conversations with Hesiod

by dyketheelder

Yrjo Haila (a large Finn, but not a white shark) and I are working on (playing with) an ongoing conversation anchored in Hesiod’s WORKS AND DAYS. It wouldn’t hurt to get some Volian commentary if we could. On the not-very-safe assumption that I can figure out how to do it, I’ll send along a short introduction that explains the project; and two short, typical, and connected contributions that you might like. If I fail, I’ll get Carl to provide them.



The house that Jack built


6 Responses to “conversations with Hesiod”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed the earlier drafts of this. I don’t have much background in Hesiod, but seeing how you develop the links and ruptures between his understanding of ecology, ours, and respective farming lore and practice has given me a lot to think about. I like how the introduction briefly and pithily frames the whole project.

  2. A fascinating project. Hesiod is largely Greek to me, but gardening has long been part of my life. My father was an avid horticulturalist and my wife is, too. On a related tangent, I remember reading a book by an eminent Japanese advertising creative who described effective branding as composting and crop rotation, i.e., as a way to nourish the soil in which sales might flourish. He contrasted branding, seen in this way, with promotional advertising, seen as the equivalent of using chemical fertilizer to achieve quick results that leave the soil ruined. It has since occurred to me to wonder what difference it would make if policy makers saw themselves as gardeners, paying careful attention to the soil and other environmental factors, how different species interact, and weeding when necessary — instead of searching for grand solutions that, at the end of the day, usually cause more problems than they solve.

  3. Yes. Some of that turf has been explored by Kosinski/Ashby/Peter Sellers in BEING THERE. We could probably dig up some more examples, and plant the seeds of a new consciousness. It’s partly because of the ubiquity and perpetual aptness of gardening imagery that Hesiod is so easy to work with.

  4. Yes yes. Yet everyone’s always so disappointed that Candide ‘just’ ends up tending his garden.

  5. Could that be because gardeners are stereotyped as servants, women or eccentrics?


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