Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hard Books

In the past my wife has given me a hard time about reading serious books all the time. For example, I read a half a dozen psychology books by James Hillman this winter. It used to bother me to a certain degree. I, of course, thought it was some kind of neurosis or obsession. There just aren't many people around me that read the stuff I read, at least that I know of. It sort of gives one the feeling of an expatriate. It also reminds me of an interview that I listened to with the poet Robert Bly recently. In it he mentioned how our culture has really fallen apart in the last 10 to 15 years. One of the reasons he gave was that no one tackles hard books anymore. It also takes me back to a comment that a guy I work with made a year or so ago: "I don't read because I don't have the time. I've got more important things to do. I'm too busy."

I wish I had more time to read. I don't because I've got responsibilities to my family. Or perhaps it's like I've heard Hillman say in one of his interviews: I'm stuck in family values. Something the republican part and new age Christians continue to hammer home to their followers. If you ever want to listen to a really good talk about family that James Hillman did well ever 20 years ago google: Myths of The Family. Or I could find a way to email it to you.

Here is a quote related to the subject at hand:

"Studying literature or other things is just study, but philosophy is living and is part of you. I sit and think about it all the time. I have tried to get back to reading a novel or two, but just can't [get] interested or started. It is the first time such a thing has happened, I usually have a lot of books I should read and want to read."-- Pg. 212, James Hillman writing in his early twenties, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman

That quote resonates with me. I've always been really attracted to philosophy and can't find the time to start and get interested in a good novel.

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