What book are you reading

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Boydesian
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by Boydesian »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Boydesian wrote:
Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: I see it's one down already! My second choice would be the motto on the C11: "Pervenio pro Astrum". Should it not be "Pervenio AD ASTRA" instead? "Pro" actually means "previous to" or "for the sake of" doesn't it? So "to" or "towards" would be more apt. And "Astrum" is singular so the plural would make more sense wouldn't it? Like in the RAF motto. Or am I 100% wrong? :?
No, you are quite right! I won't write it out again here on this thread but you can check out the earlier discussion.

http://www.christopherwardforum.com/vie ... eo#p111274

Serlo, that one is also a little bit silly. However, it's not quite an oxymoron as both adjectives could be used with the sense of "deep". Adding cue you in to the second adjective would make sense, and the infinitive is fine – "to explore to the heights and depths".
After reading the previous thread I see I'm only partly correct. I missed "Pertineo" vs "Pervenio" completely. Looks like I need to expand the vocab a bit but I'm still inordinately pleased with myself!
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by Serlo »

Boydesian wrote: After reading the previous thread I see I'm only partly correct. I missed "Pertineo" vs "Pervenio" completely. Looks like I need to expand the vocab a bit but I'm still inordinately pleased with myself!
This really makes me want to read something Latin again! Taking into account that Latin was my first foreign language at school, it is shocking how little I can remember after 15 years. My French, the third foreign language after English, is far better.

Oh, and since I am talking about foreign languages here: As the weather has been so bad during my holidays, I am reading quite a lot. The Man Booker Prize long list made me read a very unusual novel I wouldn't have discovered otherwise and Amazon Prime did the rest. I borrowed "The Wake" by Paul Kingsnorth, a novel that is written in an invented Old English and is going back to 1066. It tells the story of the English farmer Buccmaster of Holland ("i was a socman of the blaec fens a free man of the eald danelaugh") whose house (and "wifman odelyn") is burned down by the evil French because he refused to pay "geld" (taxes) for the new king and his two sons were killed in the battle of Hastings. He hides in a wood, meets other men and takes arm against the invaders (cwell the ****). He's schizophrenic and hears the voice of Weland (the smith who wrought his grandfather's sword) who tells him to kill the ingenas (foreigners) and thus avenge the anglisc.

After having read he first three page I thought "when does this Old English end?", but alas, it did not. There is hardly any punctuation, no capitalisation, strange spelling (no "k" for example) and there are very, very strange words. As I am German some of the words are not that difficult for me to understand because German and English are both Germanic languages and the further you go back in time, the two languages become similar (pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar), but this artificial Old English is, of course, not like real Old English. The author just did not want to tell the story in contemporary English and wanted to eliminate all the French words that have come into the English language after 1066 so as to make the characters and their voice more authentic. This is what the author himself says about the language:

"I didn't so much invent it as evolve it. I didn't start the book with a new language in mind, but I discovered as I wrote it that modern English was an insurmountable obstacle to accessing the inner world of the early English. What started off as a few Old English words inserted into the text ended up as an entirely new tongue. Now that I look back on it, it seems both an obvious thing to have done and a mildly crazy one. Did I worry that readers would struggle? In all honesty, I barely thought about readers at all. I don't think writers should have readers in mind as they do their work. That's what we have publishers for. The writer's job is to hunt down the story with as much integrity as possible, and to follow it where it takes them. Stopping to worry about whether anyone else will get it will simply give it chance to escape into the forest."

Text sample:
"songs yes here is songs from a land forheawan folded under by a great slege a folc harried beatan a world brocan apart. all is open lic a wound unhealan and grene the world open and grene all men apart from the heorte. defouls in the heofon all men with sweord when they sceolde be with plough the ground full not of seed but of my folc."

Would I recommend the book? Yes, indeed. After the fist ten pages you quit looking up words in the glossary, you just read it and get drawn into the story and the mind of the protagonist. However, it is not an easy read (especially not for a foreigner like me) but worth it.

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Re: What book are you reading

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Serlo wrote: Text sample:
"songs yes here is songs from a land forheawan folded under by a great slege a folc harried beatan a world brocan apart. all is open lic a wound unhealan and grene the world open and grene all men apart from the heorte. defouls in the heofon all men with sweord when they sceolde be with plough the ground full not of seed but of my folc."

Would I recommend the book? Yes, indeed. After the fist ten pages you quit looking up words in the glossary, you just read it and get drawn into the story and the mind of the protagonist. However, it is not an easy read (especially not for a foreigner like me) but worth it.

Andreas
It sounds interesting. Several years ago I would've simply dismissed such a book out of hand as too confusing but have since received a copy of Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf which is printed in both Modern English and Old English (basically a variation of Norse). I enjoyed reading the poem again (it's a superb version) but I also liked comparing the old and the new forms of the language. There are tremendous differences between the two but once I knew how to read the no longer used letters in Old English, every now and then certain phrases popped out of the Old English text that were perfectly intelligible to a modern speaker like me. It was fascinating. This sounds similar, albeit on a fictional level. I'll put this on my list, thanks!
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by bspj »

It being 2014, I am rereading two books in parallel: Stallworthy and Hibberd on WES Owen.

We all thought Stallworthy to be 'definitive' but Hibberd's much later account deals openly with issues that are sensitively brushed-over in the 1974 book which relied heavily on Harold Owen as a source.

I am preferring the Hibberd.

For my academic read, I am still ploughing through Augustine of Hippo. ......it is good discipline, (probably)!
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by theaub »

Reading 'The English' by Jeremy Paxman. Insightful and informative; as a Welshman it helped me understand my English neighbours a lot more.
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

"Watches" by David Thomson - bought it today. It's about some of the important pieces in the British Museum collection...lots of great history!
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by gbbird »

The wife recommended I read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. Not normally the type of book I go for, but I am finding it rather compelling
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by jimbo »

The "Highway code"....blimey what a book to make you feel tired any insomniacs out there try reading this you will soon be asleep......

(I'm doing some more Instructor" exams soon and need to "refresh" my memory....blinking hard with this one!)
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Just downloaded "Raising Steam". I need Pratchett to make me laugh.
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Re: What book are you reading

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X-Ray; Ray Davies autobiography. He interviews himself.
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Re: What book are you reading

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Just finished reading the second volume (apparently there will be more) of Danny Baker's Autobiography. This one was called "Going off Alarmingly" the first one was "Going to Sea in a Sieve".

Entertaining reading both of them.
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by missF »

setting off now to read Hamlet...
watching you fail in your quest for a “one watch” has been great entertainment
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Re: What book are you reading

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gbbird wrote:The wife recommended I read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. Not normally the type of book I go for, but I am finding it rather compelling
Brilliant book!
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by Lochaber »

Just finishing a re-read of Steven Pressfield's 'Gates of Fire', which I recommend as a description of the emotion of combat (but also, perhaps slightly surprisingly, of female attitudes).

About to re-read Christian Cameron's 'Washington and Caesar', a highly moving account of the challenges faced by an escaped slave attempting to serve the British during the American war of Independence. It's a fantastic account of leadership and, in my opinion, Cameron absolutely nails the descriptions of skirmishing.

May I particularly recommend the George MacDonald Fraser 'McAuslan' books ('The General Danced at Dawn', McAuslan in the Rough' and 'The Sheikh and the Dustbin'). However, a health warning, please do not attempt to read 'em on public transport: you'll oscillate between laughing and weeping out loud to the consternation of anyone sharing a compartment with you.
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Re: What book are you reading

Post by redmonaco »

Just started Ben Kanes "Hannibal" series. Good Stuff!!
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