I’m heading to New Mexico tomorrow to get away from California and do something different, now that the summer session at my little school is over.
California has too many loud people and hot pavement.
My husband and I, and several of our good friends, are taking a class at St. John’s College on the book The Genealogy of Morality by Nietzsche. The tutors assigned the homework three months ago and sent us our books and materials.
I haven’t started my homework, choosing instead to write, think about other things, and read other books like The Angle of Repose and October Sky with plots and characters and problems I can and want to understand. Every time I have started Nietzsche, I stop. As we said in the 60’s, this is heavy duty man. This is way over the top, dude. And thinking about God and religion and man and life and existence and evil is deep, dude.
When I board the plane tomorrow, and leave California behind, the book will confront me, deep from my carry-on bag. Yes, I will have a coffee, yes, thank you. No snack.
Judge Blah has finished the book. He’s ready to go. Ready to listen. Cheri, do you have the plane tickets?
St. John’s College offers these types of classes for adults who want to listen to what others have to say about serious literature. Two tutors will guide the discussion in a Socratic way. One will open with a question. Good Morning, I’d like everyone to turn to page 34. There Nietzsche writes….
Eighteen people will think. What in the hell did Nietzsche mean by that statement?
Several minutes of silence (unlike the California urban environment) will be. Lovely.
We all will be. Lovelier.
And who are we?
It doesn’t matter. Around the table at St. John’s, what one does for work or how well one is educated doesn’t matter. So there Mr. Pompous Dude. You don’t get to tell us you went to Harvard Business School. What a damn relief that will be.
One of the rules of the seminar is that students may not cite other pieces of literature. We thus avoid literary namedropping. And when I read Nietzsche’s short piece On the Discussion of Good and Evil Enchiladas…
Stick to the text. And it will stick to you.
Ahem. Now, back to the text, you know, The Genealogy of Morality.
I better get cracking. You procrastinator.
More from New Mexico and the seminar when I get there. More about Nietzsche’s book when I read it. I work best under pressure. What an excuse for dilly-dallying.
Wish you were around the table with us. That would be great fun. Maybe next year.