I finished The 120 Days of Sodom and Daring Do and the Eternal Flower and can now give short reviews here and add them to the list of books I’ve read in 2017.
The 120 Days of Sodom (1785 (first published 1904), this edition + translation 2016) by The Marquis de Sade
A highly-controversial book which has been banned at various times – it’s still, I hear, illegal to display Sade’s works in shop windows in France. Even if the name of the book isn’t familiar, the name of the author should be. The Marquis de Sade is the man from whose name we get the term “sadism.” He was a French Nobleman and a libertine who followed his passions without concern for others. This led him through a number of scandals over his sexual behaviour and eventually saw him imprisoned.
While in prison, he wrote The 120 Days of Sodom, whose manuscript was only re-discovered and published decades later. The story details four libertines who, with a cast of boys, girls, young men and old ladies, seclude themselves in a Swiss castle to indulge in their most base urges. In the narration it is described as “the most impure tale ever written.” It certainly lives up to that name and there would be very few people not shocked by some of the content which includes paedophilia, bestiality, scat, watersports, rape, torture and snuff. I think one of the footnotes by the translators gives a taste of what it is like in the later chapters. Continue reading →
At the beginning of this month I was able to spend the whole week at a furry convention. In addition to seeing old friends, meeting some great new people, hiking and other fun things… I managed to get in some reading! So time to update my book list 2017. Continue reading →
I can now update my 2017 Book List with two new entries (Neither of which is 120 Days of Sodom, although I am still reading that). One is a pretty cool science book, which you will hopefully hear more about in the not-too-distant future, and the other just a childrens’ book that I read for fan reasons. Continue reading →
I was thinking it might be nice to have a record of the books that I have read over the year. It could help me to make sure that I am at least reading something. I do plenty of reading online but those are usually shorter pieces and not complete novels and such. It also might be of interest to friends and family or for anyone wondering what to read. I will try to keep this list updated as the year progresses.
Last month, UCT made an announcement about Emeritus Professor Richard Whitaker’s new version of the Illiad which made use of many South African terms. I am not in a position to judge whether this is a good idea or not, although the announcement includes the endorsement, “As for the South African vocabulary and idiom, words like inkosi, indaba, induna and impi actually take us much closer to what Homer was singing about than their English equivalents,” but I want to address this issue of reworking literature or other creative outputs to suit a specific culture. Continue reading →
I kinda like reading classics. After-all they’re classics so they must have had a certain standard and have influenced people long after they were published. I’ve managed to read a couple both when I was in high school and more recently. I’ve done White Fang, Call of the Wild, On the Origin of the Species, 20 000 leagues under the sea, Winnie the Pooh and so on. I’ve also got others in my reading queue like Gone with the Wind and Robinson Crusoe. I’m actually about half-way through Robinson Crusoe, and have been for the last few years. It might be a classic but it’s really hard reading. Continue reading →