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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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. :p Well, since we don't have one, I suppose I'll start it off. :cool:

--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. ;)
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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.
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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$. :p
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. ^-^;;;;
 

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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
 

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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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--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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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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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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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).
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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.
I think the confusion is mine. From what you say, it sounds as if there is simply 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme', by Moliere, with music by Lully. That is, I think there's just the one work - not two as I supoosed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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.
Oh really? I did several searches for the terms "book," "books" and "reading" and never could pull up anything. :-/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OH! No problems. ;) I just didn't make this thread and permanently kill the original one. :p
 
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