The Zeus of the Homeric epics is omnipotent, but his omnipotence is subject to a rather peculiar limit: he can, in fact, create an object so heavy he can’t lift it, and frequently does.
An ancillary cause of the decline of meter — or perhaps more accurately another symptom of the same set of transitions — is the increasing association of poetry with the plastic rather than the performance arts, and with the visual rather than the acoustical. This, too, begins with Plato.
Unless, of course, we can see it already in Pindar, inter alia:
Golden pillars we shall set up on the well-built porch
of the inner chamber and build, as it were, an admirable
hall, and from its inception we must make the face of the work
far-gleaming. (Olympian 6, 1-4)
This blog seems to be dead, or at least hibernating, so for continuity’s sake I should probably say that the kind of stuff I (Rob) used to write here now typically ends up on my Goodreads account instead.
I wonder if there is really so much doom and ‘frustration’ in my fiction? Humbert is frustrated, that’s obvious; some of my other villains are frustrated; police states are horribly frustrated in my novels and stories; but my favorite creatures, my resplendent characters– in The Gift, in Invitation to a Beheading, in Ada, in Glory, et cetera– are victors in the long run.
I loathe Van Veen.
(From Giles Goat-Boy. I was reading over some favorite bits and felt like sharing this one.)
Even if you don’t like the Olympics, this is cool. The mayor of London requested a Pindar-Style Olympic ode for the 2012 Olympics which he will read in both Greek and English. The ode was written in Alcaeic Strophes by Dr. D’Angour, the same scholar who wrote a similar ode for the Olympics in Athens. Read the article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18929408.
I recently saw two movies directed by Wes Anderson, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Moonrise Kingdom. Until now, I had written off Anderson as a director whose style I didn’t like or understand — a judgment I made solely on the basis of Rushmore. But now I feel totally ready to join the Anderson cult. Below, I talk a bit about the style of The Life Aquatic and Moonrise Kingdom and why I find these movies stylistically interesting.