Fri, 28 Feb 2003
The Greek Myths, by Robert Graves. I enjoy the myths, but find myself being distracted by Graves’ demystifying explanatory notes. I guess I don’t really want to know exactly which pre-historical tribal turf war was being allegorised in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, or whichever. And maybe I’m a little unconvinced by the idea that the Greeks invested their myths with that degree of allegorical specificity.
I was watching Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels last night. There’s a great bit where Joel McCrea, as a pretentious director, is deconstructing the big final scene of his new movie. The scene in question involves an exciting fistfight between two men atop a speeding train. After some wrestling and a little gunplay, one guy lunges forward and tackles the other and they both fall to their deaths. Music swells, credits roll. “See?” explains Joel McCrea, as the lights come up. “Capital and labour destroy each other!”
I guess there’s a difference between good metaphor and bad metaphor, but right now – perhaps it’s the strain of trying to explain in this grant application what the rock opera “means” – I’m feeling a little impatient with metaphors in general. I guess that’s why I like rock-n-roll. Most of the songs are about girls.