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· Categorical Imperatives — Holiday Style ·

I'm not writing on Immanuel Kant today, merely trying to mark the approach of another Thanksgiving — one I'll have to miss, locally at least.

For always "on Thanksgiving Day," as Wilbur Nesbit writes, "the heart will find the pathway home," and mine leads Wednesday afternoon on I-5, south, toward Los Angeles.

In light of Ghostly Veterans-Day Reading Tips and without a chance of posting Thursday, I've thought to compile some posts I've long seen at YGS under a broader category, Holidays. Although it's not imperative that you read them all, you might get a larger sense of my spirited, stylish aims by trying.

In any case, wherever you might find yourself a home, do have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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· Ghostly Veterans-Day Reading Tips ·

Since commenting on Walt Whitman in Literacy, Halloween Style, I thought to mark my point more explicitly. It turns, implicitly, on more active reading. You'll recall my About-page remarks: "My writing is unfortunately affected by too much old book learning, the revenge of dead trees upon the living." It falls equally upon aging writers, too.

Two great-souled men of philosophy and literature, Francis Bacon and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, today seem apt in their own spirited thoughts on book reading and what I'd call adult-level literacy.

Some books are to be tasted [Bacon claims], others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

There are three kinds of readers [Goethe judges]: one, who enjoys without judging; a third, who judges without enjoying; another in the middle, who judges while enjoying and enjoys while judging. The last class truly reproduces a work of art anew; its members are not numerous.

You might consider such souls as reminding us anew of our own duties, to get on with life while simultaneously finding meaning — especially on this day — in the full face of death.

It's the triple groundwork — don't you think? — of freedom, of democracy, and, perhaps, of happiness itself.

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