Author Topic: Summer reading  (Read 2060 times)

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Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Summer reading
« on: April 19, 2011, 01:37:50 AM »
In order of priority (serious reading):
1. Plato's Apology, Crito, Strauss' lectures thereupon
2. [Cicero's] Rhetorica Ad Herennium (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Rhetorica_ad_Herennium/home.html)
3. Cicero's De Inventione
4. Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics
5. Hobbes's Leviathan, Strauss' lectures thereupon

In order of priority (burnout reading):
1. Philosophy of (Erotic) Love, edited by Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins
2. Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power
3. The Art of Woo by Shell and Moussa
4. Plato's Phaedrus, Symposium, last 5 books of the Republic

Daily language study, no order, ongoing project:
1. French in Action (French)
2. Destinos (Spanish)
3. Mastronarde's Introduction to Attic Greek, Assimil's Le Grec Ancien, translations of extracts from Presocratic Philosophers by Kirk and Raven (Greek)

Just got done ordering Cicero's De Inventione, Aristotle's Rhetoric, and Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedrus in the original.  But I don't know Latin, never will unless something goes wrong.  English on the left hand side of the page.  Only plan on doing the Apology and Crito of Plato.  May do more if I get bit by the bug.  Likely will only finish 70-80% of these books, especially from the first list, but it's a start.

I will update this thread and mention which books are completed, as they are completed, so that perhaps my vanity will help keep my discipline when my discipline itself fails.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 01:47:16 AM by Havana »

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 10:16:34 PM »
Starting to listen to Aristotle's Rhetoric.  I will give it, the Crito, and the Apology a few listens before I begin reading.

Offline Tyrannosaurs Lux

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2011, 04:08:49 PM »
Miztah Bass how is your official schooling going these days? Did you get that anthropology degree? Masters? PHD? Just wondering. I do enjoy the writings of the men you have listed here yet I have never read anything serious by them(I have however read what some say are just modern versions - JSM, Foucalt, etc of many of these ideas).

Anyways I just started my summer reading - I had not read anything for the past month or so which is highly unusual for me. It is incredibly low brow - but let's be honest I appreciate the dredge more than the elite.

Charles Bukowski - Portions of a Wine Stained Notebook
<---- Luxberry OUT! :pimp:
 



\\\"It is said that on a full moon he can fly, and that his tears are a powerful molecular acid."\\\
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Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 03:40:05 PM »
I only have a couple bachelors, no graduate degrees.  If nothing extraordinary pops up, I will pursue an MD, but I have been saying that for a long time, and actions speak louder than words.

Any plans for grad school on your end?

JSM and Foucault are good reading.  I am looking forward to starting up on them in a year or so.

I am happy Bukowski writes what he does.  Every sort of brow needs its ideas and pleasures.  On that note I saw you write in another thread that you were smoking crack lol

UPDATE: Just received all the above-mentioned books in the mail, apart from the Ad Herennium.  Also just received an Assimil Le Grec Ancien textbook; it fits in my back pocket and is the most amazing thing ever.

Online Maaruk who was Vlaara

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 04:41:09 AM »
nuffin wrong with crack
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Offline Agrul

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 06:57:44 AM »
i want very badly to make jokes in this thread but i know synth would ban me if i did
Irony punctuation is any proposed form of notation used to denote irony or sarcasm in text. Written English lacks a standard way to mark irony, and several forms of punctuation have been proposed. Among the oldest and most frequently attested are the percontation point proposed by English printer Henry Denham in the 1580s, and the irony mark, used by Marcellin Jobard and French poet Alcanter de Brahm during the 19th century. Both marks take the form of a reversed question mark, "⸮".

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 07:49:28 AM »
a cicero poke perhaps?
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Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 08:00:23 PM »
Completed the Crito.  About 15% in Greek.

Will start back up on the Apology soon.  I did the Crito first, because it's easier to translate.

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 05:21:46 PM »
De Inventione seems pretty useless, unless I were to speak in Roman legal proceedings.  I thought it would be a primer on public speaking in general, but alas, it mostly concerns how to win legal battles.

Hopefully the Ad Herennium will be what I am looking  for.  If not, no loss.

Apart from this, I am 6 lectures into Strauss's series on the Apology and Crito.  Strauss is the greatest and most erudite lecturer I have ever heard.

I haven't detailed my other studies, but I will here.  I just finished the TTC series on Medieval philosophy, entitled something like Faith and Reason: Philosophy in the Middle Ages.  For philosophy, it is one of the greatest series they have, and I have listened to many.  I will listen to it again.

I am also finishing Destinos, an Introduction to Spanish.  My listening comprehension is (was?) horrible, so I am using that to bring it up.

Also still doing the Assimil.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 10:39:46 PM by Havana »

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 12:21:19 AM »
De Inventione seems pretty useless, unless I were to speak in Roman legal proceedings.  I thought it would be a primer on public speaking in general, but alas, it mostly concerns how to win legal battles.

Hopefully the Ad Herennium will be what I am looking  for.  If not, no loss.

Apart from this, I am 6 lectures into Strauss's series on the Apology and Crito.  Strauss is the greatest and most erudite lecturer I have ever heard.

I haven't detailed my other studies, but I will here.  I just finished the TTC series on Medieval philosophy, entitled something like Faith and Reason: Philosophy in the Middle Ages.  For philosophy, it is one of the greatest series they have, and I have listened to many.  I will listen to it again.

I am also finishing Destinos, an Introduction to Spanish.  My listening comprehension is (was?) horrible, so I am using that to bring it up.

Also still doing the Assimil.

¿cómo está Don Ferndando actualmente?
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Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2011, 10:49:02 AM »
The Ad Herennium is wonderful, except:

"Theory without continuous practice in speaking is of little avail; from this you may understand that the precepts of theory offered ought to be applied in practice."

I will read it when I need it.  Not now.

I am enchanted by Strauss' lectures (I have completed lecture 10/16), so I will be doing his course on the Protagoras next.

I have finished the Apology and Crito.  These have been absolutely wonderful.

I am also finding Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics not to be useful for my current purposes, so I will scratch these.

I am left with:
1. Strauss' lectures on the Apology and Crito.
2. Plato's Protagoras, Strauss' lectures thereupon
3. Hobbes's Leviathan, Strauss' lectures thereupon

I may also read Cicero's De Finibus, Republic, and Laws.

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 01:32:58 PM »
Just put in an interlibrary loan order for Macpherson's The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: From Hobbes to Locke.  Checking out De Cive by Hobbes this afternoon.  Going to do the Hobbes lectures rather than the Plato ones for now.

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2011, 08:40:53 PM »
Just bought De Cive, Rawls' A Theory of Justice, and Strauss' Rules of the Game!  Have been going through Rules of the Game, but it seems pretty childish, pretty much stuff I already know.  I will do the whole book, because I don't have much to lose, and I will be able to talk about it with people afterward.

Finished the Protagoras.  Reading the Gorgias.  Still waiting for Macpherson's book, and will start Strauss' course when I receive it in the next few days.

Offline Agrul

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2011, 10:37:13 PM »
let me know what you think of rawls if/when you read it
Irony punctuation is any proposed form of notation used to denote irony or sarcasm in text. Written English lacks a standard way to mark irony, and several forms of punctuation have been proposed. Among the oldest and most frequently attested are the percontation point proposed by English printer Henry Denham in the 1580s, and the irony mark, used by Marcellin Jobard and French poet Alcanter de Brahm during the 19th century. Both marks take the form of a reversed question mark, "⸮".

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 06:18:23 AM »
Finished Rousseau's text on love from his Second Discourse and a short excerpts from his Emile and New Heloise.  Rousseau was insane.  I love him.  Looking forward to backtracking to Milton's defense of marriage as "conversational life."

As far as Rawls is concerned, I think this is a project for next summer, after I complete a study of the early modern political thinkers over the next year.  I will keep you informed when I begin Rawls.  According to some that I've read, his later writings are just as important as his earlier ones, so I may make a quick (2-3 month) survey over TOJ and another, later text, in addition, when it comes to that.

Strauss is awakening an older part of me.  I remember how ambitious I used to be and how afraid I have become of my ambitions.  Perhaps there is some kind of mean between an ossified vision for an extraordinarily accomplished life and the submission to fate that was demanded of me over the last few years.

I have downloaded a copy of Macpherson's book, since I can't seem to wait until I receive the copy from the library, and I have started reading.

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2011, 09:43:55 PM »
I've done the first 2 Hobbes lectures and read ch. 1-4 of Leviathan.  Also read about 70 pages of Macpherson's book, which is an interesting critique of liberal political theory, on which modern theories of liberal democracy are based, from a socialist point of view.  Strauss devastates Macpherson, in my view, though, mainly because some of Macpherson's arguments are specious.  He doesn't really read Hobbes from Hobbes' point of view; he doesn't let Hobbes speak for himself, and he tries to turn Hobbes into a kind of unconscious critic of capitalism.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 09:55:05 PM by Havana »

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 10:42:19 PM »
Finished reading the Nietzsche selection on love.  I always feel Nietzsche has this uncannily corrupting effect on me, probably everyone.  Even though he is one of the greatest writers to have ever lived, in my opinion, I don't really want to return to his passages.  But I'll quote a couple good ones:

"Sample of reflection before marriage.--Supposing she loves me, how burdensome she would become to me in the long run!  And supposing she does not love me, how really burdensome she would become to me in the long run!--It is only a question of two different kinds of burdensomeness--therefore, let us get married!"

"The most dangerous kind of unlearning.--One begins by unlearning to love others and ends by no longer finding anything lovable in oneself."

One last, long one.

"Love makes the same.--Love wants to spare the other person to whom it dedicates itself every feeling of being other, and consequently it is full of dissimulation and pretence of similarity, it is constantly deceiving and feigning sameness which in reality does not exist.  And this happens so instinctively that women in love deny this dissimulation and continual tender deceit and boldely assert that love makes the same (that is to say, that it performs a miracle!)--This process is simple when one party lets himself be loved and does not find it necessary to dissimulate but leaves that to the other, loving party; but there is no more confused or impenetrable spectacle than that which arises when both parties are passionately in love with one another and both consequently abandon themselves and want to be the same as one another: in the end neither knows what he is supposed to be imitating, what dissimulating, what pretending to be.  The beautiful madness of this spectacle is too good for this world and too subtle for human eyes."

That last sentence is really bizarre.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 10:47:42 PM by Havana »

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2011, 08:21:22 AM »
Freud's writing is really interesting.  I wasn't aware until now just how remarkably ahead of his time he was with regard to what today is called sexual liberation.  If Freud did not was not the source of these ideas, he was undoubtedly one of the major original influences because of how widely he was read.  Science or not, Freud's thought seems to have left a great mark on how we think about sexuality.  To quote a bit of Freud I know that most of those who read this will agree with:

"The fact that the sexual instinct behaves in general in a self-willed and inflexible fashion is also seen in the results produced by efforts at abstinence.  Civilized education may only attempt to suppress the instinct temporarily, till marriage, intending to give it free rein afterwards with the idea of then making use of it.  But extreme measures are more successful against it than attempts at moderating it; thus the suppression often goes too far, with the unwished-for result that when the instinct is set free it turns out to be permanently impaired.  For this reason complete abstinence in youth is often not the best preparation for marriage for a young man."

In his day, this was quite a controversial statement.  He suggests later something similar for women, and aggressively attacks ideas of abstinence page after page, calling them the root of the most severe neuroses.

Though Freud claimed elsewhere that he had put off reading Nietzsche until late, the agreement between these two thinkers seems clear.  Jaspers once called Freud's thought the "systematization of Nietzsche," and that may be close to the truth.  I will quote Nietzsche again:

"The immense expectation with regard to sexual love, and the coyness in this expectation, spoils all the perspectives of women at the outset."

"On Female Chastity--There is something quite astonishing and extraordinary in the education of women of the higher class; indeed, there is perhaps nothing more paradoxical.  All the world is agreed to educate them with as much ignorance as possible in eroticis, and to inspire their soul with a profound shame of such things, and the extremest impatience and horror at the suggestion of them.  It is really here only that all the "honour" of woman is at stake; what would one not forgive them in other respects!  But here they are intended to remain ignorant to the very backbone:--they are intended to have neither eyes, ears, words, nor thoughts for this, their "wickedness"; indeed knowledge here is already evil.  And then!  To be hurled as with an awful thunderbolt into reality and knowledge with marriage--and indeed by him whom they most love and esteem: to have to encounter love and shame in contradiction, yea, to have to feel rapture, abandonment, duty, sympathy, and fright at the unexpected proximity of God and animal, and whatever else besides! all at once!--There, in fact, a psychic entanglement has been effected which is quite unequalled!  Even the sympathetic curiosity of the wisest discerner of men does not suffice to divine how this or that woman gets along with the solution of this enigma and the enigma of this solution; what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must awaken thereby in the poor unhinged soul; and forsooth, how the ultimate philosophy and skepticism of the woman casts anchor at this point!--Afterwards the same profound silence as before: and often even a silence to herself, a shutting of her eyes to herself.--Young wives on that account make great efforts to appear superficial and thoughtless; the most ingenious of them simulate a kind of impudence.--Wives easily feel their husbands as a question-mark to their honour, and their children as an apology or atonement,--they require children, and wish for them in quite another spirit than a husband wishes for them.--In short, one cannot be gentle enough towards women!"

Of course this was written in the 19th century, but the attempt at exploding sexual mores, more urgent and crystallized even in Freud, of the fin-de-siecle, is clear.

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 04:43:12 PM »
I am reading Galen's On the passions and errors of the soul again.  I like this passage:

"A man who has for a long time habitually fallen into error finds it difficult to remove the defilement of the passions from his soul; hence, he must for a long time practice each of the principles that are calculated to make the man who complies with them a good and noble person.  For the soul is already full of passions, and, hence, we fail to notice which is driven from the soul without great effort on our part.  Therefore, each of us who wishes to be saved has to understand that he must not relax his vigilance for a single hour; we must permit all men to accuse us; we must listen to them in a gentle spirit; we must show gratitude, not to those who flatter us, but to those who rebuke us."

In the introduction, Walter Riese also says the following, which is very interesting:

""There is no standard by which a thing may be judged as having been seen very many times," we read further in Galen's treatise On Medical Experience.  The number of identical observations, which the empiricist considers to be conclusive, is reached "solely by a usage fixed by himself"--i.e., arbitrarily.  Moreover, by adding to all previous (but not yet conclusive) observations the last--the decisive one--the empiricist contradicts himself, since he now assigns to an observation made but once an importance previously denied to a single observation.  Should it then be true that an ever-increasing number of grains of wheat would never constitute a heap?  If the number of houses forming a city remains undetermined, and a single unit added to all previous ones does not make a city what was not a city before, will there ever be a city?  When comes the moment where boyhood passes into adolescence or manhood into senility?  When does one season of the year merge into the other?  The empiricist, who has the last word in Galen's treatise, confesses his ignoramus.  He does not know why an observation made very many times finally becomes reliable or "technical."  He simply refers to common sense, evidence, and experience; but this may leave the question unsettled.  Here is a solution.

Heaps, mountains, armies, nations, cities, boyhood, and manhood are concepts, though of course, stimulated by perceptible material.  But it is senseless to raise the question of the beginning or the end of a concept.  One cannot pass from one member of a series of isolated perceptible phenomena to a concept valid for the next one.  One cannot reach the conceptual whole by spelling out its perceptible constituents, one after the other.  In fact, when passing from single units to the whole, we pass from individualizing to generalizing thought--i.e., from one method of thought to another entirely different one."

I find this interesting with respect to the question of, e.g. when life begins, or when disease begins, which was Riese's special domain, being himself a physician.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 05:15:15 PM by Havana »

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2011, 11:56:36 AM »
I finished the first part of the Passions and Errors of the Soul.  The first part of the Passions, well, was on the passions.  The idea is that, to improve, you must find someone who is honest, which you will know depending on whether they seem to play power games or be a humble man, to spend time and point out your faults.  Improvement is taken to be a reduction of excessive passions (anger, lust, pride, etc.), which shows Galen to be an Aristotelian.

The second part of the text was on epistemology, and while I am sure Galenic epistemology is interesting, it is not my interest.

I am up to chapter 8 of Hobbes' Leviathan, still going very slow.  I will read the introduction today.

I have also been doing some outlines of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.  I may resurrect my Aristotle thread.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2011, 10:22:44 AM »
Did the introduction of Hobbes' Leviathan.  I cannot hear a fucking thing in Strauss' lectures on Hobbes, so I am moving on.  I am going to start reading and listening to Strauss' lectures on Hegel's Philosophy of History.

EDIT: So far, the lectures on Hegel are crystal clear.  A new goal!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 10:34:43 AM by Havana »

Offline Havanaberry the Final Option

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2011, 05:44:52 PM »
Finished lecture 1 by Strauss, going to start up an experiment and listen to lecture 2.  Checked out Beiser's book on Hegel, and it appears extraordinarily promising, much better than the garbage I read by that moron Walter Kaufman two years ago.  I also checked out the Philosophy of History, the edition from 1952.  I am heavily inebriated with benzodiazapines at the moment, but according to Hegel legend, I am only (and appropriately) doing philosophy as Hegel himself did, quite intoxicated.  I remember, too, that William James claimed that he only understood Hegel under the influence of nitrous oxide.  My drug use then is properly understood as an established part of the philosophical tradition.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2011, 05:50:26 PM »
Considering starting up a philosophical reading group in Philadelphia.  I will post about it again, if I follow through and begin making preparations.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2011, 09:15:21 PM »
Finished lecture 2 of Strauss'.  Currently listening to the Introduction to the Philosophy of History through Librivox's recording, which is one of the best recordings they have (with the possible exception of the first half of St. Augustine's Confessions).  I actually somehow seem to understand most that Hegel is saying, unlike in the past.  This may be because I am much more steeped in philosophy than previously, especially ancient philosophy, but it may also be because the lectures on the Philosophy of History are the easiest introduction to Hegel's philosophy.  The link to the librivox recording is here:

http://librivox.org/introduction-to-the-philosophy-of-history-by-georg-wilhelm-freidreich-hegel/

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2011, 10:47:22 PM »
Finished lecture 4.  Most amazing stuff ever.  If I can't manage to get into Paul Guyer's (one of the world's authorities on Kant) class on Kant next semester, I will go through Strauss' lectures on Kant assiduously.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2011, 12:57:38 PM »
Finished lecture 5.  Went through lecture 6 several times, halfway, but I became distracted by other things.  Now that my boss knows I am getting ready to leave the lab and need help for my next step, he has stepped up the work he has me doing, since he knows he can get more work out of me.  I am getting an iPod Touch, so that I can keep track of when I have to take breaks during lectures.  I could not do that with my Shuffle.  I would have to scroll through the parts of the lectures manually, listening to them, taking 10 minutes to find my place again.  Anyway, I am repeatedly going through the introduction to Hegel's Philosophy of History.

In the meantime, I am going through Allan Bloom's book The Closing of the American Mind; it is a quick read; he is very erudite but also very American.  I also picked up a copy of Aeschylus' Orestian Trilogy, since I do not normally read drama, and it might be helpful for me.  I keep looking back at the Phaedrus periodically, and I do outlines in my notebook on various things I learn in the Nicomachean Ethics.  I am still reading Beiser's book on Hegel; how much Hegel owes to Aristotle is extraordinary.

I feel like I am going to pass out lol

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2011, 04:02:43 PM »
Finished Part 1 of Closing of the American Mind.  Part 2 is entitled: Nihilism: American Style.  I like Bloom, but sometimes he contradicts himself.  That's fine.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2011, 03:55:59 PM »
Finished with the first chapter of part 2.  Started on the chapter titled "TWO REVOLUTIONS AND TWO STATES OF NATURE."  Reading this alongside Bang is an extraordinary experience.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2011, 06:00:58 PM »
Getting into the Greek poetry passages in my Greek reader right now.  Also nearly finished the Agamemnon, the first play of the Oresteian trilogy.  Shit is fucking weird, it's like reading Aristotle for the first time, I don't understand what is being said pretty much 70% of the time, apart from the basic plotline.  Greek drama and poetry are incomprehensible to me but seem fucking cool, like an even more morbid and intense Shakespeare.  I am too philistine to say anything more, hopefully that will change.

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Re: Summer reading
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2011, 09:02:31 PM »
Finished the Agamemnon.  Pretty awesome.  I keep reading it out loud at the coffee shop, and I think the horde of medical students here think I'm weird.  Oh well. Sad for them they aren't reading Aeschylus and are learning how constipation happens.