful mystery; we are dying
    To satisfy fat Caritas, those
    Wiped jaws of stone. (Suppose all reconciled
    By silent music; imagine the future
    Flashed back at us, like steel against sun,
    Ultimate recompense.) Recall the cold
    Of Towton on Palm Sunday before dawn,
    Wakefield, Tewkesbury: fastidious trumpets
    Shrilling into the ruck; some trampled
    Acres, parched, sodden or blanched by sleet,
    Stuck with strange-postured dead. Recall the wind’s
    Flurrying, darkness over the human mire.


    3

    They bespoke doomsday and they meant it by
    God, their curved metal rimming the low ridge.
    But few appearances are like this. Once
    Every five hundred years a comet’s
    Over-riding stillness might reveal men
    In such array, livid and featureless,
    With England crouched beastwise beneath it all.
    ‘Oh, that old northern business …’ A field
    After battle utters its own sound
    Which is like nothing on earth, but is earth.
    Blindly the questing snail, vulnerable
    Mole emerge, blindly we lie down, blindly
    Among carnage the most delicate souls
    Tup in their marriage-blood, gasping ‘Jesus’.


    4

    Let mind be more precious than soul; it will not
    Endure. Soul grasps its price, begs its own peace,
    Settles with tears and sweat, is possibly
    Indestructible. That I can believe.
    Though I would scorn the mere instinct of faith,
    Expediency of assent, if I dared,
    What I dare not is a waste history
    Or void rule. Averroes, old heathen,
    If only you had been right, if Intellect
    Itself were absolute law, sufficient grace,
    Our lives could be a myth of captivity
    Which we might enter: an unpeopled region
    Of ever new-fallen snow, a palace blazing
    With perpetual silence as with torches.


    5

    As with torches we go, at wild Christmas,
    When we revel in our atonement
    Through thirty feasts of unction and slaughter,
    What is that but the soul’s winter sleep?
    So many things rest under consummate
    Justice as though trumpets purified law,
    Spikenard were the real essence of remorse.
    The sky gathers up darkness. When we chant
    ‘Ora, ora pro nobis’ it is not
    Seraphs who descend to pity but ourselves.
    Those righteously-accused those vengeful
    Racked on articulate looms indulge us
    With lingering shows of pain, a flagrant
    Tenderness of the damned for their own flesh:


    6

    My little son, when you could command marvels
    Without mercy, outstare the wearisome
    Dragon of sleep, I rejoiced above all—
    A stranger well-received in your kingdom.
    On those pristine fields I saw humankind
    As it was named by the Father; fabulous
    Beasts rearing in stillness to be blessed.
    The world’s real cries reached there, turbulence
    From remote storms, rumour of solitudes,
    A composed mystery. And so it ends.
    Some parch for what they were; others are made
    Blind to all but one vision, their necessity
    To be reconciled. I believe in my
    Abandonment, since it is what I have.


    7

    ‘Prowess, vanity, mutual regard,
    It seemed I stared at them, they at me.
    That was the gorgon’s true and mortal gaze:
    Averted conscience turned against itself.’
    A hawk and a hawk-shadow. ‘At noon,
    As the armies met, each mirrored the other;
    Neither was outshone. So they flashed and vanished
    And all that survived them was the stark ground
    Of this pain. I made no sound, but once
    I stiffened as though a remote cry
    Had heralded my name. It was nothing …’
    Reddish ice tinged the reeds; dislodged, a few
    Feathers drifted across; carrion birds
    Strutted upon the armour of the dead.


    8

    Not as we are but as we must appear,
    Contractual ghosts of pity; not as we
    Desire life but as they would have us live,
    Set apart in timeless colloquy.
    So it is required; so we bear witness,
    Despite ourselves, to what is beyond us,
    Each distant sphere of harmony forever
    Poised, unanswerable. If it is without
    Consequence when we vaunt and suffer, or
    If it is not, all echoes are the same
    In such eternity. Then tell me, love,
    How that should comfort us—or anyone
    Dragged half-unnerved out of this worldly place,
    Crying to the end ‘I have not finished’.
    Geoffrey Hill
    Last edited by luka; 18-03-2018 at 11:43 AM.

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