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Spoken Word Line February 19, 2008

Posted by Andy in Idea History.
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One of the new features is the Spoken Word line, just below the books on the right there. The principle is the same, but I include links on this one, as I only really listen to things I’ve downloaded from the net. There’s lots to be gained here, though, so take a look.

Listening to these things does help broaden my reading somewhat: I don’t just read what I have to read for my research and other related matters. I read what is available in this format (spoken word, that is, not electronically read books).

One of the interesting results of this is that I have been reading a fair amount of stuff from the early twentieth and late nineteenth centuries: Russell, Chesterton, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, etc. It makes enlightening reading. Some of these people that seem fairly contemporary to me (Chesterton and Russell in particular) do address the past in ways that now seem impossible. Chesterton’s familiarity with the Mediaeval and Celtic ways and literature for example give you the tail end of a dream of something that was once retrievable. It does not seem so now. Russell argues with Kant and Hegel as if they were at a seminar together.

Listening to these works takes us back to a time before the UN and the EU, before the failure of colonial liberation, and before we betrayed one another’s humanity by an all-too-serious game of slaughter in the ditches of Europe.