Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Marital Harmony

These tend to make me tired a couple questions in, but I haven't done one in a long time, and have been commanded to complete the task.

1) One book that changed your life.
The Philokalia, Volume II, especially the writings by Maximos the Confessor, and especially the 400 texts on Love. "Just as the thought of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not actualize the light of spiritual knowledge in the soul."
2) One book that you have read more than once.
The highest number of re-reads goes to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings which I've read at least a half dozen times, perhaps more.
3) One book you would want on a desert island.
They asked me this in my undergrad entrance interview, and I will use the same strategy: I will assume I will eventually get off the desert island, so what book would keep me really really interested for a really really long time that I currently want to reread? St. Augustine's City of God. After a couple years of that I will stop waiting and build a raft.
4) Two books that made you laugh.
A) Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series. I'm on the eleventh, and have laughed out loud at least once during every book.
B) Little Bear Goes to the Moon by Maurice Sendak.
5) One book that made you cry.
I have never cried over a book. I am a barbarian.
6) One book you wish you'd written.
My dissertation. Or I would actually exchange that labour for the rights to The Elements of Style. William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, (which is straight poetry and wit).
7) One book you wish had never been written.
A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. by Kate L. Turabian. Bureaucracy in the Academy: it strangles me.
8) Two books you are currently reading.
The Magic World. E. Nesbit (Because the World is Magic)
The Historian's Craft. Marc Bloch (Because History is writing about how Magic happened)
9) One book you've been meaning to read.
After Virtue. Alasdair MacIntyre. (Because I want to talk about virtue again).
10) The 1-2-3 meme game: 1) Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).2) Open the book to page 123.3) Find the fifth sentence.4) Post the next three sentences.
"After a few centuries of having been cobbled together with such rules, the structure of Roman law had taken on the look of a house to which every generation of occupants added rooms without ever looking at the place from the outside; hallways that didn't connect with one another, stairways going nowhere. The confusion engendreed by two emperors legislating only in the part of the empire in which they reigned simply accelerated the process. Even without an overarching dream of reunion with the west, the empire urgently needed a new code."
William Rosen. Justinian's Flea. (New York, 2003). p. 123.

Oh my. Now, I'm going to go take a stairway to nowhere, where I will deposit Mr. Rosen alongside of Ms. Turabian.


Burglar said...

Have you ever noticed how close "marital" harmony is to "martial" harmony? It's scary.

I second the "one book you wish you'd written" answer.

Thorgersen said...

Look what you did: now I have to add Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations to my list of books that made me laugh.

So, then can we say that all is about correct spelling in love and war?