07-29-2009 11:23 AM
07-29-2009 12:26 PM
hey rhino you may dig
"Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story "
it's about WWII japanese naval situations/practices/decisions (including pre WWII treaty and build up practices) - written by a couple of Japanese officers who were in the thick of it
07-29-2009 01:40 PM
07-29-2009 02:15 PM
07-29-2009 03:12 PM
07-29-2009 05:14 PM
07-30-2009 12:23 AM
07-30-2009 11:04 AM
07-30-2009 01:11 PM
I really, really like that book--not because of Gibson's voice, and certainly not because of his gift for characterization, or lack thereof, but for his world-making muscle. It's an incredibly vivid "present," and incredibly cool take on semiotics and, what's his face, Dawkins and memes. I taught that book several times in an Honors Freshman Composition class, thinking they would recognize "their" world in its pages and be stunned by Gibson's vision. The students uniformly loathed it. No matter what I tried to reveal about its cultural theory underpinnings. Now, Nick Hornby, on the other hand, they adored. Sympathetic identification junkies...navel gazers.
Pattern Recogntion - Gibson
07-30-2009 01:14 PM
07-30-2009 01:51 PM
07-31-2009 07:48 AM
Franzen's The Corrections was so merciless and funny. What an observant eye he trains on poor "ordinary" people. I can't help but wonder if he grew up on a steady diet of Evelyn Waugh.
I admired the book, but it left me depressed. Such dysfunction - makes a Wes Anderson family look like the Brady Bunch. And it seemed unreal to me that, after so much self-destructive and in important cases, illegal/unethical hijinks, the consequences of such seemed to just sort of dissipate into thin air.
Reading it for me was like watching one of those movies where you just can't really like anyone in the script, so your involvement gets hindered through lack of sympathy. Not the most objective of reactions - I could have missed the point I suppose.
I assumed that the title The Corrections was borrowed from stock market lingo, meaning, after wild meanderings in unsustainable regions, the market is forced to "correct" itself. Bearing a certain analogy to the arc of the story line.
I'd like to hear other takes on the book.
nat whilk ii
07-31-2009 09:13 AM
07-31-2009 10:53 AM
For me the depth and clarity of characterization in that novel is affirming, even if there is no redemption or growth or any similar "deliverable..."
07-31-2009 01:37 PM
That's a statement the jist of which I don't think I've ever heard before....has set me thinking.
thinking....thinking...thinking....ok, yeah, here's what it makes me think:
If the depth and clarity of characterization is, in and of itself, affirming, then it makes we suspect that the zeitgeist Franzen is writing to/within is one of an overwhelming contemporary atmosphere of desperate loneliness.
And then it follows that here we have characters whose social alienation is so dominating, that the other more classic types of alienation (political, economic, intellectual) are secondary effects of the dominant social alienation - dragged along in the wake of the emotional trainwreck. Now that strikes me as a very contemporary mood.
Which notion helps me sympathize more easily with the characters. And dang, they were all so disconnected and related to each other from painful and pathetic tangents. I think you've got a better intuition on the book than I was capable of.
That would make him something of a literary heir to Camus>>Salinger>>Nathanael West maybe? With a big infusion of Updike in the style. Maybe not - I'm just a part-time amatuer book critic.
Anyway, thanks for the insight.
nat whilk ii
07-31-2009 10:57 PM
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