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review 2018-12-10 21:13
Rattling SF: “The Affirmation” by Christopher Priest
The Affirmation - Christopher Priest



“Living is not an art, but to write of life is. Life is a series of accidents and anticlimaxes, misremembered and misunderstood, with lessons only dimly learned. Life is disorganized, lacks shape, lacks story.”

In “The Affirmation” by Christopher Priest




A Priest book isn't just a (SF) book. It is the distilled essence of a philosophy, a memoir; a piece of someone's soul. Losing the book is losing that element. On a more mundane level, it is also a memory - I read a book when I was about 7 (a proto-choose-your-own-adventure thing) that I've fitfully searched for ever since and never found, and doing so would put me right back on my nan's sofa on a Saturday afternoon with the wrestling on.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-10-28 13:46
Philosophy in the Bedroom: "The 120 Days of Sodom" by Marquis de Sade
The 120 Days of Sodom - Marquis de Sade

(Original Review, 2008)

 


Personally,I think the way to understand De Sade is as a global pioneer in the art of trolling. His actual sexual acts were fairly tame in the broad scheme of things - 15 year-old servants, but people were getting married at that age in his time. As far as history records, his actual practical sexual tastes didn't extend much further than a little light flagellation and buggery. What he really loved was to shock and upset people with what he wrote, and he was extraordinarily good at it. In 'Philosophy in the Bedroom', he extends the theory that God must want us to have anal sex, or he wouldn't have made our arseholes so deliciously tight.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-08-31 20:58
Mythical Agents of Destiny: "Altered Carbon" by Richard K. Morgan
Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan


“If they want you, sooner or later they’ll scoop you up off the globe, like specks of interesting dust off a Martian artefact. Cross the gulf between the stars, and they’ll come after you. Go into centuries of storage, and they’ll be there waiting for you, clone-new, when you re-sleeve. They are what we once dreamed of as gods, mythical agents of destiny, as inescapable as Death, that poor old peasant labourer, bent over his scythe, no longer is. Poor Death, no match for the mighty altered carbon technologies of data storage and retrieval arrayed against him. Once we lived in terror of his arrival. Now we flirt outrageously with his sombre dignity, and beings like these won’t even let him in the tradesman’s entrance.”


In “Altered Carbon” by Richard K. Morgan


Cyberpunk, a historic sub-genre that was out of date by the time most people had started using Windows, cool! That said, Gibson was better than ever with the near future Blue Ant trilogy, and Stephenson is off doing whatever caught his attention, before hopefully returning with some more Shaftoes and Waterhice, I mean houses. That said, Gibson's “The Peripheral” offered some fascinating directions, but were too interesting for that hoary old sub-genre title. I've always thought of the Altered Carbon books as SF pulp really and the TV version just confirms it for me.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-08-20 11:33
Spiritual Poetry: "Hölderlin - Poemas" by Friedrich Hölderlin
POEMAS - Friedrich Hölderlin,Paulo Quintela


If Hölderlin did it why can’t I do it too? Here it goes:

Yes, we need some good poets
And I think we all know it’s
Something we’re lacking….
My mind I am fracking
But still failing to see
how wishing makes it be.
They fuckitup,
We suckitup.

When I was young, appendectomy was done under local anaesthesia. I was so afraid, I might end up in a situation like that, that I memorised some of Hölderlin's poems in a Portuguese translation by Paulo Quintela, as ways of coping with my fear. I never had an appendectomy as a child, but I still recite in my mind some of those long ago learned Hölderlin's poems when I have to sit in a dentist's chair...

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-08-15 00:11
Unglücklich das Land, das Helden nötig hat: "Das Leben des Galilei" by Bertold Brecht
Bertold Brecht: Leben des Galilei - Wilhelm Große



"Galilei: Ja, wo ist sie jetzt? Wie kann der Jupiter angeheftet sein, wenn andere Sterne um ihn kreisen? Da ist keine Stütze im Himmel, da ist kein Halt im Weltall! Da ist
eine andere Sonne!
Sagredo: Beruhige dich. Du denkst zu schnell.
Galilei: Was, schnell! Mensch, reg dich auf! Was du siehst, hat noch keiner gesehen. Sie hatten recht!
Sagredo: Wer? Die Kopernikaner?
Galilei: Und der andere! Die ganze Welt war gegen sie, und sie hatten recht. Das ist was für Andrea! Er läuft außer sich zur Tür und ruft hinaus: Frau Sarti! Frau Sarti!
Sagredo: Galilei, du sollst dich beruhigen!
Galilei: Sagredo, du sollst dich aufregen! Frau Sarti!
Sagredo dreht das Fernrohr weg: Willst du aufhören, wie ein Narr herumzubrüllen?
Galilei: Willst du aufhören, wie ein Stockfisch dazustehen, wenn die Wahrheit entdeckt ist?
Sagredo: Ich stehe nicht wie ein Stockfisch, sondern ich zittere, es könnte die Wahrheit sein."


In "Das Leben des Galilei" by Bertold Brecht


I watched this play in 2006 in Lisbon at Teatro Aberto starring Rui Mendes as Galileo. There was a repartee between Galileo and Arturo Ui that I'll never forget.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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