Don't get caught dying before you read this.

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Don't get caught dying before you read this.

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu": L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

1RickHarsch
Editat: oct. 6, 2015, 7:20pm

I am not trying to be morbid, but this site is flinging authors around every which way and I wouldn't call it envy but perhaps nostalgia is what I feel for all ye younguns out there with TIME. (I'm 56, and don't feel it or think it in any real way, but it probably affects my reading.)

I owe my own answer: US Americans, do not die without reading Moby Dick (Moby-Dick)

Wickipediea has the hyphen; project gutenberg has no hyphen; Cliff's notes has the hyphen

2Cecrow
Editat: oct. 7, 2015, 8:05am

Ah, what are you starting here? This could turn into ugliness with everyone throwing their "must read before you die" title into the ring. Of course I must be the first to follow your lead!

But where to start, what to mention? I can't decide already, it overwhelms.

I think the sad truth is, there is one or more perfect books that speak to each of us, but for everyone these titles are different and you don't know what yours are going to be until you've read them.

I've unintentionally stumbled onto a life regrets theme recently - books that remind me of stupid errors in my past and that could serve as beautiful warnings so others don't make the same mistakes I did; missed opportunities, missed romances. Read Jane Eyre, read The Shadow of the Wind, read Dubliners .... sure, but it may not speak to mistakes you were in danger of making, being a different person than myself. And had I read them as a teenager (Zafon obviously I could not, but my point) it wouldn't have helped prevent anything anyway. I would have rolled my eyes and missed or dismissed the message.

So actually I'll just give up before I begin. You don't know what your milestone books will be, but you know you're going to find some if you just keep reading - and thinking. That's important too.

3.Monkey.
oct. 7, 2015, 7:53am

there is one or more perfect books that speak to each of us, but for everyone these titles are different and you don't know what yours are going to be until you've read them.
THIS!

4RickHarsch
oct. 7, 2015, 11:49am

I chose Moby-Dick with the fact that we are all different in mind. It isn't the book absolutely closest to me (though it IS close enough).

5Limelite
oct. 7, 2015, 4:44pm

>2 Cecrow:
Good advice.

Glad I read Anna Karenina as a teen-ager -- definitely a novel to read before you die. (I don't know how you'd accomplish the task otherwise.) And to this day, I haven't thrown myself in front of a train!

;^)

6RickHarsch
oct. 7, 2015, 4:46pm

Finally. Now we have a list of two. And one I haven't read. I read War and Peace, but followed it a year later with 'the Serbian War and Peace', mentioned in another thread in this group, and it was better. So now I need Karenina konvincing.

7ahef1963
oct. 7, 2015, 6:50pm

>1 RickHarsch: I have tried to read Moby Dick on more than one occasion, but I can't get through it!

>2 Cecrow: I have loved Jane Eyre for many a year.

It's so subjective, I don't know what I'd tell people to read. David Copperfield, perhaps? High Fidelity? The Wee Free Men or My Family and Other Animals if I want to leave people with laughter. Neverwhere or The Name of the Wind for those who dream of adventure. In the end, though, I am just glad that people still read.

8Meredy
oct. 7, 2015, 11:37pm

>1 RickHarsch: I looked up a photo of a first edition (1851) that's in the Boston Public Library, and it has the hyphen on the title page:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/4403763793/in/photostream/

As for myself, I don't actually believe there's any one title that everyone ought to have read, or even that every American ought to have read; but if I were forced to pick something, it would probably be a children's book. I'd look for something that's embedded in the culture well enough that people allude to it, as they do with Sherlock Holmes--maybe even without knowing that it's from a book, much less having read it themselves; it's just there. Right now I don't know what that would be. I'd love to pick something that hasn't been Disneyfied; Disney is not what I have in mind when I refer to culture.

92wonderY
oct. 8, 2015, 7:22am

>8 Meredy:
"maybe even without knowing that it's from a book, much less having read it themselves; it's just there. "

Like The Wizard of Oz, and everyone's first thought is of the Mary Martin production? For me, that one is okay, because L. Frank Baum was basically a hack writer with a great idea, more fully realized on stage or screen than on paper.

But Peter Pan is altogether different. I hate that Disney has that property. The J. M. Barrie versions are golden, as is everything else he wrote.

10Cecrow
oct. 8, 2015, 8:01am

I'm a huge fan of 501 Must-Read books and it guides a lot of my selections. But I think I'll run out of steam after about 300 or so, there's some titles that I don't see the point in forcing myself to tackle no matter their objective quality. Ultimately it's a subjective experience and the two don't always mesh.

Moby Dick, Jane Eyre, My Family and Other Animals, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan ... all on the list.

11.Monkey.
oct. 8, 2015, 8:51am

>10 Cecrow: Peter Pan was pretty great, but I'd strongly urge reading Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens as well, I actually preferred it.

122wonderY
oct. 8, 2015, 8:57am

>11 .Monkey.: ditto. We used to read it aloud to each other at home.

13Limelite
oct. 8, 2015, 6:25pm

Sort of an aside -- I've always wondered where Melville got the name "Moby-Dick." So, I did a little Googling and discovered at least two variants on the source of the name.

Aggressive defense of their lives by male sperm whales was not uncommon, historically. Here's an example.

One story source: "published in the New York Knickerbocker Magazine in May 1839"
recounted the capture of a giant white sperm whale that had become infamous among whalers for its violent attacks on ships and their crews. The meaning of the name itself is quite simple: the whale was often sighted in the vicinity of the island of Mocha, and "Dick" was merely a generic name like "Jack" or "Tom" -- names of other deadly whales cited by Melville in Chapter 45 of Moby-Dick
You may wish to consult your copy of the novel for that reference. Pagination will probably differ among editions, so here's a hint for tree book owners; e-book owners can perform a keyword search. Look for this sentence and read on from there:
"But not only did each of these famous whales enjoy great individual celebrity -- nay, you may call it an ocean-wide renown; not only was he famous in life and now is immortal in forecastle stories after death, but he was admitted into all the rights, privileges, and distinctions of a name; had as much a name indeed as Cambyses or Caesar.


Another offered explanation, ". . . the word dick, combined with the word Mocha, has it's base roots in the language of Polynesia and the phrase translates to mean demon (or ghost) fish."

All this got me to wondering why Melville spends so much time devoted to narrative about the whale's name but is coy and shy about outright naming his narrator.

Why, "They call me Ishmael," instead of "My name is Ishmael"? Who's "they"? And why does he let people call him a name that he doesn't indicate is his?

Great writers make their books enthralling beyond just the story, don't they? They know how to be provocative. Come to think of it, that may be one of the qualities that makes a writer qualify for my favorite list like we're talking about in another topic.

14Meredy
oct. 8, 2015, 7:08pm

>13 Limelite: It's just "Call me Ishmael," isn't it? Imperative. No "they." I thought the implication was that he's speaking right to us like a storyteller. And that he's being a little bit discreet, avoiding letting on whether that's his real name, perhaps for reasons that ought to be very familiar to Internet users.

15Limelite
oct. 9, 2015, 2:23pm

You're absolutely correct. I think I always hear the "they" in my own head.

Ha! The first literary handle?

16lorax
oct. 9, 2015, 4:29pm

>14 Meredy:

I'm pretty sure we aren't supposed to consider Ishmael to be the narrator's real name, or to care; he's making an allusion to the biblical Ishmael. Moby Dick is loaded with allusions like that, after all; not only the names of Ishmael and Ahab both, but the reference to Job in the epilogue.

I don't actually read much of what gets talked about as Classic Literature, but I've read Moby Dick more than once. It reads like SF in a lot of ways.