Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#233 / Lucretius In The Sierras

Back in June of last year, in a posting I made on this Two Worlds blog, I promised myself to read On The Nature Of The Universe, by Lucretius.

I had read about Lucretius in The Swerve: How The World Became Modern.

That book, the subject of my blog posting, thoroughly explained Lucretius' thought. Nonetheless, I made a commitment to myself to read Lucretius in the original. Mostly, I think, this just came from guilt. Pictured is my copy of the book, with the "TB" labels indicating that this book came into my hands, originally, as a college "text book." I have had it all these years. I had an assignment, way back when, that I clearly never completed, because this book had never been opened!

What better place to read Lucretius, and to complete my undergraduate assignment, than in the Sierras? I brought the book with me on my hiking trip. It was the only book I brought. That's probably the only reason I read it, too. The book is not easy going. I will say, though, in favor of the Penguin Classics edition, that the book is light. I don't mean it is "light reading." It just doesn't weigh very much. That counts for a lot when hiking uphill at 7,000 feet or more!

Moreover, the basic message of On The Nature Of The Universe is that our entire world, ultimately, is nothing but Nature - atoms, in fact. That message resonates, high in the mountains.

Time passes slowly. Then fades away. Bob Dylan said it. He may have read it in Lucretius.

I liked Lucretius. But if you want the short course, just check the listing in that earlier post!

Photo Credit:
Gary A. Patton

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