Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aimless Reading: The D's, Part 17 (Daniel C. Dennett)

Dennett, Daniel C.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Purchased at the UB Bookstore for the several times previously mentioned course with Elizabeth Grosz, Being and Becoming. As I recall, we read this as a sort of introduction to Darwin's ideas, before we got to the real deal. I can remember not really being all that interested in this book and not reading it very closely. This wasn't because of anything wrong with the book itself. When I was reading it I remember I kept staring at all of the books I wanted to read on the shelf: by Darwin, Nietzsche, Bergson, Deleuze, which were all the books that I signed up for the course in order to read, and thinking that I really wanted to be reading those books, not to mention all the books I was reading for my courses in poetics. So, I don't think I read it very closely. I remember not wanting to read it all, possibly even not reading it, or reading only a little and picking the rest up from the lectures. Either way, I remember nothing about the content of the book itself. Alas.

from 1. Is Nothing Sacred?

We used to sing a lot when I was a child, around the campfire at summer camp, at school and Sunday school, or gsthered around the piano at home. One of my favorite songs was "Tell Me Why." (For those whose personal memories don't already embrace this little treasure, the music is provided in the appendix. The simple melody and easy harmony line are surprisingly beautiful.)

Tell me why the stars do shine,
Tell me why the ivy twines,
Tell me why the sky's so blue.
Then I will tell you just why I love you.

Because God made the stars to shine,
Because God made the ivy twine,
Because God made the sky so blue.
Because God made you, that's why I love you.

This straightforward, sentimental declaration still brings a lump to my throat -- so sweet, so innocent, so reassuring a vision of life.

And then along comes Darwin and spoils the picnic.

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