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Thread: What books are you currently reading?

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    Senior Member Edmond-Dantes's Avatar
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    Default What books are you currently reading.

    WELL! I'm surprised that a cultured and intelligent bunch of individuals like yourselves haven't already made a "What books are you Reading" thread. Well, since we don't have one, I suppose I'll start it off.

    --Non Music Books--
    Currently, I'm reading a compilation of stories written by Fyodor Dostoevsky; who, if is as good of a writer as the current story I'm reading, "The Double," suggest, might be my favorite author. "The Double" is REALLY something else, and I WHOLE HEARTEDLY suggest it to anybody with an appreciation for psychology and classic novels. Here is an excerpt from the third chapter of the story that I have picked out. The main character is on his way to a party and decided on a whim to stop off at the doctors office.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Though Mr. Golyadkin pronounced this with the utmost
    distinctness and clearness, weighing his words with a
    self-confident air and reckoning on their probable effect, yet
    meanwhile he looked at Krestyan Ivanovitch with anxiety,
    with great anxiety, with extreme anxiety. Now he was all
    eyes: and timidly waited for the doctor's answer with irritable
    and agonized impatience. But to the perplexity and complete
    amazement of our hero, Krestyan Ivanovitch only muttered
    something to himself; then he moved his armchair up to the
    table, and rather drily though politely announced something
    to the effect that his time was precious, and that he did not
    quite understand; that he was ready, however, to attend to
    him as far as he was able, but he wold not go into anything
    further that did not concern him. At this point he took the
    pen, drew a piece of paper towards him, cut out of it the
    usual long strip, and announced that he would immediately
    prescribe what was necessary.
    "No, it's not necessary, Krestyan Ivanovitch! No, that's
    not necessary at all!" said Mr. Golyadkin, getting up from his
    seat, and clutching Krestyan Ivanovitch's right hand. "That
    isn't what's wanted, Krestyan Ivanovitch."
    And, while he said this, a queer change came over him.
    His grey eyes gleamed strangely, his lips began to quiver, all
    the muscles, all the features of his face began moving and
    working. He was trembling all over. After stopping the
    doctor's hand, Mr. Golyadkin followed his first movement by
    standing motionless, as though he had no confidence in
    himself and were waiting for some inspiration for further
    action.
    Then followed a rather strange scene.
    Somewhat perplexed, Krestyan Ivanovitch seemed for a
    moment rooted to his chair and gazed open-eyed in
    bewilderment at Mr. Golyadkin, who looked at him in
    exactly the same way. At last Krestyan Ivanovitch stood up,
    gently holding the lining of Mr. Golyadkin's coat. For some
    seconds they both stood like that, motionless, with their eyes
    fixed on each other. Then, however, in an extraordinarily
    strange way came Mr. Golyadkin's second movement. His
    lips trembled, his chin began twitching, and our hero quite
    unexpectedly burst into tears. Sobbing, shaking his head and
    striking himself on the chest with his right hand, while with
    his left clutching the lining of the doctor's coat, he tried to
    say something and to make some explanation but could not
    utter a word.
    At last Krestyan Ivanovitch recovered from his
    amazement.
    "Come, calm yourself!" he brought out at last, trying to
    make Mr. Golyadkin sit down in an armchair.
    "I have enemies, Krestyan Ivanovitch, I have enemies; I
    have malignant enemies who have sworn to ruin me . . ." Mr
    Golyadkin answered in a frightened whisper.
    "Come, come, why enemies? you mustn't talk about
    enemies! You really mustn't. Sit down, sit down," Krestyan
    Ivanovitch went on, getting Mr. Golyadkin once and for all
    into the armchair.
    Mr. Golyadkin sat down at last, still keeping his eyes fixed
    on the doctor. With an extremely displeased air, Krestyan
    Ivanovitch strode from one end of the room to another. A
    long silence followed.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As this book is an old one and the copyright has since expired, you can read it here.
    http://www.kiosek.com/dostoevsky/library/thedouble.txt

    If you'd rather read it on paperback, you can buy the small compilation I'm reading at barns and noble for 5$.
    ISBN: 978-1-59308-037-2

    --MUSIC RELATED BOOKS--
    I have just perchased the wonderful recommendation from Jtech81 and am reading it.





    PS: You all don't need to write a book on the books you're reading like I've done, I just HAD to share how great "The Double" is. ^-^;;;;
    clara s likes this.
    "Birds sit motionless on their branches. The world is slumbering! It grows cool in the shade of my fir-trees. I stand and await my friend, I wait for him for our last farewell. O friend, I long to share the beauty of this evening at your side. Where do you linger? Long you leave me alone! I wander here and there with my lyre on soft grassy paths. O Beauty! O endless love-life-drunken world!" ~ Das Lied von der Erde - Der Abschied (Li Tai-Po/G.Mahler) <---Click to Listen

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I believe there is a "books" thread somewhere, it's just been dormant for several months. Anyway, good to see someone's noticed its absence.

    I just now finished reading a biography of Elgar, by Michael Kennedy, published by Cambridge in 2004. It was a very quick, extraordinarily engaging read, I must say, particularly because I must confess I can relate to him as deeply as I can relate to few other composers.

    Maybe I'll eventually finish the Brothers Karamazov... it's amazing but LONG.

    Right now for English class I'm reading William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying". It's really one of the best books I've ever read for that class.

    ~WV
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    Right now for English class I'm reading William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying". It's really one of the best books I've ever read for that class.
    You should read Light in August and (better yet) The Sound and the Fury. I might actually consider a re-read of the latter.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    I am wading through a translation of Nietzche's Thus Spake Zarathustra if only to understand the tone poem in more depth.

    But don't let me fool you into thinking I'm all literary. I'm also reading a book by science fiction author Greg Benford, The Sunborn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond-Dantes View Post

    --MUSIC RELATED BOOKS--
    I have just perchased the wonderful recommendation from Jtech81 and am reading it.

    Great book and I hope you get something out of it! It's got a lot of great information in it.

    I've been overlooking this book:



    It's written by jazz guitarist/Berklee professor Mick Goodrick. If no one here is familiar with him he is a master of chord voicings and just the overall harmonic aspect of music.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    I just now finished reading a biography of Elgar, by Michael Kennedy, published by Cambridge in 2004. It was a very quick, extraordinarily engaging read, I must say, particularly because I must confess I can relate to him as deeply as I can relate to few other composers.
    Books about Elgar are like chocolates aren't they? - decidedly more-ish. I haven't read that recent version of Kennedy's biography (there have been several incarnations of it I think): is he still advocating the 'real Elgar' as the dreamy child of the countryside, and downplaying the importance of his Imperialism? If so, I think that's an unbalanced account: wistful and appealing, but a rather misleading recreation of the man. A dip into Robert Anderson's Elgar and Chivalrybalances the books; but even better (and quicker) is the chapter on 'Elgar's Empire' in Jeffrey Richards's book Imperialism and Music. A real understanding of Elgar's attitude to imperialism is at last starting to emerge, not as something jingoistic and nationalistic, but as a mystical, chivalric and noble ideal which, far from being something to sweep under the carpet, actually enhances the understanding of all his music.

    I'm currently reading this:



    I'm reading it partly because I found it in a book sale for next to nothing, but also because my very first introduction to Elgar was through Sargent's late 1950s HMV recording of The Enigma Variations. Despite all the showmanship for which he was renowned, there's no doubt he loved his Elgar, and worked enormously hard at promoting his music. He met Elgar in the late 1920s, and Elgar seemed to have a high regard for Sargent's interpretations of his work. I can't help wondering what I'd think about his recording of Enigma if I heard it, now. The LP is long gone, and there doesn't seem to be a CD transfer available.

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    R-F
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    For English class we're reading The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet. I think The Great Gatsby in particular is brilliant, and the only thing that lets Romeo and Juliet down for me is Shakespeare's overkill with the Light and Dark imagery. That didn't stop me enjoying it though.

    I hate the essays we have to write on the novel/play though. The markers are so picky.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    Books about Elgar are like chocolates aren't they? - decidedly more-ish. I haven't read that recent version of Kennedy's biography (there have been several incarnations of it I think): is he still advocating the 'real Elgar' as the dreamy child of the countryside, and downplaying the importance of his Imperialism? If so, I think that's an unbalanced account: wistful and appealing, but a rather misleading recreation of the man. A dip into Robert Anderson's Elgar and Chivalrybalances the books; but even better (and quicker) is the chapter on 'Elgar's Empire' in Jeffrey Richards's book Imperialism and Music. A real understanding of Elgar's attitude to imperialism is at last starting to emerge, not as something jingoistic and nationalistic, but as a mystical, chivalric and noble ideal which, far from being something to sweep under the carpet, actually enhances the understanding of all his music.
    Yes, in the foreword he said his first Elgar biography was published in the 1940's or 50's.

    It didn't seem to focus quite that much on his childhood, but yes, it is rather dreamy and such. I didn't see much straightforward Imperialism in there, per se, but I can see how he could exhibit that without much straining of thought. I'll be sure to try finding Anderson's book (possibly over the summer if I have any time).
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    It didn't seem to focus quite that much on his childhood.
    Sorry, I wasn't clear, there. What I was getting at is Kennedy's old overarching idea that the 'real' Elgar is the 'pastoral' Elgar; and that imperialism was a jacket that he wore with discomfort, that didn't reflect the 'real' Elgar. But I don't think that's right; I think the 'real' Elgar is a more complex being than Kennedy suggests (though he may have changed his mind over the years, and also I should say it's a while since I read it, so my memory may not be accurate). I think we find the 'real' Elgar in Caractacus, The Spirit of England, and the Coronation Ode no less than in the Intro & Allegro or the chamber music.

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    Just finished Molière's The Bourgeois Gentleman. I usually read dramas, because these books are most cheap you can find, he-he-he <applause>.

    Now attempting Candide by Voltaire. Those are my first steps into french literature.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Just finished Molière's The Bourgeois Gentleman.
    I presume this is the basis for Lully's opera of the same name, is it?

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    Sorry, I wasn't clear, there. What I was getting at is Kennedy's old overarching idea that the 'real' Elgar is the 'pastoral' Elgar; and that imperialism was a jacket that he wore with discomfort, that didn't reflect the 'real' Elgar. But I don't think that's right; I think the 'real' Elgar is a more complex being than Kennedy suggests (though he may have changed his mind over the years, and also I should say it's a while since I read it, so my memory may not be accurate). I think we find the 'real' Elgar in Caractacus, The Spirit of England, and the Coronation Ode no less than in the Intro & Allegro or the chamber music.
    Oh, it's alright. I believe the introduction contained the admission that the author has changed his views a good amount since his last Elgar book, part of which I believe he attributed to his listening of the pre-Gerontius works more in depth than the last edition. Indeed, he presents Elgar in this latest book as a deeply troubled and complex character, and while the "pastoral" Elgar does remain somewhat, it doesn't seem quite so much as you would seem to suggest (for example, Severn House annoys him greatly in this book for all the "cityness" about it, but not much else so heavily suggests this). Regardless, it was an enlightening read to say the least.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    I presume this is the basis for Lully's opera of the same name, is it?
    This work includes ballet, and as far as I know the music was written by Lully. He was even an actor in premiere spectacle. But I have not heard about opera.

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    An unpublished book by Jean Nandi, daughter of Hovhaness (she went on to become a professional harpsichordist and biologist) and a biography of William Wordsworth.

    Jim

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    I've been reading the first volume of Proust's great epic for some eight months now - 'The Swann Way', if that's the English translation. It's not that the book is too boring, I just can't find the time. A few days ago I finished reading a biography of Benjamin Britten, by Michael Oliver. Quite detailed and in-depth, but highly captivating.

    Otherwise I prefer reading poetry to going through thick volumes of prose, so I enjoy myself with Heine, Goethe, Pessoa, Lorca and some Croatian poets.

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