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  1. #1
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Arrow Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Helllo - I recently came upon a quotation from Engels to the effect that the keys to the Western culture are the Greek mythology and the Bible.

    Could anybody here kindly tell me where in his works Engels made such statement? I would like to have further research from there.

    most thankful to your help,

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    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Simply Google:
    Engels, keys to the Western culture are the Greek mythology and the Bible.

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Quote Originally Posted by rocking View Post
    Helllo - I recently came upon a quotation from Engels to the effect that the keys to the Western culture are the Greek mythology and the Bible.

    Could anybody here kindly tell me where in his works Engels made such statement? I would like to have further research from there.

    most thankful to your help,
    In case you're interested, that might have been true in Engels' day - but that was a long time ago. The Bible is still influential, but Greek mythology? Perhaps he/you meant Greek philosophy - democracy and the rest. I'd say that Greek mythology is relatively peripheral to Western culture today.

  4. #4
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Two thoughts: I don't think Engels originated the idea that the Bible and Greek mythology contain the lion's share of Renaissance and later literary sources. Maybe he has a quote like that, but he was merely stating a common belief. I could say "African American culture is very influential in modern popular culture" but this is obvious and no one should quote me on it in the future.

    About Greek mythology being dead -- as one who has studied literature and popular culture a great deal, I find there are still loads of images, tropes, plots, titles, figures, themes and so on that do reuse or recycle or directly quote Greek mythology.

  5. #5
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Thanks, but I had searched in vain before i posted the thread.

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    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Thank you for sharing your views. Many of the reflections I graciously received from this forum so far convince me how different my perpectives are from yours. And some of the unexpected observations came to be as insightful indeed. I'm happy to learn and unlearn...

  7. #7
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    My senior colleague who quoted Engels in Chinese grew up in the prime times when Marx and Engels were almost the only readings his generation was exposed to. Therefore, we seem to come from an educational background where we seldom question what Marx and Engles observed in their works.

    Yes, I agree that Greek mythology is deeply indebted to the English language. WHile they are so familar to be easily taken for granted, they are common barriers to a full understanding of the English language and culture. For example, it took me a long while a well-learned teacher to realise that G.Bernarshaw's Pygmalion is an analogy from the Greek mythology.

  8. #8
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Forrest Gump is another good example. Everything in the film is derived from Greek mythology.

  9. #9
    rocking is offline Junior Member
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    Lightbulb Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Forrest Gump is another good example. Everything in the film is derived from Greek mythology.
    Would you kindly give some detailed hints? It's a very popular film, I know, but this is the first time I heard of its connection to Greek mythology. In what specific ways, please?
    Last edited by rocking; 06-Aug-2009 at 14:48. Reason: self-correction

  10. #10
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Re: Trackign down the source of Engel on the keys to Western CUlture

    Well, think of Oedipus: the most intelligent man alive (the first and only ever to solve the riddle of the Sphynx) he was damned no matter how hard he tried to avoid his horrible destiny, to kill his father and sleep with his mother. As a child, his feet were bound so he couldn't get away and run.

    Forrest Gump is the anti-Oedipus. The stupidest man alive (among those who can still function). His feet were bound when young, so he couldn't run. He caused his mother to get laid and his real father was already dead. His surrogate father he almost kills, then saves his life. Despite his low intelligence, he is blessed with success, no matter how foolish his actions.

    Both plays ask the question: do we receive our fates, and merely live them out, or make them?

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