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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Association. Volume 40, Number 3. March 14, 1977.

Pols 301

Pols 301

This course is loosely organised around the subject of Political Community, but was converted last year to the exclusive study of Plato's Republic. Dr. Reinken conceives his course entirely as it suits him, and with only periodic concessions (if the seminarians don't force their way) to the presence of others spiels on about whatever takes his fancy. These are often not so much seminars of Reinken's as a group of disciples gathered around the Dalai Lama adoringly awaiting the next instalments of the Dhukor Wangchen, or so he seems to see it. Though resembling the Buddha in some respects his [unclear: augaging], eccentric, electric style of presentation provides much entertainment but only fragmentary enlightenment, quite the reverse of his prototype.

This course involved last year (it's hard to say what It'll be like in '77) only a reading of the Republic from a group of four books in the course outline. The others were mentioned once or twice while passing from a comparism of medieval and modern American plumbing to the use of incrementalism in The Lord of the Rings. I doubt everybody in the course has finished the Republic, we all had to do seminars on it but most of these were taken from the beginning of the book. Perhaps this suggests that some others didn't like it, one or two thought it was terrific. The content goes far beyond political science to aesthetics, metaphysics and psychology, though the political consequences or significance of various ideas is stressed.

This is an unusual Pols course, recommended for anyone who wants a few months with an urbane and amusing cherub; wants to have an excellent (extra-political) understanding of the Republic; and wishes to have civilised and jocular seminars with coffee, tea, biscuits, cheese and pickles.

This is not one of the Gray gang's sinister 'structuralist' courses, it is loosely constructed, (or gives that appearance, perhaps there's method...) and allows plenty of latitude for cerebral gymnastics, suitable for the enthusiastic and arguementative, the fleet and broad-thoughted. Some people have complained of the good Doctor that he is hopelessly unintelligible, a maniacal nit-picking egocentric and pointy-headed obscurantist, but though these criticisers for letting themselves become intimidated and bogged down by Reinken's novel presentation.

—Mark Carey