Re: RARA-AVIS: heroes/Achilles

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 26 Jul 2002

miker wrote:

> i'm not wore out on this hero discussion yet. i had kind
> of implied that until hardboiled came along, the hero was
> all noble and pure and not a bad guy at all. and rene,
> you were right on target when you mentioned that this wasn't
> right, and used the odyssey and illiad as examples.
> so i started thinking about when, if ever, the hero ideal
> turned into a true dudley dooright. i know you mentioned
> christianity, but the heroes of the bible, if any, sure
> weren't model citizens. the farthest back i can put a
> finger on this kind of hero ideal is the concept of chiv-
> alry, which evolved during the medieval period, but because
> of a breakdown in author/publisher negotiations, didn't
> show up in literature until the 14th (_sir gawain and the
> green knight_) and 15th (_le morte d'arthur_) centuries.

Actually, that's the kind of stuff I had in mind rather than Biblical stuff. (I suspect you're thinking Old Testament rather than New, which would technically be pre-Christian.) So when I said Christian, let's be more specific & say Medieval European, particularly the literature of Chivalry. In fact, the more I think about it the more I'm sure that's where our modern concept of heroism comes from, which should bring us up to Chandler and a man who walks the mean streets but is not afraid, etc. Marlowe was nearly named Mallory, in honour of the author of LE MORTE D'ARTHUR, which I think may've been mentioned here before.

> darn, i'm starting to feel like a scholar. pass me another
> one of those longneck fosters, would ya, rene.

Sounds good to me. Maybe we could watch some Three Stooges vid's as well, get this kulcher stuff out of our systems.


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