Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year: A New Expectation

Italo Calvino said, 
"A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say."  
I think the author meant that the classics are timeless, and they will continue to speak to us so long as we are willing and able to read them thoroughly, think about them intensely, and discuss them with others.

Two years ago, I committed myself to reading the classics as a way to gain a classical education; it was literally an experiment. And as I was using The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer for a guide, my blog simply was "An Experiment With The Well-Educated Mind."  

But my reading has since become more than just an experiment.  It has grown into an experience - a relationship with the past and with great writers who inspire me think thoroughly about everything. These books that once intimidated me, now command my admiration.  I have discovered that these stories of old, written by authors no longer living, have a soul, and in that soul is the essence of what the author is trying to tell us.  He or she wants to have a conversation; and it is the reader's charge to uncover the main idea of the author.

Although the purpose of this blog has not changed, my initial expectations have.  I am still on a quest for the classical education I never received, and I am still following The Well-Educated Mind book list, including answering WEM questions.  My address remains the same: http://greatbookstudy.blogspot.com, however, the only outward change now is the name.  This truly is my great book study - my conversations with the classics.

Happy New Year!

P.S. This reminds me of this poem by Emily Dickinson.


Tonia said...

Perfect time for a new name... new year, new plans. Looking forward to seeing what the new year brings!

o said...

Beautiful post :) Happy new year!

Cleo said...

What a wonderful explanation of your journey through the classics! All the best in the New Year!

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

I am so impressed by the fact that you decided to read classics after being intimidated by them all your life. I grew up having them read to me and then reading them myself, but I have quite a few friends who did not, and who so often say that they think classics are "too hard" or "too boring" or "too long." Good for you for conquering that! Your new blog name is great.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Tonia. Same here. Happy New Year!

Ruth said...

Thank you, O. Happy New Year!

Ruth said...

You, too, Cleo. Happy New Year!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Hamlette. I attended a Catholic School through sixth grade, and we HAD to read the classics. However, that all ended when I entered public school. There were some classics in college, but then I did not even know how to read a book.

It is common for people to assume classics to be too hard, boring, long, etc. Maybe because they think so, but never tried them; but maybe because we have been "dumbed down" and are not practiced enough to know how to read those works. So they intimidate us.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

What a great way so start your reading year! Happy New Year to you. :)

Fanda Classiclit said...

Congratulations for the new name and the new expectations.
Happy New Year! :)