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/culture/ - arts & literature

"Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor." - Alexis Carrel
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Remember to keep it cozy!

Seisatsu's Lost Cities Minecraft Server is now on 1.16.3, and running PaperMC with CraftBook, DynMap, and other fun stuff!

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Let's talk about the books/manga/etc that you are reading.

I'm halfway through After Dark by Haruki Murakami and I'm loving it, already bought another 3 books from him to read after this one


1Q84 was quite enjoyable. I have the Wind-up Bird Chronicle next on my reading list by him.

Most memorable books recently are Worm (https://parahumans.wordpress.com/), which is an online series about a girl who controls bugs, and the Three-Body Problem, which is a Chinese sc-fi that got quite popular recently.


I almost bought 1Q84 but I grabbed "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World".

Worm looks really interesting, thanks!


I recently read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James which was very interesting. I've also been reading through Infinite Jest for the past month or so but progress is slow, although I'm really enjoying it (even if it's probably all going over my head).


I'm actually reading Hardboiled Wonderland right now, it's a really interesting story. I haven't finished it yet but whenever I notice a connection between the two stories I get chills, this book's great.


I just read through BLAME! for the first time and it's pretty cool. Atmospheric cyber dystopia thing that leaves enough to the imagination that you want more


I've read quite a bit of Murakami and come to the conclusion that he writes the same book many times over. The themes, general structure, characters, ideas, etc, all seem to be duplicated over and over. As much as I like him, I don't feel as though it was a good use of my time to read anything beyond Kafka on the Shore & Wind-Up Bird, as those do his formula the best out of all of them.


I can agree with this. Reminds me a lot of the likes of Dan Brown.

Even in 1Q84 when he tried to be more ambitious the protagonist and the woman ended up being the same templates used in other books.

That's not to say it is awful, just that he lacks versatility. If I was to recommend Murakami my advice would be to wait a bit between books.


Yeah I remember when I read Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code and Inferno all on the same month and it felt empty, I'm not saying that those were bad books but reading one after the other was a bad idea and showed me the "boilerplate" plot of Dan Brown


I'm listening to "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. So far so good, I'm most likely going to buy it after I'm done listening to it. Apparently there's also a film adaptation https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4651140/ but I'm not sure if I'll be watching it. Movies nowadays are the literal spawn of Satan which is funny in a way because the book warns you about the devil taking many shapes.


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I'm reading Wind Up Bird Chronicles cause I wanted something gentle I could sit and read last term when I was stressed with workload. Only about a fifth through but I'm enjoying the chill read.
Now that I have some more free time I'd like to finally get on to my copy of Crime and Punishment.


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I am reading Belgarath the Sorcerer of David Eddings. It's a very pleasant and comfortable read, I feel like I'm on an adventure with some friends. I have not read the Belgariad yet but I will soon once I finish this one.
I am also reading Dreams of Terror and Death by H.P Lovecraft. I am a total newbie to H.P Lovecraft, but so far I am having a good time.
Finally, I am trying to pick up the Welcome to the NHK light novel again, but it's hard. I lost that flow I was in initially.

Happy reading everyone!


Currently reading Awakenings by Oliver Sacks. It's a nonfic centered on a disease from WW1 that caused Parkinsons in people who contracted it, and Dr. Sacks giving them a drug, L-DOPA, which briefly alleviates the symptoms. Unfortunately, it also often has debilitating side effects.

While at times the book can get a bit dense in medical jargon, Sacks is a decently interesting writer to hold interest, as well as the narratives about patients.

Got my girlfriend into that recently, she loves the art but complains about the story constantly.


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Right now I'm reading Beastars and I will be starting Midori Days. I always like watching the anime adaptation and the reading the source material to see the differences.


oOOH I love crime and punishment, such a good read I highly suggest it


Infinite Jest. It worries me how consistently fun it is, when everything about it shouldn't be. Ironically, it makes the point of the book harder to swallow, especially since I can't read most of it seriously. The really harsh ridiculous parts are certainly sad, but I'm too in tune with black humor not to laugh.
On the side, I've been getting back into Pratchett and Discworld. I didn't expect Moving Pictures and Small Gods to become my favorites. Highly recommend the latter if you are an edgy agnostic. The best of light reads and witty satire.


Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles.

It was my favorite book as a child so i decided to read it again but in english this time. Seems to be way shorter than i imagined.


Magic school timeloop fiction with really nice in depth magic systems. Final chapters just came out recently.


No idea. I have a bunch of shit open.
But I'll probably read Grafton Tanner's "Babbling corpse", then Krasznahorkai's "The Prisoner of Urga", or if not that, I'll read Erofeev's "Moskva-Petushki" instead.


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I’m reading The Stand by Stephen King . Pretty good so far


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I'm reading Cur Deus Homo by St. Anselm and City of God by St. Augustine for class. They're both getting pretty good once I can wrap my head around them.


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Nice. I didn't know there was a movie adaptation but I can't imagine it's any good.

I'm reading Book of the New Sun right now, it's dense and challenging but extremely good.


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No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai


I work offshore and this time I brought 5 books including my Bible. Just in case I get stuck in a quarantine somewhere and also because I no longer have a laptop to watch anime on. So I brought Moby-Dick, a book on swords, the Silmarillion, and Metro 2033.
The Screw tape Letters are amazing, I actually have a box set of Lewis' works that I need to finish reading.
I picked up a compilation of Lovecraft's writings and I read it every October. I really like how all of the stories are about a man studying something, looking for answers rather than just experiencing whatever horror the story is about. I can see how some would find that boring though.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

is a trainwreck, I have no more words to describe it


Clarice Lispector - All the Short Stories
I don't know how to translate "Todos os Contos" in english.


Usually you see it as "Complete Tales" or "Complete Short Stories" or something like that


Tales is such a bad translation though. It invites expectations different from what you'd get.


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make sure it's a King James Bible! For reasons why see,


I'm reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. It's a massive book but I'm getting near the end. Before that in the last few months I read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, and Neuromancer by William Gibson. I'm trying to always have a book with me at work to read on breaks.


It's a Septuagint OT with a quasi- KJV NT. it's the Orthodox Study Bible if you're wondering. I think my pocket Bible is KJV though. It's neat because it's both testaments but it literally fits in my front pocket.


I bought a NRSV bible under the impression it would be better, but I see so many people hail the KJV as the best bible. Should I continue with what I have or just read the KJV?


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Currently reading The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson for some reason. It's pretty silly. I was at the library the other day and they just happened to have The Early History of God by Mark Smith, which is considered to be one of the seminal studies of early Israelite religion, so I'm reading that as well.

Not that sushi roll, but I study biblical exegesis at university.
The NRSV is a good purchase. It's both literal and readable, and has the added advantage of being the closest thing there is to a standard translation among English-speaking academics. The idea that the KJV is the best translation follows from a religious conviction that the translation itself as well as the base New Testament text, called the Textus Receptus (which is different from modern critical editions of the NT), were divinely inspired. The majority of biblical scholars do not believe that the KJV is more accurate than modern translations, and most modern translations do not use the Textus Receptus.
Unless you're sympathetic to KJV-only denominations, from a practical perspective you're better off just reading the NRSV anyway. The language of the KJV is so archaic that many familiar words have completely different meanings, so you will either not understand or outright misinterpret it without some kind of commentary (I haven't read it personally, but I've seen the Norton Critical Edition of the KJV recommended). A common example of this is the word 'conversation' in e.g. Philippians 1:27, which has nothing to do with talking. The NRSV is also a revision of the KJV and the footnotes (if your edition has them) should point out the major passages where the NRSV's NT disagree with other manuscripts, such as the ones used in the Textus Receptus, so it's also good preparation for reading the KJV.


I think everyone should read both, or at least multiple translations. I like the archaic language of the KJV myself, although I'm also a huge fan of Shakespeare and other 16th century works. From that perspective, it's an incredible work of art.


If sushi is really into it for whatever reason, they could even learn some ancient greek and read the original


Started my rereading (almost 20 years later) of Capital Volume 1 and I'm aiming to work my way through all three volumes this year. The current downtime will aid this immensely.


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Reading a history book on art. I like it, but I didn't realize how intermediate/high level it is. I get very little read because I have to google words every few seconds, though I do find the google quests enjoyable.

My favorite part is a dude in the 30's predicated how people would react to art today, cult vs exhibition value.


Kissless Joyless Virgin?
sorry I just had to


I feel like art history gets unfairly ridiculed as some kind of joke of a discipline but it's actually kind of really hardcore.


Neat! I’ve been meaning to do the same - I read Vol 1 ages ago but never got around to continuing with the other writings. I own the others and they glare at me when I walk past the shelves.


Same here! I'm about halfway through


I dropped Hardboiled Wonderland halfway through years ago. I really liked After Dark though


I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Just finished Nakano Thrift Shop. I'm disappointed.
It's like a filler episode of a subpar anime. Nothing happens. Which is fine if the presentation is interesting. It's not the case.


Just finished the Convenience Store Woman.
It's about an autistic girl who likes to do her job, and people around, who don't like this.
That's all.


I read that book. It's a bit more nuanced because she's late 30's, single, and still working at a connivance store in a highly judgemental society.
The book left a bitter taste in my mouth, it's not the authors fault though, because my dad said the character reminded him of me and he's completely blind to how that might be an insult.
I guess he's not entirely wrong because the book summed up my marriage plan
>While they have no affection for each other, Shiraha eventually moves in with Keiko. They decide that by pretending to be a couple they can avoid problems with families and a society that expects them to have romantic relationships, children and stable job.


This sounds like an awfully upsetting book…


It isn't.


Just read this yeasterday


Currently reading "The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson. Sometimes he sounds like a know-it-all prick but most of his insights on self-esteem and such are actually useful. Will move on to "What a Carve Up!" after this.


I've recently reread the Wheel of Time. Egwene and Rand are both more insufferable than I remember but Mat and Nynaeve don't annoy me as much this time through.

>three body problem
Did you enjoy it?


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I just finished Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.


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Reading through Anti-Oedipus, Feels more like solving a puzzle than reading a book, I go very slowly through it while taking lots of notes in hopes of piecing it all together.

Unfortunately i'm not very familiar with Spinoza or Marx, There is a constant barrage of unfamiliar terms from them.


Going through The Craftsman by Richard Sennett. Quite interesting so far. Here are some quotes.

“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.”

“Issac Stern rule: the better your technique, the more impossible your standards.”

“Developments in high technology reflect an ancient model for craftsmanship, but the reality on the ground is that people who aspire to be good craftsmen are depressed, ignored, or misunderstood by social institutions. These ills are complicated because few institutions set out to produce unhappy workers. People seek refuge in inwardness when material engagement proves empty; mental anticipation is privileged above concrete encounter; standards of quality in work separate design from execution.”


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I agree with the readers who say Murakami keeps banging the same drum. He wrote his heart and kept pouring it out over several titles. For me that works. The repetition ensures that you don't miss his obsessions. I find it pleasant - the expectation of a hole in the ground, some fun jazz and classical music, an incomprehensible woman, and a supernatural sheep dream makes it a delight when, as expected, those things occur. He says that his first novels were not up to his present standards, and although I agree, I recommend reading those rat and pinball things. The are the key to everything he wrote after.


Finished All Quiet on the Western Front
It's kind of strange to me how WWI seemed to have shattered the consciousnesses of an entire generation of people and you can see its influence in all sorts of places you might not expect, like fantasy MMOs with their cratered hellscape vision of war, yet WWII, which is usually touted as the bigger, more important one, didn't really leave much of an impact at all when it comes to ongoing culture.


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I've been reading H.P Lovecraft's stories for the past month,my favorites until now being: The whisperer in Darkness and The white ship, I'm also planning on reading Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky but can't seem to find it anywhere online,can someone here help me with that?


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Not sure about the translation quality or anything but it was what I found from googling "roadside picnic download"


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arigato sushi roll!

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