I have always been an avid reader and lover of books but during my last year in University, I became bogged down by an almost full time work schedule and a failure of community that left me not only unmotivated but also seemingly paralyzed by depression. The past year has seen me turn around and ever so slowly, return to reading.
I have built a small library over the years and much of it, I humbly admit, is of the post structural variety. Recently I had a conversation with my eight year old nephew that all books I have bought since 2007 have been carefully chosen with his future in mind. If I never have children, my belongings will all be his one day after all! So when I came across a mention of the book Dangerous Knowledge by Robert Irwin, I decided to purchase a copy.
I admit to owning a copy of Orientalism by Edward Said and I admit that my copy is highlighted and margin noted. I also must note that I wasn’t about to pay full price for Irwin’s after the fact rebuttal. In fact, several reviews I read suggest that Irwin’s defense of his discipline fails to address the critical crux of the issue Said raised. I also admit, that my father fought a six year lawsuit with the University of Auburn here in Alabama over their deliberate purloining of business contracts for their bio fuels projects. But I digress. Or do I?
The criticism I read of Irwin made me all the more eager to re-examine the issue and I am waiting for the book to arrive with somewhat baited breath. After all, if the issue weren’t so misunderstood,, what would the media have had to talk about when the Tea Party erupted onto the national and global stage?
Other than Dangerous Knowledge, I also recently picked up Walter Burkert\’s Greek Religion and also his Orientalizing Revolution. The premise of the latter, which is no news to me at all (note the title reference), turned out to be something of a disappointment. The former however is wonderful and a welcome addition to my growing library.
I am also trying to feed myself some lighter intellectual fare. I picked up Phillipa Gregory’s book the Queens Fool, along with the last three books in the Twilight series. (All Salvation Army Store finds) Perhaps, if I struggle a little less with myself, I might be able to breathe a little life and creativity back into my world.