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Mr. Dan Kelly's Literary Iron Man Challenge

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gravity's rainbow [22 May 2008|07:53pm]

mrdankelly
I finished Gravity's Rainbow quite a few months ago, finding it to be a beautifully written mess. I think I heard one critic describing the book as a "deception." Well, it's a bit of a waste of time, but I won't dismiss it out of hand simply because I found whole sections to be purposefully opaque. I think there's a damn good 250 page novel somewhere in there.

I should make this my reading blog. The trouble with running separate blogs is that you spread yourself too thin, trying to fill in several notebooks when one grand one will do. Then again, I weld a powerful gavel in this blog. If it ain't about difficult books, it has no place here.

I should add a few more books to the original list (all that's left is War and Peace). Any suggestions? I finished off the second book in In Search of Lost Time. Time to move on to The Guermantes Way.
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Ulysses [02 Jan 2007|08:04pm]

mrdankelly
Okay, I'm past the Sirens section. Now I'm... I'm not really sure where I'm at, actually. Change of voice. Bloom seems to have wandered off.
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[21 Dec 2006|10:52am]

mrdankelly
If anyone is still reading this, I'm about halfway through Ulysses. I put it away for a year, then I came back to it in late fall. In that time I've managed to drive through half of the book. If you stick with it and focus, the book becomes easier to read, and you enter transcendental state where it's just you and the book. I find it helps me relax on the El, especially during this noisy 'n crowded holiday season.

Just wanted to mention that. I'm revisiting all my old communitites today.
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confused [09 Mar 2004|11:27pm]

truffel_oil
ok im confused are you guys done i looked at the date and you guys talked last last year. . . tell me whats going on so i can flex my reading bicep
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new [09 Mar 2004|11:19pm]

truffel_oil
[ mood | pishaw ]

so yeah i stumbled onto this group by accident and just had to join. i think im starting out with crime and punishment since i read it in high school wich doesn't count because i was yound and stupid then.

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Just Poppin' In [17 Feb 2004|08:51pm]

davidhearne
I just discovered this list, so I just want to say 'hello' as well as 'I've read everything on the list except "The Sound and the Fury."' As for the other books, Proust is the one writer here to whom I feel any real connection. You might want to read Alain de Botton's "How Proust Can Change Your Life."

And as long as suggestions are open, how about 'Democracy in America' or 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire?' I don't know if those books are considered 'difficult,' but they are usually put on 'I-have-to-read-them-because-everybody-keeps-referencing-them' lists.
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So you're all reading Ulysses [14 Feb 2004|05:35am]

___friday___
I see this is a very small community, but I hope I'll be welcome here.

I actually started Ullysses just a couple of weeks ago and have enjoyed it very much so far. The lack of any driven plot (though there is one, it seems to hide within the more critical imagery) doesn't bother me, or hasn't so far... there seem to be a multiplexity of conjoined meanings that are fun to disentangle.

I love your choices... In the last year, I have read Gravities Rainbow, Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, and The Sound and the Fury. I also read The Crying of Lot 49, which compares interestingly... unlike the novels on your list, Lot 49 feels forced sometimes, as if Pynchon was conciously approaching a point and manipulated his thoughts to get there. I guess I'll keep watching, and see what the format of this is intended to be. Thanks.
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[10 Feb 2004|02:02pm]

wanderingaengus
Found at the Bookslut:

Roddy Doyle gives Jimmy J a crack upside the head.

I'm kind of torn. I think that Doyle is partly right; it's hard be emotionally moved by Ulysses. But it is a very emotional, sentimental book, underneath all the hypertrophied literary architecture.

What is the word that all men know?
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Gravity's Rainbow - finished! [02 Feb 2004|06:35pm]

wanderingaengus
From the Book-a-minute Classics:


A screaming thing comes across the sky. It's a V-2 rocket carrying twelve thousand pounds of symbolism, and it's coming down on your poor, deluded, postmodern head.
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[21 Oct 2003|04:05pm]

mrdankelly
Well, I'm past the first 100 pages of Ulysses, and it's not so unreadable after all. Total comprehension is another matter. Written in a way that captures its subjects' rambling thoughts, the plotline is there, but it takes some doing to grasp hold of it. That, I think, is the challenge of Ulysses, otherwise it's like sitting beside a babbling brook. A pretty sound, but not one you can simply listen to forever. Of course, the brook lacks a story entirely. Joyce is tricky that way.

Otherwise.
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[11 Oct 2003|12:17am]

sodapopinski51
I happen to be reading Ulysses for a class. Does this count towards the Iron Man Lit criterium!!!! Right now i've been reading for almost a month and im on pg. 220... still a long way to go and so much has gone right over my head.
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Cue "Rocky" theme music [22 Sep 2003|04:26pm]

semibold
[ mood | accomplished ]

At precisely 12:47 this morning I closed the book on "Gravity's Rainbow." I think it took me about 6 months to read it, with a few palate-cleansing books in between. I won't claim that I understood much of it even in a basic narrative sense. Every once in awhile I would find myself having read through a section and thinking "Hey, I understood that!"

My biggest question after reading this, is how does one, as an editor, read a manuscript like this and know if it's genius or the random scribblings of a looney? (Not to say that those 2 things are always mutually exclusive.) If this was Pynchon's first novel, and he had no prior reputation, what would an editor think if this came across his/her desk? I'm not a stupid person by any means, but I'm also not the smartest by a long shot, and my knowledge of math and rocket science is minimal at best. I'm merely taking it on faith that it makes any sense.

Or maybe it doesn't matter if it makes any sense. I'm very curious to pick up the reader's companion to this book. I'm sure that will shed a lot of light on certain things.

I think Tchitcherine would be a good name for a cat.

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[10 Sep 2003|12:32pm]

mrdankelly
Sorry, folks, I've been busy being a writer and ticking off library trustees. In the past month I finished Crime and Punishment and Moby Dick, which is more of a page turner than you might think. I think these two are my favorites thus far, though Melville, not bearing the brunt of translation, flows more smoothly. I think I read a description of his prose somewhere that described it as "heavy cream poured into your ear." That's a positive description, BTW.

I took a short break from Iron Man Lit by reading a Japanese potboiler called Battle Royale, which is about 42 Japanese high school kids placed on an island by their totalitarian government, given weapons, and told to kill one another until only one remains. It does not flow into your ear like heavy cream, but it is a hoot. I'm also reading House of Leaves, which isn't too bad thus far. More on that later. After I'm done with HOL though, it's onward to War and Peace.
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I'm in the homestretch. . . [05 Sep 2003|09:34am]

semibold
[ mood | amused ]

I've only got about 100 pages left of Gravity's Rainbow. I'm very excited! Some passages are pretty baffling and impenetrable, others I find very entertaining. Let's just say I will never look at a light bulb the same way again. . .

Last week I was reading on the bus and some guy tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "Have you read a lot of Pynchon?" "No, this is my first." "How far are you?" I held up the book and showed him, "About 3/4 of the way through." He looked quite awed and said, "Wow, I'm impressed! I never got that far."

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[30 Jul 2003|10:03pm]

mrdankelly
Sorry I've let my posts fall by the wayside. I'm at page 384. Once again, my iron man literature has been remanded to the El, and I haven't been able to sit down and read during rush hour owing to the unusually large crowds taking over the train these days. Standing up, I average about six pages during the 20 minute trip, owing to being bumped around and having to seize hold of a bar to remain upright. I'm at the point where Katerina Ivanova is having her ill-thought wake to the memory of her husband. It's excruciating, actually. How much abuse can someone take and/or lay upon themselves? I very much liked the interactions between Raskolnikov and the inspector. I presume everyone else, like me, wanted Raskolnikov to outsmart the foppish bastard? It doesn't look good for our boy though, does it? And what's going on with all the swag he hid away?
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I have an announcement [12 Jul 2003|04:33pm]

semibold
[ mood | busy ]

I've been so busy lately, I forgot to post this earlier:
I finished Crime and Punishment! (July 1st, to be precise!)

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[29 Jun 2003|09:17am]

mrdankelly
Raskolnikov's sister sounds hot.
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hello [28 Jun 2003|03:57pm]

yourturntofall
my name is chloe.

i'm new here and would like to know what book you all are on and what is next on the list?
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[18 Jun 2003|05:01pm]

mrdankelly
Bet you didn't know there was a recent film version Guess who played Raskolnikov?
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[18 Jun 2003|04:56pm]

mrdankelly
Hello, my name is Luzhin. None of you really know me, but here are my feelings about life and economics. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH...
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