Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One of the Greats on Fifty Great Books

Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, on Sophocles's Theban Trilogy in The Globe and Mail:

Almost 2,500 years ago, when there were few books to read and a fast-expanding population of the curious, an Athenian playwright dramatised three big questions in three great tragedies.

Where do I come from? How do I prepare for my death? What should I obey?

4 comments:

  1. This reminds me of the existential dilemma, which must have borrowed: we are alone, we are going to die. But I am not sure about the "obey" bit.

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  2. Heh, you're so right, Maxine, especially when so many options currently exist for thinking dames . . . NOT :).

    Wait a sec . . . Sir Peter asks, "what," not "whom" . . . Ah, pas de sweat; in the twenty-worst century, no matter which way you splice "it," when it comes to either the subject or the object, obeisance is definitely an enuiistic bitch.

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  3. You start preparing for your death as soon as you reach the age of reason. So I was taught by my Catholic preceptors. It's a good idea. I realize, now that the time grows nearer, that it takes some strength and courage to face it.

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  4. Not prying, Frank; but, the timestamp's an unusual one for you: Were you thinking of St. John of the Cross? I hope (and pray) not (or, maybe, it might have been essential you were); but, as I may have met some of those same sorts of Catholic preceptors at a very impressionable time (which I only now keenly ken just how impressionable), I do hear you; and, I hope it was nothing more than garden-variety insomnia. What were we taught? This, too, shall pass. Cold comfort; warm thoughts; your courage is the only way to go, a fact of strength I know you know; and, you also know, we are not alone: In faith, mon ami.

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