Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin

Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin

by Ann Patty


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101980231
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/06/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 887,477
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Ann Patty worked in New York trade publishing for more than thirty years. She was the founder and publisher of The Poseidon Press and an executive editor at Crown Publishers and Harcourt. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York.

Reading Group Guide

1. Patty makes a strong case for taking on something new and challenging in retirement. Do you agree? Is there value in hard work for its own sake?
2. What reasons other than love of words and language might one have for learning Latin? Do you think learning a new language helps you see the world through new eyes?
3. How do you see Patty’s relationship with her mother changing over the course of her studies?
4. One of Patty’s yoga teachers says, “You cannot change your future, you can only change your past.” How do you interpret this enigmatic statement?
5. Patty calls one of her ex-husbands her Ablative Absolute, a person unrelated to the main story of her life. Do you have any Ablative Absolutes in your own life?
6. Latin is still the official language of the Vatican, a sovereign state. What is the value of a “dead” language? Does it help welcome all nationalities into the church, because the language transcends nationality and belongs to everyone?
7.  The study of Latin has decreased greatly since Vatican II, when the church directed priests to celebrate mass in the language of the country where they lived rather than in Latin. What has the church gained and lost by doing this?
8. Do you think the study of Latin should once again be part of any educated person’s curriculum? Do you think knowledge of Latin might improve our advertising, media, and political discourse?

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