Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recent Readings

It's been a long time since I posted anything other than my own paintings. Therefore, for the sake of reestablishing a little variety on my blog, I thought I'd mention a few books I've been reading recently.

First of all, I finally finished Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, a Pulitzer Prize-winning book that incorporates ideas from art, mathematics, and music to examine the nature of intelligence. I realize that I'm oversimplifying its contents with that statement, but you can go here to read more about it. The concepts within are deeply interwoven with one another, so I doubt that I fully understand it after just one reading.

One of my favorite new books is Alien Hand Syndrome and Other Too-Weird-Not-To-Be-True Stories by Alan Bellows and the editors of Damn This volume is a collection of freak disaster stories, miraculous feats, scientific absurdities, and forgotten chapters of history. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the bizarre.

Finally, two nights ago, I started reading from my 1979 edition of Bulfinch's Mythology. I've read a section here and there since I bought it from a library sale a few years back. Lately, I've explored the chapters on Norse mythology and tonight I think I'll start the chapters on Egyptian gods. I have a few translations or retellings of classics such as these, but I find that the writing is often so dry that all the life is sucked out of these legends (Bulfinch isn't nearly as bad as my translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey). As a result, I am constantly reminded that it may be time to author new versions, or create new art works based on these time-honored tales.

Until we meet again...

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