2005-05-07

Which M*se comes between 4 and 6?

Sorry to start a second topic again but... (to keep the chair happy, 1=i)

As you recall in our discussion before we started this Blog, we had identified Terpsichore as a strong possibility, because she was "the f1fth muse of Aeonia" and "Hesiod's f1fth muse". This never sat well with me, because if 5M feels anything in common with the muse of dance, it doesn't show up in any of the postings I've seen.

A number of lists have Melpomene between 4 and 6. This seemed more likely to me. The muse of tragedy who sings with a beautiful voice. Entirely apt.

However, while obsessively avoiding writing letters to apply for gold mining jobs, I came across a site that had this listing:

1. Euterpe
2. Terpsichore
3. Clio
4. Polyhymnia
5. Thalia
6. Mnemosyne
7. Urania
8. Melpomene
9. Calliope

At this site we find the following description:

  • Thalia (Thaleia) the "Flourishing" is the muse of comedy and of playful and idyllic poetry, and is seen with a comic mask. She is sometimes seen with a crown of ivy and a crook. By Apollo, Thalia had the Corybantes, priests who castrated themselves in identification with the goddess, Cybele.

5 comments:

coyote said...

So, let me get this straight. Comedy & castration, all in one lighthearted li'l classical reference. A striking image, given that the subject of her blog is relationships.

At the moment, we are seeing more of absurdity than of comedy. To misquote Alannis, (who, in the song, messed up which trope she was after anyway), 'Isn't It Ionic'?

Makes symbolic sense. Even to those of us who're up to our hairy butts in symposia....

Sorry. Just had to throw in one more crowing reference to my serendipitous infamy-by-association with her big event. Oh. Dear me, coyotes don't crow, do they? As for the domestic fowl that's supposed to do that kind of thing, I believe I had him over for a small dinner party last evening. Draw your own conclusions. But this morning at six a.m., it was quiet. Blessedly quiet.

And I had waffles for breakfast, too. You could say I'm being Eggotistical.

Sorry again. Okay, not really. I expect dead batteries in my headlamp and rodents in my Wellies any day now.

Seriously, Dwarf, great work. The name fits to a tee in so many more ways, now, doesn't it? Especially after her short story of this week, although it goes beyond that. I think she's been leaning on this line of symbolism for some while, don't you?

coyote said...

Addendum: I've just gone through some first-name-meaning sites specific to Greek names. As you've already pointed out, 4th Dwarf, Thali@ means something like "joyous muse of comedy', while the similar-sounding Ther@ is 'wild' or 'untamed'. Interestingly, more mainstream name sites don't acknowledge Ther@ as a name, or if they do, peg it as a diminutive of the English 'Theresa'. For what it's worth.

At the risk of repeating myself, 'How Ionic.' And I am not speaking of the aurora borealis (although that's another nice use of Greek) or the van Allen belts. Just thought I'd throw in a reference or two to physics to demonstrate that I am a coyote of many part(icle)s...

4th Dwarf said...

Coyote,

You're at the stage now where we'd have you spark-testing methane vents.

And it's a good thing for your readers that I'm not in the Chair's job, else next to your cute little puppy face there'd be the words "This post has been removed by a blog administrator."

Agatha said...

Nice work, 4th Dwarf. And, as always, colourful commentary, Coyote.
I think the emasculation theme is particularly significant and worthy of further investigation. Could our m*se be having castration fantasies (undoubtably fuelled by Great White Shark Envy)? And, could this castration complex be affecting M? Could M's feeble libido be the result of an unconscious, yet perfectly justified castration anxiety?

coyote said...

Agatha;
How unconscious 'pends where that shark and its mouth full of pointy sharp teeth have been cruising lately..