“We seek knowledge only because we desire enjoyment, and it is impossible to conceive why a person who has neither desires nor fears would take the trouble to reason.” Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Epigraph to, Great Books, by David Denby

At the age of forty-eight, writer and film critic David Denby returned to Columbia University and re-enrolled in two core courses in Western civilization to confront the literary and philosophical masterpieces — the “great books” — that are now at the heart of the culture wars. In Great Books, he leads us on a glorious tour, a rediscovery and celebration of such authors as Homer and Boccaccio, Locke and Nietzsche. Conrad and Woolf. The resulting personal odyssey is an engaging blend of self-discovery, cultural commentary, reporting, criticism, and autobiography — an inspiration for anyone in love with the written word.

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