Friday, March 4, 2016

Not Finishing Books, Unpronounceable Foods, and Learning to be Cultured.

So, I picked up a YA novel from an author I had seen mentioned in the blog-sphere. And foul language smacked me in the face. So much. I skimmed it, teetering in my mind. No, there was NO justification.

I started The Sound and the Fury; it sucked me in but confused me, so I was impatient to find out the story via Wikipedia. I flipped ahead. Wait, what. Perhaps I had better put it down. Wikipedia. Yeah, not quite as bad as I thought, but still no.

My brother and sister-in-law watching a certain old film for "culture." I looked it up, familiar with the name, not the plot, no.

I am sorry, but grovelling in the dirt no matter how gilded the medium makes said dirt CANNOT be a good activity. And there ARE more uplifting aspects of culture. I understand facing some of the evil in the world, yes. But not wallow in it like a pig, especially in fiction. Find some real reality.

I know how to find good, well-written books. I can find classic movies. But there are some areas in which I have no point of reference (opera) or feel awkward (gourmet food, at least the pronunciation).

Here is a lovely blog set up to help some of us who feel like country bumpkins to inspire ourselves to be cultured. I already tried to at least set standards for better reading, but I need to work better in other areas of high culture. Maybe become a little more aware (gag) of some pop culture aspects.

Now before I go on, let me say that one can still be cultured without being obsessed with certain genres. A person does not have to like every single famous book, film, etc. A person is not truly cultured if he has not cultivated his own tastes nor is a snob truly cultured, etiquette is important too. Nor do I think that a person ought to only be interested in high culture. That is rather flat and one-dimensional. And of course merely knowing some information while possessing no skills is not truly cultured. Yes, I know I sound like Miss Bingley, but I consider such things as walking on country roads an essential part of a person's repertoire of activities.

I have taken up piano again after close to a decade hiatus, and while it is still quite apparent that I am not gifted in this area, I still enjoy playing. I need to pursue a study of music and musicals.

I also am using Duolingo. Let me just say that my Latin professors were the best. The carefully taught grammar allowed me to more easily pursue other languages. I plan on ordering tons of note cards, dictionaries, and grammar books to supplement. I also want to pursue some way of conversing in foreign languages, but for now I am doing so much better than before.

I want to formulate a list of subjects to study and skills to learn.

2 comments :

  1. I have been kind of studying/wanting to learn Latin for awhile.

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    1. I would recommend Wheelock's Latin (you do not have to follow it in order but use as a source of help) and the website Whitaker's Word (but still get a dictionary). My professors taught by parts of speech, so things were nice and separate and clear before we spent too much time translating.

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