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misswonderly3

Somewhat Off-Topic: What have you been reading lately?

515 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Vautrin said:

The writer hints that Bloom only named one book of Updike's,

The Witches of Eastwick, on his expanded canonical list, as possible payback for Updike's torturous 

comment. Who knows. There were a few things in the NYT's obituary that might come under the

heading of exaggeration if not actual pomposity

Bloom generally disliked 20th century and 21st century literature. I remember he said something along the lines of "Pynchon's Mason & Dixon is one of the last great novels." Then there's also his "no discernible talent" remarks about DFW.

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1 hour ago, Vautrin said:

It just seems rather silly for an often very serious man like Bloom to make such claims when they serve no purpose. Reciting the whole of William Blake. Why even bother to make such a ridiculous claim, unless it was meant as a joke, which it doesn't seem to be. Oh well.

It's a mistake to think that anything need have a purpose, in the sense you seem to mean. Maybe the point was simply that he had a prodigious memory and this was his way of talking about it. And who is to deny the strength of a photographic memory? Maybe it's not ridiculous at all.

2 hours ago, Vautrin said:

IIRC, Voltaire did not have a very high opinion of Shakespeare. 

Voltaire had an extremely high opinion of Shakespeare and only became bitter about him later in life when he resented French writers being unfavorably compared to him (presumably Racine, for one). It was psychological. Anyone of any literary caliber who says they don't like Shakespeare is fine, but if they deny his genius they are being disingenuous IMO. Shakespeare is just too damn good. And at the risk of saying the obvious, Henry James is no William Shakespeare, not even close. But James is off the hook here, because I do believe in a double standard, one for Shakespeare and one for everybody else. James may be no Shakespeare, but nobody is. Bloom is right when he said that "Shakespeare is a God." (fig.speaking of course).

 

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5 hours ago, laffite said:

 James may be no Shakespeare, but nobody is. Bloom is right when he said that "Shakespeare is a God." (fig.speaking of course).

 

I'm open to the notion that SHAKESPEARE himself was not, in fact, SHAKESPEARE, but an autonomous collective of writers who worked in a sweaty, stinky, smoke-filled room, much like the writer's room on a 1980's soap opera.

I have been working diligently on a screenplay since April and I have included a few quotes from SHAKESPEARE throughout it, and to offset the obvious pretension of doing this, I have made it a point to have the speaker misquote and/or incorrectly site the wrong source almost every time.

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INSPECTOR ZELAN
(to Paul)
You, playwright: do you know your Shakespeare?


PAUL
(shrugs)
I do all right for an American, I s’pose.


INSPECTOR ZELAN
You know of King Lear?


PAUL
Not personally or anything.


SIR CAROL
Watch thyself, he’s like to be a close relation of this chap’s.


Zelan raises his MASSIVE BROWS, lifts his HAND like a SYMPHONY CONDUCTOR and states with GREAT DRAMATIC EFFECT:


INSPECTOR ZELAN
“The Play.”


A long dramatic pause goes on for a beat too long...


PAUL
(nods)
Yes, absolutely. The play.


The room is again quiet save for the echo of the festive violins and cheers below.


SIR CAROL
(impatiently)
WELL?! What about the bloody PLAY?


INSPECTOR ZELAN
It is the thing.


SIR CAROL
(aside to Paul)
Is it just me, or is has this chap fallen utterly off his trolley?


PAUL
No it’s not just you. At last, you have some company.


INSPECTOR ZELAN
“It is the thing with which we catch the king.”


PAUL
That’s not how that goes.


IRINA
And it is not from KING LEAR.


INSPECTOR ZELAN
(indignant)
I beg your pardons!?


IRINA
It is from Hamlet.


INSPECTOR ZELAN
(FLASH OF ANGER)
BAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!
(ANGRILY SWIPES HAND)
Don’t be ridiculous! There’s no KING in HAMLET!


Irina starts to reply, but Paul takes her hand.


PAUL
(shaking his head)
Honey, don’t.

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13 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

As of a week ago, it has been a decade since I've read a work of fiction. I remember the date due to other life events that coincided with the last novel I read. It's been nothing but non-fiction since then.

I feel like I should be sadder about that than I am.

While I occasionally read non-fiction books, 90% of what I read now is fiction.  Mostly mysteries and related.  Right now I am working my way through the Matt Helm series.

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm open to the notion that SHAKESPEARE himself was not, in fact, SHAKESPEARE, but an autonomous collective of writers who worked in a sweaty, stinky, smoke-filled room, much like the writer's room on a 1980's soap opera.

And when Shakespeare died, the plays stopped coming. So the committee decided they would stop writing the plays. They could have continued to write all these brilliant plays but golly gosh darn there was no on to whom to attribute them anymore. Respectfully, I don't buy the  committee idea. The plays appeared from roughly 1590-1616. Shakespeare died in 1616.

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15 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

Bloom generally disliked 20th century and 21st century literature. I remember he said something along the lines of "Pynchon's Mason & Dixon is one of the last great novels." Then there's also his "no discernible talent" remarks about DFW.

That's the impression I get from the little I have read about him. He's entitled to his views on the

subject, but he's just one voice among many.

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14 hours ago, laffite said:

It's a mistake to think that anything need have a purpose, in the sense you seem to mean. Maybe the point was simply that he had a prodigious memory and this was his way of talking about it. And who is to deny the strength of a photographic memory? Maybe it's not ridiculous at all.

Voltaire had an extremely high opinion of Shakespeare and only became bitter about him later in life when he resented French writers being unfavorably compared to him (presumably Racine, for one). It was psychological. Anyone of any literary caliber who says they don't like Shakespeare is fine, but if they deny his genius they are being disingenuous IMO. Shakespeare is just too damn good. And at the risk of saying the obvious, Henry James is no William Shakespeare, not even close. But James is off the hook here, because I do believe in a double standard, one for Shakespeare and one for everybody else. James may be no Shakespeare, but nobody is. Bloom is right when he said that "Shakespeare is a God." (fig.speaking of course).

 

I was just wondering why someone who was able to recite quite a lot of poetry from memory would than go to the extreme of saying he could recite the whole of Shakespeare and Blake. It's at the point when someone will say to their friend C'mon buddy, quit it. I doubt he could even recite the whole of Blake's Jerusalem.

Whatever the reason, in his later years Voltaire had a very negative view of Shakespeare. James was a 19th century novelist, not a 16th century playwright, even if he tried his hand at writing plays and failed miserably. So I don't see much comparison between the two. I never thought of Shakespeare as a God in any sense of the word and don't think he belongs in a category all to himself. I like Chekhov as much as Shakespeare.

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9 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I like Chekhov as much as Shakespeare.

I love Chekhov. We at least agree on that, yea!

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1 hour ago, laffite said:

I love Chekhov. We at least agree on that, yea!

I preferred Sulu over Chekov because he seemed friendlier and more athletic.

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8 hours ago, SansFin said:

I preferred Sulu over Chekov because he seemed friendlier and more athletic.

While both were accomplished navigators, it is agreed that Chekov was much less friendlier and more bookish. But what do you expect from someone who wrote all those plays and short stories. Damn nerd.

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On 10/15/2019 at 9:13 PM, speedracer5 said:

I don't have my dolls displayed right now, because I'm not sure where to put them where the bird won't damage them.  I hadn't seen them for awhile, I forgot which ones I had! I thought I had the Lucy and Ethel Chocolate Factory set.  Apparently I just thought about getting that set, because I do not have it. 

 

IMG-0287.jpg

Isn't that it in the center? Or are you saying there's an "Ethel" part to the set-that you don't have.

That's a totally AWESOME book collection, several I'd like to read. I prefer reading library books and giving them back, storage is such an issue.

Many of the oversize picture books I inherited from friend's estates. I've gifted many away, like Westerns.

On 10/15/2019 at 9:13 PM, speedracer5 said:

IMG-0285.jpg

 

I don't like dolls very much, but they really captured the spirit of Lucy & the costumes. I'd buy any one of them, but I especially like the Lucy & Desi sets. There's something heartbreakingly Shakesperean about the huge success/huge failure of their lives.

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16 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Isn't that it in the center? Or are you saying there's an "Ethel" part to the set-that you don't have.

That's a totally AWESOME book collection, several I'd like to read. I prefer reading library books and giving them back, storage is such an issue.

Many of the oversize picture books I inherited from friend's estates. I've gifted many away, like Westerns.

I don't like dolls very much, but they really captured the spirit of Lucy & the costumes. I'd buy any one of them, but I especially like the Lucy & Desi sets. There's something heartbreakingly Shakesperean about the huge success/huge failure of their lives.

They released an additional set of Lucy and Ethel working at the chocolate factory. So I suppose if I had both sets, I'd have 2 Lucy Chocolate Factory dolls.  I'm not a big doll person either, and I especially dislike the Mattel sets where all the dolls look like Barbie and Ken wearing costumes.  I appreciated that they actually made the dolls look like the people they're supposed to represent. I really liked the Lucy ones however, and there are quite a few that I'm missing. I really want the one of Lucy with her "Jacques Marcell aka Ricky Ricardo original." 

As more time goes on, the more expensive these dolls get.  With the exception of only a couple of my dolls, most of them I got when they were new. The Vitameatavegamin doll I got in '98 when I was in 9th grade. That was the first doll of the series. There is an entire collection of I Love Lucy Christmas dolls that I do not have--each cast member is packaged individually, dressed as Santa. These dolls are very expensive, especially the Fred Mertz one. I don't know if I'll ever have those.  Now I have my eye on 90210 dolls and those are more expensive than Lucy. So I don't know if that'll ever happen. I wish I had gotten those dolls back in elementary school when they were out originally. 

Image result for lucy and ethel chocolate factory dolls-l640.jpg

My problem with library books is that I take too long to read them and end up having to return them unread or partially read. I'm cruising through Tori Spelling's autobiography though. I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. Many of my I Love Lucy books are from the 90s and others are ones that I've just acquired throughout the years of collecting. I haven't purchased any Lucy books for a long time however.  There haven't been any good ones out for a long time. I think the last one I got was the Laughing With Lucy, Madelyn Pugh's (sole female I Love Lucy writer) autobiography. There is also a Vivian Vance biography (The Other Side of Ethel Mertz) that I don't have, and another one about Vance and William Frawley, Meet the Mertzes, that I don't have.  I've read both however. 

 

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I'd buy a Fred Mertz action figure. And display it prominently in my home for others to enjoy.

Edit: I was joking, but wouldn't you know it, there is such a thing. What child's face wouldn't light up at the sight of such a treasure under the tree on Christmas morn? -

love-lucy-fred-mertz-classictvtoys_1_3b8

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6 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I'd buy a Fred Mertz action figure. And display it prominently in my home for others to enjoy.

Edit: I was joking, but wouldn't you know it, there is such a thing. What child's face wouldn't light up at the sight of such a treasure under the tree on Christmas morn? -

love-lucy-fred-mertz-classictvtoys_1_3b8

Nothing says "action figure" like Fred Mertz. 

Lol. It doesn't really look like Fred.  It kind of looks like Ted Knight in clothes that are too big for him. What is that thing at his feet? A hat? An ice pack?  The Ethel doesn't really look like her either. She kind of looks like Georgia Engel. Maybe the doll designers went on a big binge of The Mary Tyler Moore Show before designing these.

The Lucy and Ricky aren't too bad. The Mattel ones are better. 

 

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I recently found myself with some surprise money and came very close to spending it on some of the Remco early 1980s universal monster action figures.

But I didn’t.

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15 hours ago, laffite said:

I love Chekhov. We at least agree on that, yea!

There you go. It only took a little extra time.

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13 hours ago, SansFin said:

I preferred Sulu over Chekov because he seemed friendlier and more athletic.

And Sulu had a much better haircut than Chekov or whatever that thing on the top

of his head was. 

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I would only buy a Fred Mertz "action figure" if the pants came to within six inches of his

armpit. That's on the human figure, don't know what it would be on the "action figure."

And it has to come with a money belt, at no extra charge of course. 

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4 hours ago, Vautrin said:

There you go. It only took a little extra time.

Is that a declaration of victory :lol: Or whatever. Having reached an impasse in our little discussion here, I thought to seek out some happy common ground and desist. But perhaps that's all wrong and it's something else (it is a bit cryptic). But that's no lie about Chekhov (the one with an H of course), he is a big fave.

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4 hours ago, Vautrin said:

There you go. It only took a little extra time.

I prefer Moliere to either of them, especially for this beautiful piece of music composed for his play.

 

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3 hours ago, laffite said:

Is that a declaration of victory :lol: Or whatever. Having reached an impasse in our little discussion here, I thought to seek out some happy common ground and desist. But perhaps that's all wrong and it's something else (it is a bit cryptic). But that's no lie about Chekhov (the one with an H of course), he is a big fave.

Maybe a declaration of whatever. No, I was thinking along the lines of the more writers who come up the more likely it is to find some common ground with another person. I don't dislike Shakespeare and agree he is one of the greatest writers in English. I just don't go as far as to put him in a category by himself. 

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3 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

I prefer Moliere to either of them, especially for this beautiful piece of music composed for his play.

 

I haven't read Moliere in years, not for any particular reason, just one of those things. I

would certainly rate him highly. At a certain point people will have their own reasons for

liking one author more than others, though that is no knock on the others.

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https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/bookworm/harold-bloom-the-shadow-of-a-great-rock-a-literary-appreciation-of-the-king-james-bible

Harold Bloom: The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

Harold Bloom passed away last week. An admired literary critic who endorsed the Western canon, a long-standing Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, his absence is a significant cultural loss. Bookworm pays him tribute with an archival interview conducted in his apartment to talk about his book, The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible. A discussion officially about the great King James translation of the Old and New Testaments. But when you talk with Harold Bloom, you talk about everything—politics, poetry, teaching, aging, reading and ultimately, respect.Harold Bloom The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible

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