The 'Currently reading' thread...

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Postby Heaven/Hell » Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:32 pm

Saturn wrote:
Heaven/Hell wrote:The Byzantine period - the time of the famous (in literary circles) de Medici family?


Not exactly....

Byzantium was a unique civilization, incorporating and propagating the ideals, the artistic and spiritual, and legal ethics of the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.

The Renaissance movement itself can in part be attributed to the Byzantine Empire.

After the fall of Constantinople, and even before it fell, in 1453, Byzantine scholars brought with them to the west priceless manuscripts of many of the works of the greatest ancient Greek and Roman authors, previously unknown or thought lost in the west.


Quite an interesting read, O Learned one.

But it seems you are not familiar with the de Medici family or have not come across them in the vast literature you have meticulously read, as you have contradicted your initial statement ("Not exactly") with these paragraphs.

If it were not for Cosimo de Medici, his son Lorenzo and their agents, headed by Marsilio Ficino of the Florentine Academy, we would not even have come into contact with the sacred Neoplatonic, Platonic, (the most important being Timaeus, a stark contradicition to the religious history purported by the Papal 'dictatorship') Hermetic and alchemical writings as described in the last paragraph of your eloquent essay; for they procured literature of this type which prevailed which was, as you noted, almost doomed to be lost forever in the archives of time thanks to the Inquisition. These writings in themselves and their revelations inspired the artists of the Renaissance, most notably Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.

They allegedly survived from the ruins of the Cathars and Knights Templar, and subsequently precipitated the launch of several new underground groups who hid the writings from the tentacles of the Orthodox Christian groups who saw them as heretical, and would seek to suppress them, as they revealed man's true nature with God. It's been alleged that while the Cathars and Knights were being decimated, there were several Inquistioners working for the 'other side', who preserved the writings; and this is how Ficino and the other great scholar Giovanni Pico of Mirandola came into contact with them. One of the most important bodies of work in the era was the Corpus Hermeticum.

You won't get all that off wikipedia either. ;)
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Postby Saturn » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:38 pm

I do know a lot about the Medici, H/H, I just totally lost track of your question going off on my own little rant there :oops:

Apologies for not answering your initial query.
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Postby Heaven/Hell » Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:10 pm

Accepted - I didn't even know you were ranting at me... :D
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Postby Malia » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:28 pm

What am I currently reading? Oh, just about every biography ever written about baseball legend Lou Gehrig. Interesting history and psychology that man had. . .very interesting.

One thing I've discovered during my recent interest in dead sports heros is that you can learn a *lot* about a place's culture and history through its sports. I mean, just reading about old timers in baseball (Gehrig played in the 1920's and 1930's), I've learned loads about immigration at the turn of the century, the Great Depression, the Roaring 20's. . .quite a few things happened during the 20th C. in America with baseball at its center. American GI's in WWII identified eachother with special codes derived from baseball. Two guys would encounter eachother in the forrest somewhere in Germany and one would ask "Who was the Pride of the Yankees?" and if the other guy said "Gehrig" then each knew they were allies.
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Postby Saturn » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:29 pm

I've been reading rather a lot recently, due to being ill in bed with a severe ear infection and unable to play music etc. so I rattled through that last book now I'm onto this:

Image

Now my Classical Greek poetry library is almost complete. I've been looking for Pindar for years and finally found it.
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Postby Heaven/Hell » Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:29 am

I'm rather fond of French poetry, I recently picked up a book of some fine selections of six of the greatest, and can't stop digging into it: Alphonse De Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stephane Mallarme.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:32 pm

I've just begun reading today a book I got as a present,

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The latest poetry collection from a little known but excellent Irish poet.
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Postby Sir Nevis » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:27 pm

I'm getting quite into walter scott these days. read 'waverley' about a year ago-my first scott novel and just finished 'rob roy' a few days ago. they were both excellent-taut, full of intrigue, romantic and fabulously written. i tried 'ivanhoe' in between and didn't think it had a patch on the two scottish novels despite being better known.

i'm currently reading 'sir gibbie' by george macdonald and will hopefully soon be starting 'lilth' by the same author.
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Postby Saturn » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:28 am

I've been meaning to check out Scott for years, more specifically his poetry. He was actually first established as a poet and in his day sold as much and was almost as popular as Byron before he turned to the novel form.

I'm still reading my little pocket version of Keats letters, rediscovering their delights.
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Postby Sir Nevis » Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:09 pm

aye, scott was quite a prolific writer of verse. not many people succesfully straddle the poetry/prose divide, curiously enough.

i'd like to get into scott's poetry at some point, but as far as his novels go i'm beginning to get hooked. i'm hardly an authority at this stage but i would definitely recommend rob roy to begin with-i can be a slow reader at times but by my standards i raced through it. it's a superb story.
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby SidewalkProphet » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:30 pm

I just finished reading The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas... it was a very interesting book with a good premise and lots of potential but as with so many books I've read lately it had an incredibly disappointing ending! I felt let down after I'd finished it, it's like the writer put all the effrot and skill into building the story up and then rushed the ending without much thought.

Don't you hate it when that happens? :roll:
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:22 pm

SidewalkProphet wrote:I felt let down after I'd finished it, it's like the writer put all the effrot and skill into building the story up and then rushed the ending without much thought.


Hey, that sounds like something I would do! :P
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby AsphodelElysium » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:23 am

Currently reading Patricia McKillip's The Tower in Stony Wood. Want to read The Watchmen before the movie comes out. Anyone seen the trailer? It looks fantastic!
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Malia » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:16 pm

I'm currently reading several books. . .whether I *finish* them or not remains to be seen. The list includes:

Thomas Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation and Books 6 and 7 of the Harry Potter series. . .which I *swear* I will finish someday--especially if I can kick my pathetic HP fan fiction addiction :lol:
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Re: The 'Currently reading' thread...

Postby Saturn » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:38 pm

I'm re-reading bits and pieces from this

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and I really have a yearning to re-read Don Quixote sometime soon.
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