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Aristotle's poetics, libraries and a relaxation question
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I spent part of this morning reading Aristotle's Poetics, based on Will Shetterly's recommendation (Books for Writers). There's some fantastic advice about plot and characters in it (still very applicable); it was also fascinating to finally read the (translated) original, after having to memorize so many of the rules from it in my A.P. English class many years ago. My absolutely favorite line, about plot: "A likely impossibility is always preferable to an unconvincing possibility." :) (He continues by pointing out that if you absolutely must include a plot point that is Highly Improbable, then for god's sake, pass over it as lightly as possible in the background rather than focusing on it and letting people have time to think about it!)

And of course there are other bits that (even more so than all those 18th- and 19th-century texts I love) reminded me of just how important cultural relativity can be, e.g., when Aristotle talks about goodness in characters: "Such goodness is possible in every type of personage, even in a woman or a slave, though the one is perhaps an inferior, and the other a wholly worthless being." Erm...yes. Well, passing quickly over this, and keeping it in the background so that I don't have to think about it too much...

Meanwhile, my youngest brother tells me that his public library in Budapest is actually in a former palace, so reading there feels like reading in Versailles.

I am trying very, very hard not to be envious.

The Leeds Public Library was built in the Victorian era and has many interesting architectural points.


But on a completely different note... Can anyone recommend any good relaxation/meditation CDs? I've been trying to work out good de-stressing techniques, and meditation keeps popping up as a really good idea. However, being a person with a Very Crazy Brain, I find meditating much, much easier if I can focus on another person's voice guiding me through it. But when I look at all those racks of possible CDs by people I've never heard of, half of them promising to hypnotize me into perfect calmness (do I really want that? I think I may have read too many science fiction stories to be happy with that option), I feel overwhelmed and end up giving up every time.

Any ideas?

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