Encounters: Lady Beazley hates Germans. Peter Blanckenhagen hates hospitals. Leo Strauss is baffled by physics, Richard Rorty is diagnosed with Weltschmerz, Hilary Putnam welcomes the Maoist insurgency, and Eva Brann is oblivious to her own allure. Arthur Darby Nock bares it all; Jacob Klein reveals his divinity.
Reflections: St. Paul the Leninist, Plato the poet, Herodotus the philosopher. This is clearly where the meat lies, but it doesn't make for as many pithy headlines. A tip of the cap to anyone who can explain the reading of Apuleius.
I'm not going to review this book. (Well, not much, anyhow. Anyone who has come this far, and is looking at these reviews, is already going to be either sufficiently curious about Benardete -- meaning my review won't make a difference -- or already knowledgeable about his writings.) This generally excellent book deals with both Benardete's life and writings. Therein lies my complaint. I like the book and the format -- basically, two interviewers ask SB questions -- but I feel that the book could've provided more, and, moreover, that I deserved more (30$ being a hefty price tag for a book as slim as this one). Frankly, it was a tremendously enjoyable read, but I really do feel that the latter parts of the book (where SB touches on many interesting philosophical issues, and on topics he treats in his books) could have been fifty to one hundred pages longer. I would have been happier if the biographical section had been shorter, IF that had made room for a correspondingly larger 'intellectual' section: that is, more SB on philosophy. Benardete had an enviable ability to convey a lot in short pithy sentences, and greedily I simply wanted his thoughts and opinions on a myriad of topics.