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 Despondence » Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:35 am

And now for something completely different.

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Postby Despondence » Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:28 am

I'm pretty sure this one was mentioned at least twice before, but I can't remember where...so here's one more.

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I just picked this one up at Borders, they happened to have it in store. I wasn't actually planning on buying it, just have a look and maybe post some of my impressions of it here. However... :)
Apart from my Gittings edition falling apart, this one had a couple of nice features that made me buy it - and a few bad ones. To address the latter first, the text has been moderinzed, "by silently correcting small slips of the pen . . . and converting many of Keats's dashes to full stops. I have omitted Keats's deletions and cancellations . . . ", etc. When I first read Gittings's edition of the letters, I did have some difficulties getting around the style at first, but rather quickly got used to it. I don't see why the text needs to be "modernized", but there it is, the editor made this choice.

On the positive side, owning a Gittings edition already, I guess it doesn't hurt to have a more modern interpretation on the side for comparison. Some parts may even be more enjoyable to read in this "cleaned up" state.. The typesetting of the letters in this book is also very neat, which just makes everything look nicer, eye candy if you will. The book contains a few images too, though nothing remarkable (except one portrait of Severn, which I don't remember seeing before) - but one thing I found very useful and interesting is a map over Keats's walking tours. I wish I had had a map like this while reading the letters the first time - I was completely turned around. And finally, this edition contains a handful of letters (I counted 18 ) between Keats's companions; most of them from Severn to Haslam during the travel to Italy, and Keats's final days.

I'm not saying this one will replace my Gittings edition, but it sure looks like a nice complement :)
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Postby Despondence » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:53 am

Well, right now I'm reading HP & the Goblet of Fire, and I'm not quite sure what to say... Image
Despondence
 

Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:41 am

Began reading this yesterday.
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It's not a biography, but a fictional detective work based on [from what I can gather so far] the theory that the arch-forger and fake-medievalist Thomas Chatterton actually faked his own death in order to gain his literary fame and amiration.

We all know how much Keats doted on Chatterton so this is an intriguing prospect :o
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Postby Credo Buffa » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:32 pm

Despondence wrote:Well, right now I'm reading HP & the Goblet of Fire, and I'm not quite sure what to say... Image

I have no words. . . :D
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Postby Saturn » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:26 pm

:|
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Postby Despondence » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:26 am

Credo Buffa wrote:
Despondence wrote:Well, right now I'm reading HP & the Goblet of Fire, and I'm not quite sure what to say... Image

I have no words. . . :D

Oh, how come? You had quite a few before... :P
Seriously though, I'm halfway through book five now, and this one looks like it could be the first one that I would call really good. The first four were sort of hovering between "good" and "ok-ish", imo. I don't at all agree that no. 2 would be the weakest one, I think I quite liked no. 2 - mainly thanks to Lockhart. That guy sort of reminded me of Rincewind heh heh. So far, I thought the Goblet of Fire was the worst one by a margin. The story was still pretty good, but there was way too much filler stuff which did nothing to advance the plot or add anything to the characters. Sort of explains why book 4 was as thick as the first three together. It also felt much too predictible in many instances. If it's any guide, I'm usually very poor at picking up clues and playing the detective while reading, but in this book I predicted correctly lots of stuff ~20 or 50 pages in advance, which sort of takes the excitement out of it. Its one saving grace though, was of course the volatile ending, and the colclusion to the plot threads, which I had not predicted correctly at all, thank goodness :shock:

One other thing, a realization that hit me during book 4, and which at first annoyed me but now makes a lot of sense, is that Potter is an absolute twit. I mean, what a moron. Given what he's facing, shouldn't he be studying books and spells like hell, like Hermione, rahter than flunking it with Ron? Halfway through book 5, the thought hasn't yet occurred to him. And his social skills.....christ on a crutch. At one point in book 4 I started counting how many of his sentences started with "Er...." followed by a monosyllabic reply, usually "yeah" (wait, does that count as monosyllabic?). It really felt like he'd been dumbed down a couple of levels following book 3, developing an attitude and I don't know what. I so thoroughly enjoyed it at the end of book 4, when "Moody" explained to Potter how he'd had to take the little runt's pride and stupidity into account, in order to make the plan work..

I had to think about it for quite a long time, but gradually I realized, yeah, I was probably that daft and awkward too when I was fourteen. And I guess growing up among people like the Dursleys doesn't help the situation. So, for what it's worth Potter, you have my sympathies. Now grow up already.

"Ah. Yes, well that sometimes happens. Point is, it's no longer broken."
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Postby Saturn » Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:03 am

Nooooooo....


Despondence has gone over to the Dark Side :shock: :lol:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:43 pm

Despondence wrote:Oh, how come? You had quite a few before... :P

I know. . . I just needed to hear your opinion first :)

The main reason that "Chamber of Secrets' stands out in my mind as the weakest is that it doesn't have that excitement of being first, and it's right before the real meat of the story begins. For a long time it looked like a random stand-alone story as well with little to do with the main plot, but it actually has HUGE implications in book 6, so its place has definitely improved in my mind.

A lot of people cite "Goblet of Fire" as their favorite, but (like you say, other than the end) it isn't my favorite. I prefer the more introspective Potter books, where the demons are just as much within as they are without: "Prisoner of Azkaban" (my personal favorite. . . largely due to the fact that I have a huge crush on Professor Lupin :P ), "Order of the Phoenix", and "Half-Blood Prince". If the side plots in "Goblet of Fire" bothered you, you'll probably like the movie. . . it gets rid of all of those in favor of time constraints (though the wrap-up at the end is severely lacking, but all the movies are that way).

Harry's "twittiness" is what makes him such a great character. He's not particularly intelligent in a lot of ways, but that's why it's so easy to relate to him. There are a lot more average people out there in the world than extraordinary ones, and the fact that this average kid is at the center of this huge conflict is just that much more compelling. Like you say, he reminds us of how we were at his age. . . but then we consider all that he's been through in that young life and all that he has to deal with now, and can we really blame him? A lot of people really don't like Harry's "ALL CAPS MODE!" as fans like to call it, but I'd actually be a little worried about him if, considering the circumstances, he didn't blow up and become extremely volatile and unreasonable at some point in his life. Don't worry, though, he gets over the teenage rage ;)

And as exciting as the end of "Goblet of Fire" is, "Order of the Phoenix" is about a million times better :D Enjoy!
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Postby Despondence » Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:51 pm

Saturn wrote:Nooooooo....


Despondence has gone over to the Dark Side :shock: :lol:

Nah, don't worry - I can quit whenever I want..
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Why not read something usefull?

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:37 pm

Yes there are American Poets! Thank God that they're not just British or European! Oh Freude!

You folks need to read some Paul Lawrence Dunbar

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RETORT

THOU art a fool," said my head to my heart,
"Indeed, the greatest of fools thou art,
To be led astray by trick of a tress,
By a smiling face or a ribbon smart;"
And my heart was in sore distress.

Then Phyllis came by, and her face was fair,
The light gleamed soft on her raven hair;
And her lips were blooming a rosy red.
Then my heart spoke out with a right bold air:
"Thou art worse than a fool, O head!"
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Postby Saturn » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:52 pm

Can you recommend a book of his work?
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Read Any

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:33 am

Read his Complete Works it is easy to find. But my favorite is Majors and Minors. BUt the best thing is to find his COmplete Works and enjoy the man's creativity.
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Postby Despondence » Sat Feb 18, 2006 6:37 am

Credo Buffa wrote:And as exciting as the end of "Goblet of Fire" is, "Order of the Phoenix" is about a million times better :D Enjoy!

Oh my.....oh dear....blimey. What can I say, accio brain, ha ha!

(my morbid mind silently ponders what the outcome would be if that was exercised on a person rather than a brain bath...Image)
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Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:40 pm

Despondence wrote:
Credo Buffa wrote:And as exciting as the end of "Goblet of Fire" is, "Order of the Phoenix" is about a million times better :D Enjoy!

Oh my.....oh dear....blimey. What can I say, accio brain, ha ha!

(my morbid mind silently ponders what the outcome would be if that was exercised on a person rather than a brain bath...Image)


:?:
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