Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Salammb├┤ (Salambo) by Gustav Flaubert

Flaubert is most famous for Madame Bovary. Despite now being regarded as one of the all time classics of literature Madame Bovary at the time got Flaubert into a lot of trouble, and he ended up in court accused of corrupting the nation's morals. Quite an achievement when the country in question is France.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Xenophon- The Persian Expedition

There is something very satisfying in reading history written by contemporaries in the original text version. It has that feeling that you are getting it as it is - and you can also pick up on what things seemed important at the time without the benefit of hindsight.

The only trouble is that the further back in history you go the more inaccessible the texts become and the more background knowledge you need to make sense of them. This is particularly the case when you look at works from the ancient world. We have come a long we since the days of Greece and Rome and just thinking your way back to the technology and politics of the time is a daunting undertaking.