- Vote for books to read (ongoing)
You are invited to vote for books to discuss in future meet-ups, so we have a pool of favorites to choose from. You can also propose other titles. Some members showed interest for science-fiction, so here is the chance to propose books and connect with others that are interested in the same genre. Please vote for 2-5 books, including your own suggestions, by email, comments or the group's Poll option: http://www.meetup.com/Classic-Literature-and-Cafes-Bucharest/polls/989952/ All books are available in Romanian (also at the public library www.bibmet.ro (http://www.bibmet.ro/)) and English. 1) Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" - 530 pages http://www.meetup.com/Classic-Literature-and-Cafes/events/11981527/ 2) Herta Muller's "The Land of Green Plums" - 270 pages http://www.amazon.com/The-Land-Green-Plums-Novel/dp/0312429940/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390169850&sr=8-1&keywords=herta+muller Romanian translation - "Animalul inimii": http://www.polirom.ro/catalog/carte/animalul-inimii-2191/ 3) Julio Cortazar's "Hopscotch" - 570 pages http://www.meetup.com/Classic-Literature-and-Cafes/events/10983818/ 4) Fernando Pessoa's "The Book of Disquiet" - 550 pages http://www.meetup.com/Classic-Literature-and-Cafes/events/14676935/ 5) Hermann Broch's "The Death of Virgil" - 500 pages http://www.meetup.com/Classic-Literature-and-Cafes/events/12788603/ 6) William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" - 270 pages http://www.meetup.com/Classic-Literature-and-Cafes/events/12791407/ 7) Ford Madox Ford's "The Good Soldier" - 420 pages http://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Second-Edition-Critical-Editions/dp/039392792X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390217829&sr=8-1&keywords=Ford+Madox+Ford%2C+The+Good+Soldier 8) Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" - 320 pages http://www.amazon.com/Tender-Is-Night-Scott-Fitzgerald/dp/068480154X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390217894&sr=8-1&keywords=Scott+Fitzgerald%2C+Tender+is+the+Night 9) H. von Doderer's "The Lighted Windows" - 140 pages http://www.amazon.com/Humanization-Bureaucrat-Austrian-Literature-Translation/dp/1572410817/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390218013&sr=8-1&keywords=dodderer (http://www.amazon.com/Humanization-Bureaucrat-Austrian-Literature-Translation/dp/1572410817/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390218013&sr=8-1&keywords=doderer) 10) Joris Huysmans' "Against Nature" - 270 pages http://www.amazon.com/Against-Nature-Rebours-Oxford-Classics/dp/0199555117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1390221329&sr=1-2&keywords=Joris+Huysmans%2C+Against+the+Nature
- Borges' "Ficciones"
"The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges’ genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything in between." Available online: https://posthegemony.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/borges_collected-fictions.pdf We'll discuss only Fictions(1944) and Artifices (1944) from this collection. One copy in Spanish available at Biblioteca Metropolitana Bucuresti ( http://www.bibmet.ro )
- Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"
It's summer and we've circle back to another famous dystopia:) "Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dystopia) novel by Ray Bradbury (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Bradbury) published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found. The title refers to the temperature that Bradbury understood to be the autoignition point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoignition_temperature#Autoignition_point_of_selected_substances) of paper. The novel has been the subject of interpretations primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning) in suppressing dissenting ideas. In a 1956 radio interview, Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism)) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he stated his motivation for writing the book in more general terms. The novel has won multiple awards. In 1954, it won the American Academy of Arts and Letters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Academy_of_Arts_and_Letters) Award in Literature and the Commonwealth Club of California (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_Club_of_California) Gold Medal. It has since won the Prometheus "Hall of Fame" Award (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus_Award) in 1984 and a 1954 "Retro" Hugo Award (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award), one of only four Best Novel Retro Hugos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel) ever given, in 2004. Bradbury was honored with a Spoken Word (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Award_for_Best_Spoken_Word_Album) Grammy nomination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19th_Annual_Grammy_Awards) for his 1976 audiobook version." Romanian and English copies at Bucharest Metropolitan Library ( http://www.bibmet.ro )
- Yann Martel's "Life of Pi"
"Life of Pi is a Canadian fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yann_Martel) published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor ″Pi″ Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pondicherry), explores issues of spirituality (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality) and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipwreck) while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_tiger) named Richard Parker." "The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?" Plenty of copies available at Biblioteca Metropolitana Bucuresti ( http://www.bibmet.ro ). There is also the 2012 movie adaptation, but we will discuss mainly the book.
- William Golding's "Lord of the Flies"
"Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket and homework and adventure stories—and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic." The book can be easily obtained in Ro and En, including from the Bucharest Metropolitan Library ( http://www.bibmet.ro ) and probably online.
- Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" ("Blandetea noptii")
"Published in 1934, Tender Is the Night was one of the most talked-about books of the year. "It's amazing how excellent much of it is," Ernest Hemingway said to Maxwell Perkins. "I will say now," John O'Hara wrote Fitzgerald, "Tender Is the Night" is in the early stages of being my favorite book, even more than This Side of Paradise." And Archibald MacLeish exclaimed: "Great God, Scott...You are a fine writer. Believe it -- not me." Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character -- lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative --Tender Is the Night, Mabel Dodge Luhan remarked, raised F. Scott Fitzgerald to the heights of "a modern Orpheus." " The book can be found at the public library in Romanian ( http://www.bibmet.ro ) or online in English. We could include in our discussion the "The Great Gatsby" since there is a recent film inspired by the book.