Classic.

“Pablo” oil clay by Victoria Accardi

On one of my favorite blogs texthistory  there was a recent post and link to this test:

which classical character are you?

You can see in 10 shallow questions who you would be if you were a classical character. The fun part is that you can choose male or female. I was annoyed to see myself cast as Odysseus after I so recently railed against his character to my book group upon finishing The Iliad. I found him to be the epitome of machismo and he quite got on my nerves.
It is hard to not know nearly the complete tale of the Ilaid before you actually read it, but I was surprised that I literally knew the whole tale. I don’t know why I thought there would be parts in there that had been left on the cutting room floor (of films and abridged children’s versions), a lá 1001 Arabian Nights but no, I pretty much knew the whole thing.

The fact that the book is not so much a story unfolding, as it is Odysseus (or in my version Ulysses) recounting all of his heroic acts himself: I found that somewhat significant. Isn’t that just ever so suspect? Seemed so to me. How convenient that he lost all his crew several times over, but lived to tell the tale of his amazing prowess in all areas; lust, war, and comradeship. He’s just an amazing fellow if he doesn’t say so himself. What, with the backing of powerful Gods – who isn’t?

I always loved the name Ulysses, in fact, it is my 13 year old’s middle name. He came home from school a few months ago and told me that he had had to write his full name out on a piece of paper in class, the girl sitting next to him, peeking at his paper, asked incredulously, “Your parents named you useless?!”
He shares my self-deprecating sense of humor so we both found this hilarious. We decided that we would sign all really important documents henceforth-
Yours faithfully,
Useless Accardi.

Still, I find it ironic that this is the male classical character I would most likely be. But of course, the going analysis of his character is, admittedly, different from my own, he is brave and clever (not me) but warm and loyal to his family (not for me to say) blah blah blah.

It went the same way for me with the female character. I am Dido. She’s the queen of Carthage that got her heart broken by Aeneas. She killed herself on a pyre. Same personality type and look at the difference it makes being a man. Yep.

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15 responses to “Classic.

  1. Very interesting Jessica.

  2. OK, THat is really funny about “Useless” Accardi. I’m still laughing.

  3. Hilarious! Even though as either a male or female I was offered choices that I simply wouldn’t accept. In those cases I chose the lesser of four evils for the sake of completing the game.

    As a man, I wound up as Aeneas. So, according to Oxford, I’m no damn good for you, Jessica! Just as well, I must say that I’m quite happily married.

    As a woman, I tranformed into Penelope. The dedicated wife of Odysseus, whom you can’t stand. I’ll defend your ego, even if you’re wrong (this I actually do with my wife in public settings . . . I wait until we get home in private to set the record straight), and I’ll wait forever for you to come back from whatever battle or adventure your off deling with in your head (I adore Kim with a passion and have truly let her get away nearly anything on many occasions).

    Very interesting survey.

    Apart from that, I wish I had the knack for sculpture. I have always admired it.

    A somewhat dated but still valuable historical text of classic sculpture that I would recommend is “The Romantics to Rodin” by Peter Fusco and H. W. Janson (1980).

  4. As long as Penelope truly loves Odysseus (and it’s not some warped prideful “man’s” version of loyalty) I’m all for her waiting, I would too. He hardly seems worth it to me however.
    As for Aeneas, I guess he gets his when he visits Dido in hell and she gives him the cold shoulder. It’s viewed as loyalty to her first husband, I don’t know about that, I think it’s simply a satisfying bit of spite.
    My daughter completed the last two sculptures I’ve posted several years ago and she is not yet 20. She is genuinely worthy of an epic poem.

  5. I sometimes wonder about those women who wait for their men. Are they just enjoying some ‘me’ time and not that fussed if the guy never comes back? It’s not as if they have to work for a living!
    Oh, and Useless is surely a better name than Sue. Wasn’t John wayne’s real name Marion?

  6. It is slightly more credible to believe that she was simply enjoying the ecstasy of not being a “wife,” a tiresome and lowly profession when loveless. As I read the poem I really did hope that she loved him though. Love is grand after all. All my fears for her lay upon the suspicion that her amazing display of love was, although appreciated as any egotistical man must, fundamentally unreturned.

  7. you know, in Senegal, people name kids things like “Useless”–not in English of course–to protect them from bad luck, to try to show the evil I the child really is not that important. People so this esp,. if they have already lost a child.

    • I find that really poignant Cathy. It’s an open admission of our vulnerability as parents and a sort of plea-“don’t take my baby, he/she is nothing to anyone else more than to me!”
      Having said that, I remember reading Freakonomics- in the chapter on how people choose names for their children there was an anecdotal story of 2 brothers in NJ, one named Winner and the other Loser. Well, fate played her hand because Winner ended up in all sorts of distress and Loser (he wisely shortened to Lou) was quite the content and happy man.

  8. Very interesting post! And fun, too!
    It seems we all follow Barbara’s “Texthistory” and that’s great!!!

    WE already have something in common, “themofman”!
    As a woman I turned into Penelope and as a man… Aeneas.
    ;-)

    C.

  9. Reblogged this on nós and commented:
    So very very classic… but fun!

  10. Pingback: Delusive Lullabies | so very very

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