Selina Selina's Comments (member since Aug 20, 2009)


Selina's comments from the Classics and the Western Canon group.

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Aug 25, 2013 05:14AM

19860 Princess Lise fainted at the end of Part I, when Prince Andrew was leaving for the war. "She screamed and fell unconscious on his shoulder." Why did she scream and why exactly did she faint? Am I to interpret that she genuinely fainted or she was pretending to fall unconscious to see if Prince Andrew cared to delay his departure for her sake ?
Would Prince Andrew had left like that if the old Prince Nicholas Bolkonski, his father, or Mary, his sister, fainted ? Or did Prince Andrew think that his wife is putting up an act, and so he left with no hesitation ?

I feel sorry for Princess Lise. She is thrown into the harsh reality of the life of a wife and an expectant mother, moved away from familiar society, and she failed to gain the compassion of everyone except Princess Mary's.
Jul 25, 2013 10:59PM

19860 I ponder over why weirdness is not my immediate reaction when reading of a statue turning into a woman. I see Patrice's and Wendel's point. I recall the story Pinocchio in which a puppet turn into a real person. I didn't find it weird too, but I sense that the latter is more acceptable because
(1) Pinocchio went through a process of character development and before the end of the story, most readers want this puppet to become human. Pygmalion's statue did not undergo any life experience, except for a wedding of which the reader don't know how she felt !
(2) Pinocchio's maker wanted a child and he couldn't find one. Pinocchio's maker also did not yearn for a perfect child. Pygmalion possibly could find real woman but wanted a perfect woman.
Of course, the point about Pinocchio is not metamorphosis. I'm drifting into something else, and I'll go back to Ovid.
Jul 24, 2013 07:25PM

19860 The story of Pygmalion is a relief. Most stories end so horribly and I am glad to read Pygmalion that has a happy ending. Or did I speak too soon ? Could there be a continuation later with another sad ending ?
I don't know why Pygmalion is here, but I noted that Venus was mentioned at the end in the story before Pygmalion, Apollo and Hyacinthus.
"Venus prepared to leave her island cities;
....
She changed them into stupid roaring bulls.
Nor were the women more attractive cattle:
...
It was no wonder that they turned to stone."

I think it's implied that Venus turned the women to stone. In Pygmalion, the next story, Venus turned stone to woman.
Trojan Women (11 new)
Mar 22, 2012 05:30PM

19860 I am reading a translation by Paul Roche, for the reason that it is the only Euripides book I could find in the local bookstore. I read his translation for Oedipus trilogy previously.
Sep 18, 2011 05:09AM

19860 Thomas wrote: "if the sun is by analogy the truth, which we cannot see in all of its brilliance, how can we possibly live in accordance with it? ..."

I have the same question too. The whole book doesn't really say what the truth is. Truth, "being" the truth, is the truth, and things which are constantly changing, and "becoming", are in reality, what we have to constantly prepare for and respond to. If we can see it and hear it with our bodily senses, it is not the truth yet. Quite a big challenge for educators.
Sep 09, 2011 01:25AM

19860 Lily,

That is the edition I am reading now. Thank you for the link to the translator's obituary. I'm glad to read a little about his life.

Selina
Sep 08, 2011 05:01PM

19860 Thomas wrote: "Those who know the idea of beauty have no opinions about it; they all know the same thing, because it is one thing only, absolute and complete. Ideas do not change. They do not grow and decay. They do not become anything other than what they are, now and eternally. They are the only things which truly exist. "

This looks like idea and truth are the same ....
Sep 08, 2011 07:03AM

19860 Everyman wrote: "....At this point, half-way through, what translations are others using and what is your experience with them."

My copy has a subtitle(if that's how you call it) that says "The Comprehensive Student Edition". The title page says "Edited by Andrea Tschemplik with a complete revision of the classic translation by John Llewelyn Davies and David James Vaughan". I'm not sure what is meant by "classic translation", and if a revision of a classic translation is still a classic translation.

I am not reading any other translation. I am quite happy with the book because the language is easy to understand, but not the concepts and ideas. I don't have many choices of different edition and translation of this book from my library.
Aug 28, 2011 03:13PM

19860 Is there a definition or an explanation of "auxiliary" given in the Republic before Book 5 ? I'm wondering if I miss it or if the definition is coming later.
Aug 26, 2011 12:39AM

19860 Everyman wrote: "Are there enough of us who are behind that we should add in a one-week catch-up period ...? "

I am just starting Book 3, and I will like a one-week catch-up period.
Jan 01, 2011 05:40PM

19860 Having one discussion thread per tale is also my preference.
Dec 19, 2010 06:26PM

19860 The Library of America selects a story for every week. This week's story is "The Christmas Fireside" by Mark Twain. It is 4 pages long, and it is about a boy called Jim.
http://storyoftheweek.loa.org/2010/12...
My thanks to all members and especially to Zeke for the information and comments on Huckleberry Finn and the writer. I have enjoyed reading them all.
Themes (71 new)
Dec 07, 2010 11:46PM

19860 M wrote: "Proust, then, would have to be a whole symphony orchestra."

I am trying to start on volume one of In Search of Lost Time. You have raised my expectation on the book.
Dec 06, 2010 07:32PM

19860 I have previously tried reading The Wife of Bath Prologue and Tale using modern translation, and I struggled quite a bit then. I intend to have a Canterbury Tales written in prose to help me along. What I had bought from my local bookstore is The Canterbury Tales, a retelling by Peter Ackroyd. I know this isn't the "real thing", I am missing out the rhythm of the verses, original or modern, reading a re-writing in prose is not quite reading literature or the classic canon, etc., but considering my own background and circumstances, using a book in prose may be the better option for me.
On checking the table of fragments and tales listed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cant... , the book I bought is missing only the Melibee. I am keen to see how the discussion will be structured to cover some or all tales.
Themes (71 new)
Dec 05, 2010 02:52PM

19860 Zeke:Jim's decision not to let Huck see Pap and not to tell him until the end of the book that Pap is dead.
Could there be a selfish reason to it ? For example, Jim may be worried that Huck wanted to bury the body, report to the police, find out who killed his father, and Jim could lose Huck's help and support. At the very least, there would be significant delay for Jim's escape.
Nov 30, 2010 10:15PM

19860 Tom wrote: "The river is like a kind of parallel world -it can accomodate the imagination for a while, but it can't provide complete protection from society's obligations and expectations. "

I agree. The river has its perils. It's not just storm and current could capsize the boat. Other men use the river. Other boats on the river present a danger to Huck's raft and Huck got thrown into the water. The river is not his alone. The river is part of society and civilisation.
Nov 29, 2010 04:26PM

19860 I feel that in the book, it is sometimes unclear where do we draw the line between slavery and racism. We are quite clear what these two terms mean, but within the book, it is mixed, in that I don't see very well whether the character is doing something or not acting in certain ways because the character is for/against racism or because the character is for/against slavery. That doesn't mean it is a problem with the book, for slavery and racism commonly go together for the era Twain wrote about and we can't always clearly divide/categorize. To me, I think the slavery is more of a social background of the story rather than a theme. The themes of cross-cultural/class friendship and racism are stronger.
Nov 28, 2010 07:14PM

19860 I didn't find what Tom Sawyer did to be funny. Perhaps I don't have the sense of humour to appreciate it. When Aunt noticed things were missing from home, the two boys did not stop. They got worse, stealing and replacing things intentionally confusing her further and she of course wondered if she was going crazy. I have certainly lost interest in reading more of Tom's mischief and pranks in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Nov 17, 2010 08:17AM

19860 Thank you for explaining the history and geography. My first impression of the book is negative, mainly because of the language, the way Huck, his father, and Jim speak. This certainly isn't the book to help in polishing up English grammar. Also, I don't know much about boats or rafts and water and current. I do like the plot, and the way the story develops holds my interest. I'm waiting to see how Huck gets rid of the tiresome king and duke.
Nov 16, 2010 06:32PM

19860 Zeke wrote: "...Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character as it existed before the war that he is in great measure responsible for the war."

Twain wouldn't do anything so obvious as to have the people on the wrecked ship reflect this perverted Southern character, but I think at least two of Huck's onshore encounters are classics of the type.

I also find myself wondering about the distinction between Tom Sawyer's role playing and the delusions of Southern character Twain is excoriating.
"


Could anyone briefly outline some characteristics of the southern character ? My US map shows the "South" to include West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas and the states further south. What's above the South is named as "Midwest" on my map, which include Ohio, Missouri and Minnesota. So when I read about the "north" in American literature, is that actually the midwest, or does the "north" include the Plains, the Rocky Mountain areas ?
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