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Convince Us: Philosophical Pretensions Abound

By Jess D'Amico in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 12, 2007 7:31PM


Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. We were so busy between scouring the Printer’s Row Book Fair and lounging at the Chicago Blues Fest that we almost forgot to pick just one book for this month, in fact, we couldn’t and had to let fate, otherwise known as the Post Office, decide.

You guys had some pretty awesome suggestions and we almost thought there would be a throw down over whose author was more prestigious or obscure.

For our sake, we already did a Convince Us on House of Leaves, and we’ve read Dante’s Divine Comedy. We loved the idea of reading the Koran, but feel the time limit is too stifling. We're madly in love with Bulgakov's Master and Margarita and are thrilled so many people agree with us. As far as the Russian lit went though, we were a little disappointed that nobody mentioned obscure Russian masterpiece Sasha Sokolov's A School for Fools (no seriously, we almost wanted to pretend somebody suggested it so we could read it again).

We’re also fans of Pynchon and Umberto Eco (in a perpetually half-finished kind of way) and thought Scott summed it up well by saying, “It's a small group that tries to read Eco, a smaller group that finishes his stories, and an even smaller group that understands.”
But we felt that they were still too well-known, or even too notorious, alongside the numerous David Foster Wallace suggestions, that we felt we needed to push deeper. Ultimately, we couldn't decide between three sublime suggestions, ordered them all, and let the mail decide by which one came first.

The winner by a day? Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson; we were intrigued by Incndnz’s simple comment, "I will not even begin to describe."

We also ordered George Santayana's The Last Puritan, see misty’s comment for choice quotes, and The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand, as d put it, “nonfiction is good.”

Apparently we’re feeling philosophically inclined this month. So if you see us on the train with furrowed brows and our nose stuck between a book and an encyclopedia or philosophy textbook, wave.

Image via giggie larue