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Book Meme

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Written by Basil on 06/15/2005 11:22 PM. Filed under:

Although I have five posts being worked on currently, Bryan Peter infected me with a meme. I want to answer before I forget the correct answers.

  1. Total number of books I’ve owned
    What bibliophile could possibly answer this question? I don’t even know how many books I currently own, much less how many I’ve owned over the course of my life!
  2. Last book I bought
    Two in tandem: The Priest’s Service Book, by Archbishop Dmitri, and Book of Akathists, published by Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville.
  3. Last book I read
    Harder to see, that answer is. Either Beauty and Unity in Creation: The evolution of life by Gayle Woloschuk, or Against Heresies Book I by St Irenaeus.

    I can’t really recommend either of these very much. The book on evolution attempts to argue for the compatibility of science and faith, a position I favor, but the arguments felt like a badly edited Star Wars movie: everything went by so fast, with little actual argumentation to bolster her positions, with which I actually agreed. Against Heresies is several books long, and the translation I received from Amazon (which is in the Ancient Christian Writers series published by Newman Press) is merely Book I. I would recommend Proof of the Apostolic Preaching instead.

    Of course, I skip around a lot, so there are a ton of other books that I’ve started in the meantime.

  4. Five books that mean a lot to me
    1. The Bible, by the hand of God through the prophets and righteous men and women of the old covenant, the evangelists, apostles and bishops of the new.
    2. Tie: The Orthodox Way and The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos
    3. The Quest for Community, by Robert Nisbet
    4. For the Life of the World, by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
    5. Christ the Eternal Tao, by Priest-monk Damscene (Christensen)
    6. Honorable mentions: Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis; Brothers Karamazov, by Theodore Dostoevsky; The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, 1973–1983, translated by Matushka Julianna Schmemann; Orthodox Spirituality, by Lev Gilet (alias a monk of the eastern Church); The Catechism of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (EOC), by Randall Evans (self-published for local use); Christianity and Culture, by T. S. Eliot; The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning; The Shattered Lantern, by Ronald Rolheiser, OMI; The Galileo Connection, by Charles Hummel; Abusing Science, by Philip Kitcher.
  5. People I will infect with this meme
    Timothy, Dmitri, Reader Gideon, Reader Theophan, Juliana, DrBacchus, Erich, Dawn, Victoria, Peter Sherry, Philippa, Reader Andrew, Priest Joseph Honeycutt


   

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12 Responses to “Book Meme”

  1. pete Says:

    I’ll have to get back to this in a bit. I noticed that your profile on Flickr lists you as a “Seminarian-to-be”–is this a recent development, or something you’ve been planning for a while? In either case, I hope it works out for you.

  2. Basil Says:

    Pete, the recent development is that I have finally wearied of the disingenuous “if God should will it” talk. I’ve planned on attending seminary since I graduated from Asbury. Circumstances intervened. I’m in the Navy now to clear up the financial circumstance. I still need to get pastoral blessing (priest and bishop) to attend — even if ordination is not the goal — so not every hurdle is completely past.

  3. pete Says:

    Cool deal. Very glad to hear it. Any idea which you might be attending? I don’t know the differences between the Orthodox seminaries, except for their locations.

  4. Erich Says:

    Harping on that linguistic consistency issue, I do want to point out that you translate Fyodor to Theodore, but left Lev as Lev, when it should be Leo… Not that I’m as bothered by these things as you are, but I figured after the jolt I got from reading Theodore, I should nit-pick something. Also, maybe Julianna should be Julianne?

  5. pete Says:

    1. Total number of books I’ve owned
    Hundreds and hundreds. We have a dedicated library room in our house, and we still don’t have enough room.

    2. Last book I bought
    I buy books for a living. No, seriously. Last year I spent over a million bucks on books that weren’t mine. The last book I personally bought, though, was The Between the Lions Book for Parents : Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn to Read

    3. Last book I read (revisiting some high school English classics…I’m married to a high school English teacher, what can I say?)
    All the way through: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Currently: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    4. Five books that mean a lot to me
    1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    2. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
    3. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
    4. Beginning Chinese by John DeFrancis
    5. Novum Testamentum Graece

    5. People I will infect with this meme
    Aaron Klinefelter, Annie, Jenell Paris, Matt Malette, Kate Nordbye, Pat Kahnke, Rick Bennett, Rebecca (I don’t know your last name now), Todd Johnson

  6. Basil Says:

    Erich, ah, yes. Good point about Lev/Leo (which I note is nearly always translated in the case of Leo Tolstoy). I tend to leave the names of the living alone, though. I’m not quite so hung up on final A’s in women’s names. For example: Anna should be Anne, though one could possibly make a case for both variants being acceptable in English. Anne is simply older and has the weight of English history and tradition behind it.

  7. Basil Says:

    Pete, probably St Vladimir’s in New York. It has a strong academic reputation and has admitted women for a very long time now, so if I’m married (God only knows), my wife can earn a degree as well, if she so chooses. The other choices available pale in comparison on nearly every point.

    St Tikhon’s is run by monks, which has positive and negative aspects, and it is cheaper. It is also far more conservative that St Vlad’s. Holy Cross is Greek. St Herman’s in Alaska merely offers a certificate of theological education to graduates. Holy Trinity in Jordanville is run by monks and is not yet in communion with the mainstream Church.

    Those are the major American institutions I’m aware of, though I think there’s a Carpatho-Russian seminary somewhere. I’m still open to studying abroad, though I’m not really intent on pursuing that option.

  8. Erich Says:

    So, as per your system, what do we do with last names?

    Giuseppe Verdi = Joe Green
    Lev Tolstoi = Leo the Thick
    Aleksandr Nevskii = Alexander of the Neva
    Konstantin Pobedonostsev = Constantine the Dragon Slayer

    Should we translate everything?

  9. Basil Says:

    I’m torn on family names, since that can become very confusing. (Of course, translating first names could be argued to be confusing, but that’s only because it’s done inconsistently.) If it’s truly a family name, I tend to leave it. If, however, it’s an epithet like “Nevsky” or “Sarovsky” or some such, I’d say translate it.

  10. Bryan_Peter Says:

    Man! Links to individual books and everything! Good stuff here, though. Should have known you’d go beyond the required five.

  11. Erich Says:

    Family names do get tricky. The problem is that a huge chunk of family names in Russian come from and most languages started off as epithets. Any Russian name you can think of that doesn’t end in -in or o/ev is actually adjectival. This includes Dostoevskii (which I don’t know is translatable), Tolstoi, etc. Think of all those Polish -ski surnames! They’re mostly if not all adjectives, I think. My tendency, for purposes of translation between alphabets, is not to translate any of them, but to transliterate them as accurately as possible.

  12. Basil Says:

    Erich, good point. I should clarify that if the epithet is really a family name — ie, a person has that name because it’s been their family name for generations — then transliterate it as accurately as possible, unless a more common form is prevalent. If, however, they are the subject of the epithet (as in the case of Ss Alexander of the Neva or Seraphim of Sarov in my comment above), then probably translation is the way to go. St Alexander is a borderline case, though; I don’t much get worked up over him.