Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Open University Stuff

I'm between two fires. There's death metal pounding out of Joe's bedroom and Mozart wafting up from downstairs, where Ailz is watching a DVD of Don Giovanni.

Don Giovanni is the first text in the first unit of her Open University course. The other texts are short pieces by Hume, Rousseau and de Sade.

I read the Rousseau and de Sade yesterday. Rousseau is a soppy date. Sade is much more bracing. Amusing too.

The de Sade isn't one of his sexual marathons but a cute little piece in which a dying man persuades his confessor to embrace the libertine life-style. At the end, after he has won the priest round to his way of thinking, the dying man announces, "Six women more beautiful than sunlight are in the room adjoining. I was keeping them all for this moment. Take your share of them and, pillowed on their bosoms, try to forget, as I do, the vain sophisms of superstition and the stupid errors of hypocrisy."

(Don't you just love that idea of saving up women for a special occasion? I wonder what they were doing out there in the ante-room- reading lifestyle magazines?)

The death metal has stopped and Joe has left the building. Donna Anna has the field to herself.

I took my new found knowledge to the tutorial this morning, but found I didn't need it. Instead of looking at the texts, our tutor decided we'd have fun with syllogisms. "All dogs have four legs. This table has four legs. Therefore this table is a dog." That kind of thing. I guess the idea was to get us thinking like philosophes.

Then, when we'd finished with syllogisms, we looked at pictures of Napoleon. He's unit 2. Apparently Napoleon crossed the Alps on a mule- which the painter David turned into an Arab stallion. If it had really been a stallion and it had really reared up on its hindlegs as David has it doing, Napoleon (who was a poor rider) would have fallen off into a crevasse.
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