Saturday, November 18, 2006

Milton Lost

Milton Friedman died the other day. Now I cannot say that I am all torn up by that, but it does provide an opportunity to tell this little story.

I was in a used bookstore, buying among many other things a copy of and Capitalism and Freedom and Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. (It was my second copy of the latter, the first was falling a part, held together with packing tape.) As the clerk was ringing up the various books he read the covers, first Capitalism and Freedom then Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. When he got to the second he exclaimed, "Capitalism and Schizophrenia, that is more like it. It is definitely schizophrenia, not freedom."

I always thought that was funny.

This story made me think about the books that I have completely worn out, and even replaced, and the fact that they probably say a lot about me.

Books that I have replaced include: The Ethics, The Savage Anomaly, The Genealogy of Morals, For Marx, and The Phenomenology of Spirit (Although the last one doesn't really count because I started with a crappy used version that had pen markings in the first few pages, as far as the reader got I suppose). Of course the list should also include books that are now held together with rubber bands or tape like: Lenin and Philosophy, Capital, and The Grundrisse.

It occurs to me that this is a game that everyone can play. So what books have you worn out?

1 comment:

Nate said...

This is a cool game. I think I can legitimately claim to have worn out two books. 19y20 by the Colectivo Situaciones, and a copy of Capital v1 (I think the International Publishers edition) that is badly battered and the cover is duct taped on.

Other Spanish language books are falling apart but they tend to be of very low quality binding etc so it's not the same as beating an English language book to death. Other books I've either gotten in really bad shape used or I've managed to beat up pretty badly but not from actual contact with the books as a reader. I have a habit of putting too many books in my backpack at the same time, which means I've also worn out several backpacks and gotten many a backache. I don't know that the method of transport should really count (nor should books dropped in the bathtub).

take it easy