Thursday, December 23, 2010

word: hubris

- Presumption, originally towards the gods; pride, excessive self-confidence. (per the OED)

I've been reading The Passage by Justin Cronin, but I decided to take a break from it last night because I haven't been sleeping all that well lately (because of the book? who knows). The Passage is described as "postapocalyptic vampire fantasy," but I think that's false advertising. I'm around page 200 now (it's a monster of a book, edging 800 pages). I wouldn't describe it as fantasy (more like near-future scifi). I'd say "dystopian future" rather than "postapocalyptic," but maybe the Apocalypse is forthcoming? In any case it is very dark and as the story progresses it keeps revealing all these horrible things that have happened to the characters. I'm persevering because the novel is supposed to be really good and I want to see where it's going, but I needed a bit of a break from it.

In any case, I decided to read the second Percy Jackson and the Olympians book, The Sea of Monsters (see my post on book 1). In it, Annabeth (one of the secondary characters) learns that hubris is her fatal flaw. In explaining hubris to Percy (who confused hubris with hummus), she says: "Don't you ever feel that way? Like you could do a better job if you ran the world?" (200). While I don't see myself in the dictionary definition of hubris, I can definitely relate to Annabeth.

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