"curmudgeonly" takes are all too similar; one like = one idiosyncratic, obscure, or utterly bizarre judgment, chiefly literary
it's a real shame that tweed catholic culture picks up brideshead; almost all waugh's other books are better and if you want him in his catholic mode "helena" is funnier and smells a little less like stale anglophilia
plato *absolutely* wrote first alcibiades, sorry nerds
macbeth is better than hamlet
the majority of recent biographies i've read or started to read are annoying because they are just miniature histories; boswell and plutarch absolutely got this one right
christopher sykes' waugh biography is good, for this reason
english bible translations are superfluous after the king james
naive lay linguistic descriptivism is more annoying than naive lay linguistic prescriptivism
Barrett Wendell and FL Lucas are the best two guides to writing well
i have not yet read war and peace all the way through, so consider this an incomplete judgment, but dostoevsky > tolstoy
on the subject of good biographies, "the fellowship" by philip and carol zaleski (on the inklings) also gets it right
catholics must of course be judicious in their "use" of its interpretations, but everyone should read genesis rabbah
of all the languages i have encountered in my travels, old irish was the most... human
lord dunsany is genuinely delightful and it's weird that we don't read him more
that American high schools and even colleges produce graduates who are mainly monoglot is the greatest crisis in education, properly understood, in this country
if not a majority, then at least a decent-sized minority of grad students and junior academics are good at having an informal conversation about their research

it makes the fact that they write that way all the more tragic
Aeschylus > Sophocles > Menander > Aristophanes >>>>> Euripides
joseph epstein (of the dr jill fiasco earlier this year) is fun when he writes essays on literature, and should stick to that
18. (numbering this to make resuming later easier):

marlowe is inferior to shakespeare (obviously) but superior to johnson
One more before I head out for a bit:

blake is extremely tedious and annoying. but "jerusalem" is the all-time greatest hymn tune and we need more not-tedious, not-heterodox songs to set to it
ok one more more:

sorry classicists but augustine is maybe one of the top three or so prose writers in latin
blank verse in the hands of a master is excellent, but tetrameter is the finer meter, and rhyme, while not essential, is preferable
the meter and rhyme scheme of michael wigglesworth's Day of Doom is EXTREMELY fun
the augustan poets are underrated nowadays, they're usually more fun than the romantics
stevie may get mad at this one, but it goes homer > vergil and horace > vergil,

vergil is the second-best epic poet and the second-best latin poet, which is no slouch
in terms of classical epics overall, it goes

iliad > odyssey > aeneid > > theogony > argonautica > metamorphoses > pharsalia > statius's horseshit

in late antiquity, nonnus's dionysiaca is underrated fun
for a while in my late 20s i got really into the nart sagas and i still think they're among the coolest bodies of oral literature

much more fun than the kalevala
27. this one is admittedly curmudgeonly, but the books they make students read in public school k-12 english are largely abysmal, at least in my experience and the general experience of others i've talked to
been reading a lot of lucian lately. he's not as annoying as he first appears, but he does appear kind of annoying at first
the Aethiopica of Heliodorus is a true masterpiece, in the same tier as, say, Aeschylus and better than Euripides; it functions a little differently than the modern (or even early modern) novel, but it's very very good
math is a "humanities" subject and should be taught as such
19th and 20th century anglos were generally wrong in dismissing "silver" and later latin/greek as fourth-rate and unworth reading, but one should admit that the restraint characteristic of "golden" Latin is *usually* better than the alternative

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3 May
If in the leshonot of Bnei Adam and malachim I speak, but I do not have ahavah, I have become only a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have nevu’ah and have da’as of all sodot and all da’as, and if I have all emunah so as to remove mountains, but ahavah I do not have,
Observe the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not labor nor spin. But I say to you that not even Shlomo HaMelech in all his kavod was clothed as one of these.
every so often when looking up a verse on Bible Gateway my finger slips and I'm reminded of pseudoyeshivish Orthodox Jewish New Testament and i am simply delighted
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