German, Greek, English reading

I’ve talked before and out how Greek and Germans have surprised me by ending up being two of the languages I’m most excited to learn.

It seems possible at this point that unless my life takes a sharp turn sometime in the next couple years, I could be reading primary texts in Greek and German and Latin within a few years. I was thinking about that the other day, and a vision of my future sprang up before me.

What I’ll do with Greek is probably what I’ve already long imagined reading in Greek. I’ll have a canon of some dozen authors and slowly read through them, and once I finish I’ll start over again. The list will include, off the top of my head, writers like Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Plato, Xenophon, Isocrates, Aristotle, Demosthenes, a range of dramatists, Thucydides, probably Epictetus.

I had a new idea about German. What if I looked up which German authors were most influential on Kant, and read through those chronologically, before spending some time studying Kant? And then after that I’ll look up who was influential on Hegel and work through those authors (the ones I haven’t already encountered) chronologically, and then I’ll study Hegel in German? And then I’ll do the same thing for Marx. And then …

At around the same time, it might be interesting to dive into some older English writing. Shakespeare, Bacon, Hobbes, maybe Locke, Hume, etc.

The German and the English projects I’m envisioning will provide me with a list of late scholastic and early modern Latin works that will give me an interesting outlet for my Latin reading habit.

Is this exactly what my reading project will look like in a few years? Probably not exactly. But I’m hopeful that it will be somewhat along these lines. My dream seems to have been pretty consistent over a couple years, so that makes me cautiously hopeful. But first, the ongoing hard work of learning the languages, of course. Wish me luck!

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