16 July 2008

desert island books

The suitcases are filling up, and I still haven't touched my bookshelves. Since I'll have internet access and borrowing privileges at HUJI, I have every reason to minimize my book-transporting. My goal is to bring no more than five books. But which five?

One book that's coming with me is שבע מידות רעות by מאיה ערד (Sheva Midot Ra'ot, or Seven Sins, by Maya Arad). This is the Israeli novel I've been trying to slog through this summer. (The slogging has been so slow that I've put it down to read two other books before even getting as far as page 15. Especially unimpressive given that the book starts on page 11. But I'm trying!)

A second book I'm probably bringing is Contractarianism/Contractualism, a collection of essays edited by Stephen Darwall. I just need to check whether those articles are available online.

And I also want to bring my bilingual book of poems by Yehuda Amichai, if I can squeeze it in.

So that leaves me with two or three more book-shaped slots in my luggage. Some candidates:
  • Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Sources of Normativity, Christine Korsgaard
  • Emotional Reason, Bennett Helm
  • The Rationality of Emotion, Ronald de Sousa
  • Practical Reason and Norms, Joseph Raz
  • The Morality of Freedom, Joseph Raz
  • Human Agency and Language, Charles Taylor
  • Games of Strategy, eds. Dixit and Skeath (so huge, it should count as two books)
Before you go judging me for my selection of desert island books, I should mention that this list has already been pared down. I've eliminated all the books that I would have brought purely as comfort-objects: books that aren't related to Israel or to my research in any way, but that I just want to have around.

What I need to do next is find my way to the HUJI library and the Library of the Knesset websites, to check which of these books will be available to me in Israel. There is reason to be pessimistic: Judy tells me that HUJI's library system lost some funding battles, leaving it unable to stack its shelves adequately. Furthermore, for some of these books, library copies won't do me much good, since what I really need is the notes in the margins of my well-loved copies.

(3 days and 5 hours left.)

ETA: Fellow fellowshipper Steve's response at Blog For No One.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ronni,

    I wish we'd gotten more of a chance to talk about Zionism and the conflict and related things back when we went to the same school. I've been running away from the topic for a long time and now I feel like I have a riverful of ethical-intellectual-obligation-Piranhas to do battle with.

    Check out Maya Kuperman if you haven't already. She's a young Israeli poet and I really like her book Sfat Em and she has enough feminine addressees to keep me playing is-she-or-isn't-she forever.

    Anyway, I've added your blog to my RSS. Keep in touch and enjoy the Hebrew University. Are you gonna be living on Har HaTzofim? My mom has many fond memories from there, I think.

    Mai S.