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Reading Group, Book of the Month, Ideas...?

Discussion in 'Book of the Month' started by Polly Parrot, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    The forum is in need of more book-related discussion. As a Book of the Month format has been tried before I'm not entirely confident it would lift off, so perhaps a book group would be a looser type of format? Nominate a book and then discuss for a period of time? It doesn't necessarily have to be on a monthly basis if that is too much to commit to.


    Any ideas?
     
  2. regdog

    regdog Moderator Staff Member

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    Ideas for books or other ways to get more discussions about books going?
     
  3. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    A month is perfect and we shouldn't change this essence . I only would support a change if it was biweekly basis :cool:
    A new idea could be (( before voting )) Suggesting a book with a different criterion ( I don't refer to best sellers, nor new releases , rather... a « rara avis » book ) and explain us the reason of his/her choice . For example » I would like that you know a region of France or another kind of french literrature and this book is the best way for doing....better than the three musketeers :D

    If somebody suggests an English book, remember I can read in French, Italian, Spanish... I hope to find equivalent copies (( translated books ))
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  4. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    Biweekly could work if it's a short story or novella, perhaps. Though I'd start slow and see how that goes first of all as the book of the month concept hasn't been active for some time.

    Could also work in specific genres or authors from specific areas / countries.
    For myself I can read in English, Dutch, and if I try a bit more in French and German as well.
     
  5. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    Regarding the languages, I have had another idea...We could Create a new section (( distinct to BOTM )) as an International Reading Group . The idea would be...Reading the same book in different languages ( those who are bilingual or trilingual only a book) and discuss it...We could set a guidelines or goals even prepare a list of questions about the book for keeping the discussion forward . I have read a same book in 3 languages and sometimes - for better or worse - I have gotten a surprise !! So also, we could set other points to discuss, such as our emotional response to the book, most memorable parts, strengths and weakness....
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  6. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    Might be an idea. I've got a Dutch translation of Finnegans Wake here which is quite interesting to read next to the original.
    I think that to a certain extent translations are also the translator's interpretation of the work.
     
  7. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    Finnegans wake, wow !! :eek: You have chosen one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language...Imagine now, the reinterpretation in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish or :rolleyes:
    I like the intellectual challenges...I'm going to put emotion into my challenge, so I will read the same book in French and Spanish :)

    Regarding the
    International Reading Group, we should set a rules and goals . Let's do a « pilot experiment » . You have broad experience in this field and you know this book ( its strengths ), you should guide us in this arduous reading for keeping the discussion moving forward !!
     
  8. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure starting with Finnegans Wake would be good for a test run, it's a bit of a challenge. :D
    My university has a reading group dedicated to the book which discusses one or two pages each session, taking it apart for cultural, linguistic, and historical references, of which there are many. Single words can contain a multitude of languages, like "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonner- ronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur- nuk!" on the first page.
    I'm happy to do something with the book though, I have annotations galore.

    However, maybe start the IRG* off with something shorter like a novella? Maybe something like Guy de Maupassant's short stories for French or for Dutch Willem Frederik Hermans, Nooit Meer Slapen (I think the English version is called Beyond Sleep or something like that).

    As far as goals go: try for a book a month to discuss to start with and see how that goes? And guidelines for questions to get the discussion started might work well too. Might also help for the regular Book of the Month I should think.

    Some ideas for discussion points:
    • Quote a passage from the book which resonated with you and explain why.
    • Strengths and weaknesses of the book as a whole (narrative style, something as simple as the book's length, how long the author takes to move the plot forward, et cetera).
    • What stood out to you in this book?
    • Did this book remind you of any other books you've read?
    • What did you think of the book's ending?
    • What do you think about the book's title? Does it relate to the book at all or would you have chosen a different title?
    • Would you read anything else by this author?

    *We're going to be cool enough for an acronym. :buttrock
     
  9. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    I know it's a difficult reading maybe a profound book for doing a detailed study or Phd thesis and from what I gather in your words, there isn't a reliable translation yet ( in any languages ) :confused: I was « searching » information about translations and I found the reference source for the translators, it's about a website called « Finnegans Wake Extensible Elucidation Treasur » have around 86.000 annotations and possible meanings --- even so, that arouses my curiosity...I am so intrigued by the translations of Philippe Lavergne and Marcelo Zabaloy, shortly I'll immerse myself :cool:

    You are right, we must start bit by bit . Thanks for helping me with this new section :) I agree with the goal and points of discussion . I guess, some changes will make on the fly... I'm going to search some translated work of Willem Frederik Hermans
    Hyper cool :buttrock
     
  10. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    A geologist as protagonist :D , i love it !! I found a French translation » Ne plus jamais dormir, Italian translation » Alla finne del sonno and Spanish translation » No dormir nunca más
     
  11. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd say the French and Spanish translations are closest to the literal translation of the title, it translates to "never sleep again," it's one of my favourite Dutch books. :)


    Re: Finnegans Wake: we could start a thread on it and have it running alongside the lighter material I suppose. I'd be very interested in discussing the book anyway. That way it would just be there for those who are interested but can go for the easier books as well.
     
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  12. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    If we go deep into Finnegans wake, we should do it almost similarly or less analytcal way like the reading group of your University . ( Not by pages but by chapters ) When I was looking for the avaible translations of this work, I found that the Italian translation had broken up the chapters by books . The first book contain the firsts four chapters, the second book contain the fifth till eighth and for « carrying coals to Newcastle » they also have classified as Book I ( first or second part), Book II ( likewise ), Book III , IV, V ... Too many books for arranging in my bookshelves !! :confused:

    As far as I know, James Joyce spoke 5 languages ( or 6 including the Triestine dialect ) but
    which languages did he know or read ?? I have read that he had a reading proficiency in Norwegian, Modern Greek, Latin and ??

    I am going to take a look to Irish Grammar, just in case :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  13. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    Finnegans Wake is divided by books and chapters in the original. In total it's about 650 pages. Like this online version: http://finwake.com/desktop.htm

    The book itself contains words from a variety of languages including, but not limited to, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Spanish, Latin.
    As far as I know he could read (and write) Italian, French, Latin, German, and Irish not entirely sure about Norwegian but he was a huge fan of Henrik Ibsen, I think he wanted to read the plays in the original so wouldn't surprise me at all.

    I think I should just get a Finnegans Wake thread going. I can always move it once Sparklepants has the Internation Reading Group up.
     
  14. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    The French and Spanish translations, all the chapters are in the same book, that is, in an only book...In the Italian translation there are 7 books, maybe I didn't explain me correctly ... Wait, wait, please :eek: I am still waiting one of my translated books !!
     
  15. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    I've posted an introductory thread. There is no rush. :)

    My Dutch version looks like this, it's a facing translation.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    Very nice the dutch cover :) Yesterday, while i was reading some books of Carl Jung I discovered that the Joyce's daughter, Lucia, was patient of the Dr. Jung . I've realized that you are reading a book about Lucia Joyce...it seems a very meaningful concidence !!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  17. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    She was, yes. Though Lucia's story is a rather sad one and she spent most of her life in a mental institution. Some say that Finnegans Wake is James Joyce's version of his daughter's illness and dreams.

    The book I'm reading at the moment is a fictional account giving the perspectives of a lot of people around Lucia Joyce but never her own. I'm finding it a rather challenging book to read because of its subject matter but it's beautifully written.
     
  18. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    Yes, precisely I did read about that...I was reading Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2 and I found the next diagnosis he did to Lucia Joyce :
    « If you know anything of my anima theory, Joyce and his daughter are a classic example of it. She was definitely his femme inspiratrice, which explains his obstinate reluctance to have her certified.
    His own anima, i.e., unconscious psyche, was so solidly identified with her that to have her certified would have been as much as an admission that he himself had a latent psychosis.

    It is therefore understandable that he could not give in.
    His « psychological » style is definitely schizophrenic, with the difference, however, that the ordinary patient cannot help talking and thinking in such a way, while Joyce willed it and moreover developed it with all his creative forces. Which incidentally explains why he himself did not go over the border.
    But his daughter did, because she was no genius like her father, but merely a victim of her disease »

    Somehow our readings about Lucia & Jung synchronized itself, even before creating the Finnegans thread...it seems an approval gesture from the other side : - ) What it underlies maybe, it has been a wise decision start our International readings with the Finnegans wake :)
     
  19. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, Jung. And don't forget Beckett.

    Let me know when you get your copy / copies and we'll get started.


    In the meantime, I'm trying to think of something, uhm, less challenging for a regular book of the month. Perhaps a novella would work.
     
  20. Cosimah2o

    Cosimah2o Active Member

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    I'm ready to start !! :buttrock Finally, my spanish translation has already arrived from Argentina . I am eager for reading :) But, if we want to look like a Reading Group in « strict sense » we should consider the option of reading this book by sections or by a few chapters at a time
    The old man and the Sea - Hemingway . An essential book for these dates :D
     

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