Endurance Award

Over the past few days, I read Speculum de l’autre femme by Luce Irigaray, in its entirety, in French. It was by turns satisfying and despair-inducing. The last time I pulled off an endurance test like this was last spring, when I read Pannenberg’s Anthropology in Theological Perspective (in English) in a similar amount of time. (The only other “big book” I remember within the last couple years is Küng’s On Being a Christian, which incidentally was totally not worth it.)

Perhaps we could all use the comments to this thread to share the reading achievements we are most proud of.

14 thoughts on “Endurance Award

  1. During a work-study job when I was in graduate school, I electronically scanned every page of every volume of Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology, typed in all the Greek, Hebrew & Latin (as the scanner could not read it very well), and formatted it for online publication — complete with self-taught Java functionality. I would provide a link, but I was recently told that the webmaster was asked to remove it. My work was in vain, on so many levels.

  2. I suspect that this isn’t quite as impressive as I think it is, but I went on a Heidegger binge this summer (before my freshman year of college) and read the entirety of Being and Time, Ontology – the Hermeneutics of Facticity and The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic in the course of about a month and a half.
    I also gave his untranslated habilitationshcrift a rather half-assed shot, but gave up pretty quickly.

  3. IT’s read all of the Critiques, which I still find hugely impressive. I was pretty pleased with myself when I finished Being and Event, reading it on the train to and from work each morning – it’s not that huge or impossible to get through just taken as a text, but I made myself pay serious attention to the maths, and learned a huge amount in the process. If I ever finish the Topos theory book I’ve been struggling with, well, that really will be an achievement.

    I was dismayed to discover during my first term at Oxford that the reading list they’d sent me at the start of the preceding summer holiday wasn’t actually a practical joke and I really was expected to have read all the books in it. I read more intensively during those eight weeks than I think I ever have before or since. At one point I had to get through The Mill On The Floss in about three days. The worst by far was Jude the Obscure – swallow that in one gulp, and you really are asking for digestive troubles.

  4. I keep waiting for someone to claim to have read Glas.

    I certainly haven’t. I’ve even got my own copy; but I’ve never read more than a few pages into it…

  5. would it be uncool – in light of the above comments :-) – to admit that i really like Glas? i don’t think it is that difficult, or maybe i just don’t get the point of it and just enjoy the format or telling everyone that i like it…

  6. maybe this is the best way to approach the task at hand? many a reader of Glas never read a word of Genet, especially, i think those coming from a philosophical section of the readers, but that doesn’t necessarily prevent one from enjoy Glas – plus i have a sense that Hegel is read much less than it would appear from a quick look at the present philosophical fashions, don’t you think?

  7. Glas was the first work of Derrida’s I tried to read. I’d heard it was mostly about Hegel, so I figured I might as well start there. I mean, I knew Hegel a lot better than Heidegger/Sausurre/Freud/whoever, and Derrida didn’t appear to have written anything much on the first Critique. So I figured: Start with his Hegel book.

    I think I got to page three before giving up. The puns were grating on me. I guess they’re probably better if you know French.

    As far as accomplishments go: I made it through Philosophical Investigations in a week. That was pretty much all I got done in that week. I’m a fairly slow reader.

    Also, I caught all 496 pokemon in “Pokemon Pearl” in under a month.

  8. I wrote my 116 page MA thesis in 3 weeks, back in March (this included much of the research involved). But maybe that just means I am a procrastinator. Suck….

    …[the dots are me actually thinking, contemplating how arrogant I will come across for saying what is next] but I passed the defense ‘with distinction,’ so I must not suck too bad.

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