who am i?
i am a mathematician at the university of Illinois, en route to the university of pennsylvania.
i am a husband of one and father of four: deborah, annajune, william, lewis, and eleanor, respectively.
personal interests include the following.
1. literature: see below. reading anything less than 50 years old is like drinking new wine: permissible once or twice a year and usually followed by regret and a headache. i am in particular a student of...
2. dante: some people read the holy bible every day. some people read the comics. i read the divine comedy. it's pretty much the best of all worlds.
3. all things medieval: history, philosophy, theology, language.
4. wood: i like to build things out of it. when i have time.
movies worth watching:
magnolia : this is a thing that happens
the big lebowski : calmer than you are
the adventures of bukaroo bonzai across the eighth dimension : why is there a watermelon there?
lord of the rings : it comes in pints?
the incredibles : you know those bad guys you see on the TV shows? well these bad guys arent like that. they wont show restraint because you're children. they will kill you if they get the chance. don't give them that chance.
napoleon dynamite : gimme your tots!
serenity : let's be bad guys
music worth hearing:
ty tabor : what can i say that i haven't said? where can i go where i wont be led?
the 77s : what does it mean? if i've lived dirty, why would i want to die clean?
kings x : ever-reading, something bleeding in my soul, and i cant seem to fill up the hole
frank zappa : she could mutate insanely
mozart : qua resurgit ex favila judicandus homo reus
over the rhine : i grew up south of here in towns they tore apart for coal, as if to excavate the darkest secrets of my soul
vigilantes of love : salome she's all dressed to the nines and although a few pounds fatter, she got pavlov's bells on her ankles and wrists, and she's coming at you with a platter
daniel amos : i will turn to salt; you will turn to sand; we'll be blown across the cracked linoleum out to the promised land
sam phillips : if it's action that you need - original sin - how original can you be? that's where i come in
books worth reading:
lots of chesterton's poetry
a few shakespeare plays
boethius ; consolation of philosophy
a few works of charles williams
lots of books for the kids: tolkein, redwalls, etc.
lots of t.s.eliot's poetry
chesterton's the ball and the cross: duals, duels, fun!
madeleine l'engle's trilogy, read to the kids
the figure of beatrice by williams
several tragedies/comedies of shakespeare...some with my kids
orthodoxy by chesterton, and a few poems/plays
that hideous strength by lewis: not far off the mark in places
princess & the goblin ; princess & curdie; and a redwall book: read to the kids
return of the king: read to the two oldest kids
the continual read: works of dante, williams, etc.
parts of metamorphoses, ovid
romances by chretien de troyes: eric & enid, yvaine
the inferno: since i've not yet lost the good of intellect
fellowship of the ring & 2 towers: read to the two oldest kids
all hallows' eve by williams: she was a quite ordinary, and rather lucky, girl, and she was dead.
an unabridged (and unexpurgated) mallory, morte d'arthur
the arthuriad of charles williams: taliessin through logres, region of the summer stars, and the arthurian torso: flesh knows what spirit knows, but spirit knows it knows.
the brothers karamazov: wretch, wretch, wretch!
the poetry of search and the poetry of statement, by sayers
parts of the decameron: good clean fun
the place of the lion by williams
the hobbit: read to the kids
the figure of beatrice by williams
lost tales by tolkein
chronicles of narnia; read to kids
all hallows' eve by williams: read for halloween. oh, this is my soul's candy - death, purgation, bliss.
the idiot by dostoyevsky: for some reason, i can really relate to the lead character
purgatorio and paradiso: best two out of three
descent into hell by williams: this book didn't make sense until i learned it was an extended commentary on purg. canto XV, in novel form (with shakespeare and ghosts...)
the man who was thursday by chesterton: bomb-throwing anarchists, philosopher-poet policemen, an enigmatic fat bad guy, with a psychadelic costume ball at the end. o wont you please make this movie, terry gilliam?
a matter of eternity: a collection of snippets from sayers' collected works.
horaces odes: tried to read them from the latin. tough, but worth the effort. didnt finish.
the faerie queen by spencer: ugh, this is sooooo long. cant wait to see how it ends. ;-) [update: i quit. guess ill never know the ending...]
swifts minor satirical essays: because i'm not yet acidic enough
odyssey. absolutely brilliant translation by fitzgerald. i never realized how funny it is, nor how much it parallels the iliad.
book of the ass by nigellus. its like chaucer + aesop in latin couplets.
at the back of the north wind by macdonald. (read to my kids) a young boy befriends the angel of death = a beautiful, albeit grave, woman. the boy dies in the end. a kids' story.
lord of the rings, read while sick with the flu. good for that, except the part when I had nightmares about being chased by a great eye, lidless, wreathed in flame.
prologue of the canterbury tales -- written after dante, its weak in comparison. i'm not reading the rest...
the hobbit, which my daughter loved
descent Into hell and war in heaven by charles williams: a nice marriage
the silmarilion -- such a sad story
the tempest -- such a fun story
queste del san graal : an old version
blake's songs & the marriage
blake's milton. trippy. parts of the four zoas too. ubertrippy.
more williams; shadows of ecstasy. i wasn't ecstatic about it.
i took my girl to narnia: we read the chronicles. good times.
i broke my rule and read a recent book on saints and purgatory by theologian n.t.wright. pabulum with neither rigor nor literary merit. diem perdidi.
parts of the children's homer (to my daughter)
anna karenina : forgive me all...
purgatory : whence o'er thyself i mitre thee and crown
consolation of philosophy by boethius : in a desperate attempt to get some consolation. got some. best book in a long time...
the princess & the goblin and also the princess & curdie by george macdonald : read with my daughter, who took up stomping on goblin toes
tanglewood tales by hawthorne : also read with my daughter
a few pieces of poetry by m. arnold
some psycho-catholic-horror stories by the enigmatic charles williams: descent into hell - about an academic who spend too much time fantasizing and slips into damnation. ow. the place of the lion - well, it has to do with platonic forms becoming real and destroying the world. hmmm.
introductory papers on dante by sayers : excellent essays
further papers on dante : the sequel
the latest harry potter book...whatever, bo-ring
the prosaic and the devourer or something like that from auden : blake said it better
dymer & the other narrative poems of lewis
paradise lost by milton : since i didnt finish it in 2002
the decameron by boccaccio : subtitled, "black death beach party" : this 19th century translator was so embarrassed by one of the stories ("putting the devil in hell") that he feigned the inability to translate certain portions. oh dear, times have changed.
ovids metamorphoses (mandelbaums fine translation) : immortality and immorality go hand-in-hand
gawain and the green knight (excellent medieval alliterative poem) : "its only a flesh wound!"
lives of the caesars, by seutonius : the good, the bad, the ugly.
asgard and the norse heroes : a little old everyman book
a new book on philology and tolkein's m.e. : makes me wish i knew old teutonic
hesiod's works : what you always wanted to know about the birth of aphrodite but were afraid to ask. jinkies!
de monarchia by dante.
hamlet. not just any hamlet. i'm reading my 1902 e. hubbard edition, hand-printed on hand-made paper with the roycroft watermark, then hand-bound in suede with hand-dipped oil-swirl paper inside the cover. mmmmmm....
titus andronicus, by the bard. bloody good, id say.
notes from the underground by dostoyevsky. gee, my liver feels a little diseased too.
beowulf. my first ever e-book. translated into modern alliterative verse.
livys history of rome. only made it through a third or so...its so long.
purgatorio: dante. ieu sui arnaut, que plor e vaut cantan
anna karenina, tolstoy. just started at the end of the year...will certainly carry over to 04.
the aeneid by virgil
plutarchs lives: (its 800,000 words, so i didnt finish...)
publish and perish: short stories of tenure and terror (naturally)
the lord of the rings and the silmarilion by tolkein
selected poetry by george herbert
the tragedies of seneca
the tragedies of euipides (they were much better than senecas)
bullfinchs legends of charlemagne (great fun)
simon ockleys history of the saracens (subtitled "the religion of peace")
the inferno (yet again, sayers translation)
selected colloquies of erasmus
a tale of two cities by dickens
the proslogium and monologium of st. anselm [because every mathematician should know the ontological proof]
utopia by st. thomas more
lilith by g. macdonald (a very, very strange story)
the iliad, a prose translation
gullivers travels by swift
paradise lost by milton
histories of herodotus (not the whole thing, though...)
the commedia of dante (singletons and sayers translations)
augustines enchiridion (didnt finish)
the dumb ox by g.k.chesterton: a book about st. thomas aquinas
harry potter #4: a fun book
an anthology of early anglo-saxon poetry
eugenics and other evils by chesterton (to celebrate the bold progress in human cloning we witnessed in 2001)
the brothers karamazov by dostoevsky
gargantua et pantagruel by rabelais (the first 2/3)
the complete short stories of flannery oconner (parkers back is my favorite)
annals of a quiet neighborhood by g. macdonald (a quiet book)
a biography of charlemagne by notker the stammering monk
portions of the edda (icelandic saga) to prep for the tolkein movie
sections of chanson de roland (after 9/11. history repeats.)
and another failed attempt to get through something by kierkegaard.
topological methods in applied mathematics