LITERATURE: The Consolation of Philosophy – POV

I’ve strayed in faithful reading of Boethius’ Consolation in that I have felt too personally in need of the lessons, therefore, thinking that my interest and my understanding of it was taken in a selfish way rather than for the wisdom it imparts of all mankind.  It was unfair, I felt, to judge and comprehend the reading with the evident taint of this personal desire to seek meaning.

However, in reading more of Philosophy’s reply to Boethius, I discovered that the presentation of the book in first person point of view may necessarily be a ploy for that very reason.  Boethius, as author, already knows both sides of the conversation, is indeed responsible for the voice of Philosophy herself.  He knows where it will lead–even as it leads him in his thinking.  This is not a diary or simple journal to himself; it is meant for furthering the understanding of man and theory.  Using this first person makes it a personal story, and yet, with our knowledge of POV, we understand that it brings the reader in.  Very often the first person POV–to me at any rate–is most annoying as it does not relate to my own character traits or place and state of being.  Reading "I" and disagreeing with it can unsettle the mind.

So then, I can more readily accept the reading if I, along with Boethius, are in this conversation with Philosophy together:

"First," Philosophy said, "will you let me test your present attitude with a few questions, so that I can decide on a way to cure you?"  (p. 14)

"Yes,"  Boethius and I reply.

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