Tag Archives: Homer

Through Lit, We Learn Compassion

Tuesday My brother Sam, an enthusiastic Unitarian Universalist, gave me Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life for Christmas, and I was pleased that the author sees literature playing a major role. In today’s post I share how she draws on the ancient Greeks. Armstrong writes, “All faiths insist that compassion is the test […]

Posted in Aeschylus, Euripides, Homer, Sophocles, Wordsworth (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Roots of a Beautiful Marriage

Spiritual Sunday Every time I visit Slovenia (six times now, the first two for year-long Fulbrights), I learn something new. In my most recent visit, I discovered it is common for couples to live together for years before getting married (if they ever do). While I can’t speak to overall statistics, I talked with several […]

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The GOP & Trump’s Siren Call

Tuesday The other day I detected one of Atlantic’s excellent columnists misusing a classical analogy. I flag Ed Kilgore, not to show off, but because the analogy is indeed enlightening if used correctly. See if you can find the mistake: This would suggest that the occasional efforts by individual Republican congressmen to show some distance from […]

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Returning to the Misty Past

John Gatta’s “Spirits of Place” is helping me understand why I have chosen to retire in my home town. Wordsworth, Stowe, Homer, and Frost help out as well.

Posted in Herbert (George), Homer, Robinson (Marilynne), Stowe (Harriet Beecher), Wordsworth (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anger in Ancient Greek Works

A new book looks at how the ancient Greeks approached the issue of anger in works such as “Iliad,” “Ajax,” and “Hecuba.

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

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

Bob Dylan, Gifted Storyteller

Bob Dylan, in his Nobel Acceptance Speech, made it clear that literary influences are as big in his song writing as musical influences.

Posted in Dylan (Bob), Homer, Melville (Herman), Remarque (Erich Maria) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fantasy, a Portal to the Numinous

People are often drawn to fantasy in our post-Enlightenment world because they hunger for the numinous.

Posted in Homer, Pullman (Philip), Sharp (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defending Homer against Plato

Plato’s attacks on Homer have to do with the bard’s focus earthly concerns rather than higher ones. Following Plato’s prescriptions, however, will not produce very interesting poetry.

Posted in Fielding (Henry), Homer | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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