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From: "Kevin J. Maroney" <kmaroney@crossover.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Jaynes and Wolfe
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 19:45:53 

At 07:46 PM 10/29/98 -0500, alga quoted Julian Jaynes:
>"The characters of the Iliad do not sit down and think out what to do. they
>have no conscious minds such as we say we have, and certainly no

By complete coincidence, I just happened to be reading part of _The Iliad_
only a couple of weeks back--I'd never read it before; quite
interesting--and I can say that this is, as a categorical statement, false.
The death of Hector provides a clear example of introspection: (From Samuel
Butler's translation, Book XXII)

   "Alas," said he to himself in the heaviness of his heart, "if I go
within the gates, Polydamas will be the first to heap reproach upon
me, for it was he that urged me to lead the Trojans back to the city
on that awful night when Achilles again came forth against us. I would
not listen, but it would have been indeed better if I had done so. Now
that my folly has destroyed the host, I dare not look Trojan men and
Trojan women in the face, lest a worse man should say, 'Hector has
ruined us by his self-confidence.' Surely it would be better for me to
return after having fought Achilles and slain him, or to die
gloriously here before the city. What, again, if were to lay down my
shield and helmet, lean my spear against the wall and go straight up
to noble Achilles? What if I were to promise to give up Helen, who was
the fountainhead of all this war, and all the treasure that Alexandrus
brought with him in his ships to Troy, aye, and to let the Achaeans
divide the half of everything that the city contains among themselves?
I might make the Trojans, by the mouths of their princes, take a
solemn oath that they would hide nothing, but would divide into two
shares all that is within the city- but why argue with myself in
this way? Were I to go up to him he would show me no kind of mercy; he
would kill me then and there as easily as though I were a woman,
when I had off my armour. There is no parleying with him from some
rock or oak tree as young men and maidens prattle with one another.
Better fight him at once, and learn to which of us Jove will vouchsafe
  Thus did he stand and ponder....

And it's not a God who put this dilemma into Hector's heart; quite the
contrary, Apollo cautioned Hector not to stand and fight Achilles, as did
his parents. But he stands stupidly awaiting Achilles, torn between honor,
cowardice, pride, and good sense: as modern a scene as one is likely to see. 

   Kevin Maroney | Crossover Technologies 
   kmaroney@crossover.com | (212) 777-1190

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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