Scattered

Long Beach, CA

Scattered days: there’s too much going on in my head, my life: too many interests are suddenly coming to the fore. Can one teach full-time, write seriously, practice guitar hours each day, study Greek, try and stay in shape physically, while still accomplishing all the basic things a person must in order to function in our complex society? Apparently I’m trying to answer this question (so far my conclusion is a teetering maybe). I’m not going to give any of this up, though, unless I absolutely have to–I feel like I’m making a big breakthrough in my life, one that MUST occur on many fronts at once before somehow they all come together: they’re all me, all where I’m going …

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Suddenly I’ve begun working thru a very strange reading list. I’m trying to put together a little set of readings for my cultural anthropology students featuring some early de facto ethnography. So I’ve been pouring over HerodotusThe Histories and TacitusGermany. I’ve also lined up sections from Captain Cook’s journals and will soon be getting into Lewis and Clark’s notebooks. For my own interests, I’ve reading a book on the Greek Civil War, and the novel Sapho, by Alphonse Daudet, a semi-obscure little bit of the Belle Epoch, which is an era that’s always intrigued me.

Today Daudet’s considered a  mid-level writer (at least outside of France) and doesn’t appear to be read much (again, at least outside of France). So far I agree with this evaluation, but I’m also enjoying this book quite a bit: it’s very readable, a solid product of its time. Daudet himself, though, I’m learning, was quite a nasty character, a reactionary monarchist and virulent anti-semite. Oh well, it’s not like I have to hang out with the guy or anything …