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Calvert Watkins (1933–2013)

Auteur de The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots

9+ oeuvres 626 utilisateurs 4 critiques 2 Favoris

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Comprend les noms: Watkins Calvert

Œuvres de Calvert Watkins

Oeuvres associées

The Indo-European Languages (1993) — Contributeur — 34 exemplaires
The Ancient Languages of Asia Minor (2008) — Contributeur — 31 exemplaires
On Philology (1990) — Contributeur — 19 exemplaires


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Rev. and expanded version of the Appendix to the American Heritage Dictionary (1969).
ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
A careful , painstaking and thoroughgoing look at reconstructed Indo-European poetics (and, to some degree, culture) based on the formulaic level rather than the simple word level. Watkins deals with poetic technique as well as themes, but his primary focus is on one major theme: that of the hero / god who slays a serpent (where the core of the formula is the reconstructed PIE root *gyhen). Along the way he makes a strong argument for a particular role of the poet in PIE society: part-bard, part-magician, certainly more than a tale-teller. Well worth reading, but especially rewarding if one has enough Greek background to dive into the texts he cites (anyone who has a grasp of Sanskrit, Avestan, Hittite, and Celtic, will have an even more rewarding time, but this is less likely; he also deals with Germanic examples, principally Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse, but they are less prominent).… (plus d'informations)
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jsburbidge | 1 autre critique | Jan 14, 2019 |
This is what I would have liked to do with my life if I were smarter and grew up speaking four languages. Indo-European poetics--speculatively reconstructing on the basis of the common poetic devices, themes, and stories of the ancient peoples of Europe, Iran, and South Asia--speakers of Greek, Indic, Iranic, Celtic, Italic, Anatolian, Germanic, and Slavic--the poetic art of the speakers of their ancestor-tongue, and (even more speculatively) their narrative art and common culture as well. The early verse-prose of the lay, held together not so much by rhyme or meter as by grammatical and sound parallelism, strophe after strophe, that gives the words such heft. The poet as weaver of word-magic, professional shaper of reality, really all the professions in one.

But really most of all the hero-story: Hercules. Indra. Cuchulainn. Thor. Rostam. So deeply rooted in our collective (un)consciousness that we have to stop and actually appreciate how different are their closest analogues in the non-IE traditions: David, Quetzalcoatl, Liu Bei, these are hero-kings and hero-magisters, perhaps, but not the pure hero we know so well, the one anointed such by the special word we use when he does his deeds: not KILL, but SLAY (proto-IE guhen--in either the formula HERO SLAY SERPENT or HERO SLAY HERO, with the variant SLAIN IS HERO. (Tho after he SLAYs, the other thing the hero does that distinguishes him is that he OVERCOMEs--archetypally, in this case, not the serpent, but DEATH itself). The intertextual variations of this basic framework are followed out across the epics in a work of incredible perceptiveness and depth.

How our prehistoric cultural progenitors may have seen the world, reconstructed from how we do, or at least how our earliest historical forebears did. It's as amazing that we can do this as it is that we can go to the moon.
… (plus d'informations)
MeditationesMartini | 1 autre critique | Jan 14, 2017 |


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