In my last post I began to talk about myth and ritual in ancient Greece, and I made a distinction between local myth and ritual on the one hand and Panhellenic myth and ritual on the other. My current project is an investigation of local myth and ritual. A good place to start this investigation … Continue reading Who Killed Medea’s Children?
As I look back over the essays I’ve posted over the last year, I see that I haven’t posted much about Classical Philology per se. That’s odd. Classical Philology is the foundation for most of what I do, even when I talk about modern literature; the method and the manner of my work depend on … Continue reading Local and Panhellenic Myth and Ritual
Happy Birthday, Blog I’ve been running this blog for just a year now—I posted the first essay on July 12, 2020—and I thought this would be an appropriate moment to think (out loud, as it were) about what I’ve been doing and what I might do in the future. I have enjoyed writing and posting … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Blog
In recent posts I’ve been talking about allusions and related devices, such as reference and quotation. Most of the examples I’ve used have come from “high” literature, “serious” literature, but there are interesting instances of allusion and reference and quotation in “popular” literature as well. In this post I’m going to discuss allusions and references … Continue reading Allusion Hunter
In my last couple of posts I’ve been talking about allusions, their virtues and vices, and I thought I would continue that discussion for another post or two. Allusions are only part of the story, however. They are part of a field of related literary phenomena, including also direct references, imitation, influence, and outright plagiarism. … Continue reading Is That Original?
This post is a continuation of my previous post, in which I looked at some allusions. Today I’m going to look at one particular poem and the allusions in it and the kinds of meanings I think are carried by the allusions. The poem I have picked is titled “Words Without a Song”, and it … Continue reading Words Without a Song
Allusions are tricky. On the one hand, an allusion can be an effective way of adding meaning to a poem or a story; on the other hand, an allusion can be a marker of a kind of cultural snobbery. An allusion assumes that the reader knows the reference, that the reader is in the know. … Continue reading It’s All Just an Allusion
In several recent posts I’ve been exploring the difference between phonetics and phonemics, along with the related concepts of the morpheme and componential analysis. This post is a more general discussion of the contrast between Emics and Etics. The word Etic is the end of the word phonetic, and the word Emic is the end … Continue reading Etics and Emics
Phonemes—the topic of my last two posts—are the smallest bits of language that make a difference. A phoneme doesn’t mean anything, it just allows us to tell one word (or morpheme) from another. So the phonemes /p/ and /b/ allow us to tell the word “pat” from the word “bat”. Phonemes are more or less … Continue reading Phonemes, Morphemes, and People
A phoneme is the smallest bit of language that makes a difference. Making a difference is just what phonemes do. They make one word different from another. In English, for example, the difference between the phonemes /p/ and /b/ makes “pin” different from “bin”, “pat” different from “bat”, “tap” different from “tab”, and so on … Continue reading What’s the Difference?