Monthly Archives: May 2021

Princeton drops Greek/Latin language requirement for Classics majors

A quick weekend edition of Literary Forge: in thinking about the ways that my Great Books Project differs from what you’d get at a traditional university. Learning ancient languages (specifically Greek & Latin, but probably also French) seems to be the … Continue reading

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A Quick Note About Talking About The Classics

Reading classic books is enjoyable in and of itself, but something that I’ve found surprisingly enjoyable is to take part in the conversations around these books. Much like the actual reading of books, “Discussions around the Classics” is a subset … Continue reading

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Assorted Links, 5/25/21

New (to me): The bookstore at St. John’s College has a category for faculty-written books. Nonfiction you may have missed because #GlobalPandemic. “Muhua Yang ’21 says [Ovid’s] work resonates in an era of global displacement — and COVID.” (I think … Continue reading

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(Hopefully) Less inchoate thoughts on Dante’s Inferno

Continued from here. Intellectuals say that Paradiso is for pious theologians, Purgatorio is for brilliant, exacting scholars of Medieval cosmology, but Inferno, Inferno is for filthy casuals. —Books in 150 Words. I finished Inferno over the weekend, and there’s something about … Continue reading

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Friday Links, 5/21/21

I’ve been reading and enjoying Not All Dead White Men, Donna Zuckerberg’s book on misogyny in the Classics. “[N]obody denies that our society owes a debt to the Greeks. The question is how that debt should be treated. Should we romanticize … Continue reading

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Inchoate thoughts on Dante’s Inferno

“Will you – should either head back to the world – bring comfort to my memory, which lies still lashed beneath the stroke of envious eyes?” Inferno, Canto 13.76-78. I’m about a third of the way through Inferno, just finished Canto 13, … Continue reading

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Great Books Project, 6 months in

I started reading the Classics around Thanksgiving 2020, and the half-year anniversary of reading the books passed me by. I strike the books off this list and am 10 books in, with Dante’s Inferno coming up as #11. Some quick thoughts: Best classic … Continue reading

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Thursday Links, 5/13/21

Maybe it’s just that it’s been a few days since I did one of these, but it seems like there’s a lot of material… An argument for deleting your Goodreads account. Sylvana Tomaselli, a tutor at St. John’s, discusses Mary … Continue reading

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Similarities and Differences between The Iliad and Beowulf

We spent a bit of time in a recent discussion series noting the similarities and differences between Beowulf, the character, and Hector and Achilles, the central characters of The Iliad. Similarities Both present a worldview where warriors are valorized. Both present a … Continue reading

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Monday Links, 5/10/21

I’ll write a longer thing on Beowulf shortly, but over the weekend I read Toni Morrison’s excellent essay “Grendel and His Mother,” which helped me understand the story more. Are star ratings worthwhile? Rebecca Futo Kennedy, a professor of ancient Greek … Continue reading

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