this winter i read or finished reading:
os ratos, by Dyonelio Machado
São Bernardo, by Graciliano Ramos
sagarana, by João Guimarães Rosa (re-read)
who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?, by Edward Albee
on formally undecidable propositions of Principia Mathematica and related systems, by Kurt Gödel
the wall jumper, by Peter Schneider
pocket guide to Germany, by the United States army service forces’ information branch
this is your brain on music: understanding a human obsession, by Daniel Levitin
Nietzsche: philosopher, psychologist, antichrist, by Walter Kaufmann
a general hiftory of the robberies and murders of the moft notorious pyrates, by Cap’n Charles Johnson
Macunaíma, by Mário de Andrade
i wish everyone here could read sagarana, or at least its first and last sections (stories? novels? chapters?). who’s afraid was a pleasant surprise to me — having been already struck deeply by the movie that goes by the same name. Albee takes the reader for a walk around a society which is so radically alien to me i can barely understand how come i’m able to speak its language. Gödel is brilliant, but his paper is over rated. the brilliance of his derivation is way more interesting than the limited conclusion he arrives to (and which, ever since, has been raped and stretched into meaninglessness by people who don’t completely understand it). i’m on to Taski now, and then out of my little mathematical expedition and back to the unsteady ground of philosophy, where these mathematical results co relate to Aristotle (on rhetoric), Descartes (on methodological criticism), Kant (on the problem of judgement) and finally Nietzsche and Sloterdijk (on the problem of language, society and sanity).
the wall jumper is an absolute must. let me repeat this in bold letters: the wall jumper is an absolute must. everyone should read it. everyone; everyone who lived through the cold war should read it, everyone born after its fall (or who was too young by then to understand it) must read it. read it. read it. read it. the penguin edition (in English translation) has a fabulous introduction, get that one if you (like me) can’t read the original. after you read that, go to this page and grab a copy of the now-long in public domain “pocket guide to Germany” ellaborated by the US army back in '45 or '46. it’s a couple of hours reading, tops. read it bearing in mind the current world affairs — the invasions promoted by China, Russia and the States all over the place. rejoyce. must read these.
this is your brain on music… that was a pleasant little best-seller. if you have a lazy weekend ahead of you and absolutely no will to go out (or if you’re crossing Europe back and forth on a train), get it.
the other three i’ve talked about before, in this topic.
now i’m reading: Machiavelli’s il principe (the prince) and Peter Sloterdijk’s critique de la raison cynique (critique of cynical reason; originally in German).