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Reading the Classics via The Well Educated Mind
#11  issybird 07-26-2020, 10:46 AM
Quote pwalker8
Bauer's The History of the Ancient World, The History of the Medieval World and The History of the Renaissance World are excellent overviews of the history of the Western World. I do understand that her views on home schooling are considered heretical by the some.
I didn’t like her History of the Ancient World.. I thought it sketchy and dubious. I suppose the first couldn’t be entirely helped with a work of that scope, but the second was a deal-breaker. A history based on ancient texts shouldn’t be presented as fact, although there’s nothing wrong with it as a study of historiography.
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#12  JSWolf 07-26-2020, 11:19 AM
Quote Loosheesh
Edith Grossman's
Thank you.
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#13  Catlady 07-26-2020, 01:19 PM
Quote issybird
Would you perhaps like to suggest a time table for Don Quixote, at least to get started? I know for me, a framework would probably be best, especially if we’re to discuss it, but the discipline of having to hit marks would be good in any case.

And perhaps a dedicated thread with Don Quixote in the header might pull in some punters?
Unlike so many others, when I read a book, I plow straight through, no other books allowed to interrupt. So I don't know how any timetable with specific benchmarks would work for me.
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#14  JSWolf 07-26-2020, 01:41 PM
Me, I have a few books on the go at once. I do sometimes plow through a single book without reading anything else in between.
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#15  pwalker8 07-26-2020, 07:20 PM
Quote issybird
I didn’t like her History of the Ancient World.. I thought it sketchy and dubious. I suppose the first couldn’t be entirely helped with a work of that scope, but the second was a deal-breaker. A history based on ancient texts shouldn’t be presented as fact, although there’s nothing wrong with it as a study of historiography.
To each his or her own. It can be surprising exactly much of what we know about ancient history is based on ancient texts. Certainly, for many historical figures, much of what we know about them is based on one or two ancient text.
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#16  issybird 07-26-2020, 08:20 PM
Quote pwalker8
To each his or her own. It can be surprising exactly much of what we know about ancient history is based on ancient texts. Certainly, for many historical figures, much of what we know about them is based on one or two ancient text.
Ancient texts have their place and it’s an important one. But for a work that bills itself as a history, you really can’t ignore the developments in archaeology, chemistry, biology, physics - or sheer logic, for that matter. I enjoy ancient texts. But in terms of understanding exactly what went on, they’re enlightening but also sadly lacking. There’s no justification not to acknowledge the breakthroughs in those fields. Unless it’s a literary survey, and again, nothing wrong with that. But it ain’t history unless I missed the memo and it’s still 1650.
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#17  issybird 07-26-2020, 08:31 PM
Quote Catlady
Unlike so many others, when I read a book, I plow straight through, no other books allowed to interrupt. So I don't know how any timetable with specific benchmarks would work for me.
For me, it’s a reality check. Nothing wrong and everything right with plowing ahead, but if I”m falling behind, benchmarks let me know I’m screwing up.

As does Jon, I generally have several books on the go. I blush to confess that sometimes a book falls through the cracks (and sometimes it’s a book I like a lot) and I lose the drift entirely. And then what? Start over? Pick it up where I left off, knowing that I’ll have forgotten much? I don’t have an answer.

The online read this spring of War and Peace is a good example. Some days I could have kept on going, and I admit I lost some of the grand sweep of the novel in keeping to the schedule. But for me, that was more than offset by the fact that I actually did pick it up every day, even if I wasn’t in the mood, and ground out the daily stint. It could all too easily have been another case of, “I’ll catch up tomorrow,” but tomorrow keeps getting put off. (I admit that when the end was in sight, I did plow ahead.)

But it’s very much a situation of to each, her own!
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#18  Loosheesh 07-26-2020, 09:23 PM
As I'll be following the process outlined in the TWEM book, I can't/won't follow a schedule per se. For the first stage (grammar), I'll plow through and only stop to quickly jot down quick notes (impressions, questions etc). At the second stage (logic), I'll review my notes/highlights and attempt to answer Bauer's suggested questions, and the last stage (rhetoric) is for formulating my opinion of the novel and entering the discussion to hear what everyone else thinks.

This may only be a buddy read for some, but I'm treating it as a self-education project, so my approach may be a bit protracted.

My suggestion: There are 74 chapters - we can work out a schedule and end date from that, and each person can read according to their preference, either following the schedule or simply reading to complete the book at the end date. Those who follow the schedule can choose to stop at these marked points for discussion, and those of us who are plowing through can read to the end and join in the discussion afterward. What do you think?
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#19  hobnail 07-26-2020, 09:25 PM
Quote pwalker8
To each his or her own. It can be surprising exactly much of what we know about ancient history is based on ancient texts. Certainly, for many historical figures, much of what we know about them is based on one or two ancient text.
Peter Green wrote a book, Alexander of Macedon and in the preface or beginning of the book he says that the earliest writings about Alexander the Great were written hundreds of years after his life (300 or 700). I'd also read a book about the early history of Christianity and he said that the earliest books in the New Testament were written 70 years after the life of Jesus, thus none were written by anyone who was alive when Jesus was.
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#20  pwalker8 07-27-2020, 08:03 AM
Quote hobnail
Peter Green wrote a book, Alexander of Macedon and in the preface or beginning of the book he says that the earliest writings about Alexander the Great were written hundreds of years after his life (300 or 700). I'd also read a book about the early history of Christianity and he said that the earliest books in the New Testament were written 70 years after the life of Jesus, thus none were written by anyone who was alive when Jesus was.
There is a difference between the earliest writings and the earliest writings that we have copies of. There were quite a few people who were contemporaries of Alexander who wrote about him, but we don't have any copies of those works. We just have references to those works by later writers. The Greek historian Arrian used the writings of Ptolemy I, one of Alexander's generals and Aristobulus, an officer in Alexander's army for his history of Alexander's campaigns.
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