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Thread: Please recommend me esoteric and classical literature

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    Default Please recommend me esoteric and classical literature.

    Thank you.

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    Would you appreciate a story with faeries in it?
    Last edited by Subteigh; 09-30-2008 at 08:28 PM.

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    maybe a saint is just a dead prick with a good publicist
    maybe tommorow's statues are insecure without their foes
    go ask the frog what the scorpion knows

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    the psychogenesis of homosexuality, by a fag like yourself.
    INTp

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedrat View Post
    the psychogenesis of homosexuality, by a fag like yourself.
    lol!

    Anyway, this is actually a serious topic. Recommend me some good, non-mainstream books.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    Would you appreciate a story with faeries in it?
    If it's good.

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    My favourite book of recent years is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonatha...e_&_Mr_Norrell

    But seeing as I can't get my brother to read it, I don't think you would. It's too long a book, apparently).

    It won the Hugo Prize, which might suggest how good it is (I know Stranger In A Strange Land won it too, and I really liked that book).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    My favourite book of recent years is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonatha...e_&_Mr_Norrell

    But seeing as I can't get my brother to read it, I don't think you would. It's too long a book, apparently).

    It won the Hugo Prize, which might suggest how good it is (I know Stranger In A Strange Land won it too, and I really liked that book).
    I will add this to my Amazon cart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hostage_Child View Post
    I was going to recommend The Count of Monte Cristo but it's fairly mainstream so there is probably a good chance you have already read it. It is an excellent book, though.
    I haven't. I will buy it soon, as reading books on the computer hurts my eyes.

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    Anything by Haruki Murakami. He is a genius. My favorite thus far is Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Another I would recommend would be Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse. As far as older, more famous stuff goes, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is one of my favorites.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    My sister recommended Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell to me, but I got bored about 100 pages into it.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Don Quijote
    atlas shrugged
    Hamlet
    Crime and punishment
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    The stranger
    One Thousand and One Nights
    The Legion of the Damned
    sas survival handbook: how to survive in the wild, in any climate, on land or at sea
    A brief history of time
    The bible
    I will not aim for the head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Anything by Haruki Murakami. He is a genius. My favorite thus far is Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Another I would recommend would be Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse. As far as older, more famous stuff goes, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is one of my favorites.
    !!! (Identicals 4eva)

    Haruki Murakami x 1000! - But my favourites are The Wind-up Bird Chronicles and Kafka on the Shore. Norweigan Wood is sweet though.

    I'm currently reading the Glass Bead Game, which was the magnum opus of Herman Hesse.

    For some amazing short stories, try Jorge Luis Borges. Labyrinths is a good anthology of his work. He's an Argentinian writer in the style of Franz Kafka (Murakami is quite Kafka-esque as well) - so if you haven't picked him up before, do read Kafka's The Trial.

    Um, I would also recommend Albert Camus generally, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Gogol's Dead Souls and Ismail Kadare's Broken April.

    And more! But that's a good start.

    OH! And of course, Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being which features in my signature.

    Ack, I can't stop myself - some more: Paul Aster's New York Trilogy, (I know everyone says this, but you really ought to read it) James Joyce Ulysses, the real Homeric epics of Iliad and Odyssey (a Latin scholar might stab me for this, but): Robert Fagles did a recent translation in verse that is very beautiful to read, although if you want prose, there's always Samuel Butler. Eh, this isn't 'literature' per se, but you can't go past The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides for some good old fashioned real-politik diplomacy and killing, pillaging and burning.

    Ok, I'm stopping...now.
    Last edited by unefille; 10-01-2008 at 01:27 AM.
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    Gogol is great. I wonder what type he'd be?

    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    Gogol is great. I wonder what type he'd be?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    He was not very popular among his schoolmates, who called him their "mysterious dwarf", but with two or three of them he formed lasting friendships. Very early he developed a dark and secretive disposition, mingled of painful self-consciousness and boundless ambition. Equally early he developed an extraordinary mimic talent which later on made him a matchless reader of his own works and induced him to toy with the idea of becoming an actor.

    In 1828, on leaving school, Gogol came to Petersburg, full of vague but glowingly ambitious hopes. He had hoped for literary fame and brought with him a Romantic poem of German idyllic life — Hanz Küchelgarten. He had it published, at his own expense, under the name of "V. Alov". The magazines he sent it to almost universally derided it. He bought all the copies and destroyed them, swearing never to write poetry again.

    The other main characteristic of Gogol's writing is his impressionist vision. He saw the outer world romantically metamorphosed, a singular gift particularly evident from the fantastic spatial transformations in his Gothic stories, A Terrible Vengeance and A Bewitched Place. His pictures of nature are strange mounds of detail heaped on detail, resulting in an unconnected chaos of things. His people are caricatures, drawn with the method of the caricaturist — which is to exaggerate salient features and to reduce them to geometrical pattern. But these cartoons have a convincingness, a truthfulness, and inevitability — attained as a rule by slight but definitive strokes of unexpected reality — that seems to beggar the visible world itself.

    The aspect under which the mature Gogol sees reality is expressed by the untranslatable Russian word poshlost', which is perhaps best rendered as "self-satisfied inferiority", moral and spiritual. Like Sterne before him, Gogol was a great destroyer of prohibitions and romantic illusions. It was he who undermined Russian Romanticism by making vulgarity reign where only the sublime and the beautiful had reigned.[13] "Characteristic of Gogol is a sense of boundless superfluity that is soon revealed as utter emptiness and a rich comedy that suddenly turns into metaphysical horror".[14] His stories often interweave pathos and mockery, while the most comic of them all begins as a merry farce and ends with the famous dictum: It is dull in this world, gentlemen!
    Ni-base. My impression of his work and that portrait lead me toward IEI.
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    Last edited by Drommel; 10-01-2008 at 02:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unefille View Post
    Ni-base. My impression of his work and that portrait lead me toward IEI.
    Yeah, I had IEI in mind. The way he approaches his characters is amazing. He's one of the very few writers I ever got interested in and bothered to read.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    Yeah, I had IEI in mind. The way he approaches his characters is amazing. He's one of the very few writers I ever got interested in and bothered to read.
    i agree that he's probably an IEI. a genius i think, too.

    i'd probably also recommend unbearable lightness of being, unefille. probably a favorite book of mine, though i couldn't force myself through any of his other stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by implied View Post
    i'd probably also recommend unbearable lightness of being, unefille. probably a favorite book of mine, though i couldn't force myself through any of his other stuff.
    Yeah, agreed. I think it was almost like he had these 'tricks' that were so perfectly deployed in Unbearable Lightness, because he married them with meaning and great characters. His other works, it just felt like 'tricks' (aesthetic hooks) and nothing else. I read The Book of Laughter and Forgetting thinking: Ok, seen this before, show me something new...
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    Quote Originally Posted by unefille View Post
    !!! (Identicals 4eva)

    Haruki Murakami x 1000! - But my favourites are The Wind-up Bird Chronicles and Kafka on the Shore. Norweigan Wood is sweet though.
    I'm readng Wind Up Bird right now. Kafka on the Shore was good, but IMO not as good as Wonderland.

    I'm currently reading the Glass Bead Game, which was the magnum opus of Herman Hesse.
    I didn't know of any of Hesse's other books...I will have to check this out.


    James Joyce Ulysses
    *vomit*

    James Joyce is so boring, IMO.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Maybe Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    As for exoteric, I would NOT recomment Paulo Coelho's books, who's a fraud and charlatan, besides being a ridiculously poor writer.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Stranger in a Strange Land is one of my favorites, although it's incredibly campy in some ways.
    Samuel R. Delaney is an awesome writer. The longer his books are, the better they are. Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand is pretty good, but my favorite is Dhalgren.
    Other SciFi books that I think will become classics include Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and Phillip Jose Farmer's Image of the Beast (be careful of the latter one; it was originally banned because it's semipornographic). David Palmer's Emergence is a little-known book that I find extremely awesome - I just read it for the third time and finally its prose still didn't slow down my reading speed.

    Classics:
    Crime and Punishment I hated when I read for school, but for some reason went back on my own and loved it.
    Dead Souls was darkly entertaining (I actually listened to this on audiobook instead of reading).
    The Metamorphosis is overrated (IMO, of course).
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being was OK, but I got that same feeling from trying to read a second book of his as unefille: more of the same ... and frankly, it kind of dimmed the experience of the first.
    For some Joyce that isn't boring, try Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
    Dylan Thomas's Under Milkwood or Quite Early One Morning are similar but a little more poetic than stream of consciousness.
    I wish everyone would read Walden by Thoreau. It's practically a cliche, but it persists in the zeitgeist because it's actually that good.
    Huxley's Brave New World was OK - kinda campy like Stranger ... in that the supposedly futuristic mindsets are by now outmoded, but still with a relevant message.
    For something truly outrageous, read Walden Two by B.F. Skinner. I'm pretty sure he was serious about his ideas, but it reads more like satire (especially in this day and age, after several communes were formed around his ideas and all inevitably adapted away or failed miserably).
    Oh, and Herman Hesse can get a little overbearing to me. I've tried Steppenwolfe and a couple others and couldn't maintain momentum. But his Siddhartha is a classic, and is quick and easy reading without feeling like it's "Hesse Lite."

    Nonfic:
    For something really esoteric, try The Web that Has No Weaver by Ted Kaptchuck. It's about Traditional Chinese Medicine, but I actually found it an engaging read.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
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    *makes notes*

    Thanks, everyone. Keep 'em coming. Thanks for the huge list, AnnAu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    As for exoteric, I would NOT recomment Paulo Coelho's books, who's a fraud and charlatan, besides being a ridiculously poor writer.
    Ahahaha, when I worked at a bookstore a hyper-Christian family came in going on and on about those books. The mother said he was better than C.S. Lewis, and the daughter (circa 10 years of age) said that the book The Alchemist made her cry for joy. A TEN YEAR OLD could not POSSIBLY have the emotional maturity or experience necessary to be touched that deeply or express it in that manner. The amount of psychological conditioning forced on fundamentalist Christian children makes me sick.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    "With regard to adding annotations at the end of the book, you may safely
    do it in this way. If you mention any giant in your book contrive that it
    shall be the giant Goliath, and with this alone, which will cost you
    almost nothing, you have a grand note, for you can put--The giant Golias
    or Goliath was a Philistine whom the shepherd David slew by a mighty
    stone-cast in the Terebinth valley, as is related in the Book of
    Kings--in the chapter where you find it written.

    "Next, to prove yourself a man of erudition in polite literature and
    cosmography, manage that the river Tagus shall be named in your story,
    and there you are at once with another famous annotation, setting
    forth--The river Tagus was so called after a King of Spain: it has its
    source in such and such a place and falls into the ocean, kissing the
    walls of the famous city of Lisbon, and it is a common belief that it has
    golden sands, etc. If you should have anything to do with robbers, I will
    give you the story of Cacus, for I have it by heart; if with loose women,
    there is the Bishop of Mondonedo, who will give you the loan of Lamia,
    Laida, and Flora, any reference to whom will bring you great credit; if
    with hard-hearted ones, Ovid will furnish you with Medea; if with witches
    or enchantresses, Homer has Calypso, and Virgil Circe; if with valiant
    captains, Julius Caesar himself will lend you himself in his own
    'Commentaries,' and Plutarch will give you a thousand Alexanders. If you
    should deal with love, with two ounces you may know of Tuscan you can go
    to Leon the Hebrew, who will supply you to your heart's content; or if
    you should not care to go to foreign countries you have at home Fonseca's
    'Of the Love of God,' in which is condensed all that you or the most
    imaginative mind can want on the subject. In short, all you have to do is
    to manage to quote these names, or refer to these stories I have
    mentioned, and leave it to me to insert the annotations and quotations,
    and I swear by all that's good to fill your margins and use up four
    sheets at the end of the book.
    I will not aim for the head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Ahahaha, when I worked at a bookstore a hyper-Christian family came in going on and on about those books. The mother said he was better than C.S. Lewis, and the daughter (circa 10 years of age) said that the book The Alchemist made her cry for joy. A TEN YEAR OLD could not POSSIBLY have the emotional maturity or experience necessary to be touched that deeply or express it in that manner. The amount of psychological conditioning forced on fundamentalist Christian children makes me sick.
    I think it is possible with the ten yoear old
    I will not aim for the head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    A TEN YEAR OLD could not POSSIBLY have the emotional maturity or experience necessary to be touched that deeply or express it in that manner.
    I think there are some really bright ones who can.

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    Perhaps, but I really, really doubt it, personally, especially in this case. The way she talked about it was just...not right somehow.

    And they had that eye thing going on that I talked about in my thread about Pallie.

    *shudder*
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    You really think so? A third/fourth grader?
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    You really think so? A third/fourth grader?
    I went to school with a couple really bright kids that age, who would talk about things well beyond their years.

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    Intellectual capacity and emotional maturity/experience are entirely different things.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    ten year olds are more able then we give them credit for. I know kids at that age some 60-100 years ago they were sent out in to the forest and survived on their own. Once a week they would get food from their mothers
    I will not aim for the head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Intellectual capacity and emotional maturity/experience are entirely different things.
    I think, in certain instances, high intelligence can result in "faster" experience.









    ...Especially when you AoE grind the buzzards in Falcon Watch.

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    Again pretty much entirely unrelated to the point I'm trying to make...
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    same time post

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    I think, in certain instances, high intelligence can result in "faster" experience.
    Well the point is, logical intelligence does not equate, nor lead to, emotional intelligence. The two are pretty much entirely unrelated as far as I can tell. "In certain instances" seems to be more of an appeal to the exception, rather than the rule.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
    Well the point is, logical intelligence does not equate, nor lead to, emotional intelligence. The two are pretty much entirely unrelated as far as I can tell. "In certain instances" seems to be more of an appeal to the exception, rather than the rule.
    I just think there are some really perceptive kids who can relate to things far beyond their years.

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    I'm sure they're out there, but the odds that this was one of them appears to be rather slim. The fact that religious fundamentalists condition their children's emotional responses with regards to their religious beliefs beginning at an early age only strengthens my suspicion.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    I have to agree with Gilly. The ability to read and comprehend is divorced, to a large extent, to the emotional and cultural understanding necessary to really get texts. This is not a question of 'brightness' in anyway. A bright kid might read Tolstoy at 10 and understand the *story*, again 14 and understand the *emotional landscape* and only at 17 really understand the philosophical argument being made. A lot of authors embed their meanings in opposition to previous floating modes of thinking, ideas and arguments. No matter how brilliant, you only grasp half of what they are trying to convey by reading the positive statements they are making, without knowledge of the implicit negative statements. You can still discuss the text intelligently, but your understanding is inevitably not as nuanced as it could be. And most children at 10 simply haven't got the broad range of intellectual, cultural, emotional etc exposure necessary.

    BUT I have to disagree with Gilly on Joyce. Reading him isn't so much interesting, as his sense of plot only functions on the very microscopic level and then the very macro level, it's more...rewarding. It's...immersion within a text, an experience of dislocation and ineluctable flow. And then you go back and look at the INSANE schemes he came up with, including various organs, colours etc for each chapter and you laugh. And you say: wow, the modernists were some crazy kids. And then you open Finnegan's Wake and chuckle nervously...
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