NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reading Notes

I did a bit of running around yesterday, so I didn't get as much reading done as I had hoped. Today we're going out to birthday lunch with Peter's parents for me and Peter's dad (Early for mine, late for his.), and my Wolves are playing the Chicago Bulls tonight at 6:00. I might be a little short on reading time today, too. But that doesn't mean I've gotten none in at all!

I'm working diligently at How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization, and in last night's reading I came across a discussion about laws. Specifically, are laws only rules written by men and only as valid as the means to uphold them, or are there natural laws, inalienable rights, that are outside the realm of man to meaningfully legislate? This question led to a short discussion about the American Constitution and, assuming the latter argument is correct, how we have altered that document as we learn more about the rights of human beings. Examples would be the abolition of slavery and women's right to vote. I liked that we can continue to learn and grow in our understanding of natural rights, that prejudices that are acceptable now can become intolerable in the future. We still have a long way to go, but we can get there and we can help other nations get there, too.

I've been enjoying this book so much that during my trip to the library I picked up Mortimer Adler's The Great Ideas: A Lexicon of Western Thought in which he discusses each one of the 103 Great Ideas in greater detail. I may have to find a copy of this one to keep for myself. It would be a really good reference book to have around as I contemplate this self-teaching thing.

I also finished up the first book of The Faerie Queene. I'm not going to pretend I'm soaking up all the subtleties of this poem, not even close. But I am enjoying it immensely! Knights and ladies, witches and dragons, battles between good and evil. . . What more can a girl ask for? :-) My favorite part is still the parade of Lucifera's advisers in Book I, Canto IV. Here is part of the description of the adviser Gluttony:

And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
Deformed creature, on a filthie swyne,
His belly was vp-blowne with luxury,
And eke with fatnesse swollen were his eyne,
And like a Crane his necke was long and fyne,
With which he swallowed vp excessiue feast;
For want whereof poore people oft did pyne;
And all the way, most like a brutish beast,
He spued vp his gorge, that all did him deteast.

Ewww! You can picture it so clearly though, can't you? You know what I thought of the whole time? Remember the movie "The Dark Crystal"? Remember the Skeksis?

That's what I pictured through that whole section of the Canto. And now I really need to see that movie again. It was so good!!

I think that's it for my Reading Notes update. I hope you're all doing fabulously well!

Happy Reading!


J.C. Montgomery said...

Oh holy cow, I nearly forgot about that movie. Now I can't get it out of my head trying to remember it. But I do know I liked it.

Thanks for the reminder. I'm gonna have to see if my library has it.

Hope you're doing fabulously well too!

Andi said...

Oh my Lord! The Dark Crystal scared the crap out of me as a child, and now I remember why! LOL! The Faerie Queen sounds really good. Reading that passage reminded me of The Inferno a bit.

Lezlie said...

J.C. ~ I forget about it for years at a time, and then all of a sudden something with jog my memory and I just need to watch it again. I love it every time I get back to it!

Andi ~ It is scary! Especially the Skeksis and the woman whose eye keeps popping out. :-) I plan on reading The Inferno sooner than later. If I can read Edmund Spencer, Dante should work for me, too!


Ladytink_534 said...

That sounds exactly like those creepy Skeksis!

Terri B. said...

Ewww is right! Though one does have to admire the ability to use such poetry to describe such a thing. I'm not familiar with the movie. Maybe I'll need to add it to Netflix for future viewing.

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ The full description of Gluttony made me think of the banquet scene. My imagination went on overdrive from there. :-)

Terri ~ Oh, you must! It really is a fantastic movie! And The Faerie Queene has quite a few other verses that are grotesquely vivid and make you say, "I can't believe he wrote that!" I think that shock factor is what is making it even more fun than it might be otherwise.