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Author Topic: Myth and Literature  (Read 2069 times)
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« on: April 16, 2007, 08:48:16 PM »

How has the literature of the past influenced the works of today?
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TrojanHorse
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2007, 10:41:07 AM »

No St. John's alums online here?  this would be easy pickings for one of them...
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barton
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 01:09:34 PM »

The Miller's Tale, by Chaucer, established the importance of the fart in humorous narrative.
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 12:16:34 PM »

While the myth of Sisyphus first addressed the rigors of the boring day job.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 10:21:18 AM »

The Miller's Tale, by Chaucer, established the importance of the fart in humorous narrative.

... and Ben Franklin eloquantly built upon the theme in,

http://www.amazon.com/Fart-Proudly-Writings-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/1583940790/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-9042347-4177625?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181226055&sr=1-1
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barton
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2007, 10:22:04 AM »

from the above link:

A mention of flatulence might conjure images of bratty high school boys or lowbrow comics. But one of the most eloquent - and least expected - commentators on the subject is Benjamin Franklin. The writings in Fart Proudly reveal the rogue who lived peaceably within the philosopher and statesman. Included are "The Letter to a Royal Academy"; "On Choosing a Mistress"; "Rules on Making Oneself Disagreeable"; and other jibes. Franklin's irrepressible wit found an outlet in perpetrating hoaxes, attacking marriage and other sacred cows, and skewering the English Parliament. Reminding us of the humorous, irreverent side of this American icon, these essays endure as both hilarious satire and a timely reminder of the importance of a free press.

Mention of flatulence also conjures recent derailments of the Creative Writing forum, said derailments perhaps reflecting a certain ennui with the present storyline, such as it is.



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whiskeypriest
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 10:41:56 AM »

The Miller's Tale, by Chaucer, established the importance of the fart in humorous narrative.
As does the Creative Writing forum.

Though in point of fact, The Cuckoo Song ("Bullock stirreth, Buck verdeth" - verdeth being a form of the word fart) predates Canterbury Tales by a bit.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2007, 10:43:34 AM by whiskeypriest » Logged

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barton
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2007, 01:37:40 PM »

Just occurred to me this forum could be called,

Menander Where You May


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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 02:59:40 PM »

I'm curious about the tale of Orpheus/Orfee/Orfeo (depending on what language) since seeing Gluck's glorious Orfeo ed Eurydice.

In one book there are versions of what happens to him after losing Euriidice (again spelling varies according to language); one book has it he was torn apart by furies by preaching homosexuality and angering Apollo.  I didn't read that he was torn apart by the Furies after he looked back on Eurydice which seems to be the most common consensus.

Four operas have been written about this myth and several movies.  It is a powerful myth that resonates up to this date, which explains Mark Morris' modern interpretation of the opera with the chorus dressed from Cleopatra to Diana and all points inbetween.

Any recommends on good books that go into mythology in a readable form? My Folio Society two-part set is impossible to follow for all the beauty of the tomes.  It may be time to go back to Edith Hamilton.
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barton
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2007, 10:44:34 AM »

Hey, Lulu's back in town!

I think Bulfinch wrote an accessible tome on mythology.  Hamilton is good, too.  I'm sure there are others.
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madupont
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2007, 06:34:45 PM »

I'm going to try for this: New fertility has changed the mind to indicate the bodily shape.

I like it better in Latin.
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2007, 11:14:37 PM »

"In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora ..."

Animus would be spirit or soul rather than mind.  Ovid's choice of the word "formas" is interesting.  It can mean  shape, form or beauty. 

The word "dicere" is interesting, too.  The addition of "ere" gives the sense of the appropriateness of the act.  The word was spoken (to create) because it suited the speaker of the word (the god who created).

Similar to the idea of the Genesis creation, "it was good..."



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madupont
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 11:19:46 AM »

Dicere  -- also, indicates;(another Latin word). I could go with "form the body" but I don't think that Ovid was speaking of the specifically Human but of bodily shapes or configuration.

I prefered not to go with "mentis":mind, nor with "alma":soul, nor "spiritus" because animus implies something more activiting --perhaps, instinctual.

I have to do that because Ovid was not Christian. As one of the Pagan Poets, you can or not interpret him as prefiguring Christianity as you prefer.

I don't(as I even am dubious of Paul taking over the business); at least, in the sense of Pauline doctrinaire as just so much inherent Legalistic baggage left over as Rome declines for the next half millenium.

What do you make of the  of "In nova...", rather than Im nova ?   It is almost as if implying that what transpires does not come from within but is an external.

Which means that I would trade you "fert", as inspiring--or perhaps, inspiration, inspiriting animus which changes form.

As I said, what really perturbs me, is that I am quite fine with perceiving the meaning in Latin as the better choice to begin with. Trying to English it, is like Talmud peering where jots and tittles signify the intent of the Almighty through the commentary.  With Ovid, thank gods, it is only literature.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 11:52:36 AM »

I think "in nova" was a deliberate choice, as it implies something outside...a greater force imposing its will.  My reference to "it was good" was not to imply that Ovid had anything to do with Christianity (although the Genesis creation is Jewish...which existed long before Ovid)...I meant that this passage in Ovid had a similar feeling to the one in Genesis.

I think the idea of "dicere" here is that of calling forth....as the god called forth beauty (or order) out of chaos.

Ovid doesn't go this far back, but I like the image of Gaia wrestling with Chaos.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2007, 12:14:27 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
madupont
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 12:37:52 PM »

Not bad, Gaia and Chaos would symbolize as a cultural parallel of Origins
--at a time when the Eastern Mediterranean did have commercial contact.

So is this sample of Ovid, from Metamorphoses, since the line above speaks of mythological transmutations?

I believe that, in his early perception, he was speaking as one would of "Evolution"; but he may also see it as unconstrained by Time, as a more magical whimsy of the gods who do as they please because after all Ovid's work contributed to Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.
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