Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Book Meme
Fun meme. And i get to preach, too!

What is on your nightstand now?

"Paradise Lost" by John Milton and "The 5th Empire" by Victor Olegovich Pelevin.

When and where do you like to read?

Evenings, at my desk.

What was the last truly great book you read?

All of them. :P Last book was "The Iron Heel" by Jack London, which explains London a lot.

Are you a fiction or a nonfiction person? What’s your favorite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?

Both. I read fiction if it has to tell me something and non-fiction for the same reason. I want to learn. For genre, i like certain sci-fi stuff (Stanislav Lem,  f. ex.). I like to read philosophical ideas, societal reflections and political ideas. As for guilty pleasures? Why, BtVS (and it's fanfic) of course! :D

What was the best book you read as a student? What books over the years have most influenced your thinking?

Uh, i've read so many books as a student. Maybe "The Loyal Subject" by Heinrich Mann? Or, or Elfriede Jelinek's "Children of the Dead". On the other hand, there's "Politics" by Aristotle and "The Capital" by Marx. Hm...

I think i have to go with Aristotle's "Politics". That opened up a whole world to me at the age of 17. It started my fascination with the organization of human society which i am still obsessing over, decades later.

I think there are maybe 150 really important books if one wants to understand European (i use the term loosely here, including Britain, USA and Russia) culture, history, politics and society. Some authors worth reading:

(Heraclitus. Socrates.) Plato. Aristotle. Epicureus. Sun Tsu. Thomas Aquinus. Machiavelli. Dante Alighieri. Michel de Montagne. Descartes. Locke. Hobbes. Voltaire. Rousseau. Adam Smith. Immanuel Kant. Hegel. Nietzsche. Marx. von Clausewitz. Proudhon. Bakunin. Kollontai. Wittgenstein. Einstein. Georges Lukacs. Sartre. Simone de Beauvoir. Horkheimer & Adorno. Hannah Arendt. Noam Chomsky. Foucault. Judith Butler....

...Homer. Vergil. Nibelung Song (too many authors). Boccaccio. von Grimmelshausen. Daniel Defoe. Stephenson. Diderot. Casanova. Stendhal. Gogol. Heinrich Heine. Dostojevsky. Tolstoj. Flaubert. Bataille. Edgar Allan Poe. Hans Christian Andersen. Victor Hugo. Turgenev. Emile Zola. Oscar Wilde. James Joyce. Kafka. Bertholt Brecht. Marquez. Jelinek.....

Fortunately, that's not too much to read in one lifetime. :)

(Time to get off my soap box, now...)

What is your ideal reading experience? Do you prefer a book that makes you laugh or makes you cry? One that teaches you something or one that distracts you?

All of the above. I want to be able to engage with the book/author, discuss stuff in my head. I want to be moved, mind and heart.

What were your favorite books as a child? Did you have a favorite character or hero?

I loved Irish/Gaelic sagas. So much magic. And my favorite hero(ine) was "Brunhilde" from the Nibelung Song. So fierce. Such will.

What are your reading habits? Do you take notes? Electronic or paper?

Electronic notes, if i want to put ideas by different authors together. Or trying to read original and translation. I have a friend who conjures different authors up in his mind and let's them have a go at each other. "The Gay Necromancy", as he calls it.

Read any good memoirs recently?

Nelson Mandela's memoirs. Fascinating insights. Well worth every page.

What’s the best movie based on a book you’ve seen recently?

Well, maybe there are good adaptions out there - but i just don't know them?

What do you plan to read next?

Well, re-learning Russian and then reading Dostojevsky again! :D For the books alone it would be worth it to know all the languages of the world (well, there's also all the people. Communicating with them should be great, too!). I want to get into all the literary cultures i missed so far. More English&US-American literature. More South American magic realism. Arabic stories. Chinese philosophy. African politics. I guess i have to invent longevity first to have all the time to do it, though.

Tags: ,

  • 1
"The Fifth Empire" is kinda mandatory for us: it is about vampires! ;-) I don't know any other books by him and only know Pelevin because me well-read and super worldly friend Julia brought some culture from Moscow to the province (and i mock her to no end that she fell in love this far away from her home in the middle of nowhere...).

No, i haven't read O'Brien at all: 20 years ago, i bought a book by O'Brien, just after i read Joyce. Natural, right? My then-girlfriend saw the book, snatched it - and promptly broke up with me. The length some people go to get their hands on a certain book...

So thanks for reminding me of O'Brien! Will seek out!

Sadly, i know next to nothing about African literature. What you write about that book sounds really great! So, i think it is time to remedy my ignorance. :)

The Helmet Of Horror is kind of relevant too - it's basically a re-telling of Theseus and the Minotaur set in an online chatroom. Maybe. :)

Here's a list of the 100 greatest African books of the 20th century if you want a starting point. Some really great stuff on there.

Oh, thanks a lot! Bookmarked for the summer vacation (another month of work, then 4 weeks for me!).

I think i will get my grabby hands on everything Pelevin has written - "5th Empire" is good.

  • 1

Log in

No account? Create an account