Page 2: Brad Fruhauff on the Classics
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[easyazon-link asin=”0199538859″ locale=”us”]Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Major Works[/easyazon-link]
[easyazon-link asin=”B0082Q3JQG” locale=”us”]FREE for Kindle (Complete Poems)[/easyazon-link]
“Christ plays in ten thousand places.” Just keep saying that to yourself for the rest of the week and see what difference it makes. Think about this, too: the Victorian Hopkins was unpublished until 1918, when he was read as a modernist. Hopkins’s poetry reads like the Blue Man Group’s psaltery, full of funky percussive rhythms in praise of the beauty of creation.
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[easyazon-link asin=”0140444491″ locale=”us”]Fear and Trembling[/easyazon-link]
[easyazon-link asin=”B00B597YMM” locale=”us”]Kindle ebook for only $1.99![/easyazon-link]
As Alan Jacobs counsels, you should read at whim when possible. Fifteen years ago, I bought this book used for $0.88 because I was considering a philosophy major, and I can tell you I wouldn’t have chosen the major if I had tried to read Locke or Kant. Kierkegaard, writing as the pseudonymous character Johannes de Silentio, opens with a series of imaginative retellings of the Abraham and Isaac story, then tries to wrestle with how it could be possible that God could ask someone to do something morally wrong like murder his own son. Silentio arrives at a description of faith that he cannot, in the end, reach for himself. It’s like philosophy as Shakespearean drama. Sort of.
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[easyazon-link asin=”0801847982″ locale=”us”]The Metamorphoses of Ovid[/easyazon-link]
trans. David R. Slavitt
You will probably know most of these stories, and if you are anything like me you will find it a little bit funny how often the gods’ solutions to a problem are to transform the victim into an animal or plant. But, if you are anything like me, you will be unprepared for the breathtaking poignancy of Ovid’s storytelling. They are also often piquant, plangent, pulsing, and profound in their depictions of human desire and suffering.