Sunday, June 26, 2005

What I'm Reading

Many things, but two deserve special mention. The first is The Courage and Character of Theodore Roosevelt, by George Grant. It is an excellent, fascinating introduction to the life of (no lesser description will do) one of the greatest men in American history. Roosevelt was stunningly acomplished in many fields; indeed, he did the work of probably a dozen men, and was more successful in each endeavour than many who focused on only one vocation. He was also that rarest of creatures - a politician of genuine character and virtue. We need a man like Roosevelt today, but alas, we simply do not have one.

Second is Charles Williams' Taliessin Through Logres. This is his cycle of Arthurian poems, and it is brilliant. It is also very heavy reading, and not something to begin (as I did, first go-round) when you are particularly tired. This is not because it is boring, but because it requires especially alert eyes to be able to see even a few of its majestic beauties. The book includes Williams' own unfinished (and you should know that even the work as a whole was unfinished at his death) prose study of the Arthurian Legend, and C.S. Lewis' indispensable commentary on the work. I have been reading along with Lewis while working through the poems, and, at least for a beginner, this is the only way to fly. Highly recommended, though difficult to obtain: I ran across this by chance, as we say in Middle-earth, in a used bookstore not long ago, and was plum pleased with my treasure-hunting skills.

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