Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Which I try to be smart and try to make you smart too.

Hello blog bidges!  It's that time again: time for you to learn to read!  This week I'll be berating you about Søren Kierkegaard's "Either/Or: A Fragment of Life."  Or rather, just "Part One: Containing the Papers of A".  You'll get to hear all about "Part Two: Containing the Papers of B: Letters to A" when I finish it.   

So, this is a reading selection brought to you by the wonderful intervention of my friend Soda Pop, previously known as Sweetbreads, but I didn't like that nickname, so she got a new one.  Now we can think about both Veronica Mars and The Outsiders every time we read about her!* 

Anyway, Soda Pop was a philosophy major and is very smart and is under the impression that I'M smart too, so she sends me books sometimes and I read them on the bus and get very confused and agitated.  I have to say that this book so far falls into that category.  It starts with an introduction by a dude who is pretending not to be Kierkegaard pretending that he found these papers in a desk that he was called upon by mystical forces to buy.  So, the papers by A and the papers by B aren't written by Søren, so give him a break.  He's just the author.  

The first section is called "Diapsalmata," which the appendix tells us is "the plural Greek form for the Hebrew selah, a word that recurs in the Psalms of David at the end of a verse."  Duh.  Anyway, it's basically a bunch of short observations and sayings, and when I read this part I thought I was smart because I was totally keeping up.  Then we get to "The Immediate Erotic Stages or the Musical Erotic" and "Ancient Tragedy's Reflection in the Modern," and I was just expecting a lot more penis, that's all.  "Shadowgraphs" and "The Unhappiest One" lulled me into a state of partial understanding, and then I got to "Crop Rotation," upon which I was revived by the aesthetic discussion of boredom!  This included such gems as "Idleness as such is by no means a root of evil; quite the contrary, it is a truly divine way of life so long as one is not bored."  Now, this is my kind of guy.  

We finish up with "The Seducer's Diary," which transforms from essay form to story form, and I'm finally in my milieu.  Here, we get to hear from the consummate 19th century Seducer, who accosts ladies on the street and compliments them on their hats, follows them back to their drawing rooms to make friends with their maiden aunts, and all around confuses them until they put out and then he runs off laughing.  Good Stuff.

So, in conclusion, I am not as smart as Soda Pop thinks I am, but put something in the form of a story instead of an essay, and I might just be able to tell you what it's all about.  


*  P.S. The Outsiders was a book too.  Check that out sometime.  
    P.P.S., Did you know that S.E. Hinton was a girl?  Rockin'!

1 comment:

  1. I reads the Outsiders!! I reads it years ago!! 100 points to Gryffindor!