Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Greek Classics: February Wrap-Up

Greetings everyone, have you been reading any ancient Greek literature lately? Grappling with issues as old as civilization? Or just laughing at Aristophanes' crude humor? (That probably pre-dates civilization...)


This month I read Sopocles' three most famous plays, Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus, all in the Fagles translation. I started reading Herodotus' Histories and am about a third of the way through the first book, which is all about the Persians. I'll be posting a little something about each book as I finish, since there are nine altogether and it will take a long time to read.

As I'm writing this, I am very grateful for modern conveniences. Yesterday I took my girls down to Sutter's Fort for a day-long environmental living program, which means we spent the day trying to live like people in the 1840's (pre-Gold Rush!). We wore the clothes, we eschewed our cell phones, we made rope and bread and candles, we learned to weave and grind flour, and we learned about trapping and blacksmithing. I herded 10 rambunctious children around these activities for 8 hours or so, and I wondered what one mom was thinking when she let her son have a wooden sword as part of his soldier outfit. (Probably "Hey, it won't be my problem!") There was a two-hour drive at both ends of the day, because I don't live all that close to Sutter's Fort.

It was all very fun and educational, but I was thrilled to be given pizza at the end of it (by my brother- and sister-in-law, who let me rest at their place before the drive home). If I'd really been an ordinary woman in California in 1846, I would not have been able to get pretty much any books I wanted to read, or find many people to talk with about those books. Chocolate, pretty fabric, and BBC dramas would not have been part of my life, and if I'd left any family behind back East, I would not have expected to see them ever again. On the other hand, California history is pretty exciting in bits, and maybe I could have met John and Annie Bidwell!

Anyway, now you know why I'm a little behindhand with my book posts--I have two books sitting here waiting for me to write something about them. Tell me about what you've been reading this month!

2 comments:

Eva said...

I'm about three-quarters of the way through my audio reread of The Odyssey. It's been really fun to revisit a book I loved in high school but haven't read since! And Ian McKellen makes listening a pleasure. ;)

Jenny said...

YEAH for Antigone!