The Golden Mean

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The Golden Mean

Unread postby willow » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:22 pm

The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon
304 pages

The Golden Mean is about Aristotle, told from his prospective, and covers his time spent in Macedon tutoring Alexander. The story also includes several accounts of Aristotles early life and child hood, as well as a chapter about his going to the Athenian Accadamy and meeting Plato. Its fascinating reading for a ficton book and provides an interesting take on the inner workings of one of Greeces great minds. I had to laugh at the simplicity of some of the views expressed based on there ancient knowledge. Aristotle agreeing with the Hypocratic medical theory of 4 primary humours or bodily fluids. It frames the man and Alexander as intelligent, curious, thoughtful if occassionaly callous and determined. I think perhaps the central theme of the book is the idea of the "golden mean" the best balance of opposites and extremes within an individual or application, a major dirivation from Plato and his ideas of abosolute ideal forms etc. relativism against universalism. Alexanders extension of Aristotles idea to people, combining aspects of Plato is an interesting one, that all peoples are variations of the same "ideal" human form, consisting of various extremes and opposites. A good person is one who finds the golden mean between the various extremes within human nature. ... +Mean%2527

From the Publisher wrote:An acclaimed Canadian short-story writer's breakout first novel, which vividly imagines the friendship between the philosopher Aristotle and the young Alexander the Great.

As The Golden Mean opens, Aristotle must postpone his dream of succeeding Plato at the Academy in Athens when he is forced to tutor Alexander, a prince of Macedon. At first the philosopher is appalled at living in the brutal backwater of his childhood, but soon he is drawn to the boy's intellectual potential and his capacity for surprise. But is Aristotle's mind any match for the warrior culture that is Alexander's birthright?

Told in the frank, earthy and engaging voice of Aristotle himself, and bringing to life a little known time and place, The Golden Mean traces the true story of this remarkable friendship. With sensual and muscular prose, Lyon reveals how Aristotle's genius influenced the boy who would conquer the known world.
dirty work... the right google key words...
-willow 07/22/09
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Re: The Golden Mean

Unread postby Zo3R3tZo » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:44 pm

This one sounds interesting. I should probably read it, and come back to this page with a longer post/reply. For now though, here is an extra link to look at:

The Gazette wrote:Writing good historical fiction is a tightrope act. Readers are not only drawn in by a convincing rendition of the past, but are also searching for reflections and echoes of their own era and preoccupations. Whether posing the eternally relevant question of what it means to live a virtuous life, detailing the gory details of an ancient battle scene or probing the relationship between master and student, Lyon authoritatively evokes a fabled time and place in the urbane and dry voice of the man judged the smartest of his age. Aside from a couple of jarring lapses into present-day diction (a discussion on rainbows “morphs” into a geometry lesson; Alexander lacks “boundaries”), this is a pitch perfect, even dazzling debut novel.

Last edited by Zo3R3tZo on Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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