Sunday, September 4, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge~~Book #33

It's finally finished! Man of the House read aloud the remaining pages of Sophocles' Oedipus the King to me while I was doing some housework on Friday. He's had an extremely busy time of it lately, including his first funeral on Thursday, so I'm not blaming him for being unable to get to it until now. I'm thankful I have my own resident expert to help me with ancient literature. :-)

So how did I like it? Weeeeellll . . . the story is great, but I find I'm not very accustomed to the manner in which the ancient Greeks tell their stories ~ flowery and long-winded (or maybe that was just the translation?). It did help a lot to have the methods and forms of ancient Greek playwrights explained to me, so thanks to Man of the House for that!

I felt sorry for poor Oedipus, who was desperately trying to thwart the prochecy of the oracle that he would kill his father and marry his mother. He knew such acts were perverse, but despite everything, he was unable to dodge his fate, which brings me to the Greek worldview: a fatalistic belief that a person's destiny is irrevocable and unavoidable no matter what the person does to try to thwart it. Fate can't be stopped. What an awful way to live. The Christian worldview that God, who is sovereign, good, and wise, guides the Christian's life to ultimate good is hopeful and life-affirming . . . and TRUE. One of the benefits of reading books from different times and places from the one we live in is the contrast we see between our own beliefs and attitudes and those of a different culture. Reading old books helps us to think through and define our own thoughts more clearly. So I guess C.S. Lewis was right. ;-)

I didn't finish Augustine's Confessions, unfortunately, though I will keep plugging away at it. We've been so busy gearing up for the start of school and trying to finish some house projects before then that my reading time has been limited. Challenging myself to read a book a week while also moving was not the best idea in the world, but I didn't know that we'd be moving when I started. lol I'll keep trying. I'm only behind by one, which is not too bad all things considered!

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