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I didn't notice the last one is on auto-sage.

Finally finished Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Took me a year I think to get to end of it, this isn't the kind of book you can read normally, I had to stop to take breaks, sometimes I put it down for months. It isn't about comprehension, I understood what Nietzsche was saying in most cases. It is the lyrical form that annoyed me, lots of poems and songs in this one.
As for what I read: I agree and disagree. There are things which he hit spot on, like pity being harmful and focusing on this life on Earth instead of nonsensical tales about after lives. But the idea of eternal recurrence is just plain idiotic, I think it stems from Christianity still or other oriental religions, death is the end of it and that's all - no matter how you try to name it: Heaven, reincarnation or eternal recurrence it is just a pathetic hope that death isn't final. Actually, Nietzsche's thought process reminds me of Christianity in many ways, ironically: like praising suffering, not being content with hedonism, the idea that life is eternal, the Overman basically just replacing God etc.etc. Seems like a twisted and "negative form" of Christianity. Well, that is just my own two cents. I'm no expert on philosophy.


"hope that death isn't final"

To me, the idea there is something after death is a lot more horrifing.
Going from one hellish existence to another with no hope of ever being free.


A philosophy professor once told me that he thought Nietzsche was a mere literary figure and the fact that he is even CONSIDERED a philosopher is off-putting.


You are right, they are not theories:
Definition of theory
1 : a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
And what do you mean by "you people"?


I think this may be accurate. I had a look at Harold Bloom's list of the greatest literature of the western canon when he died the other day and Nietzsche was one of the few philosophers he included in it. Personally I get quite annoyed by the poetical and dialogue form of writing when applied to philosophy, it just seems to add a wholly unnecessary element in the form of characters and storylines that needlessly increase the length of the work and often obscures the meaning of the text behind tiring metaphors.


Well, I'd say he is both a poet and a philosopher. Currently reading Beyond Good and Evil and it is much more tolerable - better - than Zarathustra. He can write like a sensible philosopher if he isn't trying to impress people with his literature and poetic skills.
>Personally I get quite annoyed by the poetical and dialogue form of writing when applied to philosophy, it just seems to add a wholly unnecessary element in the form of characters and storylines that needlessly increase the length of the work and often obscures the meaning of the text behind tiring metaphors.
Same here. If I wanted to read poetry then I would read poems, hymns, songs, etc.


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I just bought these two books and started reading the one on the left. It's a great book informing the reader about the Soviet Union (its geography, history and peoples) and its economic stuff including industry, farming, transport and science.

I haven't started reading the other one yet.


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I haven't felt this emotionally connected to a book since Infinite Jest. It's more than that, though; It's like reading someone's bible-length diary. There's almost zero sense of pacing because you're lost in the minutiae of a life. It's really something else.


Where's the pdf link


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>when he died the other day

Fuck, I didn't even realize Bloom died until seeing this post. Made me do a double take.


EPUB is better.


I enjoyed the one I read, which was I think part four (covering his entire 20s, iirc). Love how quaint life seems in Norway in that era. Everything seems so laid back, and there's no real stressing about unemployment, ethnic tension, crime, social media etc.


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I finished pic related the other day, an interesting analysis on the transformation of the penal system from the violent public executions and torture to the more modern one based on prisons and reformation. Had a lot of interesting historical examples, like specific executions or institutions, in addition to being a very poignant analysis. I was also fascinated by the idea of the anticipation he brought up often and analyzed, an idea from Bentham.




no idea how I made that typo


You did not understand the idea of eternal recurrence completely. It is not to say that there is any sort of afterlife that occurs over and over once we die, it is that we should live as though there is one


I understood it, I think. It is basically reincarnation but things always reincarnate in the same way. We live our lives over and over again.
>it is that we should live as though there is one
What do you base this on? From what I've gathered, Nietzsche really believed in eternal recurrence literally. He believed that the universe collapses and rebuilds itself the same way again and again.


There are -parts- of Beyond Good and Evil and the Geneology of Morals that present cogent, well-organized ideas, but it seems like most of Nietzsche's material is comprised of throwaway statements that I don't care for.

I specifically remember a part of Beyond Good and Evil where Nietzsche criticizes English philosophy, including Darwin and Mill, for being too thorough and rigorous. Somehow, Nietzsche thought that attention to detail was a sign of stupidity. This could explain why Nietzsche's own writing is a little bit sloppy by comparison. I'd prefer English philosophy any day.


yeah I read it many years ago and dont remember much. But that sounds like an early example of analytical vs continental style differences.

Ironically JS Mill labeled the continental style as "analytical" and the English style as empirical. Logic and analysis of ideas without facts seemed more the European thing. It was only with Russell later on that logic, math an analysis became a key part of English philosophy as well, even the name-giver to analytic philosophy.


Interesting that he wrote this in 1975. The world wide web has made the "panopticisation" of society so much worse. I'll have to get around to reading this one at some point.


>but it seems like most of Nietzsche's material is comprised of throwaway statements that I don't care for.
i'm not defending Nietzsche or anything, as i haven't really even read him, but aren't his aphorisms one of the things people like about him?


Foucault's interpretation of the panopticon has stuck with me for a long time, and when I finally watched Psycho Pass, I was kinda miffed that Urobuchi completely misunderstood the concept and fumbled it in the script


Yeah, I bet he'd do well on Twitter.


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i just finished the first part of notes from the house of the dead by dostoevsky
it was interesting but it's way too slow and he gives way too much details about literally everything from haircuts to the weather in russia.
Because of that even after reading a lot of pages i feel like i'm not making any progress at all
i'm gonna read some murakami before going back to part 2


I just bought a second-hand Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2. It is really awesome and it uses something called e-ink and never tires out your eyes. I wish I had bought it years ago so that I could have saved lots of money over books and the physical books in my room wouldn't have occupied so much space.

If you think of buying Kindle, I definitely suggest buying a decent one.


Also, I am going to start reading The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson. It will be my first attempt to read a postmodern novel. I will share the details as I read.


I was reading that too and finished Book One a few days ago. The way he portrays the relationship he had with his father is probably one of the best I've seen in a book so far and really hits close to home at some parts.


What’s that in the upper left corner?


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>Brave New World

Interesting dystopian novel. I liked it more than the others I've read (1984 and Fahrenheit 451) because it felt a little less 1-dimensional and more complex in themes - although I read the other 2 when I was much younger so maybe it just seems that way to me.
Got me thinking a lot about determinism (difference between the mostly 'random' conditioning - random in the sense that no one can really perfectly predict what will occur to someone as they go through life, although these experiences are still certainly conditioning them, vs. the precise and scientific conditioning in the book, where everyone is trained from birth to be placed in a certain caste and respond to certain things in certain ways), freedom ('freedom to be unhappy'), instant vs. delayed pleasure, a bunch of other stuff.

>Wild Swans

Autobiography of a succubus who grew up under Maoist China, following the lives of her, her mother, and her grandmother. I didn't know much about 20th century China so it was pretty interesting to me. Lot of dark shit though.


Small collection of Japanese ghost stories put together by a 19th century weaboo. All are fairly short and generally less scary than they are beautiful or sad, often involving tragedies between lovers or family. The guy was a pretty good writer which made it a pleasure to read. There's also some more philosophical stuff about insects he wrote at the end which was kind of neat.


i use a Nexus 7 2013, have read a dozen or two books thanks to it. i used to buy them from alibris.com in the 2000s and still have a decent amount, i kind of regret not doing it cause i would have a much cooler collection if i bought the ones i read on the android tablet, but i don't have money

I like the ability to look up words and details in searhc engines on the same device, so i prefer a full android over the paperwhite despite the paperwhite being superior for eyes


We were supposed to read all of those sci-fi novels in school, but I mostly didn't read 1984 and Farenheit 451 because they seemed dumb. Brave new world though interested me enough to at least read. Seem like much better social commentary although with the rise of authoritarianism recently I've been meaning to read the others.


Haven't read 1984, but farenheit 451 is a good read.



cool novel nearly a century old now


Is anyone here interested in creating a collection of actual physical books? Like a sort of private library. I've been collecting art and anime on my pc for years now but it feels much more statisfying to have a collection of physical objects instead of just data that can only be accessed through a screen.


I amassed a little over 1k books from the time I was in highschool all the way to my late 20s. I even bough books I could get for free online, which were most of them. I actually regret doing it to be honest. I could've saved the money and read through other means. Many of the books I got are on public domain. I got them because of what you just mentioned. There's a satisfaction, even pleasure in looking at a nice wall of books. Eventually I got tired of having them and put most of them on ebay, sold about a 100 or so and the rest I just donated. Couldn't appreciate having all that stuff gathering dust on my room anymore, I wanted the free space and I wanted a dust free enviroment. In the end I must have read less than half of them to completion, way less, maybe 250, 300 tops.

I would say don't start buying physical books. I know you probably won't listen because my dad also told me to stop getting all the books and I didn't listened. There are better ways to storage information nowadays. Books are a hassle in big numbers.


Recently read "Voyage Around my Room" and "Nocturnal Expedition Around my Room" by Xavier De Maistre, both are perfect for hikkis, shutins, NEETs etc, filled with levity, wisdom, and proves that you don't need to leave your room to go on an interesting journey.


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I'm thinking of reading this book. I guess Russell basically argues the stupidity of marriage, love and other social constructs forced upon us.


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Finished reading Confessions.
The constant prostrating to God every few paragraphs was repetitive and annoying (though probably necessary for the time and fitting given the purpose of the book) but the discussions on desire, good, memory, time and eternity, and creation were all great. Lots of beautiful metaphors as well.


Have any of you read "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race" by Thomas Ligotti? Did you have trouble reading it? On nearly every page I had to use a dictionary on probably three to four words.

Is this a sign that my vocabulary is poor or do you feel the same way?


He uses a lot of unnecessarily arcane words, so don't beat yourself up about not knowing them. I love the book, but I don't like his sometimes clunky, overwraught writing style. It really got in the way of the excellent content, especially the second and third time I read it.


I think the word you're looking for is archaic.


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Finished reading Essays in Idleness and Hojoki.
The book is a combination of 2 works, one by Kamo no Chōmei, a monk who became a hermit and lived in a small hut for the rest of his life, and one by Yoshida Kenkō, also a Buddhist monk but not a recluse.
I went in expecting to relate with Chōmei's Hojoki, but actually found Kenkō's Essays in Idleness much more enjoyable. Covers a wide range of topics like Buddhist teachings, transience, aesthetics, and various anecdotes from history and personal experience. Many echo the style of the anecdotes in the Zhuangzi.


idk man i wasn't there with them


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Currently reading this and there are some uncomfortable truths that are making it difficult to read. I. Thought it would be a meme book but it isn't.


Worthless trash. Keep that rubbish to /b/.


>uncomfortable truths
if Peterson's stuff were anything like as uncomfortable or truthful as it's made out to be, he wouldn't be enjoying the success he does.


I wonder if Huxley intended this utopian society to be perceived as evil and worse than what we have or let it be seen just as a" different" society; not worse or better. I don't have an answer for that, although I'd rather live in brave New world than here or in 1984.
Brave new world is like machines from matrix. Humanity created a "monster" and that monster is a more efficient civilisation than it's creators so it taken over the world.


You're underestimating the power of crabs and Trump supporters.


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Going to be giving this a re-read as it's been a few years. I found it to be an enthralling novel, even if the protagonist is so much unlike me. That's part of the appeal though, in a sense, it's a window into a life of a seeker who is a man unlike me, but in literary artistic form with dignity, and not some "chronicles of a norman who travels and meets succubi and stuff" serious of videos or "coming of age" sex comedy road trip film, or some other crasser modern version of this sort of thing. I found it as rewarding as such a thing could be, and fascinating; I like Hesse's writing. I would generally recommend it to anybody here without many crab/warlock predilections. They would no doubt become quite frustrated with it.


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Finished reading The Technological Society.
It's a study on evolution and effect on society of what the author calls "technique". Despite the title of the book the focus isn't really on what we generally mean when we refer to "technology" - machines - but more on the procedures used to attain ends and the obsession with maximum efficiency.
He goes over way too much to even begin to do it justice in one post (even his investigation into the definition of technique takes up the better part of a chapter) but he raises a lot of good points - techniques being used to fix the problems originally created by other techniques, techniques intruding on leisure time (which, in technical society, becomes the only way a person can "truly" express themselves, since work is often mechanical, dull, and allows for little personal decision because technique essentially dictates the process), creation of a "mass man" through propaganda and advertising whose actions can easily be predicted and controlled, illusions of democracy, supposed ends that have no meaning (populating space).

Apparently Kaczynski was influenced by this book and Ellul in general. It's been a few years since I read his manifesto but I think this was better in every way since it's loaded with references to and arguments against other authors and thinkers and plenty of historical evidence.


Of course, I am only interested in collecting books that I see myself actually reading and which have some readability so I don't just read it once and then never touch it again.
As for buying books that you can read online, this goes for nearly every book nowadays, I actually prefer reading physical copies of books over reading them on a screen. When I do the latter, it tends to just hurt my eyes a lot. And I'm also a bit of an old-fashioned person and just don't like the digitization of books, a physical copy of knowledge that I can hold in my own hands has more value to me than a piece of data.


I was like you before but I agree with him now. I only buy used books for very cheap that are impossible to find in pdf epub or whatever. Can't afford to waste space, and I don't like the idea of leaving so much shit behind if something were to happen to me, or if I had to move.


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Finished reading Erewhon.
It's a novel about a fictional lost civilization that the narrator discovers when wandering inland on an unexplored island, where he works as a shepherd. The people of that civilization have various idiosyncrasies which are revealed as he interacts with the people and learns their history.

The events of the book itself weren't that interesting but the long descriptions of the culture and history were very impressive and often philosophically stimulating. Notable examples:

1. The people believe in punishing physical ailments with imprisonment and other severe punishments, while mental ones and moral deficiencies like crime are treated somewhat like remediable illnesses, with dedicated professionals called "straighteners" who reform people.

2. To support the above seemingly illogical beliefs, a mythology was created where, before birth, people are ethereal beings lacking deficiencies and are generally at peace. To be born into life, they have to sign a contract. Choosing birth is considered a great foolishness, and anyone who does so is subjected to long lectures on how asinine it is (because of having needs, and especially because the parents you're born to is largely subject to chance and so you might get stuck with incompetent ones).

3. Technology from the past two and half centuries or so was abolished. This decision came after a thinker wrote a treatise on the dangers technology would pose in the future if allowed to continue to progress. In it he essentially argues a sort of natural selection theory for machines and posits that, considering our origins from ancestors who were not conscious, it's not implausible that machines could also become conscious at some point in the future. He deals with various other details and counterarguments like reproduction to come to the conclusion that technology from the past several centuries must be abolished to prevent the subjection of mankind to slavery by machines.
Another thinker, the only one to respond to that argument, claims that technology only functions as appendages for humans (i.e. spades being extensions of a hand) and the only danger is that it might equalize the abilities of humans and make activities passionless.
The former thinker comes out on top, however, and the government decides on the destruction of recent technology, including things such as pocket watches.

4. The civilization went through a period of enforced vegetarianism after a theologian argued that, since it's wrong for man to kill his fellow man, it is also wrong for man to kill his fellow creatures. This led to laws forbidding meat consumption, except in cases where the animal died by natural causes. Unsurprisingly many people circumvented this in ridiculous ways, such as killing animals and claiming it was a suicide, or letting their dogs loose on them to avoid the blame for killing. Years later a philosopher argues that eating plants is also wrong because they are sentient (the sentience he argues seems to be based on "knowledge" rather than feeling; according to him a plant has innate knowledge of what it needs to do, i.e. growing towards sunlight, and so it can be considered sentient). This leads to everyone returning to eating meat since it's impossible to not sin in sustaining oneself.
The arguments here were kind of flimsy but the set of chapters was humorous.

5. The people believe in gods for human qualities and concepts like justice - somewhat similar to theories of Platonic forms but they assign gods to them and give them agency for punishing humans.

Considering this was published in 1872 I think it's impressive the author came up with some of these ideas, especially those regarding technology.


What are some must-read informative or critical books/articles/essays you would suggest?


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so i finally finished reading kafka on the shore by haruki murakami and it was an amazing journey that i highly recommend
i can't really describe the events but it's like jojo's bizarre adventure but with a lot of cats


a brief history of time and space by stephen hawking


Can’t you be more specific?



Cats huh?

In which case you should definitely enjoy Stephen King's "Sleepwalkers".


I read it two years ago. Thank you.

For example, all the books written in a kind of academic style. Also, they may include philosophical works (Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Aristotle etc), articles (Unabomber Manifesto etc) and so on.

I don't think I'll read a literary work for a long while.


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Started re-reading Tales from the Perilous Realm by Tolkien. Nice four short and comfy reads, would be ideal book for a train commute or something. "Leaf By Niggle" stands out to me as something fellow wizards would also appreciate.



I wish more of Caraco's books were translated he was like nothing else


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Any other books people should avoid reading?


Any self-help pretty much.


A lot of these are good though. Anyone looking for a list of information to avoid is probably a close minded fool. Just read whatever you want without seeking the approval of others for it.


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"Plebcore" just means that it's popular and accessible and hence, bad. Just because they're entry-tier, doesn't mean you should avoid them. Even an elitist that flaunts his taste in literature should still be familiar with these works.

Having said that, I think most fiction is just a waste of time. If you don't find a particular work compelling to read, then just don't. The point of fiction is the aesthetic appreciation and you don't get that by forcing yourself through it. Just read what you enjoy and/or helps you gain some useful knowledge, anything else is just normalfag social flaunting. It's just another identity to them, as if having a particular taste in literature makes you any more interesting than the rest of the apes.


This list is a huge load of bullshit.


I have seen some John Green podcasts or something, and he's awful, I can't imagine his books being any better.


He writes books primarily for young adults. His books aren't awful but anyone outside the teenage demographic won't find them particularly compelling to read, especially if they don't care about common themes like love and relationships i.e. an unpopular guy obsessing over a pretty popular succubus. They're not my cup of tea, but I wouldn't judge someone that enjoyed them, I simply look for different things.

I can say that pretty much all of these books are excellent in some way, but your enjoyment and appreciation of the work depends heavily on what you find compelling and interesting. Yes, even 50 shades of gray, as it did manage to satisfy a certain market of succubi that are into that kinda thing. Perhaps you don't care much about flipping the bean or your fedora, but Fight club really resonates with your homoerotic ideas about masculinity or Rand scratches your narcissistic idealization of capitalism itch. Who am I to judge you wizzie?


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>letting a 4chan meme list dictate your any of your feelings about written work


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>The Interpretation of Dreams

First thing I've read read from Freud and it was very fascinating. It's a fairly long in-depth analysis on dreams and their source which incorporates many of his own dreams and those of his past neurotic patients in investigating how dreams are formed. In addition to dreams it also gets into the subconscious and a proposed structure for the mind (subconscious, precociousness, conscious) and how certain repressed desires are manifested through dreams. Great read. In addition to being informative he was also a pretty good writer, at least judging from the translation, and I never felt bored despite the length and density of the text.

>Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

Read this after the above because I wanted to learn more about his thoughts. This was a series of short essays (less than a hundred pages) that dived deeper into how sexuality develops during childhood development (erogenous zones, latent period during childhood, etc.) and looks at supposed perversities like inversion (homosexuality) and examines their origins. Short but fairly informative.

>Civilization and Its Discontents

Last thing I'll be reading from Freud for now. This was an essay primarily focusing on the conflict between individual interests and civilization and culture. The observations in the first half or so are pretty obvious to most people (civilization holding power over the individual, individual having to suppress certain drives and being put into submission) but the latter half had interesting ideas relating to the sources of guilt, which he traced to a superego formed in part by the authority of civilization, and on the death drive, which he opposes to Eros (desire towards life and procreation) as a self-destructive instinct. Apparently he goes more into this in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" so I might read that at some point in the future to learn more.


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>harry potter is in the same column with lotr


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>Spinoza's Ethics

Philosophical treatise structured like a mathematical work that goes through a long series of propositions and proofs from an initial set of axioms in order to create a conception of god and an ethical system much different from religious ones of the time. Very dense in some parts (I and II in particular) but his concept of god is far more logical that anything I've seen before (although it's questionable whether his conception should even be called "god" anymore - apparently Schopenhauer had a similar criticism). Some of his later propositions on human emotions and the power of reason were more questionable but he still made interesting points on the superiority of striving for good (positive) rather than lambasting bad (negative, i.e. things likes chastity and humility which are not "positive" virtues but ones only arising from the suppression of emotions and condemnation of them in others as sins) and on eternity.


Old man sits at an artistic dinner party with past acquaintances and silently contemplates what a piece of shit everyone there but him is for over 100 pages.
Surprisingly it works, or at least it did for me. It's written as one big paragraph, similar to some of Beckett's works, but I found this much easier to read and more entertaining due to the biting cynicism of the narrator. Also the ending hit hard.

>Wittgenstein's Nephew

Short autobiographical work by the author of the above, detailing his friendship with a nephew of the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who was mentally ill and constantly in and out of mental institutions. Funny at points but also sad because of how the guy was smart (the descriptions made him sound like an "otaku" of opera and music, very obsessed but also very knowledgeable and even brilliant), yet was fucked up by his illness and electroconvulsive therapy, and lived out his last years alone in a filthy apartment because all his friends (including the author) abandoned him.


Most complaints about his self-help tier work are that it should be obvious. But if anyone needs to be told what is obvious, it would be wizards. Your reactions are fitting.


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Has anyone here read The myth of Sisyphus? Is it any good?
I picked it up today after finishing another book. Being 10 pages in, it starts like typical stuck up philosophy (see: OP's pic) but it seems to start getting down to earth about where I left off. I'm curious about what his definition of absurd was, and hopefully the title metaphor will start making sense after I'm done.


How are you able to go through them so fast?

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