What Book Changed Your Mind?

For the discussion of philosophical books.

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thedoc
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by thedoc » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:35 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:
thedoc wrote:To start I've read several books on Zen by D. T. Suzuki and others.

I'll list others when I've had time to think about it.
You know this listing thing is all very well, and interesting. And it's quite a favourite occupation for some. However, rather than the 'what book changed your mind?' - wouldn't it be an idea for us to describe more qualitatively then quantitatively.
As in answering the other 'W' questions. And the How. But I know that's a difficult ask, especially when you have to drag your memory. Not sure I could do it...

In fact, I've probably already lied to myself and others...because it's a process more than a one-off...and unless you take notes...
OK, never mind...that's my inane chatter over for the day. Carry on.
I think this statement is more correct, usually when I finish a book I come away with some impressions rather than note about which points I found interesting. So I can rarely point to a specific quote in a book, but more likely will be able to describe a general idea that I have gotten from the book. It's a bit frustrating when I make some statement of an impression that I got from a book that I no longer have, and there are a lot of books like that in my memory.

artisticsolution
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by artisticsolution » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:12 pm

Yeah...I'd have to say the Bible. That's a hard one to get over once you've read it. It just sticks. Maybe that is why it's the most resented book on earth...lol...it definitely has fucked with more minds than any other book I can think of.

Hey...that would be a funny bumper sticker...

"Get mind fucked...read the Bible"

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:32 pm

I'm not sure "change my mind" is exactly what I'd say about these books, but they had a great impact, and I'm only too happy to have read them several times before the bloody films ruined them for all time. Not that the films were bad. But nothing can ever replace the imaged landscapes and characters so well draw by the great writing skill of JRR Tolkien, and once the films are out there they can never be unseen.

The Hobbit.
The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Two Towers.
The Return of the King.

Skip
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Skip » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:21 pm

artisticsolution wrote:Yeah...I'd have to say the Bible. ....
That's a good suggestion. Now that I recall, there was a 'P-choo!' moment in the NT somewhere.
But I was a kid then, the only difference between donning fresh underwear and new ideas was not needing a reminder for the second.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:42 pm

Skip wrote:
artisticsolution wrote:Yeah...I'd have to say the Bible. ....
That's a good suggestion. Now that I recall, there was a 'P-choo!' moment in the NT somewhere.
But I was a kid then, the only difference between donning fresh underwear and new ideas was not needing a reminder for the second.
The trouble with the Bible is that it's basically a fiction pretending to be the truth. It's a big claim, and kids tend to get caught out by it.
At least LOTRs is truthful fiction and not fictional truth.

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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Skip » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:52 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:The trouble with the Bible is that it's basically a fiction pretending to be the truth. It's a big claim, and kids tend to get caught out by it.
At least LOTRs is truthful fiction and not fictional truth.
Well, yes. Trouble with that comparison is: most of us grew up surrounded by people who talked as if everything in that book were real. But what they said they believed wasn't really what was in there. So when we read it, our little minds snagged on the contradictions, and sometimes unravelled seven or ten or more years of cultural conditioning. That can be traumatic for some people.

TLOTR comes into our lives much later. It opens an imaginative vista, maybe even dimension, that we didn't have before: it adds to the wealth of our conceptual landscape. It changes us in terms of increment, not injury or rupture. We choose to enter that world, and there is no penalty for leaving it.

Obvious Leo
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:41 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:The trouble with the Bible is that it's basically a fiction pretending to be the truth. It's a big claim, and kids tend to get caught out by it.
At least LOTRs is truthful fiction and not fictional truth.
"The difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction must always be true".... Mark Twain.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:49 am

Skip wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:The trouble with the Bible is that it's basically a fiction pretending to be the truth. It's a big claim, and kids tend to get caught out by it.
At least LOTRs is truthful fiction and not fictional truth.
Well, yes. Trouble with that comparison is: most of us grew up surrounded by people who talked as if everything in that book were real. But what they said they believed wasn't really what was in there. So when we read it, our little minds snagged on the contradictions, and sometimes unravelled seven or ten or more years of cultural conditioning. That can be traumatic for some people.

TLOTR comes into our lives much later. It opens an imaginative vista, maybe even dimension, that we didn't have before: it adds to the wealth of our conceptual landscape. It changes us in terms of increment, not injury or rupture. We choose to enter that world, and there is no penalty for leaving it.
Yes.
And did you read them before you saw them?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am

Obvious Leo wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:The trouble with the Bible is that it's basically a fiction pretending to be the truth. It's a big claim, and kids tend to get caught out by it.
At least LOTRs is truthful fiction and not fictional truth.
"The difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction must always be true".... Mark Twain.
Good point MT!!

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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Skip » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:14 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote: And did you read them before you saw them?
About 40 years before.
No, wait. There was Hobbit movie in the late 70's, I think. Innovative and quite good for its time.

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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:02 pm

Skip wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: And did you read them before you saw them?
About 40 years before.
No, wait. There was Hobbit movie in the late 70's, I think. Innovative and quite good for its time.
I think not.

There was a LOTR part one by Ralph Bakshi, which followed his much better "wizards". He relied on "posterising" stock footage of real life action (mainly for orcs) mixed with cartoon characters.

There was nothing to impose itself and replace one's own imagined world. One massive mistake that had a long lived legacy was the stupidly huge Hobbit feet, which was in direct contradiction of Bilbo's silent movement for which he was chosen as a burglar.
Tolkien says that Hobbit feet were like those of rabbits; furry with naturally leathery souls, nad his own drawings show them as rather petite.

Skip
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Skip » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:31 pm

Okay, I defer to superior information. My recollection of the film is hazy, at best. It made no lasting impression. The great big splashy recent saga didn't do much for me, either.* Too many hectic battle scenes, not enough ideas and landscape, culture, lifestyles and language. Or beauty.
The books have faded somewhat in detail, but not those things I value.

*my same problem with Avatar. I could have spent four hours, just exploring the planet.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:27 pm

Skip wrote:Okay, I defer to superior information. My recollection of the film is hazy, at best. It made no lasting impression. The great big splashy recent saga didn't do much for me, either.* Too many hectic battle scenes, not enough ideas and landscape, culture, lifestyles and language. Or beauty.
The books have faded somewhat in detail, but not those things I value.

*my same problem with Avatar. I could have spent four hours, just exploring the planet.
I know what you mean.
Avatar was a bit predictable: that allegory of environmental destruction.

I had to look up the LOTRs (1978_
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077869/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Notable for the director of Fritz the Cat, which for a 12 yo at the time I found quite avant guard.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068612/?ref_=nm_knf_i3

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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Skip » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:19 am

Most movies are predictable. I don't think any creative staff on a major production dares to stray from the expectation of their target audience.
These days, we like to watch disaster movies. (Nuke it. Whatever the thereat is.) We can predict the collapse of the Seattle tower to the minute. I suppose Seattle appears so often, because many low-budget movies are made in Vancouver. If it's made in Toronto, they're usually destroying NYC.

But that reminds me. Another book that was pivotal for me was The Martian Chronicles. My boss at my first job gave a battered paperback, because he'd seen me with a Retief book and thought I liked science fiction. Actually, the Retief stories were the first SF I encountered, and, while entertaining subway reading, they certainly were not notable literature. Bradbury was a revelation - and a gateway.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: What Book Changed Your Mind?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:15 pm

Skip wrote:Most movies are predictable. I don't think any creative staff on a major production dares to stray from the expectation of their target audience.
These days, we like to watch disaster movies. (Nuke it. Whatever the thereat is.) We can predict the collapse of the Seattle tower to the minute. I suppose Seattle appears so often, because many low-budget movies are made in Vancouver. If it's made in Toronto, they're usually destroying NYC.

But that reminds me. Another book that was pivotal for me was The Martian Chronicles. My boss at my first job gave a battered paperback, because he'd seen me with a Retief book and thought I liked science fiction. Actually, the Retief stories were the first SF I encountered, and, while entertaining subway reading, they certainly were not notable literature. Bradbury was a revelation - and a gateway.
I think sci-fi is the most maligned and misunderstood genre. Even someone like Margaret Atwood, who writes great Sci-fi refused to call it that and insists on "Speculative Fiction".

A small part is of the kind; spaceship shoots another spaceship, or aliens invade. The hero has a crisis of confidence which he overcomes to destroy the mainframe, and the universe is saved; bs.

I cut my teeth on Isaac Asimov, and A C Clarke, Philip Jose Farmer, Piers Antony, and none of them were so banal to descend into space opera.
The best sci-fi is not translatable to the big screen. The exception, though I've not see it yet, I hope is The Martian which I read when it was a new £.77 authors first attempt. Not enjoyed a books so well for a long time.

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