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Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Chicago Homer

Even before I found the Chicago Homer tonight (more on it below, with a link) there were many things to like about Chicago — even for me, who has never been there. And probably never will be.

For instance, in the middle of the 19th-century she became the livestock centre of America, butchering and shipping delicious beef and pork all over the USA.

There is Wrigley Field, which opened in 1914.

And there was Chicago Stadium, with its awesome Barton organ, demolished in 1995 to my utter horror and dismay and eternal resentment (I have not watched hockey since).

There is the old "Abby" — the icebreaker MV Abegweit, which carried passengers and freight between Borden, Prince Edward Island and Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick until she was retired in 1982 — now serving as the headquarters of the Columbia Yacht Club (picture of the Abby) in Chicago.

There is humble servant, a somewhat frequent and very thoughtful commenter on this blog.

And now there is The Chicago Homer, a great resource for anyone interested in ancient Greek Literature

"The Chicago Homer is a bilingual database that uses the search and display capabilities of electronic texts to make the distinctive features of Early Greek epic accessible to readers with and without Greek. Its component parts are

1. Standard electronic editions of the texts, revised for maximum utility in a searchable database, and translations by Richmond Lattimore and Daryl Hine that closely observe the line structure of the originals and lend themselves to interlinear display.

2. A set of database tables that support lexical, phrasal, morphological, and narratological searches.

3. A Web-based user interface that gives access to the texts and supports queries to the database.

The most salient feature of the Chicago Homer is its ability to make visible the network of phrasal repetition that is so distinctive a feature of Homeric poetry. We reserve the rest of this introduction to a brief discussion of repetitions before turning to a detailed account of the texts and translation, the database and its parts, and the user interface."
I believe I will be making some use of The Chicago Homer in both the near and the distant future.


Humble Servant said...

Hey, that's an awfully nice thing to say! I bow in a nor'easterly direction.

That is a nifty site--and odd in this way. I'd have bet before I looked that it was a U of Chicago site, but it turns out to be Northwestern--nonetheless looks like it started at UofC (probably got its name there) and then for some reason (probably a move by the key prof) moved to Northwestern.

[I am a UofC law grad, so ye are warned:] There is no place to touch the UofC for classic-sense scholarship in the US today--it [generally, "it"] cares about what hard work can show about ideas, it demands the rigor of word by word analysis of original works, it employs weird old scholars who have that passion for their topics, thier dusty old lit, and damn the trends. "Chicago School" means this in addition to meaning "conservative." All Great Books schools are susceptible to this label. I wonder whether people know this?

I could quote Sandburg atcha to conclude this Chicago homage, but everyone knows that one--let's do Whitman instead:

THEY shall arise in the States,
They shall report Nature, laws, physiology, and happiness;
They shall illustrate Democracy and the kosmos;
They shall be alimentive, amative, perceptive;
They shall be complete women and men—their pose brawny and supple, their drink water, their blood clean and clear;
They shall enjoy materialism and the sight of products—they shall enjoy the sight of the beef, lumber, bread-stuffs, of Chicago, the great city;
They shall train themselves to go in public to become orators and oratresses;
Strong and sweet shall their tongues be—poems and materials of poems shall come from their lives—they shall be makers and finders;
Of them, and of their works, shall emerge divine conveyers, to convey gospels;
Characters, events, retrospections, shall be convey’d in gospels
—Trees, animals, waters, shall be convey’d,
Death, the future, the invisible faith, shall all be convey’d.

John said...

I think you'd find ...the Bicameral Mind, mentioned a few posts ago, fascinating. I think Whitman would've, too.

Thanks for the U of C info. Speaking of dusty old lit — is Harold Bloom from Chicago or the Chicago School? Just curious, because his is the first name that comes to mind when I think of dusty old lit ... not that I have anything against Bloom or dusty old lit.

Humble Servant said...

Okay, we'll do a deal. If you'll read this:

I'll read this:

But I gotta finish Anna Karenina first, so it will be a couple of weeks.

Allan Bloom is a quintessential Chicago and Chicago School guy (he did teach at Toronto for a while)--here's the wiki: He did The Closing of the American Mind. Harold Bloom is also a Great Books guy--his book was The Western Canon--but he has no connection to Chicago or the UofC that I know of.

And zach--didn't see your link until after I posted--the Sandburg is iconic Chicago--"everyone knows that one" is meant as a compliment to it, not a dis.

John said...

It's a deal.

I haven't read Allan Bloom, but I gotta say I like the title of the one you mention.

I have read The Western Canon, and enjoyed it immensely.

Zachariah Wells said...

Didn't take it as a dis at all, HS, was just put in mind of the Sandburg poem, for which I am grateful, as it's a personal fave, even tho I've never set foot in or eyes on Chicago.

(John, for some reason, I can't get the visual verification to appear on Firefox, so had to open up IE to post this. This a problem for you?)

John said...

Nope, no problem for me, Zach. Might be something in your firefox settings. Or an extension. Try posting a comment at Brenda's blog, see if you get the same problem. She uses the same comment settings as me, I think.

Zachariah Wells said...

Yep, same damn thing. Hm.

Zachariah Wells said...

Downloaded a new firefox and she works now. I know you must be relieved!

John said...

Yes, my mind is at peace. I can pass from this world now with no regrets.