Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



Total Pageviews

Friday, July 26, 2013

THIS ONE DOESN'T COUNT

Blogger, which keeps track of everything, tells me that up to today I had posted 1499 posts on my blog, so technically, this one is the fifteen hundredth, but that calls for something a bit more substantial, which I shall attempt later today.  This is just a note -- a word of appreciation to Papa.  While eating my lemon poppyseed muffin in the Carolina Cafe and after completing the NY TIMES crossword puzzle [difficult today, because it is Friday], I was idly reading a review of a debut novel when I came across this sentence:  "And readers may be left thinking that Ernest Hemingway was right when he wrote in 'The Garden of Eden,' 'Know how complicated it is and then state it simply.'"

That could be my mantra.  It captures perfectly [and simply] what I have spent my entire writing career trying to do.  Hats off to Papa Hemingway, on whatever ghostly fishing boat he may be.

6 comments:

Jim Westrich said...

I have been meaning to ask this for a while but it is always off-topic, and seeing as you referenced Hemingway today, I thought I might. Are you a fan or reader of Jose Saramago? When I read "Seeing" in particular I thought of your work (indirectly of course).

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I do not even know the name. What should I read?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Great. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature! God, I am such an ignoramus.

Chris said...

They also made a movie out of one of his books, and it's quite brilliant.

Jim Westrich said...

Sorry, my post was off topic and possibly just my own curiosity. I am a big Saramago fan and he happened to be publically atheist, politically anarchist, who was active in the Portugese Communist Party for part of his life.

His most "philosophical" book is probably "The Gospel According To Jesus Christ" but that is about the philosophy of religion. I loved that book. "Cain" his send up of the Old Testament is very funny (and short) and makes a few bigger points as well.

The sweetest book is probably "The Cave" (the title is a reference to Plato's cave) and the book ruminates on Marx's concept of alienation while telling a nice tale.

"The Stone Raft" is a great tale with interesting characters but with less obvious social commentary (I say that as an outsider as the commentary in the book is mostly about what it means to be Spanish or Portuguese).

"Blindness" (made into a American movie) is his most famous work and is really powerful but too depressing for my taste. "Seeing", a sequel of sorts, is nominally more depressing but I see it as a tremendously optimistic political piece (if you read the book you would wonder why I would say such a thing but I cannot make the case without spoiling the book).

A lot of his books give you a rich look into Portuguese history ("History of the Siege of Lisbon") and literature ("The Year of the Death of Ricaro Reis") but I doubt you want to start there. "All The Names" and "The Double" remind me a bit of the novels existentialist philosophers wrote with a little more whimsy.

All the books are worth reading in my opinion. His writing style is unique (long run on sentences without using many proper nouns) and he never was a keep observer or contemporary life but that just made his writing seem timeless.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you, Jim, for educating me about someone I really ouight to have known about. I will try one of the novels and see what I think.