Another Day, Another Idiot Move

Is there any truth to the rumor that Drumpf, surviving without the benefit of alcohol, is considering outlawing beer in this country? After all, the path to mass shootings often involves a six-pack. I understand that various pundits have convinced the Orange-One that by removing beer and video games from society the sale of Parcheesi games will skyrocket the stock market back into the black.

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Be Best

download.pngI spent the morning thinking about the listing of my top 40 recommendations. I don’t see any reason to make any major changes at this time but I realize that there are so many texts that I have yet to read, many of which might be contenders for the top 40.

Several years back I had yet to read George Eliot’s Middlemarch and suggested that I would probably place it in the top forty based on the comments and suggestions of others. I have since then read Middlemarch and, although I did not revere the novel to the extent of its praise, Middlemarch did in fact push its way into the list.

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Death of Virgil

imagesThis is a tough one. Death of Virgil tells the story of emperor Augustus requiring a dying Virgil to leave Athens and surrender the manuscript of the Aeneid before destroying it as a fitting end to pure art. Since the Aeneid glorifies Augustus, it is a struggle between the artistic and the political: for Rome, the Aeneid is the gift that keeps on giving, even after Virgil passes on.

I read the complete Aeneid recently in the Fagles’ translation. If you like history, especially history punctuated by war, death, and destruction, the Aeneid is a valuable historical artifact and at a minimum provides a useful textbook for the teaching of Latin (where they still do that). Otherwise, the story of Aeneas and the founding of Rome is somewhat flat and boring.

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