Le Père


  • Author: Florian Zeller (1979)
  • Title: Le Père
  • Published: 2012;  44 pages; 15 small scenes
  • Trivia:  Awarded the Molière Award 2014
  • considered the highest French theater honor, the equivalent to the American Tony Award.
  • Trivia: Nominated for Best Play Tony Award 2016

What are the key elements?

  • Title: Le Père
  • Playwright: Florian Zeller
  • Setting:  Anne’s apartment; hospital for Alzheimer patients
  • Timeline: 6 months (my estimation)
  • Characters: Anne (daughter)- André (father) – Pierre (Anne’s partner)
  • Laura (carer) –  L’Homme – La Femme
  • Main conflict: André suffers from dementia cannot live alone. Decisions must be made.
  • Resolution: Father is living with Anne until he can be placed in hospital.
  • Climax: André cries to the nurse: “I feel as if I’m losing all my leaves, one by one.”  Heartbreaking.

What type of play am I reading?  – Tragic comedy

  • Zeller maintains a delicate balance between tragedy and comedy.
  • André is constantly searching for his watch. He has two of them.
  • One is on his wrist the other is in his head.
  • “Il est quelle heure?”  he asks, time for apértief? medicine? dinner? to get out of my pajamas?
  • Time is slipping away and he cannot grasp what is happening to him.
  • Three times André realizes ‘something is not right’
  • pg 25: Il y a quelque chose qui ne tourne pas rond.
  • pg 25: Il se passe des choses étranges autour de nous. Tu n’as pas remarqué?
  • pg 54: Il y a  quelque chose qui ne s’emboîte pas.
  • The tragedy is echoed in the theme… a painfully  honest study of dementia.

What is the structure of the play?

  • The play is only 44 pages and structured into 15 small scenes.
  • The characters are developed quickly.
  • Zeller takes you into the confused world of an elderly man, the world  ‘Le Père’.
  • He is unstable and constantly reorganizing  his thoughts while struggling  to retain information.


  1. Why was this play an amazing experience?
  2. Zeller manages to let the reader ‘feel confusion’. (égarement)
  3. He wants you to feel what it is like to be in ‘le labyrinthe de l’égarement du Père’.
  4. I read the play 3 times.
  5. During my first read I missed so many subtle changes in character’s dialogue!
  6. When does the dialogue reflect reality and
  7. …when does it slip into ‘André’s special world’ ?
  8. Friendly chit chat  between father and daughter
  9. ….suddenly leads to events that appear to change with no apparent logic.
  10. The most important thing I learned was to
  11. …’highlight’ the stage directions before reading the scene.
  12. That was the only way to notice ‘clues’ 
  13. …Zeller  gives the reader to make sense of Andre’s ramblings.
  14. Excellent play. I read it in French…and it available in English!
  15. I wonder if it will win a Tony Award?
  16. We  will know on Sunday, June 12th.

ZELLER florian-zeller-1_5144487





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Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


Mazarin: le maître du jeu

MAZARIN 1 MazarinAuteur Pierre MIGNARD-1612-1695-date 1661-B

  • Author: Simone Bertière (1926)
  • Title: Mazarin: le maître du jeu
  • Published:  2007;  pages 697
  • Trivia: Prize for the best biography 2007 awarded by ‘LIRE” magazine.


  1. Mazarin is often overshadowed by Richelieu and Louis XIII in history.
  2. Yet in my opinion Mazarin  surpassed them both.
  3. Mazarin never imposed an illusory ideal.
  4. He always considered the facts.
  5. He knew when to withdraw and cut his losses if necessary.
  6. He adapted his plan of action, but never changed his goal, peace.
  7. I was most impressed by the way Mazarin helped Queen Anne of Austria.
  8. As Queen Regent she needed Mazarin to teach and guide her during her reign.
  9. Ambition?
    Mazarin did not desire social status, riches or power.
    He was born to obey…the pope…the king and guide Queen Anne.
  10. Turning points in Mazarin’s  life?
    He dreamed of a general peace in Europe…
    and joined with the French Cardinal Richelieu  achieve this goal.
    Dying Louis XIII asked Mazarin to be ‘le dauphin’s’ godfather.
  11. Character?
    Mazarin was highly-gifted, showed grit and determination.
    He had nerves of steel.
    Good news of bad news he never flinched.
  12. Irony?
    Mazarin was a man of peace but was the…
    guiding force during many wars between 1630 – 1661.
  13. Motto?
    ‘If one lets me…
    I’ll see what I can do.’
  14. Last thoughts:
  15. This was a VERY long book and around page 450 I nearly gave up.
  16. La Fronde is one of the most complicated events in French history…
  17. …and reading it in French tested my determination as no other book has.
  18. I was overwhelmed by this civil war 1648-1653!
  19. Every morning I poured myself the proverbial ‘cup of ambition’ and kept reading.
  20. I recommend this book only to those who have a great love of French history….
  21. ….and a strong sense of discipline.
  22. The book feels like it will never end!

My notes: while reading…

Louis XIII is dead, his queen goes on a spree firing her enemies and doing some retail therapy (shopping). Mazarin let’s Queen Anne let off some steam. Mazarin keeps a cool head because there are ‘bigger fish to fry’ soon! ‘La Fronde’ (civil war with nobles and Parliament)

Gossips are chattering…Cardinal Mazarin and the Queen are ‘very close’. But Mazarin ‘ n’a pas la réputation d’un coureur de jupons.’ He remains chaste for life and the queen’s trust ‘est à ce prix.’

La Fronde: Nobles and Parliament vs Queen Regent Anne of Austria. 29 people against the queen and 15 on her side. If I were Anne I’d break down in tears too ! Mazarin yet again ‘keeps his head cool’. His motto is ‘branle-bas de combat’ (man the battle stations!)

THE most difficult historical event to understand (La Fronde 1648-1653 in France.) I almost gave up reading ‘Mazarin’ but keep pushing on!

Finally…”La Fronde est finie.” pg 589 Now let’s move on with history…#NeverEndingStory


  1. This is what I was up against…..a large cast of characters during La Fronde:

Principal actors La Fronde:

On the side of the queen showing  their undying loyality:
Frondeurs – nobles and parliament
Les parlementaires

Les princes du sang

Les nobles

Les dames

Intervenants étrangers

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Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


2016 update

BOOKS Inspirational-Quotes-for-Students-1600x1000


  1. Bertière, S. – Louis XIII et Richelieu ‘La Malentente’
  2. Bertière, S. – Mazarin: Le maître du jeu

Ancient Greek and Roman:

  1. Ovid – Metamorphoses
  2. Homer – The Iliad 
  3. Plato, – Republic
  4. Lattimore, R. (anthology) – Greek Lyrics
  5. Aristotle – Nicomachean Ethics
  6. Herodotus – Histories  (READING)  pg 427 (Books 1-2-3-4-5)


  1. Fantham, EOxford Approches to Classical Literature Metamorphoses  
  2. Hardie, P. (editor)Cambridge Companion Ovid 
  3.  Cohen, M. and Dever, C. – The Literary Channel
  4. Hunter, J.P. – Before Novels
  5. Forster, E.M. – Aspects of the Novel
  6. Auerbach, E. – Mimesis (READING) pg 77


  1. Noailles, de A. – Le Visage Émerveillé
  2. Chalandon, S. – Le Quatrième Mur    Prix Goncourt des Lycéens 2013
  3. Prochasson, C. – François Furet
  4. Claudel, P. – Le Rapport de Brodeck   Prix Goncourt des Lycéens 2007
  5. Duras, M. – Les petits chevaux de Tarquinia
  6. Duras, M. – Moderato Cantabile 
  7. Fournier, A. – Le Grand Meaulnes
  8. Bazin, H. – Vipère au Poing
  9. Modiano, P. – Interrogatoire E. Berl
  10. Grimbert, P. – Un Secret
  11. Davrichewy, K. – L’ Autre Joseph
  12. Gaboriau, E. – Le crime d’Orcival 
  13. Vargas, F. – L’ homme aux cercles bleus
  14. De Beauvoir, S. – La Femme rompue
  15. Modiano, P. – Rues des Boutiques Obscures  Nobel Prize  2014
  16. Gard, du R.M. – Jean Barois   Nobel Prize  1937
  17. Sartre, J.P. – Le mur Nobel Prize  1964
  18. Le Clézio, J.M.G. – L’Étoile errante Nobel Prize  2008
  19. Zeller, F. – Le Père   Molière Award 2014, Nominated Tony Award 2016


  1. Nasaw, D. – The Patriarch (bio JP Kennedy)
  2. Twain, M. – Innocents Abroad
  3. Pearlman, E. – Binocular Vision (stories)
  4. Mitchell, J. – Up in the Old Hotel (stories)
  5. Dickens, C. – Dombey & Son
  6. Solzhenitsyn, A. – In the First Circle   Nobel Prize 1970
  7. Pamuk, O. – My Name is Red     Nobel Prize  2006
  8. Naipaul, V.S. – A Bend in the River   Nobel Prize  2001
  9. Kyd,  T. – The Spanish Tragedy (revenge play 1587)
  10. Middleton, T. – The Revenger’s Tragedy (revenge play 1606)
  11. La Petite FadetteSand, G.
  12. Dahl, R. – Book of Ghost Stories
  13. Milton, J- ‘Lycidas’  (summary of the poem)
  14. Miller, A. – A View From The Bridge
  15. Dickens, C. – Pickwick Papers (READING)  pg 225

Children’s literature:

  1. Fairy Tales  – Andersen, H.C.
  2. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Speare, E.G.  Newbury Medal 1959
  3. Bunnicula: The Rabbit-Tale Mystery – Howe, J.
  4. Singer, I.B.- Zlateh the Goat
  5. Lewis, C.S. – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  6. Colum, P. – The King of Ireland’s Son
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Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Uncategorized


Louis XIII et Richelieu ‘La Malentente’

BERTIERE LOUIS louis xiii Philippe de Champaigne

BERTIERE RICHELIEU 1312276-Philippe_de_Champaigne_le_cardinal_de_Richelieu_écrivant

  • Author: Simone Bertière (1926)
  • Title: Louis XIII et Richelieu  <La Malentente>
  • Genre: history
  • Published: 2016
  • Table of contents: 437 pg


  • Two great men in history could not have been more different.
  • Louis XIII demanded his wants be fulfilled immediately and was annoyed when that did not happen.
  • Richelieu accepted  what was possible and was always willing to adapt to the situation.
  • They could not live with each other….or without each other!
  • Bertière’s style of writing history is not boring, pedantic or soporific!
  • She has a talent for recapturing history as a  fluid saga full of passion and intrigue.
  • The best way to learn about French kings, queens, cardinals and
  • …the personal and military wars they conducted is to read Bertière!
  • I wrote down a few thoughts while reading the book. (see notes)
  • I loved this book!
  • The only downside….none of her books have been translated into English.
  • Time to brush up on your French, you know you want to!

My notes:

  1. Preface/prologue: Richelieu “Les quatre pieds carrés du cabinet de roi me sont plus difficile à conquérir que tou les champs de bataille de l’Europe!”
  2. (4 sq feet in King’s office more difficult to conquer than all the battlefields of Europe.)
  3. Richelieu and Louis XIII are great rivals!”
  4. Ch 1: Henri IV king, ladies man, devoted father suddenly assassinated.
  5. Traumatized Louis XIII, (8,5 yr) adored his father. Now he must be king…but Richelieu will take charge together with Marie de Medici.”
  6. Ch 2: Richelieu takes small steps, retains control of process and has patience.
  7. He’s a cardinal now with strong ties to Queen mother Marie de Medici…but he still does not have the prize: “la conquête du roi reste à faire.””
  8. Ch 3: This is filled with backround ‘history’.
    Richelieu advises Louis XII for the first time…and L XIII is pleased.
  9. Richelieu is ‘principal ministre’ and his plan to isolate the king ‘est en marche’ (is set in motion).
  10. Ch 4: The first major conspiracy Richelieu had to deal with was in 1626 and was known as the Chalais Conspiracy.
  11. Richelieu has the most important weapon… spy system that gives him info he needs. ‘espionnage – d’une efficacité redoutable’.
  12. Louis  XIII says  if anyone attacks Richelieu “vous m’aurez pour second”.
  13. Ch 614 month siege of La Rochelle.
    Louis  XIII is  a king who  tolerates no disssent in his cities.
  14. But Richelieu is the military strategist. Together with Métezeau (architect) the seawall was built to ‘starve’ La Rochelle into submission.
  15. “Richelieu avait achevé la conquête de Louis XIII !” Impressive chapter!
  16. Ch 8: Louis XIII worst nightmare Journée des Dupes (11.11.1630).
  17. Choose: your mother (Marie de Medice) or Richelieu…c’est un débat cornélien!
  18. But Louis’  XIII secret desire was to be rid of an ‘ interfering’ mother!
  19. ‘C’est entre l’État et sa mère qu’il va trancher‘.” (must be cut off)
  20. Ch 12: Louis XIII can’t live with him…or without Richelieu.
  21. Richelieu finally has Louis XIII ‘checkmate’ !
  22. At the height of his power Richelieu  was still in danger.
  23. ‘Entourage de gardes armés’ would protect.
  24. ‘La metamorphose de Richelieu: portraits, houses, marrying family into nobelesse…armies.
  25. Louis XIII is stunned!”
  26. Il ne fait pas bon….jouer au plus fin avec Richelieu.
  27. “It not good, don’t try to outsmart the cardinal!”
  28. King’s platonic love affairs, attemped assassination Richelieu,
  29. …deliberately starting war on Spain
  30. …just to keep the hostilties going for France’s own best will (ironic)
  31. ….and a miracle baby (Louis XIV)who said history was boring?”

Score: 5


BERTIERE AVT_Simone-Bertiere_3540

BERTIERE 41gbK9LIGlL._AC_UL320_SR218,320_

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized


5 Tony Award nominations: A View From The Bridge

MILLER screen-shot-2015-10-27-at-4-12-56-pm

  • Author: Arthur Miller (1915 – 2005)
  • Title:  A View from the Bridge
  • Genre:  Greek tragedy
  • Published: 1955
  • Place premiered: Eugene O’ Neill Theater NYC
  • Trivia: 5 Tony Award nominations 2016
    Best Revival of a Play
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play – Mark Strong
    Best Scenic Design of a Play – Jan Versweyveld
    Best Lighting Design of a Play — Jan Versweyveld
    Best Direction of a Play – Ivo van Hove


  1. Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman is obsessed with his 17-year-old niece Catherine.
  2. When Catherine falls in love with a newly arrived immigrant
  3. Eddie’s jealousy erupts in a rage that consumes him.
  4. This destroys his family, and his world.
  5. Miller based this play on a story he was told about
  6. a longshoreman who turned two illegal Italian immigrants into the authorities and
  7. about the impact that act had on the surrounding community.
History of the play:
  1. A View from the Bridge was an even more important play for
  2. Miller in his quest to understand and respond to McCarthyism.
  3. Miller used the character of Eddie Carbone as a reference in his statements to HUAC
  4. when he was called to testify and name associates known to him to be communists.
  5. Unlike the central character of his drama Miller did not point his finger at anyone.
  6. Miller remained on the high moral ground.
  7. Eddie Carbone was unable to control his desire for revenge and respect.
  8. Miller’s play was first staged in 1955 as a one-act verse drama.
  9. The playwright later revised the play
  10. (fleshed out the roles of Catherine and Beatrice) to contain two acts.
  11. The Young Vic production of A View from the Bridge
  12. premiered in April 2014 and subsequently transferred to London’s West End.
  13. It won 3 Olivier Awards for Best Revival, Best Actor (Mark Strong) and Best Director (Ivo Van Hove) in 2015.


  1. This is a simple story, naturalistic but conveyed an enormous amount of meaning.
  2. Miller is an amazingly lean writer.  Nothing is wasted and everything has a purpose.
  3. He makes it seem so effortless, like people are just having a random conversation.
  4. But in there is very potent subtext  (response to McCarthyism) as well as what’s necessary to drive the narrative along.
  5. I watched interviews with Arthur Miller, Mark Strong and the director Ivo van Hove before reading the play.
  6. Van Hove uses a stark, miminalistic set design by Versweyveld to keep the emphasis on the characters.
  7. The audience must not be distracted by stage props, costumes, and sounds in a bleak apartment in Brooklyn.
  8. The title View From the Bridge is a reference to the view from the Alfieri’s lawyer office.
  9. Alfieri functions as a chorus and a narrator.
  10. He looks down  at the dockworker’s neighborhood:  “But this is Red Hook, not Sicily.”
  11. Alfieri opens and closes the play with a poetic monologue that functions as a frame story.
  12. Alfieri’s last words (as Arthur Miller speaks)  leaves the audience in stunned silence.
  13. Wonderful and majestic play.… take the time to explore the ‘implications’ it had on
  14. the 1950’s in USA.  Justice, betrayal, code of honor
  15. ….all the elements touched on by McCarthyism.

Score: 5


Arthur Miller:

Miller portrait arthur-miller_Esjtp

Set Design:

A scene from A View from the Bridge

Mark Strong

MILLER Mark Strong 8eb358bc-c697-11e4-_868567b


Ivo van Hove (L) and Jan Versweyveld (R)

MILLER both tn-500_honoreesivovanhoveandjanversweyveld

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Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Uncategorized


Forster: Aspects of the Novel

FORSTER 41wCwBuDIhL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_

  • Author: E.M. Forster ( 1879 – 1970)
  • Title: Aspects of the Novel
  • Published:  1927
  • Table of contents: 204 pages
  • Trivia:  This book  is compiled from a series of lectures delivered by
  • E.M. Forester at Trinity College Cambridge.


  1. Forester’s lectures are like a ‘breath of fresh air’
  2. …after reading 3 academic book about the novel.
  3. The Rise of the Novel, The Literary Channel and Before Novels.
  4. Forester  uses wonderful images: river of time. shrubbery, hourglass, well-lit cathedral
  5. …and he  delights with self-spot.
  6. He is debarred from discussing foreign novels
  7. …because he considers himself a pseudo-scholar.
  8. Strong point: chapters about character, story, plot and the patterns in novels
  9. Weak point: chapters about  prophecy and  fantasy
  10. Dickens bounces the reader around with point of view.
  11. Austen arranges characters (Miss Bates, Emma)
  12. …so they mesh together like shrubbery.
  13. This is in contrast with an ‘isolated tree’ like Fielding’s Moll Flanders.
  14. Flat characters are easily recognizable, we remember them especially as comic relief.
  15. The test of a rounded character is whether
  16. …it is capable of surprising in a convincing way.
  17. If it never surprises….it is flat.
  18. Intriguing questions: answered in chapter 3:
  19. What is the difference between people in novels and people like you and me?
  20. Why do characters in Jane Austen give us a new pleasure each time they come in…..
  21. …as opposed to the merely repetitive pleasure
  22. …that is caused by a character in Dickens?
  23. If you want the answers to these and many more great insights
  24. …I recommend you read this book filled with solid scholarship!

Score: 5


Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Uncategorized


Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics

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  • Author:  Aristotle  (384 -322 BC)
  • Title: Nicomachean Ethics
  • Published: 4th C BC (Penguin paperback published 2004)
  • Table of contents: 329 pg
  • Trivia: Read for Ancient Greek and Roman Challenge
  • Trivia: philosophy is not an easy read…..
  • I needed to consult wikipedia page Nicomachean Ethics 
  • ….to get a ‘quickscan’ about the book.
  • The summary is very detailed.


  1. Aristotle was Plato’s best student.
  2. He went on to become the very well-paid tutor of Alexander the Great.
  3. A key theme in Aristotle’s thought is that happiness is the goal of life.
  4. Aristotle was a good deal less other-worldly than Plato.
  5. He voluntarily went into exile from Athens when conditions became a bit politically dangerous for him.
  6. Aristotle believed that the greatest human endeavor is the use of reason.


  1. There is so much to read and process in this book
  2. ….I was at first overwhelmed.
  3. I had to decide what would be the scope of my review.
  4. I did two things:
  5. Try to find differences or similarities  between Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s N. Ethics.
  6. Try to apply some of Aristotle’s wisdom to my own life.
  7. You can see some of my notes at the end of this review
  8. …about my #NoSugar  challenge and how Aristotle helped me.


Differences or similarities  between Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s N. Ethics.

Plato (Republic) vs Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics)

  1. Plato in Republic developed a three part teaching of the soul:
  2. Reason – Emotions (spirit) – Appetites (desires)
  3. Aristotle  argues.…that virtues are needed  to
  4. …correctly regulate the  emotions and desires.
  5. The only virtue that DOES NOT regulate an emotion or desire is justice.

Plato vs Aristotle  (soul)

  1. Plato AND Aristotle agree:    soul =    reason – emotions – appetites (desires)
  2. Aristotle adds virtues to regulate our emotions – appetites  (desires)
  3. Aristotle also argues …..that the soul has two parts:
  5. Rational soul: practical reason to determine how to act in a situation
  6. Non-rational soul = virtues of character who regulate emotions and desires.

Plato vs Aristotle   (justice)

  • Plato AND Aristotle agree: : Justice is a virtue.
  • When a soul is ‘in order’… than it experiences justice.
  • Soul ‘in order’:  reason +  emotions work together to keep desires (appetites) in check.
  • Aristotle also argues….A person is just if he exercises ALL the virtues of character
  • ….towards himself, others and those he doesn’t know.

Plato vs Aristotle   (virtue)

  1. Plato AND Aristotle agree:
  2. A happy life is a virtuous life. Virtuous person exercises wisdom.
  3. Aristotle also argues….. that there are two types virtues: moral and intellectual.
  4. Intellectual virtues: are developed by education and training.
  5. Moral virtues are developed  by habit……they require practice.
  6. “We are what we repeatedly do!”
  7. Virtues don’t come ‘built in’.  They must be practiced again and again.
  8. Aristotle’s virtues: courage – temperance – honesty – compassion –
  9. …forgiving, responsible, generosity, friendliness, modesty, patience.

Patience is a virtue:

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE cat patience-cat-waiting


Plato vs Aristotle (happiness, eudaimonia) the happiest life….

  • Plato: the soul is just + reason is dominant in the soul.
  • Aristotle: one fulfills his function (ergon) that is characteristic of his nature.
  • Man: To use reason in the pursuit of the  good life (virtue) is his function.

Contradiction:  Aristotle highlights TWO DIFFERENT types of eudaimonia ( happiness)

  1. Book I:  implies a happy life is one of active virtue + exercising practical reason
  2. Book X: since the intellect is the best thing in us
  3. ….the contemplative life might be happier still.


Notes about my quest to live #NoSugar and how Aristotle helped me.


  1. I am reading Nicomachean Ethics.
  2. In order to write an interesting review
  3. …I am going to put Aristotle’s thoughts to the test.
  4. Aristotle is going to be my coach during the #NoSugar sequel.
  5. Aristotle thinks the supreme good in life is eudaimonia (acting and living well)
  6. A person who achieves eudaimonia is one whose life is blessed by an angel.
  7. A person has an eudamonian life if he possesses and exercises the virtues.
  8. Virtues of character – determination
  9. Virtues of thought – using practical wisdom.


  1. I was #NoSugar and #NoBread…but things have changed.
  2. Birthday, Christmas, Easter…holidays seduced me into temptation!
  3. I have become addicted to sugar…..again!
  4. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!
  5. Now it is time to  stare at Aristotle every day and record my progress.
  6. Aristotle indicates we should have a eudaimonian (happy) life plan (ch 6)
  7. Decide the best thing to do.
  8. Be determined to do it.
  9. Make the change a lifestyle.
  10. I have another friend St. Augustine who will be guiding me.
  11. He recommends  ruthless self-examination. (reading his book soon…)
  12. This challenge will not be easy….I know what to expect….but it has to be done!
  13. #NoSugar  part 1 = I’m human….I failed.
  14. St. Augustine said: “Lord, make me pure but not yet.
  15. I say:  Lord, do it now!
  16. Wish me luck!

AUGUSTINE st-augustine-botticelli28.04.2016

  1. I had the entire night to think about this challenge.
  2. I know I can break the sugar addiction but need to change my tactics.
  3. Goal:  #RunWalkRun — 9 minutes of running, followed by 1 minute of walking
  4. ..and then.. repeat, repeat, repeat. (training session = 40 min)
  5. You can run 5k – 10k or even a half marathon using this method!
  6. The secret according to Jack Galloway running coach is ‘add walks.’
  7. Don’t knock yourself out, don’t sprint out of the racing gate
  8. ….pace yourself.
  9. Aristotle calls this the ‘intermediate’.  (ch 2)
  10. Not too much…not too little but always  “just right” relative to the person in question.
  11. The best state is ‘intermediate’.
  12. It is an important component of the eudaimonian (happy)  life.
  13. It helps you run farther and for longer periods of time
  14. …rather than if  you tried to plow through the distance just running.
  15. It allows  you  to gain control …
  16.  and you can feel good on every single running segment.
  17. I intend to apply Galloway’s method for #NoSugar and #RWR.
  1. Aristotle said:  We grow into the good life…
  2. moral virtues are acquired
  3. through repetition:

ARISTOTLE 0510a49ec7ae62e15f8cd5fe6962539e


  1. Surprised how easy my first day of ‘detox’ went.
  2. I woke up refreshed and smiling!
  3. This was easier than my attempt in Oct 2015.
  4. Why?
  5. I think is is because I know how awful it  feels to sink into the ‘sugar addiction’….again.
  6. I’m approaching this from a new angle using Aristotle’s  guidance and perspective.
  7. In chapters 2-7 Aristotle  teaches me how to be virtuous.
  8. Virtue is a state of character…not a passion, not a skill but a state.
  9. Types of virtues: intellectual and moral. Aristotle highlights the moral virtues.
  10. #NoSugar  must NOT be a mindless habit (Oct 2015)
  11. ….but a well thought out decision (prohairesis)
  12. This virtue is called ‘temperance’ (self-control) (ch 2)
  13. …which is difficult to achieve for ‘ ALL or NOTHING  Nancy.
  14. Aristotle told me on the first day:
  15. ….a person living a  eudaimonian life (happy) is NEVER miserable.
  16. Now, that was music to my ears!
  17. If Aristotle can teach me NOT to be depressed….I’m willing to listen!
  1. Aristotle explains in ch 2 we  must act for the sake of eudaimonia  (happiness)
  2. …and not for the sake of feeling noble, admirable or proud (kalon).
  3. Aristotle argues that a person lives  a eudaimonian life
  4. …if he possesses AND exercises the virtues of character.
  5. If you read a book as ‘philosophical’ as this one
  6. …it is easier to understand if you apply it to you life at the moment.
  7. #NoSugar + Aristotle + virtue of temperance (self-control)  =  eudaimonian life!


TEMPEANCE SELF-CONTROL CAT DOGS Aristotle 06a5ffa7a693b94d5a2332a325f72f01


Comment from Cleo: Classical Carousel
Great post, Nancy! I’m smiling as I type. I would say that Aristotle and Augustine are both good choices for mentors. Best of luck. I’m not certain how one can live in Europe and avoid sugar, but if I figure it out, I’ll let you know!
Nancy: Now, I have reached a state of eudaimonia already! Having made you smile is a ‘supreme good’ that I enjoy for it’s own sake. The feeling of eudaimonia (happiness) is complete because a smile is a smile and cannot be improved! (ch 1). Thanks so much for comment…it will help me get started on this difficult day. I’m sure to feel a major headache while I detox from sugar!

Comment from Brona: Brona’s Books Luck xo
Nancy: Thanks…..and Aristotle and St. Augustine send their love to ‘ Down Under’ !

Comment from Carol:  Journey-and-Destination:  Nancy, this is serious dedication to getting the most out of your reading! All the best with this.


  1. Core thoughts of Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics:
  2. Virtue ethics does not focus on actions being right or wrong,
  3. …but on how to be a good person.
  4. I enjoyed comparing Plato (teacher) and Aristotle (student).
  5. I wanted to learn all I could from Aristotle and
  6. …using his ideas for my #NoSugar challenge
  7. …helped me stay focused while reading  the book.
  8. You have to drag the wisdom into the 21th C and discover that
  9. ….human beings remain constant
  10. ….only the times around us change.

Last thoughts:

  1. Question that drives this book:
  2. what is the ‘supreme’ good or best good for human beings?
  3. Happiness. (eudaimonia)
  4. Now the hard question…what makes you happy?
  5. Every night I say to myself….“I’m still on planet eudaimonia”.

Score: 4




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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


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