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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Writer's Life 10/26 - Sal, Michael & Jonathan

The most interesting item in today's NY Post comes from a letter to the editor by Sal Bifulco of New Jersey. He writes: " politics, all lies matter." Kudos, sir.

This morning, talk radio host Mark Simone said liberal icon Michael Moore has endorsed Trump, which should trouble each side, a double whammy so to speak. I just listened to the four-minute excerpt and it sure sounded like an endorsement: Judge for yourself:

Here's a list of lost literary pieces compiled at by Jonathan H. Kantor, heavily edited by yours truly: Euripides was one of the most famous tragedians of Athens. 19 of his works remain. Unfortunately, it is believed he wrote between 92–95.
Another playwright whose work has largely been lost is Sophocles, who may have written as many as 120 plays, of which only seven have survived, along with fragments of others.
Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey were preceded by Margites, which is referenced in surviving works that suggest it is a comic mock-epic about an unintelligent man so stupid he doesn’t know whether his mother or father gave birth to him. Margites also refuses to lie with his wife for fear she might give a bad account of him to his mother. Aristotle referred to it as ” . . . an analogy: as are the Iliad and Odyssey to our tragedies, so is the Margites to our comedies.” Only five fragments referencing the original text have ever been found -- in the writings of Plato, Aristotle and others.
One of the greatest Roman historians, Livy, wrote Ab Urbe Condita, a detailed history of Rome. Of the 142-volume set, 107 have been lost. The only ones that exist today are 1–10 and 21–45.
Those familiar with Shakespeare know of the lost play Love’s Labour’s Won, a sequel to Love’s Labour’s Lost. This wasn’t the only one of the bard’s works to be lost. Cardenio has not surfaced since first performed in 1613. It is believed to be based on an episode in Cervantes’s Don Quixote.
Cicero’s Hortensius is a philosophical dialogue named after a friend, politician Quintus Hortensius Hortalus. Only fragments and references remain. Missing is a dialog between Hortensius and two others. The discussion teaches that happiness is found through the embrace of philosophy. The remaining fragments have been preserved and can be read online.
The Classic of Music is a Confucian text that may have fallen victim to the burning of books and burying of scholars, an event in 213 BC where the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty ruled that all Confucian texts be destroyed and that Confucian scholars be buried alive. References remain in other works. The Classic of Music may have been an interpretation of the Book of Songs, also compiled by Confucius. It may have been the sixth of his well-known Five Classics.
Sozomen was an important historian of the Christian Church. His history of it from the ascension of Jesus to the defeat of Licinius in 323, comprised 12 books, all of which have been lost. His second consists of nine books, the last of which is incomplete. It covers the conversion of Constantine I in 213 to the accession of Valentinian III in 425 AD. The loss of the first 12, following the persecution and death of Jesus, leaves a significant gap in the history of the development of the early Church.
Jean Racine was considered one of the greatest French playwrights of the 17th century. His works were reminiscent of ancient Greek tragedies. He is known for Alexandre le Grand, Esther, and Athalie. His first play, Amasie, never produced, has been lost.
One of the greatest works of English literature, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, may have come from an unfinished, lost one, Adam Unparadiz’d. He likely abandoned the project due to the Puritans’ closure of London’s theaters. He wrote only two acts, both of which have been lost, but many of his notes and outlines remain. From what wasn’t lost, it appears to tell the same or a very similar story as Paradise Lost.
Edward Gibbon was a celebrated British historian of the 18th century whose most famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, is still studied. Another was lost by the writer’s own hands. After starting his work on Rome, he diverted his attention to a history of the Swiss. He read part of it to a literary society in London and received criticism he must have taken to heart. He threw the nearly completed manuscript into the fireplace. Given the scope of his work on Rome, the world lost what could have been another great, historic masterpiece.
Mr. Kantor is an illustrator and game designer through his company, TalkingBull Games. He is an Active Duty Soldier and enjoys writing about history, science, theology, and other subjects. Kudos, sir.

The floating book shop received donations from four sources today. The inventory is now even more impressive. My thanks to those kind folks, and to the gentleman who purchased a beautiful pictorial on the art of Edward Hopper, to Barry, who bought a pictorial on 50's rock n rollers, despite its poor condition, and to the woman who selected a pictorial on Princess Di.
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