World Book Day

Today is World Book Day, as designated by UNESCO. When John Paul II addressed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1980, he said:

Education consists in fact in enabling man to become more man, to “be” more and not just to “have” more and consequently, through everything he “has”, everything he “possesses”, to “be” man more fully. For this purpose man must be able to “be more” not only “with others”, but also “for others”. Education is of fundamental importance for the formation of inter-human and social relations.

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You-are-there-reading

I’ve never equaled the sensory verisimilitude of my friend Adam, who once read the ninth book of the Odyssey, in Greek, in what is believed to be the Cyclops’s cave, a Sicilian grotto Homerically redolent of sheep turds. But I have read Yeats in Sligo, Isak Dinesen in Kenya, and John Muir in the Sierras. By far my finest You Are There hour, however, was spent reading the journals of John Wesley Powell, the one-armed Civil War veteran who led the first expedition down the Colorado River, while I was camped at Granite Rapids in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

– Anne Fadiman, Ex Libris

Five years ago, in the early days of April 2015, I was in Rome with my friend Crystal in anticipation and then celebration of Holy Week. Continue reading “You-are-there-reading”