A shock wave of horror shuddered through Memorial Hall as people realized how many of their neighbors and friends, in the safety of anonymity, had been seduced by sensationalism and gut feelings. There was cheering and there was anger, there were those who cried and those who screamed for a rebellion, but most were satisfied that justice had been done.
The Anger of Achilles: Mênis in Greek Epic by Leonard Muellner, a 1995 paperback in the Myth and Poetics series edited by Gregory Nagy from Cornell University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“Leonard Muellner’s goal is to restore the Greek word for the anger of Achilles, mênis, to its social, mythical, and poetic contexts. His point of departure is the anthropology of emotions. He believes that notions of anger vary between cultures and that the particular meaning of a word such as mênis needs to emerge from a close study of Greek epic. Mênis means more than an individual’s emotional response. on the basis of the epic exemplifications of the word, Muellner defines the term as a cosmic sanction against behavior that violates the most basic rules of human society. To understand the way mênis functions, Muellner stresses both the power and the danger that accrue to a person who violates such rules. Transgressive behavior has both a creative and destructive aspect.” — back cover
Werner Herzog talks about the jungle. From Burden of Dreams, about the making of Fitzcarraldo. [HT Erik Davis]
“Nature here is violent, base. I wouldn’t see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and, just, rotting away. Of course there is a lot of misery, but it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery. The birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing. They just screech in pain.
It’s a unfinished country. It is prehistorical. The only thing that is lacking is the dinosaur, yeah. It is like a curse laying on the entire landscape. And whoever goes too deep into this, has his share of that curse. So, we are cursed with what we are doing here. It’s a land that God, if he exists, has created in anger. It’s the only land where creation is unfinished yet. Taking a close look at what’s around us, there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder. And we, in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle, we in comparison to that enormous articulation, we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel, a cheap novel. And we have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication and overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. Even the stars, the stars appear in the sky, look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But, when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it. I love it. I love it very much. But, I love it against my better judgement.”
“Compensation is the embracing of views, ideals, or activities opposite of those sought and experienced in the transpersonal and spiritual realms. Love results in anger, lofty experiences in base living, or similar forms of embracing the opposite of what we seek. (Netzach/Venus)” [via]
“Projection results when we encounter the divine, accept it as real, but refuse to make it part of ourselves, and instead, see it as a manifestation of another person, place, or thing. This is the belief in a savior without having to do any work on ourselves, or guru worship in some form. However, it also includes the obsession with ‘spiritual technologies’ such as aura meters, ‘energy field enhancers’, crystals, or the mythological idealization of native or indigenous religious forms. Messianic protections either in the form of a returning Christ, a new avatar, or extraterrestrials also fall into this category of pathology which they take the place of psycho-spiritual development instead of supporting it. This form of spiritual laziness is accompanied by feelings of self-doubt, anger, frustration, and low self-esteem, as we do not feel capable of being the qualities idealized and instead see them only as possessed by another, resulting in anger at our own unworthiness. (Yesod/Luna)” [via]
“The blue skies focus, as a burning bowl,
The restless passion of the universe
Into our mutual anger and distress,
To be forbidden (the Creator’s curse)
To comprehend the other’s loveliness.
We cannot grasp the ecstasy of this;
Only we strain and struggle and renew
The utter bliss of the unending kiss,
The mutual pang that shudders through and through,
Repeated and repeated, as the light
Can build a partial palace of the day” [via]
“Yea, king and queen of Sheol, terrible
Above all fiends and furies, hating more
The high Jehovah, loving Baal Peor,
Our father and our lover and our god!
Yea, though he lift his adamantine rod
And pierce us through, how shall his anger tame
Fire that glows fiercer for the brand of shame
Thrust in it; so, we who are all of fire,
One dull red flare of devilish desire,
The God of Israel shall not quench with tears,
Nor blood of martyrs drawn from myriad spheres,
Nor watery blood of Christ; that blood shall boil
With all the fury of our hellish toil;
His veins shall dry with heat; his bones shall bleach
Cold and detested, picked of dogs, on each
Dry separate dunghill of burnt Golgotha.” [via]
“These three primary commands, to seek a determinate outline, to avoid a generalized treatment, and to desire always abundance and exuberance, were insisted upon with vehement anger, and their opponents called again and again ‘demons’ and ‘villains,’ ‘hired’ by the wealthy and the idle” [via]