Friday, July 25, 2008

Kate Mosse Sepulchre - good vacation reading

When I was in Paris recently it was hard not to notice the new Kate's novel adds. They were everywhere in Paris !!!
So when I was getting the book for my short holidays I selected Sepulchre - and it was good choice. I still read it so this is not final note about the book....
The book has two plots, which are quite long completely parallel and unrelated. One is in XIX century France for a French family, another in XXI France for American researcher. The plots meet at the same place - in Domaine de la Cade - a house in Rennes-les-Bains
(Carcassonne area). I have no final opinion yet - but - I can say - it is captivating story - just perfect for holiday relax. Tarot cards, connections to da Vinci Code, occultism and fascinating interplay of these two threads - modern and old - this makes it all.

btw, it was nice to read about Shakespeare & Co. bookstore in Paris - this is my favorite place in the city.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Started reading Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" again. First reading maybe 30 years ago ...
Shocking experience to read it in your 50-ties....
I know he is not guilty for Nazi ideology, for all what was after him in Germany .... but....
The contempt he expressed for people (if the people are not super-something) is just amazing ....
Some parts are good literature - yes, but the final message we get from it is not what we find as just simply good ....
Well - do you have different opinions - your comments are welcomed !

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reading with a bit of good humor :-)

I just forgotten to make a post of my (two months ago) reading of A.J. Jacob's "The Year of Living Biblically". It is not quite serious book, and I'm glad to know that it was not meant to be serious.
But, as always, it has a grain of deep thoughts. What it could mean today to be a religious fundamentalists? Where and when people that claim to live biblically, do it with profound, deep faith, but when it is just lack of wisdom and common sense ?

Paradoxically, the book posts quite serious question (without giving an answer): if one want to live according to Torah (or Bible in broader sense) - what would it mean? Where banality ends and true virtue starts? What rules/commandments we need to follow literally and what allegorically ?

Honestly - I do not know the answer - and question remains - so it's good to ready funny, a bit unserious books sometimes ... and have more serious thoughts after .....

Saint Patrick of bitterness

I have read Philip Freeman's "St. Patrick of Ireland". Interesting account on the early history of Christianity and its connection to politics... However, two things haunt my thoughts after reading it. One is the recognition of the bitterness St. Patrick had to experience after his work in Ireland. Charged of some sort of bribe or using money in his mission he had to explain and justify something that most probably was just a common method in his otherwise clean and chaste, mission. These events show that that such bitterness is often inextricably connected to all missions, political, religious, social.... What happened to Walesa in his native Poland around mid of 2008 .....

The second thought is the apparent attempt of the author (Philip Freeman) to distance himself from another author writing of Patric - Thomas Cahill (see "How the Irish Saved Civilization") (and my early post about it). In some part of the book, he writes: "Irish did not saved civilization, civilization saved itself" (I'm not sure now about the exact wording, but the meaning is certainly true). Does Freeman try to be less pathetic ? Maybe I need to return to Thomas's book again ....