Friday, March 2, 2007

Arnold On: Augustine

Have any of you read Augustine's Confessions? If so, maybe you can tell me why Books I-X are so good and XI-XIV are so boring. For the first 70% of the book, I was asking myself why I waited so long to read this masterpiece - and now, in the last 30%, I'm asking, "Will it never end?" Am I just in a bad mood, or something?


  1. nope, same thing here. Same for Two Cites. I'm back baby.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hello Arnold,

    I cannot address your mood but I will posit a few questions that might allow us to begin a conversation. Why do you think he wrote these last three books?
    Why should the nature of time and creation "ex nihilo" be important to a Xian (both now and at the time of St. Augustine)?
    Is there a paradox involved in the questions that St. Augustine is exploring?

    Perhaps answering these questions will allow us to begin to understand how the last three books flow from the first ten.


  4. Roy,

    You may be back, but you're still baffling.

  5. Sounds like some kind of paradox to me. How such a good thing could wind up boring might have more to do with the fact that Augustine did not have an editor's help. With most books we read in the 21st century, a lot of polishing happens before a book hits the market.

    As for me, Confessions was 100% boring. Maybe because I was raised Catholic, but I couldn't get past the first two pages. It sounded like catechism.

  6. Arnold,
    Have we ever discussed this? I know I've thought exactly the same thing.

  7. Kevin -
    We may have, but it would have been a long time ago. I'll have (a little) more to say about this in a few days - nothing very original, though.