Tag Archives: Odyssey

Almanac – June 11

1184 BC – Trojan War: Troy was sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes.

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus king of Sparta.

The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably through Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey. The Iliad relates a part of the last year of the siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes Odysseus’s journey home.

Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.

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1936 – The International Surrealist Exhibition opened in London,  from 11 June to 4 July 1936 at the New Burlington Galleries.

The exhibition was opened in the presence of about two thousand people by André Breton. The average attendance for the whole of the Exhibition was about a thousand people per day.

During the course of the Exhibition, the following lectures were delivered to large audiences:

    June 16 — André Breton — Limites non-frontières du Surréalisme.
    June 19 — Herbert Read — Art and the Unconscious.
    June 24 — Paul Éluard — La Poésie surréaliste.
    June 26 — Hugh Sykes Davies — Biology and Surrealism.
    July 1 —    Salvador Dalí — Fantômes paranoïaques authentiques.

Dali’s lecture was delivered whilst wearing a deep-sea diving suit. Nearly suffocating during the presentation, Dali had to be rescued by the young poet David Gascoyne, who arrived with a spanner to release him from the diving helmet.

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1963 –  Alabama Governor George Wallace stood at the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama in an attempt to block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from attending that school.

Later in the day, accompanied by federalized National Guard troops, they are able to register.

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Almanac – February 02

Candlemas Day

Happy Candlemas !

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If on Candlemas Day it be shower and rain
Winter is gone, twill not come again

Or if you prefer…

When the wind’s in the East on Candlemas Day
There it will stick till the 2nd of May

1650 – Nell Gwynne born. Long-time mistress of King Charles II of England, by whom she had two sons.  Called “pretty, witty Nell” by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella.

Elizabeth Howe, in The First English Actresses, says she was “the most famous Restoration actress of all time, possessed of an extraordinary comic talent.”

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1709 – Alexander Selkirk [or Selcraig] was resused from Juan Fernandez Island, in the Pacific, by privateer Captain Woodes Rogers.

Selkirk had marooned himself on the island in 1703, following a row with his then captain, Thomas Stradling. His time as a castaway inspired Daniel Defoe‘s Robinson Crusoe [1719].

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1882 – James Joyce born.  Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century.

Joyce is best known for Ulysses (see below), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer‘s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he perfected.

Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His complete oeuvre also includes three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters.

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1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce  published. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach  in Paris.

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904 .Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer‘s poem Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between its characters and events and those of the poem.

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1969 – Boris Karloff died. best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). His popularity following Frankenstein was such that for a brief time he was billed simply as “Karloff” or “Karloff the Uncanny.”

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