738 Followers
293 Following
jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Travels with Epicurus

Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life - Daniel Klein

 I bought this book because recent reading has me suspecting that Epicurus has been rather maligned over the centuries and I wanted to learn more about what his philosophical school was really about.  But I didn't want to find out via a dry, academic tome and I wanted to avoid anything that would hurt my brain (see: Heidegger's question, "Why are there things that are rather than nothing?"); I enjoyed Klein's Plato and Platypus Walk Into a Bar so this seemed a perfect fit.

 

Except that I didn't read the summary close enough.  This is a book about Klein's reflections on old age and how he can live the most meaningful, authentic, old age he can.  If I use my mom as a benchmark (and I will) then I'm still just slightly on the south side of middle-age, so I'm decidedly not this book's demographic.  Also, there's very little about Epicurus here; he and his school of thought are mentioned in passing throughout, but Aristotle, Plato, Kierkegaard, Sartre and Heidegger get more specific play than poor Epicurus.

 

Still, I got a lot out of this book, even when I completely disagreed with him (and most modern philosophers, come to that).  He discusses the paradox inherent in end of life choices, which even at my spring-chicken age I'm deeply interested in.  He doesn't offer any answers and ultimately questions whether there are any answers to be had, and that really, for me, is the heart of philosophy.

 

A worthy read, but one that will be far more relevant (God willing) in a few more decades. Until then I'm still on the lookout for an engaging narrative about poor, misunderstood Epicurus.