... Read More
Spiritually, too, he passed for a typical Dorimarite; though, indeed, it is never safe to classify the souls of one's neighbors; one is apt, in the long run, to be proved a fool. You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwittingly giving you for a portrait - a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich may be the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the "values," with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candle-light, when all the house is still.
All posts tagged "what i'm reading"
As always, nothing I gave up on, nothing that's still in progress, just the books I finished.... Read More
Esperanto is fond of compound words — elsewhere in Chapter 4 the goblins ĝojkriis, "shouted for joy", while the dwarves' captured ponies kunpremiĝis, "huddled together" ("pushed themselves together"). Bilbo can't even egalpaŝi, "keep up" ("walk equally").... Read More
Last time I wrote about the Esperanto translation of The Hobbit, I mentioned Esperanto's trick of coining words out of long chains of smaller roots. There's plenty of that to appreciate in Chapter 2.... Read More
1. I like reading books in translation. I like seeing the translator's choices, whether that's a turn of phrase that seems perfectly equivalent to the original - which isn't to say it was easy to do - or a surprising but logical change to make a poem or a riddle work out correctly. Translations give you a fresh view of familiar stories. Reading one is like getting to read a book for the first time all over again.... Read More
Just the books where I actually reached the last page, not the in-progress stacks on the nightstand.... Read More
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Teach Yourself books. On the one hand, they are often the only textbook for less-commonly-taught languages, and I've appreciated the way they let you bootstrap up to more complicated books. On the other hand, Teach Yourself's quality control is spotty, and if there are two or three textbooks for a language, there's probably a better one.... Read More
Some friends are keeping logs of everything they read in 2016, and I joined the club. These are just books I finished, with one exception, so I don't have to keep adding the same books in progress month after month.... Read More
Claude Piron's Gerda Malaperis ("Gerda Vanished") is a rare treat – not because it’s an original Esperanto novel (there are loads of those), but because it's an instructional text that's both cleverly constructed and entertaining in its own right. And I just found out that someone filmed the whole thing!... Read More
A friend bought me a used copy of Bill Fawcett's Cats in Space and Other Places anthology of cat stories, which clearly came from a cat-owning home, as Nekojii immediately set about rubbing his face on the pages. It's mostly famous stories by famous writers – Heinlein, Leiber, McCaffrey, Cordwainer Smith; familiar to SF readers but worth re-reading. (In fact, this anthology probably isn't the best place to discover a story like Arthur C. Clarke's "Who's There?", which wants readers to forget there's a cat in the story until the big twist, or C. J. Cherryh's "Chanur's Homecoming", a novel chapter that's incomprehensible without its context.)... Read More
There's no scene where the narrator of My Dear Watson discovers that her husband, the great Doctor Watson himself, has been carrying on a decades-long love affair with Sherlock Holmes. But there is a scene where she chides Watson for forgetting what year a case took place. And that's the clue that tells you how to read the book.... Read More
Gary Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories convinced me I'd be better off with a lot less sugar and flour in my life. His 1200 dense but readable pages set out the history of nutritional research – research that shows that fat isn't as bad for you as you've probably heard, and simple carbohydrates are a whole lot worse.... Read More