Reading Suggestions


(Douglas Duff) #122

I would not mind chatting about this one. Did you intend December dates? Maybe a Cafe set-up would work out, or a daytime session and a nighttime session for global friends to join?

(maybe you have more to this than meets my eye but:) our narrator does not specifically state what he is “hiding it in.” Perhaps his “undercover” reading of Feuerbach by the creek or under the covers is enough hiding from his father. I would like to imagine that he has the book hidden inside his psalter, like any good little Christian boy. Related note: I found a Playboy subscription card in a used Wallace Stevens collection I purchased last year… I do not think that is the Paltry Nude Stevens was writing about…!

There is an author index in Foams, covering the trilogy’s references. You once stated the lack of this useful feature as yet another reason to steer away from Sloterdijk. Just saying Ed.


Fall for Foams sounds reasonable. As mentioned, I have read a good third of the book and have things to say, but a group reading seems right for this one. I would hope others could arrange to join in at that time. As for a long reading come spring, The Secular Age might be a challenge. The discussions should be fruitful, of course. Personally, to grasp the full historical depth of Taylor’s work, I would need to perform several side studies to understand the context of his material.

You mentioned Martha Nussbaum as a contender for our time. The Monarchy of Fear interests me, not only because of the author.


(Ed Mahood) #123

Hmmm … I am reading the edition issued by Virago Press (London) in 2005. On p. 27 of this edition, we find the following text:

My brother Edward gave his book to me, The Essence of Christianity, thinking to shock me out of my uncritical piety, as I knew at the time. I had to read it in secret, or so I believed. I put it in a biscuit tin and hid it in a tree.

That sounds pretty specific to me. I agree his actual reading was, in a sense, “undercover”, but he physically hid the book, and I would like to know if it was a “biscuit tin” in an American edition of the text.

While I certainly appreciate your subtly inclusivity (which I greatly admire), you should also recall that references include not only names but also specific works that are quoted or paraphrased. (I believe (or so I was raised, and probably academically trained) you quote your sources at the time and place of citation, not after the fact. And one of my most repeated criticisms was that I shouldn’t have to read three volumes to get what was published as one. (This is also a criticism I have of the so-called Ring Trilogy by Tolkein. It was one novel published in three installments, not a trilogy as I understand the term.) Stated harshly, I think Sloterdijk is a plagiarist; but my own sense is that he is simply a sloppy scholar, and hence, doesn’t deserve the accolade “scholar” at all. Sloterdijk is interesting (in places), and one can certainly derive a lot of inspiration from his writings. I don’t argue that. But I can get more that I can use for my life elsewhere with a lot less work, a lot less aggravation, and a lot less pain, so I won’t be foaming in the fall. :smiling_imp:

Nevertheless, I’m also up for anything worthwhile, and relatively short. At my age, I’m trying to avoid being entomed.


(Marco V Morelli) #124

In my 2004 U.S. Picador edition, he hides the book in a biscuit tin.


(Ed Mahood) #125

Thanks for this …

I’ve no doubt been damaged by my long years abroad, but when I read “biscuit tin”, I think a metal-cookie-container (the Brits (and their subjects) call cookies “biscuits”, and they don’t have cans of anything, they have “tins”. I make biscuits regularly (even if my oldest daughter and I are real fans … i.e., biscuits and gravy), but I’m not aware that what I think of as biscuits were available commercially (even in my youth … which gets me closer to the narrator of the story, as he went searching for his grandfather’s grave in 1892, and my own grandparents and great-grandparents … or great-great grandparents (my great-great-grandmother, born in 1860, and I have copies of a series of letters her father wrote home from the Civil War before he died of dysentery in 1862) or packed in tin boxes. Where I grew up, we never called those “tins” … everything was a “can”. That’s why I asked.

Thanks for the clarification … which has got me thinking even more.


(Marco V Morelli) #126

I’m glad you pointed out that detail, Ed, because otherwise I would have completely skipped it over. It turns out there is some history to the Biscuit Tin, as Smithsonian Magazine retells:

And here’s a little more from a company who was making these tins (which you’re right, were really for what we would call “cookies”) as far back as 1860.


Regarding setting a date to talk about the book…

Would you want to suggest the 12/18 Café slot, if others are up for it?


(Douglas Duff) #127

If others interested in Gilead and Marilynne Robinson find this our best option, don’t mind if I do.

@johnnydavis54, @achronon, @ccafe crew?

I will go ahead and set up the date.

Here’s the link:


(Katina Press) #128

I am totally confused (as usual)!?!

So, we are starting “Gilead” on Tuesday, 12.11.18?


(Marco V Morelli) #129

It’s a short book, so the plan that’s emerging seems to be that we’ll have it read by then (Dec. 18) and will discuss it during the regular Café time at 12 Mountain / 2 Eastern on that date.


(Katina Press) #130

Thank you! How was your “Aya” experience?


(Marco V Morelli) #131

It was brutal, and beautiful. I am writing about it and hope to share something around Christmas-time.


(Frederick Dolan) #132

I read Gilead and this is just a note of thanks for the suggestion, it’s an extraordinary novel. It might be interesting to compare it with John Williams’s Stoner, if anyone knows that.


(Geoffrey Edwards) #133

I ordered the book and it just arrived yesterday. I will try to get through the reading for next week too.


(Ed Mahood) #134

You can do it, Geoffrey … it’s very readable, and worth reading as well.


(Frederick Dolan) #135

I’m not sure I’ll make the discussion itself as this is such a busy time of the year. But I’ll try.


(Eduardo Rocha) #136

Alain Badiou - In search of the lost real
Richard Rorty - Two Utopias
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s - Essay “Circles”
Georg Simmel - Philosophy of money
Judith Butler - Precarious life