In Homer's Greek, it meant "Towards
the dark pink ocean.
In Ulysses text it appears twice, once right at the beginning and is related
to the crude, tasteless and sarcastic Mulligan observation,"snottgreen".
Stephen will restore the idea in the sense that Homer wanted to forward in Proteus.
No grego de Homero, queria
dizer " Em direção ao oceano rosa escuro.
No texto de Ulysses aparece
duas vezes, uma logo de inicio e esta relacionada com a observação
grosseira, de mau gosto e sarcástica de Mulligan "snottgreen".
Stephen vai restaurar a ideia no sentido que Homero quis dar em Proteus.
And jealous now
of me, you gods, because I befriend a man, one I saved as he straddled the keel
alone, when Zeus had blasted and shattered his swift ship with a bright lightning
bolt, out on the wine-dark sea.
Homer, The Odyssey, Book V
Notem que Don Gifford (pg
15, 1.78 (5:7), traduz como "upon the wine dark sea" e só
menciona Fitzgerald, quando da verdade é bastante recorrente em vários
autores, como abaixo. E tambem não menciona Proteus, pag 62 3.394, quando
ele devolte para 1.78, o que denota um processo "mecânico" de
cross reference, que vai na direção de minha crítica de
que esta galinha está fazendo aqui".
I should be observed that
Don Gifford (pg 15, 1.78 (5:7), translates as "upon the wine dark sea"
and just mentions Fitzgerald, when it is actually quite recurrent in variioius
autors, like bellow. He also doesn't mention Proteus, pag 62 3.394, when he
sents back to 1.78, what suggests a "mechanical" cross reference process,
which goes in the direction of my
Vejamos esta análise
Clarkesworld, que" linko" com minhas considerações:
Lets take a look to this
analyxis from Clarkesworld, whic is linked to my considerations:
Perception is a funny beast.
Homers wine-dark sea has puzzled scholars for centuries, leading
to such far-flung hypotheses as strange weather effects, air pollution, and
mass Grecian color-blindness.
Its a phrase repeated in the works of W. H. Auden, Patrick OBrian,
and Brian Jacques, among others. Reading it today, we naturally assume that
it is intended as allegory, some evocative reference to the seas mystery,
We may never know for sure, but one peculiar fact casts the mystery in an interesting
light: there is no word for blue in ancient
Homers descriptions of color in The Iliad and The Odyssey, taken literally,
paint an almost psychedelic landscape: in addition to the sea, sheep were also
the color of wine; honey was green, as were the fear-filled faces of men; and
the sky is often described as bronze.
It gets stranger. Not only was Homers palette limited to only five colors
(metallics, black, white, yellow-green, and red), but a prominent philosopher
even centuries later, Empedocles, believed that all color was limited to four
categories: white/light, dark/black, red, and yellow. Xenophanes, another philosopher,
described the rainbow as having but three bands of color: porphyra (dark purple),
khloros, and erythros (red).
The conspicuous absence of blue is not limited to the Greeks. The color blue
appears not once in the New Testament, and its appearance in the Torah is questioned
(there are two words argued to be types of blue, sappir and tekeleth, but the
latter appears to be arguably purple, and neither color is used, for instance,
to describe the sky). Ancient Japanese used the same word for blue and green
(? Ao), and even modern Japanese describes, for instance, thriving trees as
being very blue, retaining this artifact (?????: meaning lush
It turns out that the appearance of color in ancient texts, while also reasonably
paralleling the frequency of colors that can be found in nature (blue and purple
are very rare, red is quite frequent, and greens and browns are everywhere),
tends to happen in the same sequence regardless of civilization: red : ochre
: green : violet : yellowand eventually, at least with the Egyptians and
Why then 'tis
none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it
Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2
Blue certainly existed in the world, even if it was rare, and the Greeks must
have stumbled across it occasionally even if they didnt name it. But the
thing is, if we dont have a word for something, it turns out that to our
perceptionwhich becomes our construction of the universeit might
as well not exist. Specifically, neuroscience suggests that it might not just
be good or bad for which thinking makes it so, but quite
a lot of what we perceive.
The malleability of our color perception can be demonstrated with a simple diagram,
shown here as figure six, Afterimages. The more our photoreceptors
are exposed to the same color, the more fatigued they become, eventually giving
out entirely and creating a reversed afterimage (yellow becomes
blue, red becomes green). This is really just a parlor trick of sorts, and more
purely physical, but it shows how easily shifted our vision is; other famous
demonstrations like this selective attention test (its name gives away the trick)
emphasize the power our cognitive functions have to suppress what we see. Our
brains are pattern-recognizing engines, built around identifying
things that are useful to us and discarding the rest of what we perceive as
meaningless noise. (And a good thing that they do; deficiencies in this filtering,
called sensory gating, are some of what cause neurological dysfunctions such
as schizophrenia and autism.)
This suggests the possibility that not only did Homer
lack a word for what we know as bluehe might never
have perceived the color itself. To him, the sky really was bronze,
and the sea really was the same color as wine. And because he lacked the concept
bluetherefore its perceptionto him it was invisible,
nonexistent. This notion of concepts and language limiting
cognitive perception is called linguistic relativism, and is typically
used to describe the ways in which various cultures can have difficulty recalling
or retaining information about objects or concepts for which they lack identifying
language. Very simply: if we dont have a word for it, we tend to forget
it, or sometimes not perceive it at all.
The famed neuroscientist Dr.
Oliver Sacks (you might know him as Robin Williamss character in Awakenings)
described a poignant example of linguistic or conceptual relativism with regard
to schizophrenia. Accounts of the disease prior to the 19th century are rare,
and none at all exist in ancient literature (as opposed to madness,
which was documented, but primarily concerned aimless wandering and spontaneous
violence). The broad classification of madness persisted well through
the 19th century, with schizophrenia identified in the early twentieth, and
still considered rare through the middle of the century. When Sacks began practicing
in 1965 in New York City, and in particular began studying disorders related
to schizophrenia, he was shocked by a gradually increasing awareness that the
disease was not nearly as rare as the science of the day claimedespecially
among the homeless. Importantly, the clinical assumption that schizophrenia
is rare was reinforcing the rarity of its diagnosis, to the point of blinding
doctors to what was right in front of them. These blooms in diagnosiswe
have been for the last ten years experiencing a bloom in autism recognitionhave
as much to do with clinical perception as they do with the actual physical incidence
of the conditions.
On a lighter note, Sacks also recently recalled that the most magnificent thing
he had ever seen in his life was a field of yellow, seen while he wasis
it appropriate to say a famous neuroscientist was high? Say rather that he was
conducting experiential research in a varied state of neurochemical condition!
But however you slice it, he says it was the most yellow yellow he had ever
seen or expects to see again, a yellow beyond description, a yellow of interstellar
radiance and the breath of ancient gods.
It isnt the first time that Dr. Sacks has discussed color and altered
states: in The Dog Beneath the Skin, he tells the infamous story
of the 22-year-old medical student who, under the influence of PCP and amphetamines,
enters a week-long heightened state of awareness. Among other things, this studentdecades
later revealed to have been Sacks himself, of courseperceived dozens
of browns where previously he had seen only one shade. (Dr. Sacks does
not now recommend this type of student experimentation.)
This particular super-sensory color perception is, too, reminiscent of another
physical condition related to color: tetrachromacy. Most humans are trichromatic,
possessing three types of color-sensing cone cellsbut an undetermined
percentage of women, as well as almost all birds, are tetrachromatic, possessing
four receptor types. Tetrachromats perceive a kind of fourth primary color,
usually a blue-green, that gives them a heightened ability to distinguish between
shades of color, often to the point of distinguishing separate shades where
a trichromat will perceive identicality.
The evolution of sense is, in a sense, the evolution
Vladimir Nabokov, novelist, synesthete
We need not travel far to determine whether these enhanced states of perceptionwhich,
given that we remain the same species as Homer, can be societal or psychological
in their impetuscan impact our worldview, or our creative selves.
We know that people with synesthesia, a neurological anomaly in which one sensation
bleeds into other sensations, are eight times more likely to pursue
careers in the arts than non-synesthetes. Synesthesia comes in many varieties,
but those with a visual variant (for instance perceiving numbers and letters
in colors) are more likely to become visual artistsor novelists.
Vladimir Nabokov, novelist and synesthete, wrote his synesthesia into his characters
on occasion, and some of his descriptionssuch as the word loyalty
suggesting a golden fork lying in the sunindicate that this
crossing of senses, infused with color, certainly influenced Nabokovs
construction of language. Words themselves could be beautiful or garish depending
upon their letter-level construction.
Some scientists have postulated that this phenomenon of carrying meaning from
one sense into anotherwhich is essentially the definition of a metaphoris
universal and contains insight into the deepest workings of our minds. In the
case of the common grapheme-color synesthesia, such as Nabokovs, a likely
explanation is the close proximity of portions of the fusiform gyrus that deal
respectively with word and color recognition in the brain. When a synesthete
reads a word, some of the electrical energy from that word-recognizing region
is possibly leaping over into that color recognition region. One remarkable
side effect of this is that many synesthetes tend to perceive the same colors
for letters (A tends to be red), which underscores the structural
theoryand might suggest that this same phenomenon is at work in all of
us below the level of our conscious awareness.
While the causes of synesthesia remain unknown, it is generally agreed that
the physical basis is a kind of excess of interconnectedness between neurons.
It may be that the pruning we undergo as children does not complete,
leaving connections behind that in the mainstream population are eradicatedbut
provoked synesthesia in the cases of drug use or epileptic seizures suggest
that non-synesthesian brains are capable of synesthetic effects.
A 1929 experiment by Gestalt psychologist Wolfgang Köhler elegantly illustrates
what some call our natural synesthesia. Köhler drew two random shapes:
one spiky and sharp, the other flowing and rounded. He then asked subjects to
guess of these shapes which one was called kiki and which was called
bouba. The results were very clear: 95-98% of subjects identified
the sharp shape as kiki and the rounded shape as bouba.
(Fascinatingly, autistic individuals make this match only 56% of the time.)
Köhlers experiment wrapped science around what we would call onomatopoeia:
when a word sounds like what it is. But onomatopoeia is by definition synesthesia,
the transference of sound into orthogonal meaning.
The modern neuroscientist Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran suggests that Köhlers
experiment shows that, to a certain extent, we are all synesthetes, and further
that this inherent interconnection between our cognitive functions is intrinsic
to the most beloved traits of humanity: compassion, creativity, ingenuity. What,
after all, is an idea, but one flash of thought leaping across the mind to suggest
The aim of art is to represent not the outward
appearance of things, but their inward significance.
So, if were all synesthetes, and our minds are
extraordinarily plastic, capable of reorienting our entire perception around
the addition of a single new concept (there is a color between
green and violet, schizophrenia is much more common than previously
believed), the implications of Homers wine-dark sea are rich indeed.
We are all creatures of our own time, our realities framed not by the limits
of our knowledge but by what we choose to perceive. Do we yet perceive all the
colors there are? What concepts are hidden from us by the convention of our
language? When a noblewoman of Syracuse looked out across the Mare Siculum,
did she see waves of Bacchanalian indigo beneath a sunset of hammered bronze?
If a seagull flew east toward Thapsus, did she think of Venus and the fall of
The myriad details that define our everyday existence may define also the boundaries
of our imagination, and with it our dreams, our ethics. We are lenses moving
through time, beings of color and shadow.
Esta análise tem
muita coisa boa, mas é "biased" em direção ao
cognitivismo. Ele confunde denotação
com conotação e força na direção
do cognitivismo. Nosso cérebro não é:
Our brains are pattern-recognizing engines, nem
suggests the possibility that not only did Homer lack a word for what we know
as bluehe might never have perceived the color itself.
Repito que o que estava em jogo ai eram basicamente
duas coisas: Homero se expressava dentro
de uma cultura oral e o que está em jogo discuto ali. Mas a melhor
perspectiva sobre o que esta em jogo, é bem mais extensa e complexa e
McLuhan tem, a meu ver, a melhor explicação.
Coloquei este extenso exemplo
para justificar que não vou mais indicar no texto as palavras tradicionalmente
(leia-se anotadas por Don Gifford) com duplo sentido ou sentido escondido, ou
charadas, ou metáforas, pelas seguintes razões:
- Não precisa repetir
aqui... pega o Gifford e leia lá direto...
-Se for pegar cada anotação
do Gifford e glosar como fiz acima, isto aqui não vai ter mais fim e
o ganho é duvidoso:
Porém, dada a facilidade
que o computador apresenta para localizar palavras, fazer cross reference, colocar
explicações, talvez valesse a pena, se o projeto vingar, acrescentar
um pouco de explicações, porque confesso que me incomodou muito
este "snot green" e não encontrei nem no Gifford, nem no Blamires
e em outros nada como construi acima. Joyce pode parecer grosseiro, como neste
caso, mas ele tinha uma boa razão para colocar esta "galinha".