Friday, January 12, 2007

Sick days

I finally got around to picking up a copy of Husserl's Cartesian Meditations the other day and, since I've been home sick with a fever for the past few days and didn't have a whole lot of studying to do for classes, I decided to give the text a good poring over. The copy I checked out was published in 1982, translated by Dorion Cairns. It is a very tattered and marked-up copy. Which has made reading it so much fun. There are nine "date due" sheets stuck one on top of the other in the back of the book, each with an average of twenty-five checkout stampings. It seems like every one of those people who have checked this book out have "made the book their own," as Mortimer J. Adler would put it. Nearly every line is underlined. Stars in the margins. Question marks. Exclamation marks. Comments galore. There is a heated debate going on top of and beside Husserl's two lectures. "Ontological claim," states a pencil. "Epistemological claim! Not ontological!" says a drying up ball-point. One pen stakes its claim every other page or so with the simple statement, "Please," which is a favorite of mine. I feel good about myself when I have a decent grasp of a section of the text next to which it is written, "What does this mean?!" I read through the book once and am in the process of going back over it much more closely, but I feel extremely nervous about joining in on the debate in the margins.

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