Monday, April 06, 2009

Too Cruel?

Another potential entry in the great moments in literary history series. Except, it's beyond cruel and obscure. Perhaps it just goes to show that I really am a horrible person?

At any rate, who can tell us about this important moment in literary history?

*Edited to add: Okay, what he should be saying, sprawled on the ground, is
This beast has hurt my dignity and spine!
Alas! Alack! What should I do but whine?


  1. I'm going to take a wild, and in all probability wrongheaded, guess that you're teaching Federico Garcia Lorca's "Llanto por la muerte de Ignacio Sánchez Mejías," as it is the only example of Death By Cattle that comes to mind in connection with literature. I will be shocked if I'm right.

  2. There's a Greek myth about the woman Dirce who was tied to a bull (possibly its horns) and dragged around until she was killed (or impaled). It shows up in Euripides' Antiope. Thanks Wikipedia for a nifty painting inspired thereby.

    Yet somehow, I don't think that you were teaching this either.

  3. How interesting! (Your clue helped a lot.) I had no idea about that particular biographical fact, but since the writer in question lived in the Century That I Try To Ignore, that's not too surprising.

  4. I'm not sure it's a "fact" so much as a story I heard.

    Yeah, I am a cruel and tasteless person :(

  5. hmm, who gets trampled to death via heroic couplets?

    I would point out that in Hemingway there's a lot of death by bull(shit), but he's not a big one for rhyme.

  6. Not trampled to death, just trampled.

    It's really obscure, but there's a rhetorical flourish in the verse that might be a hint. (Did I just suggest that a bit of doggerel I wrote had rhetorical flourish?)

  7. If it is a moment in literary history and not an actual poem, is it maybe Alexander Pope's cow-trampling? (Hence the couplets?)

  8. Yay Ink!

    And zeugma! (I love saying the word "zeugma"!)

    But cruel, yeah, because the guy supposedly got tuberculosis of the spine and such. And, according to one of my friends, was stepped on in a very inopportune way, even beyond the spinal problem.

  9. at least i'm not the only one who thought of hemingway. cattle, trample, drama: all there, but not particularly poetic.

  10. Oh, yay! Your blog is fun!

    But you're right; it's so sad that happened to him.