Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Great Books 4.04

While listening to Descartes today, at the beginning of every section of the audio book someone says "read by so-and-so, if you would like to volunteer, contact us at bla-de-bla".  Some of the people reading have extremely thick accents, including British, Scottish, or German.  It got me to thinking - maybe I should dictate some books.  It would make me spend more time on them, I might learn more, and there's a certain book that I've been wishing had an audio format... yup.  Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine - about 2800 pages (giant text book sized) and 300-something chapters.  It's on my mind...we shall see if I ever go through with it.  

Other thoughts during my Descartes drive today - he spoke of a time he spent in Germany where he was stuck there during a war and being unattached to any people he sought solitude and spent time with his thoughts, just thinking.  Reminded me a little of Henry Walden Thoreau which, though taught by my pot-smoking English teacher in my last year of high school (can someone say senioritis?), conjured up idyllic images of being by oneself in a cabin in the woods, taking nature walks, spending hours upon hours away from computers, radio, television, people, and obligations just to ponder.  A similar scene was described in Atlas Shrugged when Dagny Taggart tried to "quit" the world on her own, but in her case she was restless and eager to return to work - not because she didn't like pondering, but because she had so much she had calculated and figured out and wanted to do that she couldn't stand sitting idle.  If I ever have a summer home, or even time to rent a cabin somewhere for a weekend, that is something I would love to do.

As for German, still going strong on that.  Getting more used to some of the verbs and building different sentences.  Lesson 8 so far.  More tomorrow.  I haven't made much progress on the Norse Saga on my phone's Kindle, since it is long and the translation is not particularly good...hard to understand some of it.

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