Friday, August 22, 2014

Four Years Ago

Well, actually four years and about three weeks ago. That’s when I started this blog. I haven’t had as much time to keep up with it this year, especially in the last two months; I don’t remember a summer as busy as this one has been. But I’ve kept up with my reading, and I’m on track to finish Year 8 on schedule. That’s right. A few hundred boxes, a move, a new job, and a new financial situation can’t keep me from the books when they’re so good. Over the last twelve months, I’ve read my favorite Charles Williams novel, my favorite Charles Dickens novel, the most personally relevant chapter yet from William James, and a classic medieval adventure that has occupied a lofty throne in my heart since I was eight years old – not to mention (a phrase that always introduces a lie!) Plato, Shelby Foote, Aquinas, and the Arabian Nights. Come to think of it, the list is my Scheherazade: keeps me coming back for more day after day.

I haven’t neglected the blog entirely, of course. And neither have you. exlibrismagnis now averages over 900 hits a month. Here’s a baker’s dozen of favorite posts from the last fifty-two weeks:

Was Shakespeare Shakespeare?
What Makes a Good Gentleman
Many More Dimensions
A Great Book that Hasn't Been Written
Game Ideas
Paying Attention to William James
More on Attention
Malory and Adventure
A Tale of Two Discoveries
A Tale of Two Mysteries
A Tale of Two Meanings
Life Imitates Foote
Where Have All the Theorems Gone?

I’ve also listed some of my favorite posts from the entire four-year run to the right, just below the archive and just above the labels.

I unpacked the Britannica Great Books set the other day to put it in its new place in our new home, and it amazed me. Or maybe I should say I amazed myself. I looked at the names of the all the authors, and they seemed like old friends. This crazy plan has really worked. I set out almost twenty years ago to give myself the liberal education I wish my schools had given me, and I think I’ve really done it.

Two more years to go, though. Next August, when I write a post called “Five Years Ago,” maybe I’ll provide links to posts about Phantastes or Confessio Amantis or the Baghavad Gita or the poetry of Tennyson. Oh, my Scheherazade!

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