Tag Archives: Greek diaspora

Friday Links: Homer and Kerouac

26 Jul


Happy Friday! Any exciting plans for the weekend? I’ll be at the New York City Poetry Festival. Poet RA Araya invited me to read as part of the line up for Miguel Algarin’s Brooklyn Poetry happening on Saturday at 11:40 at the Algonquin stage on Governor’s Island. If you want to come, take the first ferry out of Battery Park. It’s free! The ferry’s free, the poetry reading is free. If it’s anything like last year, you can envision yourself lofting in the grass and losing yourself to the Siren-pull of beautiful words. Speaking of Sirens, I’ll be reading from The Odyssey in its original Homeric Greek (help!) and from the book I’m coauthoring with Paul Maher Jr., Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”

In light of this, here are a few Friday links on the topic.

Literary Elitism vs. Populism (Is Homer much better than Kerouac?)

The New Yorker rejects Homer and Kerouac

Paul Maher Jr.’s Jack Kerouac’s American Journey: The Real-Life Odyssey of “On the Road”

“Like Odysseus in Homer’s poems, Kerouac in The Duluoz Legend is a restless adventurer that embarks on an epic journey — an Odyssean archetype of the indomitable wanderer in modern guise,” writes LewRockwell.com

“Dean Moriarty was the Odysseus of Tennyson not Homer, sailing away again from his island-kingdom not because he loved his family less, but because he loved more the drumbeat of heroic adventure in his breast,” writes HistoryJournal.org

Steve McCurry looks at Travelers’ Tales

“[T]he Odyssean archetype of the indomitable wanderer has persisted down to modern times in works as diverse as James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” Charles Frazier’s “Cold Mountain,” and even in the film “O Brother, Where Art Though?” in 2000,” writes Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Everything since the Greeks has been predicted wrong, he says, because geometrical systems of thinking are fundamentally flawed. On the Road, then, is not just a travel memoir, a series of successive “kicks” from travel and all its accompaniments; it is Kerouac’s aesthetic manifesto that he sets up in opposition to the dominant idea of beauty-as-geometrical-harmony. This is why On the Road arrives out of nowhere and goes nowhere. That is why if you look for structure, for symmetry, for a narrative with a categorical beginning, a clear ending and internal consistency throughout, you will be disappointed,” writes anenduringromantic

“I listened to Snyder attentively. I wanted to understand more. In preparing to write the nonfiction saga of our long walk across Turtle Island –  Odyssey of the 8th Fire – I’d been informed by books telling of our human journey: Homer’s Odyssey, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie, William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways,  Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and Paolo Cohelo’sThe Pilgrimage. Inevitably, Kerouac’s On the Road also touched me with its entraining cross-America accounts of reaching outward, inward, downward, upward,” writes Steven McFadden



2011 Greek Independence Day Parade

29 Mar

Who made it out to the parade on Sunday to celebrate Greek Independence Day?  My sister and I went after brunch.  It was a great day for a parade.  The sky was a bright, bright blue and the sun was shining.  It was a bit brisk to be standing on the sidelines, but I’m sure those marching in the parade enjoyed that it wasn’t hot out.

Our favorite part was seeing the little kids all dressed up in their Greek costumes.  Seriously adorable!

I also rather enjoyed seeing the Greek-American women who insisted on marching in high heels.  It was quite a few blocks up Fifth Avenue to be clomping around in heels, but they remained stoic.

Greek men and women of all ages layered blue and white clothes on, wore Hellas t-shirts they probably picked up in Plaka, and draped the Greek flag over their shoulders. Super-hero style!

Here are a few pics.





Daily Frappe Introduces Me to Its Readers

3 Feb

Yesterday I was featured on Daily Frappe!  They published a new article I wrote on best-selling author Eric Metaxas and linked to yesterday’s post here on the young Egyptians protecting the Library of Alexandria.

A few years ago Daily Frappe published an article I wrote on the 76th Annual Greek Independence Day Parade a few years, and it is an honor to be collaborating with them again.

Daily Frappe was founded over Easter Weekend 2005 as “a community for the millions of people of Greek decent that are scattered by geography but united by heritage,” according to the website.  A quick scan through the message boards and you’ll discover Greeks from the United States to Australia.

The articles Daily Frappe publish cover the full spectrum of the Greek diaspora.  There are articles about restaurant chains, films, and even Facebook.  The articles tie heritage to current events in a relevant way.

Mmmm… now I could really go for a frappeMetrios, please.