ZYTARUK: My book, my Kilimanjaro

Column writer shares sage platitudes on getting the job done, eventually

So let it be written…

Do you have a book collecting dust on your night table?

I do. It’s called Concluding Unscientific Postscript, and was published by Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard in 1846, translated into English in 1941, and the latter version is what I’m reading. Sometimes.

I have the 550-page book dog-earred at page 282. It was on the reading list of a university course I was enrolled in, and considering I got my BA in 1989, I may well be approaching a world record for the longest time it’s taken anyone to read a book. And I’m only a little ways over half-way through. It works out to about 40 days per 380 words read, I think.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s very interesting. It’s just that it’s such dense reading that, once I make it through a page and a half or so, I’m riding the snooze balloon to dreamland.

The idea here is, never give up. Finish what you started.

Sure, I’m entirely blowing things out of proportion by suggesting this, but I consider my encounter with this book to be my own personal Kilimanjaro, a mountain in Tanzania that I will certainly never climb. But I will conquer Concluding Unscientific Postscript one day, and I will use Kilimanjaro as, I think, a fine metaphor for my struggle with finishing this book. Having never been to Kilimanjaro, or Africa for that matter, I might be wrong but it’s my understanding that the ascent to the summit of this world-class mountain doesn’t involve ropes and spikes, but rather an eternal slog uphill.

Here’s a random excerpt: “When the question of truth is raised in an objective manner, reflection is directed objectively to the truth, as an object to which the knower is related. Reflection is not focussed upon the relationship, however, but upon the question of whether it is the truth to which the knower is related. If only the object to which he is related is the truth, the subject is accounted to be in the truth…”

And, wait for it, Boom — snooze balloon. Right? If you’re wanting to catch some quick winks, it’s very effective. Like watching golf on television, televised legislative assembly debates, or darts tournaments. Yawn.

Still, I won’t give up on Kierkegaard. Some might call it being stubborn, but I like to think of it in terms of celebrating my indomitable spirit. Ahem.

Yes, it’s important to never give up. Like Captain Nesmith says in Galaxy Quest, “Never give up — never surrender.” Incidentally, Churchill said something to that effect, too.

And I’ll share another little nugget of wisdom with you: Better late than never.

Also, don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Therefore, once I’ve finished reading Kierkegaard’s book, next in line is Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. That’s another book I should have read in university, but only had time to skim.

Better late than never, right? And it’s only 798 pages, too. Wish me luck.

So let it be done.

tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

MOST READ: Surrey RCMP are looking for 47-year-old Audra Jager

Reports say she is easily confused and disoriented because of previous head injury.

Hawthorne Park decision could come from Surrey City Council tonight

Failed petition will be presented to municipal politicians

Information flows following White Rock’s water-utility-price agreement

Critics ‘have egg on their face’ following announcement, says mayor

Former Langley roadbuilder faces fraud sentencing

A judge will weigh the fate of Matthew Brooks, who pleaded guilty to a $6 million fraud.

Delta staff to review ice arena refrigeration systems

Safety check comes after an ammonia leak killed three people at Fernie Memorial Arena on Oct. 17

WATCH: Speedskaters race at Langley Sportsplex

The first big local meeting of the season drew 105 skaters.

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Surrey francophone group marks 30th anniversary with concert, exhibit

Montreal-based jazz singer Florence K will perform at Surrey City Hall theatre

Development cost charges could triple in parts of Metro Vancouver under new proposal

Utilities commission chair says rates aren’t keeping up with growth

Ferries re-routed due to fluid spill at Nanaimo’s Duke Point

At least one sailing from Tsawwassen to Duke Point was redirected to Departure Bay

‘Angels’ help save life of Langley senior

Wilf Driedger believes he wouldn’t be here today if not for the quick action of two strangers

Chilliwack homeless camp dismantled on Monday

Mostly co-operative group emerged from the woods with possessions and dispersed

Most Read