An episode from 8/11/23: Tonight, we look into libraries and learning:
- In the first part, I read from Jonathan Bate’s biography of Shakespeare, Soul of the Age. Based on Shakespeare’s education and the evidence of the plays, Bate gives a thorough guess as to the essential twenty or thirty books that the Bard might have had on his shelf.
- In the second part, I read from Serge Sauneron’s Priests of Ancient Egypt. Here, Sauneron talks about the libraries—called “Houses of Life”—attached to Egyptian temples, as well as the scribal and priestly culture that produced Egypt’s various religious texts.
- Finally, I read the poem “Alphabets,” by Seamus Heaney, from his 1987 book, The Haw Lantern. I also read my favorite poem of Heaney’s, Squarings #2, from 1991’s Seeing Things. Both poems combined Heaney’s earliest memories of education with those of manual labor, measuring, and building.
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