Book Club

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Rusty
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Book Club

Postby Rusty » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:09 pm

This has been tried before, but it's worth trying again.

I'd like to see if people would be interested in reading the same book(s) together and discussing them.

I've been interested, personally, in reading 'the classics', many of which are now public domain and have free, reprintable, redistributable pdf files in circulation. I picked up a few of these a while back, I could look through and list them, if there is interest in doing this.

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rydi
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Postby rydi » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:17 pm

why not start with something like "the prince"? i have a $2 copy sitting in my room.

I'd like to do classics as well, though i think we may be talking about diff classics...

Basically, I'd like to read the original source material for the current disciplines of philosophy and the social sciences.

Original novels on the other hand don't interest me that much, b/c they have all been done better by now. With a few exceptions. well, i take that back. the old stuff did have a certain appeal that new stuff doesn't. people spent years writing a single book, and put many layers into their writing... people don't do that so much anymore. that said, i find a great deal of the old stuff dull, despite these layers.

Tolkien for example. I actually really like his books, and there is nothing quite like them. And some of the complexity is incredible. Even the cosmology, you can tell that he really thought about it, and made it in the way myth/religion sets things up. but he is very dry, and his storytelling isn't as good as others that have built upon his work.

Modern fantasy authors rarely meet his standards of detail, and even when they come close, you can tell that someone built in artificial details... tolkein is just so integrated. but, that said, the books of today have more complex stories, are better written in terms of engaging the reader, and have more... well, everything.

anyway, rambling over for now. not sure what point i was trying to get across.
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Rusty
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Postby Rusty » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:25 pm

I agree. Sorta.

I feel like reading the original works that everything isn't as good as is a generally good idea, Lensman was one of my favorite reads of all time, and themes from lensman appear in star trek, star wars, babylon five, and many other science fiction mainstays.

However, I believe I have used the term 'machievellian' entirely too many times for one who hasn't read the prince.

project gutenberg has the prince, if a book club in fact forms and we decide to go with it, here is a link to get your own free copy of the entire text: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1232

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Postby rydi » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:26 pm

I'm on it.

I'll re-read it. it's been about 6 years since i last read it i think.
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Postby angelicyokai » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:37 pm

I want everyone to read The Art of War. I have posted the link in cat soup.

It is reborn here.

http://www.dysan.net/Stuff/AoW/

I will dust off my copy of the prince until then.
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Postby Liquidprism » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:06 am

You know Tolkien was a brain case right..I mean seriously no sane person can write a story with that level of detail, and mythos. The guy had to have lived there...for many years, and brought the experience back with him. At least thats my theory.
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rydi
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Postby rydi » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:53 am

so i take it this means you will be reading the prince and the art of war with us?
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Postby Liquidprism » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:03 am

Uhm...I've already read The Prince...and I refuse to read The Art of War. Couldn't we start with something a bit more...entertaining, say with like a story? How about The Odyssey or a fairy tale of some kind.
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rydi
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Postby rydi » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:10 am

the prince is a lovely story about the maintenance of power.

surprised you don't like the art of war, considering that you like a great many things that draw on it for inspiration.
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Postby Liquidprism » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:59 pm

I tried to read it once...it was boring as hell. Its just a bunch of quotes and one liners about how to conduct a military/government/personal life. The same thing happened when I tried to read the a religious/philosophical text called "The Way of the Warrior". It was just a bunch of philosophy about living life better. I can appreciate the nature of such works, and I don't mind contemplating excerpts, but I really don't want to read them in their entirety. I don't retain that sort of info well, and reading that kind of text is both confusing and tedious for me, sorry.

You are right about The Prince however...I had forgotten how irresistibly charming Machiavelli's analysis of assholedom could be. Why, everyone who's anyone amongst great the great villains of our age, has taken his teachings to heart. Anything that's good enough for that sort must be worth reading 5, nay, make that six HUNDRED times... right?
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Postby arete » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:31 pm

I like the idea of rereading classical philosophy books. The prince is great, but there are more comprehensive works out there, and machiavelli writes other works regarding freedom in republics leading people to argue his heart was not in the power politics. I would recommend the "48 laws of power" as a compliation of good realist ideology.
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Avilister
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Postby Avilister » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:35 pm

Can't I just stick to my trashy sci fi and fantasy? I'm ok with that. Honest.

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rydi
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Postby rydi » Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:44 pm

you don't have to participate in educafying youself.

for fantasy, i highly recommend a crown of stars. i'll talk about that.
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Amseriah
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Postby Amseriah » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:43 pm

I have already read both "the prince" and "the art of war", could reread them though. There are other books that I consider "classics" that would be good to read together but they are very long for what they are, such as "the republic" (read part of it, I need to finish it), and "thus spoke zarathustra" (which is the same as the previous unfortunately).

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rydi
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Postby rydi » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:53 pm

well, if you've already read them, you can discuss them. i will be ready to discuss soon, now that my test is out of the way.
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