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review 2017-11-18 20:04
Representation of Human: "The Odyssey" by Homer (translated by Robert Fitzgerald; read by Dan Stevens)
The Odyssey: The Fitzgerald Translation - Homer,Robert Fitzgerald,D. S. Carne-Ross

I humbly declare this book to be the greatest literary work of mankind. If you don't learn Greek (worth it just to read this Meisterwerk, never mind the rest of the immortal trove of Greek literature) you can read it in so many translations that have become classics in their own use of the English language, Fagles and Murray, just to mention two. Oh, what the Hades, let's throw in a third, not just for its brilliant translation, but also owing to the exotic character behind it: no less than Lawrence of Arabia.

 

The Homeric poems were sung in a less-enlightened time, in comparison with the later Greek tragedies, and with the later epics too. Apollonius' Argonautica was composed, post Greek Tragedy, and his audience would have been, no doubt, familiar with Euripides' Medea. Questions such as how justice and revenge affect societies were addressed by Aeschylus in the Oresteia; likewise, the reception of the anthropomorphic gods, and their pettiness, was raised by Euripides in Hippolytus and the Bacchae. Furthermore, the real nature and brutality of warfare was also raised in the Trojan Women. Throw in how one state views another state, and questions of racial identity, and you have The Persians by Aeschylus, and Medea by Euripides. Additionally, if you include Philoctetes by Sophocles, and the issue of how youth should conduct themselves is also raised. If you consider, too, Ajax by Sophocles, and you find that the bloodthirsty myths of an earlier age are filtered through questions that C5 Athenian society faced. What is better, the brute force of an unsophisticated Ajax, or the sophistry and rhetorical arguments of Odysseus in Ajax? By the time we arrive at Virgil, and The Aenied, brutal events such as the death of Priam by Neoptolemus in Aeneid Book II, are tempered with a more enlightened approach. Neoptolemus is condemned for killing Priam, and rightly so, as mercy is important, and exemplifies the Romanitas of 'Sparing the humble, and conquering the proud'. However, Aeneas doesn't show mercy in his killing of Turnus at the end of Book XII.

 

 

If you're into Greek Literature, read on.

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review 2017-10-03 17:23
The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone - Dudley Fitts,Sophocles,Robert Fitzgerald

Perhaps second only to Shakespeare and Moliere in depicting his characters' inner life on stage. This translation is as good as a strictly literal one in giving us the playwright's voice while maintaining his meaning.

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review 2017-09-24 12:22
Bring back the 20ies
Flappers and Philosophers - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Flappers and Philosophers is a collection of 8 short stories written by Fitzgerald (as a matter of fact, it is the first collection of short stories written by him). For some reason I am much more drawn to shorter, more compact writings at the moment – maybe that’s what I got from spending every day for over a month working on Čechov. I don’t know.

 

Although Flappers and Philosophers has it’s many flaws, Fitzgeralds writing is – for the most part – immensely beautiful. I was originally thinking about making a collection instead of a review, giving you the most beautiful sentence of each story, but then – who am I to decide.

 

My problem with many of the stories was that there was hardly a character to relate to. All of the selfish, superficial and snobbish girls and boys (excuse me, I meant ladies and gentlemen) acted like spoiled and bored kids and most of them felt the same, especially the female characters – and the fact that almost every single one of them has grey eyes did not help either (at the same time I am aware of the fact that Fitzgerald was obviously trying to portrait exactly THIS kind of person, so I cannot blame him for that).

 

Now, overall, there are certain elements that will definitely stick with me, but somehow Flappers and Philosophers left me unsatisfied. I guess, I was expecting something less superficial and more elaborate, if that makes any sense at all regarding short stories.

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text 2017-09-23 13:42
Reading progress update: I've read 167 out of 216 pages.
Flappers and Philosophers - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Well, well, well.

A lot was happening for me in the past weeks, so reading for fun was taking the back seat, but I think I am getting back on track now.

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text 2017-08-24 11:32
Reading progress update: I've read 35 out of 216 pages.
Flappers and Philosophers - F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Lie to me by the moonlight. Do a fabulous story."

 

…and what a fabulous story The Offshore Pirate is!

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