Homer

Quotation out of context (1): Epiphanic Stand-Alones

I've been thinking about quotations out of context for a long time: probably since Ray Bradbury made me fall in love with Yeats without my reading a word of him except Bradbury's quotations in title and epigraph. When such quotations are great -- and really that's the most fundamental reason for wanting to quote, or at least for remembering quotations, getting them by heart -- there are two ways they can be great:

Bloopers and essentialism

Bloopers are bloopers, but the study of bloopers is Theory. The study of bloopers can also be fun, and should be (even if an air of quasi-tragic resignation in the face of bloopers is the central, melodramatic posture of deconstruction). It can also tell us a little about the ways that we're all essentially essentialists.

I am, at any rate.

The Ghosts of War

“What? We fought the war for nothing? We suffered so much just for a phantom?”

Are these the furious questions of an anti-war protester? A returning Iraq veteran? A disillusioned President Obama? No --Euripides wrote these lines more than two thousand years ago in his play, Helen, a work that cries out about the tricks played on soldiers by the powerful.