Blogging hiatus

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by Neil Godfrey

For anyone who might be curious, I have not yet died but have eased off regular blogging these past few weeks while I catch up on some serious reading. So much has been researched and published in the fields that interest me in recent years and even months, and there are still so many old foundational “classic” works I have not yet cracked open, that I have decided to try to bring myself a little more up to date before resuming posting about any of these topics. (Even just to refresh my memory of some works I read years ago!)

I’ve also been trying to re-think the future standards and directions of Vridar.


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13 thoughts on “Blogging hiatus”

  1. Pleasant sabbatical!
    I wish you strength with Phil Norman’s book, it is not an easy read (in my view, too much raw ‘data’, not enough personal info).

    Maybe this book about McCartney will inspire you to think about myth fomation around the Beatles. Norman earlier wrote a book about Lennon. Lennon was a nasty charachter, made fun on stage of the crippled, published characatures of the disabled, hit his friends, was cruel to his women, cheated on his wife, abandoned his son, insulted his manager (because he was gay), supported militant activists, and spent his last ten years leading the luxuary life in a 5th avenue appartment. And look at his mythical persona now! A saintly figure, symbol of peace, love, and and inspriation to everyone…..
    How did this happen?

    1. Does anyone really think John Lennon was “a saintly figure”? No-one that I know of. All of what you say is true, but it is interesting that you omitted other things that Philip Norman wrote about John in the same book. Maybe that’s how myths start.

      I don’t think there is any mystery about the “myth” of John Lennon or how it came about. The whole story has been told over and over in the public record. Had I known John L personally in Liverpool or Hamburg I am sure I would have hated his guts. At the same time, I cannot help but reflect on the difference between Run for Your Life in 1965 and Jealous Guy in 1971. The music tells the story and explains the myth. And the personal openness inviting other flawed persons to identify with him.

      I recently finished reading The Secret Life of Pronouns by James Pennebaker and was intrigued that JP’s analysis of the music and lyrics by each of McCartney and Lennon indicated that it was Paul who was the more adventurously creative and avante-garde one, not John, contrary to the popular myth — supporting what Norman writes in his bio of Paul M.

      (On the mocking of the handicapped and giving nazi salutes to crowds and laughing (and worse) at homosexuals, those things were all part and parcel of the times. We all could (and did) get away with doing that sort of thing back then. Hell, people even thought it was cool to smoke in crowded rooms. Times have changed, thankfully.)

  2. I misspoke. I have been working for some weeks now on the next post on Gmirkin’s book. The section that has intrigued me is the argument that Deuteronomy’s Taliban-ish type laws against anyone who introduces a foreign god or blasphemes and otherwise insults the deity or is involved in any way with witchcraft and sorcery are “borrowed” from Plato and Classical Greek trials and executions of philosophers, the impious, sorcerers, etc.

    That argument has led me into several other works on classical Athens and Plato’s (and others’) writings, and into further articles discussing the conflict between philosophers (who were deemed impious more often than not) and the popular forces of religious intolerance. It appears the situation only began to be turned around after Plato’s output.

    But even Plato, I have come to learn, was writing with hopes of ending the persecution of philosophers and his arguments for the immortality of the soul and claims to be pious towards the gods was a smokescreen, built up around parables or myths, to reassure the public and authorities of the morality and goodness of the philosophers. He himself, as a close examination of his writings shows, did not believe those things — except as metaphors or myths.

    It’s been a long journey learning much more detail about Athenian customs, laws and strife between the “religious right” of their day and the philosophers.

    (Before that, I was doing some background reading on Nazareth and preparing a series of posts based on the sources used and referenced by Rene Salm. Those notes are waiting for further information to arrive before I can post them. — another reason for delays in posts here.)

    So that’s what is happening in the background while I am doing my reading.

    1. Sounds strange to me that you are researching this and yet when I am searching your site I cannot find any mention to the Derveni papyrus.
      Richard Janko have an article about this in academia : http://www.academia.edu/32680140/Socrates_the_Freethinker.pdf

      Or : http://ancphil.lsa.umich.edu/-/downloads/faculty/janko/reconstructing-again-derveni.pdf

      Derveni papyrus is very important cause we can see the tendency of those philosophers to monotheism or atheism.

      By the way “one god” meant atheism in ancient Athens.

      1. Sorry to disappoint you — hopefully the following little bibliography of my resources on the Dervini papyrus will give you some reassurance. 🙂

        • Bernabé, A. (2007). “The Derveni Theogony: Many Questions and Some Answers”. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 103, 99–133.
        • Betegh, G. (2007). The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation. Cambridge University Press.
        • Ferrari, F. (2013). “From Orpheus to Teiresias: Solar Issues in the Derveni Papyrus”. Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik, 186, 57–75.
        • Janko, R. (1997). “The Physicist as Hierophant: Aristophanes, Socrates and the Authorship of the Derveni Papyrus”. Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik, 118, 61–94.
        • Janko, R. (2001). “The Derveni Papyrus (“Diagoras of Melos, Apopyrgizontes Logoi?”): A New Translation”. Classical Philology, 96(1), 1–32.
        • Janko, R. (2002). “The Derveni Papyrus: An Interim Text”. Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik, 141, 1–62.
        • Janko, R. (2008). “Reconstructing (Again) the Opening of the Derveni Papyrus”. Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik, 166, 37–51.
        • Janko, R. (2006). “Socrates the Freethinker”. In A Companion to Socrates (pp. 48–62). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
        • Kouremenos, T., Parássoglou, G. M., & Tsantsanoglou, K. (2006). The Derveni Papyrus. Leo S.Olschki Editore, Firenze.
        • Laks, A. (1997). “Between Religion and Philosophy: The Function of Allegory in the “Derveni Papyrus.”” Phronesis, 42(2), 121–142.
        • Laks, A., & Most, G. W. (Eds.). (1997). “Studies on the Derveni Papyrus”. Oxford : New York: Clarendon Press.
        • Most, G. W. (1997). “The Fire Next Time. Cosmology, Allegoresis, and Salvation in the Derveni Papyrus”. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 117, 117–135.
        • Sider, D. (2006). “The Derveni Papyrus”. The Classical Review, 56(2), 287–289.
        • The iMouseion Project. (n.d.-a). http://dp.chs.harvard.edu/DP_FF_1_6.php and https://chs.harvard.edu/CHS/article/display/2273

        Several of the above are in Jstor. If there is anything more recent do please let me know.

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