06-13-2007 05:23 PM
06-13-2007 05:29 PM
This thread will serve as an area for any ancient or modern history discussions which are referenced by Eugenides in the novel Middlesex.
Comments from another thread related to Greek and Turkish War:
The war between Greece and Turkey was a key element in the novel. I indicated in another thread that I read that 100,000 Greeks were killed in that war by the Turks. The accounts were graphic in the book and unsettling; especially since others just stood on the sidelines and let it happen. I was wondering if others had more historical information related to this war and whether the 100,000 number was accurate. I will comment on the other historical events cited as I come across them in the novel.
As Cal narrated: "Living sends a person not out into the future but back into the past."
06-13-2007 05:31 PM
In the interview, Eugenides states that this isn't a historical novel. I disagree. I'm learning a load of history as I read. How about you guys?
I was reading somewhere that 100,000 Greeks were killed in that battle of Smyrna by the Turks. I found that number unbelievable. Is that a reliable figure?
Maybe we should have a history thread.
Great idea, Bentley. Please feel free to start a history thread. By the way , here's a photograph of Smyrna burning:
06-13-2007 06:35 PM - edited 06-13-2007 06:53 PM
Smryna 1922 is the name of the book by Dobkin. This first url can be very upsetting and the book itself was cited as an outstanding and factual account.
I found the first url to be disturbing (photos are included); but factual it is. If you are sensitive, it would be better not to view the photos and review the book as cited on the barnes and noble site.
The second url takes you to the barnes and noble area where you can purchase the book itself and/or read the reviews.
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 06:53 PM
06-13-2007 07:09 PM
"My father, however, adopted the pose of his favorite piece of sculpture, The Thinker, a miniature of which sat across the room on the telephone table."
This url shows the original The Thinker in Rodin's Sculpture Garden by the Eiffel Tower,
06-13-2007 07:15 PM - edited 06-13-2007 08:11 PM
In the novel, Peter Tatakis, Uncle Pete, "was a leading member of the debating society that formed every week on our black love seats"
He had a passion in history, for Edward Gibbons, and in literature, for the journals of Madame de Stael." page 9
"He liked to quote that witty lady's opinion on the German language, which held that German wasn't good for conversation, because you had to wait to the end of the sentence for the verb, and so couldn't interrupt." - page 9
Barnes and Noble site url:
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 07:17 PM
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 08:11 PM
06-13-2007 07:21 PM
Where Cal was reborn:
"I was born twice, first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.
06-13-2007 07:25 PM
page one: "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smoglass Detroit day in January of 1960...."
06-13-2007 08:09 PM
Some Barnes and Noble Gibbon books:
06-13-2007 08:18 PM - edited 06-13-2007 08:19 PM
Who was Homer?
The Iliad and The Odyssey
The Homer Page:
Cal, the narrator refers to Homer on page 4: "Sorry if I get a little Homeric at times. That's genetic, too."
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 08:19 PM
06-13-2007 08:38 PM - edited 06-13-2007 08:46 PM
On Line Version:
Barnes and Noble copy:
About Eliot: (The Time Magazine 100)
"Smyrna endures today in a few rebetica songs and a stanza from "The Waste Land":
Mr, Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocketful of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
Everything you need to know about Smyrna is contained in that. The merchant is rich, and so was Smyrna, His proposal was seductive, and so was Smyrna, the most cosmopolitan city in the Near East. Among its reputed founders were, first, the Amazons (which goes nicely with my theme), and second, Tantalus himself. Homer was born there, and Aristotle Onassis. In Smyrna, East and West, opera and politakia, violin and zourna, piano and daouli blended as tastefully as did the rose petals and honey in local pastries." - page 50
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 08:46 PM
06-13-2007 08:59 PM - edited 06-13-2007 09:00 PM
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 09:00 PM
06-13-2007 09:55 PM - edited 06-13-2007 09:57 PM
Message Edited by bentley on 06-13-2007 09:57 PM
06-13-2007 09:59 PM
This is great, Bentley. Many thanks!
I want to add my thanks, too, Bentley.
You are welcome too. I just thought it would make it worthwhile to capture some of the history, places, references, people on a thread.