liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read: A couple of really great, thinky reviews:
I'm not always as enthusiastic about Laurie Penny as many people in my circle, but they hit it out of the park with Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless. It's a really nuanced and thoughtful piece about self-care and wellbeing, considering both the ways that these things are undervalued especially for women and marginalized people, and the ways that they are repackaged and exploited within the capitalist system. There's a bit of that irritating young lefty anxiety about whether one's life choices are sufficiently "radical", but still very well worth reading.

Currently reading: A wild sheep chase, by Haruki Murakami. This was a present from [livejournal.com profile] ghoti. It's very atmospheric, but the atmosphere it creates is somewhat bleak and miserable. It's sort of doing the litfic thing where the recently divorced narrator is sad because his comfortable but unexceptional life isn't as exciting as he might have hoped when he was younger, with the accompanying rather annoying attitude to women. But at about a third of the way through, this is looking like a frame for doing other things, a bit magic realist, a bit thriller, with the protag getting very politely kidnapped by the mafia boss. It's told in a somewhat non-linear way, so I'm not yet sure how all the different facets of the story fit together.

Up next: I'm travelling to Hungary next week, so I am not quite sure if I'll end up with loads of time for reading or very little. The next thing on my e-reader is Blindsight by Peter Watts. Unless someone wants to rec me a Hungarian book which is available in translation, in order to be thematically suitable?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-27 02:05 pm (UTC)
ambyr: a dark-winged man standing in a doorway over water; his reflection has white wings (watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) (Default)
From: [personal profile] ambyr
The problem with self-love as we currently understand it is in our view of love itself, defined, too simply and too often, as an extraordinary feeling that we respond to with hearts and flowers and fantasy, ritual consumption and affectless passion. Modernity would have us mooning after ourselves like heartsick, slightly creepy teenagers, taking selfies and telling ourselves how special and perfect we are. This is not real self-love, no more than a catcaller loves the woman whose backside he’s loudly admiring in the street.

This is a really interesting way of looking at things, and something I'm going to be turning over in my head for a while. Thank you for pointing out the article.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-27 02:29 pm (UTC)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
From: [personal profile] oursin
I remember enjoying Miklos Banffy's 'Transylvania Trilogy' aka 'The Writing on the Wall' about pre WWI Hungary, main character a rather ineffectually idealistic young landowner. Although it ends with the outbreak of the Great War, possibly slightly less of a downer than Blindsight...

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-27 04:53 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (reading)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
Laurie Penny's piece on Milo Yiannopolous's RNC party, I'm with the Banned is also well worth a read. I'll check out the one you linked to.

And yes, that analysis of [personal profile] starlady's was amazing! I've always thought Murder Must Advertise was underrated Sayers.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-27 06:57 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (Phil Ochs)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
I will look at the Banned essay again and see if I agree; I certainly felt that it told me specifics that helped me to understand how and why these particular obnoxious people are obnoxious, and I am on a very long quest to try to figure out how to reopen closed channels in the polarizations that surround me, so I find that helpful.

On Sayers, we completely agree.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-28 03:11 am (UTC)
rushthatspeaks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rushthatspeaks
If you're into nonfiction while on trips, you could do Patrick Leigh Fermor's travel writing on Hungary and Romania-- not sure which piece of the duology has more Hungary in it, but I recall there being a chunk. Also, those are just great books for European travel and the feel of Europe at a very specific historical point.

Books

Date: 2016-07-28 06:44 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Awesome reading list! I hope you enjoy Blindsight - I found it simultaneously interesting, entertaining, and disturbing.

I got curious about your suggestion of thematic books and did some research online.

One poem by a Hungarian poet that I found a translation for: (warning, dark subject material)
http://www.babelmatrix.org/works/hu/Birtalan_Balázs-1969/Amikor_rájössz_milyen/en/60413-When_You_Realize_What_It’s_Like
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balázs_Birtalan

Imre Kertész was a Hungarian author and Holocaust survivor who wrote novels influenced by his life experiences. His work is available in translation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imre_Kertész

Magda Szabó was a major Hungarian author who wrote about women and oppression, recently reviewed in The New Yorker:
http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/magda-szabos-the-door
http://theculturetrip.com/europe/hungary/articles/the-outsider-within-the-ten-best-hungarian-writers/
https://www.amazon.com/Door-NYRB-Classics-Magda-Szabo/dp/1590177711

I found this article on politics and the images of historical figures, which is not by a Hungarian to my knowledge, but is about Hungary:
http://repository.brynmawr.edu/history_pubs/21/

And this book, which includes some interesting bits about Hungary:
https://www.amazon.com/Queer-Cities-Cultures-Europe-since/dp/1441159304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469687593&sr=8-1&keywords=Queer+Cities%2C+Queer+Cultures%3A+Europe+since+1945

Please note that I haven’t read these, just searched out some items of interest, so I can’t truly recommend them - except for the one poem available online. I think I may read at least one or two of them soon, though.

Re: Books

Date: 2016-07-29 12:21 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Have fun on your trip, whatever you end up reading or not reading. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-28 06:58 am (UTC)
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
From: [personal profile] starlady
Thanks for the shout-out! I've been kind of floored to realize that not everyone who's read the Wimsey books has read all of them, including MMA, even though it's so good.

ETA: I do have a suggestion for Hungarian literature, namely the novels of Sándor Márai--there's at least two available in English translation, Embers and Casanova in Balzano, of which I really loved Embers when I read it.

The true-crime book Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, about post-communism Hungary, was also pretty amusing, and gave a decent picture of how things were in the country at the time.
Edited Date: 2016-07-28 07:00 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-07-31 05:08 pm (UTC)
solitarywalker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] solitarywalker
My favourite living author is Hungarian: Laszlo Krasznahorkai. Several of his book exist in translation. Very atmospheric, incredible writing style. Not light reading... of course i don't know your taste/habits but i wouldn't try to read him anyplace crowded/noisy.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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