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ancient greece

May 12, 2010

i’m getting truly awful at this medium.

i’m back home for the summer – well, in and out for some major adventures – and i took a look through my bookcase, checking out the books that did not make the precious vancouver bookcase/travel cut. there are a crapload of them, but essentially i began pulling out all my ancient greek – euripides, aeschylus, sophocles, and aristophanes. (i preferred the tragedians, as you can see, although aristophanes will make you laugh more than you expect.

i’ve always preferred euripides because his writing was contemporary (in his group of ancient greek cohorts – ha!) and very raw, very real. the other writers were bit more archaic but there was always something in euripides that struck me. i prefer his female characters – medea and hippolytus being two plays that really, really made an impression on me – but all i have in my bookcase right now is the trojan women, so using a random number generator, i’m going to flip to a random page and find something beautiful by patching together random lines from that page

“Lead me in the dance/its golden cheek-piece glittered/I am fallen/Muse, sing for me/and tell how I was destroyed/sing in a new strain/now that I am a slave.”

all of those phrases exist somewhere on pg. 59 of my copy of the trojan women.

don’t ever, ever discount your ancient writers. i find, so often, that my colleagues and cohorts so rudely dismiss older writers. i admit – i am biased. i rarely read contemporary writers, and i need to do so, but i often find that reading a lot while i write changes the way i write. but back to the point – contemporary writers and contemporary MFA students need to realise and appreciate the beauty of the ancients. it is there. it is raw. it is real. it is thrumming with energy and emotion!

 

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