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?


  1. Anonymous5:00 PM

    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.

  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.

  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.

  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.