Modern Works: Why Head Transplants Require the Humanities – Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher

What would happen if your head were transplanted onto a different body? Would you still be you? If we could transplant a head onto a different body, but that body could also be used to supply organs to other people who needed it – who should get the unused body? And how do we know … Continue reading Modern Works: Why Head Transplants Require the Humanities – Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher

Literature — A Tragedy on Trial, Basic Reproduction, and Ancient Greek Wrestling

We are back to the Britannica list for this post. Returning to Aeschylus, we have reached the end of Aeschylus’s Oresteia. Here we see the end of a series of murders which launched and capped a bloody war that destroyed the city of Troy. In the first play, Agamemnon was murdered by Clytaemnestra as revenge … Continue reading Literature — A Tragedy on Trial, Basic Reproduction, and Ancient Greek Wrestling

Avenging Agamemnon, Compounding Tragedies, and Generational Trauma

The two reading lists that I am working my way through come together in today’s reading, which is “The Libation Bearer” by Aeschylus. In an early post, I tackled the first play of the trilogy, which was about how Agamemnon returned home from the Trojan war and subsequently was murdered by his wife, Clytaemnestra, for … Continue reading Avenging Agamemnon, Compounding Tragedies, and Generational Trauma

Harvard Classics April 6 — Wordsworth, Dictionaries, and Poetry in Our Lives

Wordsworth’s poems are today’s readings. We have poems about flowers, birds, old men, absent sons, and duty. It seems odd to try to pull an excerpt from a poem or even to reproduce an entire one here. The poems in the readding are “The Daffodils,” “To the Daisy,” To the Cuckoo,” “The Green Linnet,” “Written … Continue reading Harvard Classics April 6 — Wordsworth, Dictionaries, and Poetry in Our Lives

Harvard Classics April 6 – The Universe is Irrational, Be Good Anyway; A Roman Emperor’s Advice for a Good Life

When is comes to the secrets of success, the ruler of an empire might be a good source. In the April 6 reading, Eliot has us getting advice from Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius. While he did rule an empire, sometimes it still seems like Aurelius was figuring things out as he wrote … Continue reading Harvard Classics April 6 – The Universe is Irrational, Be Good Anyway; A Roman Emperor’s Advice for a Good Life

Harvard Classics, March 30: A 19th Century Italian Novel Predicts Behavior During the COVID19 Pandemic

Have you ever read something that amazed and depressed you at the same time? The reading for March 30 was a selection from I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), an Italian novel by Alessandro Manzoni. The section covers the plague of Milan in 1630 and describes how people behaved in the town. If you had read … Continue reading Harvard Classics, March 30: A 19th Century Italian Novel Predicts Behavior During the COVID19 Pandemic

Harvard Classics March 9 – Jonathan Swift on Good Manners and Good Breeding

We need to proceed with caution on this, because Jonathan Swift was a satirist. Satire has been under a lot of pressure over the past four years, because reality has been so weird, that it is hard to actually write or perform something satirical anymore. Everyone has to stop and say, “Is this serious, because … Continue reading Harvard Classics March 9 – Jonathan Swift on Good Manners and Good Breeding