Books: Is there any Hope of my Getting a Classical Education via Books?

September 3, 2006

I finished Twelfth Night a few nights ago. While it doesn’t go so far as to supplant The Tempest as my favorite of the Bard’s plays, it definitely had some nice themes about identity and the nature of love.

Then I blew through Albert Camus’ The Stranger in one rapt sitting (it’s only about 130 pages long). It was a bracing plunge into existentialism and I was especially fond of the notion of exposed blanknesses of of one’s soul that we aim to stuff full of prescriped and approved metaphysical and religious content.

Now I’m trying to educate myself. My readership levels in ancient and classical history and literature are wretched and I want to rectify that. Right now I’m about two-thirds of the way through the Epic of Gilgamesh, though I’m not fond of the edition I’m reading (what explantory notes there are are dry and overtly academic). I’m beginning to develop strong opinions about editions and translations.

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