While on a short bike ride tonight I had a nifty idea for a series of blog essays. In fact, I thought so highly of it (hmm hubris anyone?) that I thought it would be even more interesting if I could presuade a few other bloggers to do the same thing. I’d collect them and also post links to them over at “BlogWatch”. Hopefully generating interest, traffic, and thought provoking/fun discussion for everyone involved. If, in subsequent weeks, others are interested, we could share hosting of the list of essay links in “Carnival” style (I don’t need to hog the “glory”).
With no further ado … Here it is:
The idea is to compare and contrast two heroic stories from almost the same eras but from very different cultures. The two stories I had in mind were the Hebrew heroic story … that is the story of King David in Samuel I & II … and the Greek heroic poems from the same era by Homer … that is the Iliad (and perhaps the Odyssey). I had in mind perhaps posting once weekly (say Thursdays) on the similarities and differences – to contrast and compare the stories of David and Achilles. We could write on the same subtopic on this theme each week. For example, for next week I was thinking we could write on the openings. To compare and contrast the Iliad‘s immortal opening cadences to the more subtle (tender?) vignette of Hannah giving up of Samuel, her firstborn, to the Temple.
Other topics might include,
- Musing about what makes a hero a hero. Compare what makes David a Hero to the Hebrews and Achilles a Hero to the Acheans.
- Compare how the two cultures (and authors) treat Death.
- How are the two Heros flawed. How do these flaws impact their stories.
Other suggestions for topics of course are welcome. Is this a good idea, or just too weird? Anyhow, for next Thursday if I drum up any other takers or not, I’m going be working on an essay on the first topics listed … the openings. After all, it’s always worthwhile to be especially careful with beginnings. 😉
One final note on translations. Personally, I’ll be using the Robert Fagels Iliad translation (you can find an Amazon link in my extended book list). I also prefer Robert Alter’s The Book of David as a translation for 1st and 2nd Samuel.