Friday, November 11, 2011

aidao domous kai epaines persphoneies

Our weekly endeavour is to find a neglected work or curiosity by an established author for about £5, to brandish as a clove of garlic against the blood-draining horror of mainstream Christmas fare (Do Ants Have Arseholes?, My Shit Life So Far, etc.) (J.C., "NB", TLS October 21 2011) || Here comes the place where cleaves our way in twain. Thy road, the right, toward Pluto's dwelling goes, And leads us to Elysium. But the left Speeds sinful souls to doom, and is their path To Tartarus th' accurst. (Virgil, Aeneid (6.535)) || "Seine Scheu vor einer selbständigen Existenz war so groß, daß sie alle Beschwerden des Krankseins aufwog." - "His timidity at the prospect of an independent existence was so great that it counterbalanced all the hardships of being ill." (S. Freud, "Aus der Geschichte einer infantilen Neurose", Studienausgabe Bd.VIII, Fischer, 2000, p.132, transl. mine) || And his sisters, are they not all with us? (Matthew 13:56) || [...] to the Elysian plain…where life is easiest for men. No snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor ever rain, but ever does Ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing West Wind that they may give cooling to men. (Homer, Odyssey (4.560-565)) || And they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep-swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods, and Cronos rules over them. (Hesiod,Works and Days (170)) || In no fix'd place the happy souls reside. In groves we live, and lie on mossy beds, By crystal streams, that murmur thro' the meads: But pass yon easy hill, and thence descend; The path conducts you to your journey's end.” This said, he led them up the mountain's brow, And shews them all the shining fields below. They wind the hill, and thro' the blissful meadows go. (Virgil, Aeneid (6.641)) || When my mother was dying, she got out of the hospital somehow, at night, and wandered around town until someone who didn't know her at all spotted her and took her in. If this were fiction, as I said, it would be too much, but it is true. (A. Munro, "Dear Life", The New Yorker, Sep 19, 2011, p.47)