Rebecca Washecheck's Reviews > On the Shortness of Life

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
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Feb 02, 11

Read in February, 2011

I was wary of this, as a sexily recovered, retitled thing that looks like something you'd read on a train to look clever--but it really is a wholesome anthology of 3 essays and letters from the justly beloved Seneca.

Deeply satisfying and soothing advice, tremendously timeless (if you set aside issues like forums and slaves, or find a good metaphor to translate these), and as peaceful as watching The Frugal Gourmet was when I was tiny--I feel like Seneca is the sage parent we all wish we had, who has both a kind word and a bracing slap on the back to offer.

His style and the translation of it are very lovely, crisp, lucid, and modern. If only all thinkers were such good writers. If only Kant had written like this. If only we all did.
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