Books on imperial Spain, and other books

I have so many books to read but I always want others. If there were bookstores I would walk to them and browse, and if the libraries had budgets I could peruse new acquisitions.

The desired books of the day are Hugh Thomas, World without end: Spain, Philip II, and the first global empire and Spain: the centre of the world, 1519-1682, to begin with; also, a fascinating book on William Pitt’s suppression of English intellectual life in the 1790s — a vigorous activity whose effects are felt clearly today.

What I am actually trying to read is a book by Agamben and I am bored. I should need the ideas in it as it is about slavery and ontology, but I do not like philosophy. I like theory and poetics, but not philosophy. I lack patience for philosophy, am I alone?

Other reviews I have read today (while avoiding Agamben and other, more pressing things) include a fascinating essay on biographies of Charlie Parker. Is he another of these innovative modernists, like Vallejo and Lorca, that died young in a disorderly way and got mythologized?

I learned that Perry Anderson is Benedict Anderson’s brother, in a beautiful review of Benedict Anderson’s memoir. “Shine always!” I thought of Michael Ratner, with whom I had hoped to work one day, and who is dead too.


2 thoughts on “Books on imperial Spain, and other books

  1. Libraries are always worthy of donations.
    There are apocryphal accounts of Spaniards landing in Hawaii long before Captain Cook arrived. I’ll look into that and share what I find.

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