Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Munching lotus

Today I feel like time has really passed me by. I started reading Buxton's Imaginary Greece from 1994 and can't believe I'd missed it. I haven't been smacked this hard by an academic book since Brendel's Prolegomena. His clarity is compelling, e.g., "In spite of (or because) of the fashionableness and obvious fertility of the topic [Greek myth] ... there is a residual feeling that to treat mythology as a distinct area of study ... is a gambit bound up with Theory, Methodology and The Continent, and is thus not quite sound." I also appreciate his honesty, e.g.,"I hope, in short, that the present book will reach the wider audience too. To that end I have tried to cut down the jargon with which scholars like to armour-plate themselves" (see Nimis' serious yet entertaining article on the use of footnotes for this purpose).

I really enjoy Stumble Upon and the concept behind it. Bumbling along I've found so much richness. Late last year, I found Rumi. Wow! 2007 was designated the International Year of Rumi by UNESCO and in commemoration of this event Coleman Barks wrote Rumi: Bridge to the Soul. This book has wonderful translations of 99 poems and an excellent introduction. My favourite line in the book is from Saladin's Leaving: "Like the moon you turn a grainfield silver."

I also found Californication. I can relate so well to Hank. I could be that character, sincerely stumbling along in the journey of manhood, though I haven't published a book, don't own a Porsche, and definitely don't have women throwing their phone numbers into my car. Oh the fragile artist. Damn those expectations. The journey can be very hard. Nevertheless, it's all worth it. You get the feeling and the vibe. You carve out a place of acceptance. Of all those people who claim to know you, only a handful ever does. The only question is whether you count yourself among them.

The show is also an introduction, for me at least, to many cool covers of songs, e.g., Rocket Man by My Morning Jacket and Paranoid by Gus Black.

No comments:


Reverb plug-in