Classics

"those books in which a language presents the essential of its forms and its powers. A book that is a totality."

(Jacques Ranciere. The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation Trans. by Kristin Ross, Stanford: Stanford UP, 1991 (20))

But we must also include objects and events "in which a [material culture] presents the essential of its forms and its powers." This notion too is supported by Ranciere and Jacotot, for things and events are works of intelligence. Intelligence descends through generations by means of language and material culture, including things and processes.

Hence, this is not strictly a great books program, but a great works program. It constitutes a study of signs of intelligent life.

Some likely books:
Plato's Republic and Kropotkin's Fields, Factories and Workshops

Some likely things:
a cathedral
a hammer

Some likely events:
Woodstock and Burning Man
The internet

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