Author Topic: Grand unified books thread  (Read 211356 times)

garbon

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2009, 08:47:53 am »
Nonsense.  Fiction is much more predictable and more tedious than history.  The facts of history are very rarely logical.  I mean the King of France giving his army over to a teenage girl?  WTF?

I don't know how you can make this statement.  As if illogical things never happen in fiction...

Also, I'd actually say that I hate when historian brings visible emotionality to their works.  Then they aren't even maintaining the pretense of objectivity.
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Valmy

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2009, 08:51:17 am »
I don't know how you can make this statement.  As if illogical things never happen in fiction...

Also, I'd actually say that I hate when historian brings visible emotionality to their works.  Then they aren't even maintaining the pretense of objectivity.

Illogical things do happen in fiction, but they often are not believable and tend to be eye-rolling moments 'yeah right'.  You have to accept the bizarre in history because they actually did happen.

But human history is not a tale of coldly objective people, so telling it in a coldly objective way is not an accurate portrayal.   Maybe if you were writing the history of robots that would be an accurate way to relate it.
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garbon

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2009, 08:55:32 am »
Illogical things do happen in fiction, but they often are not believable and tend to be eye-rolling moments 'yeah right'.  You have to accept the bizarre in history because they actually did happen.

Actually if you recognize that people do illogical things...illogical things in fiction (when it is clear that the writer isn't simply a poor writer) should ring a bell. :huh:

But human history is not a tale of coldly objective people, so telling it in a coldly objective way is not an accurate portrayal.   Maybe if you were writing the history of robots that would be an accurate way to relate it.

You can try to write objectively about tumultuous events.  When you have no horse in the race, so to speak, it gets easier.  I'm not at all sure how that forces historical actors to be cold and objective. :mellow:
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Sheilbh

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2009, 01:28:53 pm »
History, well written, can and will equal fiction in elegance and depth of human emotion.
Yeah.  I'm actually the opposite of Marti.  Because I spend my days reading for my course I enjoy reading non-fiction (mostly history and theology) to relax.

Quote
Nonsense.  Fiction is much more predictable and more tedious than history.
I think this is more true of genre fiction because, generally, there are more rules.  I think fiction that's more about the writing than the plotting tends to be less predictable and more fun.  Salman Rushdie seems to me a really good example of that, where the force and skill of the writing carries you on to the degree where you don't really care what happens next to the characters you care what's going to happen to the next sentence.

But they're fundamentally doing different things and trying to achieve different things with the same medium so I don't think any simple comparison will ever work.  Though I love history with a bit of character in it.  I enjoy reading the Robin Lane Fox that I've read because you really get a sense of how much fun he's having recounting all this stuff (same for Suetonius); I love Alastair Horne's books on France because there's a real sense of him loving his subject that comes across time and again.
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jimmy olsen

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #64 on: March 30, 2009, 02:18:09 pm »
GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! :bleeding:
It is far better for the truth to tear my flesh to pieces, then for my soul to wander through darkness in eternal damnation.

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Admiral Yi

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #65 on: March 30, 2009, 02:22:31 pm »
 :huh:
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jimmy olsen

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2009, 02:26:20 pm »
:huh:
Splitting the book into three pieces, just because it's gonna be longer than the Bible, what a bunch Goddamned pussies. It can be done in two.

And the name, how horribly generic, there are so many more interesting lines of prophesy that could be used.

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/article/56/Splitting-AMOL
It is far better for the truth to tear my flesh to pieces, then for my soul to wander through darkness in eternal damnation.

Jet: So what kind of woman is she? What's Julia like?
Faye: Ordinary. The kind of beautiful, dangerous ordinary that you just can't leave alone.
Jet: I see.
Faye: Like an angel from the underworld. Or a devil from Paradise.
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jimmy olsen

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #67 on: March 30, 2009, 02:27:15 pm »
GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! :bleeding:

Does this have anything to do with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies?
No, I've read the first 200 pages and it's good so far.
It is far better for the truth to tear my flesh to pieces, then for my soul to wander through darkness in eternal damnation.

Jet: So what kind of woman is she? What's Julia like?
Faye: Ordinary. The kind of beautiful, dangerous ordinary that you just can't leave alone.
Jet: I see.
Faye: Like an angel from the underworld. Or a devil from Paradise.
--------------------------------------------
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Syt

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #68 on: March 31, 2009, 11:13:08 am »
Reading Ralph Peters' "Red Army", a novel about WP invading Germany, from the Soviet perspective.

Still in the preliminaries, but high literature this is not (nor meant to be). The situation seems to in the 80s, after the mid-range missiles were removed. Political background is unclear. NATO seems to know WP is preparing something big, but, from comments of characters, seem locked in bickering.

 Characters so far are a few privates (a farmboy who likes blues and rock, and a womanizer from Leningrad), the commander of the northern front (facing NORTHAG), a descendant of a long line of officers, various commanders, and a head of intelligence (a descendant of Jews, facing antisemitism in the forces) plus other cliché Russian soldier types. Polish officers look forward to kicking West German ass, East Germans seem unsure. Russian privates look forward tot he adventure of fighting the class enemy.

The book covers the section of NORTHAG. The plan of the Soviets is intriguing:
- the flanks advance to the borders between troops of different NATO nations, trying to exploit the friction there. Goal is to threaten an envelopment of West German forces.
- the center hesitates and when it looks that NATO troops are moved from there to the flanks they strike there in full force
- overall goal is to cause such a crisis in the north that NATO must move troops away from CENTAG where the WP main blow in Germany is scheduled
- the airforce will focus on destroying NATO air assets at first instead of providing ground support
- the picturesque but worthless town of Lüneburg (held by Dutch) is scheduled for total destruction to demonstrate what happens if Germans resist. Other cities where fighting is light are to be left as intact as possible - rationale: West Germans have become comfortable in their prosperity and may be not very willing to see much destruction, therefore easy to be morally beaten

I think the author (former CIA expert on Soviet forces) has a point re: German willingness to fight. The peace movement was strong in the 80s, and I doubt people had much fight in them. Besides, West Germans firing at East Germans is a big unknown in the equation; though by the 80s the countries had grown so much apart that I think most westerners thought the easterners were "foreigners".
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Razgovory

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #69 on: March 31, 2009, 03:40:23 pm »
It's very silly.  The author seems to think that the Germans and Dutch would be lousy soldiers.  Something I do happen to agree with,  though I think they would be poor soliders I don't think they would simply fold with the idiotic Luneburg thingy.  One interesting thing is that the author does not name any military hardware.  We now know what the Soviet Union's plans and it involved lots of nukes.  Nukes never seem to be a major element in these stories of Warsaw Pact vs Nato.
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Ed Anger

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #70 on: April 01, 2009, 09:44:43 am »
Napoleonic books recently:

Fighting Napoleon by Charles J. Esdaile. Supposedly an account of the guerrilla war in Spain, but spends the first 50 pages blabbering about previous works in the field and jabbering that English writers have generally ignored the Spanish viewpoint. CRY ME A FUCKING RIVER, YOU BLOWHARD. I stopped there.

Worst 4.98 spent in the last month.

How Far From Austerlitz?: Napoleon 1805-1815 by Alistair Horne. A generally entertaining read. However, suffers from English writer-itis.

Passable read.

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PDH

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #71 on: April 01, 2009, 09:52:15 am »
Also, I'd actually say that I hate when historian brings visible emotionality to their works.  Then they aren't even maintaining the pretense of objectivity.
Actually, it is the pretense of objectivity that makes a lot of history horrible, IMO.
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BuddhaRhubarb

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #72 on: April 01, 2009, 12:02:53 pm »
reading Rawi Hage's http://www.amazon.com/Niros-Game-Rawi-Hage/dp/1581952236"DeNiro's Game". Has nothing to do with Bobby D. different guy. Interesting portrait of Christian neighbourhood in Beirut during war. Apparently smoking and drinking are pretty much all that's left to do. Entertaining read thus far.
:p

garbon

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #73 on: April 01, 2009, 02:52:32 pm »
Actually, it is the pretense of objectivity that makes a lot of history horrible, IMO.

I don't. I've no desire to run around Timmy fanwanks.
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The Minsky Moment

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Re: Grand unified books thread
« Reply #74 on: April 01, 2009, 05:56:37 pm »
It's very silly.  The author seems to think that the Germans and Dutch would be lousy soldiers.  Something I do happen to agree with,  though I think they would be poor soliders I don't think they would simply fold with the idiotic Luneburg thingy.  One interesting thing is that the author does not name any military hardware.  We now know what the Soviet Union's plans and it involved lots of nukes.  Nukes never seem to be a major element in these stories of Warsaw Pact vs Nato.

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