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  1. When I see stuff about banning books, I think of...

    When I see stuff about banning books, I think of the quote attributed to German essayist & poet Heinrich Heine; to wit: Where people are burning books, they will burn men next; or words to that...
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    Donald Barthelme (1931-1989): his "Come Back Dr....

    Donald Barthelme (1931-1989): his "Come Back Dr. Caligari" & "Guilty Pleasures."

    "Caligari" has the great diary story, "Me and Miss Mandible": the 35-yr-old journal keeper has been magically...
  3. Form & Theory of Fiction, led by one William...

    Form & Theory of Fiction, led by one William Harrison. Course was my intro. to Barth, Barthelme, Borges, Coover, Nabokov.

    During the semester, Harrison came to class with a story he was writing &...
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    I Googled some of the words in German & got: "Ich...

    I Googled some of the words in German & got: "Ich habe heute ein paar Blumen für dich nicht gepflückt, um dir ihr Leben mitzubringen."

    "I did not pick a few flowers for you today to bring you...
  5. Sticky: I have never actually read the Bible; I have...

    I have never actually read the Bible; I have listened to the unabridged 60+-CD set of the KJV 2+ dozen times. Narrator: American actor Alexander Scourby*, who made the recording for the American...
  6. William Harrison's "Rollerball Murder" (short...

    William Harrison's "Rollerball Murder" (short story) is in many anthologies & in his fabulous The Buddha in Malibu, which includes the great dystopian horror story, The Make-Up Man: people undergo...
  7. I always thought Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) was...

    I always thought Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) was the best. His long outta print Guilty Pleasures. Among the hi-lites: The Teachings of Don B.: A Yankee Way of Knowledge, a wonderful parody of the...
  8. Revolutionary Europe, 1783-1815, by George Rude....

    Revolutionary Europe, 1783-1815, by George Rude. Assigned for my course in French Revolution, back in 1971. Chapters on Napoleon very incisive.
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    American actor Alexander Scourby reading the...

    American actor Alexander Scourby reading the entire King James Bible: on CD now but originally recorded on vinyl for The Lighthouse for the Blind in the late 1950s. Also: (if you know German) German...
  10. The Lord is nothing if not confounding. Aaron...

    The Lord is nothing if not confounding. Aaron builds the Golden Calf, but he still gets to be First Priest; his sons fall short of making false idols, but they still get smitten.

    Lev 11: clean,...
  11. Laura in T. Williams's The Glass Menagerie has a...

    Laura in T. Williams's The Glass Menagerie has a limp, which is why mom Amanda Wingfield is so desperate to marry her off.
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    I read German lit. in college: those you listed...

    I read German lit. in college: those you listed +a writer named Wolfgang Borchert, who died in 1947, best known for the short story collection, Draussen vor der Tür. When I spent some time in...
  13. Certainly Nabakov (the great story The Vane...

    Certainly Nabakov (the great story The Vane Sisters, w/ its unreliable narrator & the ending acrostic). Delillo also good for vocabulary, especially White Noise. See also Donald Barthelme, especially...
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    One of my favorites is an ancient collection...

    One of my favorites is an ancient collection called Points of View: stories by many authors, by point of view from interior monologue to omniscient narrator.

    My favorite most recent collection is...
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    Finance, complex tropological systems? I've...

    Finance, complex tropological systems?

    I've never completed William Gaddis's "J R" (1975), but it sounds up your alley: anonymous 11-yr-old parlays penny stocks into a fortune. It's all dialogue,...
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    Rev. William E. Barton (1861-1930) was an early...

    Rev. William E. Barton (1861-1930) was an early Lincoln biographer & wrote several books about him, including one about his religious beliefs: Lincoln's religiosity was severely challenged during his...
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    White Noise is 20th cent.; Cosmopolis I didn't...

    White Noise is 20th cent.; Cosmopolis I didn't much care for. I thought Delillo's Falling Man (2007), his 9/11 novel, was much better: main character Keith wanders out of the rubble, hitches a ride...
  18. This is correct, & the core of Kafka is his...

    This is correct, & the core of Kafka is his characters' mundane reactions to the bizarre. Samsa keeps hoping he'll be able to get up & go to work & so does the family. They drag his boss in to give...
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    Read the original short story, written in diary...

    Read the original short story, written in diary form: it was indeed a tearjerker.
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    Lotsa regret & repentence from the Lordster early...

    Lotsa regret & repentence from the Lordster early on; & so I wonder now from whence folks ever got the idea He was perfect. Thruout O.T., the Lord threatens to smite Canaanites (despite Joseph of...
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    I find the books of Moses fascinating: so...

    I find the books of Moses fascinating: so repetitive & detailed. After the OT, the NT reads like an afterthought; to me anyway. I read along to the Alexander Scourby audio KJV: which he recorded for...
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    Seems to me Conrad's narrator does a bit of...

    Seems to me Conrad's narrator does a bit of de-constructing. Items of technology are beasts in the wild: a boiler wallows in the grass; a railroad truck looks like a carcass. The native population...
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    Delillo's Underworld turns out to be a...

    Delillo's Underworld turns out to be a little-known film by Eisenstein that's given a showing by artsy types in Manhattan.
  24. In the Catcher in the Rye, Holden goes to a...

    In the Catcher in the Rye, Holden goes to a nightclub to see Ernie, the piano player. Holden doesn't care for Ernie's fancy flourishes nor for that fact that there's a mirror set up on the piano to...
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    I read it "cold" along to the audiobook: 20+ CDs....

    I read it "cold" along to the audiobook: 20+ CDs. That helped immensely, 'specially knowing that Joyce was a singer & wrote that novel as if to be sung, or @least spoken aloud.
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