Rockin’ Sumerian in Hellenic Greece

I find it interesting that this work is only around 2200 years old and it’s being claimed as the “oldest complete song in the world.”  The Wikipedia version is much shorter and shows how the lyrics, the translation, and the melody are tied together.  I’d love to see this performed and a dance choreographed. I think that dance is probably a more ephemeral art form than either words or music as dance notation is much younger and less widely used than either alphabets or musical notation.  So, maybe poetry isn’t the lowest of the low, maybe dance is.  I sure think I can dance and I suck at it too.

Words do not last forever though we’re all quite precious about them.  Stone and bronze last longer.  You have a better chance of being found and remembered if you take a chisel to a rock, or get your nails dirty by burying your fingers in the mud.  Still, the Seikilos Epitaph is a lovely piece.

from Open Culture
Hear the ‘Seikilos Epitaph, the Oldest Complete Song in the World: An Inspiring Tune from 100 BC
Its lyrics, liberally brought into English, exhort us as follows:

While you live, shine
have no grief at all
life exists only for a short while
and time demands its toll.

The surface also bears an explanatory inscription about — and written in the voice of — the artifact itself:  “I am a tombstone, an image. Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.”

Words I cannot form

There are very few writers out there who write about the topic of erotica and on erotic topics. Fewer still are worth reading, not just because the writing is either dry, prurient, gymnastic, or pedantic, but because they often lack intellectual rigor or come with a predisposed hypothesis to denigrate the expression.  Those writers I do enjoy, I’ll share.

One of the most important writers on the topic of the erotic and the genre is the writer pseudonymously called “Remittance Girl“.  She writes in several places on the net, including her blogRG In my opinion, she’s the preeminent writer on erotica that I’ve read.  While I don’t always agree with her, I find most of her erotic topics to be fearless, well-researched, and cogent.  Her fiction is timeless, but her critical pieces are priceless for the erotic literary genre because they are commonly researched into deep, considerate work.  I’m an adoring fan and can do little but paraphrase her, if not outright quote (with appropriate attribution  – please gawd don’t let me cock that up) her.  More often than not, I’ll just say, “You should link / like / look / read / revel in her blog,” and post a hyperlink.

I’d like to bring your attention to her current article at The Erotica Reader’s blog, Problems and Pleasures of the Myth of the Uncontrollable Urge, about rape fantasy, ethics, mythology, power, and the whole tumbled megaijinss around the topic. She turns what is usually the simple gymnastics of non-con into an interesting exploration of this difficult topic.  One of my favorite essays of hers is the 2010 article, “The Ethics and Eroticism of Non-Consensual Sex in Fiction.” Unfortunately, the two blog posts she’s responding to have disappeared into the internet.  Her novella, Gaijin, which, by the way is not sold on Amazon, (but is still available at SmashwordsBarnes & Noble, and Apple) deals with non-consent in an erotic context.  The desire reflected in the piece is complicated and unresolved.  Gaijin is well written with complex characterization, but if you have a trigger for rape, you need to avoid this work because it is unreservedly erotic, aka “hot”.  The fantasy is dark and there is pleasure.  Because she writes of the enjoyment, RG’s Gaijin could be considered a more difficult read, than Harriet Daimler’s, Darling, because Daimler initially gave us what we expect of the rape of a “frigid” woman.  Her middle and end were as intensely brutal as RG’s, but still, the act itself was not eroticized, so was much more “black and white.”

In neither of these works is the rape taken as the literary vehicle to relieve a virgin of her “unwanted” state, nor is the “hero” / rapist redeemed.  In the ’70s (and through the 80’s, but I ignored the whole genre until the 2000s)  there was much written about the “unwilling” woman who was seduced / forced / succumbed to the ravishing ravisher.  Sharon Green‘s turned me off such work, but she does have a following.  Not my cup of tea though because it struck me as coy and repetitive.i should break your face

But I leave it to a writer like Remittance Girl to help us evaluate and understand this draw to the darker side of such fantasies.  I can’t contribute much sense to the conversation besides the fact that, yes, I too have written non-con and do find it arousing to read but no, I have no desire to be raped.  I’m as hard core a feminist as you could find, who does not feel bad about her sexuality and really wouldn’t do very well dominated by a man.  As my DH says, “Oh hell no, I’m not gonna try spanking you, you’d whine.”  Yep.  I would.