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Save Our Sanity: A Petition

Le Groupe des Mignon Photos

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Feb 16, 2012, 7:28pm Top

So here is our reading list, copied from Martini's thread elsewhere:

January: TOME READ--Moby Dick by Herman Melville

February: 1) UNDERAPPRECIATED AUTHOR--Rick Harsch (reading of Arjun and the Good Snake)
2) Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
(also Gormenghast - rebel read)

March: 1) NON-FICTION EVENT--Literature of the Tang Dynasty
2) Mythologies by Roland Barthes

April: TOME READ--Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
(also The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross - rebel read)

May: A Dark Stranger by Julien Gracq

June: 1) SUMMER STOCK: Derek Walcott, Caryl Churchill, Bertolt Brecht
2) Memoirs of a Survivor by Doris Lessing

July: TOME READ--Metamorphoses by Ovid

August: Lonely Hearts Killer by Tomoyuki Hoshino

September: 1) POETRY EVENT--Cantos by Ezra Pound
2) The Unknown Masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac

October: TOME READ--Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

November: My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad


Right, so many of us even as we speak are now trying to juggle Gormenghast, Songlines, Arjun and the Good Snake, David Copperfield, and Alter. And already, people are talking about beginnning the March read, since we are now halfway through February.

For evidence that our sanity is lost, see my Chocolate Musings thread, in which most of us (except Rick) have been howling and crying and beating the air. Martini goes in daily fear of losing his PhD, and it's all our fault. Murr may join the Proctologist under the couch at any moment. Citygirl has already needed a juris doctor to save citybaby with a brief. I may need medical attention for overconsumption of chocolate liqueurs, and there is evidence on the thread of cruelty to bunnies.

This is an emergency.

Sam, that wise captain of the seven seas, has suggested that we leave off the March reads and catch up later. I wonder if we could look through the remaining reads on the list and see what we can ditch, at least for now, so that we can move the Tang read further on in the year, and maybe Mythologies too.

Any suggestions of what to take out? Or is this a totally unreasonable suggestion?

Feb 16, 2012, 7:56pm Top

What are we going to do in December?

The list is fine for me, I will probably avoid the rebel reads to keep my sanity, but I can manage a book a month.

Feb 16, 2012, 8:02pm Top

December is for Precious Moments. I believe we decided that there's no time for group reads in December.

Feb 16, 2012, 8:14pm Top

I said it then and I say it again, I say unto you, We should only schedule four tomes a year, one a quarter, to leave time for our own reading. Those who want to start a rebel read, spontaneously, as the Lord speaketh unto them, may do so at their own peril.

I would love to postpone the Tang for a month. Thereafter I shall be leading the Read for Eugene Onegin only. (I will join the discussion for the music read, but not read the book, unless I can find it here.) Oh dammit and then there's Ezra, which I want to do as well, but that will be a long slow read, I think. Everything else is out the window. Hereendeththelesson.

Feb 16, 2012, 8:21pm Top

So how about we move Tang to May, and ditch Mythologies altogether?

closes eyes and waits for the storm

Feb 16, 2012, 8:28pm Top

yes. or move mythologies to 2017?

Feb 16, 2012, 8:28pm Top

Don't quit Umberto Eco! My friend is gonna join us.

Otherwise, aw, I dunno, man. I want to read all of these. But I still have Bagheria and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on the shelf from evaporated group reads past (thanks for nothing, Enrique!) and apparently Le Salon is where all my obsessive compulsion comes out (leaving the rest of life blissfully feckless), because while I will also let these reads fly with an open heart if that's what we decide, I will also join in if they're happening. Somebody decide for me.

Edited: Feb 16, 2012, 8:34pm Top

I do like the idea of the Eco. I think I can finish MD and Gg by April. But I'm only reading those two, and trying to follow the Alter and David Copperfield threads.

for $.02

ETA: Actually, I don't think I can finish the whole Gg trilogy by April, but I would be willing to try with the Eco.

(Is this how we got in this situation in the first place?)

Feb 16, 2012, 10:15pm Top

Hang on, hang on. Nobody said anything about getting rid of Eco. Only Barthes, and to push Tang on a bit further.

Any burning resentments against my proposal in #5? A lot of this decision hangs on A_Musing, who I believe is the Tang-man of the moment.

Feb 16, 2012, 10:40pm Top

I say we move the Tang to December, and I'll do some reading before then and pave the way. But I'm not leading it, just paving the way 'cause I'm interested if ignorant.

Feb 16, 2012, 10:46pm Top

OK then, we can make Tang our Precious Moment.


Feb 16, 2012, 11:12pm Top

phew. great.

Edited: Feb 16, 2012, 11:35pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 17, 2012, 12:38am Top

So is The Songlines read over?

Feb 17, 2012, 1:01am Top

Nope. It's still on.

All we have done is:

a) remove Barthes' Mythologies; and
b) move the Tang read to December.

So far, no other changes.

Feb 17, 2012, 6:24am Top

I woud like to do THE songlines but à bit later

Feb 17, 2012, 6:43am Top

Me too, actually. I thought the same but didn't dare ask. When do you suggest, Mac? Maybe halfway through March? Dan, drmary, Murr, anyone else?

Feb 17, 2012, 7:15am Top

I love this thread. first a sincere opening of some length, then Bas pisses all over it without delay. Then it's all too complicated but MM pulls one out of his hat to save a read, and basically it's summed up by the hilarious post 10. And the great Barthes gets shoved aside without ceremony, which probably never happened to him before so it's all to the good. I vote we keep the discussion going long after the final decision has been made again.

Feb 17, 2012, 7:23am Top

16 sounds like a good move.

My group read interests are largely in the first half of the year up to & including A Dark Stranger so will have room for a breather from June onwards.

But at the moment I have commitments to Alter, Arjun, Bruce and can hear the approach of Umberto.... and this from someone who finds it difficult to read even one book a year in linear fashion from start to finish.....

Feb 17, 2012, 7:26am Top

(suggestion, Z, try linear back to front)

Feb 17, 2012, 7:33am Top

I was thinking merely reading right to left....

Feb 17, 2012, 7:39am Top

And the great Barthes gets shoved aside without ceremony..

I was thinking the same thing - it was one of the reads I was going to try to participate in. I guess I don't understand the need for group approval - things never seem to pan out the way they are planned anyhow.

I will soldier on with Barthes most likely. I read Onegin last year so will probably follow that discussion if not re-read it with the group.

Hope you guys figure out your way..

Feb 17, 2012, 8:52am Top

March is good for me CM. Thanks!

Feb 17, 2012, 9:12am Top

'I guess I don't understand the need for group approval...'

Peter, you're a monarchist!

Feb 17, 2012, 9:38am Top


What I mean is, I don't see why "reading" has to be so structured... almost like scheduling weekly conjugal duties... Instead of reducing the reading, why not just go on and let those who want to, come together? There are no 'oughts' I hope:P

I dare say.. it seems quite LIST-LIKE

Feb 17, 2012, 9:40am Top

I ll do THE Ricky first and then in march the songlines

Feb 17, 2012, 9:54am Top

Mac, what is with the THE?

PK, it's a self generated ought. I bleed for Barthes, I do, I would love to read him with you. it's not the book choices or the group read, but the SCHEDULE that's killing me.

Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 10:00am Top

Tang literature is really interesting.

I love Barthes.

I need to read more of the Sanskrit classics.

Is it too late to start Alter and Songlines?

Feb 17, 2012, 10:13am Top

28 i work on a dutch computer, it corrects automatically the in THE . I am too lazy to correct it.

I need a barthes read too

Feb 17, 2012, 11:03am Top

THE (intentional)

Feb 17, 2012, 11:08am Top

Weren't we going to read Ferdyduke at some point?

Feb 17, 2012, 11:36am Top

Fuel onto the fire.

Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 11:37am Top

Don't you love it? Some of our cohorts have no mercy.

I'd actually rather read Cosmos, Sam. Should we read both?

Feb 17, 2012, 11:38am Top

I thought Sam was going to read the Mahabarata aloud to us on LibraVox.

Feb 17, 2012, 1:52pm Top

Shouldn't we think about starting on the OED at some stage too?

Feb 17, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Oooo! Great idea, zeno. Sign me up!

We can start with "a." No! Surely it has an introduction.

Feb 17, 2012, 2:39pm Top

One of the things I really like about The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature is that there is a Prolegomenon before the Prologue.

Feb 17, 2012, 3:12pm Top

I had one of them thangs in my back yard oncet.

Feb 17, 2012, 7:16pm Top

Feb 18, 2012, 4:58am Top

How about getting Bas to lead all the group reads this year?

Feb 18, 2012, 5:14am Top


Feb 18, 2012, 6:52am Top

Bas panics and leaves the salon

Feb 19, 2012, 4:04am Top

I thought we could worry him if we tried hard enough.

Mar 6, 2012, 9:06pm Top


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