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Plato's Symposium

by Plato, Seth Benardete, Allan Bloom

Buy the book: Plato. Plato's Symposium

Release Date: February, 2001

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Plato. Plato's Symposium


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This is an elegant and accurate translation (much more readable than Benardete's gnomic renditions of Theaetetus / Sophist / Statesman). Benardete's essay is also a joy (it was previously published, but in a rather obscure German edition). Bloom's commentary is a bit of a slog and very rarely surprising. The reviewer below who remarked that "if you already have Love and Friendship and a copy of the Symposium you might feel gyped [sic]" has missed the mark; the prize here is the translation itself. Now if only Chicago had included Blanckenhagen's "Stage and Actor" as well!

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If you think the classics are boring, think again

This is such a good work that any attempt to summarize it inevitably falls far short of summarizing what it really is, but here goes: The Symposium is on the surface an attempt to define love. Really it is far more, and deeper. Yet it is also incredibly bawdy and silly, reading like a novel of sorts.

It is far more interesting than the Republic and to my mind, more profound. Just read it; you don't even have to buy it, as every library should have a copy.

On top of that, such sites as Project Gutenberg and even SparkNotes are bound to have online copies, as this work's been in the "public domain" for a good two and a half millenia, give or take.

There now, you have no excuses. So what are you waiting for? Obviously if you are reading this review you are curious. Go satisfy that curiosity!

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