Wednesday, September 13, 2006

hesiod vs. homer

[or is it Lattimore vs. Fagles?]

like i said, i'm reading a lot and i'm in the middle of Hesiod's Theogony [trans. Richard Lattimore look here .]

i just finished "The Works and Days," which i had read about in an amazon review [not one of kevin's ] "as very boring and about farming and stuff." <---loosely quoted.

so i wasn't expecting much... but what i got i fell in love with and here is an excerpt for you:

I mean you well, Perses, you great idiot,
and I will tell you.
Look, badness is easy to have, you can take it
by handfuls
without effort. The road that way is smooth
and starts here beside you.
But between us and virture the immortals have put
what will make us
sweat. The road to virtue is long
and goes steep uphill,
hard climbing at first, but the last of it,
when you get to the summit
(if you get there) is easy going after the hard part.


do i prefer the boiotian epic to the homeric?

i might.

i've always had a love for instructional poems. i like to be bossed around by work. and i like directness: i'm not one for small talk. [but maggie is working on this].

it seems to me... so far in my reading of Hesiod... that he refrains from "listing"... that, yes, there is a list... but it is more of a do this, do that [idiot] poem. the moments in the illiad and the odyssey [and the Holy Bible] where soldiers / tribes are listed for twenty pages... or the ships... those parts are really hard for me to sit through. and i realize that these lists are rich with history and culture... but with homer and the bible... i just want to get to the action.

with hesiod...

well. there is action in stillness. a suspended momentum.

but that's not really explaining it... it is more like seeing rapidly moving molecules that are moving so ... that they initially... seem unmoving.

ack... i'll try later.

after theogony.

[i'm home sick. i got this flu that had me achey and weak for 9 days, went away for 2, and returned with a very sore throat and stuffed up head.]


the easy and quick love i have for hesiod [or lattimore... which... i asked one of my employees who got a BA in classics which translators i should look at... because ever since my latin teacher suggested fagles and lattimore i haven't strayed... and he looked at me like ... 'translators? there are so many' ... and at first i thought... wow.... he doesn't care about this at all... and then i realized... he is his own translator. for the most part. but still...]

i do not have for Plato's Phaedrus. and i don't know if it is Plato or if it is me. but we always have trouble with each other. first... the Republic i found both frightening and hilarious and ... real [see how the CSU system is not so interested in the Arts anymore]... and again with Phaedrus.

i hesitate to mention the actual topic on our blog because of the sitemeter hits that will start bringing folks over [it is funny when it is "lesbian" but... this topic... i have a fear for the imagined safety of our blog neighborhood.]...

so... here: phaedrus .

my modern self coupled with my 300 + years of N. American Protestantism has issues with the text.

and, yeah, i do find it really funny. too. but difficult to surrender my disturbed self to.


Logan Ryan Smith said...

hope you feel better. hope it's not bird flu.

Anonymous said...

great ..thanks for sharing.....

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