Tags: lev tolstoy

Literature

...more book stuff!

Heh, I love how everybody is already making posts about how they feel about 2011 so far. As for me, I am definitely not off to a terribly productive start. So far, I have slept a lot and read a lot of Dinosaur Comics. And also my sister and I sat around and watched like two hours' worth of Flight of the Conchords stuff on YouTube. Oy. Though I did watch Becket on New Year's, so that was at least something. (It was very good. Strange, though, seeing O'Toole play Henry II again, but play him as such a completely different character. And once again, I have so much trouble picturing Peter O'Toole as not gay. WHY IS HE ALWAYS SO GAY?)

Also, I've noticed that I suddenly seem to have started saying "twenty" when talking about the year, as in "twenty-eleven" instead of "two-thousand-ten." Maybe because "eleven" is just too many syllables already.

Anyway, to follow up my last post, which was about the books I read in 2010... Here's a 2010 book meme post!

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...Okay, enough book posts for a while. Though somehow I made a lot fewer book-related posts than usual in 2010, in spite of reading more books than usual. So I guess I'm just making up for it after the fact.
One Hundred Years of Solitude: Aureliano

Okay, but for real this time.

Last post on this subject for a while. I promise.

I said yesterday that Tolstoy was a mediocre philosopher. He is. I also said he was a good writer. That was an understatement. Collapse )

I don't know what I'll be reading next. The reason it occurred to me how far I'd underestimated Tolstoy is because I've been trying to start on some other book, but nothing I pick up comes anywhere close to Tolstoy's eloquence, and I find myself doing more criticising than reading. So far, King Lear is the only thing I've tried that I haven't been able to find fault with. ...So much for lighter reading. :P
Marx Brothers - wonderful evening

I made this post because the combination of circumstances dictated that I would.

Well, I've finally finished reading War and Peace. It turned out to be, at bottom, a 1400-page treatise on determinism. I feel it only fair to warn those of you who may be interested in reading it. The characters are good, the writing is good, it's easy to read, and there are some interesting ideas along the way. But ultimately, the point is that free will exists only as a kind of necessary unknown factor without which we could not call ourselves human, but has no meaning; ultimately the point is that everything done by anybody was predestined by God from the dawn of time (or rather outside of time), and no one could ever have acted any differently than they did. Especially not Napoleon, which is what makes him the most odious of all. Apparently.

I will also add, though of course this is entirely my own opinion, that Tolstoy is a thoroughly mediocre philosopher. His arguments, when they aren't the same ones that have been advanced for centuries, are almost irrelevant; his metaphors are mostly complete nonsense; and even when he makes a valid point, he often does so by proofs which are completely inscrutable. Dostoevsky made a better argument for determinism in five or ten pages of Notes From Underground -- and Dostoevsky didn't even believe in it.

I think it may be time for some lighter reading.
Pope in his grotto

Oh look, another post about fiction.

And welcome to 2009! *confetti*

While waiting around last night for the changing of the year, I decided to try out Borges, beginning with "The Immortal," which agguss recommended to me ages ago. Collapse )

I'm also a bit over 600 pages into War and Peace now, and rather amused that Collapse )

And those appear to be my beginning-of-the-year thoughts. New year, same pointless ramblings!
V for Vendetta

books and movies

Items:

1) The Spirit has reminded me why I never go to the theater. Collapse )

2) I'm a bit over 300 pages into War and Peace. I was worried that it would be slow reading, and 1400 pages of it, at that -- but it's actually surprisingly fast-paced; more so than a lot of other authors of the period, anyway. My only difficulty with the book so far is in keeping track of its Collapse )

Oddly, War and Peace is also having the unexpected side-effect of making me Collapse )

3) I guess this post would be the place to tell me what books I should buy with my gift cards. ;) Of course, I've already got a list; foremost among the books I'm planning to buy are Collapse ) But anyway, I'm shopping at Bookman's, where everything is used and cheap, so if I have any money left over, I'll want to know what I should spend it on. And it's always nice to have options! :)