Free time

Now that I’ve got a lot of free time on my hands (although those days do still go faster than you’d think possible) I’ve decided to do what I had intended to do for the last two years. (Well kind of…)

I’ve decided to throw myself into reading various things that I think I should read. Some of this is purely because I think it’ll be interesting and some because I would like to be a better read person. I have often watched university challange (and to a lesser degree mastermind) and thought, ‘How on earth do they know all this stuff?’

On my course we did a unit of intellectual history which touched upon (amongst many others) Nietzsche. I found it interesting but didn’t read much, so this was my starting point. Only the 2 day loan copy of Beyond Good and Evil was available, so I’ve spent most of the last couple of days reading that. It’s a very interesting read and very good although there’s plenty I disagree with. It does have some really good quotes, such as:

“Blessed are the forgetful: for they “get the better” even of their blunders.”

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

When I took it back I picked up collections of Edgar Allan Poe and Matthew Arnold as well as Machiavelli’s The Prince. I’d like to read Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Plato’s Republic, Homer’s Iliad, and perhaps Dante’s Inferno. Mostly things just come to me all of a sudden and I think, “I’ll have a look at that.”

I do still have some reservations. One year I tried to read Paradise Lost and gave up because I didn’t have a clue what he was on about. Not having the classical education of his audience I didn’t get the many references of the text. It was an annotated text with about 5 lines of the poem per page the rest being covered (in small writing) with notes explaining the references in those 5 lines. I am assured it is a masterly work, which I never doubted, but I just couldn’t get it.

Feel free to leave suggestions for what I should take a look at.


~ by yorksdevil on June 1, 2007.

7 Responses to “Free time”

  1. I am currently reading Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton so I can say absolutely nothing.

  2. I think that must be my fastest ever comment from the time of the post being published. Does this mean you’ve never read anything of value? I find that hard to believe.

    I’ve just thought – Max Weber. He’s one of those who kept getting mentioned in other books but I’ve never read anything actually by him.

  3. Am taking my MacBook to my book shelf (well, pile of books on the floor as I haven’t got shelves yet)…

    Right, things you should read…

    The Lord of The Rings – the illustratrated hardback edition – because them you can get a workout for your arms at the same time as reading

    Prozac Nation and the follow up More, Now, Again by Elizabeth Wurtzel – it’s the book that got me through uni by going ‘well, at least my life isn’t that bad’.

    Labyrinth by Kate Mosse – a Holy Grail book done well

    Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi – just trust me on this. It’s worthwhile.

    The Death Trilogy by Terry Pratchett – becasue Death is the best character

    Auschwitz by Laurence Rees – if you’re going to read one book on the subject read this one and then read I Escaped From Auschwitz by Rudolph Vrba and realise what true courage is…

    And because I’ve just finished it 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer & Kevin Flynn – becasue that’s our history.


  4. I just left a long comment full of ideas and then pressed submit and it disappeared.

    Tell me, you got it?!

  5. I could, but I’d be lying. When that happens I always think I should have copied it so I could just paste it back again, but I have seldom actually bothered.

  6. i think you should read a trashy romance novel. thats my suggestion for reading 🙂

  7. Molly, can I just rely on you to read enough of those for the both of us?

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