Sunday, May 3, 2015

BW18: Machiavellian May

Niccolo Machiavelli
Welcome to Machiavellian May and our theme of all things cunning, conniving and calculating and our author flavors of the month - Dante Alighieri and Marcel Proust.

Yes, I know it seems like an odd mix however we are honoring Niccolo Machiavelli's who was born 546 years ago today; the 750 anniversary of Dante's birthday on May 21st; plus Marcel Proust is included  because I'm doing a readalong of Swann's Way with writing friends so dragging you all along for the ride. *grin*  

Let's define Machiavellian: 

  • of, like, or befitting Machiavelli. 
  • being or acting in accordance with the principles of government analyzed in Machiavelli's The Prince, in which political expediency is placed above morality and the use of craft and deceit to maintain the authority and carry out the policies of a ruler is described.
  • characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty
According to the 48 Laws of Power and the Machiavellian personality on Psych Forums:
Machiavellianism derives from the views of Prince Machiavelli that a ruler is not bound by traditional ethical norms. A prince, therefore, should only be concerned with power and
be bound only by rules that would lead to success.
Which basically leaves the door wide open to how you interpret it and what you choose to read: Historical or political thrillers, Shakespearean morality plays, or mysteries to name a few. 

I read Dante's Inferno last year and will be delving into Purgatorio this month. Several gals over on the Well Trained Mind boards who didn't read Inferno last year will be jumping into the first book, so join us in reading Dante. 

Marcel Proust has become a curiosity for me and after taking a short story class about him, will be also diving into Swann's Way, the first volume in his epic In Search of Lost Time.  If you are thinking I may have the 'eyes are bigger than her stomach' syndrome, you may be right.  
 “Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.”  ― Marcel Proust, Time Regained

History of the Midieval World:  Part Three -  New Powers
Chapter 21: The Ostrogoths pp 143 - 149

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  1. Re reading a good friend this week, in appreciation of VE day, 8 May, 70 years ago today. A gentle story of friendship and the healing powers of music in the dark times and World War 2. La's Orchestra Saves The World by Alexander McCall Smith

  2. I also read a WW2 themed novel, 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' by Australian author Richard Flanagan. A harrowing tale of prisoners of war working on the infamous Burmese death railway, interspersed with memories of a passionate love affair.


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