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Thoughts On Meditations

Classics ain't what they're cracked up to be:

Not A Good Library Book

The problem with library books is that you have a limited time to read everything. The temptation in that situation is to read it all one go, and that is not going to work for 'Meditations.'

Each book is cut into sections of varying lengths. Each section tends to meander, and the complicated sentence structures requires a lot of focus. This means that you can't just gallop through it to get anything out of it. Also, reading it all at once reveals how repetitive it is. The author keeps reminding himself not to take himself to seriously because we all die, and that he needs to be virtuous. Reading it all at once reveals this and makes it hard to take it seriously.

Bad Translation?

The edition I got off of Libby kept switching between referring to 'the gods' and 'God.' Is that from later translations or did Marcus Aurelius switch between the terms himself? The thing is that the introduction includes the rather precious attempts of an obviously Christian translator trying to reconcile the fact that Marcus Aurelius was a pagan and yet clearly wise and happy. It puzzled this charmingly myopic, provincial translator. He insists: how can someone be wise and not agree with me? This requires the ability to put myself in someone else's shoes and accept a world bigger than mine, whatever will I do? Oh, it's so cute when Christians try to reconcile the real world with their monotheism. Unfortunately, it means that some meddling fool might have changed the wording just to make a point.

Vile Snivel?

He keeps calling physical life 'this vile snivel.' It makes me giggle and want to attribute it to a character in my book.

Quotation To Keep:

What is bad for the beehive cannot possibly be good for the bee.

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