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Forum LockedThucydides: A Model for the Personal

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RonPrice View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Thucydides: A Model for the Personal
    Posted: 28-Sep-2008 at 03:49

There is a second historian who provides somewhat of a model for my writing; indeed, I like to think I combine or at least aim to combine the best of Herodotus and the best of Thucydides. Perhaps the reason I even refer to these first historians of the western intellectual tradition is that they were part of a course on Greek history which I taught in the late 1980s and early 1990s and so I became more than a little familiar with their works. I like to see this work, my autobiography, the way Thucydides did his: as a possession for all time, as a piece of investigation, interpretation and analytical writing, as an account of the moral and social breakdown of society, as part of a mythic paradigm underlying this work, as one attempt to give expression to my views, not to make concessions to a wider public but hopefully a piece of writing that will last beyond the narrow confines of my life. 

I see my writing as an attempt to give expression to the continuity and development of my time and an analysis of the fundamental illness of the age—disunity. Thucydides sought a stable centre for society and I see that stable centre as one that will evolve, in time, from the nucleus and pattern of an emerging international Order. 

Thucydides thought an absence of romance from his work would, over time, detract from its interest and lose him the applause of the moment. There is much which will detract from my work: lack of romance, absence of a simple and provocative story line, a lack of simplicity in the style of my writing. Thucydides’ culture was shaken to its roots and he feared for its survival; such is the case with my age and my society. It was shaken to its roots before I was born and the shaking has just gone on and on. Perhaps one day I will draw some further parallels with other historians. Sixteen years ago, at the same time that I began to write poetry extensively, I began a file on the major historians of history and there is much more I could add here from their several philosophies of history. But, for the moment, this will suffice.

My poetry has its beginnings in many places and times. One of the crucial beginnings is in modern times right at the start of the Kingdom of God on earth, from a Baha’i perspective, in the early 1950s. Specifically, the American poet Allen Ginsberg had a list of slogans that he kept over his desk back in 1954 in San Francisco. The slogans came from Ginsberg’s friend Jack Kerouac. Kerouac called them: "Essentials of Spontaneous Prose." They went like this:

"Blow as deep as you want -- write as deeply, fish as far down as you want, satisfy yourself first, then readers cannot fail to receive telepathic shock and meaning-excitement by the same laws operating in his own human mind.... Nothing is muddy that runs in time and to the laws of time---the Shakespearean stress of a dramatic need to speak now in my own unalterable way or forever hold my tongue. Make no revisions….write outwards swimming in a sea of language to peripheral release and exhaustion ... tap from yourself the song of yourself, blow! -- now! -- your way is your only way...."
Although it would be nearly forty years before I was able to put these words into poetic practice, they say much about the way I go about writing and why?

The objects which occur to me at any given moment of composition, what we might call objects of recognition, can be, must be, treated exactly as they occur to my mind and my senses. --Ron Price, From My Memoirs, 28/9/'08

Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 64(in 2008). He taught for 35 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He lives with his wife in Tasmania. He has been a Baha'i for 50 years.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Sep-2008 at 18:41
could you please use smaller fonts? thanks
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RonPrice View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Sep-2008 at 00:46
I tried to edit this item before I posted it at this site, but I could not find any editing tool here.  I still can't. Please advise me on a course of action to get rid of this post.  If I can't delete it--feel free to do so at your end until I/we can figure out how to reduce the size of thefont.-Ron price, Tasmania
Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 64(in 2008). He taught for 35 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He lives with his wife in Tasmania. He has been a Baha'i for 50 years.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Sep-2008 at 00:54
Hey Ron didn't I see you on a forum called thinkers.net? to edit you hit the post options button and it will have an edit post option. By the way shouldn't this topic be in literary pursuits?


Defenders of Ulthuan, Cult of Asuryan (57 Kills and counting)


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RonPrice View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RonPrice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Sep-2008 at 01:08
Yes, Count Belisarius, you may indeed have seen me on a forum called thinkers.net.  I have not been at that forum for some time, but I have posted many an item at that site.  I have tried to follow your advice here, namely, "to edit by hitting the post options button."  As you say, "it will have an edit post option."  But I can't for the life of me find that button on the screen after looking high and low.  Perhaps my problem is "visual illiteracy."  Perhaps, too, as you say, "this topic be in literary pursuits."  Over and out, for now.-Ron Price, AustraliaBig%20smile 
Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 64(in 2008). He taught for 35 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He lives with his wife in Tasmania. He has been a Baha'i for 50 years.
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