Languagehat's Year In Reading December 1, 2010 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Please enjoy this post by MeFi's own languagehat on The Millions, a blog edited by MeFi's own merlinmann cmaxmagee, about some favorite books he read this year. There are also many Year In Reading entries by other literary luminaries and the series will continue until year end.
posted by matildaben to MetaFilter-Related at 12:54 PM (36 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Actually... edited by MeFi's own cmaxmagee. We can't afford merlinmann!

But, seriously, thanks for the love!
posted by cmaxmagee at 1:02 PM on December 1, 2010


Cool. :)
posted by bardophile at 1:02 PM on December 1, 2010


I was just coming back to make that correction on the editor. :)
posted by bardophile at 1:07 PM on December 1, 2010


Duh, I'm getting my bloggers confused. Mods, can you fix it? (So sorry, Max! <embarrassed/>)
posted by matildaben at 1:12 PM on December 1, 2010


The most exciting literary discovery I made this past year was Andrey Platonov, who died in obscurity the year I was born. ... His masterpiece is The Foundation Pit, which boils all the utopianism and horror of the forced collectivization and industrialization of the early 1930s into 150 tightly written pages about a laid-off worker, a bear, and a little girl

*places hold at library*

This is great.
posted by dersins at 1:13 PM on December 1, 2010


Nicely written, languagehat. And I too now want to read what you read. Mission Accomplished! For real this time.
posted by bearwife at 1:15 PM on December 1, 2010


Please enjoy this comment by doublehappy:

I've actually just picked up Zhivago's Children and it was becoming one of those books that I leave on my bedside table for months without reading before eventually consigning it to the pile next to the bookcase. This might be just what I need.
posted by doublehappy at 1:24 PM on December 1, 2010


Metafilter: to find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world – and, at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are.
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I saw this and thought "Wait a minute, merlinmann is C. Max Magee??" Glad I didn't have to recalibrate. And now I know that C. Max Magee is a MeFite, under the clever disguise of cmaxmagee. Cool!

But, seriously, thanks for the love. And read those books, you won't regret it! (Well, the Platonov will make you a little sad. But I don't think you'll regret it.)
posted by languagehat at 1:32 PM on December 1, 2010


I'm still waiting to see languagehat's Year In Hat-Wearing.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on December 1, 2010


'Zhivago's Children' sounds interesting. Bravo LanguageHat
posted by clavdivs at 2:18 PM on December 1, 2010


This made me read a passage of the Berman at Google books and now it looks like I'll have to get a copy too. Lovely writing, l-h, and what look like great picks.
posted by Abiezer at 2:19 PM on December 1, 2010


The Foundation Pit

For some reason I read that as The Fountain Pit, which isn't a hilarious misreading or anything but did give me some trouble finding it on Amazon.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:27 PM on December 1, 2010


Call me obsessed with Modernism and all things bleak and Russian but I think I'm going to try and read all three of those.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on December 1, 2010


The Fountain Pit is the secret history of The Fountainhead.
posted by kenko at 2:56 PM on December 1, 2010


I've ordered the Berman. Thanks!
posted by Wolof at 2:59 PM on December 1, 2010


The Fountain Pit is a Danger Mouse mashup of Aronofsky's The Fountain and The Money Pit starring Tom Hanks.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:04 PM on December 1, 2010


The Fountain Pit is an indie-pop collaboration between Fountains of Wayne and Passion Pit.
posted by matildaben at 3:13 PM on December 1, 2010


(Well, the Platonov will make you a little sad. But I don't think you'll regret it.)

Ah, I knew that name was familiar. Let me take you back to a magical time ... say 2008. I subscribed to the New Left Review and all my Philistine friends were always prodding me about, "The New Left died in the 60s, you should just leave it there," every fucking time I got this journal. Well one issue featured an insert that said something like, "New Platonov Play in English!" and of course no one knew who this was so whenever someone would comment on me having all these copies of NLR in my library, the joke was made, "Well they did have that new Platonov play."

And this went on for awhile, until we were having a party where every one of us was going after the same girl who was in town for some sort of Shakespeare in the Park festival. She had apparently been around us enough to have heard the Platonov play phrase, but did not realize it was all some sort of lame, nerdy joke. We begin to chat and I'm trying to get her in my room in the most subtle way I can, and one of my friends (who I'm confident was trying to torpedo this hook up), said she should check out my room because, of course, I had the new Platonov play. Her eyes got wide, she grasped my arm in excitement and said, "You do?! I've been looking all over for it since that's all you guys talk about, I could never find it!"

Anyway, I completely forgot about that until now, that's my Platonov story. Feel free to use the line if you ever are around bohemian actresses interested in dystopian Soviet literature.
posted by geoff. at 3:32 PM on December 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Call me obsessed with Modernism and all things bleak and Russian but I think I'm going to try and read all three of those.

Seconded. The Platonov, in particular.

especially in case there are any hot bohemian actresses passing through town
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:01 PM on December 1, 2010


I just got married today. I figured that it wouldn't be a good idea to make a blue or green thing about it. But I picked the first grey post to post it. So my girlfriend of 15 years is now my wife. I am sorry about the threadjack. I'm a bit drunk. Go figure.

/threadjack
posted by Splunge at 5:12 PM on December 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


To the Gulag with you!
posted by Artw at 5:14 PM on December 1, 2010


There is no Gulag.
posted by the Cabal at 5:18 PM on December 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I did a lot of things the day I got married. Drinking being one of the chief among them. One thing I didn't do, however, was post to metafilter on my wedding night. Go kiss your wife, dammit!

Also, congrats.
posted by dersins at 5:31 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Congratulations! May you have many happy years together. Now turn off the computer and go get started.
posted by Lexica at 5:36 PM on December 1, 2010


Cheers, splunge.
posted by ook at 5:45 PM on December 1, 2010


Nice. Thanks for the heads-up.
posted by OmieWise at 5:48 PM on December 1, 2010


The fountain pit is the pit that I dug to put the piping for my fountain in.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:00 PM on December 1, 2010


YO DOG WE HEARD YOU LIKE FOUNTIN' SO WE PUT A PIT IN YOUR FOUNTAIN SO YOU CAN FOUNTAIN WHILE YOU PIT
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:25 PM on December 1, 2010


Mazel tov, Splunge!
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:33 PM on December 1, 2010


Oh, and thanks, 'hat! That's a great post. Sorry, I got distracted by Splunge's whirlwind wedding.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:41 PM on December 1, 2010


This post is not really MetaFilter-related so much as MeFite-related. Shouldn't it be on the Blue?

(I mean that as a site etiquette question, not an accusation.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:54 PM on December 1, 2010


Because of the capital 'R', I automatically read that as a year in Reading, and was looking forward to a post about business parks and the smell of wee in the shopping centre.
posted by ComfySofa at 3:34 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is languagehat related to Antoine Dodson?
posted by Plutor at 4:50 AM on December 2, 2010


Because of the capital 'R', I automatically read that as a year in Reading, and was looking forward to a post about business parks and the smell of wee in the shopping centre.
posted by ComfySofa


You know, I've only been here in the UK two years but that is also how I read it. Pronounced 'Redding' of course.
posted by vacapinta at 5:55 AM on December 2, 2010


> Is languagehat related to Antoine Dodson?

Never heard of the guy, but having googled him, I feel pretty confident in saying no, except in that "we're all related" way. (I used to tell people I was related to Lewis Carroll, Dodson being an alternate form of Dodgson ['son of Dodge'—Dodge is an obsolete nickname for Roger (cf. Dick for Richard)], but that's also improbable.)

Also, congratulations, Splunge!
posted by languagehat at 10:32 AM on December 2, 2010


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