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In classical mythology Tithonus was a Trojan prince with whom Eos (Aurora to the Romans), goddess of the dawn, falls in love.  This deity, whom Homer calls “rosy-fingered,” captures Tithonus and sweeps him off to the home of the gods and …
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In the introduction to Shaun Whitehead’s translation of The Confusions of Young Törless, J.M. Coetzee writes about Musil, “The education of the senses through a refining of erotic life seemed to him to hold the most immediate promise of lifting …
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I’m about half way through Schmidt’s Lives of the Poets. It has been slow going because I keep pausing to read additional poems of the authors he discusses in his wonderful book.  I am glad that I will still be …
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In an article for The Kenyon Review in which he discusses the five short works by Musil, Frank Kermode writes, “All have erotic themes and most are concerned with female eroticism and with love as a means to some kind …
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“Our love, tell me, what is it?” Claudine asks this heavy, direct, honest, complex question in a letter to her husband.  She is on a short trip to see her daughter, who was conceived during a brief affair with a …
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Some of my favorite discoveries in Michael Schmidt’s Lives of the Poets are neglected and new-to-me female poets.  Schmidt says of one such poet, Charlotte Smith: Eighteen years after Cowper’s birth, in 1749, a unaccountably neglected poet (half remembered as …
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Xenia, usually translated as “guest-friendship”  is an important part of the mores of the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age;  a person is required to welcome travelers into his home as guests and the expectation is that the host provides …
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I put my reading of Schmidt’s Lives of the Poets on hold while on a delightful trip to London this past week. I’ve picked up Schmidt’s narrative again with his insightful description of Andrew Marvell’s poetry: “Marvell’s verse delivers sharp …
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The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of dozens of Ancient Greek texts which were originally attributed to Hippocrates but were actually written by several unknown authors from the sixth through the fourth centuries B.C.E.  The writings contain an astonishingly wide …
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I still making my way through Schmidt’s Lives of the Poets.  I can only read about 20 or 30 pages a week because I keep stopping to read the poems he discusses in his text.  What is equally fascinating are …
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