By Thomas E. Jenkins
Written in a full of life and available variety, Antiquity Now opens our gaze to the myriad makes use of and abuses of classical antiquity in modern fiction, movie, comics, drama, tv - or even web boards. With each bankruptcy concentrating on a distinct point of classical reception - together with sexuality, politics, gender and ethnicity - this booklet explores the ideological motivations at the back of modern American allusions to the classical global. finally, this kaleidoscope of receptions - from demands marriage equality to examinations of gang violence to passionate pleas for peace (or conflict) - finds a 'classical antiquity' that reconfigures itself day-by-day, as modernity explains itself to itself via ever-expanding applied sciences and media. Antiquity Now therefore examines the often-surprising redeployment of the artwork and literature of the traditional global, a geography charged with especial price within the modern mind's eye
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Extra info for Antiquity now : the classical world in the contemporary American imagination
63 Rarely has a country, and a history, been so romanticized as Miller’s fairy-tale Greece, a world in which Miller ﬁnally comprehends the truths of “pain and sorrow” and can listen to the world’s heart beat; with every new location, this American traveler opens “a new vein of experience, approaching the heart of a star which is not yet extinguished” (57). It’s little surprise that Miller’s sidereal Greece mostly revolves around Miller: during a trip to Eleusis, an historically sacred spot outside of Athens, he opines: 61 62 63 It was with some hand-wringing that the adjective “American” found its way into the title of this study, partly because I didn’t, and don’t, wish to give the impression that every example bears speciﬁcally on classical reception in the United States.
Miller is particularly keen on the commonalities between the prehistories of Greece and the Americas: “Everything connected with Argos, shimmering now in the distance as in the romantic illustrations for text-books, smacks of the American Indians” (90). Miller’s thoughts on Greek women—a source of never-ending fascination for the eternally randy Miller—is also informed by his American roots: “The ordinary Greek girl whom one sees on the street is superior in every way to her American counterpart; above all, she has character and race, a combination .
That means that this project (like others in the ﬁeld of reception) pushes the boundaries of what might be termed classical studies: it’s a truism that professional classicists stress the inﬂuence and profundity of classical texts, but it’s equally true that some classicists get nervous when adaptations stray too far from the source. By training, we classicists prefer our ideologies to be classical ones—of the stresses put on a text by the forces of republic and empire, or the tensions between polytheism and monotheism.
Antiquity now : the classical world in the contemporary American imagination by Thomas E. Jenkins