May 13, 2010

Homer (and an update)

When I began this lit project, I was not sure which direction I would take. I had planned to pursue philosophy and drama, my original literature loves, but a sidestep into Ovid took me down the path of Ancient poetry. It quickly became a minor obsession. Having now read many of the Ancients, two ideas have crystallized in my mind: the cultural meaning of poetry as established by the Ancients; and the influence of Homer on Western Civilization. To culminate my compulsion for Ancient poetry, I read Homer.

This post will be brief. Rather than talking about the Iliad or the Odyssey, I offer a quick note on my relationship with his work:

Homer is a point of reference I share with nearly every literate person in the West. This is true not only of people today, but also of the Ancients. The Homer I read and know is the Homer they read and knew. Time, place, language give us a different understanding and perspective, but Homer still mediates our connection. This connection is culture, and it is overwhelming to think we have preserved culture for over two and a half thousand years.


I had a lot to say about Homer but gutted it all from this post. I am up for having a conversation about him, though, if anyone cares to throw in their own thoughts.

[My Update: I will be taking a break from blogging and my lit project. Two weeks, I think. You can email me in the meanwhile, or if you happen to be interested in what movies I am watching, you can stop by pear hut (my hitherto hidden tumblr).]


DG said...

so you do watch movies

Ian said...

Yes, sometimes.

Lauren said...

Hmm. Oh, hello! What is this tumblr really, anyway? Think I'd find it less of a chore than anything else? Is it rewarding in any way? I need something new, I think... Anyway, we should catch up. Hello!

Ian said...

Hi Lauren. If you are asking if reading my tumblr is rewarding in any way, it isn't. But I've been keeping it for a few months now and it has become a tolerable habit (just writing brief thoughts on movies I just watched -- a TLC film journal without the annoying responses). Oh, are you thinking of getting one?

I stop by your blog occasionally in hopes of an update, but never find one. I am always disappointed. Maybe we need a new internet spot to hang out in. Or maybe you can be jobless again and spend all your time watching movies and talking about them (as I am doing these days); that worked well, I remember.

We do need to catch up. Dinner at the Automat?

Lauren said...

I have already found /your/ tumblr richly rewarding! I'm wondering if you like it better than other blog platforms -- I have since signed up (afinpassing) and after styling it to my liking, I may use it. I am hoping to find something less daunting as a blog environment, and this seems promising, reserving my real blog for real thoughts, should I ever have one again.

Oh, I do miss the times when we were both watching and blogging about movies at once! It comes along so rarely. For several months, I have only watched movies once or twice a week in theatres; no inspiration to follow any leads on my own time. But it will come back to me, by and by.

Dinner at the Automat, I accept!