Hazhir Teimourian

Wise Words

What is Good? The Search for the Best Way to Live


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 241pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

How APPROPRIATE THAT I should be reading this survey of ideas about the good life in Western history here in Greece, where the everyday philosophising of Homo sapiens was first raised to the level of formal discussion in academies and given the name of philosophy. Furthermore, as you watch the local people with their relaxed lifestyles, you cannot help but reflect on the qualities of the ideal life yourself. In the hot afternoons, under canopies of vines and mulberry trees, young couples whisper their own versions of eternal truths to each other over glasses of beer and Kalamata olives (favourites of Herodotus), before going for a long splash in the clear waters, while their elders take a snooze on a shaded balcony or play backgammon – a Persian borrowing – in the alleyways.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,
    • 'I did occasionally wonder whether Rupert Murdoch ... might have instructed his editors at William Collins to produ… ,