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►Philosophy: “Plato´s Cave and Fifteen Million Merits” (Black Mirror):

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Hello readers! This is a post in collaboration with Christy Birmingham, from Poetic Parfait and When Women Inspire. You might wonder how the idea of writing this post came up. Well, basically, I had begun watching Season Three of Black Mirror, which was recently released on Netflix. I told Christy how much I liked it, and, from that moment, we started chatting about the series. Soon after, Christy watched “The Entire History of You”, which is the third episode of the first season, followed by “Fifteen Million Merits” (the second episode of the same season).

We discussed both episodes. And we decided to do a post on the latter. Therefore, this complete post was a result of the exchanges of points of views. But each one of us focused on particular themes.

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Christy Birmingham

Christy wrote about Abi (before and after “Hot Shot”), the concept of being overweight (as it is socially considered and shown in this episode), and added the final thoughts. She also had a major task proofreading the entire article and helping me sort out doubts along the process. For all this, I wish to take the opportunity to convey my gratitude to Christy.

As to me, I wrote other parts of the review, the allegory of the cave, and the ending section concerning the existing analogies between Plato´s Allegory of the Cave and this episode.

With that being said, keep in mind that you can watch this episode of Black Mirror on Netflix or here. Thanks for dropping by and we hope you enjoy the reading. 

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⇒The Allegory of the Cave:

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is written as a dialogue between Plato’s teacher Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon at the beginning of  “The Republic”, Book VII (514a–520a).

In the allegory, Plato likens people to prisoners chained in an underground cave, unable to turn their heads.

All they can see is the wall of the cave, upon which shadows of the world above are thrown.

The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. These so-called “puppeteers” are just people outside the cave who walk along this walkway, who presumably carry things on their heads. Hence, what the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see, believing that the shadows of objects are real objects.

One of the prisoners then is freed from their bindings and leaves the cave.

Blinded by the light, he is unable to see anything and longs for the familiar darkness. But, eventually, his eyes adjust to the light. Finally, he beholds the sun, which is the main source of knowledge. 

As he becomes used to his new surroundings, he realizes that his former view of reality was wrong.

But he is despised when he returns to the cave. Those who never left the cave ridicule him and swear never to go into the light lest they be blinded as well.

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The allegory of the Cave explains Plato´s Theory of Forms.

The Theory of Forms maintains that two distinct levels of reality exist: the visible world of sights and sounds that we inhabit and the intelligible world of Forms that stands above the visible world and gives it being. The visible world or World of Appearances consists of Images and Visible Things. But images have less entity than visible things (tangible things). In the Intelligible World we have the mathematical objects (not important for this analysis) and The Forms. 

Plato (427/347 BCE).-

Plato (427/347 BCE).-

For Plato, the Forms were basically the Ideas (also called Essences behind the visible Things).

Forms are not mental entities, nor even mind-dependent. They are independently existing entities whose existence and nature are graspable only by the mind, even though they do not depend on being so grasped in order to exist. Things are “useful” because as they allow us to recognize the Idea or Form behind and Beyond them. 

An example concerns the Idea of Beauty. All the beautiful things we can see are beautiful only because they participate in the more general Form of Beauty. This Form of Beauty is itself invisible, eternal, and unchanging, unlike the things in the visible world that can grow old and lose their beauty. This applies to all objects, as they are ideas for them too. Natural objects, such as trees and animals each link back to their respective Form or Idea. As to manufactured objects, that´s a different issue as Plato would rather consider them “artificial”; meaning “images of Things” (and so that was the case for Plato with all artistic creations, for instance).

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⇒Fifteen Million Merits:

Black Mirror is a British television series created by Charlie Brooker that features dark, speculative fiction and examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.

This series has three seasons so far, and it streams on Netflix. 

Fifteen Million Merits is the second episode of Season One of the series.

The episode depicts a society in which people have to generate the energy that runs the entire society, pedaling on stationary bikes for hours at a time. This is a world where technological pleasure and instant gratification always depend on computers, where the real world and the virtual world are completely intertwined and almost everything natural has been replaced by technology. 

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“Fifteen Million Merits” has all of these elements. It is also a satirical approach to the capitalist society from a technological perspective. Characters are mainly clients and their “money” is a fungible value. Not money, though, but “merits” instead. The idea of merit, rather, seems to respond to the demands of a society in which  the Division of Labor is no longer needed. 

So, basically, everyone plays the same role. Each individual is both a creator and consumer of manufacturing inputs. Besides, leisure time and working time are not clearly divided. While people work (pedalling to generate energy), they are allowed to watch television.

Everyone wears grey clothes, except those who clean the place, who wear yellow and are most times bullied and even depicted in video games as “targets” to shoot.

The cleaners wear bright yellow outfits, which is in sharp contrast to the blasé grey sweat suits of the peddlers. Look closely at the cleaners, who carry dust bins and brooms, and notice that they are all overweight.

Soon it becomes clear in the TV episode that their weight relates to why they are cleaners rather than peddlers, and that being a cleaner is a job that is beneath the people on the bikes. For example, one very excitable man on a bike taunts the workers whenever they come around him. He mocks the outfit and weight of one male cleaner, who never talks back to him.

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It seems that when a person becomes overweight, they are removed from the bike work and put to work cleaning the floor instead.

There are many issues being brought up here. Firstly, the way society is organized is that overweight people are considered lower-class citizens. Fitness is considered a strength while being large is symbolic of the weak.

Also, there is obviously bullying going on here, from a “higher” class of society to a “lower” one. Being bullied for a person’s weight is something that happens today, but Fifteen Million Merits takes it to a whole new level in the future.

Aside from talking down to the cleaners, the people in grey outfits also shoot at the yellow figures who appear in video games. The yellow people who look like the floor cleaners are part of games that are similar to “Call of Duty”. They are shot at by the peddlers on the bike and the shooting games continue when the peddlers return to their homes too.

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Furthermore, if people are not working at same sole task, they are locked in their prison cell of video screens that cover every surface from floor to ceiling, pumping out an endless stream of inane comedy, reality TV and softcore porn. It is worth noting though that under these televisual circumstances, there is no place for intimacy. Being spectators of TV shows means that you appear in the show as an avatar who makes your reactions public .

We could assume that this “world” is the result of some sort of energy crisis. Hence, the population is needed to power their lights instead. Their existence is pretty miserable to contemplate; so much of the energy is used to distract the same citizenry as they perform their mundane tasks.

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The story has two main characters. Bing and Abi.

Bing is confronted with an artificial, media-saturated world, and yet he is hungry for something more.

Like most dystopian stories, he gets a hint that there could be something more when he meets the pretty Abi, and soon after he hears her singing, he falls for her.

Her innocence and naïvety are attractive to Bing, but her singing hints at something even deeper.  In his eyes, her beauty is something that goes beyond everything,  in a world covered with dark multimedia screens (black mirrors).

Even if they don´t have physical contact (there is an occasion when they briefly hold hands in an elevator, though), there is something magical between them, a spark of reality, so to speak.

There is symbol which seems to represent their bond. The little penguin, which recurrently appears.  It probably represents “something lost” (maybe Nature as it seems the characters are locked and pent-up in a “fake” world where real things are barely available).

This little animal appears many times throughout the episode as an origami penguin, carefully folded by Abi. Besides, Abi´s avatar wears a dress with penguins on it. And, at the end of the episode, the penguin motif takes on a quite heart-breaking significance at the episode’s conclusion, as Bing has a statue of a penguin in his luxurious but minimalist penthouse.
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Abi and Bing´s relationship is good. But, that’s just the beginning of the story. In a world where everything is a spectacle, where everything can be objectified, repackaged and sold back to an always hungry viewership, what happens with feelings and with human experiences?.

That´s when the we learn about “Hot Shot”, as an equivalent to “The X Factor” or “American Idol” in this episode, which seems to be the entrance to fame and a life free of duties (the bike).

“Hot Shot” depicts pretty much a “roman circus”.

abi2The committee on the TV-show “Hot Shot” consist of three judges named “Wraith”, “Hope”, and “Charity”. The theological virtues of Christianity are “Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity”. These were traditionally the path to follow in order to attain salvation. The change from “Faith” to “Wraith” is justified because our faith is now on the virtual world. The new salvation is to be successful, to obtain a more real virtuality.

Bing is so charmed by Abi´s song that he spends his dead brother’s 15 million merits to get her on “Hot Shot”, where she’s an instant sensation. Drugged by some sort of milk called “Cuppliance” (which is a composed word, resulting of the sum of “cup” and “compliance”), she goes along with Judge Wraith and becomes a porn star, in a wrenching twist.

Celebrity culture entails a sort of moral nihilism, the show in question leads to a dark voyeurism, which goes deep into other people’s humiliation, pain, weakness, and betrayal. Spectators appear as avatars, a crowded, anonymous audience facing the stage, staring at the contestants while they are just watching the screen in their cells (and represented as avatars in the audience).

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The crowd starts to chant for Abi to take the spot offered to her by the judge to become a porn star. In this case, when Abi is on stage, having drunk the “Cuppliance” beverage, she gives in to the social pressure of the crowd. While she is uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a porn star, as shown by her hesitation, the crowd’s chanting become gets stronger and louder.

Abi is being bullied. After all, the floor cleaners are not the only ones bullied in this society. She is being harassed digitally, which we can already see happening in real life today with death threats on Facebook and Twitter, for example. We soon learn the negative impacts of intimidation when we see the career that Abi ends up feeling forced to choose.

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In addition to the bullying, Abi is also submitting to something bigger than herself, which happens in many societies today. Whether you call it peer pressure (the crowd) or the pressure of authority (the judges), or a combination of the two, this Black Mirror episode takes the influence of others to the extreme. She wants approval, as so many people do in the world today.

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But Abi suffers terribly for getting this approval. She enters the porn world, as the judges and audience both encouraged her to do, and soon videos of her being demoralized by men are flashed across digital screens everywhere. While she no longer has to ride the bike all day, her new role is demeaning, including an image on the screens of a man putting his finger into her mouth and she is physically beneath him, which shows he has the power over her, body and all.

Abi is now officially part of the “Wraith Babes” stream that has “the hottest girls in the nastiest situations” as the announcer’s voice on the stream repeatedly says when it is shown on screens. So sad, as no girl says that she wants to grow up to star in pornography. Instead, Abi – like some women in today’s world – have been pressured into doing degrading sexual acts to please others. It is a depressing look at women’s bodies being exploited for the instant gratification of other people.

This example of Ali is taken to the extreme in a few ways. Firstly, she is viewed by Bing as being pure and innocent, including having an angelic voice; she is the ultimate example of peer pressure’s consequences. Also, the pornography featuring her is spread across huge digital screens for everyone to see, rather than being viewed on private websites or seedy theaters.

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Once Abi is caught in the porn universe, the ads featuring her torture a broken Bing. He destroys his room and sets upon a revenge mission, earning another shot on the show and giving a rough speech with a shard of glass pointed at his neck. The sequence in question is perfectly done.

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It is mostly an act of rebellion that leaves the audience numb and silent until  Judge Hope proclaims it the most heartfelt thing they’ve ever seen on the show. Soon after the Judge´s evaluation, the audience begin to cheer and clap hands in a standing ovation.

Bings´s speech is a little bit of the major irony here. He speaks out the truth (maybe because he cheats and avoid drinking the beverage Abi had when she performed, as he had hidden the dispenser under his bed).

Judge Hope says he is deeply moved by his words and offers him to have his own show twice a week for half an hour each. And Bing, persuaded by the judge and audience, accepts. 

So, ultimately he also sells himself out. In other words, he becomes entertainment himself. Speaking trite truths about consumerism and vociferating sold out prejudices concerning non-genuine life. While using the glass in his throat while he speaks, in a threatening tone as if he is going to commit suicide. 

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⇒Concluding Thoughts on Fifteen Million Merits:

As with the other Black Mirror episodes, Fifteen Million Merits is a smart hour of science fiction television. It shows a dark side of technology and the excesses that the world could come to in the future if electronic devices are not used wisely by humans. It could wind up that the world is short on energy, that we cannot get away from digital screens, and that bullying is a bigger side-effect of a tech-savvy lifestyle than ever before.

But, perhaps we have to squirm in our seats watching this kind of television to be able to make more sense of the world, our place in it, and how to use technology responsibly in the future.

Or, it could just be that we recognize that technology can also challenge our ways of thinking about the future, human nature, and electronic gadgets. What we know for sure is that we do not plan to buy or wear a grey sweat suit anytime soon.

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⇒Fifteen Million Merits and Plato´s Allegory of the Cave:

The interrelations between this episode and Plato´s Allegory of the Cave could be summarized as follows.

People´s approach of Reality is given basically through images of things. These things are screen images, and all sorts of images most times on the screens, of the cells or on TVs in front of the Bikes.

People are represented by avatars, meaning by images of themselves, the merits are charged to those avatars, as if it was a video game.

Most importantly, people are prisoners of a cave.

They live locked up there. Everyone has his own cells, in which each perimeter consists of screens.

The screens  continuously emit shows and do so unless it is the night. 

If the prisoner wants to watch a show, he´ll have to pay for it. And if he wants to skip ads, he´ll have to do the same.

The main shows are hosted and owned by the Judges of the show “Hot Shot” (Judge Charity, Judge Hope and Judge Wraith). So, basically, the Judges are somehow the puppeteers.

Bing is the “released prisoner”. After Abi´s performance and after she enters the Porn Industry (hired by Judge Wraith), he begins to see images as things, so to speak. The scene in the elevator, in which the main characters hold hands, is quite meaningful and one could even say it is a hinge moment.

Bing´s speech in “Hot Shot” shows that he is somehow the philosopher. The one who has a sharp intellect. 

Bing’s awakening makes evident the fact that the system is a huge lie and that the ideals proposed by power are alienating people instead of making them happier. Having seen the light, which is paradoxically darkness as it has to do with Abi´s prostitution, he wants to tell his former fellow prisoners about his experiences, as a sort of revolutionary leader would do. He tries to raise awareness.   

But, the irony here is that even if Judge Hope gives him the credit for his “moving” speech, whilst highlighting the importance of being “genuine”, he is not taken seriously, at least in the expected terms.

Judge Hope (who would be a sort of Crowd Pleaser) takes him to his own  field and beats him, once there.

Bing becomes an entertainer, and of the system he was defying. Light beyond the screens is unattainable as we can see in the last sequence of the episode, when he looks through a big window something that could be both thing: a real landscape or… even something more sinister: a landscape digitalized image on yet another screen.

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You can watch this episode of Black Mirror here and/or here. 

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Links Post:
https://goo.gl/bJ7PDQ
https://goo.gl/5bk0NS
https://goo.gl/9vq3JW
https://goo.gl/oO4nKy
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Aristotle 1

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I.♠Introduction:

In my previous post, I made reference to the Muses

tragedy and comedyBack to the most common typology, I found interesting that Tragedy and Comedy were represented among the Nine Muses. I am specifically pointing out to Melpomene and ThaliaMelpomene was the muse of Tragedy and her symbol was the tragic mask. On the other hand, Thalia was the muse of Comedy while her symbol was the comic mask.

Furthermore, as I read about them, I couldn´t avoid thinking of the well known symbol of the two masks, depicting Tragedy and Comedy.

→Now, let´s see which were the masks´purposes when it comes to The Ancient Greek drama.

The Ancient Greek term for a mask is Prosopon (literally meaning,”face”).

The classical masks had an important function in plays of tragedies and comedies as they were able to create a sense of dread in the audience creating large scale panic, since they had intensely exaggerated facial features and expressions. They also enabled an actor to appear and reappear in several different roles, in addition to revealing a change in a particular character’s appearance. Finally, they facilitated the playing of women’s roles by men, as women were not allowed to perform Greek dramas.

As to the costumes, actors who played tragic roles wore boots called Cothurneses, that elevated them above other actors. When playing female roles, the male actors wore a Prosterneda which was a wooden structure infront of the chest to imitate breasts.

Common clothes were the Chiton and the Hemateon. The Chiton was made of linen or silk and it was worn long. The Hemateon was an exterior cloth, made of wool, which was worn over the shoulders.

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Greek Sculptures. On the Left: Thalia, Muse of Comedy. On the Right: Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy.

Greek Sculptures, 500 BCE approx. On the Left: Thalia, Muse of Comedy. On the Right: Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy.

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Greek Masks. (Late 500 BC),

Greek Masks. (Late 500 BC),

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On the Left: Greek theatre at Ephesus (now in Turkey). Built in the 10th century BC. On the Right: Ancient Greek theatre of Epidauros.Date of Construction: ca. 300-340 BC.

On the Left: Greek theatre at Ephesus (now in Turkey). Built in the 10th century BC. On the Right: Ancient Greek theatre of Epidauros. Date of Construction: ca. 300-340 BC.

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→Before getting to the specific subject of this post (Aristotle´s theory of Tragedy as shown in his book “Poetics”), I would like to overall present the main differences between Tragedy and Comedy.

•By and large, we can say that a Comedy is a story that illustrates idiosyncrasies of ordinary people, has a happy ending where protagonist achieves his goal at the end.

The word “comedy” in Ancient Greek, means “village revel”. It is derived from the Classical Greek κωμῳδία, kōmōidía, which is a compound either of kômos (revel) or κώμη (village) and ᾠδή (singing).

The Greeks confined their use of the word “Comedy” to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average.

The most famous ancient greek playwrights of the genre Comedy were: Aristophanes, Menander and Philemon.

•In general terms, a Tragedy is a story with a sad  ending. A tragedy always deals with an extraordinary person who is led to downfall through his own weakness. Besides, a successful tragedy may have the ability to evoke pity and fear in the audience.

Ancient Greek tragedy was a popular and influential form of drama performed in theatres across ancient Greece from the late 6th century BCE. According to Aristotle, tragedy evolved from the satyr dithyramb, an Ancient Greek hymn, which was sung along with dancing in honor of Dionysus. 

The most famous ancient greek playwrights of the genre Tragedy were: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and many of their works were still performed centuries after their initial premiere.

For a more detailed comparison between Tragedy and Comedy, I suggest you to read this list by John Morreall, which  thoroughly presents their prototypical characteristics, while comparing these genres as well.

Also, you can read more about Greek Theatres, staging and Structure of Comedy and Tragedy in the gallery below.

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Gallery: Ancient Greek Theatres. Staging. Comedy and Tragedy (Characteristics ):

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II.♠Aristotle’s “Poetics”: “Theory of Tragedy”:

•Tragedy. Definition and Aim:

Aristotle thoroughly analyzes the subject of Tragedy in Poetics. Section 1. Part VI.

He says: “Tragedy, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its Catharsis of such emotions. . . . 

To Aristotle, Tragedy is the “imitation of an action” (mimesis) according to a certain “law of probability or necessity”.

The end of the tragedy is a Catharsis (purgation, cleansing) of the tragic emotions of pity and fear.

•The three Unities of Tragic Drama:

According to Aristotle these are the unities of time, place and action.
1→Unity of action: the play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots.
2→Unity of place: the play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
3→Unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than  twenty-four (24)hours.

•The Six Parts of Tragedy:

Aristotles held that every Tragedy must have six parts, namely, Plot, Character. Thought, Diction, Spectacle, Song or Melody.

1→Plot (mythos): It refers to the structure of the incidents.  According to Aristotle `Dramatic action is not with a view to the representation of character… character comes in as subsidiary to the actions´. 

The plot must be “a whole,” with a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning (Protasis) is called by modern critics the incentive moment. The middle or climax  (Epitasis) must be caused by earlier incidents and itself cause the incidents that follow it. The end, or resolution (Catastrophe) must be caused by the preceding events and should therefore solvethe problem created during the incentive moment. The end  comprises events from the end of the falling action to the actual ending scene of the drama or narrative. Conflicts are resolved, creating normality for the characters and a sense of catharsis, or release of tension and anxiety, for the reader. 

2→Character (Ethos): The characters are the agents mainly with a view to the action, as Tragedy is defined as he imitation of an action.

In a tipical Tragedy, the protagonist should be renowned and prosperous, so his change of fortune can be from good to bad. This change “should come about as the result, not of vice, but of some great error or frailty in a character.” Such a plot is most likely to generate pity and fear in the audience, for “pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves.” The term Aristotle uses here, Hamartia, often translated “tragic flaw”.

In the ideal tragedy, claims Aristotle, the protagonist will mistakenly bring about his own downfall—not because he is sinful or morally weak, but because he does not know enough. The role of the Hamartia (tragic flaw) in tragedy comes not from its moral status but from the inevitability of its consequences. 

In this way, the Peripeteia, meaning a “reversal of intention” entrains a crucial action from/on the protagonis that changes the situation, from seemingly secure to vulnerable. This leads to results diametrically opposed to those that were intended (often termed tragic irony), and the Anagnorisis, which means “recognition” and leads to the gaining of the essential knowledge that was previously lacking

3→Thought (Dianoia): It is, the faculty of `saying´what is possible and pertinent in given circumstances. Thought, on the other hand, is found where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is enunciated. 

4→Diction (Lexis): It refers to the quality of speech in tragedy. Speeches should reflect character, the moral qualities of those on the stage. The expression of the meaning of the words.

5→Spectacle (Opsis): It is related to the representation and actors. Spectacle, for Aristotle, is what happens to the text of a play when it is performed. It is created by the actors and “stage machinist” who through their work give physical form and expression to the words of the poet. It is what an audience sees and hears when they witness the performance of a play.

6→Song or Melody (Melos): It holds the chief place among the embellishments. It is is the musical element of the chorus. Aristotle argues that the Chorus should be fully integrated into the play like an actor. It should be an integral part of the whole, and share in the action.

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Tragedy, according to Aristotle. Summary of Terms in Greek.

Tragedy. Terms in Greek.

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Freytag´s Triangle on the Plot Structure of the Tragedy.

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Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_ancient_Greece
http://pediaa.com/difference-between-comedy-and-tragedy/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramatic_structure
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetics_(Aristotle)
https://greektheatre.wordpress.com/home/
https://www.whitman.edu/theatre/theatretour/ephesus/commentary/Ephesus.commentary.htm
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/aristotle/section11.rhtml
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/platos-ion-and-aristotles-poetics-on-the-concepts-of-mimesis-and-catharsis/
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/a/agamemnon-the-choephori-and-the-eumenides/critical-essay/aristotle-on-tragedy
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Two Quote Challenges and Several Awards:

►Quote Challenge: “Memory”, as a atribute to Mnemosyne and “Inspiration”, as tribute to The Muses:

Inese, from Making Memories, firstly and then Heena, from Heena Rathore P. have nominated me for a so called 3-Day Quote Challenge.

I had already joined this challenge once, with regard to the subject of Beauty, and was invited by Paul in that occasion.

I thought in that moment that it would be a good idea to take the challenge in order to illustrate the subject of that particular post, from a different perspective, of course… 

Hence I will do the same now. I will use as a pretext my posts on Mnemosyne, in which Resa McConaghy and Christy Birmingham took part and my post on The Muses, which include a poem by Eva Xanthopoulos.

Lastly, I will add photographs from my Instagram account, alongside the quotes, as I had previously done the first time I was nominated to join this Challenge.

The rules of this challenge are: ♠Post your favorite quotes or your own quotes for three (3) posts in a row. ♠Thank the person who nominated, by linking to the blog. ♠Pass it on to three (3) other bloggers per quote, each time you post them. Or pass it to nine (9) bloggers per challenge if you choose to post all the quotes together, in the same post.
⚠ Note: I will post the six (6) quotes together. Three for each of the two (2) Challenges I was invited to. Thus I will nominate eighteen (18) Bloggers. 

If you have been nominated for a Challenge, and decide to keep it up -no pressure, just If you want, of course- then, you will only have to choose three (3) bloggers per quote, meaning nine (9) bloggers in total.

You can decide whether to post the three (3) quotes altogether hitting two targets with one shot. Or you can post one quote at a time. That´s up to you.

Also, you can choose whichever subject fits you and you may you present the Quote Challenge however you want. You can go for any of the topics I have used as well (i.e Beauty, Memory-remembrances, or Inspiration).

So, well then, without further ado, my nominees for the Quotes Challenges are: 1. Arresting Imagery 2. Coffee Fuels my Photography 3. Tails Around the Ranch 4. Living the Dream 5. While there is life, there is hope 6. D.G.Kaye Writer  7. Have We Had Help? 8. Ted Giffin 9. Lens and Pens by Sally 10. The Muscleheaded Blog 11. Ringana- Paterakis 12. Georges 2679 13. 14. Les rêves d’Eugénie 15. Qhapaq 16. Living with my Ancestors 17. T Ibara Photo 18. The Bonny Blog.

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► Three Quotes and photographs on Memory-Remembrances, as a tribute to Goddess Mnemosyne:

~ Click on the images to read ~

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►Three Quotes and pics on Inspiration, as tribute to The Nine Muses:

~ Click on the images to read ~

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⭐ Last but not Least: “Several Awards” ⭐

I am quite behind with awards and challenges… I was going to make this blog an `award free blog´, but I have always liked to receive awards and enjoyed passing them to other bloggers… Besides, there is something about the gesture of giving itself which I believe is clearly intertwined with process of recognizing or being recognized.

I will keep it up with awards and similar stuff. But I just run off time at times in order to post, visit blogs and reply to comments here. Hence, when it comes to the amount of bloggers to nominate and the rules to follow, I might take certain licenses, usually nominating less bloggers than required. I might as well homogenize rules for all the awards and change their logos as well.

I really can not otherwise, not only because of lack of time but mostly because I find hard to nominate as many bloggers as sometimes is stipulated. 

Thanks for reading my attempt of `disclaimer´…  And thanks so much to all the Bloggers who have nominated me for different awards, which I will make reference to below.

I suggest you to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven’t still done so…

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•Rules for all these Awards.

♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate five (5) to ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

1.Best Blogger Award: Nominated by Loli Lopesino from “Comienzo de Cero”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Shehanne Moore b. Course of Mirrors c. Making Memories d. An Unexpected Life Chosen. e. Eva Marks

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2.Best Blogger Award: Nomination coming from “Quimoji”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Heena Rathore P.  b. Debi Riley c. Smile Calm. d. Kate McClelland e. Sacred Touches.

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3.Versatile Blogger Award: Nominated by Leire from Leire´s “Room”.

Nominees for this Award: a. A Russian Affair b. Inside The Life of Moi c. Pisces Rising d. Made of Sticks and Stones e. The Hardest Science.

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4. Sunshine Blogger Award: Nomination coming from “Pintowski’s Blog”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. An Unexpected Muse b. Anna Belfrage c. The Coastal Crone. d. Geokult Travel e. From Bluerock.

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5.Blogger Recognition Award: Nominated by “Robert M. Goldstein”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Eva Poetex. b. Between Two Tides. c. Quimoji d. Luna Quebrada e. Sarah

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6.One Lovely Blog Award: Nominated by “Claudia Moss”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. D. Wallace Peach. b. House of Hearts. c. Comienzo de Cero d. Leire´s Room e. Cecile´s Writers.

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7.Liebster Award: Nominated by “Sarah”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Almeno Tu b. Between Scarlett & Guest c. Pintowski’s Blog d. BrewNSpew eRobert M. Goldstein

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8.Versatile Blogger Award: Nomination coming from “BrewNSpew”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Millie Thom b. Jilanne Hoffmann c. “Claudia Moss” d. Carly Watters e. No Wasted Ink

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9.Versatile Blogger Award: Nomination coming from “Luna Quebrada”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Sloppy Buddhist b. The Half- Eaten Mind c. A Wing and Away. d. Loujen Haxm’Yor e. Create Art Everyday.

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10.Blogger Recognition Award: Nomination coming from “The Half- Eaten Mind”.-

Nominees for this Award: a. Reality through Fiction b. Quando la mente si Sveste c. Stealing Quiet Time In Noisy Disorder d. Inspiration Import e. Oana Roses.

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11.  One Lovely Blog Award coming from “Stealing Quiet Time In Noisy Disorder.-

Nominees for this Award: a.The Little Mermaid b. Araoimi c. Dolls Global d. Kyrosmagica e. Becoming Cliche.

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•Note:

-If you have been nominated and want to follow the Nomination Process, just look for the award down here, in the slideshare. Once you did, click on it and save it. 

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the pleiades

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"The Pleiades" by Elihu Vedder (1885).

“The Pleiades” by Elihu Vedder (1885).

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The Pleiades were seven sisters: Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno and Merope.

Their parents were Atlas, a Titan who held up the sky, and the Oceanid Pleione, the protectress of sailing.

They were the sisters of the Hyades (a sisterhood of Nymphs that bring rain) and they were all together known as Atlantides . 

As it was already said, they were seven in number, six of whom are described as visible, and the seventh as invisible.

Some call the seventh Merope and relate that she became invisible from shame, because she alone among her sisters had had intercourse with a mortal man; Sisyphus, the King of Corinth.

Another explanation for the ‘lost’ star related to the myth of the Electra, an ancestress of the royal house of Troy. After the Trojan War and the destruction of that city, the grief stricken Electra abandoned her sisters and was transformed into a comet, everafter to be a sign of impending doom.

The word Pleiades was derived from the Greek word pleiôn, meaning “plenty “. Another suggested derivations include: from πλεῖν plein, “to sail,” making the Pleiades the “sailing ones”; from πλέος pleos, “full, many”; or from πελειάδες  Peleiades, “flock of doves.”

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The Pleiades.

The Seven Pleiades, plus Atlas and Pleione.

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The Six visible Pleiades and Merope, the Seventh and invisible one.

The Six visible Pleiades and Merope, the Seventh and invisible one.

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They Pleaides were  the virgin companions of Artemis, the Goddess of hunting and the Moon.

Whilst stalking a hind, the  hunter Orion crept into a sunlit glade, disturbing the sisters.

He then began to pursue them relentlessly. 

In frustration, Artemis pleaded with Zeus to for his intervention.

Therefore, Zeus transformed the sisters into a flock of doves, and soon after, into stars.

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The Seven Pleiades. Metamorphosis, from doves to stars.

The Seven Pleiades. Metamorphosis, from doves to stars.

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Artemis was angry because she no longer could see her companions and asked her brother, Apollo, to kill Orion. 

Apollo, Artemis´ brother, having been affronted by the mortal hunter’s prowess, was persuaded to set a monstrous Scorpion to attack Orion.

Finally, Zeus set the dead hunter in the sky in a vain pursuit of the Pleiades through the night sky for eternity, with the constellation Scorpio ever chasing after Orion, the hunter.

In many accounts, Apollo directed the scorpion to go after Orion. As he wanted to protect Artemis´chastity vows. He placed Orion´s constellation in the skies, along with Scorpio. Thus, at night, when Scorpio comes, Orion simultaneously begins to drop away to the opposite side, forever hightailing it away from the scorpion.

These two opponents, Orion and the Scorpion, were placed amongst the stars as their namesake constellations. But, they are positioned on opposite sides of the sky, one sets as the other rises.

The Scorpion rises as Orion starts to sink into the other side of the sky, and this was seen as Orion running away from the attacker, and still in fear of him.

Thus, Scorpius rule the northern hemisphere’s summer while Orion rules the winter skies.

From an astronomic point of view, Orion is known as the “mighty hunter” and is one of the most recognizable constellations in the sky.

The three stars in the Belt of Orion show up clearly in northern winter sky and align with the celestial equator; halfway between the North and South Poles.

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Constellations of Orion and Scorpio.

Constellations of Orion and Scorpio.

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When it comes to astronomy, the Nine bright stars of the Pleiades are named for the Seven Sisters, along with their parents Atlas and Pleion.

The Pleiades is an open star cluster, containing middle-aged stars, located in the constellation of Taurus.

Taurus is composed of two main groups of stars: the Pleaides and the Hyades, both  of them called Atlantides in Greek Mythology

The Pleiades, as mentioned, were placed in the sky by Zeus, as Artemis asked the Ruler of Gods to keep them safe from the lusty Orion.

The Seven Hyades lie 10° southeast of the Pleaides.

Mythologically, the Pleiades were daughters of Atlas and Aethra, and hence half-sisters of the Pleaides, with whom they made up the Fourteen Atlantides.

The Hyades were placed among the stars as a reward for their sisterly love, which was evinced by their sorrow at the death of their brother Hyas who was drowned in a well, or, in another version of the myth, he was killed by a wild beast in Libya).

The face of Taurus is marked by the V-shaped group of stars called the Hyades. It is among the nearest stars cluster to Earth and is the easily visible to in the night sky.

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Constellation of Taurus, including the Pleaides and the Hyades (Atlantides). And Constellation of Orion, alonside it.

Constellation of Taurus, including the Pleaides and the Hyades (Atlantides). And Constellation of Orion, alongside it.

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Annex: There is a similar Greek Myth which involves Stars and Constellations.

Specifically, the greek story featuring Zeus and his lover Callisto, in which Arcas and Callisto are transformed to stars, The Ursa Minor and Major, respectively. And after that, Callisto is transformed to a bear.

According to a different version of the myth of Zeus and Callisto, Zeus transformed himself to his sister Goddess Artemis, the Goddess of Nature and Hunting, in order to mate with Callisto.

Again, Hera, used to her husband’s cheating methods, figured out what was going on and tried to catch them on action, but then Zeus-Artemis changed Callisto back in to a bear and made her the largest constellation in the northern sky.

Located at the top of the heavens, these two stars of the two bear-constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, never set, meaning, they are always visible in the night sky, all night, every night, throughout the year.

One version of the myth explains why they were positioned so… Zeus placed Callisto in the sky as the constellation Ursa Major, or “Great Bear”, and her son, Arcas who was also Zeus’ son, as Ursa Minor, as “Little Bear”.

The Pleiades. Native American mythology

Finally, a further point on the subject of the Pleiades.

When, it comes to Native American Mythology, probably the most famous legend of the Pleiades, is the story behind Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, a volcanic rock which the local Kiowa Indians call Mateo Tepe. According to that account, once seven maidens camped near the river in a region known to have many bears.

One of the bears began to chase the maidens, who knelt to pray for help, calling upon the gods. The ground was raised into the sky. The bear tried to follow in vain and clawed the side of the rock, the marks of which are seen on the Tower.

To protect the maidens, the Great Spirit allowed them to remain in the sky as the seven sisters, the Pleiades.

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The Seven Pleiades.

The Seven Pleiades.

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►Gallery: The Pleiades … and Stuff featured in this post:

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►Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NymphaiPleiades.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleiades_(Greek_mythology)
http://www.naic.edu/~gibson/pleiades/pleiades_myth.html
http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/Orion.html
http://www.constellationsofwords.com/stars/hyades.html
http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/UrsaMajor.html
http://mysteryoftheiniquity.com/2011/05/31/close-encounters-of-the-pleiades-kind/

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  Last but not Least: “Three Awards” 

I would like to thank  bloggers from Shehanne Moore, My Green Nook and Aromas and Flavours for nominating my blog for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, a One Lovely Blog Award and a Dragons Loyalty Award, respectively.

I suggest you to check out these blogs and follow them, if you haven’t still done so…

•Rules for the One Lovely Blog Award and the Dragons Loyalty Award. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. 

•Rules for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Add the logo to your post. ♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers of your choice and tell them about the nomination. ♠Answer these questions, as per Shehanne Moore. When bestowing other bloggers with this award, You shall set your own 10 questions, if you wish

1. Do you like hamsters?. I do…

2. If you had  a hamster what would you call it? Tangerine or Haruki.

3. Seriously, if you did have to sum up your life in ten words, what would they be?  I try to enjoy life and its little things… 

4. Have you ever broken the law? Yes… Minor charges…

5 .What would be your ideal day? A sunny saturday, I guess… 

6. Favourite colour? Blue… Black?

7. Favourite recipe? Lemon Pie…

8. Favourite place close to where you live? Tigre, Buenos Aires.

9. Best thing that’s happened to you this year so far? Feeling blessed to have certain wonderful people in my Life. 

10. And the worst? …. Disclaimer:  I´d rather keep that one for myself!… 

•Notes:

-If you have been nominated and want to follow the Nomination Process, just click on the award for which you have been nominated for. That way you’ll be able to grab in regular size!.~☀ 🌟★🌟 ☀ ~☀ 🌟★🌟 ☀ ~☀ 🌟★🌟

I. Nominees: 1. Solveig Werner 2. Bottled Memos 3. Gator Woman 4. Of Opinions 5. A Writer of History 6. My Berkeley Bowl 7. Sundown 8. Claremary P. Sweeney 9. Breathing Space 10. Traveling Rockhopper.

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II. Nominees: 1. Being Southern Somewhere Else 2. Thefeatheredsleep 3. Fashionable Librarian 4. Storyshucker 5. Jane Eyre Gets Real 6. Charlotte Hoaks 7. Aromas and Flavours 8. Course of Mirrors 9. Jennifer´s Journal 10. Journey into Poetry.

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III. Nominees: 1. Shehanne Moore 2. Quoth The Wordsmith 3. My Green Nook 4. Rami Ungar, the Writer 5. Scribble and Scrawl 6. The Metropolis Marvel 7. Minuscule Moments 8. Living the Dream 9. Great Indie Authors 10. Touch my Sound.

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artemis

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Diana the Huntress, by Luca Penni (16th Century).

“Diana the Huntress”, by Luca Penni (16th Century).

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Artemis (Roman Equivalent: Diana) was the greek goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals.

She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of Virginity and the girl child up to the age of marriage.

According to the Homeric account and also to Hesiod she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was the sister of Apollo. According to Pausanias, Artemis was a daughter of Demeter, and not of Leto.

Artemis as the sister of Apollo, is a kind of female Apollo.

Artemis is moreover, like Apollo, unmarried; she is a maiden divinity never conquered by love. The priests and priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and trangressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished. 

When Apollo was regarded as identical with the sun or Helios, nothing was more natural than that his sister should be regarded as Selene or the moon, and accordingly the Greek Artemis is, at least in later times, the goddess of the moon. Phoebe was one of the many names she was called. The name Phoebe means the “light one” or “bright one”.

Another earlier version of the Goddess is the Arcadian. According to it, Artemis  is a goddess of the nymphs.

There was no connexion between the Arcadian Artemis and Apollo. Her epithets in Arcadia are nearly all derived from the mountains, rivers, and lakes. Thus she was the representative of some part or power of nature. Also according to the Arcadian version, Artemis hunted with her twenty nymphs, who accompanied her during the chase, and with sixty others, daughters of Oceanus, with whom she held her dances in the forests of the mountains.

The representations of the Greek Artemis in works of art are different accordingly as she is represented either as a huntress, or as the goddess of the moon; yet in either case she appears as a youthful and vigorous divinity.

~As the huntress, her attributes are the bow, quiver, and arrows, or a spear, stags, and dogs.

~As the goddess of the moon, she wears a long robe which reaches down to her feet, a veil covers her head, and above her forehead rises the crescent of the moon. In her hand she often appears holding a torch.

On one of her birthdays Artemis asked for Six wishes from Zeus, his father. These wishes were.

  1. To be able to live life chaste.
  2. To be able to be a lifelong bachelorette and never marry.
  3. A bow and arrow like that of Apollo’s
  4. Hunting dogs to assist her hunting.
  5. Stags to lead her chariot.
  6. And 80 virgin nymphs to be her hunting companions.

Zeus was amused by Artemis’ wishes, and being her good father, he granted her each wish she asked for.

Artemis would never marry, and would be chaste for all eternity. She roamed with her hunting dogs, nymphs, and her stags, hunting all throughout the mountains, where she resided.

Appearances of Artemis in other myths and in Homer’s “Iliad”:

•In the myth of Actaeon, he was a hunting companion of Artemis ; at some point, he saw the goddess naked bathing in a spring and tried to rape her. As a punishment, Artemis transformed him into a stag and his hounds killed him.

•In the myth of Orion which has various versions, Orion was also a hunting companion of Artemis  and the only person to have won her heart. However, he was accidentally killed either by the goddess or by a scorpion which was sent by Gaia.

In another myth, Zeus, changing his form to resemble Artemis, managed to seduce Callisto, one of Artemis’ hunting attendants. As a companion of Artemis, she took a vow of chastity. Zeus appeared to her disguised as Artemis and they had sexual relationships. As a result of this encounter she conceived a son, Arcas.

•In some versions of the story of Adonis, Artemis sent a wild boar to kill him because he was a better hunter than she. In another version, Adonis was not killed by Artemis, but by Ares, as punishment for being with Aphrodite.

In Homer’s “Iliad”, Artemis may have been represented as a supporter of Troy because her brother Apollo was the patron god of the city. At the Greek’s journey to Troy, Artemis becalmed the sea and stopped the journey until an oracle came and said they could win the goddess’ heart by sacrificing Iphigenia, Agamemnon’s daughter.

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►Gallery: “Artemis” (Ancient Greek Vases):

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” Diana’s Maidens” by Edward Robert Hughes (19th Century).

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►Gallery: “Artemis or Diana” (Paintings):

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Poem Artemis by Irina

O Artemis!

Steadfast virgin for all eternity

Out of wedlock born to Leto

Fathered by Zeus the mighty

Baby midwife to Apollo

Her twin brother;

She helped her mother

And thus became the patron saint

Of birthing mothers and their babes

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The virgin Goddess of Hunting

Roamed throughout the mountains

With a hunting bow and arrow like Apollo’s

With her eighty virgin nymphs

With hunting dogs, and sacred stags

To lead her chariot

Hunting chaste in lush wilderness;

Six desired gifts from father received

The mighty ruler of Mount Olympus

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The most cherished gift Virginity

Thus she turned Callisto into a small bear

Punishment for loss of chastity;

Her jealous arrow

Condemned the bear to die

But cunning Zeus, the nymph’s seducer

Turned Callisto into sparkling stars

To shine for us forever in the sky

As Callisto Bear or Ursa Minor

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The Virgin Goddess for all eternity

Never loved but one, Orion, a mortal son;

Apollo, jealous, tricked his sister

Through a wager, to shoot

The “floating object” far on the horizon

It was Orion, her one and only love;

In her grief she turned him

Into brilliant stars

Forevermore to shine for her and us

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O Artemis!

Goddess of Hunting

Protector of animals, trees and flowers

Goddess of Virginity, Goddess of Light

As silvery moon you joined Orion;

In the darkness, your love

Forever will shine bright

Lend us your strength, allay our fears

Lead us safely through the night.

©Copyright 2015 Irina Dimitric

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Irina Dimitric. http://irinadim.com/

Irina Dimitric. http://irinadim.com/

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►About Irina Dimitric:

Irina dixit: “I’m a blogger. My recent passions are writing poetry and photography. Now and then I write a story… The ups and downs of my life are reflected in my poems and short stories, and the mood of the poems ranges from dark to bright and from serious to downright silly. Laughter is to me like the air I breathe. I’m a fighter and don’t give in easily to misfortune’s impact”. 

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•Make sure to visit Irina’s Blog, Irina’s Poetry Corner.

•Feel Free to connect with Irina at: Twitter and Google Plus.

•Irina has recently published a poetry book, “Dreams on my Pillow”. 

You can purchase Irina’s book at Amazon or Xlibris.

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dreamsonmypillow

Click on the book cover.

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“Haz de Luz”. ©Amalia Pedemonte. 2015. Fotografía publicada en “La Poesía No Muerde: Imagen encontró poemas”: http://wp.me/p3U19M-10C

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Links Post:
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html
http://www.theoi.com/Summary/Artemis.html
http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Artemis/artemis.html
http://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/artemis/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis

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threeawards4

It is great to get these three new awards. Premio Dardos (x2) coming from Jagxs and  Sonrisas de Camaleón.

Plus, a Creative Bloggers Award, from Living a Beautiful Life.  

I want to thank these three bloggers and suggest you to please make sure to check out their blogs and follow them if you haven´t still done so.  

Note: For the three awards, I will nominate blogs I have recently came across and like, recent followers and/or plussers. Also, I am changing the logos so that way I can include new awards among mine… And, finally, I will follow the nomination process without answering questions or mentioning facts about me…. 

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award. Agradecer a la persona que te ha nominado.

♠ Add the logo to your post. Agregar el logo del premio en tu blog. 

♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. Nominar otros diez (10) bloggers, informándoles en sus respectivos blogs.

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►I) Nominees~Premio Dardos~Focal White & Black Version:

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1. Iridediluce 2. K’ Cadences 3. A Joyful Creation 4. Alex Kiaw 5. Living a Beautiful Life 6. Writing Stories Rocks 7. Ruido Claro 8. Utopian Fragments 9. Le Rimenaute 10. RV John.

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►II) Nominees~Premio Dardos~Chameleon Version:

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premio-dardos

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1. Le Trouvaille 2. Free Spirit Mystic 3. People Forward 4. Claudia Moss 5. Margie in Italy 6. Territorio Escrito 7. The Faerie Embassy 8. Presupuesto Zero 9. Your Bones & Their Lies 10. Mina Barrado

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►III) Nominees~Creative Bloggers Award:

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creativeblogger

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1. In Sapphic Sunshine 2. Jagxs 3. Sonrisas de Camaleón 4. Bundle Post 5. Mehflowers 6. MaryAnn’s World 7. Living in the Forest 8. Daphnedawn 9. Bojenn 10. Peaks and Valleys

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Leda and the Swan” by Gustave Moreau. (1865-1875). On the Right: “Leda” by Gustave Moreau (1875-1880).

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Leda was daughter of the aetolian King Thestius and wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta.

Zeus took the form of a swan to seduce Leda. 

In Greek tradition, the Swan is the symbol of the Muses. The swan also has erotic connotations, such as in the love affair between Zeus and Leda. Also, the Greek Goddess of Beauty and Love, Aphrodite, had a swan-drawn chariot. Besides The swan, as a symbol of music, is also dedicated to Apollo, who was said to transform into a swan.

Back to the retelling: Zeus and Leda had sexual relationships the same night she had slept with her husband. 

Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched the four children. (Zeus’ s and Tyndareus’).

According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen (later known as Helen of Troy) and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband and King of Sparta Tyndareus.

According to other sources, Nemesis, the Goddess of Revenge, produced the egg from which hatched the two sets of twins: Helen of Troy and Clytenmestra and the Discouri Castor and Pollux. Worth noting that these set of twins are supposedly from different fathers….

Clytenmestra and Helen were problematic women. The Trojan War will be provoked by the abduction of Helen.

And Clytemnestra will later on kill his own husband, Agamemnon and this is another incident related to the Trojan War.

Saying it briefly, the Greek Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, was kidnapped by the Trojans, so the Greeks besieged the city of Troy; after the war, Clytemnestra, the wife of the Greek leader Agamemnon, murdered him, with teh help of her lover, Aegistus.

Leda’s twin-sons, Castor and (Polydeuces or) Pollux, were renowned for their tender attachment to each other. They were also famous for their physical accomplishments, Castor being the most expert charioteer of his day, and Pollux the coward brother.

Their names appear both among the hunters of the Calydonian boar-hunt and the heroes of the Argonautic expedition.

Zeus wished to confer the gift of immortality upon Polydeuces as he was his son but he refused to accept it unless allowed to share it with Castor.

Zeus gave the desired permission, and the faithful brothers were both allowed to live, but only on alternate days. Castor and Polydeuces, also known as The Dioscuri received divine honours throughout Greece, and were worshipped with special reverence at Sparta.

Leda also had other daughters by Tyndareus: Timadra, Phoebe and Philonoe.

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Helen on the Walls of Troy” by Gustave Moreau. (1885). On the Right: Up: “Castor and Pollux, The Heavenly Twins”, by Giovanni Battista Cipriani. (1783). On the Right: Down: “Clytemnestra” by Frederick Leighton. (19th century).

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Leda and The Swan” by Leonardo da Vinci (1510). On the Right: Detail, “Leda and the Swan”: The children of Leda.

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On the Right:

On the Left: “Leda” by Leonardo da Vinci (1510 -1515). On the Right: “Leda and the Swan” by Francesco Melzi (16th century).

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►Reading: W. B. Yeats’ Poem “Leda and the Swan”:

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 ►Analysis of W. B. Yeats’ Poem “Leda and the Swan”:

William Butler Yeats (1865/1939).

William Butler Yeats (1865/1939).

“Leda and the Swan” (1924) is a Petrarchan Sonnet (*), a traditional fourteen-line poem predominantly written in Iambic Pentameter (**). [See notes below].

The poet retells a story from Greek mythology, the rape of the Princess of Sparta, Leda by the god Zeus, who had assumed the form of a swan.

Yeats combines words indicating powerful actions (sudden blow, beating, staggering, beating, shudder, mastered, burning, mastered) with adjectives and descriptive words that indicate Leda’s weakness (“caressed”, “helpless”, “terrified”, “vague”, “loosening”). By doing this, he increases the sensory impact of the poem.

The first eight lines of “Leda and the Swan” describe the act of rape from Leda’s perspective. The ninth line, appropriately enough, ends the description of the sexual act.

The last six lines of the poem, then, narrate the consequences of the it, for Leda, personally, and those ones related to the Trojan War.

“Leda and the Swan” looks a little different than other sonnets. It has three stanzas and 14 verses.

But, verse 11 appears to be broken off into two lines. Yeats probably divided this verse in order to heighten the drama of Agamemnon being dead and to show how the poem shifts back to Leda’s perspective.

•The first stanza is characterized by violent beats and pauses.

•The second stanza shifts to more flowing lines as Yeats philosophically reflects on the events. The verses here are structured by the question “how,” and there are many adjectives (“terrified,” “vague,” “feathered,” “loosening,” “white,” “strange”).

•In the third stanza, the adjectives pile up as the poem builds to the solemn declaration, “And Agamemnon dead”. 

The rhythm comes to a screeching halt as verse 11 is fractured over two lines, in order to reach emotional height. This stanza connects Leda’s hymenal wall with the walls of  the city of Troy.

The last verses of the poem become calm again. Yeats  returns to his percussive gentle beats, incorporating some alliteration (“brute blood”). Yeats will then wonder whether Leda, through her contact with Zeus, would be able to foresee how the result of their union—Helen—would bring about the fall of a great city. Hence, the poem ends with a rhetorical question, introduced as a sort of irresolvable doubt

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(*) The Petrarchan Sonnet is named after Petrarch, a 14th century Italian poet who made the form popular throughout Europe. Like all sonnets, the Petrarchan sonnet has 14 lines. Unlike all sonnets, it also has a major thematic shift after the eighth line. At this point, the poem introduces a new subject or shifts its perspective in some way.
(**) Iambic Pentameter is closely associated with Blank Verse, Iambic is an adjective. Iamb is the noun and is short for Iambus. Iambus is from the Greek and refers to two. Therefore, Iamb refers to a foot, or any two syllable“unit”, referred to as a foot by metrists, consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (or ictus).  An example of Iambic Pentameter in Yeats’ poem “Leda and the Swan” is: “He holds her help-less breast u-pon his breast“.

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►Gallery Of Paintings: “Leda and The Swan” (Leda and Zeus):

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“Leda and the Swan” by William Shackleton. (1928).

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 ►Links Post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_and_the_Swan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_(mythology)

http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/myth-stories/lovers-of-zeus.ht

http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/2015/06/15/irish-mythology-the-swan/

http://www.druidry.org/library/animals/swan

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/yeats/section7.rhtml

http://www.shmoop.com/leda-and-swan/poem-text.html

http://www.betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com/leda-and-the-swan-warning-necessary/

https://poemshape.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/what-is-iambic-pentameter-the-basics/

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I would like to thank José Sala for nominating me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I also want to thank  Optimista Blog for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award.

Last but not least thanks to Janet Wertman for nominating me for another Versatile Blogger Award.

Thanks to these three bloggers and please make sure to check out their blogs and to follow them, If you haven’t still done so!.~ 🙄  

Note: For the three awards, I will nominate blogs I have recently came across and like, recent followers and/or plussers. Also, I am changing the logos so that way I can include new awards among mine… And, finally, I will follow the nomination process without answering questions or mentioning facts about me…. 

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
♠ Add the logo to your post.
♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. 

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►I) Nominees~Very Inspiring Blogger Award (Monkey & Sunflower Version):

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1. The Wayward Warrior 2. MidiMike 3. The Spendy Pencil 4. Unbolt 5. Yadadarcyyada 6. José Sala 7. Sunshine and Shadows 8. Optimista Blog 9. Pomad 10. The Daily Rant.

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►II) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Purple Version):

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1. Carole Migalka 2. JoHanna Massey 3. Lightwalker’s Blog 4. Bibliobulimica 5. Life, the Universe and Lani 6. A Beautiful Mess 7. The Vanessa Chronicles 8. Allyson Lee Adams 9. Kerry’s loft 10. Mountaintop Talk.

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►III) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Bird Version):

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1. Cadence4life 2. The Perceptions Square 3. Arwenaragornstar  4. The Chaos Realm 5. Shehanne Moore 6. Janet Wertman 7. Extravaganza Beading 8. Autumn Melody 9. The More I Learn the More I Wonder 10. Emily Lichtenberg

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►Art / Mythology: “The Loggia of Psyche” at The Villa Farnesina

(Frescoes Based on the Myth Of Eros and Psyche):

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“The Loggia of Psyche” (Villa Farnesina, Rome. 16th Century).

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The Villa Farnesina is placed in the Trastevere area of Rome on the Via della Lungara along the river Tiber.

It was designed by Baldassare Perluzzi between 1508 and 1512 for the banker, Agostino Chigi who was in love with his mistress Francesca Ordeaschi to whom he finally married in 1519.

After Chigi, the villa was purchased by the Farnese family and connected by a bridge across the Tiber to the huge Palazzo Farnese on the opposite bank.

The walls related to the Loggia of Phsyche were frescoed by several noted artists, most importantly Raphael, but it’s the ceiling that illustrates Psyche and Eros’ story.  

Scholars suggest that the story cycle alludes to Chigi’s own life, and his recent marriage.

Although the preparatory drawings and the general conception of the stories are by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (also known as Raphael (1483/1520), the bulk of the painting was carried out by his pupils, notably Giovanni da Udine (who painted the rich plant festoons of the frame) with the collaboration of Giulio Romano, Raffaellino del Colle and Gianfrancesco Penni. 

Two frescoes on the ceiling depict incidents in the story of Eros and Psyche which took place in heaven.

Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) fell in love with Psyche and he abducted her.

Then, they had sexual relationships in total darkness because Eros had forbidden her to look at him.

As Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) was jealous of Psyche’s Beauty, she imprisoned his son, Eros, in her palace and forbade her to see him. At the end, Aphrodite accepted a deal, telling Psyche that she had to accomplish four tasks in order to see her beloved again.

After Psyche had undergone many difficult trials, Zeus made her immortal, and allowed her to marry Eros.

The Eros and Psyche myth corpus might be considered an  allegory for the ascent of the soul to immortality through love (especially love of beauty), based on Plato’s dialogue “Symposium” through Diotima’s “Ladder of Love”. 

By going through it, one will ascend from loving particular kinds of beauty to loving Beauty itself, from which all beautiful things derive their nature.

According to this analogy, Beauty is related to Love. Besides, Beauty itself is a Form or Idea, which  always exists, not coming into being or ceasing to be, nor increasing nor diminishing. Thus, Beauty will not appear in certain bodies in particular: it will appear in itself and by itself, independent of everything else. 

 

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►”Loggia di Psyche” (Sequential Gallery):

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Venus and Cupid

“Venus and Cupid” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this fresco, Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus) shows her son Eros (Roman equivalent Cupid) who is the young woman who was defying her own Beauty. According to the original version of the myth, Aphrodite, The Goddess of Beauty, asked Eros to poison men’ souls in order to kill off their desire for Psyche.

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"Cupid and the Three Graces" by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Cupid and the Three Graces” by Raphael’s collaborator Giulio Romano (1517-18).

•Here we can The Three Graces on the clouds listening as young Eros relates the story of Psyche and his mother Aphrodite’s initial opposition – jealous of Psyche’s beauty – to mortal Psyche as his lover and eventual wife, as Apuleius originally tells in “The Golden Ass”.

The Three Graces were also known in Greek Mythology as Charites and they were goddesses related to charm, beauty, and creativity.

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Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine's collaboration.

Venus (Aphrodite), Ceres (Demeter) and Juno (Hera) by Raphael with Giovanni da Udine’s collaboration. (1517-18).

•This detail from the vault of the Loggia shows Venus (Greek equivalent: Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty), Ceres,(Greek equivalent: Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest) and Juno (Greek equivalent: Hera, Zeus’ wife and sister and Goddess of Marriage and Childbirth ).

In this spandrel the group of three goddesses is divided.

Venus has learned of the secret affair and, driven by wrath, is seeking support from her female friends. But they both show little sympathy for her wrath and laments.

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Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves

“Venus on the Chariot Pulled by Doves” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In this spandrel we can see Goddess Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus), on a chariot and pulled by Doves. The chariot might be related with the allegory of ascendant Beauty, whilst the doves were specific attributes of the Goddess.

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Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

“Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus/Aphrodite” by Giulio Romano (1517-18).

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“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Venus and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•This two frescoes are linked to the fourth task ordered to Psyche by Aphrodite.

As the narrative relates of her ordeals commanded by Aphrodite, Psyche is taken to Aphrodite carrying the vessel she thinks holds Persephone’s beauty but actually holds deadly “Sleep of the Innermost Darkness, the night of Styx”.

Psyche opens the box desiring to be beautiful for Eros and restored to him. In doing so, disobeying Aphrodite, she swoons toward death, needing to be revived by Eros.

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Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right).

Cupid and Jupiter (on the left). Psyche and Jupiter (on the right). By Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these frescoes we can see Zeus, the ruler of the Olympian gods (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) with Eros (Roman equivalent: Cupid) on the left and Psyche on the right.

The Father of Gods advises them. His attitude seems to be more wrathful towards Eros, as he is holding his chin while he is staring at him. By contrast, he looks at Psyche with an indulgent and affable gesture.

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Mercury

“Mercury” (Hermes) by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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"Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus" by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

•In these two frescoes we can see Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) who was the messenger of the gods and guide of dead souls to the Underworld. Hermes was also well known for performing duties for Father of Gods.

As a matter of fact, Zeus appreciated Hermes’ wits highly and always asked for Hermes’ assistance throughout his decisions. 

In Apuleius’ Eros and Psyche story, Hermes even carries Psyche to heaven and the marriage banquet, just as seen in the first frescoe below.

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Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

“The Council of Gods” by Raphael and collaborators (1517-18).

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“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

“Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche” and “The Council of the Gods” (Detail). By Rapahel and collaborators (1517-18).

•The conclusion of the Psyche and Eros story takes place in two broad format paintings in the vault panel.

Raphael depicts the council of the gods in which Zeus (Roman equivalent: Jupiter) decides to accept Psyche and Hermes (Roman equivalent: Mercury) gives her the elixir of immortality.

Then the wedding is celebrated. The groupings of figures spread out in a lively way. The communal life of the gods is unfolded in a characterization of their all human, too human feelings.-

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►Paul Hindemith, “Amor und Psyche”, Villa Farnesina, Raphael:

[Note: The first fresco appearing in the video is not part of the ceiling frescoes composing “The Loggia of Psyche”. Its name is “The Triumph of Galatea” and it was completed about 1514 by Raphael for the Villa Farnesina].

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►Links Post:
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/r/raphael/5roma/4a/
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/ICP.html
http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/farnesina/farnesina.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Loggia_of_Psyche_(Villa_Farnesina,_Rome)
http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~mjoseph/CP/loggia.html
http://www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/symposium/section11.rhtml
http://www.electrummagazine.com/2012/06/the-villa-farnesina-jewel-of-renaissance-rome/

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♠Paul Auster: Short Story “Auggie Wren’s Christmas”:

Click on the title above to read the story.-

Click on the iamge above and then at the blue arrow to listen to Auster´s story

Click on the image above to enter to the site  and then on the blue arrow to listen to Auster´s story (Read By Himself).-

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English: “Auggie Wren’s Christmas”: 

Click here to listen to Auster´s reading 

English: “Auggie Wren’s Christmas”:

Click here to read Auster´s story.

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“Auggie Wren’s Christmas”  (“Smoke”):

Description: First part of the closing chapter (5. Auggie) of the 1995 movie Smoke.
Directed by Wayne Wang and Paul Auster. Writer: Paul Auster. Leading roles: Harvey Keitel and William Hur

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♠ Truman Capote: Short Story: “A Christmas Memory”/ Cuento: “Un Recuerdo Navideño”: 

Click on teh image above to read Capote´s story.-

Click on the image above to read Capote´s story.-

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►English: “A Christmas Memory”:

Click Here to read Capote´s Story.

►Castellano: “Un Recuerdo Navideño”:

Hacer click aquí para leer el relato de Capote

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♠”A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote (1/6):

(Note: Check Out the Following videos at Youtube linking from the first one)

Description: Narrated by Truman Capote himself, this Emmy award-winning television version of Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” is a faithful recreation of his wonderful short story (first published in Mademoiselle in 1956, later published in book form). It appeared on ABC Stage 67 in December of 1966. Starring Geraldine Page as Sook and Donnie Melvin as Buddy. Adapted for television by Capote and Eleanor Perry. Directed by Frank Perry.

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♠”Un Poema Navideño por Aquileana” / “A Christmas Poem By Aquileana”:

♠Un Poema: “Breve Crónica Navideña”:

Escucha antes de hablar

porque las noches perdidas y ganadas son todas ellas también esta noche

Cada estrella es un nacimiento, 

aun en los perdidos trópicos del cielo inmenso

Cuando decís te quiero estemos juntos, bien sabés que 

no lo jurarías para no hacer vanas tus promesas… 

Porque el agua es clara en diciembre, el manantial fluye con las palabras y el entusiasmo declina

No preciso que me quieras cerca, ni aún  a la distancia justa como para extrañarme, 

hoy no se trata de nosotros, de los vaivenes a los que nos exponemos sin darnos tregua,  desde hace tanto y tan poco… 

No concluiremos en  caídas al vacío, preámbulos a los que nos sometemos antes de despeñarnos en el eco de un abismo insondable. 

No te muevas. Sólo permanece así con ese gesto de presunta estabilidad, tu mano apoyada apenas sobre tu cara. 

Este momento se quedará conmigo. Lo presiento. 

Hoy es noche de nacimiento. Las luces titilan en los arboles de navidad, los niños esperaron tanto este día como nosotros

el fin de la batalla, para volver a amarnos, incluso mejor… Casi  identificándonos  de nuevo como ajenos conocidos, como siempre,

Mira hacia arriba, pronto las luces de estruendo estallarán como olas amarillas contra una roca. 

En el cielo se abrirán como flores y entre las estrellas guían senderos de constelaciones perdidas.

La mesa navideña con velas rojas incluidas . Y vos y yo, los dos…

 frente a frente con las copas en las manos y la vista clavada en un  inevitable

punto fijo.  Las pupilas  negras en el centro perfecto de tus ojos (de los míos). 

Pero no ne mires complacientemente. Hoy no se trata de nosotros, sino del cielo, la permanencia y la celebración

Hoy es Navidad, y con Él todo nace nuevamente. 

Y así, nosotros…

Aquileana /Amalia Pedemonte. 24 de Diciembre de 2013.-

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♠ A Poem: “Brief Christmas Chronicle”:

I beg you to listen before you talk 

because all the past nights, the lost ones, the ones we won are also this night

Each star entrains a new birth,

even if it is lost among the tropics of the never -ending sky

When you say I love you, I want us to be together , you know that you don´t mean it… 

You wouldn´t swear it as you don´t like to break  promises …

Water is clear in December, water runs out of clear springs,

And, as we flow within words, our enthusiasm declines…

I don´t want  you to remain close to you, not even at a fair distance well enough for you to miss me,

Today is not about us, nor about these fluctuations to which we expose ourselves without realizing  for how long we do.

No need to end by again falling in that nonsense vacuum preamble we are so used to… 

 To which we submit shivering before falling in a bottomless pit .

Do not move. Just stay like this, with this gesture of alleged stability; your hand softly resting just on your face.

This moment will stay with me forever . I can almost feel it…

Tonight is a night of birth . The lights flicker on Christmas trees, the kids have waited so long for this day to arrive 

the same way we beg for peace after a battle, in order to surrounder another time to love.

Probably better … Almost identifying ourselves again, as ever…

Look up now, soon the  fireworks will collide above as yellow waves against a heavenly rock …

In the sky they will blossom like  flowers and among the stars their paths will lead us to lost domain of golden constellations.

The Christmas table. Red candles glowing. And you and I, us, here …

 Face to face rising the glasses; whilst looking at an unswerving  point.

I stare at the black pupils of your eyes; and so you do…

But, don´t look  at me with that indulgently  glance

Today is not about you nor me neither us,

It is just about the sky, the festivities of birth and redemption

Today is Christmas, and with Him everything is born…

And so we are…

Aquileana / Amalia Pedemonte.December 24, 2013 . –

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♠Bonustrack: John Lennon: “Happy Christmas” (War is Over):

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♠Updates: Thanks Delvina Lavoie for The Prix Lighthouse Award Nomination:

At Migration X-3 (December 31st 2013):

Click on the image above to check out the Award Nomination.-

Click on the image above to check out the Award Nomination.-

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♠Informe Anual WordPress 2013:

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