Saturday, June 04, 2005

Blogger Tag

This is one of those chain letter things. I think everyone who reads my blog will already know what they are, so without further explanation...

Number of Books That You Own

I own about 150. The other members of my family probably own about 150 collectively.

Last Book Bought: Three together on a spending spree at City Lights.

Twilight of the Idols / Anti-Christ - Frederich Nietzsche.
Left Behind vol. 1 - Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
The Silmarillion - JRR Tolkien

Last Book I Read:

The last book I finished was Ernst Cassirer: A Repetition of Modernity by Steve Lofts. It's Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms as seen through the eyes of contemporary continental philosophy. It finds a structure to hold language, myth, religion, science and art and explain their functions in human life.

Five Books that mean a lot to me: (In no particular order)

Basic Writings of Nietzsche - Trans. by Walter Kaufmann.

Particularily for The Genealogy of Morals contained therein. Nietzsche's reframing of the moral impulse was, to this rookie philosophy student, mind-blowing. It helps that Nietzsche is a bright and witty writer, and left me grinning madly more than once.

Survival in Auschwitz - Primo Levi.

Unfortunately, this book wins the award for most retarded title-change in the history of translations - Levi's title for it was If This Is A Man. But that's really neither here nor there. This is, to put it mildly, a work of humanistic scripture. Levi has wrestled a treatise on ethics, hope, dignity and evil out of the abyss, and he has the scars to prove it. Subsequent generations ignore this book at their peril.

Arslan - MJ Engh.

My favourite novel, hands down. The crazy little scenario: a 3rd world dictator takes over the world, then sets up his HQ in a midwest American town. The best discussion of authority, fatherhood, masculinity and politics I've ever seen. The characters are engaging and the writing is excellent. At times, the writing simply becomes gorgeous.

We All Fall Down - Brian Caldwell

The perfect antidote to the mind numbing idiocy of the Left Behind series. The protagonist wakes up to discover that the rapture has occured, all the Christians are gone, and the Anti-Christ is taking over the world. Now surprisingly, this is not a Christian novel by any means. This is a novel about Christianity. The protagonist, understanding full well what is happening, refuses to either become a Christian or side with the Anti-Christ. I used to think this book was a brilliant portrayal of Christianity; now I see several limitations. And the writing doesn't necassarily hold up well. For a while, though, it capitivated my thinking and buried itself into my mind.

Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card

Yeah, politically speaking Card is a lunatic. And as a writer, he is hit and miss. But oh boy, when he hits, he hits. Speaker is a compelling story about truly good people, the type that only exist in fiction. Ender Wiggin's deep empathy had a major impact on the way I think about ethics.

As for my "tags," just look at the list of blogs I link to. Consider yourself tagged.

2 comments:

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