LECTURE 8: The heroic quest for immortalization.

1. aphthiton 'unwilting', as in the expression kleos aphthiton used by
Achilles in Iliad IX 413. The root phthi- 'wilt' is also found in the name
of Achilles' homeland, which is Phthia

2. Contrast Achilles of the Aithiopis (Sourcebook I p. 375) vs. Achilles of
the Iliad. Contrast the "happy ending" of the Aithiopis with the "sad
ending" of the Iliad.

3. Prague School linguistics principle of unmarked vs. marked, as in long
vs. short, day vs. night (notice that the unmarked can include the marked;
when you say "I worked three days," the "days" may include "nights"; when
you say "I worked three nights," "nights" excludes "days")

4. natural vs. artificial, nature vs. culture; WHICH IS UNMARKED, MARKED?

5. On hero cult, consider the opposition nature vs. culture.

6. You could say that nature is unmarked, because culture can be part of
nature, as in the case of a garden or a ploughed field (cultivation) or an
orchard or a grove.

7. But we see something different here from other marked-unmarked
categories: culture makes itself the unmarked member. So then culture
contains nature. Even when you say "golden age," you still have to have
golden leaves, etc. So even when you deny nature, you have to do it in terms
of nature.

7a. Kieslowski writes: "We used one fairly basic filter in Véronique - a
golden-yellow one. Thanks to it the world of Véronique is complete It's

8. Cultural immortalization: 1) the institution of a seasonally recurring
athletic event, as in Hymn to Demeter, 2) the institution of a dynasty that
lasts forever, as in Hymn to Aphrodite, and 3) the institution of epic
poetry, which remembers your glory forever, as in Iliad IX 413.

 9. immortalization via institution of seasonally-recurring
 athletic festival: Hymn to Demeter, Sourcebook I p. 387: timê
 aphthitos [the word timê means 'honor' via cult] at line 263; note
 too at line 265: "at the right hôrâ [season]"

10. Newspaper clipping: "John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, held a press
conference to unveil plans for the small Central Park site to be renamed
"Strawberry Fields" in honor of one of Lennon's hit songs. She said 31
nations responded to her appeal to send their native plants and stones to
make the site "a garden of love: an island in which all nations could grow
together in harmony." In addition, NASA sent a seedling germinated in outer

11. Notice the emphasis on the concept of island. Cf. Islands of the Blessed
in Hesiod Works and Days line 171 (Sourcebook I p. 425). This is the
paradeisos theme. (An Iranian word meaning "enclosure"!) Ancient concept: an
enclosure that keeps out the hostile aspects of nature, wilderness. For us
moderns, "paradise" needs an enclosure that keeps out the hostile aspects of
culture, as in the case of wildlife preserves; compare the nostalgia for
wilderness in films like Bladerunner.

12. One of Nagy's main arguments, stemming from his research on poetic
representations of immortalization: Hades = transitional; vs. Islands of the
Blessed (also such variants as the White Island, Elysium, Ethiopia [the
mythical version], etc.) = eschatological

13. Pindar Isthmian 8 (Sourcebook I p. 468): "Even when he [= Achilles]
died, the songs did not leave him, but the Heliconian maidens [= the Muses]
stood by his pyre and his funeral mound, pouring forth a song of lamentation
that is famed far and wide. And so it was that the gods decided to hand over
the worthy man, wilted [phthi-] in death as he was, to the songs of the
goddesses. And this, even now, wins as a prize the words, as the
chariot-team of the Muses starts moving on its way to glorify the memory of
Nikokles the boxer."

14. Repetition from Lecture 4, the beginning of Nagy's notes for that day:
Kierkegaard (Repetition, 1843): "The dialectic of repetition is easy, for
that which is repeated has been&emdash;otherwise it could not be repeated&emdash;but the
very fact that it has been makes the repetition into something new."

15. Compare dêute 'again' in Sappho 1, Lecture 3 Appendix #4.

16. Compare Sappho 31 (repetition from Lecture 4 #27).

16a. To get the conversation started about the triangle of "I" (female) and
"you" (female) and "he" (male) in this song, see my comments on the video
"Just you and I together."

17. Walter Scott's "Personality Parade" in Parade Oct. 27, 1985:

Q. After Marilyn Monroe's death, ex-husband Joe DiMaggio ordered flowers
sent to her grave daily. When asked by the florist how long the arrangement
was to last, the Yankee Clipper is reputed to have replied, "Forever." That
was some time ago. Is DiMaggio still continuing the poignant but costly
gesture? --Lee Mulrooney, Royal Oak, Mich.

A. The remains of Marilyn Monroe lie in a wall crypt in the mausoleum at
Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. A marble plaque in front the crypt
reads: "Marilyn Monroe 1926-1962." Cemetery attendants report that for 20
years six red roses were positioned alongside the plaque three times a week
and their cost was billed to DiMaggio. Three years ago, they say, his flower
order was canceled.

18. T. S. Eliot (The Dry Salvages, 1941): "you are the music / While the
music lasts."

19. Col. Robert Gould Shaw, Harvard graduate who died in 1863 along with
soldiers of the all-black regiment that he led. Their story is told in the
film Glory. St. Gaudens the sculptor created a relief that memorializes the
doomed regiment. It is directly in front of the Statehouse on Beacon Hill in
Boston, with its back to the Boston Common. When the sun sets over Beacon
Hill at summer solstice, its last rays shine on the faces on the relief.
That is the way St. Gaudens designed the relief. Charles Ives composed
["wrote"] a poem and set it to music:

"You, Images of God carved in Ebony..." "...a shadow of a sad heart, never
light abandon, moving, marching faces of souls."

19a. There is a single image that capture the essence of this whole lecture.
See the 32-second video on the relief sculpted by St. Gaudens.