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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

T.S. Eliot is my favorite English language poet btw. I'm starting to realize that my taste might be a bit on 'conservative' side :grin2:

Serbian - Vasko Popa, a poetic genius that can be seen even in translation, which is rare for poets. It is usually very difficult to produce good translations of poems.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (Universal Literature talk)

It depends what you search for. If google is censoring something you're interested in, you obviously don't want their results. But yes, for everyday stuff I use google too. There are probably better alternatives from DDG but I'm not much interested in digging these days..
Give mu some example, what did you search that was censored on Google and not elsewhere?
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (Universal Literature talk)

Give mu some example, what did you search that was censored on Google and not elsewhere?
I don't want to discuss that particular event here so I won't specify. But search on google "..........." hoax/false flag - gives you main stream info on the event and mainstream articles ridiculing conspiracy theories of the event. Search on DDG gave plenty results of alternative views of the event. Anyone can test this.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (Universal Literature talk)

And what about youtube? "Suggestions for you" - and it's mostly unrelated nonsense.

I use both Google Chrome with default Google search for mainstream info and Mozzilla Firefox with "DuckDuckGo" add on search engine for alternative. Probably not perfect but that's a way around google's excessive bs.
YOutube also got way worse since G got a hold of it.

I will try the Duck thing. I gather you can't do that in chrome, of course.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (Universal Literature talk)

Give mu some example, what did you search that was censored on Google and not elsewhere?
Virtually everything I search on google these days, relevant results end very early then I got a lot of nonsense.
I am NOT searching conspiracy theory or anything that subversive or controversial the vast majority of the time--sometimes book reviews that should have results, don't (maybe publishers pay to take them down?) even recipes used to yeild so many results, now I get page upon page of the same website.
It must have something to do with the way G prioritizes results (beyond SEo it seems) I'm pretty suire google prioritizes your site if you sign it up on google.

With google it's so hard to know anything about what goes on, it's like an invisible god, like Big Brother, as I originally wrote.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (Universal Literature talk)

YOutube also got way worse since G got a hold of it.

I will try the Duck thing. I gather you can't do that in chrome, of course.
Add-on works with chrome too. I would advise getting Mozilla or other alt browser for it, since google is really better for any regular search.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

First, I indeed love Raymond Carver, it's interesting because I never connected him with Hemingway, different feelings I get from the two, I think they are both very 'filmable'. But then, Hemingway is really the papa of modern American prose, everyone is connected to him one way or the other. It is truly American, previous American novelists were fine, but in 19th century they were more like an extension of European literature. I can hardly think of anything more American than Hemingway.

Certainly, people have different tastes, which is a very good thing. One important thing that I learned long time ago as a reader - if you don't enjoy a book after 10-15 pages, leave it, even if it is by some acclaimed author. There are always other great books and life is short.

I am not religious at all, although I'm not an atheist. Meaning I am not against religion, just not my thing, so I didn't read that religious thing much into Dostoevsky, however we can't escape Christianity as one of the pillars of our civilization. But I get his Orthodox flavor is not really accessible in general, it is a known thing. And the man himself was truly a rare specimen. Exploring human souls and psychology is not necessarily related to religion. Still, I don't plan on rereading Dostoevsky any time soon, I myself have lost taste for his literature. ;) It was more an example of literature too heavy for modern sensibility.

I noticed that Hemingway is more appealing to the male audience, or maybe I am mistaken. His work could be too "masculine" for today's world. Maybe, I am not sure. But I have always enjoyed his work. And I always read just to enjoy art. In the case of Hemingway I actually also learned some practical things in my life, so I double value papa so he must be included among GOATs. ;) As I said, the literary works of Romanticism is not my cup of tea, but yeah, there are some great books there too.

I really like your reader enthusiasm, makes me find a good book and read! :) I'll check Alice Munro or Cormac McCarthy or both when I have time.
The connection with hemingway and Carver is they're both known as "minimalists"-- they use as few words as possible, leave most of the story off the page. Hemingway called this the "Iceberg" theory (most of the iceberg cannot be seen bcz underwater).

I agree totally re. bailing out of a book by 10 pages if you don't like it, I bail way sooner than that, sometimes 1rst paragraph--but that's because I don't find the style or voice compelling. It takes longer for the story/characters to develop, of course.

Yeah, Hemingway is mainly a man thing--hehe I was going to go into this but it's long--if you want to check out a very religious brilliant female short story writer--who expression of faith is very subtle, then American Southerner Flannery O Connor. She is also considered a master, for good reason.

I love a lot of very "male" writers--I am a woman, ova you must have noticed--but also appreciate those male writers that do justice to women in their writing, and vice versa for women writers.
But gender concerns are definitely reflected in our love of writers.
One female writer who writes like a man is Annie Proulx. Her writing is not domestic writing or primarily about relationships--this is what women writers are typically accused of.

And me too re. T.S. Eliot--he was the first poet I loved and I still love him! Every line is like music.

So maybe I will check out some Dost. again ...

Happy reading! (Or Tormented reading!)
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (Universal Literature talk)

Not sure if you'll like, but my favourite one of him is "The year of death of Ricardo Reis"/"O ano da morte de Ricardo Reis". Maybe you'll like, specially if you're sensible to the portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and his heteronyms.
Ah forgot to reply you on this. I have never read of fernando pessoa, I thought, but yesterday I was checking my books, and I saw the book a friend of mine gave me some years ago, from Pessoa. It is called The Book of Disquiet/Livro do Desassossego. I will have a go sometime. Sounds a bit heavy so I need a clear mind.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

The Book of Disquiet is one of my favourite books. I have never read it cover to cover. I usually open it up and read whichever page is in front of me; that might result in a long and engaging reading session, but it could also be a quick read through a few paragraphs which give me a lot to think and talk about. It's not really a linear or narrative text - more like a scrapbook of aphorisms, images, reflections, diaries, dreams and essays. I'm sure I will be reading it for many years to come, in multiple different translations. I cannot read Portuguese, so I have to rely on the mediation of a translator. There are a few different English language editions, and so, to quote a recent article by the British journalist Douglas Murray, I read as many of them as I can, "to persuade me that although I cannot ever get the full rays, I get enough of the reflected glow that it feels like the sun".

Incidentally, Pessoa was very proficient with the English language, so I don't have to rely entirely on translations to read him. He went to school in South Africa and spent time in England at various points in his life, writing hundreds of poems in English. A selection can be read in an edition published by Shearsman Books.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

No me gustan las promesas rotas, dear Awka. :lol:
I completely forgot. :eek2:

Argentine novel, that's including the fantasy subgenre (my personal niche) is deeply tied to local history. I don't need to say it, it's always been a bumpy road in this country. Ever since free ellections were introduced (and that's in its most rudimentary form) reduced democratic periods and military governments shifted constantly and I think that dynamic defined but at the same time did a lot of damage to local cultural expressions, literature included. Whenever a progressive generation would appear, censorship and violence would follow in order to prevent cultural growth. This is more or less 80% of our 20th century. After that, the 90's followed and a series of neoliberal economic and educative practices (or is it measures?) completely destroyed the middle class, even to this day things haven't changed much.

So, small history footnote aside, sadly there isn't much notable literature today. There are of course the big timeless names like Borges, Payró, Arlt, Dominguez, Sábato, Mujica Lainez, Cortázar, Marechal. But I feel like people don't read much around here so I don't see these guys' work to be a foundation for a big local modern novel scene. I haven't read a local novel since forever and it most likely was something from one of these authors.

Titles I recommend (though I can say for sure if these are obtainable in other countries):

* La Invención De Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares.
* El Túnel by Sábato.
* Sobre Héroes y Tumbas, again by Sábato.
* Rayuela by Cortázar.
* Los Pasajeros Del Jardín by Silvina Bullrich.
* Cuentos De La Selva by Horacio Quiroga (from Uruguay but lived a good part of his life in Argentina).
* El Aleph by Borges.
* El Jardín De Senderos Que Se Bifurcan by Borges (I know this one has been edited to english).

Be advised, like I pointed out before, these will probably not fit into a regular reader's schedule. Argentine literature isn't usually straightforward, themes are really open to interpretation and tend to carry not too pleasant references to our complicated past.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

Argentine novel, that's including the fantasy subgenre (my personal niche) is deeply tied to local history. I don't need to say it, it's always been a bumpy road in this country. Ever since free ellections were introduced (and that's in its most rudimentary form) reduced democratic periods and military governments shifted constantly and I think that dynamic defined but at the same time did a lot of damage to local cultural expressions, literature included. Whenever a progressive generation would appear, censorship and violence would follow in order to prevent cultural growth. This is more or less 80% of our 20th century. After that, the 90's followed and a series of neoliberal economic and educative practices (or is it measures?) completely destroyed the middle class, even to this day things haven't changed much.

So, small history footnote aside, sadly there isn't much notable literature today. There are of course the big timeless names like Borges, Payró, Arlt, Dominguez, Sábato, Mujica Lainez, Cortázar, Marechal. But I feel like people don't read much around here so I don't see these guys' work to be a foundation for a big local modern novel scene. I haven't read a local novel since forever and it most likely was something from one of these authors.

Titles I recommend (though I can say for sure if these are obtainable in other countries):

* La Invención De Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares.
* El Túnel by Sábato.
* Sobre Héroes y Tumbas, again by Sábato.
* Rayuela by Cortázar.
* Los Pasajeros Del Jardín by Silvina Bullrich.
* Cuentos De La Selva by Horacio Quiroga (from Uruguay but lived a good part of his life in Argentina).
* El Aleph by Borges.
* El Jardín De Senderos Que Se Bifurcan by Borges (I know this one has been edited to english).

Be advised, like I pointed out before, these will probably not fit into a regular reader's schedule. Argentine literature isn't usually straightforward, themes are really open to interpretation and tend to carry not too pleasant references to our complicated past.

This is so beautiful, thank for the time you spared for this, I will try to check them all out. I am subscribed to this thread anyway, whenever I feel like reading something, I tend to read back the decent recommendations here from fellow MTFers.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

This is so beautiful, thank for the time you spared for this, I will try to check them all out. I am subscribed to this thread anyway, whenever I feel like reading something, I tend to read back the decent recommendations here from fellow MTFers.
Oh, no worries. Talking about stuff like this is my job so it really comes out naturally. ;)

By the way, I recently went back and re-read Frankenstein after having watched the latest film about Mary Shelley and gone through her bio.

I needed to take a break from the Dune books (bought Children but didn't start it), so I thought it might fit my schedule. It's remarkable how one's perception on Frankenstein can dramatically change after learning more about the author.

She following a sexually liberal lifestyle prohibited at that time, surely connected to the doctor wanting to pursue more 'alchemical' and 'natural' methods and being accused of this by the scientific community. Shelley wanting to create life but only generating death in the process (her two lost babies) and the doctor in the novel again, being caught between the creation of life and this causing death and suffering. And at the same time her mother passing away by giving her birth. Most of Shelley's work focuses on nature, balance, compassion and the role of the family in society and more importantly the role of women within that family, so maybe the monster could also be interpreted by how the newborn is lost without this motherly care and contention. No wonder his solution to the violent struggle, the apparently never ending killing him and Frankenstein see themselves entangled in is precisely the creation of a woman, adding a woman to the equation who could contain the creature. He himself says that, 'give me a woman who may walk by my side and I will be content and be gone from the world of men'.

I think it will be very interesting if some day a film studio could get a woman to write the script and direct a film adaptation of this novel in order to make a more faithful adaptation of these issues.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

hmm.... It would seem I missed this very interesting thread. I have read/skimmed through the posts. One thing stuck out for me is no-one has even mentioned Dickens or Hugo. Interesting. I never thought they would miss out on any list... anyhow.

I won't go into Australian novelists for I read very little from Australia except for Children's book by May Gibbs.

As for the country which I am from, given it's a country in which most people are illiterate until the turn of the 20th Century and most of our literary works are limited because prior to Quoc Ngu the official written language was Classical Chinese which can only be read/understood by the court and royals. When Tieng Nom was introduced this broaden up the written language to the population but due to the lack of schooling for the mass, again it is limited to the elite and educated. Only when Quoc Ngu became the official language did literary work in Vietnam flourished.

As such I will only mention top 3 (my list anyway) literary work from Vietnam.

1. Chinh Phu Ngam - Lament of a Soldier's Wife - written by Dang Tran Con (in classical Chinese which was later written by Doan Thi Diem in Nom and later translated to modern Vietnamese, Ngoc Ngu).

It is a tale of war and the horror wars told through the eyes of a wife of a soldier. Here is direct English translation though bear in mind I think some parts are poorly translated..

https://www.e-periodica.ch/cntmng?pid=ast-002:1955:9::189

2. Đoạn Trường Tân Thanh - The Tale of Thuy Kieu - written by Nguyen Du. It is considered one of the most significant work of Vietnamese literature. It is about the tale of a young, beautiful and talented young woman who had to sacrifice her self to save her family by going into prostitution.

3. So Do - Dumb Luck - written by Vu Trong Phung. This one is more modern than the other two and is probably one of the most satirical works I have come across. If you can understand the humour in that you will understand Vietnamese humour.

Now I am convinced that no one on this forum has read any of the above but that is alright. Vietnam is a tiny and rather insignificant country and without the War we would be unknown.
 

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Re: Greatest novelists from your country? (World Literature talk)

Nobel Prize for Literature winners for 2018 and 2019 (both at the same time) announced yesterday.

2018: Olga Tokarczuk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Tokarczuk) from Poland

2019: Peter Handke (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Handke) from Austria


Will try to read their works as soon as possible. Not that I value Nobel prizes too much anymore, just out of curiosity.
 

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Tokarczuk's award is mostly political right before the tight elections. She's already telling people how to vote. Although I've heard the English translations of her stuff are good and her translator received awards already before, so maybe it's less bland than in the original language.

For really good, worthy authors from this country I'd recommend going to the first page of this thread. They're already mentioned there.

That Austrian guy is reportedly some big Slobodan Milosevic apologist, that's a very curious choice by the academy.
 

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Handke is a very good writer, although he is certainly more well-known thanks to Wim Wenders' films. From what I've heard of Tokarczuk (haven't read anything), she is a bit of Sebald-lite, which can't be too bad either.
 
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