Another Formative Age: In Ancient Greece

Ron Price

Mr RonPrice
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George Town Tasmania Australia

The highly varied social, intellectual, psychological, partisanly apolitical and artistic atmosphere of the Baha'i community deeply influenced Price and thousands of other Baha'is of artistic sensibility in the four epochs during which his pioneering story had its origins and development. Price's poetry was not as conscientiously and systematically topographical as, say, the topography in Joyce's novel Ulysses. In Ulysses Joyce recreates the Dublin of 1904 drawing on his own lively memory of that city where he was born, grew up and spent his youth.

There are evocations of many of the places, many of the Baha'i communities and many of the experiences in those places which possess a vividness and particularity. From Price's perspective these evocations were simply more diverse, covered more territory than one city, more people than those in the one locale, the one landscape and possessed a wider framework of history and geography than that in Joyce's work. Then, too, Price's work was not part of a heroic age of literature, as some argue Joyce's work was, as far as Ireland and especially Dublin was concerned; rather it was part, as Price saw it anyway, of a formative age. As the four epochs, which were the background for much of Price's work, went on Price was drawn more and more to a comparison of his age with the formative age of Greek institutions down to, say, 800 BC, far back in another heroic and formative period of history.-Ron Price with thanks to David Daiches and John Flower, Literary Landscapes of the British Isles: A Narrative Atlas, Paddington Press Ltd., NY, 1979, pp. 214-234.

Anthony Andrewes argues that it was the very "instability and incoherence of Greek political institutions that led to a political evolution which was denied to other cultures."1 A common culture spread through Greece from 1600 to 1400 BC. There was what Bury and Meiggs called a "cultural quickening;"2 there was a fusion of Greek and pre-Greek culture. Much of the heroic period was warlike and unstable. The Iliad and the Odyssey contain many echoes of this warlike age. In the years 1200 to 800 BC there was a veritable "inner explosion"3 on Greek soil. -Ron Price with thanks to 1A. Andrewes, Greek Society, Penguin: Melbourne, 1987, p.xxiii; 2J.B. Bury and R. Meiggs, A History of Greece, MacMillan, Melbourne, 1986, p.7; and 3Ted Hughes, Myth and Education: The Symbolic Order, editor, Peter Abbs, The Falmer Press, NY, 1989, p.162.

Methinks I have been part

of another inner explosion,

a cultural quickening,

with echoes from a heroic age,

with instability and incoherence

the order of the bloody day,

and bloody it has been,

millions dead, dead, dead,

all over the place right

from the birth of those

Tablets of the Divine Plan.

Did He know that this Order

would be born in yet more

blood, sweat and tears? ------Ron Price 22 June 2003