Skip to content

I typically read the essays I post or link to, but I haven't read this one: "Beyond the Scientific Revolution: Ian McGilchrist's The Matter with Things."

But I might be forgiven.

It clocks in at 35,000 words.

And based on the first 2,500 words, it's excellent. I'm grateful to VoegelinView for publishing it. I look forward to referencing the chapter summaries that Professor Cocks provides. (Oddly, he summarizes 25 chapters; the entire tome consists of 28 chapters; it seems odd he just didn't go ahead and add summaries for the other three, but no matter: his effort is greatly appreciated.)

The Matter with Things really is stunning. I say that even though I'm only 10% of the way through it.

Why has my progress been so slow?

Life happens, obviously, but there are other factors here. In particular, it's a lovely slog. Almost every sentence seems worth underlining. I constantly stop to jot down notes, which sometimes turns into a nascent essay or blog post. After an hour, I flip back through the pages and discover I've read three.

Joseph Epstein is fond of recalling the observation that one lifetime isn't enough to read all the books that ought to be read. I expanded on it to state that one lifetime isn't enough for me to finish all the books I've started to read. And now, I'm bemused to think the remainder of my life isn't enough for me to finish this one magisterial work.