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Thread: The Book Lair - all book talk ITT

  1. #2381
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
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    The passages of Temple of Dawn where he sits the reader down and explains the Yuishiki school for five chapters straight are, I think, firstly reflective of a personal project of research Mishima embarked upon when writing - he wasn't a Buddhist himself but nevertheless felt he had to accurately represent the kind of philosophical interest taken by Honda at that point in the story - and secondly part of a kind of overarching structural contrast set up between Buddhism and Shinto over the tetralogy as a whole. The passages detailing Honda's research into Buddhism are, if you will, a mirror image of the passages in Runaway Horses which reproduce Isao's pamphlet about the League of the Divine Wind. In very general terms you can (cautiously) say that Mishima develops a polarity. Shinto is associated with youth, vitality, purity, spirit, which at its extreme flips over into the suicidal 'pure act' realised in Isao's suicide; meanwhile Buddhism is associated with old age, sickness, flesh (esp. the desires of the flesh), everything that the aging Honda comes to embody. Yet Mishima remains to the end ambiguous: the work is never clearly a tract in favour of one or opposed to the other. Rather than according to a contrast of actual religions I would hazard the polarity responds to a polarity Mishima found in himself, his own contradictory tendencies. In 1970 he was 45 and already thought himself an old man; he foresaw a future of gentle and mildly pleasurable decay, a withering of spirit which would trickle downhill to arrive ultimately at a place much like where Honda does at the very end, the garden at Gesshu-ji: "a place where there were no memories, where there was nothing." And he chose - the alternative.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Anyway now that you've read that I recommend checking out his plays. An excellent set of translations were published a while ago by Columbia University; look for the book with the bright pink cover bearing the words "My Friend Hitler: And Other Plays of Yukio Mishima"
    ちょう
    もく


  2. #2382
    マリーの味方 Sesto's Avatar
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    Yeah, that makes sense. With how Honda lived his life believing he had never reached the same pinnacle Kiyoaki and co. did, the ending felt fairly positive, at least from Honda's perspective. I didn't fully consider the idea Mishima was proposing this fate while still personally rejecting it for himself. For some reason I was actually under the impression Mishima died relatively younger (early 30s or so), and always viewed him more along the lines of Kiyoaki and co. rather than Honda. But knowing he was actually 45 makes things clearer, I assume there is more of Mishima in Honda than I first imagined.

    I'm actually digging into his other novels right now, as I had only read The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea before this tetralogy. Which in retrospect seems like a mistake, this series feels like it would be a proper capstone to his works. But yeah, I'll get to his plays eventually.

  3. #2383
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six black1blade's Avatar
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    Just finished wheel of time, was pretty awesome tho share the mass opinion about the pacing issues ect.

  4. #2384
    I told 'em, I told 'em. Bugrit! eddyak's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion that you could cut out half the material in the Wheel of Time and lose nothing of any value, and Sanderson's volumes were better than almost the entire rest combined.
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  5. #2385
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    It's a series I'm curious about, but there's no way in hell I'm going to invest all that time in it.
    My fanfics:
    The Gift (F/SN): The last duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
    Passion Acknowledged (F/SN): Shinji X Shirou lemon
    He Was a Good King (F/SN): Was Beowulf a good king?
    A Fairy Tale of Love and Death (F/SN): A meeting between Scáthach and King Hassan.
    Palingenetic Descension (Tsukihime): The origin of the Tohno family's hybrid nature.

  6. #2386
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six black1blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyViking View Post
    It's a series I'm curious about, but there's no way in hell I'm going to invest all that time in it.
    It took me about 3 months to read through it all so a decent ammount of time but not tooo long. But yeah do agree that it should have ended up being around 10 books rather than the 14 we got. The first few have decent pacing but it really starts grinding to a halt midway through the series and it suffers from ever increasing numbers of subplots each with many named characters (most of which are fairly inconsequential).

  7. #2387
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Imperial's Avatar
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    On the nonfiction front, I recently finished Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Depressing stuff but not really anything I didn't expect to hear about predatory employer-employee relationships. The best parts of the book were the little insights into stuff like the cleaning service where the maids seem motivated by the approval of their boss just as much as their meager paychecks. There's a sinister societal cage that comes with having less opportunity in life, and it seems impossible to break out of once you get there or are born there. The idea of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is a joke when the game is rigged from the start.

    On the fiction front, I read The Ritual by Adam Nevill after watching the movie on Netflix. The movie does a better job of capturing the wicked grandeur of everything that is going on, but the book obviously allows for more time with the characters and simpler fear of being lost and slowly starving in the wilderness. The supernatural stuff is present throughout the novel, but it takes a backseat to the interpersonal conflicts and the growing fear and hunger for a good 2/3 of the book. The book also throws in a group of Satanic teenagers for a while that doesn't seem to have much purpose. I guess it gives author mouthpiece Luke a chance to rage against faux-edgy people and serial killers, but it doesn't add much to the story. I really liked the meditations on what it means to be "successful" in life -- Dom and Phil's jobs and families juxtaposed with Luke's sense of freedom as the pros of each side and the looming bankruptcies and divorces on Dom and Phil's side juxtaposed with Luke's loneliness and sense of immaturity as the cons. You could make a case that any of them failures or they are all doing the best they can, depending on how you feel about the wife, two kids, and the white picket fence. I wasn't expecting that much reflection on adulthood in a book about dudes getting lost in some spooky woods.
    Spoiler:
    Originally Posted by You
    when all the evils have given up their waifus, all the greats have left for med school, and there are no more at least 3 day battles to be fought what is left is

    not Tsukihime 2
    not DDD3
    not even Girl's Work

    but f/go

    and now f/go english

    that is what is waiting for you at the end of schadenfreude


  8. #2388
    I told 'em, I told 'em. Bugrit! eddyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by black1blade View Post
    It took me about 3 months to read through it all so a decent ammount of time but not tooo long. But yeah do agree that it should have ended up being around 10 books rather than the 14 we got. The first few have decent pacing but it really starts grinding to a halt midway through the series and it suffers from ever increasing numbers of subplots each with many named characters (most of which are fairly inconsequential).
    It was way too goddamn long for its own good- you can only stretch a bridge out so far before it sags under its own weight, and most of the middle books were just so much dead weight- they went places, but those places didn't go anywhere near the finish line.
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  9. #2389
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six black1blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddyak View Post
    It was way too goddamn long for its own good- you can only stretch a bridge out so far before it sags under its own weight, and most of the middle books were just so much dead weight- they went places, but those places didn't go anywhere near the finish line.
    Yeah I feel like a lot of the subplots didn't have a satisfactory pay off to make the time spent in them worthwhile like all the time spent on the seafolk and kin after the start of book 8. Does vary person to person but I would say for me the time spent was worth it for the eventual pay off for the main storylines but not the for the faint hearted definitely. I would definitely recommend stormlight over WoT because I feel in stormlight the characters' emotional arcs are woven more tightly into the overall narrative.

  10. #2390
    The Plesioth Hip Check of life Deathhappens's Avatar
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    That reminded me I have Book Six somewhere in my library and I legit do not remember where I left off in the slightest. I'll probably get around to finishing it someday.

    The Dresden Files' Peace Talks was finally finished as of July 20, so I expect it should be coming to print sometime this month. Hype.exe
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  11. #2391
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six black1blade's Avatar
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    Ahh the university chapters in name of the wind are simply magical. Find myself grinning and laughing along and occasionally relate things to ongoing uni experience.

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