Tag Archives: the Great Books

circumnavigating a literary world

I have talked a bit about my project to read the Bible as though decoding the genome of Western Christendom (that is, Western civilization). I am treating the books of the Bible as “chromosomes” of the genome, with the individual … Continue reading

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mapping the Bible, gene by gene

In my last post I was talking about reading the Bible as though decoding a genome—the genome of Western Christendom (to use Arnold J. Toynbee’s label for our Western civilization). I am currently making my way through Chromosome 6 of … Continue reading

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when reading is not just reading

It’s 5:17 p.m., and I’m in the midst of my daily “reading” block. I put it in quotation marks because I also do things other than reading in the strict sense. My reading block is structured. The first part of … Continue reading

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Aristotle, meet Paul. . . .

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, I reached a personal milestone: I finished reading the works of Aristotle. I read them mostly from the 2 volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World that contain his works: volumes 8 … Continue reading

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lovers die; long live love letters!

I’ve often read or heard other bloggers complain of not knowing what to post about: “What can I put in this week’s blog post?” Heck, I have said the same myself. But in reality I think my problem is the … Continue reading

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not only public libraries have stacks

Ever since late adolescence I have maintained a reading stack: a stack of books that are all more or less on the go at the same time. When I was in my early 20s, my two roommates, semifacetiously, made a … Continue reading

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the Iliad of Homer: first epic of the West

The Iliad by Homer My rating: 5 of 5 stars Western literature kicks off with the clash of civilizations. Crafting an epic of my own, I got the idea of exploring the great epics of Western literature in more detail. … Continue reading

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how astrology works, part 3: don’t do your own thing

In my last post I said that it was my study of the art of storytelling that eventually brought me to an understanding of why astrology works. Science might be able to show that astrology works—this is what Carl Jung attempted in … Continue reading

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The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli: it’s a jungle out there

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli My rating: 4 of 5 stars This short textbook on how to rule a state is still the playbook for politics. Looking in my Webster’s, I see the following definition of Machiavellianism: the political theory … Continue reading

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Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville My rating: 4 of 5 stars An erudite adventure story whose progress is slowed by digressions on the art and science of whaling. I first read this book in 1980. Conscious of reading a classic, and … Continue reading

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