Showing posts from 2014

Images of Life: Creative and Other Forms of Writing - Book Review

The market is now flooded with guides to writing. There are specialist guides for every genre, ranging from the many branches of branch of creative writing and subjective reflections on artistic practice, through to new media, skills-specific workbooks and academic writing guides. Standing out from the crowd is increasingly difficult in the ‘writing about writing’ marketplace. And so many guides simply recycle the same material tediously. In addition, there is the challenge and competition of online guides that distil the mysteries of aesthetic excellence into the seven golden rules of wordcraft. Genuine writers are constantly pressured to teach their craft; their creative space is constantly at war with the busy hoards of the World of Wordcraft. So it is refreshing to come across a new anthology called Images of Life: Creative and Other Forms of Writing , which has been edited by Saptarshi Mallick and published in Calcutta, India, by Book World Publishers. The project was a glob

"Thou Art Translated"

Piero di Cosimo, The discovery of honey by Bacchus (1499) Book Review A Handbook to the Reception of Ovid . Edited by John F. Miller and Carole. E. Newlands. Wiley-Blackwell. 2014. 520pp. £120 (Cloth). £96.99 (ebook) ‘Antiquity is a closed system, providing a canon of texts whose perfection is beyond time: criticism of these texts is an eternal return, the rediscovery of the timeless verities that they contain.’ [....] ‘ No one, of course, has ever really believed this nonsense .’ (Fowler, 1994: 231) This new collection of thirty-one essays explores how Ovid’s works have presented a range of ways of thinking and feeling about desire, love and death; power and aggression; exile and alienation; self-reflexivity and transformation; aesthetic traditions and the artist’s journey. Clearly, the universality of Ovid’s major themes and preoccupations helps to explain his major influence on the arts of the two millennia since his death. As a result, it is not difficult

Hippodamia. Violent Classics.

Rape of Hippodamia ‘Hippodamia was the bride of King Pirithous of the Lapiths. At their wedding, Hippodamia, the other female guests, and the young boys were almost abducted by the Centaurs. Pirithous and his friend, Theseus, led the Lapiths to victory over the Centaurs in a battle known as the Centauromachy.’ The Abduction of Hippodamia. ( L'Enlèvement d'Hippodamie ) 1877     The story is referred to in Ovid's Amours ( Elegies ), Book 1.4. Translated by John Dryden: YOUR husband will be with us at the treat; May that be the last supper he shall eat! And am poor I a guest invited there, Only to see, while he may touch the fair? To see you kiss and hug your nauseous lord, While his lewd hand descends below the board! No wonder that Hippodamia’s charms, At such a sight, the Centaurs urg’d to arms: That in a rage they threw their cups aside, Assail’d the bridegroom, and would force the bride. I am not half a horse, (I would I were!) Yet ha

Pastoral: Random Notes and Quotes

William Wordsworth (1770–1850) Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour July 13, 1798 . Extract. Once again I see            These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines                   Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,             Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke   Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!           With some uncertain notice, as might seem         Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,                Or of some Hermit’s cave, where by his fire       The Hermit sits alone.            These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been to me     As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:            But oft, in lonely rooms, and ’mid the din            Of towns and cities, I have owed to them           In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,             Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;            And passing even