Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Cleopatra, and, you know, other things.

Three days ago I finished the extensive reading on Cleopatra that I wrote about a few posts ago.  I am so glad that I decided to read it-- beautifull written, wonderfully delivered, fully realized.  It was a fantastic merging of historical fact, archaeological sentiment, literary theory, gender studies, and social commentary. 

I say that I am glad that I read this book, because I am often nervous about reading a book on Cleopatra.  So much of Cleopatra's historic legacy is lost in a fog of personification, lust, obsession, and a desire for a greatness that was and absolutley wasn't there to begin with. 

I find reading to be a terribly rewarding aspect of my own life, something that adds beauty and charm to my day-to-day existence.  I cannot help but feel that reading is important, life affirming, essential, something tremendous and meaningful, and something sometimes difficult to attain.  Books aren't cheap, and time isn't cheap either.  I am feeling bummed out over my semester, because there isn't a whole lot of literature involved in it, and I feel mired in a pit of archaeological doom and gloom.  One of my professors is a former forensic anthropologist that delights in the relating of stories about headless torsos, skin sloughage, serial killers, and pirates.  I don't know what I was thinking what I signed up for a bunch of technical classes...

I suppose I actually do know what I was thinking, and I can relate the kind of doom and gloom that I felt in the days that led up to the first week of school.  I was feeling a real doubt in myself, as well as in the point of reading books.  I suppose I felt that my desires and dreams were of little tangible value, and were therefore of no use and should be abandoned.  This attitude is one that I often take, and I cannot wait until, like the skin on a corpse 3-7 days into decomposition, can be sloughed off and removed for good.  (Isn't that just disgusting??!)

Until next time.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading Less Than Zero. Not sure how it stayed off my list for so long, as I was a big fan of American Psycho way back when I first read it. In any case, it was the first book I had finished in a few months and it was one of the most rewarding things I've done in that time, most certainly.

    It's too easy to forget how wonderfully fulfilling it can be to lose yourself in a story, a fiction. When you steep yourself in reality and throw fantasy to the wayside too readily, you start to lose your ethereal-ness, and that's obviously no good.

    Even though Less Than Zero was anything but an "uplifting" book, it offered a wonderful retreat in it's depiction of early-80's pseudo-bohemian decadence. Looking back and my own life, it almost seems silly how much so much of my "debauch" youth really paled in comparison to some of the experiences that were going down in more extreme climates.

    Anytime lifestyles like that are portrayed now, I always think back to the movie "The Limits of Control". I so loved the line from the Spanish man, something like: "Are those kids what you would call Bohemian? My father was from Bohemia. I wonder what he would think of that."

    For an encore, I'm reading "The Next 100 Years: A Forecast of the 21st Century", because I dislike sticking to anything good that's on a roll.