What are you reading?

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
What a cool dad.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
I've read numerous books like that. Interesting things really.
That's interesting. I generally take interest in non-academical history books, What books did you read? Some recommendations are welcome.
 
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Tironis

Civis Illustris
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Four great princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent - were born within a single decade. Each looms large in his country's history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different - from the scandals of Henry's six wives to Charles's monasticism - but, together, they dominated the world stage.
 

R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
Can you do a longer writeup on this please. I am curious and lazy to read it :)
@LCF, Sorry for the delay. I've been gone for a while.

Here's a site that explains the book "Trust Me, I'm Lying" pretty well.
 
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R. Seltza

Well-Known Member
On female chastity — There is something quite amazing and monstrous about the education of upper-class women. What could be more paradoxical? All the world is agreed that they are to be brought up as ignorant as possible of erotic matters, and that one has to imbue their souls with a profound sense of shame in such matters until the merest suggestion of such things triggers the most extreme impatience and flight. The “honor” of women really comes into play only here: what else would one not forgive them? But here they are supposed to remain ignorant even in their hearts; they are supposed to have neither eyes nor ears, nor words, nor thoughts for this—their “evil”; and mere knowledge is considered evil. And then to be hurled, as by a gruesome lightning bolt, into reality and knowledge, by marriage—precisely by the man they love and esteem most! To catch love and shame in a contradiction and to be forced to experience at the same time delight, surrender, duty, pity, terror, and who knows what else, in the face of the unexpected neighborliness of god and beast!

Thus a psychic knot has been tied that may have no equal. Even the compassionate curiosity of the wisest student of humanity is inadequate for guessing how this or that woman manages to accommodate herself to this solution of the riddle, and to the riddle of a solution, and what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must stir in her poor, unhinged soul—and how the ultimate philosophy and skepsis of woman casts anchor at this point!

Afterward, the same deep silence as before. Often a silence directed at herself, too. She closes her eyes to herself.
Young women try hard to appear superficial and thoughtless. The most refined simulate a kind of impertinence.
Women easily experience their husbands as a question mark concerning their honor, and their children as an apology or atonement. They need children and wish for them in a way that is altogether different from that in which a man may wish for children.

In sum, one cannot be too kind about women.”
My mother told me the story (with the caveat that she didn't know if it was true, since she'd only heard it herself) of a young woman, raised in utter ignorance of sexual matters as often happened back then, getting married and fleeing back to her mother on her wedding night, shocked and outraged, saying "You've married me to a monster! You can't even begin to imagine what horrible perverted thing he wanted to do to me!" Then the mother had to explain to her that it was in fact normal...
LCF & Pacifica, you both are promoted for inspiring my next book post in the "What Are You Reading" thread. Out of the literally dozens of books in my library, it's one of the more controversial books that I've read.
LCF & Pacifica, here's my next book post that you two inspired me to post:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513WsK84-sL._AA300_.jpg


This is definitely one of the several more controversial books in my library. Nevertheless, it's a very interesting & insightful read. It goes in depth about the numerous negative, repressive, & toxic ideas & influences that religion instills, along with how it undermines one of the most pleasurable experiences that life has to offer by controlling people's sexuality through guilt & indoctrination.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
"It is known that cases of the syndrome had already been observed during the Middle Ages, since it was described in the itinerary of Felix Fabri and the biography of Margery Kempe."

Now I want to read those works.
I've finished Felix's work so now I'll start the other one: https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/staley-the-book-of-margery-kempe

Felix's work was overall enjoyable, though fun and interesting passages alternated with tedious ones. I should add that whoever said that the Jerusalem syndrome was described in that work may have been reading a little too much into it. Sure, there are descriptions of pilgrims falling to the ground, crying, and generally getting a bit hysterical upon reaching Jerusalem, but I think that sort of thing was only to be expected in such a religious time. I'm not sure I would call it a syndrome.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
This is from the aforementioned book:

"Than went this creatur forth wyth owyr Lady, day be day purveyng hir herborw wyth gret reverns wyth many swet thowtys and hy medytacyons and also hy contemplacyons, sumtyme duryng in wepyng two owyres and oftyn lengar in the mend of owyr Lordys Passyon wythowtyn sesyng, sumtyme for hir owyn synne, sumtyme for the synne of the pepyl, sumtyme for the sowlys in purgatory, sumtyme for hem that arn in poverté er in any dysese, for sche desyred to comfort hem alle."

For those in purgatory, not for those in hell, who'd be the ones having it the worst. That makes me wonder, is it considered a sin to weep or otherwise have compassion for the damned?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Ah but later it says:

"And therfor, dowtyr, [said Jesus] aske what thow wylt, and I schal grawnt the thyn askyng." This creatur seyd, "Lord, I aske mercy and preservyng fro evyrlestyng dampnacyon for me and for all the world, chastyse us her how thow wylt and in purgatory, and kepe us fro dampnacyon for thin hy mercy.""

If you take her request literally, that means she's requesting that no one be damned (at least none of the people who aren't dead yet) and if you take Jesus's promise literally, it means no one will be damned. I wonder if they realized this at the time, as it seems a pretty unconventional idea by medieval standards. I guess it's more likely that it wasn't meant quite literally, but more along the lines that Jesus would give everyone a chance at salvation if they would convert and/or repent, otherwise they'd still burn in hell.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Wow, this is a bit shocking.

"Another tyme, as this creatur prayd to God that sche myt levyn chast be leve of hir husbond, Cryst seyd to hir mende, "Thow must fastyn the Fryday bothen fro mete and drynke, and thow schalt have thi desyr er Whitsonday, for I schal sodeynly sle thin husbonde.""

Further down:

"It befel upon a Fryday on Mydsomyr Evyn in rygth hot wedyr, as this creatur was komyng fro Yorkeward beryng a botel wyth bere in hir hand and hir husbond a cake in hys bosom, he askyd hys wyfe this qwestyon, "Margery, if her come a man wyth a swerd and wold smyte of myn hed les than I schulde comown kendly wyth yow as I have do befor, seyth me trewth of yowr consciens - for ye sey ye wyl not lye - whether wold ye suffyr myn hed to be smet of er ellys suffyr me to medele wyth yow agen as I dede sumtyme?" "Alas, ser," sche seyd, "why meve ye this mater and have we ben chast this eight wekys?" "For I wyl wete the trewth of yowr hert." And than sche seyd wyth gret sorwe, "Forsothe I had levar se yow be slayn than we schuld turne agen to owyr unclennesse.""

Poor husband. Was there really a time when poeple thought such an attitude was good, holy? People really had different sensibilities back then.
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
That looks like a good textbook for intermediate-to-advanced English-speaking students.
 
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