Monday, August 01, 2005


It makes me sad to give up a book in the middle, especially a book I want to read. Reading for fun is such a rare treat - I hate to waste time reading half-books. On the other hand, I hate to waste time reading things I'm not enjoying.

This has happened to me twice now this summer. The first book I probably haven't given up entirely, nor have I reached the middle. I just don't much like it, and I don't mind - I had not set my heart on liking Indecent Theology. But it makes me very sad to give up on Augustine's Confessions in the middle. I haven't read gobs of Augustine, but I've read enough to know that I generally really enjoy reading Augustine. And I'm just not enjoying Confessions at all. On the other hand, I'm pretty convinced that this is because the language is pretty antiquated, and I'm not always convinced that the translator and I are acquainted with the same rules of grammar. So as much as I want to read it, I've decided to hold off on the last seven books until such time as I can find a more recent, or at least more readable, translation. (There's no publication info in my copy, except that it was printed in this country, but the intro is by a gentleman who died in 1950.) I don't like giving in to "old language = too hard" - but I'm just not making sense of it, and I've come to expect more pleasure and edification from my Augustine reading than what I'm getting right now.


BrotherBeal said...

If it's any consolation, his Latin is very enjoyable. Structured enough to grab the greatness of classical work, yet without those bothersome elisions that mark the "high literary art" of other authors. You had mentioned previously that you know at least some Latin - if you've got time and the inclination, the Loeb classical library contains the Confessions formatted in such a way that a passable (old and not stylized, but functional) English translation is on one page and on the opposite page the Latin is printed in all its stylized, imperialistic glory.

My Loeb doesn't have rubrics printed, but I don't know if that's changed (I got it from an old teacher who got it from one of her professors back in the 60's).

Sit doctor (et lingua) tibi bono!

Lorna said...

I know what you mean about stopping half way. To continue is to waste the summer, but to have read so far is a waste too in some ways :(

As for reading in Latin (gulp) just finished the 3 semesters' compulsory Greek in seminary and it's still all Greek to me! lol incidentally the Finnish idiom is 'it's all Hebrew to me' which always makes me laugh.

Be blessed with good reading in August :)

The Archer of the Forest said...

City of God is so much better than Confessions

BrotherBeal said...

Can't say I ever read City of God - or plan to, if it's as dense as its reputation makes it out to be. The theology is far less interesting to me than the thrill of the Latin - which makes it good I'm not at Seabury, I suppose.