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review 2018-02-01 00:00
Ο εκκλησιαστής
Ο εκκλησιαστής - Anonymous,Θάνος Σαμαρτζ... Ο εκκλησιαστής - Anonymous,Θάνος Σαμαρτζής,Μαριλένα Καραμολέγκου
Κατόπι είδα τα έργα μου,
όσα φτιάξαν τα χέρια μου,
όσα δώσαν οι κόποι μου.
Και είδα: όλα ανώφελα·
κυνήγι του ανέμου.
Στο βάθος του έργου υπόκειται το memento mori, η πανταχού παρούσα παροδικότητα του ματαιότης ματαιοτήτων, τίποτα δεν αντιστέκεται στο θάνατο και στη φθορά που επιφέρει. Ένα άκρως υπαρξιακό κείμενο που φέρνει στο νου την Ερωφίλη του Χορτάτση και τον πρόλογο του Χάρου:
[...]ποιος εκ τσ' ανθρώπους τσι μικρούς να ελπίζει
πλιό τυχαίνει
σε δόξες, πλούτη και τιμές, κι οπίσω τως
να πηαίνει;
Φτωχοί, τ' αρπάτε, φεύγουσι, τα σφίγγετε,
πετούσι,
τα περμαζώνετε, σκορπού, τα κτίζετε, χαλούσι.
Σα σπίθα σβήνει η δόξα σας, τα πλούτη σας
σα σκόνη
σκορπούσινε και χάνουνται, και τ' όνομά σας
λειώνει
σα να 'το με τη χέρα σας γραμμένο
σ' περιγιάλι
στη διάκριση τση θάλασσας[...]
Η δυναμική της αστάθειας της ανθρώπινης μοίρας, της προσωρινότητας, είναι σύνηθες θεματικό κέντρο και νομοτελειακό, από κοινού με τη μπαρόκ εμμονή στο θάνατο και τη ματαιότητα της ύπαρξης, ωστόσο ο Εκκλησιαστής βρίσκει το νόημα παρόλο το ανώφελο της ζωής, η ίδια η χαρά απαλύνει τον εφήμερο βίο.
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review 2018-01-13 02:07
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation - Seamus Heaney,Anonymous

The oldest epic poem in English follows the feats of its titular protagonist over the course of days and years that made him a legend among his clan, friends, and even enemies.  Beowulf was most likely orally transmitted before finally be written down several centuries later by an unknown Christian hand in Old English that today is readily accessible thanks to the translation by Seamus Heaney.

 

The epic tale of Beowulf begins in the mead hall of King Hrothgar of the Danes which is attacked by the monster Grendel for years.  Beowulf, upon hearing of Hrothgar’s plight, gathers fourteen companions and sails from Geatland to the land of the Danes.  Hrothgar welcomes the Geats and feasts them, attracting the attention of Grendel who attacks.  One of the Geats is killed before the monster and Beowulf battle hand-to-hand which ends with Beowulf ripping off Grendel’s arm.  The monster flees and bleeds out in the swamp-like lair shared with his mother.  Grendel’s mother attacks the mead hall looking for revenge and kills one of Hrothgar’s long-time friends.  Beowulf, his companions, Hrothgar, and others ride to the lair and Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother with a giant’s sword.  After another feast, the Geats return home and fifty years later, Beowulf is King when a dragon guarding a hoard of treasure is awakened by a thief and goes on a rampage.  Beowulf and younger chosen companions go to face the fiery serpent, but all but one of his companions flees after the King goes to face the foe.  However, the one young warrior who stays is able to help the old King defeat the dragon though he his mortally wounded.  It is this young warrior who supervises the dying Beowulf’s last wishes.

 

This is just a rough summary of a 3000 line poem that not only deals with Beowulf’s deeds but also the warrior culture and surprisingly the political insightfulness that many secondary characters talk about throughout the poem.  The poem begins and ends with funerals with warrior kings giving look at pagan worldview even as the unknown Christian poet tried to his best to hide it with references to Christian religiosity.  Although some say that any translation deprived the poem of the Old English rhyme and rhythm, the evolution of English in the thousand years since the poem was first put down in words means that unless one reads the original with a dictionary on hand, this poem would not be read.  Heaney’s translation gives the poem its original epicness while also allowing present day readers a chance to “hear” the story in their own language thus giving it new life.

 

Beowulf is one of the many epic poems that have influenced storytelling over the centuries.  Yet with its Scandinavian pagan oral roots and Christian authorship it is also a melding of two traditions that seem at odds yet together still create a power tale.  Unlike some high school or college course force students to read the Old England or so-so translated excerpts from the poem, Seamus Heaney’s book gives the reader something that will keep their attention and greatly entertain.

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text 2017-11-15 14:50
No sequel?!
Flesheaters and Bloodsuckers Anonymous - H.C. Hammond

 

That was a fun little romp about a vampire getting caught feeding and thrown in jail.

The feds show up and offer an undercover deal.

Join a group therapy to try to become 'normal' again and find out what happens to the 'graduates' or starve to death in jail and/or be toasted.

Enough gore for those so minded, but I don't think enough to gross too many readers out.

 

But what happened to the slug?

 

What do you mean 3?!

and it ends.

and I can't find a book 2.

Rude, I tell you, RUDE!

 

 

 

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url 2017-10-06 00:22
InD'tale Book Review of Incognito

Bouquets and Brickbats for Incognito by InD'tale.

Source: www.indtale.com/reviews/suspense-thriller/incognito
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review 2017-09-29 23:14
Gilgamesh: A New English Version
Gilgamesh: A New English Version - Stephen Mitchell,Anonymous

Almost 4800 years after his reign in the city of Uruk, Gilgamesh is still remembered not only in his native land but now around the world even though his native language is long forgotten.  In Stephen Mitchell’s English verse translation of Gilgamesh, the story of the demigod’s calming friendship with Enkidu and his quest to avoid his mortality.

 

The tale of Gilgamesh is not just about the king of Uruk, it is the tale of Enkidu and his civilizing by Shamhat, the friendship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh as well as their adventures, and finally the death of Enkidu that sends Gilgamesh in his vain search to stop death by asking the one man whom the gods made immortal.  Yet while several aspects of Gilgamesh are similar to later tales of Greek and Germanic origin, there are clear differences as well especially when it comes to Gilgamesh expressing his fear in the face of very dangers and ends with accepting his own mortality in the end.

 

Unfortunately, the story of Gilgamesh that we have is not as complete as it was 4000 years ago.  Several sections are fragmentary which Mitchell had to work around to make the book read well and keeping true to the narrative; in this he did a wonderful job.  Yet, in a book that has around 300 pages only 123 covers the epic itself which while not dishonest is surprising about how short the tale is and how much analysis Mitchell provides the reader before and notes after.

 

Gilgamesh: A New English Version is a fantastic book both in the tale of the heroic demigod king and the translation done by Stephen Mitchell.

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