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Thread: Big Books

  1. #1
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    Default Big Books

    How do you feel about them? Do you see them lurking on the shelf and sigh or are you regularly tearing through 'em?

    Quote Originally Posted by catalog View Post
    Classic mistake with the big guns is to read their short works. They're all shit compared to the doorstops. Heed bolano. Go for moby dick, fuck Bartleby
    “Without turning, the pharmacist answered that he liked books like The Metamorphosis, Bartleby, A Simple Heart, A Christmas Carol. And then he said that he was reading Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. Leaving aside the fact that A Simple Heart and A Christmas Carol were stories, not books, there was something revelatory about the taste of this bookish young pharmacist, who ... clearly and inarguably preferred minor works to major ones. He chose The Metamorphosis over The Trial, he chose Bartleby over Moby Dick, he chose A Simple Heart over Bouvard and Pecouchet, and A Christmas Carol over A Tale of Two Cities or The Pickwick Papers. What a sad paradox, thought Amalfitano. Now even bookish pharmacists are afraid to take on the great, imperfect, torrential works, books that blaze a path into the unknown. They choose the perfect exercises of the great masters. Or what amounts to the same thing: they want to watch the great masters spar, but they have no interest in real combat, when the great masters struggle against that something, that something that terrifies us all, that something that cows us and spurs us on, amid blood and mortal wounds and stench.”

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    The big fuckers are like mountains, or continents. You can sit back, say you've done something. Youve got the badge. Fuck Dubai, I've been to Africa mate.

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    I remember the intro by Leary to RAWs cosmic trigger. He says it's both epic and encyclopedic, like the big boys. If the world ended tomorrow, you can use the big books to recreate it

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    A few years ago I went to a literary reading at Waterstones, it was this Argentine guy called iosi javillo (possibly not Argentine, possibly spelt his name wrong) and he was hilarious. He was in slept in clothes, obviously pissed, had clearly been having a grand ole time.

    He said a load of great unfiltered stuff, but he was there to promote a small book he'd just written. He said he had done it as an exercise, as a distraction from the novel he was trying to write. He said writing a big novel was like waking up every morning and feeling like you were drowning. He said poetry is like watching the sun go down and having a nice beer on a balcony. A big book is hard work. He said a slim volume is like a quick fuck, but the big book is going to a party and you fancy everyone and you've got all the drugs, but you realise you might not have the stamina.

    I got one of his books afterwards, bag of shit unfortunately

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    I like a big book and had a kind ofnofficial project to finish one behemoth every summer - I managed Infinite Jest and The Brothers Karamazov but I've fallen off last year or two due to doing my MA. In general, I'm in favour.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by catalog View Post
    The big fuckers are like mountains, or continents. You can sit back, say you've done something. Youve got the badge. Fuck Dubai, I've been to Africa mate.
    On The Fly-Leaf Of Pound's Cantos

    There are the Alps. What is there to say about them?
    They don't make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,
    jumbled boulder and weed, pasture and boulder, scree,
    et l'on entend, maybe, le refrain joyeux et leger.
    Who knows what the ice will have scraped on the rock it is smoothing?

    There they are, you will have to go a long way round
    if you want to avoid them.
    It takes some getting used to. There are the Alps,
    fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble!

    By Basil Bunting

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    Talking of RAW (and Pound) this is a nice little list: https://rawilsonfans.org/1996/10/

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    It is worth thinking about why we have had almost 100 years without a writer of major stature.

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    I like a big fat arse history book. I mentioned the Orlando Figes on here before - got halfway through and stalled as it's basically too big to carry around. Will probably finish over Xmas. I had Peter Frankopan's The Silk Road lined up for summer but stupid MA got in the way.

    Apparently the "serious book" is now I recognised genre. The way everyone seemed to be reading Sapiens would be a key example.

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    I've been talking about that here for years it disgusts me. It's the ted talk phenomenon. Waterstones don't have philosophy shelves or psychology shelves they have a section called smart thinking or whatever full of dumbed down New York Times bestsellers like that.

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    Kindle has made the big fuckers much more travel friendly. Downside is nobody can tell how clever you are for reading a big book.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    I like a big book and had a kind ofnofficial project to finish one behemoth every summer - I managed Infinite Jest and The Brothers Karamazov but I've fallen off last year or two due to doing my MA. In general, I'm in favour.....
    Yeah, reading for pleasure always takes a back seat if you've work reading to do

  17. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    On The Fly-Leaf Of Pound's Cantos

    There are the Alps. What is there to say about them?
    They don't make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb,
    jumbled boulder and weed, pasture and boulder, scree,
    et l'on entend, maybe, le refrain joyeux et leger.
    Who knows what the ice will have scraped on the rock it is smoothing?

    There they are, you will have to go a long way round
    if you want to avoid them.
    It takes some getting used to. There are the Alps,
    fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble!

    By Basil Bunting
    He's interesting, bunting. I like his protégés Tom pickard and Barry macsweeney, but struggled with briggflatts. Good vocals tho

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