Monday, October 26, 2009

Libraryster: catching up

I had a few items out and returned them without logging them for you. So instead I'll just mention what I have cooking right now:

Anti-intellectualism in American Life - Richard Hofstadter: originally published in 1963, it won a Pulitzer. In some ways it is a humorous book; the arguments that the American right is making about the left are the exact same today as they were in 1963. While I don't agree with all of his arguments, he makes a few fair points. I'm not far into it, but already I don't agree with the sentiments of intellectuals as "aristocrats". That sentiment is perfectly counterpointed in the book Nixonland (a great read by the way); it fueled Nixon's rise to power in his inquisition against Alger Hiss. I'm less than a fifth through, but it is worth a read.

Penguin Island - Anatole France: winner of the Nobel for literature, Anatole was the spiritual heir of Voltaire. He has the same witty and detached sarcasm. The protagonist in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Offshore Pirate read Anatole France and was an "egoist". So now I read it to understand. Pretty good read too.

Thus Spake Zarathustra - Friedrich Nietzsche: in college I felt that Nietzsche was a product of his time. It reminded me too much of other 19th century industrial revolution Germans: Max Weber, Carl Marx, Sigmund Freud, and the like. I felt compelled to read this one because of our times. These days Ayn Rand is the rage, and the most compelling review of Atlas Shrugged I've read was basically "Nietzsche for stupid people". So I will go to the source and read Nietzsche and then Rand and see for myself.

Beethoven - Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage/Choral Fantasy/Rondo/Preludes and Overtures: What can I say? It is Beethoven. It is good. There are early presages of the ninth symphony, so of course it is worth a listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment