Currently Reading:Kafka:The Years Of Insight By Reiner Stach

Austrian writer Franz Kafka

Austrian writer Franz Kafka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am about three-quarters through with this book and I am to the part about time Kafka spent in the sanatorium battling tuberculosis. You would think this would be drudgery but Stach brings Kafka’s emotions and how he handles the tuberculosis where you feel as if you are right there.

Kafka is one of the most complex individuals I have ever read about and I am looking forward to reading his actual work. This year has been wonderful thus far in reading in that I have been introduced to two characters in history I knew nothing about: A.O. Hirschman and Franz Kafka. I strongly urge you to get out of your comfort zone and read something or about someone that you have very little knowledge of or none at all.


More On Albert O. Hirschman and Adversity

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell (Photo credit: schipul)

I love this paragraph from the article “The Gift of Doubt,” in the New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell about adversity.

“Developing countries required more than capital. They needed practice in making difficult economic decisions. Economic progress was the product of successful habits—and there is no better teacher, Hirschman felt, than a little adversity.”

In my own life right now, the commercial printing business is very challenging and to be quite honest depressing at times. However, this quote, however mundane, allowed me to see that I should look forward to adversity because it makes you look outside the box and challenges you in ways you would never imagine.

Currently Reading June 8, 2013

English: This is a photograph from the assortm...

English: This is a photograph from the assortment of freely available pictures at Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s web site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have finished reading Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman by Jeremy Adler and as I have stated in earlier posts I really enjoyed reading about someone that I was unfamiliar with. This is one of these books that you read and find out things about the world that you are totally ignorant. An example for me is Latin America during this turbulent time in their history and also the fleeing of the Jews from Germany preceding the Second World War. This is an excellent book and if you have any interest in understanding this particular time in history and the struggles of the world during this time you need to read this book.

I am returning to Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and am analytically reading this. I have been on the website and am working on a better understanding of this subject. I will be writing on my findings but it seems that it may be slow going. When you realize that this subject matter is very important you want to make sure that you have a great understanding of the material. Any insight from our readers on this subject would be greatly appreciated!!!

Currently Reading June 4, 2013

Jeremy Adelman, EyeDip

Jeremy Adelman, EyeDip (Photo credit: John Federico)

I am almost to the finish line on reading Worldly Philosopher:The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman by Jeremy Adelman and ran across this quote from the book on page 585.This is actually from notes in his diary.

“Perhaps it is not good to learn too many “useful things too early in life, for then one will never question the moment one learnt. For innovation to be possible late learning may be essential.”

I have never contemplated this at all and this comes from a grandfather (Albert O. Hirschman) showing his granddaughter (4 years old) how to prepare newspaper for making a fire. Isn’t it amazing that some of our life-changing thoughts or moments in our lives come through our most mundane experiences.

Currently Reading May 28, 2013

Michel de Montaigne.

Michel de Montaigne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am approximately one hundred pages from finishing Worldy Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman  By Jeremy Adleman and as I have said previously I am truly enjoying it. What I have picked up in this part of the book is the vast amount of reading that Hirschman did but I was truly surprised how much time he spent in the classics and on Machiavelli and Montaigne. He kept going back to them and I find that refreshing in that by rereading he kept coming up with new perspectives in how to tackle the problems that were being presented to him.

It made me realize that instead of concentrating on new material that I ought to spend more time focusing on analytically reading some material that I have previously focused on to get a better grasp and a better understanding.

Currently Reading May 23, 2013

I am currently finishing up Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman by Jeremy Adelman and have found it to be a wonderful book. This is probably one of the few nonfiction books I have read where I did not know anything about the subject. That to me is the beauty of reading such a book because it widens my thought process.

This question to ponder is from the book:

Is a narrow failure necessary for a project to have a wider effectiveness?

To be perfectly honest, I have never even considered this in examining some of the experiences that I have had. Any comments?


Quotes From Franz Kafka

Austrian writer Franz Kafka

Austrian writer Franz Kafka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Test yourself by mankind. It makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.”

“All human error is impatience, a premature breaking-off of methodical procedure, an apparent fencing in of what is apparently at issue.”

“To believe in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made. That would be no real act of belief.”

“A belief like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.”

Franz Kafka

I found these quotes in my reading of Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman by Jeremy Adelman. I am up to page 436 and am more intrigued by the man because of his penchant for all knowledge in so many various subjects. Absolutely fascinating!!!