Typing exercise from Achilles in Vietnam.

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stilltrucking
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Typing exercise from Achilles in Vietnam.

Post by stilltrucking » September 4th, 2006, 11:36 pm

SPECIES ETHIC
Our animal nature, our biological nature is to live in relation to other people. The natural enviornment of humans is primaily culture, not the "natural world," narrowly defined as other species, climate, etc. The sudden and startling growth of The human brain around one million years ago was not in response to saber-tooth tigers, retreating glaciers, nor the intellectual challenge of getting nutmeat out of is shell, but in response to the emergence of culture itself. The brain mechanisms of self-defense, of predation, of territoriality, of sexual and family group affiliation, and of defending offspring have not been supplanted by culture, but raher speak through it in ways that we poorly understand. Culture is not illusory, movie-theater projection of bodily "drives' or "instincts." nor is the body a metaphor; wholly conructed by culture. Culture is as biologically real for humans as the body. Unless in a coma, we are always both culture beares and bodies at ever moment.

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e_dog
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Post by e_dog » September 5th, 2006, 3:24 am

can't argue much with that. we are culture-bearers and bodies at every moment -- perhaps even in a coma.

but what does it mean to say that culture is "biologically" real. is that saying more than saying that culture's real.

and is the operation of movies just "illusion"? movies are projected not just onto the screen but onto us the viewers, they transmit culture into bodies as all culture does.

that is a passage from what text?

or is that your own commentary?
I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

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Post by stilltrucking » September 10th, 2006, 8:23 am

Goetsch, 'Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character', Bryn Mawr Classical Review 9403
URL = http://hegel.lib.ncsu.edu/stacks/serial ... h-achilles

Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and
the Undoing of Character. New York: Atheneum, 1994. Pp. 246.
$20.00. ISBN 0-689-12182-2
Reviewed by Sallie Goetsch -- University of Michigan

If it was a snake, it woulda bit us: "Homer's Iliad...is about
soldiers in war." (xiii) Classicists are not, of course, ignorant
of that fact, but we have tended to gloss over it, foreign as war
is to most of us, and thereby to find ourselves puzzled by
certain ethical aspects of the poem which are the direct result
of warfare. We are accustomed, after all, to think of Homer as
"fiction," to assume that social realities in the Iliad are
refracted through the lens of oral tradition and bear only a
tenuous connection, like the Trojan War itself, to historical
events and actual people.
...
Jonathan Shay might find it ironic that I think of his book as
a weapon, a weapon in the battle which classicists fight to
defend their departments against university budget cuts and
accusations of obsolescence and irrelevance. As long as war
persists, the literature of a culture which persisted and even
flourished in spite of its suffering in constant warfare will
remain important to us for our self-understanding and possibly
even our survival. Achilles in Vietnam has a definite place in
the classroom, offering students a bridge to the past. Shay makes
Homer accessible to the modern psyche by demonstrating that many
seemingly foreign aspects of the Iliad's narrative are alive and
well in any soldier's experience.


http://infomotions.com/serials/bmcr/bmc ... hilles.txt

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Post by e_dog » September 10th, 2006, 11:14 am

wow, that's an eerie line of argument.

the study of classics is relevant because war persists.

so, presumably, classicists have an interest in promoting the continuation of warfare, in the interests of cultural preservation!

but fortunately, anyone who would question whether classics is a meritorious field of study is too ignorant to be convinced by argument.

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