Tag Archives: Iliad

Great Pro-War Literature Doesn’t Exist

In which I argue that great pro-war literature doesn’t exist, including “The iliad” and “War and Peace.” (Both works are magnificent; I just don’t see them as pro-war.)

Posted in Homer, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolstoy (Leo) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Liberal Arts Will Not Die

Thursday My colleague Jeff Hammond, a national authority on Puritan poetry and a much lauded writer of reflective essays, recently gave a stirring defense of the liberal arts for our parents-alumni weekend. Jeff’s observations dovetail very nicely with Percy Shelley’s Defence of Poetry, which I happen to be teaching at the moment. Watching poetry getting […]

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On Broken Ceasefires, in Homer & in Syria

The horrific bombing of a 31-truck aid convoy brought an end to the painstakingly negotiated ceasefire between Russian and the United States in Syria. The incident resembled how Hera and Athena break up the truce that the Greeks and Trojans are trying to negotiate in “The Iliad.”

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Lily, Achilles, Bertha & Ishmael on Vacation

Lily Bart, Bertha Mason, Achilles, Ishmael and Queequeg all go on vacation. Where do they go?

Posted in Bronte (Charlotte), Homer, Melville (Herman) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trump’s Use of the Homeric Epithet

Donald Trump is making regular use of “the Homeric epithet.” He doesn’t use it as well as Homer, however.

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Lit vs. the Evils of History–More Debate

While literature can seem helpless in the face of history’s cataclysms, it proves far more durable than the events that seem to overwhelm it.

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Plato Anxious about Lit’s Pyschic Impact

Plato’s complaints about literature show up in censorship battles today. They testify to power of literature to invite imitation.

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In Praise of the Liberal Arts

NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof recently sang the praises of the liberal arts and talked about the vital importance of literature.

Posted in Hemingway (Ernest), Homer, Hosseini (Khaled), Lahiri (Jhumpa), Morrison (Toni) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warning Labels for the Classics

Suggestions that certain classics come with “trigger warnings” leads of the following reflection.

Posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey), Homer, Milton (John), Sir Gawain Poet, Sophocles, Wilde (Oscar) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

JFK as Ancient Greek Hero

Ancient Greek literature provides us with a power lens through which to examine the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Posted in Aeschylus, Euripides, Homer, Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manning vs. Brady, Hector vs. Achilles

Once again Manning and Brady square off, reminding us of Achilles and Hector.

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The Iliad and Higher Ed’s MOOCish Future

MOOCs–Massive Open On-line Courses–can never teach lit as well as small classes.

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Antigone Would Bury Boston Bomber

Sophocles and Homer present compelling cases for granting full funeral rights to the Boston Marathon bomber.

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Will Kevin Durant Suffer Akhilleus’s Fate?

Kevin Durant is like Akhilleus. In more ways than one.

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Bulls vs. Heat, a Homeric Battle

I designate the Miami Heat as the Greeks in Homer’s Iliad. After all, they represent a kind of dream team, kings from different city states coming together to seek glory. The Bulls are like the Trojans in that they have only one top-tier fighter. Derrick Bell is their Hector.

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Manning vs. Brady, Hector vs. Achilles

Sports Saturday Tomorrow will witness the fiercest rivalry in American football—and maybe in American sports—as Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts travels to Boston to play against Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Many are beginning to believe that football has never seen a quarterback rivalry that matches this one. Which of the two […]

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Learning to Live with E-Readers

Gustave Dore, Don Quixote  An e-reader has entered our family. Here’s how it happened. My son Toby is studying for his English Ph.D preliminaries and wanted to spend a month reading 19th century British works in the family Maine cottage. He was accompanied by his girlfriend Candice, who is writing qualifying essays for her dissertation. […]

Posted in Cervantes (Miguel de), Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

The Magic World of Children’s Lit

William Kristof, the much traveled Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, wrote recently about the disturbing way that children’s IQ scores often drop over summer vacation. The cause is lack of intellectual stimulation. The problem is more severe with poor than it is with middle class kids. As an antidote, Kristof offered […]

Posted in Berna (Paul), Burnett (Francis Hodgson), Carroll (Lewis), Day-Lewis (Cecil), Doyle (Arthur Conan), Dumas (Alexander), Homer, Kipling (Rudyard), Lewis (C. S.), MacDonald (George), Milne (A. A.), Nesbitt (E.), Orczy (The Baroness Emmuska), Tolkien (J.R.R.), Verne (Jules), White (T.H.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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