Another Pathetic Apology

Once again, I find myself composing a Great Books Monday post without quite having finished the readings from the previous week. Our move is this week, and I must beg readers’ continuing patience. This time around, Herodotus is the culprit. As I did last week, I’ll go ahead and post this week’s readings today and my observations on last week’s readings tomorrow.

  1. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Chapter XVIII-XX* (GGB Vol. 2, pp. 113-121)
  2. The Histories of Herodotus, Book VIII (GBWW Vol. 5, pp. 360-387)
  3. Plato’s Republic, Book I (GBWW Vol. 6, pp. 295-310)
  4. Federalist #43 (GBWW Vol. 40, pp. 139-144; Antifederalist responses are here)
  5. The Sand-Reckoner” by Archimedes (GBWW Vol. 10, pp. 520-526)
  6. Goethe’s Faust” by George Santayana (GGB Vol. 10, pp. 391-419; Ch. 4 of Three Philosophical Poets)

*The GGB set contains only 117 pages of excerpts from Robinson Crusoe. I plan to read the whole novel, but if you wish to stick with Adler, read the following excerpts from the linked chapters: Chapter XVIII: paragraph beginning “It now occurred to me . . .” to the end; Chapter XIX: paragraphs 1-6; Chapter XX: omit.

We bid farewell to Robinson Crusoe this week and are nearing the end of Herodotus’s Histories. I’ve made the readings a bit lighter than usual to increase the odds of my being able to post on time next Monday after the move . . .

Happy Independence Day to all the Americans out there!

About Dr. J

I am Professor of Humanities at Faulkner University, where I chair the Department of Humanities and direct online M.A. and Ph.D. programs based on the Great Books of Western Civilization. I am also Associate Editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy and a member of the faculty at Liberty Classroom.
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1 Response to Another Pathetic Apology

  1. Jane says:

    The last time I posted was back in November, about Week 24’s readings. Then I began feeling bogged down by all the Herodotus and the Federalist Papers (and holiday festivities ate up extra time). I began listening to an audio version of Herodotus while crocheting, which made it less tedious. But to regain and sustain momentum going forward, I’m going to pass over the works I find tedious sooner and sprinkle in other selections that feel more topical. Right now, for example, samplings of Rousseau and Hobbes might help illuminate some of the issues we are facing on the political front.

    About “The Rocking Horse Winner.” I had read it more than once in the past, and this time listened to an audio reading. It made me think of and then listen to “The Lottery,” another one of the greats in creepy literature. Afterward I felt so much more admiring of Lawrence’s work in comparison, and appreciative of the depth of pathos in that little boy’s story; just one of so many wounded souls trying forever to win the love of his distant (disturbed, distracted, abusive, fill in the blank) parent whose love he forever tries to secure.

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