Author Topic: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read  (Read 5785 times)

Offline Bernadette

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #45 on: July 01, 2020, 06:35:36 PM »
And of course: Shakespeare.  I am not sure if mentioning Shakespeare is 'cheating', but I see he's gone unmentioned in the thread.  Especially his histories and tragedies (I personally don't care for his comedies all that much).  And especially Macbeth and King Lear.  Lear is my favorite, as might be evidenced by my screen name, avatar, and signature.  Macbeth is, well, Macbeth.  Hard to beat.  The best profile of sin in all of literature, in my opinion.

Hamlet is essentially about the reformation and Shakespeare's discontent over the paltry and ineffective Catholic resistance to Anglican England.  It is overrated in the sense that it draws far too much attention as a sort of existentialist-psychoanalytical piece of literature, which isn't the right way to view it.  But there's lots to unpack and digest if you reject that tendency.

Romeo and Juliet suffers from a similar problem.  It's actually a phenomenal work once you divorce yourself from the common ninth grade reading about egalitarianism and love; really, it's a play about the unreliability of the passions and the kind of havoc they wreak if left to their own.

Antony and Cleopatra is a phenomenal warning against the dangers of being cucked.

I liked Julius Caesar the best, out of all of them that I've read. It was the first that I read, so thank God, it was a good introduction. I studied Shakespeare in high school and college, and it would have been really difficult if I'd hated it.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 06:38:44 PM by Bernadette »
"Make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found."
 
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Offline Greg

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Offline Greg

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Offline Daniel

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2020, 07:31:37 AM »
I do not like reading Shakespeare plays. They're confusing, somewhat boring, and it takes me weeks or months just to read my way through a single play. I do, however, enjoy watching them. But even then, I usually have a pretty hard time picking up on even the basic storyline until after I've seen it two or three times. Certainly they're beautifully written, but I kind of wonder if Shakespeare is just overrated.

Back in high school we read Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, and I like them. They are perhaps my favourites. Didn't really like reading them though.

I'm also a fan of his Julius Caesar, but part of that might be because I once performed in it which really helped me to follow it better. Another part of the reason could be the subject matter: ignoring the tragedy, it's basically a more poetic, more dramatized version of Plutarch's Life of Julius Caesar, which I already liked. And a third reason might just be because I really liked Star Wars Episode III. However, if I had to read something, I'd read Plutarch. And if I had to watch something, I'd watch Episode III (which I think is the best adaptation and/or ripoff of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that I've ever seen). I also find it a little odd that it's titled "Julius Caesar" when it's really about Brutus. That had me confused for quite some time. Seems to imply it's more of a history/biography about Caesar, when it's actually a tragedy having little to do with Caesar.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 10:36:34 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2020, 10:17:12 AM »
Quote
I do not like reading Shakespeare plays.

Because they are not meant to be read but rather heard.  It is like reading lyrics to a song and not liking the song.  The play is meant to be heard, not read like a book.  Next time try reading it out loud to yourself so you can hear and feel the beauty.
 
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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2020, 10:32:36 AM »
Quote
I do not like reading Shakespeare plays.

Because they are not meant to be read but rather heard.  It is like reading lyrics to a song and not liking the song.  The play is meant to be heard, not read like a book.  Next time try reading it out loud to yourself so you can hear and feel the beauty.

I found a really good audio dramatization of Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' on Audible that the kids and I have been listening to and enjoying.  It's an Arkangel production.  Those who can read, follow along, and we read an E. Nesbit retelling first, so we already know the basic story.  I'd like to find one we can watch being performed when we are finished listening.
 
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Offline Graham

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2020, 06:03:38 PM »
Watching the plays (live and respectfully staged) is best, but the texts repay some study as well. Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare and DAW's lecture series are both pretty engaging. 
 
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Offline Greg

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2020, 01:53:55 PM »
Quote
I do not like reading Shakespeare plays.

Because they are not meant to be read but rather heard.  It is like reading lyrics to a song and not liking the song.  The play is meant to be heard, not read like a book.  Next time try reading it out loud to yourself so you can hear and feel the beauty.

What you want to do is over act them like Robin Williams.

That is really fun.

I love going to the Globe Theatre in London when something decent is on.  The standing tickets in the pit are only 5 or about $6.50 and you are right next to the stage. 
 

Offline Greg

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Offline drummerboy

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2020, 03:22:49 AM »
How about the ancient sagas?  The Song of El CidThe Song of RolandThe Tale of SiegfriedLe Morte de' ArthurThe Decameron is a medieval Italian work I've always been interested in.  Don't forget Don Quixote
"Mightier than the sound of many waters, mightier than the surgings of the sea: mighty is the Lord on high"
- Ps 92:4
 
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Offline Kent

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2020, 11:15:32 AM »
How about the ancient sagas?  The Song of El CidThe Song of RolandThe Tale of SiegfriedLe Morte de' ArthurThe Decameron is a medieval Italian work I've always been interested in.  Don't forget Don Quixote

And Beowulf.
I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly
that will put me in trust, to love him that is honest, to
converse with him that is wise and says little, to fear
judgment, to fight when I cannot choose, and to eat no fish.
 

Offline drummerboy

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2020, 11:51:41 AM »
How about the ancient sagas?  The Song of El CidThe Song of RolandThe Tale of SiegfriedLe Morte de' ArthurThe Decameron is a medieval Italian work I've always been interested in.  Don't forget Don Quixote

And Beowulf.

Of course!  I have the Seamus Heaney (+) translation with the Old English adjacent to the Modern English.  Looking at my bookshelf I found Canterbury Tales and, though not ancient in origin but definitely in theme, Chesteron's Ballad of the White Horse.
"Mightier than the sound of many waters, mightier than the surgings of the sea: mighty is the Lord on high"
- Ps 92:4
 

Offline Graham

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2020, 09:04:06 PM »
The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul

Lament for a Nation by George Grant

These two books pair very well, especially for Canadians (both Canadian authors)
 

Offline Graham

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #58 on: September 03, 2020, 10:11:12 PM »
The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen (for the insights into consumerism)

 

Offline TheReturnofLive

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Re: Specifically non-theological classics you recommend people to read
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2020, 10:32:59 PM »
How about the ancient sagas?  The Song of El CidThe Song of RolandThe Tale of SiegfriedLe Morte de' ArthurThe Decameron is a medieval Italian work I've always been interested in.  Don't forget Don Quixote

And Beowulf.

I feel like Pon de Replay really likes Beowulf.
 
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