What I’ve Been Reading Recently

I’m alive! I dislike blogs that spend a lot of time clearing their throats about why they haven’t written lately: suffice to say — stuff happening, more soon.

  • A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray, a novel by Dominique Barbéris that I read in translation, is good but not great. I always feel with these sorts of books that I’m not clever enough for them. Very aesthetic, very strong sense of mood, but perhaps not enough plot to drive things forward. I quoted Natalie Babbitt in an earlier post and was reminded of the quote — “…like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses on its turning.” The novel feels like a lethargic summer’s day, like a fossil in amber. Beautiful, but without a whole lot of vigor.
  • I don’t always agree with him, but I found parts of Daniel Gordis’ We Stand Divided quite compelling. The New York Times has a good rebuttal where he falls short.
  • I finished Meno in two sittings, and enjoyed my first assigned reading as a St. John’s student. It’s a great intro to Socratic dialogue in terms of both style and substance. I enjoyed it both because it’s a famous work in philosophical circles (you might have heard of “Meno’s Paradox”) but also because it introduces my favorite Socratic idea thus far, that the search of truth is a worthy endeavor in and of itself, and that we shouldn’t shy away from trying to find that truth, hard as it may be.
  • I’m still in the middle of both, but I’m highly enjoying German Jerusalem, a book about the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, and A Tale of Love and DarknessAmos Oz’s.. autobiography, I guess you’d call it?
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