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Showing posts from September, 2012

On Reading Old Books

It is actually raining too hard to go outside today.  I walked to the corner for some soup for lunch and, in spite of my rainboots, umbrella, and raincoat, I came back soaked.  Since I don't have the stamina to go to the library to pick up the Celtic literature books I've recalled, I'm sitting here getting started on my Theological Aesthetics paper that is due in a few weeks.  Just five pages, but five pages comparing Plato and Aristotle's philosophies of beauty.

Why are these guys so intimidating?  Quoting either one of them, or at least identifying their influence in any text, is like an English seminar silver bullet.  I don't know how many times I've read their respective Wikipedia articles over the past few years, trying to get a handle on ideas like forms, the Good, World Soul, nous, the allegory of the cave, the Philosopher-King, logic, the Four Causes, Universals...  I think I feel like I should be a Plato and Aristotle expert at this point, but I never…


What a difference a year makes.

Sitting at my desk, as I almost always am when I write these posts, while the gray sky threatens rain and Inferno is opened in front of me.  I've had the sense ever since I moved into this apartment that my time at Yale was going to pass in the blink of an eye, and so far it has.  As I make notes in the margins of my Inferno, I find myself wondering if I'll open the text later in life and wonder what these annotations mean.  Will I forget the hints of Anchises when Dante talks to Ciacco about the future of Florence in Canto 6?  Already, while I am still in its midst, I am trying to fight the inevitable failure of my memory.  This time is so precious to me I already desire to keep it fully present with me always, and I guess I know that will never be possible.

I will be able to keep elements of this year alive if I never let me knowledge of the Divine Comedy grow cold and keep after the text always, but there is no way to know now if that will …