The Core Curriculum, Series 1, Episode 5: The Iliad, Books 10-11

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Nathan Gilmour, David Grubbs, and Danny Anderson talk about books ten and eleven of of Homer’s Iliad.

Show Notes

  • Our translation of the Iliad: Robert Fagles (1990).
  • Nathan compares The Iliad to Book 3 of Paradise Lost. And to Book 1. (He wrote a dissertation on it, okay, Mom?)
  • Dante puts Odysseus and Diomedes in the circle of false counselors in Canto XXVI of the Inferno.
  • Homer, like Tarantino, has a foot fetish.
  • Philip Roth invokes Athena in The Ghost Writer and The Human Stain.
  • Book 10 begins with a mission straight out of Assassin’s Creed.
  • Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals on Agamemnon and his ilk:

    One may be perfectly justified in being always afraid of the blonde beast that lies at the core of all aristocratic races, and in being on one’s guard: but who would not a hundred times prefer to be afraid, when one at the same time admires, than to be immune from fear, at the cost of being perpetually obsessed with the loathsome spectacle of the distorted, the dwarfed, the stunted, the envenomed? And is that not our fate?

  • Agamemnon is an early version of Burn Notice‘s Michael Westen, as we’re sure you all knew.
  • 300 and Dredd both use slow-motion violence the same way The Iliad does. So does Any Given Sunday, in a slightly different context.
  • Patroclus’s death does the same thing for The Iliad that Shepherd Book’s does for Serenity. Or that Uncle Ben’s does for Spider-Man. Or that Agent Coulson’s does for The Avengers.
  • Our theme music was provided by Blue Dot Sessions.

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