Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Reading

One of the advantages of my Kindle is that Matthew Crawford’s book (published today) appeared on my Kindle this morning! So I am reading it. So far, terrific. I should also mention a few other things I am reading: David Hinton’s anthology of Chinese poetry. I am told that the translations are superb, and certainly his brief introduction is. A taste: In addressing the empty grammar and pictographic nature of the language, Hinton says poetry "is nothing less than a sacred medium". The word for poetry (shih) is made up of elements of "spoken word" and "temple". He describes how shih is written so that sound is coming out of the mouth is portrayed on the left, and on the right (meaning temple) a hand is portrayed touching a seedling sprouting from the ground. Hence: "words spoken at the earth altar." Not bad. The other book I’m reading is more prosaic, but fun (for prose): Andrew Wheatcroft’s he Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe. This Scotsman says that in doing research for the book over many years he discovered what the Hungarians mean by the old Latin tag Hungariam non est vita, si est vita non est ita (there is no life outside of Hungary, and if there is, it’s not life)....and now you stop wondering why Chinese poetry seems difficult for the barbarians.

Discussions - 3 Comments

An eclectic and fascinating assortment of books, PWS! I am currently swept away by Xenophon's Persian Expedition, and it is moving my soul. I may do some teaching at a classical school next year, and I'm boning up early. Also, half-way through Thucydides. Best regards from across the miles!

I'm going to have to buy the Wheatcroft. One of my brothers informed me there is a movie in the works for the Persian Expedition. I have no idea what they're planning on calling it (Persian Expedition, Anabasis, The Ten Thousand, etc), but here is a link. That's about all I can find on it at the moment.

Andrew, that would be a very cool movie! 300 had some historical errors but was generally faithful and a fine bit of action for us guys! Watching the Spartan v. ninja on the Deadliest Warrior on Spike definitely turned me on to that show!

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