December 11, 2007
I took the second of my finals,
today -- a hoary Sphynx's challenge of multi-paragraph essay questions on
the great works of world literature, as set forth by my English 105 literature
book. Mostly, they involve morally-ambiguous people dying unmourned and members
of minority groups complaining. I aint saying it's pretentious, but... wait,
that is what I'm saying. It's really pretentious.
We did read Sophocles' "Oedipus,"
and I admit to being strongly intrigued by the idea of ancient Greek theater,
despite the professor's best efforts to make it boring and tedious. I'm
fascinated by much of ancient history... In part, I think, because it's so
darned hard to connect those people, back then, with our people in the here
and now; they of the Parthenon, we of the Taco Loco and the 60-ounce Drinkinator.
The past seems so formal; maybe not refined, necessarily, but in my mind
it's a place wrought of "thee"s and "thou"s, of people striding great hallways
and holding daggers to the air and making long soliloquoys -- it goes without
saying I'd be disappointed taking a trip to the real past, where like as
not all I'd see of ancient civilization would be a couple of filthy, hairy
men scratching themselves. Realism: overrated.
Sophocles, of course -- famed
Greek tragedian. Not a job description you see much, anymore, though I haven't
looked at Ang Lee's business card. Regardless, here was a guy whose whole
stock and trade was in tales of people falling into utter ruin; THERE's a
fun guy to hang around. I like to think that maybe he had the occasional
bull session with his assistants before starting up a new play. "And it turns
out the gold he got was actually because he had unwittingly betrayed his
sister to the rival king. No! Because he killed her, himself! Accidentally!"
"And then he married his dog!" "Yeah!"