This is what the ancient world practised to ensure that they made the best use of their time. They didn’t have all of the electronic distractions that we do but they did have a lot more children so their issues were more immediate and pertinent. Such things as hunger, thirst and death from diseases which we have mainly stopped. So they had good reason to optimise the short lives that they had. It also means that if we follow their lead we will also benefit from there advice as it has passed the test of time.
Watch Seneca here for some golden rules to follow for better time management.
Seneca was a famous Roman philosopher who has been used through the ages by many people to gain an insight into how they can be the most productive version of themselves. Recently Americans interested in promoting alternative lifestyles that are now possible like the location independent or digital mimialistic ones use stoicism as there cornerstones. Look here at Cal Newport for more information on the subject. There are many others who talk about this like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris and Scott H Young. I don’t get money from any of them.
Ioanian school of philosophy
This is mainly concerned with nature as they studied the physical world hence they are also called physicalists and cosmologists. This is a very old field of thought that was uniquely Greek. It’s amply explained by the Wikipedia article and I can’t really add anything to it since it’s so well established already. I sometimes include things just to make you aware of them and for completeness. As far as I know there is no input from anyone outside of Athens since it was so long ago.
Friedrich Schelling’s Philosophy of Mythology
Friedrich Schelling’s Philosophy of Mythology
— Read on minervawisdom.com/2019/06/03/friedrich-schellings-philosophy-of-mythology/
An excellent post that I came across today that needs more attention.
The Problem of Indifference in Relationships
The Problem of Indifference in Relationships
— Read on beyondboundslb.co/2019/05/26/the-problem-of-indifference-in-relationships/
Stoicism is an Ancient Greek ideal that is gaining popularity at the moment. Here is a good explanation of how it relates to modern life.
Now he is an interesting fellow for not only was he a Greek surrealist and this is not something you would usually associate with Greece; he was also the first Greek psychoanalyst. This is in addition to his more well known poetic side or his linguistic side which we will find out more about later on. The reason for him being slightly different to the average Greek was that he was born in Romania but soon moved back to Greece. He would travel far and wide throughout his life resulting in him documenting his life in exhaustive photographic detail as will also discover later on.
In order to became the first and most prominent psychoanalyst, he first starts studying philosophy in Athens in the 1920’s as a gentleman of his pedigree would do having failed to go into the family shipping business. I think the world is a much better place for him not becoming Onassis. Before he finishes his degree he moves to Paris and becomes interested in psychoanalysis. Through this he is introduced to Andre Breton the leading figure in that circle. This allows him to learn French in addition to his Swiss French gained from time spent in Lausanne after his parents divorced in and visits to Geneva. He wrote his books on psychoanalysis in French as a result of this. He continues to participate in this area throughout his life but stops actively practising in 1950. He also didn’t talk about this area of his life to others.
In the 1930’s he is one of the poets that radically changes the way Greek poetry is conceptualised along with the powerhouse that is George Seferis.
Being a literary critic as well a poet and author can mean that society views you as a troublemaker and if they can’t silence you then they will make sure that your work is jolly hard to to get hold of and you really have to search to find it in your language. He was a rather subversive member of society which the majority of people didn’t agree with. Along with studying psychoanalytics, Russian and French, he wrote rather saucy poetry and novels. This has meant his work has been subject to the usual censorship of non promotion as he doesn’t fit in with the ideals of society. This is a review of his poetry and life from a fellow blogger that I found explaining that yet again he is another poet whose work doesn’t exist much outside of Greece or in English. Andreas Emberikos.
He develops a friendship with Odysseus Elytis and they are invited by the Greco-Soviet society to travel to USSR as it is then known along with Yorgos Theotokas. The reasoning for this was that Andreas’s mother was half Russian and he himself fell in love with Tolstoy in his youth. He also spoke Russian and was widely read in the language. He visited Russia as a child every summer until 1914 when war broke out.
He was a prolific photographer as well with an archive of over 30,000 negatives being made by himself during his lifetime. These were however mostly for his personal use as he only exhibited them once in 1955 in the Ilissos Gallery in Athens. A retrospective exhibition happened in 2001 to commemorate his lives work at the Technopolis Art Centre in Athens. There was also another more recent photographic exhibition held in Athens to mark Greek Independance day in 2018.
Here are the personal details of his life Andreas Embirikos.
This is the ninth post in the series of Greek but mainly Lefkádian writers and poets which includes a bonus post from Sententiae Antiquae on Sappho.
C F Cavafy
C G Karyotakis
Other series include Greek Authors, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Foreigners who have an interest in Greece and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here Series links.
Here is a list of SA posts that I have previously shared and since they generally have good posts I frequently get tempted to share them.
Lyric, love and translation
The first is an ancient Lefkás poet Sappho and the only woman too unless you count the wife of Angelos Sikelianos, Eva. For my series on Lefkadian poets check here :-
Aristotle Valaoritis ,
C F Cavafy,
Formal and informal language
An article on different styles of writing and why you might perhaps want to use one over the other.
The pleasure of reading
Why you should indulge in this hobby.
He is the author of Zorba the Greek the most famous Greek movie. It has spawned many restaurants of this name and for most people this is in fact all they know about modern Greek culture.
For those that don’t know this is based on a book. It’s an amazing book that puts the movie into the shade. While the movie is very good when you have read the book you can see how much has been missed out a bit like with the LOTRs trilogy.
The prose, philosophy and humour that he injects into his main character Alexis Zorba is astounding. I have a feeling I’ve written this before but a little deja vu is ok here. He makes a very good counterpart to show how much you can know about the world in terms of academic learning yet know nothing about what matters in life. He makes it his mission to teach his rather staid English companion how to loosen up and enjoy life. It’s a rather entertaining jaunt throughout the story learning about the adventures that they get up to together. They make a great partnership and there is also a purpose that they fulfil. I adore the insight into Greek culture and history that you get from this story. I don’t want to repeat myself too much but this really is a must read book.
He has also written many other books but they are not quite as well known so are more difficult to get hold of. I have some of them, but I haven’t read them yet so I can’t comment on there content. I believe they will be just as good.
- Christ Recrucified
- Captain Michalis
- The last Temptation of Christ
- Freedom and Death
- This is a sampling of the works that are usually available. Try Amazon if you can’t find him in your local bookstore.
Here is the Wikipedia article on him if you want some background in his life. Nikos Kazantzakis. If you want even more info go here Nikos Kazantzakis.
He ties in nicely with my series on Greek (mainly Lefkadian) poets as he happened to have not only met Angelos Sikelianos, but the 2 became great friends along with Angelos’s wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos.
This is the first post in the Greek author series.
Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Musicians, Famous Greeks, Rural villages in Lefkás and Foreigners who have become interested and or benefited Greece in some ways. All the links can be found here Series links.
Do you have any favourite novelists?
As we are getting more into the 21st century the need to change our educational style is increasing.
I)What else are we able to do without in order to increase the time available to ourselves for creative interests?
II)Are you scared by how much technology exists in our lives, it’s ability to learn and possibly to go rogue at some point?
III)Are we turning into mindless robots being programmed by exposure to so much media and our subsequent consumption of it?
IV)What does it mean to be human nowadays as we are relying more and more on technology for our every need?
- No longer do we need so many of the facts that were crammed into our heads as children. We now have Google for that.
- For the bibliographic details of our friends we have a phone.
- To find our way from A to B we now have Sat Nav’s.
- Calculators have replaced the need for mental arithmetic
- Email has mostly replaced letter writing.
- Smart watches are replacing our diaries.
- Fit bits are monitoring our health.
- Handsfree devices allow us to talk when we cannot use our phones.
- Hive thermostats can control the heating in our homes.
- Alexa can control your lighting.
- Google assistant can control your music collection.
- Amazon tabs can order your favourite items.
- Siri knows far more about you than anyone else does (as does Facebook).
- E readers are possibly replacing books.
- Netflix are replacing the television stations.
- Air B and B is changing travel accommodation.
- Uber is revolutionizing travel transportation.
- Just Eat is controlling where we get our takeaways from.
- Cars no longer need keys for the ignition.
I love reading these posts about the Ancient Greek literature as you get the real deal. It’s not lost any authenticity due to translation so it’s the closest you can get to being in Ancient Greece itself.
Have you read any works of literature in the original language?