Back
  Books & Bookmen
    
Page: Previous  1 ... 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111  Next


User avatar

Joined:
Sep 2011
Posts:
4588
Location:
footloose onstead heinous vermifugal newssheet
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:22 pm 

Humdrum, repetitive, dull servitude to the norms of everyday life that persist despite extraordinary circumstances that are pushed to the very extreme. He becomes a bug, literally, but in fact he's little more than a "bug" in the everyday goings on, his own (the fact that he's worried about not being able to go to work and so struggles to try and do so in the beginning), and his family's (dealing with this incredible event just like an inconvenience that needs to be brushed into a corner so that normality can continue at all costs). The Trial is also incredibly dull, humdrum, and repetitive.

The status quo, despite being dull and shit, must be maintained at all costs. The Trial explores how government (in a broad sense) implements this, Metamorphosis how it has become ingrained into people's psyches. Neither are intended to be enjoyable reads, both reveal themselves most starkly by the first few lines and the last few lines (as far as I can see anyway).

The dullness is the wood.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
19975
Location:
Below the hengiform.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:29 pm 

Ah yeah. Great success. I think I'll give The Trial a miss!


Top
 Profile   
 


User avatar

Joined:
Sep 2011
Posts:
4588
Location:
footloose onstead heinous vermifugal newssheet
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:35 pm 

Quote:
Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
19975
Location:
Below the hengiform.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:42 pm 

I think I just find existentialism a bit boring.


Top
 Profile   
 


User avatar

Joined:
Sep 2011
Posts:
4588
Location:
footloose onstead heinous vermifugal newssheet
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:44 pm 

Ah yeah, I mean, we don't have to be into everything, but Kafka is a more accomplished writer than I first gave him credit for. He really puts you inside the mind of the characters, for better or worse. But then Nausea, The Stranger, they're existentialist novels too but with a totally different approach.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
19975
Location:
Below the hengiform.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:48 pm 

I loved Nausea, actually. You got the sense of futility and the writing itself embodied that, yet sparkled with it.


Top
 Profile   
 


User avatar

Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
8113
Location:
High Above The Rolling Waves, In Labyrinths Of Coral Caves...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:16 pm 

I'm going to re read the Agent Z books over Xmas and it will be fucking deadly.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
19975
Location:
Below the hengiform.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:34 pm 

Charging through Solar Bones by Mike McCormack. The man knows what he's doing. Impressive.


Top
 Profile   
 


User avatar

Joined:
Aug 2005
Posts:
8933
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:01 pm 

I've that on my mantlepiece ready to go for the new year.

Started "House of Leaves" finally last week though so I may be a while


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
19975
Location:
Below the hengiform.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:09 pm 

It's great. Interesting premise and the fact that the entire book is essentially one long sentence takes a bit of getting used to, a few breathers are needed as you go along, but the writing and imagery is top drawer.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
2108
Location:
Heidelberg, Kurpfalz
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:20 pm 

What are the other stories included along with Die Verwandlung? Some of Kafka's short stories are bonkers.

I was very surprised to see any sort of criticism levelled at Kafka, he was a true master of German prose writing. His setting of a scene in a few short words is unparalleled, as is his critique of the hum-drum, conservative, work obsessed mentality of so much of middle-Europe in his time and ours.

Never read him in English, maybe it's an issue with the translation, especially seeing as it seems that it was part of a collection? Normally it is a stand-alone, and many collection use older and/or defective translations.

House of Leaves seems like quite the effort, good luck with it! I've been thinking of giving it a go, but have shied away thus far due to the experimental structure.


Top
 Profile   
 


User avatar

Joined:
Sep 2011
Posts:
4588
Location:
footloose onstead heinous vermifugal newssheet
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:05 pm 

Christmas acquisitions:

The Red House Mystery - AA Milne
Just finished this. Predates the first Winnie The Pooh book by a couple of years, a standard, very British, very 1920s whodunnit, lots of fun though, and I've always had a thing for Milne's sentences.

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Had been musing about how few (comparatively) female authors I've read, received this as a gift. Looking forward to it, the storyline (what I can remember of it from the film) is pretty good.

Perfume - Susskind
Going to get myself a copy of this in German and read it in bilingual parallel. It's been highly recommended to me in the past if I wanted to read something in "beautiful German", and someone happened to give it to me in English, so that's that.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
2108
Location:
Heidelberg, Kurpfalz
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:45 pm 

Finished All the President's Men last week, a great read, total page-turner (impressive for a non-fiction book), with loads of relevant parallels for understanding current US politics.

Also read The Lovely Bones, thought it was very good up until the last 30 pages or so, then it just became sentimental twaddle.

Now reading The Revolutionary by Hans Koningsberger, it has been sitting on my shelf for about 15 years, so I figured I'd give it a pop. Pretty decent so far.

I have Parfum sitting on the shelf for when I finish my PhD, most people say it is excellent. I bought my wife The Handmaid's Tale for Christmas, so I'll give it a go myself at some point, I'd be interested to hear your opinion about it.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Jun 2005
Posts:
19975
Location:
Below the hengiform.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:09 pm 

Perfume is excellent. I read it a few years ago.

I finished Inch Levels by Neil Hegarty today. I gather he is a new kid on the block. The book is alright but meanders a bit too much in places. I think he might develop into an interesting writer, though.

Started into The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and so far it's sweeping me along. Not the type of thing I'd normally go for but so far so good.

Went a bit mad picking up books lately so I've a stack to work through and the more weeks of holidays to make a good dent into them.


Top
 Profile   
 



Joined:
Apr 2012
Posts:
293
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:32 pm 

Perfume is amazing. Can't recommend highly enough. Finally finished 'To have and have not' by Hemmingway after forgetting about it for ages. Now back to 'Slaughterhouse 5' and a nice little Christmas present of Darwin's ' The Origin of Species '.


Top
 Profile   
 

Page: Previous  1 ... 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111  Next