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skylee

What are you reading?

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tianjinpete

安琪An Qi (b. 1968), largely because of lines such as these: 永远的西西弗,他的永远就在未完成中。--题记 (Sisyphus, his eternity, his always unfinished eternity --written on a wall) [epigraph from未完成 Unfinished] ...

现在是有一些意识流的东西在左右 / 我先写到它,然后我想了想 (in which she reverses the cliché of thinking first, then writing) [this is from a poem called九 寨沟 Jiuzhaigou]

钱钟书Qian Zhongshu, pretty much anything I can find by him; right now absorbed in 说 “回家” (1947) / ... 这句话跟西洋心理学所谓 "意识的流水" 并不相反 (he mentions in it the concept of “stream of consciousness, which finds its way into An Qi’s poems)

夏宇 Xia Yu, 写歌 (On Songwriting; text published in Got1 magazine), young Taiwanese poet: 写诗的人最起码对字,对句子,对字与字、句子与句子之间的排

列组合是有点兴趣的, deng deng ... Also, her poems in Fusion Kitsch (俯身 fu shen = to be possessed = fusion? but her translator doesn’t mention this pun)

陆游 Lu You, 入蜀记 (trans. by Watson as Diary of a Trip to Shu), because I love travel literature, but also because of his mention of Li Bai’s “Long Wind Sands”: 二十六日、解舟、过长风沙罗刹石。李白<<江上赠窦长史>>诗云: "万里南迁夜郎国 、三年归及长风沙。"

朱自清 Zhu Ziqin, 倾听(“Listening “), because I have a CD of the Chinese text.

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skylee

I am reading Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist". I have finished 25% of it and I like it a lot, partly because I have only spent HKD 2.5 to reserve the book from the library instead of spending about HKD 70 to buy it -> http://global.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx/pid-1002784847/code-w/section-books/ :clap

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florazheng

I am reading A DOG'S TALE in original by Mark Twain. It is hard for me to read it in English. I want to improve my English language and learn a little about American/British literature. Any suggestion? :conf:conf:conf

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gato

A great way to practice your English is to read online with 金山词霸 (another computer dictionary) running.

Mark Twain is a little old-fashioned for my taste. Here're some recommendations I have. They shouldn't be too difficult.

Alice Munro, the great Canadian short story writer:

- Runaway

- http://members.aol.com/MunroAlice/comfort_munro.pdf

- http://members.aol.com/MunroAlice/PassionSt.pdf

- Boys and Girls

A couple of translated stories by the French writer, Guy de Maupaussant. He's pretty famous in China. I remember hearing his story, "The Necklace," on the radio in China.

- http://bartleby.com/people/Maupassa.html

Willa Cather. Her language is simple yet has great depth, like Alice Munro.

- http://bartleby.com/people/Cather-W.html

F. Scott Fitzgerald's "This Side of Paraside," based on life at Princeton University in the 1920s. His "The Great Gatsby" is one of the most famous American novels of all time.

- http://bartleby.com/115/

You might be interested in some plays, too. They resemble everyday conversations more and usually use a simpler vocabulary. Of what's available online, I would recommend:

George Bernard Shaw (British)

- http://bartleby.com/people/Shaw-Geo.html

Eugene O'Neil (American)

- http://bartleby.com/people/ONeill-E.html

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bhchao

I have been reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. It is a classic "black humor" novel about a World War II bombardier amed Yossarian who resents the military bureaucracy around him, and initially tries to fake insanity to avoid serving in the war.

The tone of the novel is anti-war and after witnessing the death of one of his crew members, he strives to stay alive on each mission.

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skylee

flora, you could get a lot of free e-books from Project Gutenberg. You may wish to start by picking some from its Top 100.

IMHO, the best way to improve reading skills is to read what you find interesting, and keep reading.

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tianjinpete

At the 天津图书大厦 I was able to find a Chinese

edition of one of my favorite American poets,

W.S. Merwin 默温, and lately I have been amusing

myself by translating the Chinese back into the English...

Don't know what Merwin actually wrote ... ha ha

Nor am I completely confident about my translations...

Here are the opening lines from a poem called

Water 水 in a collection entitled "The Open Hand"

张开手 (1983):

整个夏天我都回忆着

很多我不知道东西

仿佛一切都可以静立

在水中...

The whole summer I remembered

many things I never knew

it seemed everything was standing still

on water ...

A few lines later in the same poem, the water is

flowing:

太阳和月亮照耀在

流水之中

Sunlight and moonlight radiant

on the flowing water ...

Only to be at rest again in the poem’s last lines:

那绝不会死去的面庞穿过

死水朝着我们的光芒归来

that eternal face penetrating the

stagnant water towards our radiance

returning

Allusion seems to be to the Greek myth

of Narcissus...

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gato
At the 天津图书大厦 I was able to find a Chinese

edition of one of my favorite American poets' date='

W.S. Merwin 默温, and lately I have been amusing

myself by translating the Chinese back into the English...[/quote']

Cool. Did they publish a bilingual version? It would be a shame to have his original words unread, especially since most people who would read such a book can read English.

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florazheng

Thanks a lot for your suggestion, Skylee and Gato. :D

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Lu

Just started on a book by one 章缘. Had never heard of her (him?), but she a friend of my friend's friend's girlfriend and this girlfriend recommended the book. Ok so far, and not too difficult.

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elizaberth

I don't read poems, but having read this:

Water 水 in a collection entitled "The Open Hand"

张开手 (1983):

整个夏天我都回忆着

很多我不知道东西

仿佛一切都可以静立

在水中...

The whole summer I remembered

many things I never knew

it seemed everything was standing still

on water ...

A few lines later in the same poem, the water is

flowing:

太阳和月亮照耀在

流水之中

Sunlight and moonlight radiant

on the flowing water ...

Only to be at rest again in the poem’s last lines:

那绝不会死去的面庞穿过

死水朝着我们的光芒归来

that eternal face penetrating the

stagnant water towards our radiance

returning

I surfed the net for poems by this author, read his 'yesterday', changed my mindset about poems being boring stuff..

wow.... very touching ...

anyway, just got back from a bookfair, bought a few books:-

1 horror storybook by a hk author, Li Da Bang.

1 book about discussions on Jin Yong's works

1 book on a historical figure named He Shen (anyone got any clue about him? ) they called him 'lao hu li'. 8)

saw a book about Jackie Chan, i am going back to the bookfair for this book soon. :clap

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tianjinpete
Cool. Did they publish a bilingual version?

Have not seen a bilingual edition ... I like W.S. Merwin because the words

and imagery are simple, often direct, but the syntax is difficult, making a

"translation" from Chinese back into English a bit of a puzzle...

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BeijingSlacker
flora' date=' you could get a lot of free e-books from Project Gutenberg. You may wish to start by picking some from its Top 100.

IMHO, the best way to improve reading skills is to read what you find interesting, and keep reading.

Useful website. Thanks for the link

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gato
Have not seen a bilingual edition ... I like W.S. Merwin because the words

and imagery are simple' date=' often direct, but the syntax is difficult, making a

"translation" from Chinese back into English a bit of a puzzle...[/quote']

A little like Haiku. He is one of the best. Here's a collection of about 20 of his poems. http://www.poemhunter.com/w-s-merwin/poet-8289/

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florazheng

I have finished A Dog's Tale by Mark Twain. Oops, it was really hard for me to cross those language hurdles. :wall:wall:wall Now I have done. I learnt a lot from this story under a persons kind help. I can enjoy the story, the colorful English expressions by the author now. :clap:clap:clap

I am going ahead to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain during weekend. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

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in_lab

Huckleberry Finn is a great book, enjoyable for all ages. But I would think that the phonetically-spelled dialect dialogue would be really hard for a non-native speaker to understand. Or do you skip over those parts? (like I skip over the poetry if I'm trying to read something in Chinese)

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florazheng
But I would think that the phonetically-spelled dialect dialogue would be really hard for a non-native speaker to understand. Or do you skip over those parts?

Exactly, It's too difficult for me. Language hurdles beyond the enjoyment. :wall:wall:wall

I skip those dialect, new words but I still have been reading it very very slowly :evil::evil::evil:

Say! I wouldn't like to give it up. Without pain, without gain. :roll::roll::roll:

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florazheng

And I have finished reading a great poem named Oh captain, my captain by Walt Whitman. I'm glad to learn a little about meter which I never knew before. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

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gato
And I have finished reading a great poem named Oh captain, my captain by Walt Whitman. I'm glad to learn a little about meter which I never knew before. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Try some more modern books, florazheng, maybe one of those I suggested above. Mark Twain's Huck Finn is important in American history because of its description of black-white relations, but it's not necessarily one of the greats in the history of English-language literature. Even among 19th century American writers, I would rate Nathaniel Hawthorne and Hermann Melville much higher. Those two aren't really easier to read, though.

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bhchao

I read Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter way back in high school since it was a requirement in class. It was a little tough to read. The English written then was much different than today's English.

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