Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The importance of the re-read

Today I re-read two things that were fairly inspiring the very first time I read them. One was the article "Modern Moral Philosophy" by G.E.M. Anscombe. The other was the short story "A Perfect Day For Bananafish" by J.D. Salinger. Other than both authors being elitists and going by multiple initials followed by last names, these two chunks of text have in common the ability to motivate and inspire me. Anscombe's article is a critique of moral philosophy since the time of Aristotle. It's funny and arrogant and insightful, and did much to push the issue of virtue ethics into the minds of many philosophers. Reading it again, in part because I'm getting really serious about getting back into philosophy, got me to thinking about philosophical questions again, which is a pretty important step for me if I want to go study philosophy in Belgium.

Just now I finished re-reading the first story in the aptly titled collection Nine Stories by Salinger. His clarity is incredible. His dialogue is amazing. His characters leave me grasping for the right cliche. And to be honest, I re-read the story because I know Salinger has that effect on me. His writing influences my writing, and for the better. Well, I think it's for the better. And since I'm trying to work on a few short stories for the Winter Bookquet at Multnomah Bible College on February 2--nice little ad there, eh Krispin?--I thought that going back to the stories that make me think about how I use words when I write would be a good beginning.

In addition, which you probably already noticed, reading these two pieces today has been the catalyst in getting me to write something on my blog that is truly mine for the first time in a long while. So this post is dedicated to G.E.M. and J.D.

1 comment:

Krispin Mayfield said...

Thanks for the add - hopefully we'll figure out a new date soon. And also, man, I haven't been around recently. But now I'm updated, and like Taco Bell, good to go.