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Meditations: A New Translation af Marcus…
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Meditations: A New Translation (udgave 2003)

af Marcus Aurelius (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
9,829109542 (4.13)1 / 141
A new translation, the first in thirty-five years, of one of the most influential and admired books of the ages, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and emperor of Rome 161-180 A.D., few books have meant as much to as many as Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. It remains a life-enhancing work of the basics of Stoic doctrine, Aurelius's life and career, the recurring themes and structure of the work's ongoing influence.… (mere)
Medlem:B-III
Titel:Meditations: A New Translation
Forfattere:Marcus Aurelius (Forfatter)
Info:Modern Library (2003), Edition: 1, 256 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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I read some quotes from this to my wife and she said, "It's like if Ecclesiastes got drunk and a party and started saying too much."

Don't let yourself forget how many doctors have died, after furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds. How many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about others' ends. How many philosophers, after endless disquisitions on death and immortality. How many warriors, after inflicting thousands of casualties themselves. How many tyrants, after abusing the power of life and death atrociously, as if they were themselves immortal.

How many whole cities have met their end: Helike, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and countless others.

And all the ones you know yourself, one after another. One who laid out another for burial, and was buried himself, and then the man who buried him - all in the same short space of time.

In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.

To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.

Like an olive that ripens and falls.

Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.

(IV.48) ( )
  exhypothesi | Mar 7, 2021 |
I first learned about Marcus Aurelius's Meditations when my World Literature teacher handed out mimeographed sheets to my twelfth grade high school class.

A year later I was in an Ancient Philosophy class at a small liberal arts college reading the Meditations. Shortly after, I purchased a antique copy with a 1902 gift dedication.

Inside is a vintage Wendy's napkin, yellow and red, on which I had written down favorite passages.

I was eighteen when I first read the entire Meditations. Fifty years later, seeing this annotated version in a new translation, I thought it would be interesting to revisit the work again.

My antique volume is stilted in language. "But do thou, I say, simply and freely choose the better, and hold on to it--" is one quote on that napkin. In this new version I read, "So, as I say, you must simply and freely choose the better course and stay with it."

The Preface introduces readers to Stoicism and the historical Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor whose military victories protecting belies the private man who would have chosen a life of contemplation. But, as Aurelius reminds himself often in these thoughts, we must uncomplainingly embrace our lot in life. And besides, nothing external can alter our command center and internal values. Unless we allow it.

It is that which I recall most being impressed with--the idea that what people think and do is their problem, and cannot affect me, unless I allow it. It gave me a great sense of control and also the freedom to think and act differently.

...remember that it's not people's actions that disturb our peace of mind...but our own opinions of their actions.~Notebook 11, Meditations

The Stoic world view embraced by Aurelius is moral and ethical, and divinely ordered. Life and death is a natural cycle, our bodily atoms reentering the matter of the universe, while our spirit had a brief pneumatic afterlife.

The present is all one has.~ from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Aurelius constantly reminds himself that we only have this moment in time; the past and the future is not ours. So every moment we must decide to live according to our 'command center' and Stoic values.

A core part of those values involves being a part of human society, showing fairness and forgiveness, for we are to serve one another.

Have I done something that contributes to the common good? Then I've been benefited.~from Mediations by Marcus Aurelius

Comfort and Pleasure should not affect our actions, we should not complain or become angry or lose control over our passions. We have no control over what happens to us. But we can control our response.

The notebooks were Aurelius's contemplation, self-examination, and a reminder to follow the discipline of Stoicism. There is repetition of ideas, references to well known Greek philosophers and to forgotten men.

I read an ebook. I could click on the footnote number and up popped the annotation for the passage, a very useful device. The notes greatly increased my understanding of the passage.

The translation is accessible and modern, sometimes even conversational as if the writer were talking to us.

At the start of the day tell yourself: I shall meet people who are officious, ungrateful, abusive, treacherous, malicious, and selfish. In every case, they've got like this because of their ignorance of good and bad....None of them can harm me, anyway, because none of them can infect me with immorality, nor can I become angry with someone who's related to me, or hate him, because we were born to work together, like feet or hands or eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth. To work against each other is therefore unnatural--and anger and rejections count as "working against." ~Notebook 2, 1, Meditations The Annotated Edition

These teachings are as relevant today as in Roman times. We need to be continually reminded to "work together."

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased. ( )
  nancyadair | Feb 26, 2021 |
This was a required book for a class on the literature of Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Charles Williams, which at first glance seems like an odd choice. But it was one of the best books I have ever read for a class, regardless of topic. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
I swear everytime I try to read a philosophical book I utterly fail out of boredom. It doesn't help that I could barely understand what was being said.

I'm obviously not cultured or mature enough to read this book so maybe I'll come to it... ( )
  arashout | Dec 13, 2020 |
A solid if slightly repetitive formulation of stoicism. ( )
  Neal_Anderson | Sep 18, 2020 |
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The translation doesn't shrink from anachronism (there's talk of atoms) and sometimes verges on the new age: "Stay centred on that", "Let it hit you". But it's sparky and slangily readable, and for those who know Marcus only as the Richard Harris character in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, this is a chance to become better acquainted.

As a critic once said, the Meditations are an "unassailable wintry kingdom". But in the desert of 2003, their icy blasts are refreshing and restorative. They tell you the worst. And having heard the worst, you feel less bad.
 

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A new translation, the first in thirty-five years, of one of the most influential and admired books of the ages, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and emperor of Rome 161-180 A.D., few books have meant as much to as many as Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. It remains a life-enhancing work of the basics of Stoic doctrine, Aurelius's life and career, the recurring themes and structure of the work's ongoing influence.

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