… my desk is once again filled with philosophical texts. It might be hard to find a common theme in the stack of books in front of me, but I guess they all in some sense could fit on a shelf labelled “philosophy of life” – or maybe: getting old (with grace) is the least common multiple I’m looking for – .
First the Jungians came knocking on my door, actually they already appeared a year ago – through the shape of James Hollis. Lately I have been reading several books by Thomas Moore.
Then came an odd one; an Australian eco philosopher, Glenn A. Albrecht, with a book called Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World. I’m not sure how I came to pick up this one, I have an interest in nature writing, but eco philosophy … anyways, I’m listening – .
Yesterday my pile of books grew by about a meter when I received a copy of The William H. Gass Reader, which is not a philosophical text per se, but which is nevertheless stuffed with theory & philosophy. Over 900 pages long, it will probably stay with me for a while.
The first part of the book is called: “Fifty Literary Pillars, texts influential to my work”. As a reader I fell in love with the text immediately. Just listen to this: Plato can sometimes be sourly scary, but Aristotle is solid, forthright, sunny. He might even be right. Isn’t this just wonderfully conceived?!
In addition to the already mentioned I am also working my way through two memoirs; Marina Benjamin’s The Middle Pause and Samantha Harvey’s The Shapeless Unease. And I also did not manage to not start reading Terry Tempest Williams newest work EROSION: Essays of Undoing.
My brain might have felt more at ease if I focused on one book at a time, but this is real life, not utopia …
… and anyways; books seem to have a mind of their own –
William H. Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He is the author of seven works of fiction, nine books of essays, and a book of conversations. Gass was a professor of philosophy at Washington University. For most of his life he lived in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife, the architect Mary Gass. William Gass died in 2017.