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I be reading a book…

10 June 2011

I am reading a book by the historian Barry Strauss, & am very impressed with it. [Apologies to ampersand haters but I find it handy & I am a useless typist…]

The book is The Trojan War. It is a brilliant exposition on what might have happened in the – well – Trojan War. The trouble with me is – well ONE of the troubles with me is, that since I was a student I have found it hard to only read one book at a time. Perhaps it is because I really am superficial. I have the defensive showiness about my ‘knowledge’ of the autodidact. What do I mean by that? Because I am a generalist., not an expert on anything whatsoever, I can to some degree interleave myself into conversations with true academics, but as a friend pointed out, it is as if I have to try hard & make what I have to say interesting or valuable in whatever context it is. This makes me think of Marek Kohn’s book As We Know It –
where he talks about the use of the palaeolithic hand axe as a sort of sexual display. The argument is that ancient humans made the axes not just because they were useful but because they took time to make they showed that the makers could afford to ‘waste’ time making something clever & not necessarily bother to use them – a peacock’s tail on the handicap principle of one of my heroes Amotz Zahavi.

As usual I have gone off on a tangent…


From → Books, History

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