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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life - How lust, Steppenwolf, and hunger got me into college (83 comments)

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  •  Good for you. (I would too) (2+ / 0-)
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    richardvjohnson, RiveroftheWest

    You know, in grad school, a professor said, 'Heidegger? Are people reading that now?' He explained. He had volunteered to the R.A.F. so that he could get to fight Hitler. As a Jewish American, US neutrality bugged him, and he was in WW2 until the meet up with the Russians. He said, "In my generation, there were some names we just didn't say."

    That made me go and find out about how Heidegger got his academic position. I hadn't liked him before, and then I decided that my professor was right: there are some things worth holding a grudge over.

    After I was a grown up, I despised (i.e. still do) the Nietzschean Triumph of the Will and Beyond Good and Evil stuff. When I hear anyone talking about Ayn Rand, all I can think of is, "Nietzsche in Russian."

    There was an absolutely glorious essay by. . . Gordon E. Bigelow. . . called "A Primer of Existentialism" (1961). It was aimed at first year students and general readers, and it leaves things out, but it's pretty good for all that. Hereis the very legal link. Here is WorldCat's link. Here it is in its original, but now locked up by JSTOR. It appeared originally in College English 1961, #3, and it's a handy teaching document.

    "man, proud man,/ Drest in a little brief authority,. . . Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven/ As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,/ Would all themselves laugh mortal." -- Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II ii, 117-23

    by The Geogre on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 12:21:00 PM PDT

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