As part of my resolutions for 2018, I have begun chronologically reading the Western cannon. I have started on this journey because I want to read the best of what has been thought and written. Committing this scope of literature to the subconscious allows one to better think, write, and so live. In the West, we have around 3,000 years worth of classic literature beginning with the Greeks. Thus far, I have read the following:
The Iliad – Homer.
The Odyssey – Homer.
Theogony/Works and Days – Hesiod.
Because I wanted a breather between The Iliad and The Odyssey, I also reread Han Kang’s The Vegetarian. This reread was intentional: this year I also wish to further explore Korean literature. Korean culture, and by extension their literature, remains a preoccupation of mine. I recently acquired a signed copy of Kang’s most recently translated work: The White Book. This also happens to be the first book I have ever owned which has been signed by its author. Still, the first book I read this year was Literary Theory – An Introduction by Terry Eagleton; I wanted to be better acquainted with the various literary schools that have emerged in scholastic thought if I am to read so much. It is with some comfort that I can now give a name to what has forever been my theory of literature: aestheticism. The pursuit of artistic merit as beauty. It is with this conscious lens that I am enjoying my journey through the western cannon. Soon, I shall begin reading the writings of Aeschylus.
This year, I want to read and write more than I ever have. Perhaps I will also explore—for the first time—publishing my writing. I have not explored publishing anything as of yet, because I always thought of myself as not having read or wrote well enough.
Perhaps this thought will augment in 2018.