Tag Archives: Simone Weil

Homer for the Civilian

The source of this essay is an earlier one, written as an email, and an ensuing conversation, in 2009, on the theme of what Homer may mean in one’s life, and whether an application to one’s life involves an abuse of the original text. I wrote in this blog, in July 2016, on analogies in Homer and elsewhere, in “Thinking & Feeling.” My last post considered an apparent instance of abuse of the Hebrew Bible.

At the end of the Iliad, to retrieve the body of his son Hector from its killer, King Priam of Troy visits Achilles in his tent in the evening, in the camp of the hostile Greeks. The scene may recall two political enemies from the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and Congressman Thomas O’Neill, Speaker of the House: these two were able to be on friendly terms “after 6 PM.”

Homer, Iliad, Wordworth edition
Aleksandr Andreevich Ivanov
“King Priam begging Achilles for the Return of Hector’s Body,” 1824
Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

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Thinking & Feeling

This essay is written as a distraction from current events, though I make some reference to them. I am prompted by questions of analogy provoked by

  1. the similes of Homer, and

  2. a recent theater review in Harper’s that mentions the parables of Jesus.

DSC06654 (2)
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