Sunday, January 18, 2009

Harvard Classics: Week Two

I made it this far! Here is what the second week had to offer:

Jan 8: The Book of Job, pp. 71-87. This marks the third time I've read this. The first was in Mr. Brady's class in 11th grade, the second was from an audiobook. It is a fascinating and thought provoking story -- I love the casual chats between God and Satan -- that happens nowhere else in the bible. But I always wonder if the arguments need to be so long and complicated? I guess if they weren't, it wouldn't have so many layers of meaning. I could read this a hundred more times, and get something new out each time.

Jan 9: Sir Francis Drake Revived, pp. 135-145. Whoa! Now this is a pirate story! Told by a sailor who actually sailed with Drake! I ached to make a videogame about this!

Jan 10: The Bacchae, pp. 368-372. This is my first time reading any Euripides at all. A king versus a god in contest of seduction! This reading is just enough to be intriguing... but I think I would benefit from a more modern translation.

Jan 11: The Federalist, pp 199-207. These are some of the Federalist papers, penned by Alexander Hamilton and friends. They were written between the time the Constitution was proposed, and when it was voted on, and they were persuasive arguments as to why it was a good idea. It's weird to think that there was debate about this. Why don't we have newspaper columns like this anymore?

Jan 12: On Taste, pp. 11-26. Edmund Burke makes arguments about the nature of "good taste." It was pretty dry and straightforward, but what fascinates me is the longer reading that follows: On the Sublime and Beautiful, where he tries to describe all the things that humans find pleasing. Just his talk alone about how "all beautiful things are smooth" was enough to get my mind turning. I hope I can read it soon!

Jan 13: Inquiry on Inequality, pp. 215-228. This is the first time I've read Rousseau. It felt like a very long winded way to explain that men want to be free and equal.

Jan 14: The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, pp. 60-65. This is basically "the first written constitution as a permanent limitation on governmental power, known in history." I liked how simple and straightforward it was, and how weird the spelling.

Well, two weeks down, and I'm into my third!

1 comment:

  1. i had the same reactions to job and the federalist papers...