Last week my girlfriend and I picked up a cartload of books at the SLC library’s spring sale. This week Sam Weller’s used books was having a moving sale. The prices were a little higher, so we were a little more selective. I didn’t get anything too esoteric; the rarest book I found was probably a hardback copy of maverick literary critic Leslie Fiedler‘s science fiction novel, The Messengers Will Come No More. I have been reading Fiedler’s 1980 book What Was Literature?, which analyzes the Death of the Novel and the split between popular and “literary” fiction in the 20th century. His defense of pop culture and his view of the novel as essentially a product of the industrial revolution and mass market, whose fate will stand with that socio-economic model, anticipates (or at least is coordinate with) the views of Paul Cantor and Tyler Cowen (though as a former Marxist, Fiedler is far more ambivalent about the market as such, but at least is willing to cast a cold eye upon anti-market modernist dogma). I passed up the opportunity to pick up a copy of neo-Spenglerian wingnut Francis Parker Yockey’s Imperium, which was ten bucks (I did not want to spend more than five on one book, though the Fiedler was seven). There is a bit of Adam Parfrey-like fascination with the lunatic fringe in me, which astute readers of my blog (you are out there, right?) will have noted. One has to chuckle at such obviously Spengler-influenced psuedo-philosophical chapter titles as “The Meaning of Facts”.
The rest: Livy’s Early History of Rome, Plutarch’s Fall of the Roman Republic, Arrian’s The Campaigns of Alexander, The Orestes Plays of Aeschylus and The Bacchae of Euripides (plays which I have been wanting to read since the wonderful chapter on them in Sexual Personae), and Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War Stories.