How Was a Young Spencer Klavan Inspired to Study Classics at Yale?


Want a little bit of your story. How is it that you ended up going to Yale and being, it sounds like a classics major there. How did what was your upbringing like that led you to that? Because that's a pretty radical thing for a teenager to do to say, I want to go to that place and study classics. Yeah, and it's weird because I do remember having that really definite sense that that's what I wanted to do. But you're absolutely right. I mean, I always think about this moment in Homer's Iliad where Ajax, the great giant, is striding from ship to ship because he's so big, he can walk across the prows. And my education almost felt like I was doing that, but the ships were sinking behind me. There was always this sense that I was kind of getting the last of a great academic tradition that was kind of starting to crumble or to suffer from capture. And what saved me would rescue me was what I alluded to before. And that was just a childhood surrounded by great works. I had to realize that wasn't normal. I was gradually as I grew up, I came to understand that I was lucky to know these minds that live between the covers of these books. A lot of people think of this as kind of like these are dusty tomes, they're primitive they're superstitious. They're backwards or what have you. I knew from a very early age that none of that was true. I knew that these were friends. And that meant that, of course, some of these books are difficult, some of the stuff I'm writing about in my book is not obvious or easy. But it's not there just to provide to furnish material for PhD theses. It's not there just to interest eggheads like me. These are these are the best these texts contain the best that has been thought and said about how to be excellent at being human.

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