What Books Are You Reading?

That was my takeaway, too; not that I didn’t get it, but that there wasn’t as much there as people seemed to think. He wrote a bunch of those little books, made a mint off of backpackers alone

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That one was a big nothingburger for me too.

I thought it was just me.

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David Foster Wallace

"He wanted to write “stuff about what it feels like to live. Instead of being a relief from what it feels like to live.”

I’m trying to pick some of the shorter stories for a read.

“He was the greatest writer of his generation —”

Is this true?

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Did his generation choose that title or some boomer? :wink:

He was a nutter by many accounts, heavily medicated and emotionally unstable. He wrote and wrote well, but who knows? Any tall guy who stands on the shoulders of the greats before him will look massive close up. Wait a few years. I don’t see his work ever being read in public high schools.

Some interesting quotes in the Rolling Stone article.

“I started to smoke a lot of pot when I was 15 or 16, and it’s hard to train.” He laughed. “You don’t have that much energy.”

“The one thing that really should be said about David Foster Wallace is that this was a once-in-a-century talent,” says his friend and former editor Colin Harrison. “We may never see a guy like this again in our lifetimes — that I will shout out. He was like a comet flying by at ground level.”

"David pinned an article about Kafka to the wall, with the headline “The Disease Was Life Itself.”

I haven’t seen the movie.

I can’t imagine a scenario that it could do any justice to the words.

I just finished Bleak House by Charles Dickens. It was a real chore.

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Not jumping straight into Infinite Jest then? I forced myself to read it. For me it was up there with Gravity’s Rainbow in terms of boredom. I liked some of the articles he wrote though.

No, I want small easily recognizable accomplishments so I’m not going into any big books right now.

might i recommend, the alchemist? :wink:

I think you have that backwards.

I read the former years and years ago - if I don’t have it tucked away some place, I’m buying it again.

Marcus depends a good deal on the translation. I read it back in university and got less than nothing out of it. Hayes translation opened the entire books and, largely, the entire philosophy for me. I have it on Kindle and a pair of dogeared paperbacks.

I wanted to like this so much. I re-read it thinking that I had obviously missed something…though don’t believe that I did.


My copy is somewhere between storage and an unknown address, possibly still in storage, but I will hope to remember to check this!

That was nice of you!

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If you disagree, that’s fine. I’ll stand by my assessment, thanks.

IIRC the author of Zen was worried that Science was supposed to come to conclusions, yet it seemed to produce more and more hypotheses, thus negating its purpose. A couple of seconds thought would seem to solve this
Knowledge is a balloon, which constantly gets bigger. We know everything inside the balloon, outside it is what we don’t know, and science is the skin of the balloon; as the volume inside gets bigger the area of the surface increases.
The only difficulty is can the balloon continue to expand so we can continue to learn indefinitely; is the balloon inside a container, so we will reach the limits of knowledge; will the balloon stop expanding because of the limitations of the skin i.e. what the mind can know? (Personally, I think it will pop, and we can back to hunting/gathering and checking each other for fleas.)

Reminds me of this


Giant Book Month Continues. Finished Bleak House, on to Anna Karenina. After that I still have The Man Who Would Be King left to read.

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This book literally makes me laugh and cry

This is a boooook!?

Rudyard Kipling!