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Old 03-02-2010, 09:55 PM   #281
Ping
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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 - Alan Moore

A very good comic book. Would definitely recommend it.


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Old 03-02-2010, 10:19 PM   #282
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The sum of all fears - Tom Clancy

God, I feel like im carrying around a dictionary! Its huge!




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Old 03-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #283
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Just finished Jurassic Park, about to start The Lost World.


Chapter 12 of A Soul Adrift is out.

Short stories:
T'katlu: On the planet Felucia, a young apprentice of the Dark Side thinks back to the beginning of her training as she lies in wait for her prey...

All the Time: After four years in the Unknown Regions, the Exile returns to the known galaxy to visit an old enemy.

Broken: A master of the Dark Side finds himself about to lose the one thing he cares about--and he will do anything to stop her from endangering herself.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:12 PM   #284
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Just finished Me Of Little Faith by Lewis Black and now on Marcinko's Dictator's Ransom.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

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Old 03-03-2010, 12:01 AM   #285
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I've just dug through my books and got out my copy of "The Complete Sherlock Holmes."

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Old 03-03-2010, 12:23 AM   #286
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:48 PM   #287
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At Gabe and Tycho's suggestion, I picked up a copy of The Name of the Wind.

So far it's been pretty good.

I'm still waiting for Amazon to ship the fourth Cobra book...
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:53 PM   #288
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i recently finished Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant and Star Wars: Death Troopers. im currently reading Star Wars: Imperial Commando: 501st. next, ill read either Warhammer 40,000: Salamanders or Warhammer 40,000: Wolfblade
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:37 PM   #289
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I just started A Study In Scarlet, and I must say I'm enjoying finding out how Holmes and Watson first met, and their first case as a team.


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Old 03-05-2010, 12:44 AM   #290
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Star Wars: Ambush at Corellia.
I started on it yesterday and am now on page 151.


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Old 03-05-2010, 09:41 AM   #291
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Getting ready to start reading Dictator's Ransom by Richard Marcinko.

I bought it specifically to read on my plane flights back to Texas today


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 03-05-2010, 09:51 AM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediAthos View Post
Getting ready to start reading Dictator's Ransom by Richard Marcinko.

I bought it specifically to read on my plane flights back to Texas today
Already about 1/3 of the way into that one.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:07 PM   #293
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Is it up to par with his usual style?


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 03-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #294
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More or less. Readable as usual. I agree w/my brother's assessment that they were better when written with Wiseman. His autobiography (Rogue Warrior) and first two or three probably being the best.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:58 PM   #295
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Like I said, I am reading Dante's Inferno and it is REALLY good! I am already on canto 7.




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Old 03-05-2010, 02:59 PM   #296
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I would agree with that statement as well. I actually met Demo Dick once...at the Navy Exchange in Norfolk..he's a really nice guy and at the time he still looked like he could kick some butt if he had to.


"You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

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Old 03-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #297
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I just started reading Michael Crichton's ( Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery ) "Next" last night. Pretty good so far I suppose. Anyone else read it?

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Old 03-08-2010, 12:16 AM   #298
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Right now, I'm reading Bravo Zulu. It was distributed freely on a website by its author, a retired Air Force Pararescue Jumpman (Air Force special operations). It's been entertaining so far, and the technical details are accurate.


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Old 03-11-2010, 01:32 PM   #299
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Reading Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk masterpiece, Snow Crash. Terrific pacing and writing style, not to mention an addictive world.


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Old 03-11-2010, 01:59 PM   #300
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I finally finished Lawrence Miles' last novel, This Town Will Never Let Us Go, last week, and it's taken from then till now to let it settle in my mind. The first of the independent Faction Paradox range (aside from the encyclopedia-styled The Book of the War), the book is a pretty small-scale drama, centering, for much of the book, around thre different plot strands, which are then deftly tied together in the final eighth or so of the book.

It's set in 'the Town' - a dreary, fairly mediocre sort of place in an unspecified part of England - in the middle of a single night. The War in Heaven (between The Great Houses who definitely aren't the Time Lords, and the Enemy) continues over a confused world, which attempt to continue as normal amidst seemingly-random missile attacks.

The first thing about this book is that, despite a fair amount of activity, it feels grindingly slow - it's only about 280-odd pages, but those pages are huge. It's divided into 6 chapters (numbered 0-5), each of which consists of 59 sections (like minutes, see?).

The second thing to notice about the book is that it is utterly bleak. Certainly, the "villain" is 'defeated' at the 'end', but it's not so much a "dark" world, as a hopeless one.

'Gritty', 'grim', 'dark', 'mature'; the favoured epithets of the gaming industry could so easily be misapplied here. None of them really fit, particularly not after having been recycled into grey mundanity by overuse in sales hype.

You won't find trite agonising about emotions here, nor a poorly-disguised good-vs-evil with extra granny-beating thrown in. The conflict, in truth, is a moral mess; not good-vs-evil as much postmodern. And indeed, Miles can genuinely use postmodernism, rather than flirting with it via attempts at 'wackiness' as a lot of authors seem to end up doing.

Miles plays with concepts like the media, videotape, war, culture, ritual, magic, and reality throughout, and the general manipulation of each of these is quite effective, and, particularly if you haven't seen his prior work before, somewhat mind-boggling. That said, though, specific things ring false throughout.

His attempt to spread fear of videotapes just falls flat, I felt (sorry, never thought they looked much like insects, and never felt anything irrational about a load of them); similarly, and it's a small but carefully-placed annoyance, his commentary one on character's background Catholicism is trite, simplistic and I felt rather false, displaying a poverty of knowledge on the subject, and a rather patronising attitude.

The narrator's constant cajoling, questioning, pushing, lecturing, too, becomes thoroughly wearing after a while, most notably at those points where it seems to have little to say, and it gets to the point where finishing the book becomes the stuff of dogged determination, despite the intriguing story. It's almost as though the wearied depression of the world in the book is transmitted to the reader.

It's a pity, because (barring the aforementioned point about Catholicism), the characters are well-drawn, the commentary on media and the use of these ideas interesting, the critique of relativism insightful and the plot well tied-together.

Miles also gets bonus points for, in the first novel of the series, not going for big space battles with bug-eyed, five-hundred-foot slugs, and also for almost completely managing to exclude members of the Faction, House agents, or the Enemy. Oh, and for putting George Orwell on the Muppets on the first page.

Now I'm back to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which I abandoned temporarily for, frankly, more interesting and easier reading. Wittering about Clongowes (the Irish private school in its day) has shifted to wittering about Parnell (leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, brought down by allegations of a long-term affair with another man's wife) and poverty, but I can see this book is never going to let up.

Other things I've added to my reading-pile which I hope to get to soon include The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, the first gothic novel, originally attributed to 'Onuphrio Muralto' (trans. 'William Marshal') and published in 1764.

The Dunciad, Alexander Pope's satirical mock-epic berating the (perceived) increasing cultural banality in Britain of his time, and attacking in particular Colley Cibber, one-time Poet Laureate.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift - and if you haven't heard of this, you should be ashamed.

And finally, Warring States by Mags L. Halliday, which is another Faction Paradox novel - though one which is, mercifully, both looking to be much easier reading, and considerably shorter than This Town... by about a hundred pages.

Edit: It seems it's been longer than I thought since I'd posted in this thread, so I'll add a couple of the books I've eaten read in the intervening period to my list.

Interference by Lawrence Miles, is a two-volume (Shock Tactics and Hour of the Geek respectively) Doctor Who tie-in novel, of the "Eighth Doctor Adventures" range, published in August 1999.

This book is curiously more interesting at either end of reading it than it seemed in the middle. It drags in quite a few places, particularly in the first half of the first volume; the sections entitled 'What Happened On Earth' seeming unbearably drawn-out at times, really needing perhaps some cutting back in the middle from what often seems like rather unnecessary running around.

Things, luckily, pick up a bit in the second volume and overall I can say that I enjoyed it, if with reservations. It's not quite the 'amusing romp' that Alien Bodies was, although thinking about it, both do have a similar structure. Perhaps AB works better because it's condensed into three-hundred rather than six-hundred pages.

There are some wonderful concepts played around with in the book - the Remote, in particular, are a fantastic idea, I think, and their city is similarly beautifully conceived of. I also love the way in which Miles plays with several meanings for the word "interference" throughout the book. In all, a book I'd describe as being 'great' if not 'good'. If that makes sense.

Christmas On A Rational Planet - Miles' first novel, published in 1997 for the Virgin 'New Adventures' range and featuring the Seventh Doctor is... interesting. Set in Woodwicke, New York, in 1799, it's a rather surreal take on a question of religion, creativity, superstition and the 'irrational' against reason, rationality and science.

It's not nearly as polished as his later books, and certainly openly flawed. Miles seems to nail his humanism to the mast, and his historical perspectives somewhat too openly after he tried the puzzle-box approach to plotting. It's like a sudden juxtaposition of Chesterton and CS Lewis, almost. It's not quite... there. The ideas are fun, but it hasn't quite got the mixture right.

Overall, his answer to the questions he poses in this first novel are deeply unsatisfactory, too, while his point shifts and wavers from one moment to another; the book also seemingly takes forever to get going, and overall, this is an overplotted curé's egg: good in parts.



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Old 03-12-2010, 08:53 AM   #301
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I started reading Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves's Interworld. It's a teen book, but teen books are never predictable with Gaiman. It's excellent so far.



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Old 03-12-2010, 11:05 AM   #302
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No Highbrow for me I'm afraid.. I'm currently reading Fate of the Jedi: Backlash, although I keep getting interupted so I'm barely into it yet


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Old 03-14-2010, 06:40 PM   #303
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Rereading Shatterpoint ATM b/c I just can't seem to get over the similarities between Kar Vastor and Darth Nihilus.


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Old 03-14-2010, 07:48 PM   #304
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Just got Brave New World yesterday. I don't know all that much about it, but I've heard that it's a great read.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:20 PM   #305
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The Year of the Metal Rat has brought with it greed and self-preservation. The Everlasting Empire is dying, eaten up from within, and the young upstarts Britain and Russia are circling like carrion-birds, for crows of every nation are equally black. The peasant-sect of the Righteous Harmonious Fists attacks all foreign devils.

In the capital, the ancient heart of the Empire, the Europeans are besieged by the Dragon Empress’ army and the blood of a thousand Christian converts runs in the gutters. When there is War in Heaven, there is War in the Land.

A dagger can be concealed in a smile and this House of Paradox smiles often. Its servant here carries grief like dead petals in her hands and wakes the ancient spirits. Their anger makes the sky weep blood, and we shall all pay dearly for her trespass. This is the fourth original Faction Paradox novel.



Set (chiefly) in Beijing around the time of the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901), Mags L. Halliday's Warring States is at once highly polished and annoyingly flawed.

Highly polished in that its characters, plot, research and writing are all of a very high calibre; flawed in that it's research is unremitting and at times unexplained (what, precisely, do the terms kau fu and ngoi po mean?), and that the plot's ultimate resolution feels much too easily stated for a book with so much in common with, and such an interest in, puzzle-boxes.

The book also threatens to drown the unfamiliar in Faction Paradox lore, but perhaps a bit less htan in most book series - helpfully, brief synopses of relevant information are woven into the narrative.

And, despite my criticisms, what a narrative it is. Rich description of 1900s Beijing (Peking, shurely? Not knowing much about China, I'm not sure - the rest of Halliday's research looks pretty well rock-solid) mingles with carefully drawn characters, who almost spring off the page with their strength, and detailed though never pedantic fight-sequences.

I have no idea how much the book borrows from the tropes of Chinese film or literature, or Hollywood faux-Orientalism, at any rate, so much of this book may have been clichéd as sin, but it certainly didn't feel that way to me.

That said, the basics of the plot, at first, look thoroughly banal: two people, for differing reasons, seeking an object of power for different purposes. Classic Macguffin, right? The way Halliday handles and uses this, however, was ingenious, although it took a bit of thinking after reading the book to work out quite how it all fit together. The plot is like the very best kind of science fiction: vast, mind-boggling, ingenious and without a hole in site.

I was going to say I felt the book gave too much away about what it was about. On reflexion, it's not so much that too much is given away in the end pages, but what is given away. The mechanics of the end are only hinted at, while the purposes are given explicit detailing. Perhaps that's a matter of taste, though.

The book contrasts interestingly with This Town..., which I mentioned earlier in this thread, in that while the former was as times more essay than novel, this novel seems uninterested in weighty questions and far more concerned with telling a damn good story well. It feels a little thinner as a result, but that's no bad thing, necessarily. Where This Town... drowned the reader, Warring States allows them, for the most part, to waft on a lake of deceptively smoothe writing. It's not ground-breaking, but it doesn't need to be - it's a fun, well-drawn adventure.



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Old 03-26-2010, 01:05 AM   #306
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Just got Brave New World yesterday. I don't know all that much about it, but I've heard that it's a great read.
We ought to organise an LF orgy-porgy ourselves, methinks.


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Old 03-26-2010, 02:53 AM   #307
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http://www.amazon.com/Darkest-Whispe.../dp/0373773927
Bound by the demon of Doubt, Sabin unintentionally destroys even the most confident of lovers. So the immortal warrior spends his time on the battlefield instead of the bedroom, victory his only concern…until he meets Gwendolyn the Timid. One taste of the beautiful redhead, and he craves more.

Gwen, an immortal herself, always thought she'd fall for a kind human who wouldn't rouse her darker side. But when Sabin frees her from prison, battling their enemies for the claim to Pandora's box turns out to be nothing compared to the battle Sabin and Gwen will wage against love.
MacBeth by William Shakespeare
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston

(the last two are for school xD)

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Old 03-26-2010, 10:43 AM   #308
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I'm reading or trying to finish rather the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Welcome to the forums Odysseus!

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Old 03-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #309
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I am currently reading the Book of Swords, which is actually 3 books combined, and it is by Fred Saberhagen. The book happens too have 9 counter parts and I find that the series is incredibly good.


Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things Revan... and yet you are nothing. In the end you belong to neither the light nor the darkness. You will forever stand alone."
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:00 AM   #310
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I'm on the last book of The Cleric Quintet by R.A. Salvatore.

Salvatore's characters are great. In all the DnD classes, Cleric would seem the least likely to be a titular character, in my opinion, but it works wonderfully. Cadderly Bonaduce is just as enjoyable to read about as Drizzt.


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Old 04-05-2010, 04:37 PM   #311
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Currently I dabbled in Convergence Cultures by Henry Jenkins and now I am reading The Infidel's Guide to Understanding the Koran. This book was a courtesy of my grandparents and I suspect my grandpa in particular. I do believe that one must look at all sides before making a decision but this book is too much. Frankly I have a WTF look all the time I read it.

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Old 04-05-2010, 04:39 PM   #312
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When I'm able to find the time, The Lone Drow by R.A. Salvatore, Book II in The Hunter's Blades Trilogy, and basically Book XV in The Legend of Drizzt.

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Old 04-06-2010, 11:15 AM   #313
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Crime and punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky.


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Old 04-07-2010, 09:39 PM   #314
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How Soccer Explains the World. Just started it, its the first non textbook or class required book I've read since the summer, so far its pretty good



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Old 04-07-2010, 10:08 PM   #315
Litofsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
We ought to organise an LF orgy-porgy ourselves, methinks.
Mayhaps, except the discrepancy between the number of females and the number of males.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:43 PM   #316
Taak Farst
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WarCraft - Night of the Dragon by Richard A. Knaak. - sequel to day of the dragon which won quite a few awards i believe.


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Old 04-08-2010, 07:54 AM   #317
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I'm reading a fantastic little book called Renaissance Figures of Speech. Its a collection of essays on rhetoric in Early Modern England, each (on the whole surprisingly lively) essay focuses on a particular trope, be it syncrisis, metalepsis, or hysteron proteron and, by placing it in its cultural context, attempts to restore its significance and power. Given how sceptical our Coleridge-dominated imaginations (we all, more or less, share his assertion that a work of literature has to be organic in nature, expressing some sort of aspect of a poet's mind or soul) can be of overly ornate writing, anything which can help to exhume the Renaissance respect for artifice is incredibly important.

When Shakespeare's Henry IV threatens to "rather be myself, / Mighty and to be feared" he has no intention of being himself: he is simply switching one mask for another. The act of being oneself is the act of rhetorically simulating a personality. The layering of personae (Henry IV and Henry IV's "self") confuses mimesis (who's doing the simulating? Shakespeare? The Actor? Henry IV? Henry IV's "self"?), draws attention to the artifice, and what seems a simple phrase has become something which underlines larger cultural concerns about the nature of kingship: a theme which runs throughout the play. So... yeah.


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Old 04-12-2010, 10:13 PM   #318
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Made a trip to the library today to pick up some books to help me further understand some of the great minds I've been reading about in history class. Those are Plato's Republic, Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, Homer's The Iliad, And a book that include several works by Plato, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus. And Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing for my fiction reading.

I've got a lot to read and right now I'm starting with The Divine Comedy. I may not read all three stories, but hopefully I'll get to read most of it.

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Old 04-13-2010, 05:04 PM   #319
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I'm reading the Dark Nest trilogy - all collected into one volume.


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Old 04-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #320
Marius Fett
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Just got started on 'My Booky Wook' by Russell Brand.

Definitely worth a read if you like the bloke.




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