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review 2018-08-20 19:13
Whip-fucking Smart: "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace


I'm about a hundred pages off finishing it for the second time, and I didn't even realise that February was the 10th anniversary. Either way, the second reading has been infinitely better than the first. There has been no grappling with the semantic and syntactical difficulties of the first read and, though I knew what was going to happen, I found I had no real idea of how we were going to get there. It's been almost like reading a different book. Almost. Also, it's suddenly occurred to me that I have found it so much funnier this second time around.

 

 

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

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review 2018-08-19 17:03
Empty Philosophy: “O torcicologologista, Excelência” by Gonçalo M. Tavares
O torcicologologista, Excelência - Gonçalo M. Tavares

“– Gosto muito de bater na cabeça das pessoas com uma certa força.
– Gosta?
– Sim, agrada-me. Dá-me prazer. Uma pessoa vai a passar e eu chamo-a: ó, desculpe, Vossa Excelência?!
– E ela – a Excelência – vai?
– Sim. Quem não gosta de ser chamado à distância por Vossa Excelência? Apanho sempre, primeiro, as pessoas pela vaidade... é a melhor forma.
– E quando a pessoa-Excelência chega ao pé de Vossa Excelência, o que acontece?
– Ela aproxima-se e pergunta-me: o que pretende? E eu, com toda a educação e não querendo esconder nada, digo: gostava de bater com certa força na cabeça de Vossa Excelência. É isto que eu digo, apenas. Nem mais uma palavra.”


In “O torcicologologista, Excelência” by Gonçalo M. Tavares (In English: "His Excellency, The Circumlucologist")


Let’s try to translate this quote in which the two characters go by the same name: “Excellency” (as well as the Passerby):

"I like to hit people's heads with a certain force.”
“Do you like it?”
“Yes, I like it. It gives me pleasure. A person will go by and I will call him or her: ‘Oh, sorry, Your Excellency?!’”
“And is she or he, the Excellency, going?”
“Yes. Who does not like being called from a distance by Your Excellency? I always get people first through their vanity ... it's the best way.”
“And when the person-Excellency comes near Excellency, what happens?”
She or he approaches and asks me: “what do you want?”, and I, polite, and not wanting to hide anything, say: ‘I would like to strike your head with a certain force. This is just what I say. Not another word.”

 

 

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

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review 2018-08-19 11:08
Leopold Bloom, A Man For All Time: "Ulysses" by James Joyce
Ulysses - James Joyce


I started off thinking Ulysses was a pile of incoherent drivel, even though I'd never got past the first page. At 20 I would sit in the uni bar getting pissed and slagging off literary types and lecturers who mentioned it (some of them were pretentious posers; some of them weren't). At 30 I decided to put up or shut up by actually reading it so that I could explain why it was incoherent drivel. The result was that I was drawn into it and have read it five times cover-to-cover. Like a lot of challenging literature, it requires a bit of life experience to get into.


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

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review 2018-08-18 16:50
Causabon's Key To All Mythologies with Guinness and Opera: “Finnegans Wake” by James Joyce
Finnegans Wake - James Joyce


"We'll meet again, we'll part once more. The spot I'll seek if the hour you'll find. My chart shines high where the blue milk's upset."

In “Finnegans Wake” by James Joyce


Joyce could really write. “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” is exquisite, and “Ulysses” is a masterpiece. I see Joyce as a product of his 'modernist' era, certainly, but a sincere one. He was reaching for something, a kind of synthesis of prose and poetry that came close to the true language of the mind. It's remarkable how much of Finnegans Wake is comprehensible, in spite of the fact that Joyce's words don't actually exist; we know what he means, or we can guess at it, which would be impossible if it was just gibberish. 

 

 

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

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review 2018-08-18 16:21
Stat rosa pristina nomine: "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco


"Stat Rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus"


In "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco




As a novelist Eco blends the style of Arthur Conan Doyle with that of Cervantes in a most intellectually entertaining way but with surprising heart, also. It makes me keen to explore the labyrinth of his philosophy, which seems to exist in a realm of its own immune from the tedium and drudgery of most contemporary attempts at philosophy. Do you remember pictures in which you can see a nice girls or an old woman depending on the perspective you are using: What I like of Umberto Eco's books is the indeterminate aspects of described situations which often are a surprise for readers. You can never predict how the story will develop and this is true for his first "The Name of the Rose" and his last "Numero Zero" book.

 

 

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

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