Read Calvino’s ‘If on a winter’s night a traveller’ (1979) and liked it, except for all the weird rapey bits???

Read it after seeing it cited as an influence by a particular YouTuber (more on that later), and the choice of structural arrangement is astonishing, with this meta narrative that alternates between the experiences of a reader, and the actual content he is said to be reading. The English translation is highly voluble (a word I learned from that book as a matter of fact), and as a whole the novel is mind-blowing. 100 percent recommend it, and I felt like this book was made just for me…

…for the most part. At some point early on he introduces this female character (he treats most of the characters as stock characters which reappear in various contexts throughout) Ludmilla, who is involved with a bunch of people that work in this kind of conspiracy to fake as many works as possible, don't want to go into too much detail cause there's an interesting twist, but on numerous occasions she's confronted with this weird sort of author archetype who, on one occasion, chases her around his office in an attempt to 'have relations', as he considers her his ideal reader. This really weirded me out, seemed totally out of place. I personally also like to daydream and imagine myself with certain women or whatever, but to have that translate into actually chasing someone around a study is completely alien to me. Up to that point I found myself sort of relating to that character. There are some other occasions where similar stuff happens, those who read it will know which ones im talking about, so let me hear your thoughts.

Furthermore, you may have heard of the YouTuber exurb1a. He also wrote this sort of mindfuck short-story-turned-YouTube-video called 'Upsilon Dies Backwards' which I watched on release and really enjoyed, and apparently this book was an influence to that video, which is why I read it. At the time I found myself relating to a lot of this existential stuff he covered on his channel, and you can probably tell where this is going. Turns out he has some pretty severe rape allegations against him…. Haven't been able to stomach any of his videos without some reservations, and the knowledge of this in the back of my head.

So basically, I have a really weird feeling that I'm reading stuff I relate to, and then it turns out the people behind them have some fucked up fantasies. Why does this happen so often?

Would like to add that I'm not particularly well read as I'm only 19, but looking to expand my knowledge.

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Shakespeare and The Count of Monte Cristo

After escaping from prison and learning that his fiancée has married one of the perpetrators of his imprisonment, the protagonist says to himself the famous phrase of Hamlet: "Frailty, thy name is woman!". Subsequently, talking about the same Mercedes, Monte Cristo quotes that "a woman is like a wave." Bertuccio points to Villefort "in almost the same gesture as Macbeth points to Banquo," but this comparison is reversed – it points not to the victim, but to the murderer (who, however, did not commit the murder, but almost did it). Finally, Monte Cristo tells Madame de Villefort that Lady Macbeth wanted to "put her son on the throne, not her husband." However, this is necessary in order to influence Villefort's wife. Of course, there is no need to think about any new interpretation of the behavior of Shakespeare's heroine.

Much more important than these and some other links are hidden parallels. However, the parallel with “Romeo and Juliet” can hardly be called hidden – it is simply exposed. Just like Lorenzo's brother Juliet, Monte Cristo gives Valentina de Villefort a drink, after which she is considered dead and buried in the family crypt. Further, the complete resemblance to Shakespeare begins to change a little: Maximilian Morrel, who loves Valentina, unlike Romeo, does not enter the crypt, but, like Romeo, decides to commit suicide. Finally, there is a complete departure from Shakespeare: the Count of Monte Cristo manages to prevent his friend from committing suicide.

Then the parallel with Romeo and Juliet begins to smoothly turn into parallel with "The Winter's Tale". Monte Cristo promises Morrell that he will organize an easy death for him, but only in a month, if he does not calm down. Maximilian agrees and takes an oath.

Hermione, presumed dead, had tested Leontes' love for sixteen years. Maximilian, unlike Leonte, is not guilty of anything, and his love is tested for one month (among other things, the development of the plot did not allow for a long time). Love passes this test. A month later, Maximilian still wants death, the persuasions of Monte Cristo do not work on him. He thinks that he is dying, but in fact he is sleeping, in a dream he sees Valentina, and when he wakes up, he realizes that he sees her in real life life is surrounded by sleep ”, because Valentine was certainly dead for him).

There was a parallel with the transformation of the statue into a living woman (or rather, into living women) a little earlier, when in the same room Franz d'Epinay, who had smoked hash from Monte Cristo, was seduced by former statues, and vaguely he saw a bashful statue wrapped in a veil. Subsequently, d'Epinay almost married Valentina, but her grandfather interfered with the wedding, saving his beloved granddaughter from an unnecessary marriage, and this repeated the narcotic episode with an inaccessible statue. The tandem "Valentine – Statue" appears. Thus, a parallel is drawn between the "resurrection" of Hermione and the "resurrection" of Valentine.

The main ones are the parallels with "The Tempest". In a sense, The Tempest can be considered the source of the Count of Monte Cristo as well as the chapter The Diamond of Vengeance in the book Notes. From the archives of the Parisian police. "

All the action of "The Tempest" takes place on the island. The image of the island is also very important in the "Count of Monte Cristo". Prospero on the island from a duke, carried away by science and art, turns into a magician, a wizard; Monte Cristo, having found a treasure on his island, begins to manipulate people, seeking (like Prospero) to punish the guilty and reward the good.

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Looking forward to the WHEEL OF TIME adaptation because now I can enjoy the story without reading about Rand finding his socks for the tenth time

WHEEL OF TIME is tricky for me

There's so much to like about it. Sure you got trite cliches like a chosen one and a dark evil entombed but rising up. But then you also get great goodies like the despicable wild card Padan Fain or the Seanchan randomly showing up to enslave everyone.

I think it's book five that just opens with us checking in on every antagonistic group, from the self righteous Whitecloaks to the man hating Red Ajah to the Forsaken chilling and plotting against each other to all the Dark Friends meeting in masks. That stuff gets me giddy because it sets up all these wonderful pieces to come in conflict…

…. and then I have to read in excruciating detail how Rand couldn't find his socks

Again.

I swear there are some passages that read like this:

" Perrin sat up. Perrin put his feet on the floor. Perrin walked to the door. Perrin put his hand in the door knob. Perrin twisted the door knob. Perrin opened the door. Perrin stepped out of the door. Perrin closed the door. Perrin took his hand off the door knob"

Those are the moments that made me scream YEAH WE CAN INFER THESE THINGS

But still, I powered through it. Because the pay offs were so great. Nothing more satisfying than seeing the smug Seanchan taken down or Thom doing something amazing with knives.

Then it happened.

The Ai'el villain they built up all of book four…

Who was becoming a real problem in book five…

Everything leading to an epic confrontation….

Cut to: Oh yeah Matt fought and killed him offscreen. It was cool. You should have been there for it.

That's when I gave up

It's one thing to go into extremely boring detail about mundane things….but to do that AND skip over something actually exciting?

I couldn't do it anymore

That's why I have hope for the show. Because theres so many fun characters and potential for great scenes and now I'll get to enjoy it without reading about Rand looking for his socks yet again.

Plus they casted The Professor from LA CASA DE PAPEL as Logain and that's one character who NEVER got enough screen time so I'm looking forward to seeing more of him.

Any other WHEEL OF TIME people feel the same way? Or do you all hate me for giving up?

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Can someone explain to me the general criticism of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”?

I've read the book multiple times and, while it doesn't stand out to me as anything exceptionally masterful or brilliant, overall it doesn't seem like a bad book.

However, it seems to be a running joke/theme in multiple pieces of media (The Good Place is one that comes to mind) that this book in particular is "trashy literature" and poorly written. The Da Vinci Code appears to often find itself the scapegoat for jokes involving "insert popular but badly written book here".

I'm not here to defend it with my dying breath, just super curious as to what its flaws are since they seem very obvious to everyone else. What makes this book so "bad"?

EDIT: the general consensus seems to be that it's less that the book itself is flaming garbage and more that it's average/subpar but somehow managed to gain massive sales and popularity, hence the general disdain for it. I can agree with that sentiment and am thankful that I can rest easy knowing I'm not a god-awful critic, haha. Three different people have recommended Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, so I'll check that out when I have the time. Thank you all for your contributions 🙂

EDIT 2: I agree with most of these comments about how the book (and most of Dan Brown's work, according to you all) serves its purpose as a page-turner cash grab. It's a quick read that doesn't require much deep thought.

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Reading Ulysses for a class and feeling discouraged and incompetent

I'm a college student reading Ulysses for the first time for a college class. I have always loved literature, even — especially — "difficult" literature but this book, and this class, has me really doubting my ability as a reader and student. I guess that's good for me. I've just never felt this lost or helpless in a literature class, not with Milton, or Blake, or Woolf, or TS Eliot.

I spent many many hours preparing for class this week, reading and annotating the assigned chapters along with the footnotes and outside sources, then re-reading the text. I'm enjoying myself, too, and I find extra research enhances my experience of reading. I went into the seminar today a bit overwhelmed and confused about some things but mostly excited and ready to learn and discuss, but I left feeling totally discouraged and incompetent, humiliated even. I might as well have not read anything.

Maybe this is good for me. Some humility. But if even after all that preparation, I am still this lost and incompetent, what does that say about me as a reader/student?

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Turns out I actually like reading!

About a month ago I bought a Kobo on a whim, for no reason other than I thought that maybe reading a book here or there would be a more productive use of my time than gaming or surfing youtube/netflix. I haven't read an actual book in years, not since high school, so I wasn't expecting much from myself.

In the past 4 weeks, however, I have now read 4 books and am currently on the 5th! I haven't read that many books in the last 10 years, never mind in a month. I started off with Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah. I know absolutely nothing about him but the book was well reviewed and seemed interesting, so I gave it shot. I really enjoyed reading about his experiences and I flew through it. There's something about autobiographies that hook me more than fiction. For some reason, I find it easier to immerse myself in someone's lived experiences, rather than something fictitious (and therefore somewhat arbitrary, in my opinion).

What I realized is that I never liked reading when I was younger because I was always told what to read and when to read it by. It always felt like an obligation or a chore, not something you do for fun. But now that I am the one choosing what I want to read and setting my own pace, it's fantastic. I don't even play video games anymore, I just read!

Also, I much prefer reading on an ereader to reading a physical book. No old book smell, no flipping pages, no having to read with a light nearby. Every book I could ever want is at my fingertips in a device that allows me to take my entire library with me wherever I want. If I see a book on this subreddit or Goodreads that I'm interested in, I can have it in seconds. Honestly, this device has been revelatory and it's probably the best purchase I have made in a long time. I feel like I've discovered a whole new world.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my new found excitement for reading and thought maybe my experience would encourage someone to get back into reading as well.

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How did Hari Seldon know his psychohistory worked? – The Foundation

So…..psychohistory predicts future of humanity on the large scale through statistics and math, it is a form of science. I believe it is stated in the books that acts of individuals essentially cancelled out and therefore didn't really matter in Seldon's predictions (ergo. why the Mule's reign wasn't foreseen). So psychohistory wasn't really perfect, but it worked most of the time.

But Seldon could not have know that it did. He CREATED psychohistory. That means he formulated it in a hypothesis and needed to prove it to a reasonable doubt before it became an established theory, whether in academic circles or in his own conviction. He did not have enough time for that. The man "only" lived for 81 years, during some of which he was already working on his plan. He did not have anough time to test the predictive power of his psychohistory, which he used to predict tenths of thousands of years ahead…in just a couple of decades.

Sure he could have maybe predicted a smaller, local event. Maybe a collapse of one planet or a sector, but nothing to justify his calculations into the far future….he was therefore, putting the fate of humanity on his "faith" in his hypothesis……

TLDR: How could he known, during his life, that his predictions were right?

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Unpopular opionion. Neil gaiman adaptations are great but source material is droll

I love adaptations of neil gaimans works? Amerigan gods, Good omens, stardust. However i cannot stand his books they just drag on and on and on. Neverwhere is one of the most boring book ive ever read and i gave up on american gods when it was just chapter after chapter of him in lakeside with nothing happening.

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What Books did You Start or Finish Reading this Week?: September 13, 2021

Hi everyone!

What are you reading? What have you recently finished reading? What do you think of it? We want to know!

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The Bogus Title, by Stephen King

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