Sunday, March 2, 2008

This whole reading thing has been great. I have set goals for myself, as you know. 25 books in 2008. It is the beginning of the third month of the year, which means I should have read four books by now; and should be getting ready to go for 5 and 6. I will have you know that I am on track.
I have read four books. Three of them have been for class, but I've also been able to get some pleasure reading on the side. I read Life of Pi over the course of a week in between books I had to read for my Autobiography class and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I don't think it's as deep as people want it to be. It's good simply because it's a good story with likable characters. It is my opinion that people who make it out to be a philosophical tome have been mislead; it's a good book because it's a good story. It's as steeped in philosophy as you think.
Out of Africa, an autobiography written Isak Dinesen, a woman who left her homeland of Denmark to live in Africa on a farm amongst the natives, was my favorite read of the first four. It was a required read in the class. I started out reading it with determination; I had to get through the book-- I was committing to it. Ten pages in I was hooked to Dinesen's magical prose; it was the kind of prose that reminded me of C.S. Lewis-- it didn't matter what she was writing about; her simple eloquence and keen insight made for an astonishing account. I would have liked to meet her.
Poetics is a classic work by Aristotle. It is the most basic piece on writing tragedy. If you ever want to write any kind of story, Poetics must be strongly suggested. After all, Aristotle and his works helped found Western Civilization.
Just ten minutes ago I finished reading another book that was assigned to me in my autobiography writing class. Memories of a Catholic Childhood by Mary McCarthy. It was hard to me to get through; I didn't like the protagonist. The most interesting part of the book was the chapter where she "lost her faith." Other than that, I didn't feel like she had much to say. It was about her family life; her friends; the life she lived at school. Where as Dinesen always made an effort to attach it to the real world, McCarthy didn't, and her work suffered for it.

Anyway, I am just happy that I've been on track so far.

If you haven't got the point yet-- START READING. Carry a book around with you and read it in the 5 minutes you are waiting for your friend to meet up with you. Exercise your mind! People who don't read are fast on their way to senility.

3 comments:

Happy said...

Amen brother! Keep up the good work encouraging others to read. It is an art fast disappearing.

Austen Dutton said...

Very good goals! I ought to do this too! By the way, you have a great style of writing. Very enjoyable! I am going to very much enjoy reading your thoughts!

Siona said...

its good to see you back!