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Summer Reading Group

Beginning June 15, the first Hermits Rock Summer Reading Group will convene around The Confessions of St. Augustine and Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition:

The Confessions of St. Augustine, from Amazon

Hannah Arendt, the Human Condtion, from Amazon

This translation of Augustine (left) seems a good one, but if you have or can find another, by all means, use it. When we’re feeling really nerdy, we can compare translations. Anyway, readings will be assigned by book/chapter/section, not pages; for that reason, we can work off multiple editions with few problems. The Human Condition (right), is currently published only by Chicago, although I’m sure used bookstores have other editions.1

Groupies will be responsible for sections and/or themes, assigned randomly by me or by request. Groupies will be asked to write to his or her section and/or theme. The group’s end date will not be interminable—I’m shooting for a month-and-a-halfish—but will be decided after schedules are set.

All groupies will get a writing account for a new section at Hermits Rock, which I am working on now. To that end, if I don’t have your e-mail address (Ahem, Scott!), please drop me a line using the form at right or at hermitsrock [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll need it to set up your account. All addresses will be kept in strict confidence.

Also see our previous discussions (1 & 2).

1 You ought to know that if you buy through the links above, Hermits Rock will get about $0.25 from Amazon. No money we receive will be used for evil; instead, it will be used to fund a post-group ice cream social.



i already own both books… my translation of the confessions is the penguin classics but i don’t know if it is the wills… it very well could be, the cover is different and to be honest, i never did pay attention to who the translator was… (now i feel so very non-academic!)

Look who owns so many books he has to catalogue them. I thought I had a copy of the Confessions, but turns out I did not. I went used bookstore shopping today, but no luck… Picked up Killing the Buddha tho.

Once I return from the beach, I shall make the necessary purchases. For now, there are mojitos to be consumed and sun to be absorbed.

(Ahem, I sent my email address via the form at right)

Cough! Thanks! Cough, cough! Have xtra fun at the beach for us!

Another option for Augustine: e-text.

My mummy says she’ll send me one of her two copies of Augustine—no idea what translation, though probably not the Wills. (Really, two copies is showing a great restraint—we still have at least three copies of Boswell’s Life of Johnson between us, and at one point there were I think eleven copies of Moby Dick in the house.)

Technical note for Greg: the new reading page is showing up in Bloglines, but this post isn’t—I just stumbled upon it while perusing the sidebar of the site. I doubt any of the readership is feeling left in the dark, but the librarian in me felt you should know.

That’s as it’s supposed to work, L. This post’s status is “sticky,” which takes it out of the normal order of publishing. I think that also takes it out of The RSS/Atom subscriptions. Meanwhile, the RSS/Atom scrips at right are whole-site links, so any new section added from here to eternity will also become part of that RSS scrip. Although I don’t know the proper syntax off the top of my head, it is possible to build your own RSS/Atom URL to have it update only the sections you want to read. (The main Hermits posts, for example, are published in “article,” a nondescript name if I ever heard one.) The RSS/Atom links in the reading section, for example, will only serve up everything posted there in your reader, if you choose to use them.

Gotcha. . . I think. Yeah, I know there are a variety of ways to create RSS feeds where none exist. . . they’re one of the things I add to del.icio.us and then promptly forget about.

Augustine is certainly a fine study into “The Human Condition.” I think you will be blessed by his honesty. What is really interesting is the monks who copied this book through medieval period.

I recently found myself at my second most favorite place, Half Priced Books (the first is Caribou Coffee) and picked up three interesting looking books.

The first I have already read a third of: Joshua Zeitz, “Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern.” My wife is also interested in this one. It is a fascinating window into the roaring ‘20s.

I picked up Ralph C. Wood’s “Flannery O’Conner and the Christ-Haunted South” and look forward to getting into that.

And I picked up Bob Ekblad’s “Reading the Bible with the Damned.” With a title like that I could not pass it up.

Tolle lege,
Bobby Valentine

You’re welcome to join us, Bobby—but be warned! It all goes down next week, and I’m about to dole out assignments. Also beware Scott, who’s a ruthless hermeneut.

In other news: K’s begged out.

And FYI, I’ll be working two jobs over the next month; however, I expect to steal time enough to keep up. (Well, not literally steal time, as in read on the job—though if the rest of my time is anything like this last week, I’d be sorely tempted!)

The 15th is Thursday. Try to have read Books I and II of the Confessions by then. It’s not many pages, so you’ll have a chance to read ahead. I’ll have the formal first-thoughts, but you are always free to post your own. Next week I’ll pull together the rest of the schedule and post it in the appropriate place.

Finally, everyone signed up s/b getting an e-mail in a few minutes inviting you to the group—which is to say, giving you permission to write here. There is only one cardinal sin, to be punished with wedgies and titty twisters, which I’ll outline in the e-mail…