Saturday, October 13, 2012

Aimless Reading: The V's, Part 9 (Virgil)

The Aeneid
Virgil
The Aeneid
Tr. Robert Fitzgerald

I believe I stole this from my brother. I read it during the summer of 1989.

I have written about this summer many times before on this blog. It took place after I stopped drinking and using drugs. I spent the almost entire summer in my parent's basement reading, writing, and teaching myself to play guitar. When I left the basement it was usually to go to an AA meeting.

This was the first classical epic I read. I think I also read Fitzgerald's translation of the Iliad that same summer. I remember keeping a copy of Edith Hamilton's Mythology by my side so I could learn the names of all the gods and heroes.

One of these years, I'd like to embark on a new learning project in the way that I used to when I was younger. Learning has in some way become a habit, whereas once it was a challenge and an adventure. I remember the feeling of encountering for the first time a body of knowledge about which I knew nothing and of trying to teach it to myself.

It was an exhilarating feeling. All my old notebooks have lists and lists of the books I was reading and intending to read. I guess this blog is a commented list, in that sense, but it's also retrospective. Maybe that will be the next project. After I reach 'z' I'll start the Aimless Reading Projection. I'll write long pieces about books I intend to read and forecast the kind of reading experience I expect to have with each one.

Hmmm...

from The Aeneid

He sank his blade in fury in Turnus' chest.
Then all the body slackened in death's chill,
And with a groan for that indignity
His spirit fled into the gloom below.

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