Thursday, November 12, 2009

serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude

I’ve been Ajax. I’ve spoken to Ajax.

Sgt. First Class Tony Gonzalez, an Iraq combat veteran from Brooklyn, speaking during a panel discussion on readings from Sophocles' plays Ajax and Philoctetes, and quoted in this morning's New York Times.

The tragic readings were staged in Manhattan by Theater of War, an independent production company that recently received $3.7 million from the Pentagon to visit 50 military sites "through at least next summer" with the production.

Aristotle is not mentioned in the piece, nor is his theory of how Tragedy, properly executed, effects catharsis, "through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions".

But our soldiers were mentioned -- one out of eight who have returned from Iraq suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- as was their sore need for some kind of salve.

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