Blog post 9? IDK I’m lost in the Odyssey-Sauce.
Class - 10/20 - 1.5 hours
Today's class began with a discussion of the first four books. The idea that the 1st four books are actually from their own story focused on Telemachus, is very intrguing idea as it highlights the connectedness between all classic greek literature. We also discussed one of the main themes of the epic, NOSTOS, the idea of a homeward journey. Books one though four highlight Telemachus’ nostos to manhood and becoming more like his father, which some call Telemachia, and prepare us for the even more grandious nostos of his father.
Movie Viewing - 10/21 - 2 hours
My friends always laugh at me because I never know any movies, so tonight I took the time to get a little more lost in the sauce of the classics by attending a viewing of Clash of the Titans. Prior to attending this event, the only knowledge I had about this movie is that it was a remake of the 1980s film chronicling the story of half-man/half-god, PELEUS. The internal battle that Peleus goes through to understand his purpose in life is one that I can relate to. Being the offspring of parents of different “races”, I often find myself struggling to fit in to the socially constructed ideas of race, mostly because the concept of race is based on an idea of “purity” that defines them as a member of a race. Peleus is pitted between his God of a father, Zeus, and his will to seek vengeance for his mortal foster father who was unintentionally killed in the beginning of the film by the wrath of Zeus. What a dilema. I feel a similar confliction because I can’t deny who I am, however, the racial issues in this country put me in a strange situation of experiencing two seemingly different cultures mixed into one unique experience, that is, at its core, no different from either of the other two experiences that it is a product of. I could go way into the sauce of the misconception of racial identity, but I’ll save that for another day. All in all, I like the premise of the film, as it deals with questions of purpose, mortality, and morality — all important ideas in respect to life’s 5 great stories.
Book 6 - 10/21 - 1.5 hours
The more I read/work for this class, the more I enjoy the classics and greek literature. It is absolutely fascinating, as the morality and other human emotions exemplified in these epic works, is still 100% relevant to humans today. It makes the gap between the eras seem much smaller, putting the origins of humanity and social order into perspective. My curiosity has been sparked, and I am planning to continue my classical studies next semester with Dr. O’Connell’s Classical Art course. I have spent a lot of time studying and engaging in more modern and contemporary art, neglecting a great deal of their predecessors. Being exposed to, and discussing classical literature/culture has me very excited to build up my understanding of the field as a whole. But yeah, enough classics-sauce, more odyssey sauce. back to book 6.
Ody ends up on the island of the Phaeacians, where he is discovered by the Princess Nausikaa. She is a beautiful young woman, and Odysseus is like “oh damn, she’s kinda hot…….. BUT. She might be 17 and I’m NOT catching a case off of this.” At this point we see that Ody is just like every other dude, and is consistently noticing all the beautiful women that cross his path, however unlike Penelope and Calypso, Nausikaa has an innocence that Odysseus feels obligated to respect. Especially since 1. he has a wife at home, 2. he’s about to go meet the parents and ask for their help to return home. The kings leadership may be questionable as the princess informs Odysseus that he must offer his supplication to the Queen instead of the King.
Class - 10/22 1.5 hours
Today’s class discussions covered many interesting ideas that made me do a lot of thinking. We talked about things that we like to collect and what goes into the overall idea of collecting things, which brought back memories of collecting hockey cards as a kid. I had hundreds of cards, all organized in binders by team, which were set in order of my favorite to least favorite teams, and then ordered the cards in the display pages from favorite to least favorite players. OCD much? But yeah — I loved collecting cards for so many reason. I didn’t show them off really or brag about them with anyone except maybe 1 or 2 of my friends who also collected cards. I collected them for many different reasons that were all stemming from a genuine interest and love for the sport of hockey. I wanted to learn all I could about the sport and I played the sport for over 10 years. And of course having a half canadian family who were serious hockey fans also influenced my curiousity for the sport of hockey. After I stopped playing hockey due to injuries and costs, I kinda lost interest in the sport because I really missed it, which led to the end of my hockey card collecting days. In addition to this, I also obtained what I thought was the impossible holy grail piece to my collection, a Steve Yzerman autographed rookie card. In this reflection of my past interests and curious ways, I tried to understand what exactly it is that captures my interest and why that is so. I still don’t quite have a definitive answer to the questions, however I feel that now I will be more concious of things that are genuinely sparking my curiousity and interest. I definitely want to check out the books recommended in class, “The Hungry Mind” & “ Excellent Sheep”. Both sound very interesting.
Book 7 & 8 - 10/24 - 2.5 hours
These books we’re all a prep for the story we’ve all been waiting for. Athena is still helping Odysseus but for the most part, he continues to show us why he is regarded as the sacker of troy with his quick witts. He perfectly executes the supplication to Queen Arete and finesses out of the jam. When questioned about why he was wearing the princesses clothes, he jumps on the opportunity to give a brief account of the most recent part of his epic journey home, all without disclosing his true identity. Score.
The people of the island seem to be more hospitable and welcoming right from the get-go than thier leaders. Except for Eurylaos who taunts Ody during the celebratory games, but then Ody comes out kicking ass like Pootie Tang.
Books 9 & 10 - 10/26 - 3 hours
This was definitely an Odyssey. A lot can happen in 7(?) years. It’s somewhat difficult to remember the entire route of this NOSTOS as it twists and turns through the islands of ancient greece encountering all sorts of characters. The most entertaining points of his journey include his stay with Circe, the incident at the Island of the Lotus Eaters, and the fineses at the cave of Polyphemus the cyclops. While we see many sides of Odyssey’s character, we also see many different froms of civilization (or un-civilization?). The cyclopes demonstrate a more nomadic lifestyle that I sort of view as the very foundation of a civilization, similar to the first modern humans. At the island of the lotus eaters we see a civilization that is addicted to effects of the lotus plant, and don’t want anything more than to get high. Obviously this is not a very productive or healthy civilization, and Odysseus BOUNCES. When Odysseus and Co. landed at the island of the Kikonians and basically started a war, we saw the clashing of two similar civilaztions. Something I will never understand because that seems to detract from the concept of civilized. To me civilization means that everybody attempts to make sure that their actions work towards the greater good of all of their fellow citizens and environment. It gets more complicated when you consider the ingrediants to the civilization-sauce, so I conclude here to avoid getting any more lost in that sauce.