What are you reading?

Worldly and otherworldly topics
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Madrigal
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Madrigal » Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:11 am

Reading China Mieville's October now, I've had it for a while. It's nice. :-) His vocabulary has a lot of words from Latin, by the way. More than most English writers would, I'd say. They're the kinds of words I'd see more of in Spanish writings.

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Madrigal
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Madrigal » Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:54 am

I finally got Umberto Eco's book on translation, "Saying Almost the Same Thing". This is the first real book I got in Italian. I love it because it starts by recognizing this radical impossibility of translating "the same thing" into another language. I also like the book cover. :nerd:

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Madrigal
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Madrigal » Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:45 pm

Eco's book is nice but he has a whole chapter (which he later continues to make reference to) about how he types stuff into Altavista's translator and then converts the translation back into the original language, and uses the pitfalls of mechanical translation to make a point (or many) about the nuance in translation and everything that comes into play when choosing a word.

That's fine, it was like 2004 when he wrote it and this was probably new, but I feel like we already know how bad Google Translate is and his adventures in Altavista sound like my grandfather discovering the internet.

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Ferrus
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Ferrus » Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:40 pm

Have you ever read Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum or Baudolino? He was erudite to inhuman levels.

I'd wish I'd read "How to Write a Thesis" earlier. Although it probably woukd make no difference: the arts were a different world then.
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Madrigal
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Madrigal » Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:12 pm

Ferrus wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:40 pm
Have you ever read Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum or Baudolino? He was erudite to inhuman levels.
No, nothing, and I'm wondering when I'd ever feel prepared to read any of them. He includes passages from The Name of the Rose and Baudolino in this book on translation and everything he cites seems to be on a whole other level language-wise, not even counting the fact it's in Italian. I might want to learn more Italian first. I guess that won't help the fact his writings are full of references and easter eggs that only his nerdiest readers will enjoy and understand, or in some cases, according to him, tossed in for his own enjoyment because probably nobody else is gonna get it. Like when you make a joke that only you can get.

The translation book's examples are mainly in Italian, French and English, with German and Spanish to a lesser degree and then Catalan and Portuguese making minor appearances. I had wanted to start getting into more literary translation when I picked this up, but his examples go way beyond anything I could ever translate. :D
Ferrus wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:40 pm
Although it probably woukd make no difference: the arts were a different world then.
How do you mean?

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elfsprin
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by elfsprin » Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:22 pm

The Name of the Rose is a pretty interesting story even without getting all the references. We had to read it for a class my freshman year and I certainly didn’t get them all, but enjoyed it very much.

I just reread it actually earlier this year and I found I didn’t like it as much.

His essay Interpretation and Overinterpretation is really good, imo. I have repeatedly tried to discuss it with people but no one is game 😂 It pairs really well with a discussion about Kandinsky’s portrait of artists as the harbingers + agents of societal paradigm shifts.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity - Simone Weil

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Madrigal
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Madrigal » Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:30 pm

elfsprin wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 11:22 pm

His essay Interpretation and Overinterpretation is really good, imo. I have repeatedly tried to discuss it with people but no one is game 😂 It pairs really well with a discussion about Kandinsky’s portrait of artists as the harbingers + agents of societal paradigm shifts.
I'll try getting around to it, thanks for the recommendation. :nerd:

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jyng1
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by jyng1 » Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:09 am

Rona: A coronavirus autobiography: my first six months. https://www.amazon.com/Rona-coronavirus ... 047355335X

Surprisingly well written for an Anaesthetist so far...

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Ferrus
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Ferrus » Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:39 am

Madrigal wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:12 pm
I guess that won't help the fact his writings are full of references and easter eggs that only his nerdiest readers will enjoy and understand
Probably this is why I like him. Generally I like authors who make me look up a web of references for further reading.
How do you mean?
I mean I studied in 2005. I remember the older professors/lecturers and the newer ones. The older ones seemed far more motivated by scholarship than playing a commercial and bureaucratic system which I kind of feel modern higher education has become. They seemed more motivated by scholarly curiousity than trying to get research money to fit whatever they are studying into some kind of modish postmodern framework. The sizes of the seminars and lecturers were much smaller with people there more by scholarly merit rather than the commericalised industry it has become packed full of people who usually are given good grades for whatever they do because of course they paid for those grades and customers have to receive what they expect. Maybe I am just a curmudgeon about it, but I really didn't enjoy my time studying history at university. Maybe it was idealised but it was nothing like what I had read (or even heard) from people who been 30/40/50 years earlier.
Last edited by Ferrus on Tue Dec 21, 2021 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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starjots
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by starjots » Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:31 am

The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber

A reinterpretation of the anthropological and archeological record by an educated anarchist. Graeber tries to glean from prehistory how we have found ourselves trapped in our current system and more importantly, our inability to imagine anything else. At least, I think that's what it's about, being 1/3 of the way through.
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