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Thread: What is your favorite literary piece?

  1. #1
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    What is your favorite literary piece?

    I don't have any favorite. But i love reading.

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I don't have any favorites either, but there are some I get interested in more than others at a particular time. Welcome, silvertan!

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    Personally, I love Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. In his crowning novel he explores debates that were roiling Russian society on the existence of god, socialism and nihilism. Yet, while discussing the most important issues of his day, his novel weaves beautifully intertwining character arcs with a keen eye for real, human psychology. The level of depth present in The Brothers Karamazov would be impossible to elucidate here, but I highly recommend reading it. The first third is slow and delves into necessary backstory, the second third contains most of the political and philosophical exposition, and the final third is feverish and consuming.

  4. #4
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    with the exception of the first chapter (which is terrible, don't read it!) it might very well be tom brown's schooldays by Thomas hughes. its an early 1800s story of two boys growing up/coming of age at a boarding school in rugby England.

    the book, the story, and/or the culture it displayed was influential in pierre de Coubertin's interest in athletics and in reviving the modern Olympic games.

    but then, maybe a tie, or at least a close 2nd and 3rd, between that, and mutiny on the bounty and watership down.

  5. #5
    Registered User DATo's Avatar
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    If I had to pick one i'd say Don Quixote.

  6. #6
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    that's been on my "to read" list for years DATo, maybe eventually i'll get to it. I just recently started gone with the wind.

    what do you like about it?

  7. #7
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    I canít speak for DATo, but there is so much to like in Don Quixote, not the least of which is that Cervantes wrote it (or at least started on it) while he was in jail. Weirdly Maloryís tales of King Arthur, which is the sort of thing Cervantes was parodying, was also written in jail. Go figure. I wonder if either of those guys had to join a gang. Probably not. Anyway I read it the first time just to get a sense for what life was like for the people living in Spain in in the late 16th century and for that it was great. Since then Iíve probably read it another half dozen times. I always find something fascinating. Iím still partial to the faithful sidekick, Sancho Panza ó not too bright, kinda dumpy, likes to drink too much, but has good instincts, and he loves his donkey, Dapple. I say heís a faithful sidekick to the Don, but heís not a yes-man. Given a new adventure by the Knight Errant, Sanchoíd be liable to say something like: Hey, uh, you sure about that, Kemosabe? I mean Iím sure youíre right, but, uhhh, donít know, man.
    Uhhhh...

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    LoL! Just what is your nick? But jokes aside there is the ring of the universe in D. Quixote. When one finishes it one feels that one has been reading one of the great books about mankind.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  9. #9
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    I was thinking of reading Edith Grossmanís translation. Itís gotten high marks from the reviewers and Iíve got a copy of it. Iíve been wanting take another stab at the original Spanish and Iíve got a nice copy of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote De La Mancha. Maybe I should read the two side by side. Hmmm.
    Uhhhh...

  10. #10
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    That would be certainly ideal, Sancho, but it would be a feat!

    On this site they compare some of the translations of the Quixote, but I think the best of the good translations is the one, one likes most:
    https://welovetranslations.com/2022/...uixote-part-1/
    https://welovetranslations.com/2022/...uixote-part-2/
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  11. #11
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Thanks, Danik, good links. You know in addition to the book itself (or books, depending on how you view the 2 volumes) I like a lot of visual art inspired by Don Quixote. Over the years I’ve collected a ton of it. Friends and relatives will come to my house and see all that stuff and sometimes will start to send me more when they come across it in their travels. It’s always appreciated. Anyway are you familiar with the Gustave Dorť illustrations? I like the picture of Don and Sancho setting out on their first adventure. And I love the engraving of the old man sitting in his house, book in one hand and sword in the other shouting something, his fantasies clustered around him. I like the detail of two knights jousting at his feet, mounted on — rats.

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F..._Quixote_5.jpg

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F..._Dor%C3%A9.jpg
    Uhhhh...

  12. #12
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    My long deceased uncle Harry Elsas painted this picture of the Quixote. He had a modest fame in his days as a modernist painter, some of his pictures can still be found in galleries. Thatīs why I had to post a gallery link:https://www.casaamarelaleiloes.net.b...sp?ID=11130443
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  13. #13
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    Delightful painting; the expressions are priceless I don't know why I never tackled Don Quixote, prolly because I barely survived The Inferno. Something to look forward to in my declining years
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  14. #14
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Very nice, Danik. Thatís exactly the kind of art I canít resist while browsing a shop in my travels. The artist has a lot going on in that picture. I like how heís got both fantasy and reality in the background ó the castle in the mountains and the windmill. I like how heís got the knight gazing out upon a future adventure and Sancho looking at us with an expression of exasperation and resignation (it seems to me). Sancho seems to project the feeling ó yíall see what Iím dealing with here? I really like how Rocinante and Dapple are checking each other out, Dapple holding back, and Rocinante moving forward but looking back like she wants to stay with Dapple. I say ďsheĒ but Iím not really sure what gender Rocinante is. Iíve always thought of Don Quixoteís horse as an old mare not a gelding and certainly not a stallion. It looks to me as though your uncle has the same idea about Rocinante.

    I struggled with Inferno too, tailor. And I havenít been able to get through Purgatorio or Paradiso yet. As you say, something to look forward to in my declining years (either that or the rest of Dante would drive me over the edge like the tales of damsels in distress and knights errant drove poor Alonso Quijano insane.)
    Uhhhh...

  15. #15
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    tailor and Sancho
    My uncle (born in Germany but who lived in Brazil since childhood) would have enjoyed your prize and sympathetic analysis of his picture. I didn't even remember that Sancho's donkey had a name and Dapple is so very fitting.
    What I think amusing about the Inferno is that Dante probably accommodated all his political enemies in it.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 03-27-2023 at 10:52 PM.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

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