So what, you are reading? v. 2017

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    Rejection. Yeah, the ability to get over it may be the single common denominator for all the movie stars, novelists, etc that we see. I know that I have posted this here before, but my favorite piece of trivia from last year was this: after receiving over 30 rejections for Dune, Frank Herbert's masterpiece was finally printed by Chilton's. You know, the automotive repair guide. JK Rowling had 40+ agents and publishers reject her. And she was all lined up to have the top four NY Times best sellers when the Times decided she was too much and created a children's book list and relegate her to it.

    And yet, so much of writing and acting and producing is a crap shoot. I was forced to watch some netflix PoS called Christmas Inheritance over the break. How in the world did this thing get made?

    Dumb luck. Emphasis on the dumb.
    BalanceUT repped this.
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    I'm pretty sure I listed this on the Noteworthy Author Is Dead thread....

    Zen {and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance} was published in 1974, after being rejected by 121 publishing houses. "The book is brilliant beyond belief," wrote Morrow editor James Landis before publication. "It is probably a work of genius and will, I'll wager, attain classic status."

    I went to grad school at the place where Pirsig was working as an adjunct during his grad school days: He mentions it in the book since it's part of his mental breakdown (he was a full time grad student in philosophy while teaching SIX sections of Freshman comp across town.

    No wonder...
  3. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    #203 Val1, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
    Well, Mayer didn't write 100 pages of this in a day:

    I write this love as all transition
    As if I’m in instinctual flight,
    a small lady bug
    With only two black dots on its back
    Climbs like a blind turtle on my pen
    And begins to drink ink in the light
    of tradition
    We’re allowed to crowd love in
    Like a significant myth
    resting still on paper
    I remember being bitten by a spider
    It was like feeling what they call
    the life of the mind
    Stinging my thigh like Dante
    this guilty beetle
    Is a frightening thing
    When it shows its wings
    And leaps like the story of a woman who
    once in this house
    Said the world was like a madhouse
    cold winds blowing
    And life looks like some malignant disease,
    Viewed from the heights of reason
    Which I don’t believe in
    I know the place
    Taken by tradition is like superstition
    And even what they call the
    Literary leaves less for love
    I know
    The world is straight ice
    I know backwards the grief of life like chance
    if I can say that
    I can say easily I know you
    like the progression
    From memory to what they call freedom
    Or reason
    though it’s not reason at all
    It’s an ideal like anarchism though it’s not an ideal
    It’s a kind of time that has flown away from causes
    Or gotten loose from them, pried loose
    Or used them up, gotten away
    no one knows why
    Nothing happens
    There is no reason, there’s no dream
    it’s not inherited
    Like peace but it’s not peace
    there’s no beginning
    Like religion but it is not God
    It’s more like middle age or humor
    Without elucidation
    like greeting-card verse
    This love is a recognized occasion
    I know you like I know my times
    As if I were God and gave you birth
    if I can say that
    I can say I am Ra who drew from himself
    To give birth to Geb and Nut, Isis and Osiris
    Though it isn’t decorous today to say this
    instead I say
    You are the resource for my sense of decorum
    Knowing you as Ra knew the great of magic,
    His imaginary wife,
    and without recourse to love
    Men and women are like tears
    I would lose my memory,
    I would sleep twelve hours, I would wake up
    And get into my boat with my scribe,
    I would study the twelve hours of the day
    Spending an hour in each
    I would have a secret name
    I would rush upon the guilty without pity
    Till the goddess of my eye in her vengeance
    Overwhelmed my own rage
    as you and I take turns
    In love’s anger like the royal children
    Born every morning to die that night
    I know you speak
    And are as suddenly forgiven,
    It’s the consequence of love’ having no cause
    Then we wonder what we can say
    I can say
    I turn formally to love to spend the day,
    To you to form the night as what I know,
    An image of love allows what I can’t say,
    Sun’s lost in the window and love is below
    Love is the same and does not keep that name
    I keep that name and I am not the same
    A shadow of ice exchanges the color of light,
    Love’s figure to begin the absent night.
    I think, Wankler, that the poem is about one day, 22 December 1978. The work was published in 1982, so I'm guessing it took Mayer that long to write the poem. I wish I had tried reading the work last Friday, right away, as it would have been pretty cool to read this on the 22nd of December.

    There's a lot to unpack in this work, but ultimately, I found the work tedious. I had a lot of time during a 7 hour car ride to Rochester, but maybe the boringness of being in the back seat was too much for this poem to bear, because I only made my way through the first third of the poem. But thanks for sharing, Wankler. So, how many of your students do you think will actually read the whole thing?

    EDIT: Hmm, I lost the, umm, interesting, layout copying and editing the poem here. But the layout is correct in the correction screen, but suffice it to say for those who haven't read this, it adds a layer of complexity that I didn't decode.
  4. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    I mistakenly took a blurb literally on the "about" a day part: figured that out later: though she does often write under very specific constraints.

    I think most of the students will have a good shot at it, since it's not the first thing we'll read: They should have an idea of the context she's writing from, other things that are going on. I've assigned it in another class before where it's worked pretty well (an intro to lit class where everything we read took place in a 24 hour period) Oedipus, Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Mrs. Dalloway, and Midwinter day... and a few other's I've forgotten.
  5. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    Well, it got my attention. And it got me to give it a try.

    Am I rewarding your "alternative facts" presentation here?

    BTW, that's an interesting leitmotif for an intro course. Bravo! Though, you are, of course, missing Ulysses....
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  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    Ulysses in an intro class? I'm pretty good at getting college students to extend themselves into literary works that require extra effort from them, but I'm NOT THAT good.

    Finishing the year with something outside my usual wheelhouse, but I recognized all the people on the cover because I remembered seeing them on TV when I was a kid...


    The West Coast Bodybuilding Scene: The Golden Era, an oddly compelling account consisting mostly a bunch of guys hanging around a gym several hours a day by Dick Tyler, with a forward by the guy on the left, Dave Draper. If 'roids are a factor, I haven't gotten to that part yet.
  7. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Trying to wrap up two before New Year's Eve:

    Dom DeLillo's latest, Zero K, which is about a billionaire and his younger wife seeking immortality through cryogenics. It's narrated by the billionaire's son, who is estranged from the father and (maybe I am reading into it here) sort of taken with the wife, who is dying of multiple sclerosis and some other stuff. The facility is in Central Asia somewhere, and the book is . . . cold is the word I would use. I may or may not finish it at all - I am about halfway, and find myself mostly interested in being done.


    I am also reading Jennifer Armstrong's Seinfeldia about both the show and its impact on contemporary society. Some of it is a stretch, but the research is good and she writes well.

    Dr. Wankler repped this.
  8. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Faroe Islands
    In before thread close!

    A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens


    A good story, but some parts are overwrought.
    Atouk repped this.
  9. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    OK, last book of the year, and glad that Ismitje failed to close this thread as promptly as he has done in the past.


    Twelve Yards -- The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty Kick
    Ben Lyttleton

    I am a sucker for penalty shootouts: I love 'em. Absolutely love them. So, this book has been a lot of fun, and fairly comprehensive approach to how teams study for, and prepare for, penalties. Lots of good data. Though as someone who thinks about PKs a lot, it still seems to disagree with my thesis as to why penalties, esp the shootout is so difficult:

    Soccer is a game of constant motion; that is it's athletic distinctive. Refs don't touch the ball and the players have the option to start play without a whistle. And yet the shootout is the exact opposite of that: complete stagnation. In every other sport, the players are used to timeouts and standing around. In soccer, not so much. I think the juxtaposition is jarring, which is why soooo many players end up skying their free kicks.

    And yet, Lyttleton doesn't cover this thought, so maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree. A fun read nevertheless...
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  10. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It may be that nobody has studied that particular aspect of the game.

    I'm assuming they covered one study I saw years ago. It showed that if the keeper stood about 6 inches off center of the goal, then dived in the direction of the extra space it improved their chances of getting a stop. The kicker is usually not conscious of the extra space to one side, but it influences them to take a shot in that direction. Knowing this, the keeper can influence the kicker and improve his chances of guessing correctly and getting the stop.
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  11. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In terms of quality of soccer players, what I'm most disappointed in are how many shots go over the goal.

    There's a blog with a lot of math about penalty kicks, but I don't remember what it's called.

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