Big books can be daunting. Big, complicated books can seem insurmountable, especially if you’re trying to read them on your own. How many of you have tried to read Joyce’s Ulysses‘ and bailed out within 30 pages? Raise your hands. Well, perhaps you’ll be pleased to learn about Frank Delaney’s Re:Joyce podcast, which, since 2012, has been taking listeners on a slow walk through Joyce’s masterpiece, sometimes sentence by sentence. Episode 273 has just been posted, which features Delaney unpacking a scene in “Hades,” or what amounts to Chapter 6. By my count, Frank has only covered about 15% of the book. So it’s hardly too late to jump in.
If you’re looking to work your way through another bear of a book, give Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit a try. Written in 1807, the Phenomenology had a profound effect on the development of German and Western philosophy, and it’s a notoriously difficult read. That’s where the Youtube series “Half Hour Hegel” comes in handy. Created by Gregory Sadler, a philosopher by training, the series features “25-35 minute YouTube videos leading students through the entire text of G.W.F. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, paragraph by paragraph, engaging in a close reading of the text without skipping any of the material.” You can find 67 videos so far (watch the playlist above), covering 5 main portions of the text: the Preface (lectures 1-31), the Introduction (lectures 32-38), Sense-Certainty (lectures 39-44), Perception (lectures 45-51), and Force and the Understanding (lectures 52-65).” By the end of the project, there will be roughly 300 videos in the series. You can keep tabs on the video playlist here. And you can support Sadler’s work over on his Patreon page.
Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.