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The Constant Readers Thread!

chicken coup

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#31 status - Pied Piper

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 05:30 AM

"The Golden Ass"
 
by
 
Apuleius
 
Fiction writing is nothing if not multi-faceted. Writers write and readers read fiction for a multitude of reasons, such as pleasure and intellectual stimulation. Furthermore, fiction lends itself well to cultural and historical studies. Art is created for a reason. A work of fiction should reflect something of the values, living conditions, culture, or problems of the society it’s written for. This is certainly true in The Golden Ass. A number of aspects—including fixation on the supernatural, the role of government in everyday life, violence, slavery, and gender roles—line up neatly in both the novel and society. While The Golden Ass is more story than history, its telling realistically represents Roman society. 
 
Apuleius’s The Golden Ass is useful as a historical document. It provides a perspective on key cultural elements in Rome and also a perspective on these events that is likely consistent with many people who lived during that time. Of course, like all fiction, it should not be taken literally. It should not be assumed that because some of the events are either literally impossible or highly unlikely to occur in a non-fictional setting that the work is problematic. Its themes and vignettes are largely consistent with the way Roman society operated in real life. Thus, the novel’s value is both historical and cultural. It shows both how people lived in ancient Rome and what they thought about it.
 
· Patrick Albergo  
 

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#32 status - Anon

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

Taking a Look at Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward
 
From 2000 to 1887
 
"Looking Backward is the story of an overweening state that supplies too much. However, ironically, we never see anyone actually working, striving, pursuing, or producing anything."
 
Looking Backward is a promotional argument and an attempt to informally educate the American public through the medium of the romantic novel. From this perspective, it is like Ayn Rand’s monumental Atlas Shrugged (1957)─both present blueprints for the future and have been potential sources for social change. Looking Backward launched a national political movement based on a system of scientific and systematic socialism as readers of the day embraced Bellamy’s novel. By the early 1890s, there were 165 Bellamy Clubs. In Looking Backward, Bellamy called his ideology “nationalism,” and never used the term “socialism.” This ideology viewed the nation as collectively activated in the pursuit of sustenance and survival. As a philosophy of collective control of the nation’s economy, its goal was to rationalize the functions of production and distribution. To this day, many American intellectuals have been attracted to such a system of economic paternalism.
 
The novel portrays a world in which it is permissible to obtain things from a government agency but not from an individual producer or seller. Such buying and selling is thought to be antisocial. Bellamy likes the notion of conscious design, appreciates the need to organize and administer production, and calls for public ownership and management of the means of production, an industrial army, equal income, and a welfare system. He apparently condemns the market system because it does not result from deliberate design. He does not understand that something can be useful, and even be superior, even if it is not the result of the articulated rationality of central planners. If Bellamy were alive today and could see our socioeconomic conditions, he would still think he was correct and would argue that his utopia has been postponed but that it will still one day be a reality.
 
 
 
Practical reformer or a mere utopian dreamer?
 
 

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#33 status - Matt Dillon

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:11 PM

 

"The Golden Ass"
 
by
 
Apuleius
 
Fiction writing is nothing if not multi-faceted. Writers write and readers read fiction for a multitude of reasons, such as pleasure and intellectual stimulation. Furthermore, fiction lends itself well to cultural and historical studies. Art is created for a reason. A work of fiction should reflect something of the values, living conditions, culture, or problems of the society it’s written for. This is certainly true in The Golden Ass. A number of aspects—including fixation on the supernatural, the role of government in everyday life, violence, slavery, and gender roles—line up neatly in both the novel and society. While The Golden Ass is more story than history, its telling realistically represents Roman society. 
 
Apuleius’s The Golden Ass is useful as a historical document. It provides a perspective on key cultural elements in Rome and also a perspective on these events that is likely consistent with many people who lived during that time. Of course, like all fiction, it should not be taken literally. It should not be assumed that because some of the events are either literally impossible or highly unlikely to occur in a non-fictional setting that the work is problematic. Its themes and vignettes are largely consistent with the way Roman society operated in real life. Thus, the novel’s value is both historical and cultural. It shows both how people lived in ancient Rome and what they thought about it.
 
· Patrick Albergo  
 

 

 

Disclosure?
 
Only in fiction....
 
:chuckle:
 
For five centuries, the Vatican—the oldest organization in the world, maker of kings and shaper of history—has used a secret spy service, called the Holy Alliance, or later, the Entity, to carry out its will. Forty popes have relied on it to carry out their policies. They have played a hitherto invisible role confronting de-Christianizations and schisms, revolutions and dictators, colonizations and expulsions, persecutions and attacks, civil wars and world wars, assassinations and kidnappings.
 
 

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#34 status - Librarian

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 05:49 PM

50 Books That Changed the World
 
For centuries, books have been written in an attempt to share knowledge, inspiration, and discoveries. Sometimes those books make such an impact that they change the way the world thinks about things. The following books have done just that by providing readers an education in politics and government, literature, society, academic subjects such as science and math, and religion.
 
Politics and Government
 
These books represent some of the most important works that examine politics, economics, and philosophy that affect government.
 
Literature
 
From creating characters and stories that have become ingrained in cultures around the world to upsetting censorship to inspiring the imagination of many, these works of literature have all touched the world in significant ways.
 
Society
 
These books have made an impact on society with views on racism, feminism, individualism, and scholarship.
 
Science, Math, and Geography
 
These works served as the start of entire movements and schools of thought.
 
Religion
 
These religious texts have served as a guide to many around the world, some for thousands of years.
 

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#35 Feathers

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 06:22 PM

Call it SF, call it speculative fiction, call it slipstream – hey, we hear you can even call it structural fabulation. We’re not going to quibble on the nitty-gritty of nomenclature. What we do know is that these texts, however diverse, are yoked together by their reimaginings of reality – think parallel and sinister sister societies, alien worlds, or our own Earth, subtly altered. And the power of SF is that by lifting us into an alienating place or time, it allows us to see our own world differently. Below is a brief selection of our particular SF mind-blowing favourites. Feel free, as ever, to add more in the comments…

https://inktank.fi/1...-world-forever/


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#36 status - Molly McGill

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 04:17 PM

Robinson Crusoe
 
Yes, this is an old story. Some call it a children's book today, but, it still offers more than a timeless tale of adventure. 
 
Shipwrecked and lost our hero builds himself a home on a distant deserted island. His trials in building and protecting his home are described in passionate detail. One can feel Old Robs plight as he faces the unknown; we can rejoice when his small victories for survival are attained, and cry in his loneliness when he questions his God. It's a testament to the fortitude of a good man put in a seemingly impossible situation. An echo of the book of Job. 
 
He lives their a long time protecting what he's built. Until, one day, savage cannibals invade his island and he rescues another man from the pit. It reminds me of the Enke and Gilgamesh story when Friday makes his entrance. The civilized man meets the wild man. Notice how Robinson treats Friday as an inferior.  Only to a certain point will he allow him freedom. After all, the attitudes of the day are a bit prejudice to the unknown...in the end, though, there is the feature of equality as kindred souls in earthly survival bring spiritual respect towards life and its travails together.
 
There are many themes: Loneliness, rage, survival, and building something in a harsh world. Religion, economy, and self awareness are prevalent throughout. There is an underlying political theme involving individual property rights. Social ideas of the day were trending in that direction. It was the age of enlightenment and this book still reflects the timeless prose of growing better social values and the struggles inherent in attaining them. Living with ones own problems and finding ways to work through the good times and the bad. Coming to terms with God and your place in the natural world and finding values that strengthen the human condition. Not destroy it.
 
It was a best seller and still has the power of a grand moral tale. .
 
:Flying:

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#37 Feathers

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 06:31 PM

How about a REAL story...
 
 
 
rbAI5zO.gif
 
:panther:
 

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#38 Rufus Tullius

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 01:12 PM

:chuckle:


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#39 status - Constant Reader

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 08:09 PM

 

Robinson Crusoe
 
Yes, this is an old story. Some call it a children's book today, but, it still offers more than a timeless tale of adventure. 
 
Shipwrecked and lost our hero builds himself a home on a distant deserted island. His trials in building and protecting his home are described in passionate detail. One can feel Old Robs plight as he faces the unknown; we can rejoice when his small victories for survival are attained, and cry in his loneliness when he questions his God. It's a testament to the fortitude of a good man put in a seemingly impossible situation. An echo of the book of Job. 
 
He lives their a long time protecting what he's built. Until, one day, savage cannibals invade his island and he rescues another man from the pit. It reminds me of the Enke and Gilgamesh story when Friday makes his entrance. The civilized man meets the wild man. Notice how Robinson treats Friday as an inferior.  Only to a certain point will he allow him freedom. After all, the attitudes of the day are a bit prejudice to the unknown...in the end, though, there is the feature of equality as kindred souls in earthly survival bring spiritual respect towards life and its travails together.
 
There are many themes: Loneliness, rage, survival, and building something in a harsh world. Religion, economy, and self awareness are prevalent throughout. There is an underlying political theme involving individual property rights. Social ideas of the day were trending in that direction. It was the age of enlightenment and this book still reflects the timeless prose of growing better social values and the struggles inherent in attaining them. Living with ones own problems and finding ways to work through the good times and the bad. Coming to terms with God and your place in the natural world and finding values that strengthen the human condition. Not destroy it.
 
It was a best seller and still has the power of a grand moral tale. .
 
:Flying:

 

 

Mimicry, Ambivalence, and Hybridity
 
Robinson_Crusoe_and_Man_Friday_Offterdin
 
Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel, Robinson Crusoe, is a rich text for understanding the mechanisms of European colonialism and the relation between the colonizer and the colonized (represented by Crusoe and Friday). Defoe represents Crusoe as being the ultimate incarnation of an Englishman: industrious, self-determining, and ready to colonize natives. (See Anglophilia) Crusoe encounters a native and he names him Friday, teaches him English, the words of God, and slowly “civilizes” the dark-skinned native.  Although the novel forecloses any possibility of understanding Friday’s experience, a reader could start to wonder how Friday’s relation to Crusoe affects his own sense of identity. In the novel, we only see Friday as mimicking Crusoe and civilization–but what effects does this mimicry have on a colonized subject and psyche? And how does mimicry and hybridity affect textual representation and signification?
 
Along with Tom Nairn, Homi Bhabha considers the confusion and hollowness that resistance produces in the minds of such imperialist authors as Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, and E. M. Forster. But while Nairn sees their colonialist grandiose rhetoric as disproportionate to the real decadent economic and political situation of late Victorian England, Bhabha goes as far as to see this imperial delirium forming gaps within the English text, gaps which are the signs of a discontinuous history, an estrangement of the English book. They mark the disturbance of its authoritative representations by the uncanny forces of race, sexuality, violence, cultural and even climatic differences which emerge in the colonial discourse as the mixed and split texts of hybridity. If the English book is read as a production of hybridity, then it no longer simply commands authority.
 
 

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#40 status - Guest

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:47 PM

This book reads like an alien invasion!

Darkness in El Dorado

In the economics of exoticism, the more remote and more isolated a tribal group is, the greater its market value. As the last intact aboriginal group, the Yanomami were in a class by themselves, poster people whose naked, photogenic appeal was matched by their unique genetic inheritance. Their blood was as coveted by scientists as their image was by photographers. Technically, the Yanomami were defined as a virgin soil population, and there was a trace of feudal privilege in the way the visitations were doled out: ABC's Prime Time got one village, Newsweek another, and so it went. The New York Times got two villages, but had to share one of them with the Associated Press.

http://www.nytimes.c...ney-dorado.html


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