They Used to Call this Copiousness but it is just Verbose

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I feel marginally accomplished this evening. I spent part of the day rearranging the front room. It could be called my room but that would be tacky since Charles doesn't have 'his room.' But the outbuilding is pretty much under his command. And most of the other the bedroom and living room (I should look up the evolution of the term 'living room' someday) are littered with his crystal, knick-nacks and the dreaded unpacked boxes. Really very marginal accomplishment. Creating a room afresh always seems to require massive disarrangment and the room is still very disarranged.

My goal was to free up wall space so I can move my CD racks (picture thin bookcases with 6" shelves) in. We knew the house was small when we bought it. It is tightly crammed and there's only 28 plus years on the mortgage. We put my CDs in the hall. But now we really need that hall.

I also need another bookcase. Not that I have many books. Booksellers and librarians aren't sentimental about books. Most books go to the shop as soon as I read them. I have a bunch of books that have been sitting inaccesbily in piles on shelves behind other things. Almost all unread books. It was with 'wild surmise' that I discovered that I'd picked up a copy of Chapman's Iliad, a survey of Palestinian archaeology and a collected Pope. I'd just been wishing for the last a couple of days ago. Don't know if I'll ever read it but he's on the very short list of poets I keep hoping I'll read before I die.

I started reading C.S. Lewis' English Literature in the Sixteenth Century a couple of days ago. Lewis is always lucid. As much so in his scholarly works as the popular Christian writings (which always seem to bore me) and his kid's books (I've read Perelandra (a name that Google shows me has been appropriated by a company peddling an "Endocrine System Balancing Solution") but not Narnia. In his learned books he's clear but very concentrated. Slow, patient reading. If he weren't so understandble I'd probably just skip around. Or close the book. I tried reading a bit of queer history the other day. But the loose language made me fidget. (Yep, I'm very guilty of that but this is only a personal diary.)

I'd bought Lewis' book when I was assembling a bunch of 16th and 17th century Lit. It was a guilty discovery when I found several stacks of that that has been languishing unread.

I can plead (with myself) that my days have been pretty distracted since Charles and I came to be with each other. I'm still disappointed with myself for not making some time for it. And it isn't as if I planned to do it out of some misplaced sense of duty. I get a bigger kick of reading Thomas Nashe or John Aubrey (well, OK, I've already read him) than anybody alive today. The lovely, lively prose, the mix of low laughter and high learning

I make a bad mistake of evolving over-elaborate reading schemes. Before I got down to reading the plays I wnated to read some history about and prose of the time. The part of me that might've become an academic shudders at reading without context.

Always been a bad habit in this part of my reading. Thankfully all the bad science fiction and pulp trash doesn't move me this way. As a fan I'd read about the authors but it was the kind of poorly written stuff you'd glance through in gulps.

I've mentioned reading some Christian history recently. I've also got a good supply of that laid in. Several years ago a book came in the shop on the history of Christian millenialism: the Anti-Christ will reign, Jesus will come back. mankind is judged. Time, or at least History ends, and Eternity begins with everybody either in Heaven or Hell.

I've always been entertained by nutty notions about the universe. No surprise to anybody who has seen my LJ community. (And heartily recommend Martin Gardner's Science Good, Bad and Bogus for unbounded laughter.)

In his introduction the scholarly author kept referring to Second Temple Judaism and earlier Jewish thought. I figured I should read some of that first. Before I knew what was happending I found myself ordering a scholarly two volume history of the Ancient Near East (from whence came Judaism).

If you don't warm to dry summaries of the surviving artifacts archeaology is pretty dull. One of the good things about the postmodern academic culture is scholars no longer dig down into a temple and assume a whole culture was a theocracy. You can't help but admire their caution. But it becomes hard to think you've learned anything. Except perhaps that knowledge is uncertain, regardless of the surface frippery people have changed much and there's always been more variety than textbooks ordinarily reveal.

It wasn't that I didn't enjoy reading about it. The author's meticulousness was a pleasure in itself. I simply overloaded myself and the reading aborted.

Anyway, I was cleaning my room . . .

I think it must be time to go hang out with Charles.

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Culture Low and High
They Used to Call this Copiousness but it is just Verbose
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