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What have you been reading lately?

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 20, 2012, 07:16:54 PM
I am re-reading The Arabian Nights. I read them in my youth and they have taken on a new life as I see them through older eyes.

I've never actually read the text (though most of use know of accounts of the the popular tales). Shall have to give that a go at some point. Can you recommend a good english translation (bonus if they have the arabic text as well ;))

"Lord of the Rings" and "An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" by John Damascene

I've recently re-read Lord of the Rings as well. I keep finding new and hidden meaning where I least expected it. Whether Tolkien intended anything other than a mythology, or "invented history" with his works (he frequently claimed he didn't) is unknown; he certainly praised a certain type of...nature (I think is the right word) in his mythology.

To this end, I've been (re)reading his The Silmarillion to understand the basis for what he writes about in the more well-know LoTR books. Interesting reading so far. There is certainly more to this than what fatty Jackson's movies have shown. And I don't (only) mean that in the superficial sense (i.e. "the movie doesn't have events x y and z in it),
"What does not kill me makes me stronger"
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 20, 2012, 07:38:45 PM
One should read Lost Tales before reading Silmarilleon. Narn i Chin Hurin is a very nice novelle similar to Robert E. Howards stories and the Norse heroic sagas. It shows clearly here he was a filologist by profession.

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 21, 2012, 09:40:33 PM
I've never actually read the text (though most of use know of accounts of the the popular tales). Shall have to give that a go at some point. Can you recommend a good english translation (bonus if they have the arabic text as well ;))

I'm afraid I can't provide that, most classic texts I tend to just read on Project Gutenberg. This website seems to be the same English version I read in my early teens. The translation is rather archaic, but I prefer it that way.

A recommendation for the Tolkien fans, The Worm Ouroboros by Eric Rücker Eddison. Somewhat reminiscent of the sagas, potent stuff.

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 22, 2012, 02:03:31 PM
Amerika.org
Occidental Dissent

and my new favorite: 

Mindweapons in Ragnarok!
http://mindweaponsinragnarok.wordpress.com/
I follow my course with the precision and security of a sleepwalker

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 23, 2012, 02:50:01 AM
I am enslaved to my textbooks which are the following:

Ricklefs - The Economy of Nature
Larson - Calculus with Precalculus
Wade - Organic Chemistry
Arabic language resources, videos, audio, etc.

When I can, I read:

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's works, which I wholeheartedly recommend as they meld a rudimentary understanding of physics and chemistry--which Nursi studied at a surface level at one point--with a deep understanding of Tradition in the Islamic context.
Tsunetomo - Hagakure, one of my favorites which I always take off of my bookshelf.  It has commonalities with Islam when stripped of Daoic tendencies.
There are similar works of religion, folklore, and theology dating from the best times of different cultures.  Poetry is included.

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 23, 2012, 03:20:03 PM
I am re-reading The Arabian Nights. I read them in my youth and they have taken on a new life as I see them through older eyes.

I've never actually read the text (though most of use know of accounts of the the popular tales). Shall have to give that a go at some point. Can you recommend a good english translation (bonus if they have the arabic text as well ;))

"Lord of the Rings" and "An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" by John Damascene

I've recently re-read Lord of the Rings as well. I keep finding new and hidden meaning where I least expected it. Whether Tolkien intended anything other than a mythology, or "invented history" with his works (he frequently claimed he didn't) is unknown; he certainly praised a certain type of...nature (I think is the right word) in his mythology.

To this end, I've been (re)reading his The Silmarillion to understand the basis for what he writes about in the more well-know LoTR books. Interesting reading so far. There is certainly more to this than what fatty Jackson's movies have shown. And I don't (only) mean that in the superficial sense (i.e. "the movie doesn't have events x y and z in it),

I do not think Tolkien ever claimed that. If he did claim that he was writing a mythology, you are dimishing the importance of mythology. You may find his "Letters" insightful in this regard. At the very least he disliked allegory and his work is not an allegory in any way. Nonetheless Tolkien was concious of the fact that LOTR was a profoundly Catholic work (Sorry to burst anyones bubble here). Moreover, he does point out that the main theme of the work is about God's right to grant power and glory. How LOTR was shaped by Tolkiens Catholicism (yes, he was pious Catholic) is less explicit than one might expect but it is nonetheless a reality when one begins to dig deep into LOTR.

Might I also recommend The Road to Middel Earth by T.A. Shippey
"  Jesus Christ Submitted To The Roman Emperor At His Birth And At His Death: Jesus Christ Never Submitted to Man-Made Modern Democracy! "

Re: What have you been reading lately?
September 23, 2012, 06:17:46 PM
I am re-reading The Arabian Nights. I read them in my youth and they have taken on a new life as I see them through older eyes.

I've never actually read the text (though most of use know of accounts of the the popular tales). Shall have to give that a go at some point. Can you recommend a good english translation (bonus if they have the arabic text as well ;))

"Lord of the Rings" and "An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" by John Damascene

I've recently re-read Lord of the Rings as well. I keep finding new and hidden meaning where I least expected it. Whether Tolkien intended anything other than a mythology, or "invented history" with his works (he frequently claimed he didn't) is unknown; he certainly praised a certain type of...nature (I think is the right word) in his mythology.

To this end, I've been (re)reading his The Silmarillion to understand the basis for what he writes about in the more well-know LoTR books. Interesting reading so far. There is certainly more to this than what fatty Jackson's movies have shown. And I don't (only) mean that in the superficial sense (i.e. "the movie doesn't have events x y and z in it),

I do not think Tolkien ever claimed that. If he did claim that he was writing a mythology, you are dimishing the importance of mythology. You may find his "Letters" insightful in this regard. At the very least he disliked allegory and his work is not an allegory in any way. Nonetheless Tolkien was concious of the fact that LOTR was a profoundly Catholic work (Sorry to burst anyones bubble here). Moreover, he does point out that the main theme of the work is about God's right to grant power and glory. How LOTR was shaped by Tolkiens Catholicism (yes, he was pious Catholic) is less explicit than one might expect but it is nonetheless a reality when one begins to dig deep into LOTR.

Might I also recommend The Road to Middel Earth by T.A. Shippey

I think you've misunderstood what I said. I did not intend to 'diminish' the importance of the purpose of a mythology; perhaps my wording indicated  otherwise. Also, Tolkien claimed his work was free of allegory (you mention this) - that's what I said. I'm not sure where exactly the miscommunication comes from. It may be that Tolkien never used the word "mythology" - his story clearly resembles one, in my view.

The Christian-ness (and specifically Catholic-ness) of Tolkien's works is a tricky one. On the one hand, like you've mentioned, the central concept is there, especially when one considers the origin of Arda (Earth) in his mythology. On the other, Tolkien (in one of his letters to Milton Waldman), talks about  his disappointment with England's literary history of the mythological (that word again)/fable variety. He mentions a chief grievance: "it (English fairy-tales) is involved in, and explicitly contains the Christian religion." In this same letter, he elaborates quite a bit on what he intended with his literature, and it seems he was more concerned with creating a unique legend that was English and more generally, 'North Western' and 'Celtic', which could rival the great mythologies and legendary tales of the Scandinavian, Greek, Germanic varieties. Of course, his Catholicism may be deeply tied into this relation with his homeland.

Before this thread turns into a Tolkien fanboy club: I've also been reading a lot of alt-right stuff at the moment. Amerika.org is the obvious example, but there are a few others out there. I recently read all the articles (there ain't many) at nihil.org in one sitting (like a book). Lucid writing, and it reveals something at the core of the Anusian nihilist philosopy.
"What does not kill me makes me stronger"
-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 07, 2012, 04:47:41 PM
All that I was was the result of my thoughts.
Not any more.

No thoughts, to color reality, leaving only reality, itself.

I am beginning to suspect nobody else, now, or ever, knows/knew this.
Read and consider.
Now you know it, too.

Cave men had a better understanding of reality than paul davies.

Yes.  Although I do respect Paul Davies.

Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 08, 2012, 12:57:16 AM
Petty argument which ruined an otherwise great opportunity to share good (sources of) information with one another. Guess I shouldn't have quoted the Dhammapadda.

ANYWAY

I've been reading the Audubon Guide to New England and Wild Edible Plants of New England. Been trying to be mostly self-sufficient with food when I spend time outdoors. Next on my list is Bradford Angier's book on edible plants, which seems a bit more extensive than what I've got now. I'm also trying to work on making cordage and weaving baskets/containers from tall grass, bark, or cattails. Anyone with any experience doing this sort of thing?

As far as philosophy or fiction is concerned... most of it bores me. Sometimes I'll be inspired by a bit of "wisdom" here and there, but otherwise a lot of metaphysics is redundant, aesthetic stuff. For most of us, we still need food to eat and a place to sleep.

Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 09, 2012, 10:51:22 AM
Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls
African-American African-American African-American

Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 09, 2012, 11:10:25 PM
As far as philosophy or fiction is concerned... most of it bores me. Sometimes I'll be inspired by a bit of "wisdom" here and there, but otherwise a lot of metaphysics is redundant, aesthetic stuff. For most of us, we still need food to eat and a place to sleep.

I can't read too much philosophy, in fact the only Nietzsche I've read and enjoyed was Thus Spake Zarathustra as this would exist more in the realm of romantic idealism than reason. For me to enjoy a fictional work it generally has to be along these lines also, contributing something useful and practical in a worldview.

Other books of frequent use would include organic gardening, plant, wildlife identification etc.


Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 12, 2012, 08:53:32 PM
I've been reading the Byock translation of The Volsung Saga recently.  As a translation, it is fairly faithful to the source and clearly written, though perhaps less artful because it largely ignores the verse structure of the saga.  It also contains a good deal of insight and explanation in the translation notes, which is useful if you haven't read much Norse saga before.
That's fantastic.  I haven't read The Volsung Saga yet, but I've been on a Saga binge over the past month or two:  The Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi, Gisli Surrson's Saga, Saga of the Confederates, The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue, these are all kind of shorter sagas, of course.  Currently reading Saga of Ref The Sly.  Up next, Saga of the Greenlanders and Saga of Erik the Red.

I noticed something kinda interesting.  All the authors of the "Family Sagas" are anonymous, except Egil's Saga it is assumed to be Sturli Sturlusson.  There are 48 Family Sagas, I believe.  It is also assumed that no two Sagas is written by the same person.  So it is interesting how similar all the Sagas are despite these factors.  I also notice how characters from different sagas will show up in each other's saga.  Egil's daughter is Thorgerd, she marries Olaf Peacock from the Laxardal Saga.  It's only briefly mentioned in Egil's saga, but shown in more detail in the Laxardal saga.

An individual saga, itself, generally speaking, involves more than one generation of family.  In the Laxardal saga, we must go through at least 4 generations.  The generations parallel each other.  Sons parallel fathers, as do brothers, uncles, grandfathers.  Egil is ugly his brother is handsome just like Egil's dad is ugly and his uncle is handsome.  So generations parallel and reveal other generations.  Put it all together and you get a Saga.  Read several Sagas, and you see, also, that the Sagas, themselves, parallel and reveal each other.  Put it all together and you get the entire body of the Family Sagas.  Besides the Family Sagas, you have The Kings Sagas and others.  All of these more generally reveal the body of Sagas.  Put it all together and you have the Age of the Sagas.  And what does all of this reveal all together?  The Norsk people themselves.

This parallels metal.  Riffs work together to parallel and reveal each other.  Then you get the song.  Then you get the album.  Put enough albums together and maybe you get something like Norwegian black metal.  The Norwegians bands are distinct (Emperor, Darkthrone, Immortal, etc) and yet in parallel with each other enough, to reveal the greater entity Norwegian black metal.  And did not some of these guys show up in smaller or bigger roles in each others' bands/projects at various points?  Just like Egil, Thorgerd, and Olaf Peacock.

Then you might even say, broadly speaking, Norwegian black metal reveals something about the Beherit/Blasphemy black metal, and vice versa.  Now we have black metal generally.  Black metal reveals death metal and vice versa.  Put all the "genres" together, that are worthy enough to be called a genre, and you have Metal.  50 years of metal, the saga continues.
His Majesty at the Swamp / Black Arts Lead to Everlasting Sins / Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism / Oath of Black Blood / Privilege of Evil / Dawn of Possession / In Battle There is No Law / Thousand Swords / To Mega Therion

Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 13, 2012, 03:45:28 AM
Due to the time constraints and mental labor that comes along with my studies, I read absolute crap. Last read was the Hunger Games. My family recommended it so I decided to take the plunge and see what the hype was about.  The 6th grade reading level made it kind of a dry read, but the concept--a battle royale between teenagers set in a dystopian near future--was interesting so I kept at it.  The emotional intrigue of star-crossed lovers pitted against one another in gladiatorial combat complemented the more visceral survival sequences nicely. Pure pulpy fun if you're into that sort of thing. My tastes are too capricious to read the series straight throgh though.  Currently reading the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Can't tell if I like it yet but the detail he puts in to the rules of being a ghost and the different varieties of undead appeal to my inner sperg.

Also, Catch-22 is utter assbabble.

Re: What have you been reading lately?
October 13, 2012, 09:44:59 AM
About the saga litterature I would recommend Egils , Grettirs and Njals sagas as they can be read like modern books and they give an insigth into pre-Christian thinking and heroic ideals.

The Ynglinge Saga  claims Odin as an asiatic king, and the berserks as his mystic warriors. Interessting that a saga of the Middel Age migth remember a possible Indo European king from the Bronze- or Iron Age.