Category: International

Murderous Rage: The Story of Achilles

Achilles, the hero of the Iliad, is one of the most famous Greeks: He is the exemplary warrior who leads the Greeks to victory against Troy, but he is also emotionally unbalanced. He falls in love, he is easily angered, he becomes passive-aggressive, and finally he is so enraged that he goes on a killing spree. Is it his anger that makes him a great warrior, or is he a victim of his own emotions? Should we call a man who is engulfed in rage “a hero?” The emotions of Achilles are at the center of the story in the Iliad. What...

Antigone

“Antigone” is a tragedy by Sophocles, written on or before 441 BC. It is the third of a trilogy of Theban plays, but it was written chronologically first. The play expands on the Theban legend that predated it and picks up where Aeschylus’ “Seven Against Thebes” ends. The Theban plays consist of three plays: Oedipus the King (also called Oedipus Tyrannus or by its Latin title Oedipus Rex), Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. All three plays concern the fate of Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus. They have often been published under a single cover. Sophocles, however, wrote the...

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship

The whole text is only one sentence. It describes the story of a ghost ship that appears to a young boy. He saw a very large ship without light and sound, moving towards sandy beach near the village. The boy saw the ship breaking and sinking into the sea. The boy thought that he had a bad dream in the previous night as he didn’t see any wreckage at the place where the ship broke into pieces. The next year, the boy saw the same ship appearing at the same place and sinking like before. Now he was sure that he wasn’t dreaming. He told his mother about the ship but she didn’t believe him and thought her son became crazy. Then, something happened to his mother.

Petrarca: The Ascent of Mount Ventoux

Petrarch’s motives for climbing Mount Ventoux – to see the view – is often cited as the mark of a new humanistic “Renaissance” spirit. His ascent took place on April 26, 1336, but it was  written and published only around 1350.  Hans Blumenberg describes Petrarch’s ascent of Ventoux  in  “The Legitimacy of the Modern Age:”  This was “… one of the great moments that oscillate indecisively between the epochs, namely between the medieval period and modernity.” I like this text because of the interplay between the experience of nature and the subjective world of the author. As Petrarca takes in...

Rumi

Biography (See also the Wikipedia Article about Rumi.) Rumi (1207–1273) was a 13th-century Persian (Tajik) Muslim poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. He is also known as “Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī,” or as Mevlānā in Turkey and Mawlānā in Iran and Afghanistan. Rūmī is a descriptive name meaning “Roman” since he lived most of his life in an area called “Rumi” (then under the control of Seljuq dynasty) because it was once ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire. He was one of the figures who flourished in the Sultanate of Rum. He was born in Balkh Province in Afghanistan. a small town...

Albert Camus: The Guest

by Albert Camus. Translated by Justin O’Brien. 1 The schoolmaster was watching the two men climb toward him. One was on horseback, the other on foot. They had not yet tackled the abrupt rise leading to the schoolhouse built on the hillside. They were toiling onward, making slow progress in the snow, among the stones, on the vast expanse oft he high, deserted plateau. From time to time the horse stumbled. Without hearing anything yet, he could see the breath issuing from the horses nostrils. One of the men, at least, knew the region. They were following the trail although...

Federico García Lorca

Biography: (from www.poemhunter.com) Spanish poet and dramatist, Lorca was a talented artist and a member of the ‘Generation of 1927’, a group of writers who advocated avant-gardism in literature. García Lorca studied law at the University of Granada. At the same time he studied music collaborating in the 1920s with Manuel de Falla, becoming an expert pianist and guitar player. In Madrid he entered the Residence de Estudiantes, a modern college and the intellectual center of the town. During this period his friends included the writers Juan Ramón Jiménez. and Pablo Neruda. He also worked with Salvador Dali and Louis...

Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus

Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus (Chapter Four) Le Mythe de Sisyphe (1942; English translation 1955) The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labour. If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to the reasons why...