eng Educated memoirs
This book I took with so to say, 'thin motivation' to my reading program, just to have another language in my collection. But soon enough it turned out that the book would be a grain of gold as a model for my own memoirs. Not only as a skeleton of subjects to be handled, but also as the spirit of approach to the matter. Even I have got an academic lifelong background, even if by far not as glorious as the author of this book Johan Louis Ussing (1820-1905). And my daughters are pressing me to write memoirs as soon as possible. Then it turned out that these my personal points of motivation remained in the background and the story itself became preponderant. A piece of Danish history, of Scandinavian history with a pinch of history of Finland, even if then Autonomous Grand Duchy belongin to the Russian Empire. But above all this book is a piece of general cultural history from the point of view of humanitarian sciences.
At first I was astonished of the geat emphasis given to Greek and Latin, predominantly Geek language during the latter half of 19th century. It seems that these dead languages had the undisputed position of lingua franca as the language of academic life as it today belongs to the English language. In this book there are unashamed quotations, luckily short only, written in Greek, the ancient Greek, as I undestood. Being an amateur linguist myself, I have no touch point, not to speak of surface with these languages. No idea of how do relate the Ancient and Modern Greek. Does one understand the other by the mere knowledge of the other, as I understand Danish on the basis of my fluent Swedish?
Still to be mentioned as the subject matters of this book are material proofs of the Ancient culture, as the root of our present. That is: the statues and lithographs on the spot. Particularly at the beginning of his Academic career J.L. Ushing made several trips and stayed longer periods in Greekland and Italy. Notorious things at that time as is common tourism today. At a Christmas celebration in Rome the famous Finnish sculptor Walther Runeberg is mentioned. I just saw in my foto collection the picture of his grave stone in the Protestant Graveyard of Rome, where also my compatriot and alleged relative, the second most famous Finnish sculptor Johannes Takanen is enterred. Vita e lavori
This book deserves all five stars from the point of view of my personal connections, otherwise even four would do.