Sunday, October 22, 2006
The New Canon
Their list doesn't include the Iliad or the Odyssey, and so who can take it seriously? Schiller had it right:
If only a man has lived to read the 23rd book of the Iliad, he cannot complain of his lot.Read the Iliad before you die, not Philip Roth's The Plot Against America, which is on Boxall's list.
Wenn man auch nur gelebt hätte, um den 23. Gesang der Ilias zu lesen, so könnte man sich über sein Dasein nicht beschweren.
Hat tip to Dennis Mangan, who may be interested to know that Boswell's Life of Johnson and Marcus Aurelius' Meditations are on Clifton Fadiman's carefully chosen Lifetime Reading Plan. Beware of revisions to Fadiman's original plan, though. Fadiman's original list had a hundred books, as opposed to Boxall's thousand. Pliny, Letters 7.9.15 (tr. Betty Radice):
For the saying is that a man should be deeply, not widely, read.
Aiunt enim multum legendum esse, non multa.