klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Fri Mar 25 10:35:51 EST 2005
I have completed my review of "all" of English literature up until the
present day ;-), so I am now taking the last couple of weeks before the
exam to freshen up my knowledge of the history of criticism. This
morning, I was reading Plotinus the neo-Platonist on the Intellectual
Beauty. Plotinus goes on and on about neo-Platonist heaven, which seems
to be called "There" (in my translation, it is actually capitalized like
that, which may have been what made me think of _Homeward Bounders_ in
the first place). There is where the best gods are, and everything is
really, truly, real, and everything is perfect, and it's so much more real
than stupid here. Reading it, I couldn't help but thinking that this
seems to be the way that other intellectuals in antiquity seem to have
thought about their gods, too, and that _Homeward Bounders_ has more
references to Greek thought than just the use of Prometheus.
And then I went on to think that, Them actually being a reasonably fair
way of interpreting the Greek gods, it made perfect sense for DWJ to use
Prometheus as the main hero of the rebellion, just like Shelley did
(although, of course, "Adonais" is pretty damn neo-Platonist, so, if
Shelley is at all consistent, he may be coming from a different place in
his attack). And then I thought, "oh, wait, _Prometheus __Bound___." And
somehow, as far as I can remember, in twelve years of having read the
book, I have never thought of that particular bit of wordplay before. I
mean, sure, "Homeward Bound-ers." I grew up listening to Simon and
Garfunkle - I got that bit. And the "bounds" being a shortened form of
"boundaries" between the worlds. Sure. I knew there was wordplay there.
But I never got that bit. Obviously, all the Homeward Bounders are bound,
too. . . .
So basically my purpose is to announce to you all that I feel like an
idiot! Yay! Go me!
"Of course, 'Seinfeld' was much better in the original Swedish."
---Alessandra Stanley, NYT
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