Comments: 24
How about a book where a WWII Spitfire pilot macaque undergoes an existential crisis? ;-)

The Plague is my fave Camus novel - I've read most of them, I think.
BrokenTune 8 months ago
Oh, come on Arbie, I've added that to my wishlist yesterday already! (I'm also happy to have discovered that there is an audio version.) You had me at the Prince of Wales taking part in a raid to free lab monkeys. (And I don't care that it isn't Charlie.) ;D
There are Nazi ninja paratroopers! Are you sold yet?! You're a tough sell. Where's your sense of fun? ;-)
BrokenTune 8 months ago
Are the nazi ninja paratroopers also undergoing existential crises? If not, it's a deal-breaker.
They might be...just before they encouter a macaque on a mission...
BrokenTune 8 months ago
What sets The Plague apart from his other books for you?
Good question! I like it's take on moral responsibility in the absence of externally imposed carrots or sticks.
BrokenTune 8 months ago
Which is pretty much the opposite circumstance from The Outsider. I quite like it for being that different perspective.
I'd not thought about them like that before - interesting observation.
"So it goes." 8 months ago
(Don't mean to interrupt but I may need a reading partner for one of those books.) I had to read Sartre's Being and Nothingness in college and I literally used it to hit my head with because it was so dense with text that I couldn't decipher. Oh the other hand, I just bought an anniversary copy of the Second Sex, and I plan to give that a deep read sometime this year. Maybe we could do a buddy read later in the year?
BrokenTune 8 months ago
Sounds great! Do you have a rough date in mind (just so I can make sure not overload my reading for that time)?
Murder by Death 8 months ago
Of all the books Bakewell mentions The Second Sex is the one that intrigued me most.
BrokenTune 8 months ago
And so the rabbit holes lure in more innocent bystanders. :D

MbD are you joining the buddy read?

Last time I read the book was when I had just started uni. Most of it went over my head at the time, which is one of the reasons I'd like to re-read it.
"So it goes." 8 months ago
All I know is that maybe October-ish? I'm usually very free during holidays and don't celebrate Thanksgiving, so I'm pretty flexible once August passes. Pick a time and I will happily work around those of you who have more life than me.
BrokenTune 8 months ago
October-ish would work for me. MbD?
Murder by Death 8 months ago
@BT: I'm not sure - but since it would be Octoberish, I'd have time to investigate it and work myself up mentally to tackle it. So that's a solid maybe.

@So it goes: I'm not sure it's possible for anyone to have less life than I do and still have a pulse. :D I guess that means we get to leave it to BT to choose the time? (assuming I join in, which... I dunno)
Murder by Death 8 months ago
HA! BT types faster. :)

Plan without me - if I join in I can make anytime work.
BrokenTune 7 months ago
Hi, I had a quick look around for possible translations in English as the original translation by Parshley abridged the book by about 10%.

There seems to be only one newer translation (without the abridgement) and it is by Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier’s. Apparently, it is the first English-language edition in almost 60 years.

But.... the discussion on this blog makes me doubt whether it is worth getting -

Some of the translation issues quoted are pretty major.
Murder by Death 7 months ago
The lack of translations surprises me - I was worried about wading through many to find the best, but obviously it's the opposite. I've read a few 'reviews of the reviews' for the newer translation and in any other subject I'd say it's a tempest in a teapot, but philosophy is so subtle that truly, the addition or subtraction of an 'a' really can change the meanings.

So, I'm with you - I'm not sure. If her original weren't 900+ pages, I'd honestly try - as a VERY long term project - reading the original French. But I'm pretty sure I'd be setting myself up for failure.
BrokenTune 8 months ago
@MbD - You had the audiobook for this one, right?
I just got to the section on Heidegger where Bakewell tries to explain the difference between "being" and "existing" ... I bet Antonia Beamish was about ready to quit when she got through that section explaining German words. Made me laugh anyway. ... And the difference is still confusing.
Murder by Death 8 months ago
Ugh! Heidegger... that whole (and I'm sooo going to spell this wrong) Darzein thing just did my head in completely. how Antonia Beamish made it through I don't know - I suspect gin. But she pulled it off as well as could be expected, I thought. I never really understood the whole thing and it got so I just sort of temporarily tuned out whenever Darzein came up in the rest of the book.
BrokenTune 8 months ago
Is it bad that I get more out of Bakewell's translations and explanations than I get out of the original German words? If Heidegger truly intended to alienate readers with his new word constructs in order to make them think from scratch, he was on target ... and then some.
Murder by Death 8 months ago
No - not bad. I really suspect Heidegger's ego was more involved in his philosophy than he'd have liked to admit. I think his inventiveness was more about his wish to alienate people not to make them think from scratch, but to actually alienate them: create a philosophy that only he could be master of. I'll readily accept I'm wrong, but there are better ways to make people think from scratch, ways that don't alienate. Bakewell's translations and explanations, while still too dense to readily understand, accomplish the same thing without alienation. I also had a uni philosophy teacher who accomplished something similar (thinking from scratch) with the simplest thought experiment:

Close your eyes and imagine a cat on a windowsill. See the details: color, light, expression, etc. Now open your eyes.

Who saw the cat?

Like I said, super simple. And there was no right answer, of course, as you could spend all day debating the merits of physiological and psychological explanations. But it was very effective at making us all think from scratch about being, because at the simplest level, we didn't 'see' anything (we had no visual input), yet we did 'see' the cat. Effective at getting us really thinking, without having to make up words. :)
BrokenTune 8 months ago
That is a useful experiment and much more accessible than Heidegger's word play.

I am inclined to believe you're right about his ego but I'm not sure if his ego motivated his way of communicating his ideas or whether his ego developed only once he found that he gained some recognition and success with his theory.