As it is the new year, I thought I would take stock of my blog.
I started this blog last August and I am quite gratified to see the gradual build up of readers and views and I am extremely gratified for the likes and the comments. I enjoy writing it and doing the research into it. As a side benefit I have also found other blogs, some of which I read as often as I can and which I thoroughly like reading.
There is one point on which I, if I have not exactly failed, I have not achieved my original intention. I am not an academic and there many bloggers out there who have had a lifetime of experience in classics and know far more about history and the language than I do. However I do get great enjoyment out of reading Ancient Greek in the original language. For example I am currently reading the Iliad and I find myself getting absorbed in the excitement of the battle scenes and almost transported back in time by the power and expressiveness of the language. Again if I read a Greek play, I feel a changed person after reading it. Or what could be more moving than a poem by Sappho. And as for the effect on the mind when reading Plato – the sparks it sets off the mind (which is why I named this blog Platosparks), they lead you on into deeper and deeper contemplation of the nature of things.
I hoped in my blog to express some of these feelings and to explain why these works are so moving. However if I look back most of my posts deal only with the trivialities of the works I am looking at. Yet I don’t think I’m entirely to blame for this. Although these works are written in words, it is almost impossible to describe their impact on oneself in words. People don’t study Homer so that can talk about the Homeric question or so that they can discuss Homer’s use of the subjunctive. They don’t read Sophocles’ Antigone so that they can discuss whether Cleon or Antigone is the main character. If reading Plato, you don’t really care in what order the dialogues were written or whether he was expressing his own views or Socrates’. But more academic articles are written on these subjects than on what actually makes these works great. This is not because academics don’t feel the same way that I do. Even in the driest commentary, they sometimes give themselves away. It’s just that these things are easier to talk about and although peripheral help to understand the works.
So I will continue to write my blog as before but behind the trivialities when reading sometimes
“a small fire runs along under my skin.”
αὔτικα χρῷ πῦρ ὐπαδεδρόμακεν,