Agamemnon of Aeschylus

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Paul Derouda
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Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:12 pm

Hi!
I was already asking about this in another thread... Who wants to read Agamemnon of Aeschylus together, the Attic tragedy you should read before you die? It is difficult, but that's why reading it together with someone is a good idea. And it's not too long, just 1673 lines - the Iliad is >15000!

I was thinking of a pace of about 100 lines per week, which would mean about 4 months in all. I'm open to other suggestions too, though.

Anyone interested?

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by NateD26 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:45 pm

I'd be interested if the pace can be reduced to 50-60 lines per week.
Are there any rules participants should be aware of? Is the use of online commentaries
(such as the ones on archive.org) forbidden or encouraged? Do we simply post our translations
or supplement them with notes about syntax, idioms and the like?
Nate.

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by spiphany » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:49 pm

My copy of Agamemnon (Denniston/Page commentary) is across the Atlantic right now and having it shipped would be difficult since I don't know which box it's in. Sorry! Otherwise I'd be up for it.

Now if we were talking Antigone, on the other hand...
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)

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Paul Derouda
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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by Paul Derouda » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:30 pm

I don't have any very particular rules in mind, and I wasn't thinking about anything very formal. Just that we agree about a reading pace and discuss anything we find difficult or interesting as we proceed, by translating or by other means.

Personnally I like to use commentaries (as many as I can get my hands on!) and would use at least Denniston & Page. I might also get the recent one by Raeburn & Thomas. But people are different, so if you're not using a commentary that's okay by me... On a web forum study group, you'll necessary have people from more heterogenous backgrounds than in a school setting. Different people have different approaches and different interests, and that's just the point of doing it together, to see aspects of the text you'd never have thought about alone.

So my primary goal is just to read the whole text and understand the whole story from a linguistic viewpoint, but it's fortunately unavoidable to learn a lot more in the process.

I didn't have any particular edition in mind either, not yet at least. Personnally I wouldn't mind people reading different editions. (Sometimes I even think it's rewarding to discuss the differences between different editions, though usually that just goes way too deep if you ever want to get to the end...).

So... How about 65 lines per week? That would enable us to read it in 26 weeks, half a year!

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by NateD26 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:22 pm

I think 65 lines per week is a reasonable pace. Consider me in! :)

Spiphany, I actually read Antigone in ornate, archaic, and metrical Hebrew on my lunch brakes.
I've always loved the theme of the play and would love to try my hand at reading the original. :)
Nate.

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:00 pm

Ya know, setting a target rate of reading doesn't really improve the experience in my humble opinion. It's better to just dive into it and see how it goes. I found Agamemnon too difficult for my level of attainment a decade ago when I read something like the first 150 lines. Been dabbling a little lately in Aeschylus and it doesn't seem so bad. But the difficulty waxes and wanes. The fact that Aeschylus uses some vocabulary in a manner not found elsewhere keeps one busy with the lexicon. In some cases the Aeschylus appears to just extend the semantic domain of a particular word but in other places he appears to just invent meanings.

I read somewhere that Ezra Pound "assigned" a modern[est] translation of Agamemnon to T. S. Eliot but not sure of Eliot even started much less finished.

CSB
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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:40 pm

I'd be willing to drop in on this project now and then but can not sign up for 12 lines a day.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by Paul Derouda » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:13 pm

CSB, I agree that setting a target rate won't improve the experience of work of art, especially if it means spending many months reading it. Ideally, you should read to the whole play in 2 hours or preferably see it in the theatre! Unfortunately, Classical Greek is not our native tongue... Hence, 65 lines per week.

I usually use your "diving" method, and in case of Aeschylus, it always took me to about line 150, just like you, and then I always let go. If I had kept reading, it would certainly have taken me less than a month. But now, a completely different approach!

(And yes, I might consider Antigone too...)

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by Paul Derouda » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:52 am

Well, there's two of us now plus one "now and then". That's a good start but we could use a couple more. Come on, it's free!

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Re: Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Post by Paul Derouda » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:19 am

Well, we still don't have a big crowd. But I'm willing to do it. How about you, Nate? I think we could just get started, people might hop in later too.

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