I love how un-preconditioned he is in his travels. Those, at first glance, disconnected notes from a trip led my thoughts to wonder in two or three juI love how un-preconditioned he is in his travels. Those, at first glance, disconnected notes from a trip led my thoughts to wonder in two or three just as disconnected directions. On one hand, it made me remember all the little discomforts a trip is inevitably accompanied by. As they say, a journey is only glamorous in retrospective, and yet it's hard not let yourself swirl into that silly touristy enthusiasm. There is none of the latter in here. In order to be able to enjoy anything outside ourselves first we need to feel good from the inside, we must have the comfort of Health. The minimum necessary. This gets me back to the so called primitive cultures, poor people, kung-fu and the 90s action movies, where all one truly possesses is his own physical body - his only strength, the source of confidence and means of survival. But the European mind works differently. In the absence of discontempt there is no creative impulse; we need to bleed for it. And for Camus it's not about pleasure, it's about endurance. On the other hand, I was thinking isn't there an ethical conflict in publishing works after the death of authors and without their explicit consent. Diaries, personal correspondence (Kafka's letters to Milena, Dora and the others, Joyce's letters to Nora), unfinished novels (Fitzgerald's Last Tycoon), and in that case – notes. Arrogantly intruding in their privacy and exposing them as if to make them more human will give us some comfort. In other words, to drag them down to our level. What if now they find new Salinger's writings? ...more
This is fucking huuuuge. The subject as well. If you think Rome was wicked, just wait and see what happens after Christ. To go through Christianity anThis is fucking huuuuge. The subject as well. If you think Rome was wicked, just wait and see what happens after Christ. To go through Christianity and the Dark Ages was dreadful, let alone live it. But as philosophers come closer to our times it gets more and more interesting, familiar but not necessary easier to comprehend. I still could not summarize what Kant and Hegel are all about and probably I lack the curiosity to ever will.
"A History of Western Philosophy" is exactly what the title says - a chronology of philosophical thought throughout the centuries. Notice that it says "A History..", not "The History.." which is a presumption that it may not be all objective and by that Mr. Russel insurances himself against critiques of the kind that what he sets out in the book and the way he presents and rethinks it, may not be exactly accurate. Still, it is an encyclopedic work and the point of someone writing it, I imagine, would be not only to benefit the others, the readers, but as an exercise for his own self. By accumulating deeper knowledge through research prior to writing it, he gives himself a chance to rethink it all and make his subsequent works more insightful and right to the point. This will probably lead me to read his other stuff, and figure out where he sands in this fascinating world of questioning all (a.k.a. the world of philosophy). What is more, I surely will come back to this book. As a matter of fact I already do. ...more
May be the mistake I made here was to read "The Virtue of Selfishness" first. As a consequence, from the beginning itself I approached the charactersMay be the mistake I made here was to read "The Virtue of Selfishness" first. As a consequence, from the beginning itself I approached the characters prejudiced in a way. At instances where Rand never made moral evaluations I already presumed what the course of the protagonists' development would be. I knew upfront who the heroes and who the villains are. Or may be it's just that the characters are plain obvious, no matter whether one is acquainted with Rand's philosophy or not. The moral dilemma is very much black and white, but as she states in her philosophical essay "The Cult of Moral Greyness", grey is just an excuse for the sheeplike state of mind (I'm not strictly citing here), for the indecisiveness and confusion that don't get any respect in her world of Individualism and Integrity. Yet I couldn't be persuaded that doubt doesn't have a virtue of itself and that's not a symptom of intelligence.
In other instances though I fully associate with her visions.. I also often find the way people enjoy themselves repulsive. Especially if they are many, in a crowd. But that's how we elitists are.. ;) I previously thought of something put in Gail Wynand's mouth - "A feeling that changes never existed in the first place.", which I explained with my desire for consistency. I've always perceived permanency as superior to the transit, even in my most hedonistic periods. And I don't take for granted that that's the case with everybody else. On the other hand, contrary to Mrs. Rand's convictions, I wouldn't say that change damages integrity. I find it naive as an adult to enjoy the same books as in your adolescent years, as the same character states at one point. Neither I resent the notion of finding yourself. Back to the positives... Another impressive thing is the magic she creates around the buildings and sculptures and all types of art she describes, and the moral value that they posses (or don't). She makes one imagine, or more like wonder, what the physical dimensions of those works would be. And I also associate with the progressive views on architecture, if I may say so.
I admire authors that build up characters so when they speak through them revealing their own opinions, it's in a certain context. The words are justified and make more sense when coming out of a fully developed and completed character, culturally preconditioned to act or talk in a specific manner. Here I explicitly have in mind Ellsworth Toohey, representing an Oscar Wildish hypocrisy of the social, and the same type of cynicism. It seems the intellectual orgasm for Mrs. Rand comes when she meets Roark with Gail (introduced much later in the novel) as she unfolds her Objectivist philosophy in their conversations. Likewise is Ellsworth Toohey's monologue revealed in front of Peter Keating, and of course Howard Roark's speech at the trial when he finally vouchsafed an explanation.
As for the love story, quite electrifying in the beginning, it gets kind of hard to comprehend as it goes. Too idealistic, impossible and with its own perverted logic.
The happy ending might be expected if you let go with the spirit of the novel but it could be as well surprising for the more realistic mind. Whether you conform or stay true to yourself, either way society may crush you. It's a matter of chance. And if in today's reality I had to bet on one of two horses I would go with the adaptive and slick Peter Keating. It still stays unclear to me how did they, the public, otherwise so despised and unworthy, all at once got what Roark is all about.. A moment of sudden enlightenment?
Honestly, way too long of a read. Long enough to get you the feeling of a high class soap opera. Still, I would argue that Rand writes well and engaging. The mere fact that I went through it all is eloquent. ...more
If the mastery of a novel manifests itself by evoking an atmosphere, by taking you back to a time and place without endless descriptions, then this onIf the mastery of a novel manifests itself by evoking an atmosphere, by taking you back to a time and place without endless descriptions, then this one has it. ...more
I suppose this book is more or less like his drum playing – enjoyable and gripping but simultaneously unveiling a lack of talent and literary skill. II suppose this book is more or less like his drum playing – enjoyable and gripping but simultaneously unveiling a lack of talent and literary skill. It is just another one of his many successful undertakings but not successful enough to top my chart… Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! has no literary nor artistic value whatsoever and simply presents a series of events in one’s life. Unique events indeed!, like working on the atomic bomb or having Einstein himself listen to a lecture of his.. Plus a whole bunch of other accomplishments hard to believe could occur in a single lifetime. Only that I couldn’t help but think all this was not delivered the proper way, it is just exhibited out there as clean laundry. But let's not be too harsh, 'cos all in all, it’s a pleasant and easy read, I feel good about coming across it and I’m glad he chose to share his curious, nerdy life with us. ...more
What the fuck? Is this the same book we are talking about? It was on top of the New York Times chart of cool books you haven’t read and honestly, I feWhat the fuck? Is this the same book we are talking about? It was on top of the New York Times chart of cool books you haven’t read and honestly, I feel deceived..
It's a two-star-book but I am giving it just one in order to balance a bit the overall rating. ...more
First of all, I would like to greet myself for finishing such a voluminous work and award myself with three stars. It was an enjoyable experience butFirst of all, I would like to greet myself for finishing such a voluminous work and award myself with three stars. It was an enjoyable experience but by the time I had to put the book on a "bookshelf" I got confused. Is it a classic (it definitely feels like classic) or contemporary (after all, the respectable Mr. Eco is still alive and well)? Now let me go watch the movie and make up my mind.. ...more
Why does nobody tell you it’s about a minor who has a magic dick? A dick that can heal. If I knew that, I would have picked it up much earlier. But thWhy does nobody tell you it’s about a minor who has a magic dick? A dick that can heal. If I knew that, I would have picked it up much earlier. But that’s just because I’m such a rotter. A scumbag. On the other hand, I’m not a huge mystery fan and don’t really like that formula of revealing it all in the end with the most logical explanations. Although the genre is considered non-intellectual, Fry’s language is. Language is, you know, his whore, his mistress, his check-out girl.. And that's wonderful. ...more
My first and only Murakami so far, incomprehensive in that weird eastern way but deeply deeply nice. You could never guess where the story will take yMy first and only Murakami so far, incomprehensive in that weird eastern way but deeply deeply nice. You could never guess where the story will take you and you wonder whether there is a point you are missing. Nevertheless you keep reading admiring the ease and skillfulness. I often found myself forgetting that the characters are Japanese and kept picturing them Caucasian. One thing is, they drink a lot for Asians (or at least the Asians in my head). ...more