Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Plato - The Symposium II

"Hm. At the risk of seeming provincial... Man-boy love. Not my issue."

"I was required to read this for ENG150Y1Y, The Literary Tradition. That's right: a philosophical text in an English setting. I don't know why, either ... So, the Symposium, the apparent start of the concept of 'Platonic love', even though it's never referred to, though I guess it's implied. The story's framed by a guy answering a question (again, apparently) and so telling the story of the time Socrates went to a party, didn't drink at all, and got everyone to make speeches about love.

That's really the point here ... I mean, I get it. I can't really remember the first two speeches already, and the book's introduction says to read the book in a single sitting. It's a scant 72 pages, so that's maybe an hour or two, but retaining seven points of view becomes difficult. Maybe I'm just really forgetful.
Socrates quotes a woman (this actually bothers me, if you'll allow this aside; it's spoken before, whether implied or not, that a relationship with a man is best because of their mental capabilities, as women are inherently irrational - if that's so, why does Socrates' female guide have any credibility?)"

"It’s well known that all Greek men are pederasts. Fact. This is another thing to keep in mind about the Symposium. By and large, it’s not concerned with sweet, romantic boy-girl love. It’s more about sweaty, angry, man-boy love. Bathhouse love. Just a word of warning in case you’re turning to Plato for Cosmo-style relationship advice. Unless you’re a member of NAMBLA, you’d best look elsewhere."

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