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About the Title

January 2, 2007

Welcome to my book log. Thanks for reading.

The name of my blog is taken from a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy. The poem, translated from the Greek under many titles, is this:

Said Myrtias (a Syrian student
in Alexandria; in the reign of
Augustus Constans and Augustus Constantius;
in part a pagan, and in part a christian);
“Fortified by theory and study,
I shall not fear my passions like a coward.
I shall give my body to sensual delights,
to enjoyments dreamt-of,
to the most daring amorous desires,
to the lustful impulses of my blood, without
any fear, for whenever I want —
and I shall have the will, fortified
as I shall be by theory and study —
at moments of crisis I shall find again
my spirit, as before, ascetic.”

(Translation from the Greek via George’s page, which I like better than either of the more official translations)

The subheading is one of Leopold Bloom’s musings in the “Lotus-Eaters” section of Ulysses. In context, it’s clearly mockery, but I’ve often taken pleasure in thinking of it is an imperative: talk as if that would mend matters.

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One comment

  1. […] approach. It’s a “reading log,” and I named it myrtias. Early in the process, I explained the name and outlined some hopes and […]



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