Poetical, fragmented, and elusive. The Pleasure of the Text's form is an expression of its content - its mission to seduce the reader, to tiptoe alongPoetical, fragmented, and elusive. The Pleasure of the Text's form is an expression of its content - its mission to seduce the reader, to tiptoe along the edge of comprehension to induce a state of bliss.
Things I learnt: - Barthes likes Nietzsche - I do not remember Barthes' theory on the death of the author as well as I thought I did - There is still room for vocabulatory improvement (fancy words include phalanstery, ideolects, paradisiac, delectative, pheno-text, etc.) - Reading a really good text is basically like having an orgasm - I should read some Nietzsche...more
An interesting essay on different elements that constitute fiction, such as detail and character, culminating to Wood's ideas on realism. Wood has a nAn interesting essay on different elements that constitute fiction, such as detail and character, culminating to Wood's ideas on realism. Wood has a nice conversational and occasionally witty writing style that makes this book accessible for people without a degree in English or literature, but his examples are sometimes rather obscure. I consider myself reasonably well-read and I haven't read even half of the books Wood draws examples from. He also has a clear bias for certain kinds of literature and I don't necessarily agree with many of the points he makes. Nevertheless, a thought-provoking insight into novels and how they become "alive" for the reader....more
As a persuasive text, I think The Communist Manifesto is quite successful. The occasional imagery is quite lovely, and I can see how this essay inspirAs a persuasive text, I think The Communist Manifesto is quite successful. The occasional imagery is quite lovely, and I can see how this essay inspired dozens of people to take action. From a historical/theoretical point of view, however, its foundation is rather flimsy.
And then there is the sad fact that the communist revolution Marx and Engels predicted never truly came to be.
Nice continuation of the story set up in the first volume. There was a bit too much trash talking in this volume, I feel like the story could have movNice continuation of the story set up in the first volume. There was a bit too much trash talking in this volume, I feel like the story could have moved a bit faster. Still fun though...more
Bakuman is a contemporary manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba, of Death Note fame. Although it took me a second to adjust to the fact that this serieBakuman is a contemporary manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba, of Death Note fame. Although it took me a second to adjust to the fact that this series does not contain shinigami death gods, I was quite excited to see how Ohba would handle a non-supernatural storyline.
Moritaka and Akito are two high school boys, both incredibly clever. Doing well in school is Moritaka's plan - good school, good job. But then Akito proposes to write a manga together, and it forces him to reconsider his life goals. What does he really want?
Just like Death Note, Bakuman is filled with gorgeous tight art. The mangaka has an excellent sense of space and the points of view make this manga an absolute pleasure to read. The characters look like individuals without being clownesque and the dialogue does not take away from the visuals. To me, this might be the best looking manga I have read so far - there is something about those clean lines that appeals to me.
As for the content of the story, I am not entirely convinced. For me the largest barrier in enjoying Bakuman is a cultural one. Everything in this manga oozes competitiveness and a drive to perform within the work atmosphere. They have to study! They have to get into a good school! They have to get a good job! If they don't, their lives might as well be over! Their single-minded obsession with having a successful career was hard for me to stomach. In Dutch culture, it is hard work that is deemed praiseworthy, not being able to get to a certain level. The constant teleology of having to "make it" felt alien to me and made it hard to relate to the story in a meaningful way.
In the same line, Bakuman expresses some ideas on strength and weakness that I fundamentally disagree with. While not necessarily the opinion of the author, one character implies that committing suicide is a sign of "weakness". Japan is still very traditional in their gender roles, which again, found its expression in this manga, where a girl is apparently considered unattractive because she's proud of being smart. Overall, all these elements made me feel pretty blah about the story.
On the upside, I really did like the two main characters (though I did find it rather questionable that they are such boy geniuses). Their journey to becoming mangakas is fascinating, and their antics made me laugh several times. Right now I feel like this manga can go either way for me - either I'll turn to love it, or the cultural barrier will prevent me from ever becoming truly attached to the story....more
Nausicaä is a whimsical story of a girl who lives in a hostile world filled with deadly spores and giant insects, but who sees the goodness and beautyNausicaä is a whimsical story of a girl who lives in a hostile world filled with deadly spores and giant insects, but who sees the goodness and beauty in all of it. From reading other reviews I was afraid it might be too tree-huggery for me, but I think Miyazaki never once strayed into kitschy territory. The worldbuilding so far has been fascinating. On one hand there are minutely drawn nature scenes and wonderfully detailed creepy-crawlies, which contrast so well with the gunships and medievalish dress of the humans. Am looking forward to see how Nausicaä and the other people around her will fare in the next volumes....more
One Piece, the nearly endless manga series that has captured thousands of hearts all over the world. I have a slight aversion to the skull logo with tOne Piece, the nearly endless manga series that has captured thousands of hearts all over the world. I have a slight aversion to the skull logo with the hat - for some reason it looks ugly to me. Apart from this prejudice, I had no idea what to expect.
The first chapter, which, as is usual in manga, is somewhat longer than subsequent chapters at around fifty pages, provides a welcome introduction to the world. We meet Luffy, a young boy who dreams of becoming a pirate, but who as of yet is still too young. Then there are bandits, and struggles over sake, and the beginnings of wonderful adventures and Luffy's gummy-limb powers. The first chapter is a self-contained story that I thought sets the scene well.
Then, a few years later, Luffy sets sail for the great unknown, looking for a pirate crew. This red thread meanders through a set of episodic stories, one more outrageous than the other. I enjoyed the sense of development here, how the crewmates are introduced through a series of stories.
Like most adventure manga, there is fighting aplenty, which is made more fun by the fact that Luffy is incredibly stretchy and (so far) seems to be near invincible. Though the tone of One Piece is quite young, I thought some of the fighting was pretty gruesome. The panels during fighting scenes are nice and clear and it's easy to follow the action.
The art is very nice overall, a bit young-ish and reminiscent to me as a reader to Fullmetal Alchemist, and the panels aren't too cluttered. My only gripe is that the female characters all look alike while the male characters are diverse but rather clownish.
I really enjoyed my first foray into the world of One Piece, and I'm looking forward to more maritime adventures of Luffy and his new friends....more
Doreen is back in another volume filled with crazy adventures, bad guys from space, and plenty of guest appearances. Squirrel Girl gains some awesomeDoreen is back in another volume filled with crazy adventures, bad guys from space, and plenty of guest appearances. Squirrel Girl gains some awesome friends in Squirrel You Know It's True, and she continues to fight crime and save the world in her lovely unconventional way. ...more