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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Current Reading: Greeks, Jews, and Englishmen

I'm currently reading Dicken's David Copperfield, re-reading The Clouds by Aristophanes, 1 and 2 Samuel in the Old Testament, and 1 John in the New Testament. I also recently re-read David Clammer's popular 1973 history "The Zulu War" (which is currently unavailable at both B&N and Amazon).

Aristophanes (c.455 - c. 380 B.C.) was an Athenian writer of comedies during the Peloponnesian War (the long war(s) between Athens and Sparta). I'm about half-way through the first act and there are interesting comparisons and contrasts with modern American media. One thing to note is how base and bawdy this play is. I've lost count of the number of flatulence jokes and rectal references I've already had to endure. Another thing - vis a vis the current American "culture war" - is how in-your-face this play is about expressing political positions and ridiculing, often by name, political opponents. In fact the entire premise of the play is that Socrates and his entire 'what-is-truth?' school of philosophers are a bunch of frauds and jackasses. Fun stuff.


Glenn Knight said...

I'm in 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. I'm almost done with the book - Samuel has died and David is about to take over from Saul. I'm reading 2 Corinthians in the New Testament.

On the secular side, I'm not reading the uplifting stuff you are, Agim. I've got The Vampire Archives, The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, Reporting World War II: American Journalism 1938-1946, and The Wooden World going.

Plus, over the weekend I was dipping into Roadside Geology of New Mexico and Journey to the High Southwest. Why? Because we were visiting Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Los Alamos, New Mexico. A nice trip of 1181 miles.

What surprised me, when I figured it out, was that the Bosque del Apache NWR, where we were birding on Saturday, is only about 20 miles or so from the site of Trinity, the A-Bomb test of August 1945.

Agim Zabeli said...

Glenn: I don't know how uplifting my secular reading is right now. I'm still job-hunting and I get distinctly uncomfortable reading the passages with the Macawbers in 'David Copperfield'.