June 21, 2010

Of reading, classics, vampires and such

I usually keep a pile of several books going at any given time and try to turn a page or two of each per day. Usually these are pretty dense and a page or two is plenty.

At the moment, my pile consists of some stories by Chekhov, The Fall by Camus, Vol. II of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Aristotle's Politics and Eaarth, Bill McKibben's new book about climate change (which is a real downer, by the way). Oh yeah, and Thoreau's Walden.

I don't always see eye to eye with Henry, but I share his fondness for old classics:

Men sometimes speak as if the study of the classics would at length give way for more modern and practical studies; but the adventurous student will always study classics, in whatever language they may be written and however ancient they may be. For what are classics but the noblest recorded thoughts of man? They are the only oracles which are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most modern inquiry in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave. We might as well omit to study Nature because she is old. To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader far more than any exercise which the customs of the day esteem.

Still and all, sometimes you need to clear the palate and there's nothing to do just that like a vampire novel. For fun, I've been listening to Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain. These vampires aren't sexy or teenybopper heart throbs or tragic existentialists. They are totally repulsive viral parasites with totally gross appendages. Listening to it made mowing the lawn a bit more entertaining.

I have a feeling Thoreau wouldn't have been a big fan of vampire novels.

PLAYING WITH FIRE. As I've been ranting for the last week or so, deficit mania could make the recession worse. And Krugman thinks so too.

WHATEVER. This is disappointing.

THIS COULD EXPLAIN A LOT. Research on voting behavior suggests that such decisions are often made on the basis of non-verbal and superficial factors.

A LITTLE GOOD NEWS. Blenko Glass, a WV company that specializes in handmade glassware has fought its way back from the brink after nearly closing for good last year.

MONKEYS like TV too.


No comments: