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The Official Unnofficial Book Group Book Discussion thread

34 watchers
19 Aug
11:15am, 19 Aug 2019
15057 posts
I mentioned Geoff Dyer when there was much rattle on here about fave rave travel writing, can't remember if anyone picked up on it.

You 'might' enjoy one of his few (three?) novels Dio. Paris Trance was my favourite book of the 90s, or at least up there.
19 Aug
11:27am, 19 Aug 2019
18384 posts
Finished The Roman Persuasion (it may have been on the Book Thread that I reported that I was reading it, rather than this one - but I expect we all read both threads) and it did not improve. Seems to be mainly a vehicle for long discussions of philosophical/political/theological viewpoints of Christianity in Europe, all linked to the Spanish civil war. Disguised as a novel. Not recommended. Probably out of print anyway; mine is a second-hand copy.

Now moved on to a Susan Hill I found on my shelf, which I can't remember having read before. May have been my mother's.
19 Aug
11:35am, 19 Aug 2019
32992 posts
I have started reading Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. Was a slow start wasn't sure about it but warming up to it.
19 Aug
3:03pm, 19 Aug 2019
39437 posts

Extract from the article above citing part of one of the sections I wanted to share:

'But it is in 1998’s Out of Sheer Rage that Dyer truly gets his knives out. The book describes his failed attempts to write a scholarly study of D. H. Lawrence. As he drudges through a Longman Critical Reader on the author, he finds himself increasingly angered by its contents: trendy theoretical titles like “Lawrence, Foucault and the Language of Sexuality” and “Radical Indeterminacy: a post-modern Lawrence.” He wonders:

"How could these people with no feeling for literature have ended up teaching it, writing about it? […] writing like that kills everything it touches. That is the hallmark of academic criticism: it kills everything it touches. Walk around a university campus and there is an almost palpable smell of death about the place because hundreds of academics are busy killing everything they touch."

In Dyer’s mind, the academic conference may be the worst offender of all. He goes on to describe his horror on meeting an academic who specialises in Rainer Maria Rilke:

"You don’t teach Rilke, I wanted to say, you kill Rilke! You turn him to dust and then you go off to conferences where dozens of other academic-morticians gather with the express intention of killing Rilke and turning him to dust. Then, as part of the cover-up, the conference papers are published, the dust is embalmed and before you know it literature is a vast graveyard of dust, a dustyard of graves." '
19 Aug
10:54pm, 19 Aug 2019
40860 posts
Dio - just (slightly) catching up. I finished the Yoga one. It isn't as good as Sheer Rage but I still really enjoyed it. It's quite nihilistic in comparison (maybe that should be *more* nihilistic!)

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About This Thread

Unofficial books, underground discussion, MASSIVE SPOILERS.

Some of the most discussed books include:

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
(Memoir of a homeless couple walking the SWCP)

Milkman by Anna Burns
(Superlative prize-winning fiction)
Hive link: hive.co.uk

The Player Of Games by Iain M. Banks (Sci-Fi)
Hive link: hive.co.uk

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (weird steampunk bollox)
Hive link: hive.co.uk