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Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 427034 times)

Caleb

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #350 on: 10 Dec 2010, 13:43 »

Thanks for suggesting that again.  These are some really good quality paperbacks.
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snalin

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #351 on: 10 Dec 2010, 13:47 »

Niels Klim is surprisingly funny at times for a book written during the 1700s. Although I suspect that I'm laughing in the wrong places as well as in the right ones. It's also pretty awesome to think of how a guy that early used a fictional world to write about contemporary issues. It's much more blunt than modern works doing the same, with the main character pretty much jumping up and down on the points the novel is trying to make at times ("I thought at the time that this gender equality/fair trial/whatever business was quite silly, but as I learned, it's much better than our society, really!"), but that's not really a bad thing - it's quite refreshing, really.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #352 on: 10 Dec 2010, 14:15 »

That bluntness is entirely apparent in Moore's Utopia; Swift also did it before Kilm. It was one of the reasons why my class-mates despised it in high school.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #353 on: 10 Dec 2010, 15:41 »

god i love Rant so much. particularly the second time around cause you actually sort of know what it's about


i think it's pretty safe to say that it's Palahniuk's best
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #354 on: 12 Dec 2010, 13:06 »

Currently in the middle of Edwin Muir's translation of Kafka's The Trial. Hoping to finish it off over the next day or two in the middle of studying for my cognitive science exam (reading a bunch of really not that interesting stuff for that as well). Also reading Slavoj Zizek's The Sublime Object of Ideology, which is pretty enjoyable, and definitely compelling in a lot of ways. It's finally providing me with an into to Lacan which overrides the aversion built by years of neuroscience classes, but, as is normal when I read Zizek, I don't find myself agreeing with much of what he says. But he's great at making one think.

And then lots of poetry. Went through all of Dennis Lee's Riffs yesterday, and am probably going to go through them at a more measured pace. Plus Lisa Robertson, Christopher Patton, Robert Bringhurst, Jan Zwicky, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Denise Levertov.
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JD

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #355 on: 14 Dec 2010, 00:08 »

Dante's Inferno
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SonofZ3

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #356 on: 14 Dec 2010, 07:34 »

Picked up a book called Antarctic Fishes by Boshu Nagase at the half price book store the other day. Its a collection of beautiful Gyotaku prints of all these deep sea antarctic fish. The descriptions of the individual fishes is a little boring since the life cycle of deep sea dragonfish is not that intersting. What is interesting is the way an ancient artform has been combined with what is more or less a field guide, to make a unique book.
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neomang5

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #357 on: 17 Dec 2010, 12:15 »

I'm most of the way through Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Search and after that, it's the next in the trilogy, Dark Apprentice.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #358 on: 03 Jan 2011, 15:09 »

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Caleb

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #359 on: 03 Jan 2011, 17:47 »

That is an awesome hardcover.

I just finished reading Metro 2033 and The Strain.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #360 on: 04 Jan 2011, 08:30 »

Still kicking along with Her Fearful Symmetry, which is pretty good so far.

I left it at home while I was away for Christmas so snuck in The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Solar by Ian McEwan.

The Bicycle Diaries is an excellent look at contemporary history, car culture and cycling around the world and strongly recommended. Solar was good although I'm not sure why.
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Katherine

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #361 on: 04 Jan 2011, 10:47 »

I'm a little over halfway through with Anna Karenina and have been enjoying it immensely.
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #362 on: 04 Jan 2011, 14:23 »

Having read in the past two of his essay collections, I'm finally reading some of David Foster Wallace's fiction. Most of the way through The Broom of the System, and while I'm enjoying it, I have to say I'm not as pleased as I'd hoped to be. It can be a lot of fun, but the heavy reliance on dialogue is a bit grating, as are some of the scenarios. I also can't shake the thought that the characters in the book are often entirely misreading Wittgenstein, but whatever. All in all, I'd rather be reading Donald Barthelme, but there is a lot of good in this book, and I'm hoping by the end my take on it will have improved. Definitely reads like a book written by a young person though, so I'll be interested to read some of his other fiction.

Also halfway through Hilary Mantel's Vacant Possession. It's really rather good, as I'd expect of Mantel, who I think has one of the most consistent bodies of work in contemporary literature. It doesn't hit the highs of Fludd or An Experiment in Love but still, excellent.

Beyond that, mostly reading poetry. Robert Bringhurst, Robert Duncan, Robin Blaser, Karen Solie, H.D., Charles Olson, and Jonathan Williams, mainly. All very, very good.
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Johnny C

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #363 on: 04 Jan 2011, 18:23 »

broom of the system is like probably his weakest fictional work, i'd say; his short fiction was much better and infinite jest is far more readable.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #364 on: 04 Jan 2011, 21:38 »

The Renegades of Pern at the moment. 

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #365 on: 05 Jan 2011, 08:51 »

I've been reading the Comic/Graphic Novel "Kick Ass". Far bloodier and awesomer (yes, I just said that) than the movie.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #366 on: 05 Jan 2011, 10:46 »

Picked up World War Robot with a B&N gift card I got for x-mas. Pretty neat book, something to grab if you're an Ashley Wood fan. The captions for the paintings are letters written by soldiers, generals, and even the lunar based robot creator/catalyst for WWR/mad scientist named Rothchild. The art is great, but the letters feel uninspired and fail to flesh out the world of the paintings.

WWR link-http://www.worldwarrobot.com/
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #367 on: 05 Jan 2011, 18:33 »

broom of the system is like probably his weakest fictional work, i'd say; his short fiction was much better and infinite jest is far more readable.

I was kind of hoping you'd defend it a little, actually, but I suppose this means I can sit fairly comfortably in my own judgement. I had been planning on sending you a message or something to get your take on it.
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SonofZ3

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #368 on: 05 Jan 2011, 19:02 »

I'm a little over halfway through with Anna Karenina and have been enjoying it immensely.

The Pevear and Volkhonsky translation? I loved it.
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #369 on: 15 Jan 2011, 14:06 »

Here is a poem by Lorine Niedecker from the selected poems Cid Corman edited, The Granite Pail:

Quote from: Lorine Niedecker
There's a better shine
on the pendulum
than is on my hair
and many times
  .  .  . 
I've seen it there.

Maybe this won't do much for any of you, but I find this a remarkably crystalline, condensed and subtle poem, of the sort Emily Dickinson excelled in. The entire book is absolutely remarkable, and I want to get the collected poems that the University of California put out very very very much. Gilbert Sorrentino, Guy Davenport, and Jonathan Williams have some pretty nice essays about Niedecker that I've been rereading alongside the book.

I've also been reading Jan Zwicky's first book of poems, Where Have We Been. It's nice, and there are some pretty things, but ultimately nothing as shocking or as fully voiced as in her more recent collections Songs for Relinquishing the Earth and Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences.

And then I've been getting into this Evan S. Connell books, Mrs. Bridge it's excellent so far, but my thoughts on it aren't fully together. As I progress I'll try and write out a decent assessment.
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JD

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #370 on: 15 Jan 2011, 22:09 »

Black Hole. It's one of the prettiest and most detailed comix I've ever read.
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Tom

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #371 on: 15 Jan 2011, 23:30 »

Burns' is a treat. Too bad he takes forever to finish his comics. I don't expect to see the end of X'ed out til 2016.
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Avec

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #372 on: 16 Jan 2011, 12:52 »

Heart of Darkness for school, Critique of Pure Reason for myself.
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Barmymoo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #373 on: 16 Jan 2011, 13:08 »

I'm rereading I Capture the Castle which is one of my favourite books ever, and Woolf's Orlando which I just started. I love Virginia Woolf and I'm fascinated by her life and the people she associated with (The Bloomsbury Group would be my Mastermind topic) but her books are probably the most intellectually challenging that I read at the moment, so I have to be in the right mood.
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Liz

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #374 on: 16 Jan 2011, 20:17 »

I am reading three books right now, since I like to switch back and forth depending on my mood.

Machine of Death
The Remedy
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
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Thomas Edison

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #375 on: 17 Jan 2011, 02:43 »

Fear and Loathing is my current "might as well read between lectures" book.

Story by Robert McKee is my current "might as well read until I fall asleep" book.

Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg is my current "might as well read whilst I poop" book.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #376 on: 17 Jan 2011, 20:01 »

I am reading three books right now, since I like to switch back and forth depending on my mood.

Machine of Death
The Remedy
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

I desperately want to get my hands on Machine of Death.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #377 on: 17 Jan 2011, 23:59 »

I've just started Frank Herbert's 'Dune'. Enjoying it so far :-)
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #378 on: 18 Jan 2011, 05:58 »

Fear and Loathing is my current "might as well read between lectures" book.

You just earned some points there.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #379 on: 19 Jan 2011, 09:33 »

 I just got three books for free. One is Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. The other two are Rush Limbaugh. Know yr enemy, all that.
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Liz

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #380 on: 20 Jan 2011, 10:01 »

I desperately want to get my hands on Machine of Death.

It's not expensive, buy it and enjoy the thing. I've read about two thirds of the stories so far and most of them are pretty dang good.
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JD

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #381 on: 20 Jan 2011, 11:56 »

It's worth buying to spite Glenn Beck alone.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #382 on: 20 Jan 2011, 22:42 »

I once read one of Glenn Beck's picture books. I may dig it up and scan out the most absurd pages for shits and giggles.

I'm really enjoying the Cryptonomicon but Yours Truly's stupid retelling of his "mission" with DSM is one of the most tedious things that I have ever had the displeasure of reading.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #383 on: 21 Jan 2011, 22:25 »

Just finished William Gibson's Zero History. Once again another cracking read and this time set in a city I know well, which makes it even better. Nicely developed storyline and unpredictable. The previous two books of his, whilst very good, haven't ended in a way that sat well with me as a reader but this time he did a really good job of balancing tying off and leaving open.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #384 on: 22 Jan 2011, 07:04 »

Alright, I am slowly chugging my way through A Feast For Crows, but just got the first volume of The Sandman and Chronicles by Bob Dylan in the mail. Exciting reading lies ahead of me!
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Elysiana

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #385 on: 22 Jan 2011, 08:00 »

I'm really enjoying the Cryptonomicon but Yours Truly's stupid retelling of his "mission" with DSM is one of the most tedious things that I have ever had the displeasure of reading.
I'm still trying to figure this one out and I really hope this isn't a dumb question... Who's Yours Truly and who's DSM?
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #386 on: 22 Jan 2011, 08:16 »

I'm in the middle of

Under the Dome - Stephen King
The Dead Zone - Stephen King

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn (never read a Star Wars EU novel before - someone told me to start with this one... I don't like it much so far. )

Introduction to Indexing and Abstracting - Donald & Ana Cleveland

I'm currently on a genre binge - sometimes i have literary or non-fiction binges.
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Tom

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #387 on: 22 Jan 2011, 11:03 »

I'm really enjoying the Cryptonomicon but Yours Truly's stupid retelling of his "mission" with DSM is one of the most tedious things that I have ever had the displeasure of reading.
I'm still trying to figure this one out and I really hope this isn't a dumb question... Who's Yours Truly and who's DSM?

Randy Waterhouse spends the whole chapter referring to himself as Yours Truly and to Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe as DSM. He thinks he's being witty.
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Elysiana

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #388 on: 22 Jan 2011, 12:49 »

I must have really zoned out at that part. Also, I'm assuming it's DMS... that's kind of why I'm confused. I'm too lazy to go get my copy right now though lol.
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Tom

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #389 on: 22 Jan 2011, 13:33 »

Arrgh, my bad. I have dyslexic dysgraphia or something.
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #390 on: 24 Jan 2011, 19:03 »

Now reading a giant history of Black Mountain College, mostly out of interest in the poets associated with the place, like Charles Olson, Jonathan Williams, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Ed Dorn, and Robert Duncan (not to mention the involvement of Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Willem De Kooning, Josef Albers, and Cy Twombly), but in general the book is a fantastic look at what was a really awesome attempt at making a workable, artistically driver place for alternative education. Fascinating reading, and I haven't even gotten to any sections dealing with the figures I was originally interested in.

Also reading some Spinoza, some Gertrude Stein, some Zizek, some Ed Dorn, and going to start a Samuel R. Delany novel soon. Plus this really great book of interviews with American independent publishers.

Woo! Literature!
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #391 on: 26 Jan 2011, 05:06 »

I finished reading the Iliad last week and it was just as incredible as I'd hoped it would be. I'm going to move on to the Odyssey soon but in the meantime I decided there wouldn't be a better time to read the recently pulished Ransom, David Malouf's short, beautiful retelling of the meeting between Priam and Achilles at the end of the Iliad. I only started it yesterday and I could have finished it tonight if I didn't want to savour it so much.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #392 on: 26 Jan 2011, 06:51 »

After I read both the Iliad and The Odyssey for the third time I found Dan Simmons' Ilium and Olympos books, and they are as amazing as anything else Dan Simmons has ever written. 
If you've liked anything by Dan Simmons before, and you've read a fair amount of classic literature (Shakespeare, Proust), and classic sci-fi, I'd recommend Ilium and Olympos once you finish The Odyssey
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #393 on: 27 Jan 2011, 18:25 »

I'm reading Ulysses while reading the Odyssey. Pretty solid plan, actually.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #394 on: 27 Jan 2011, 18:59 »

The Odyssey definitely provides some good background on Ulysses, but it's pretty important not to get too hung up on that sort of intertextuality; the real power of Ulysses lies in the use of language, innovation, and attention to detail, with the various guiding principles Joyce employed certainly being interesting and serving to lend a certain structure to the narrative, but not ultimately being of central importance. Nabokov's lectures on Ulysses can be a pretty good thing to look in to, to show the novel's other powers, beyond what could be called the more "superficial" structural choices. There are other good essays out there, of course (predictably, I'll recommend the Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner ones especially).

Either way, two incredible books. What translation of The Odyssey did you end up turning to?
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #395 on: 28 Jan 2011, 08:49 »

Can we please, please, please stop describing literature and sci-fi as entirely separate things? thanks!
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #396 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:07 »

Agreed (hopefully that wasn't directed at me at all? I don't think I've said anything that could be construed like that, and I certainly don't think along those lines, but for whatever reason I feel guilty anyhow).

I'll admit that since I was in high school my reading of sci-fi and fantasy has really fallen off, mostly because my reading tends to follow certain progressive lines: I'll read a book, and then read a variety of reviews of the book, and if they are available, interviews with the author and and of his/her/etc. own essays that I can find. I'll then take the names and titles I gather from that, and try and follow through on at least a few of them, or at least add them to my ever growing list for future reading. Unfortunately, it's pretty uncommon for "genre" writers to end up being discussed, as the literary community tends to shun them for whatever reasons. There are exceptions though: Nabokov was pretty outspoken about such genre divides being meaningless, and on his recommendations I've read some Russian sci-fi (like Aleksey Tolstoy). Guy Davenport and Jonathan Williams are also pretty comfortable approaching and recommending books from across the literary spectrum.

So, Khar, is there any sci-fi you'd especially recommend? Lately I've read and enjoyed Samuel R. Delany and Avram Davidson, and I've always had a lot of love for Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #397 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:36 »

I just bought Dan Simmons' Hyperion for about the fifth time in my life, this time digitally on my new Kindle.

I am super psyched to reread it and it's sequels. Last time I read them was 2006.


I'm about 30% of the way through Hyperion and it is extremely awesome but the Kindle version has a lot of really stupid typos, which leads me to believe maybe it was transcribed by a computer or something because of stuff like turning "of" into "qf" or "dl" or any other combination of letters that might sort of accidentally look similar to "of."

Also, they apparently decided to "correct" Simmons' grammar from time to time by inserting commas, except they did so without reading the entire sentence first so there are all these incorrect commas fucking up the flow, confusing the message and shit.

Wish they would have tried a little harder with it.
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Also I would like to point out that the combination of Sailor Moon and faux-Kerouac / Sonic Youth spelling is perhaps the purest distillation of what this forum is that we have yet been presented with.

Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #398 on: 28 Jan 2011, 10:38 »

Sounds like they probably just scanned the book and converted it to text. The inserted commas are maybe flecks of dust or markings on the original page that the text converter interpreted as punctuation?

I have to say, eReaders don't have much attraction to me.
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Inlander

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #399 on: 28 Jan 2011, 16:42 »

Can we please, please, please stop describing literature and sci-fi as entirely separate things? thanks!

Only as long as we continue to recognise that while literature can encompass any genre, there is a clear difference between "literary" and "non-literary" writing.
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