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Agora

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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:45 pm

MTC wrote:... Now I see Thoreau, Emerson, and even Ansel Adams in an entirely new light. Thanks, again, my fellow Goodwordians, if not agoraphiles.

What new light shines equally on Thoreau and Emerson in this context?
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Re: Agora

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:57 pm

Actually, the English word doesn't follow the Greek in two respects. First of all, the plural in Greek is agore, yet the leading English dictionaries give agorae, the Latin plural of feminine nouns.

Second, the accent in Greek is agora. In English the accent falls rather unintuitively on the first syllable, agora.
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Re: Agora

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:50 am

MTC: I witnessed blatant public sex (with serendipity masked by modest embarrassment, of course) in the early 60s on the University of Michigan campus. This country boy really learned a lot at a summer school session paid for by my employer. Almost everywhere I looked, the costume du jour for both sexes was black tights and little else. There was also some imaginative wearing of tiger claw and bone necklaces, big nose rings and such like. I saw a movie there named “Mondo Cane” without realizing what it was before I went in. It wasn’t very sexually shocking, but it was gruesome beyond telling. I remember Nigerian rebels driving their fighting vehicles over pedestrians with camera shots as they fell and were crushed under the wheels. I already thought the world was going to Hell in a hand-basket. This was further proof.
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Re: Agora

Postby call_copse » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:17 am

So no-one can produce a single word having the previously assumed meaning of agoraphile then, i.e. generally outdoors loving? It's a word I would have presumed to exist though I know it not.
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Re: Agora

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:22 am

In reply to damage, my reference to Emerson, Thoreau, and Adams was intended to be humorous. They all share a love for "the out-of-doors." Now we see their motive may not have been as noble as it seemed. Ha ha. There's nothing like explaining a joke, is there?

To cal copse, like you and Slava I thought the word "agoraphile" would exist, and would mean "one who loves open spaces, the out-of-doors." Its sexual meaning came as a surprise.

And to Philip, that's an amusing story: Country boy visits Sodom.

P.S. I promise to raise the tone in my next post.
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Re: Agora

Postby Slava » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:30 am

MTC wrote:There's nothing like explaining a joke, is there?

I seem to recall hearing that if you have to explain it, it wasn't a joke.
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Re: Agora

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:12 pm

I wondered why I liked Thoreau and Adams so much.
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:50 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:I wondered why I liked Thoreau and Adams so much.


AHA!! Emerson didn't seem to fit in the list to me.
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Re: Agora

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:48 pm

At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish ... Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes.

From Emerson's seminal essay, Nature
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:13 pm

MTC wrote:At the gates of the forest, the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish ... Here is sanctity which shames our religions, and reality which discredits our heroes.

From Emerson's seminal essay, Nature


Yes, Emerson revered nature, but unlike the other two, rarely spent a night out of doors by choice, as I remember the stories.
Thoreau's time at Walden has been much overestimated as well, but he did choose to spend time on the river, in the hills, etc. at times. Adams also spent time outside, obviously. He sent back pictures to prove it.

Emerson, on the other hand, was more an admirer than a participant.

That was my point.

P.S. personal preferences, Adams pictures, Thoreau's writings, but not the man, Emerson, the writings and the man. I don't know much of anything about Adams as a person.
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Re: Agora

Postby MTC » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:13 pm

Perhaps the stories you read did not reflect the man.

Emerson as a young man--

He then went further south, to St. Augustine, Florida, where he took long walks on the beach, and began writing poetry.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson)

Emerson midstride--

When I go out of doors in the summer night and see how high the stars are, I am persuaded that there is time enough, here or somewhere, for all that I must do; and the good world manifests very little impatience."

(Letter to Carlyle, CEC p323)
The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson at the end--

On April 27, 1882, the great thinker died of pneumonia, caught some weeks before after a rain-soaked walk through his beloved Concord woods.

(http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/poet/emerson.html)
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:36 pm

I agree that as a young man he was adventurous, but as an older fellow, walking in the woods was as ambituous as he got. That is not the same as Adams, nor Thoreau.
At the time, remember, a walk in the woods could be accomplished within a few hundred yards of home...
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Re: Agora

Postby MTC » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:03 am

The issue is not whether Emerson is "the same as Adams, nor Thoreau," or was some sort of macho woodsman, but whether he spent enough time out of doors in a natural setting during his lifetime to give his many pronouncements about Nature credibility. At least that is what the issue has morphed into. I merely stated Emerson, Thoreau, and Adams shared a love of nature and the out-of-doors, a point you concede.

I have adduced evidence Emerson at every phase of his life
spent time out-of-doors. You have done nothing to refute or discredit that evidence.

In support of your contention that Emerson "rarely spent a night out of doors by choice" you seem to recall "stories" that you once heard or read, without quoting or identifying the sources. This is at least double hearsay under the rules of evidence, completely without foundation. It's not evidence at all. You will have to do a lot better than that if your contention is to be taken seriously.

You made the bold claim. Now support it.
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Re: Agora

Postby damoge » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:57 pm

this is beginning to sound waaaay too "serious" for the situation. I grew up in Concord. The authors were a constant part of life in town. I knew people who knew them, and they seemed more like neighbors than historic figures.
Emerson was a thoroughly nice, decent person. He was not, as a "grown up", described as an outdoorsman.
People walked then. From his house to downtown was, and is, a short walk, but one that few would bother to do on foot today. His love of nature is not in question. He spent a lot of time thinking about, writing about, and at least in his head, participating in it. It might look now as though he was active outside, but by the norms of the day, that would be equivalent today to saying I exercise several times a day because I live in a split level home.
It was a lot more difficult then to avoid contact with nature as weather. Life was lived closer to the "real" then than it is now, but that doesn't make him an outdoorsman.

I think we've gone as far as we can go with all this. I didn't mean to ruffle feathers. I was sending on the questions with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, but I am always genuinely interested in how people see the world, espcially those who see it differently from the way I do. If I don't ask, how will I know?
I've long since learned that trying to figure out what someone else "means" by running it around inside my own head is a useless and fruitless exercise. Asking almost always gives me something else to look at, to consider, to learn from.

Thanks.
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Re: Agora

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:44 am

Thoreau, Emerson, and Ansel Adams. What a trio we have been discussing. Thoreau is not on my reading list. I tried him but he, not I, flunked the course. He and his friend Emerson were transcendentalists of which I understand not and care not. I see no similarity at all in the previous gentlemen and Ansel Adams. He took pictures. He did a good job. I see two screwed up minds and a great photographer.
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