An idea about thinking of these characters as people: then the Iliad (or any narrative) as a consequence, as a playing out of the consequence of that choice—I’d hate to write fiction in that way, by thinking of the characters as people—I mean, whatever—but I can use that as a critical approach. It’s actually not far from what Edmundson’s Teacher book says he liked bout his teacher—that they looked at texts and talked about the texts as models of behavior—ways to live, or not. And Agamemnon looks like a jerk—giving up his girl, wanting another, and yet maybe he felt he needed to prove his leadership. And Achilles wasn’t really his subordinate but his ally—and the Iliad as a lesson in why loose confederation is not a great way to organize an army for war! Have questions like this for kids to answer—because what I lacked in high school and college was life (living) experience. Now that I’ve lived more, I feel more qualified to judge others’ behavior (rather than read novels, I go to public places and people watch—that’s my reading and my writing combined).
[From journal dated Thurs. 10 Ockt. 2013, 5:30 a.m., Journal 186, page 44-5]