Literature

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Ross
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Re: Literature

Post by Ross » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:29 pm

I like the Richmond Lattimore translation, but it’s one of the more difficult ones.

One of the big takeaways from the epic, I believe, has to do with humans being in a position where they cannot have it all. You must sacrifice something great in order to receive something great, and the sacrifice may or may not be of your own choosing.

Achilles and most of the other Greek heroes had joined the expedition against Troy so that their names would achieve immortality. In a culture that was virtually pre-literate (yes, Linear B was around, but few would have been trained in it), a person would likely be forgotten after four or five generations unless their name was attached to a story that their descendants were proud to tell and retell. The retelling of such a story would often be prompted by the admiration of a family heirloom in the form of a war trophy. Without the war trophy, there was no proof that you had accomplished anything great in a war, and nothing to prompt the telling of your story after you had died.

Unfortunately, going on a military expedition dramatically decreased the probability that you would live a long life. The Trojan War presented many of the region’s best warriors with a choice: (1) Earn a potentially immortal name but live a short life, depriving your loved ones of your presence, or (2) stay at home with your loved ones where it is safe, but accomplish nothing that would be told in story-songs throughout the ages. Enjoying both options are simply not on the table. So which ought to be pursued?

When Agamemnon took away one of Achilles’ war prizes (the captured girl Briseis), Achilles understood that Agamemnon was asserting a right to take another warrior’s immortal name (“undying glory” it is sometimes referred to) even after it had been earned by the warrior. It meant that he was sacrificing a long life at home with his family for nothing. He therefore decides to stay out of the fight until his return is demanded. Yet the time away from battle leads him to decide in favor of a long life with family even when the Greeks do beg for his return.

Achilles, as it should turn out, will not return to battle until he learns of the death of his beloved friend Patroclus. Achilles’ decision to remain out of the fight had cost him the life of his closest companion, and now Achilles will fight for a different reason: rage! The loss of Patroclus has wiped out completely the concern either for long life or undying glory. Now he fights purely out of a mixture of anger and grief, disregarding any personal gain.

The desire to be remembered for greatness after death.
The desire to live a long life surrounded by loved ones.
Anger/grief resulting from the death of a loved one.

These are three incredibly powerful motivators that shape each and every human at different stages of life. But finding the balance...knowing which motivator is to reign supreme at any given point...especially when life actually forces you to decide!...that is an incredibly hard call. But that is, in part, the lot that has been left for us mortals.

Homer’s Iliad is absolutely amazing, and the above thoughts hardly tap into the wealth that is intended to be mined from it. (Keep an eye out for what it says about the relationship between fathers and sons! It breaks my heart just thinking about it.)

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Miras
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Re: Literature

Post by Miras » Sat Feb 29, 2020 5:19 pm

You are right Ross. It´s not a bad book :D .

I have finished it today and The Oddyssey won´t be waiting for long. And, oh yes, I already know it will be some time before description of Odysseus fantastic voyage begins and that it isn´t covering most of the story. I´ts almost like learning that majority of Kamasutra isn´t actually about sex positions or that Jungle Books are collection of stories, many of them having nothing to do with Mowgli or even with India sometimes. Basically: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bYlxqWRe3M

Except of this classical piece of literature I also recently completed the less serious part of my Greek project, original Percy Jackson penthalogy by Rick Riordan. It is great testament to author´s both writing skills and his affectionate nature as a father, given the series origin. I am not going to automatically jump to four sequel/spin-off series, but I´m not ruling it out in the future. For some further commentaries you can listen to YouTuber James Tullos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTJpAu4GlOo
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KrystalA
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Re: Literature

Post by KrystalA » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:32 am

Wow, you both know more about my heritage then I do lol

Ross
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Re: Literature

Post by Ross » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:43 pm

Krystal: If you haven’t yet read the Iliad and Odyssey, then you are in for a treat!

Miras: About the Odyssey, I’ll just say, pay careful attention to Eumaios the Swineherd. The kind of person he represents is very important. There is a very good reason the narrator addresses him directly as “leader of men.” It’s so good!

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Miras
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Re: Literature

Post by Miras » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:23 am

Ross wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:43 pm
Miras: About the Odyssey, I’ll just say, pay careful attention to Eumaios the Swineherd. The kind of person he represents is very important. There is a very good reason the narrator addresses him directly as “leader of men.” It’s so good!
OK, thank you for the advice!
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Miras
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The Recommendation and the Request

Post by Miras » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:32 am

I have today something little to talk about and something to ask for.

Well, I have read only like a third of it so far, but I can safely say that Killing It by Asia Mackay is fine mix of action, intrigue and humor as it tells story of Alexis Tyler, who is trying to live uneasy combination of motherhood and the life of professional agent and assassin. Here it was published under the title "Mommie the killer". I bought it to my mother for Christmas.

Now, I would like to read your opinion about something. While there is undoubtedly a large selection, I need to recommend some good story (can be a one novel or series) about RAF pilots during WWII. Does it ring any bells? Thank you in advance!
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Miras
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The English project

Post by Miras » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:59 pm

So, more than a week ago my Greek project has ended with me finally beating Herodotus, just like greeks have beaten the Persians! Well, now, I am oficially starting the English project, which will consist out of following items:

Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory


Great Tales from English History
by Robert Lacey, this is great collection of eloquently written historical episodes, from the prehisotrical findings to discovery of DNA.

Based on the discussion on this thread I´m doing my first reread of The Lord of the Rings.

Nebesti jezdci (The Sky Riders) by Filip Jansky the novel about our pilots in RFA during WWII.

Accompanying of the Arthurian theme, I also intend to watch these seven movies:

The Sword in the Stone

Camelot (1967 musical)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Excalibur (1981)


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (It´s a bad movie, but it´s also fun)


Hellboy (2019, rewatch, already taken)


The Kid Who Would Be King (rewatch)
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KrystalA
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Re: The English project

Post by KrystalA » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:04 pm

Miras wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:59 pm
So, more than a week ago my Greek project has ended with me finally beating Herodotus, just like greeks have beaten the Persians! Well, now, I am oficially starting the English project, which will consist out of following items:

Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory


Great Tales from English History
by Robert Lacey, this is great collection of eloquently written historical episodes, from the prehisotrical findings to discovery of DNA.

Based on the discussion on this thread I´m doing my first reread of The Lord of the Rings.

Nebesti jezdci (The Sky Riders) by Filip Jansky the novel about our pilots in RFA during WWII.

Accompanying of the Arthurian theme, I also intend to watch these seven movies:

The Sword in the Stone

Camelot (1967 musical)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Excalibur (1981)


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (It´s a bad movie, but it´s also fun)


Hellboy (2019, rewatch, already taken)


The Kid Who Would Be King (rewatch)
Wow that is a great list of booka to read. I just got in the mail my very own copy of Iliad!! Going to start reading it before bed. Goal is 1 chapter per night

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Miras
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Re: The English project

Post by Miras » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:39 am

KrystalA wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:04 pm
Miras wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:59 pm
So, more than a week ago my Greek project has ended with me finally beating Herodotus, just like greeks have beaten the Persians! Well, now, I am oficially starting the English project, which will consist out of following items:

Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory


Great Tales from English History
by Robert Lacey, this is great collection of eloquently written historical episodes, from the prehisotrical findings to discovery of DNA.

Based on the discussion on this thread I´m doing my first reread of The Lord of the Rings.

Nebesti jezdci (The Sky Riders) by Filip Jansky the novel about our pilots in RFA during WWII.

Accompanying of the Arthurian theme, I also intend to watch these seven movies:

The Sword in the Stone

Camelot (1967 musical)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Excalibur (1981)


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (It´s a bad movie, but it´s also fun)


Hellboy (2019, rewatch, already taken)


The Kid Who Would Be King (rewatch)
Wow that is a great list of booka to read. I just got in the mail my very own copy of Iliad!! Going to start reading it before bed. Goal is 1 chapter per night
Thank you and enjoy your Troyan journey...
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Ross
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Re: Literature

Post by Ross » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:12 am

Congratulations completing Herodotus! It’s a great work and another favorite of mine. “Soft lands make soft men.”

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