Friday, March 27, 2009

quick translation and minor explication of Hesiods' Theogony


Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Nude in the Sunlight.JPG

Chaos was first


And next, broad-bosomed earth

For Gods and men to tread

And then misty Tartarus

her vulva


And Love

First God and most beautiful

He weakens men

Confuses clever minds

Tames fury.


Chaos also birthed

Night and Darkness

and From their love

Day and Aether.


Earth birthed heaven

for an equal

For cover

For a rest of gods.


Then she rolled out hills

for nymphs to romp

And then loveleslsly

the barren sea.


Heaven and earth lay in love

And produced sun, moon, rivers,

And crooked crowned cronos.



            From this abridged and paraphrased translation of Hesiod, we get the picture that Chaos branched into five entites: Earth and womb, Night and Darkness, and Love. Love (eros, Ar-os, Ar is an ancient phoneme for the concept of combining – art, arms, army) has no consort, represents, if anything, the principle of how all other things consort. When heaven and earth lay, love is the function. He is straight way described first as the most beautiful thing in existence, and also as a blunter of violence, strength, and mental powers. Or in a word: love if Folly.

            But if that is the case, we must also let him be wisdom. As for the inseperability of the terms, we will tease that one elsewhere. Suffice it to say that bringing things together isn’t always smart, as becomes apparent by the many dark issues of Night and Darkness (Nix and Erebus) – including Blame and Death, and also Sleep and Dreams.

            Love is without a lover, that much is clear, nor does he generate her, as Earth makes births and equal for herself. Rather, the family strife of heaven and earth, with the breaking apart of thereof, gives birth to Aphrodite, a symbol of the split: Love dons an utterly foolish guise as her son-lover as the adolescent cherub! Again: love is folly. He’ll even fall in love with a human woman, first in exploitive sex, and slowly, by and by, in a full mature love. Strange business this! Perhaps a clue?

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