My proposed reading list

Romantic Period

England:

Coleridge,blake,keats,shelley

Germany

Johann von Goethe

In American, the Romantic period was called the Transcendental Period:

Emerson,Thoreau

Gothic writings:

Radcliffe,Monk Lewis

The Victorian :Bram Stoker

In America :Poe and Hawthorne

The Victorian Period

British Writers:

Elizabeth Browning,Alfred Lord Tennyson,Matthew Arnold,Robert Browning,Charles Dickens,Bronte Sisters

Pre-Raphaelites:

Rossettis,William Morris,Walter Pater,Oscar Wilde,Stephen Crane ,Walt Whitman ,Emily Dickinson

Modern Period

W.B Yeats,Seamus Heaney ,Dylan Thomas ,W. H. Auden ,Virginia Woolf,Wilfred Owen ,Robert Frost ,Flannery O’ Connor,Hemingway ,Stein,Fitzgerald,Faulkner,Baldwin,Ellison

Postmodern period

T. S Eliot,Morrison,Shaw,Beckett,Stoppard,Fowles,Calvino,Ginsberg,Pynchon,Langston Hughes,Sandra Cisnero ,Zora Neal Hurston ,Gabriel Garcia  Marquez,Luis Borges,Alejo Carpentier,Gunter Grass,Salman Rushdie

 

source:anonymous pdf

 

 

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Genres of Ancient Greek Literature

The Epic Narrative, Lyric Poetry ,Tragedy ,Comedy ,History ,Rhetoric and Oratory, Philosophical Prose. I will be dealing with just four , namely :

The Epic Narrative: Includes The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer. The characteristics of an Epic narrative are :

  1. Begins in medias res.(A narrative work beginning in medias res  opens in the midst of action.Works that employ in medias res often, though not always, subsequently use flashback and nonlinear narrative for exposition of earlier events in order to fill in the backstory. For example, in Homer’s Odyssey, we first learn about Odysseus’ journey when he is held captive on Calypso’s island.
  2. The setting is vast, covering many nations, the world or the universe.
  3. Begins with an invocation to a muse (epic invocation).
  4. Begins with a statement of the theme.
  5. Includes the use of epithets.
  6. Contains long lists, called an epic catalogue.
  7. Features long and formal speeches.
  8. Shows divine intervention on human affairs.
  9. Features heroes that embody the values of the civilization.
  10. Often features the tragic hero’s descent into the Underworld or hell.

Source:(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_poetry)

Lyric poetry- Remember Hesiod Here!

‘Lyric’ indicates that these poems were conceived of as belonging to the tradition of poetry sung or chanted to the accompaniment of the lyre, also known as melic poetry (from melos, “song”; compare English “melody”).

The themes of Greek lyric include “politics, war, sports, drinking, money, youth, old age, death, the heroic past, the gods,” and hetero- and homosexual love.”In the 3rd century BC, the encyclopedic movement at Alexandria produced a canon of the nine melic poets: Alcaeus, Alcman, Anacreon, Bacchylides, Ibycus, Pindar, Sappho, Simonides, and Stesichorus

Tragedy

From replying to the chorus (Also called dithyramb) in honour of the god Dionysus, tragedy was born . The dithyramb had elements of the Satyr plays (were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy,similar in the bawdy spirit of the burlesque source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyr_play) . Arion of Lesbos, who is said to have worked at Corinth in about 600, is credited with being the first to write narrative poetry in this medium.

Important names :Thespis ,  Aeschylus ,Sophocles, Euripides.

Comedy

Also originated from the worship of Dionysus . Full of obsenity with the aim of criticizing evil, it had a part called “Parabasis” where the chorus was cut short to address societal ills . Actors were usually those who had suffered from abuse or tyranny from the oppressors they were commenting on .

Old Comedy survives today largely in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is largely lost, i.e. preserved only in relatively short fragments by authors such as Athenaeus of Naucratis. New Comedy is known primarily from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander.(source :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_comedy)

 

Literature :Ancient Greek

  Just as I promised earlier, we’ll be coursing through the timeframes of literature. This week,  I have decided to start from the the classical period; the literature of Ancient Greece and Rome , but will be sticking with Ancient Greek for today (Listening to Giants by Jeff Scneeweis as I do this .Do check it out ) . Ancient Greek literature is one that existed from  the time of Homer to the rise of the Byzantine empire or Eastern Roman Empire  and Homer is regarded as the most popular representative of this period. Wikipedia here says that fictional literature was written in verse, while scientific literature was in prose.Within the poetry we could separate three super-genres: epic, lyric and drama.

Greek literature is divided into different periods as well-three to be precise:Archaic (to the end of the 6th century bc); Classical (5th and 4th centuries bc); and Hellenistic and Greco-Roman (3rd century bc onward).

The subject of the Archaic period was mostly myth , they were not very serious in nature and the concept could be changed as much as the poet wanted to express new ideas.Homer falls into this period with the retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey which happened before 700BC and the poems of Hesiod; the first didactic poet (Didactic poetry is poetry that instructs, either in terms of morals or by providing knowledge of philosophy, religion, arts, science, or skills.)

Other writers include : Theognis, Solon, Archilochus, Sappho, Anacreon.

Tragedy and Comedy had their origins in Greece.“Tragic” choruses are said to have existed in Dorian Greece around 600 bc.Both were connected with the worship of Dionysus, the god of fruitfulness and of wine and ecstasy. Comedy was divided into old comedy , Middle Comedy and New Comedy. The best-known writer of Greek New Comedy is Menander.

Classical period, 5th and 4th centuries bc-Important names are : Aeschylus who could be called father of tragedy , Sophocles and Euripides as well as  Aristophanes ,  also known as the greatest of the comedic poets . Definitely not to be forgotten are the works of Plato and Aristotle considered to be the most important of all the products of Greek culture in the intellectual history of the West. Rhetoric and Oratory acts flourished in this period.Among the most celebrated orators were Antiphon , Andocides, Lysias, Isocrates, Isaeus, Lycurgus, Aeschines, and, considered the greatest of all, Demosthenes.

Hellenistic and Greco-Roman (3rd century bc onward)-This period lasted to the first century BC, with Alexander the Great ruling .Revisions of classical Greek literature occured. Important names :Callimachus, the bucolics of Theocritus, and Apollonius Rhodius . Religious writings in this period as well as the formation of  new genres , such as bucolic poetry (the free dictionary :Of or relating to shepherds or herders.)

 

Talk that talk

Yellow! — and I mean hello. I am tired!!! 😦  🙂 .  When I am tired , I have special need for the Holy spirit  because it is in moments like these that my philosophical mode comes to life. ( a.k.a is this life? Lol) Thoughts are flooding through my mind and questions like ‘ Why do we get tired?’ . Em , yes, why? To rest. I gerrit, trust me I do. Whether we eat or drink…do all to the glory of God. Whether we get tired, have an attitude that will bring God glory. So..why do we get tired? 🙂 let’s skip that . Thing is when I am tired , stuff tends to spill out. I guess this goes for everyone( here comes cliche al naturale) * have no idea if this is French or what? Or what? What is or what? Haha. This is what I am talking about.

I am tired. That is the point I am trying to make . I thought to myself. ‘ Liz, what great activity do very tired people engage in when they have a lovely fever to help them?’  I answered ‘ girl, you may pluck your eyebrows and blow dry your hair’. Brethren, I kid you not. In my tired state , I managed to do that and I feel good. It kinda feels like those scenes — those final wishes scenes, where so and so does something to make them happy. Anyway, I did that, tired as I was, still am and hey I realized that I can actually blow dry my hair after months even when I am on the verge of fainting. And did I tell you I have an exam to prepare for tomorrow? Haha..it is well, as they say. Who exam epp? Lol( can someone autocorrect my brain ?)

By and by( tell me why I said this) , since tiredness makes me confess. I just realized( lie, lie, lie) , that ( heck) , I swear a lot. Internally. I know , I know, you’d never find me swearing in public or in private with anyone except myself, and I am an activist against even the tiniest swearing because I think it’s bad. Its not GOD honoring( John Piper wrote about this) , but I swear a lot for my liking. So just in case anyone was thinking about the saints marching on and me not amongst the number of ex convicts( have no idea what I’m saying here), truth still stands that God knows when I am irritated, a bit frustrated, I think swear words and say stuff like ‘ for..get’ when I am trying to pretend I wasn’t saying the very familiar ‘ f word’ . But God knows, right? Nothing to hide.

So! I have decided to do something new on this blog( taking things to new and greater heights? Trying to help myself here brethren  😉  because literature is here to stay and literature is a huge part of my life on and off( in life and in school; till death do us part? ) I only realized last week that I actually study literature at school. Like it is a big deal in my linguistic course. ( how i had no idea until recently is what I have no idea about( how do people not have ideas about what they do not have any ideas about?) hmmm…
As I was saying, I will be delving into literature like a crazy pessin till the literature fumes spread and call the UFOs back( it was carbonated water I drank, I Promise)

I guess that’s all. I once had a boyfriend who used to ask me if what I write is going to help a soul reading. Boyfriend’s gone, but I realize now that honesty is the best policy. Be your self! Boyfriends come and go, but you and God remain working on you to make you who you should be. I have enough secrets already to pretend I am perfect holding things together( like you know, have my act together) . So God bless you as you share in my human(n)ess. Being uptight is not in my to do list no more. Tenk yhu.

Because I want to remember today …

 You know how it is when you wake up and have an epiphany moment and a temperature running? (lol?)Actually , I think epiphany is too much of a strong word but that is the word that came to mind as I thought about nothing particularly related to it . The thing is :I am happy . I feel happy for some reason , trust me it is not related to this fever that is blazing (hmm..I felt like using the word blazing) , and this is not some delirious talk from the fever . I know my happiness is grounded , well grounded in the fact that the dark clouds are lifting gradually . I can feel the streak of beautiful and hopeful light through the clouds . I know God is in control of my life and days and moments and He is doing something beautiful in my life . That is why I was pushed to write to mark this day . It is a beautiful day  or evening really. God loves me and He is not asleep and I am sharing that knowledge .

and this song with instrumentals that make me want to dissolve into it …

Diary of a mad man by Nicholai Gogol( my review)

The diary of a mad man by Nicholai Gogol from the first line makes one clasp his hands in readiness to hear a secret. It tells the story of a dissatisfied man whose best skill in his Government office seems to be restricted to pen mending. He finds his superiors behavior distasteful and convinces himself that he could have afforded to send in his resignation but for the official propriety of being addressed as a ‘ Sir’.

On his way home one day, he overhears a conversation between two dogs. He appears to be astonished at first, but loses his astonishment in a short while and this in a way makes one feel that such things do indeed happen. He follows the dogs to know who owns them and this begins his obsession with the daughter of  Sverkoff.

Early in this book, it is easy to see that our man suspects everyone of conspiring against him. Nicholai Gogol’s book has typical Russian, vicious and humorous comparisons. If you like a little Russian ‘ madness’ , you’d find descriptions like “
May the devil take him! Because his own face has a certain resemblance to a medicine-bottle, because he has a curly bush of hair on his head, and sometimes combs it upwards, and sometimes plasters it down in all kinds of queer ways, he thinks that he can do everything” to your liking.

A personal favorite is :I only need to order a fashionable coat and wear a tie like yours,
and you would be quite eclipsed

By what he refers to as a ‘ heavenly inspiration’ , he decides  to speak to the dog Meggie but she refuses to answer his queries— just like every smart dog should do in such a situation ;). He proceeds however to seek correspondence between the two dogs at Sverkoff’s house. He gets to the task in a matter of fact way like a true detective and manages to get what he believes to be it.

The letters in his opinion show intelligence, as far as it relates to his need for who the daughter of Sverkoff is romantically involved in and canine nature when it speaks of the mundane things related to a dog’s daily life. He tears this letters in pieces but again one wonders what he really tore here.

His distress over news of a planned wedding and marriage of Sverkoff’s daughter and a Chamberlain makes him dabble into the question of his existence and it’s meaning :
Why am I only a titular councillor?
Perhaps I am really a count or a general, and only appear to be a titular councillor. Perhaps I don’t even know who and what I am.
How many cases there are in history of a simple gentleman, or even a burgher or peasant, suddenly turning out to be a great lord or baron.

All these however give way for the contemplation of a more important problem; the lack  of a King on the Spanish throne.
“How can the throne be vacant? It is said that it will be occupied by a woman. A woman cannot sit on a throne. That is impossible. Only a king can sit on a throne.”
( simple logic here).
He says further :
These events, to tell the truth, have so shaken and shattered me, that I could really do nothing all day. Mawra told me that I was very absent-minded at table. In fact, in my absent-mindedness I threw two plates on the ground so that they broke in pieces.

There is a Russian saying that a broken plate brings you good luck and our man discovers that he is indeed the king of Spain. Years fast forward on their own and he even loses count at some point as he waits for the Spanish government to search for their missing King . Our man arrives in ‘Spain’ where he is ‘ treated’  by the ‘ grand inquisitors’ in interesting ways. He of course feels that he is undergoing  controlled torture to proof his right to the throne. It is interesting to note how the month of January comes after the month of February in the same year.

Gogol has a recurring theme of the nose running( pun, pun, pun de replay? Really not intended 🙂 ) through his works so it is not strange that our man who has by now suffered many tortures finds time to be bothered by a wart on the nose of the Bey of Algiers.

Three little boys

Healthy,young
Maybe a future
Maybe not

Three little boys
Little bodies
Oblivious to the future

Passers by
Everyone in a hurry
Are those rain drops?

A splash
Another from the mouth
Spit and rain look alike
Until you look up
And see three little boys
“Our mother is a beggar”
Oh look! We spat on you

Inspired by the three little boys spitting on people today…
I hope you grow up to become great.