Everything is related in one way or another. Our class theme is “the past possesses the present” and its true. The past does posses the present. The way our minds work and think are because of past experiences and the knowledge that what has happened to us has happened to someone else in some other time. Like the
Circular Theory, everything important happening now has happened before--and everything important will happen again.

David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life is a modern piece of literature, but that does not take away from how it relates to our class. We’re studying classical literature, yes, but also how everything is incorporated in everything else. The most obvious connection a person may make between An Imaginary Life and classical literature is the character of banishment. Ovid. Publius Ovidius Naso. He who is known for his metamorphic literature works way back in year 8 AD. He who was banished for some crime worse than murder. He who was never heard of again. As Malouf weaves the tale of Ovid during banishment, so many connections from past to present can be made. The character Ovid even recognizes his past pervading his present in the Child. When Ovid was young, there was a wild child in his life. When Ovid became old, the Child returned.

Our human brain tends to make unconscious connections for us. As Ovid connected the Child to the child of his past, we make connections from our past to our present circumstances. The past possesses the present. We can make the connections from Sophocles’ Antigone and our own struggles with drama between men and women, age and youth, society and the individual, living and the dead, and between men and gods. From Homeric Hymns, we can connect past characters to the characters of our present. From Plato’s Symposium, we can connect their discussions to our own discussions of love and friendship. From Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, we can connect their humor to the humor of our day and age. And from Malouf’s An Imaginary Life, we can connect his imagination and storytelling to our own need to relate experiences or ideas to one another.

Malouf’s piece of literature is a reenactment of Ovid himself. Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a grouping of stories that portray the change of a being to another being--even if that change is only minimal; some of his tales depict man changing into beast while others depict man having a change in personality. Either way, a metamorphosis has taken place. Malouf depicts Ovid as one who believes in his banishment; he believes he is supposed to be completely cut off from his past and does nothing to change that fact. However, as the character Ovid starts to accept his change of lifestyle, he himself is transformed. The Child is also a way for Ovid to change. Instead of transforming those around him, Ovid changes to relate and fit into his surroundings.

Our class, Classical Foundations of Literature, is exactly what it says it is, except, we study the classical foundations of not only literature, but of our existences. Like Ovid’s tales and Malouf’s imagined life of Ovid‘s banishment, we transform ourselves through our experiences and the past experiences of others, and we learn and change to adapt to our world.


I just finished reading David Malouf's An Imaginary Life, and can I just say wow? Definitely thought provoking.

The language alone captured my attention and I could hardly put the book down. The Child was especially intriguing.

I think I'm putting this on my favorite books list.


Well, my tale from Ovid is Tereus. Since I had a bit of an extended spring break and was not in sweet, snowy Bozeman on the Friday before break or the Monday after, I don't really know what these one minute presentations are all about. However, here is a bit of a summary of Tereus.

I thought the entire story was a bit graphic and I enjoyed how descriptive it was. I definitely recommend reading it for yourselves. :D

The characters involved are:
King Pandion- King of Athens
King Tereus- King of Thrace
Procne- Daughter of Pandion and wife of Tereus
Philomela- Daugther of Pandion and sister of Procne
Itys- Son of Tereus and Procne

After seeing that King Tereus of Thrace was just as rich and powerful as he himself was, King Pandion of Athens gave his daughter to Tereus in marriage. The marriage began with bad omens including the deities who bless brides shunning the marriage and an owl interrupting their wedding night. Soon they had a son and named him Itys.
After five years, Procne went to her husband and told him she wished to see her sister and that he should bring her to Thrace. Tereus complied and personally sailed to Athens and King Pandion. Once Procne’s sister, Philomela, entered the room, Tereus became completely infatuated with her. Her beauty was amazing and Tereus had an uncontrollable body. "Thracians are sexually insatiable." He wanted her and started thinking of ways he could have her to himself. He implored and tricked Pandion to let Philomela come with him to see Procne. Pandion gave in and went to bless them and their trip back to Thrace when he felt a strong sense of foreboding.
Tereus and Philomela sailed back to Thrace and Tereus took her to a fort deep in the forest and imprisoned her. He did many unmentionable things to her and she tried to fight back. He became angry and went into a rage and cut out her tongue. Tereus went back to Procne and told her that Philomela was dead.
After a year, Philomela, unable to speak, wove a tapestry and gestured to a servant that it should be delivered to Procne. Procne received the tapestry and saw what her sister had depicted. Using a disguise, Procne rescued Philomela and brought her back the palace. Procne was so angry at her husband and was thinking of ways of revenge when her son, Itys, came in. He was the spitting image of his father and so loving of his mother that it softened Procne’s heart for a moment, but she looked back towards Philomela and knew she had to do what she had to. She grabbed Itys and killed him. The sisters then proceeded to cook his remains and prepared a feast out of him. Philomela leaves the room and Procne proceeds to lie to Tereus saying that she wants to serve him because it was a special day. Tereus ate and called for his son over and over, but Itys did not come. Philomela then comes back into the room with Itys’ head and Tereus understands that he has been eating his own son. The sisters take off running to the forest and Tereus goes after them in a blind rage. As they’re running, they sprout wings and begin to fly and transform into birds. Tereus becomes a hoopoe, Philomela becomes a nightingale, and Procne becomes a swallow.

The Hoopoe.

The Nightingale.

The Swallow.


In relation to Lysistrata and its flyting passages, I had the best first-hand experience of flyting in my life the other night.

It happened to involve an ex boyfriend of mine. We don’t get along very well anymore partly because we know each other so well and use that against the other person.

The argument went a little like this:
(And please note that most of the conversation is in raised voices and there is quite a bit of physical abuse.)

Matt “This happens every time you’re around!”
Me “What happens?”
Matt “You screw up my life!!”
Me “Please! Tell me how I screw up your life!”
Matt “You just do!”
Me “Oh, that’s not ambiguous or anything, you asshole!”
Matt “Things just get messed up when you’re around.”
Me “Explain to me why that is.”
Matt “You’re a bitch!”
Me “Excuse me?!”
(Interlude for a bunch of slapping, scratching, and pushing.) (Mostly me.)
Matt “Here, I’ll spell it out for you. B I T C H. Bitch!”
Me “You are such a fucking asshole!!”

This ends with me leaving and slamming doors.
We do have pleasant conversations once in a while, though.

The conversation was part of a semi-serious conversation we were having, but then it turned into the above...



Woah. So spaced on the music blog.

We were asked to blog about the best musical performance we've ever seen or about one we'd love to go to. Since my background consists of tons of random country concerts before I was ten, and an N*Sync concert when I was eleven (yes, I'll admit to it), I think I'll say a little something about the performance I would like to see.

Out of my (current) top five bands ('Cause they change a lot):
Linkin Park
Three Days Grace
A Perfect Circle

I would have to say I would love to attend a Linkin Park concert that features their Minutes to Midnight album. Although, all of their albums are great.

Just to be in the crowd while they're on stage performing the songs they've created and nurtured to become what they are would be amazing. Their lyrics are always rythmic and inspirational to me.

To be able to hear Chester Bennington belt out Leave Out All the Rest with the accompanying music would probably give me chills.

I believe music should connect to you on a higher level and Linkin Park's music does that for me. I have a little something I like to call MADD, Music Attention Deficit Disorder, where I skip every single song within the first 45 seconds of play. Linkin Park is the only band whose music I could listen to endlessly. I've popped in one of their albums and I am able to play it repeatedly for hours without skipping one single song. My friends make fun of me for it. =P

They also act as a sort of muse for me. I do some of my best writing and drawing while listening to them.



So I have quite a few half started blogs that I probably should finish and post... They've been sitting in my drafts for a while now and most of them aren't very relevant anymore. :(

Oh well. I'm going to finish and post them anyway. :D
On to the first belated blog...

What is love?

I find the entire topic of love quite interesting because the definition of love is so ambiguous. Not only does every individual have their own opinion of what it is, there are also so many different types of love. Erotic love, parental love, child love, pet love, friend love, sibling love, a love for pastimes, a love of feelings, love for the past, etc… And each form of love is different for each person. One person may feel a strong connection with their mom or dad, and another may not get along with either their mom or dad, but both people can still love their parents.

Like Plato’s Symposium, each individual has their own opinion of what love is. The entire world could sit down together after dinner and discuss what they think love is and we’d get a very large variety of answers (although, that would take a very long time to sit around, get drunk, and listen to 7 billion people). And like in Carson McCuller’s “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.”, the idea of love should start from the bottom and move up the ladder, so to speak. Eventually, the meaning of love and caring will sink in and you will graduate to the top of the ladder, but, until then, love is a slow process.

Don’t we all start out when we’re kids with a pet rock or some toy that we carry around everywhere with us? And then we eventually move on from that toy to another one? And on and on until we’re teenagers and in love with fictional characters or movie stars? And then eventually, we’re in high school and find ourselves drooling over the cute guy (or girl) in the front row?

Sometimes love can get confused with infatuation or obsession, but aren’t those in themselves types of love? They’re viewed in public society as unhealthy forms of love, but don’t they fall under the same category that “healthy” love does?

In Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, the guy in the jalopy, Arnold Friend, kind of obsesses over the main character, Connie, and tries to take her--Hades and Persephone style. Is it a form of love, though? Or is just a creepy stalking?

Another reference to what I think is a semi-unhealthy obsession in fiction is the--dun dun dun--Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer. Does anybody else think that Bella Swan’s infatuation with Edward Cullen is anything more than serious obsession? And what about Edward Cullen’s desire for Bella? If I didn’t love the books so much, I’d think it was ridiculous. But then again, isn’t obsession and desire a part of love? Meyer’s characters seem to make it work. (Though, the series isn't that thought provoking, either.) :)


Comedy Defies

I found Sarah Ruden’s translation of Lysistrata quite entertaining! I actually got to page 12 and had to put the book down to call a friend and giggle about all the bawdy humor going on.
A few of my favorite lines are:

“We’ve even lost those six-inch substitutes,
Those dinky dildos for emergencies.” (109-110)

“From now on, no more penises for you.” (124)

“ANYTHING else for me. I’d walk through fire,
But do without a dick? Be serious!
There’s nothing, Lysistrata, like a dick.” (133-135)

“Sit in our quarters, powdered daintily,
As good as nude in those imported slips,
And-just-slink by, with crotches nicely groomed,
The men will swell right up and want to boink,
But we won’t let them near us, we’ll refuse-
Trust me, they’ll make a treaty at a dash.” (149-154)

“For them, there’s just one place a dildo fits.” (158)

“…They’ll give up-you’ll see
How fast. No husband’s going to like to screw
Unless he knows his woman likes it too.” (164-166)

Now, who wouldn’t find that funny? Aristophanes might be my new hero.

The humor in Lysistrata can even be connected way back to the Homeric Hymns to Hermes. While not as sexual, Hermes did have the first fart joke and he was a devious little thing. He had fun in stealing Apollo’s cattle and we had fun reading it. Therefore…Comedy!

Something else kind of clicked in my head, too. Comedy defies what is “proper”. It’s funny because it goes against the norm and against some of the values we should be upholding. Fart jokes, pranks, sexual humor, etc. really isn’t appropriate in certain settings, but when they do make an appearance at, let’s say, a formal dinner party, would absolutely everyone be able to stifle their laughter? Sometimes, we like to think that we can be “grown up” and “mature” but, truth is, we’re all just as vulgar and comedic as the next guy.

I can only wish I was as funny as Dane Cook, though. =P
I definitely think some of his humor would not be appreciated by "proper" society in certain settings. Here's a few vids to check out.

Dane Cook "B & E"
The sound is a little off with the video, but it's still funny. And sadly, edited.

Dane Cook "One Night Stand"

Dane Cook "Public Restrooms"

Dane Cook "Burger King"
A fan made, animated video.


By Aubrey Beardsley
Lysistrata Haranguing the Athenian Women
By using the body and sex as a weapon, the women were able to overcome their husbands and take their power away from from them.
Men should really start thinking with their heads and hearts rather than their phallis. =P