The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sundry matters

Not much to report, but here are some interesting (I use the term loosely) things I did or thought of in the past couple of days.

-Went to Deja Vu discs, a place where you can buy and sell used CDs. I had a bunch of CDs in my room and basement that have been collecting dust for at least 5 years. In the end, I sold 23 of them (he didn't take 10 or so of them, even though they were fairly well known acts, such as the Rolling Stones, UFO, and AC/DC). I received a recompense of 83 bucks CAN, which may not seem like much, but it's pretty good considering that I forgot I had most of these CDs (my rule is, if I haven't thought of a particular CD in 5 years, and have no intention of listening to it, it's time to get rid of it). I don't know if I've matured or if something else is wrong with me because most music, and I mean the great majority of it, simply bores the hell out of me.

-I just realized that Dr. Phil is another abbreviation for PhD, that is, Philosophiae Doctor or Doctor Philosophiae (one of the benefits of an inflected language is syntactical freedom). I seriously doubt that this is deliberate, but Dr. Phil, whatever he may lack, is a marketing genius.

-Just finished reading Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy. For some strange reason I never got into Nietzsche. Something about him just doesn't jive with me, although he has some very perspicuous nuggets here and there. The last time I read anything by him was years ago, and I don't remember much about it (not one of his better works).
Nietzsche has the dubious distinction of being one of those writers or thinkers who is appropriated by the illiterati. You know, those people at university or work who pretend to have read far more than they actually have. Having "read" Nietsche, for example, is the same as reading a few excerpts or "Introducing Nietzsche" for them. Other writers/thinkers that fall under this category are Sartre, Marx, Heidegger, Kafka, Camus, Dostoevsky/Tolstoy, as well as some others I can't recall. These thinkers, especially Sartre and Marx, are more talked about than read. IT reminds me of Twain's definition of a classic, viz, "a book that everyone talks about but few people read." It's interesting that none of the writers/thinkers in this category are non-Anglo European.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dr J said...

Add to your list Husserl, Derrida, Levi-Strauss, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Thoreau, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, McLuhan and De Tocqueville. These people tend, however, never to have read Thomas Browne or Marcus Aurelius, of which you can make your own conclusions, non?

8:24 AM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

Yes, there are a few there I forgot. McLuhan is a good example, too. Everyone repeats "the medium is the message," without knowing what it means. Granted, a lot of the time McLuhan is full of it, but he has some interesting ideas. To be honest, I've never really run into undergrads who thought Locke or Hegel was "cool," but maybe that was the case some time ago.

10:32 AM  

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