Thursday, August 30, 2012


agon [ˈægoʊn] n.

1.) Gr. Antiq. A public celebration of games, a contest for the prize at those games; also fig.
2.) A verbal contest or dispute between two characters in a Greek play. Also in transferred sense (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Greek ἀγών, originally ‘a gathering or assembly’ (from ἄγ-ειν, to lead, bring with one), especially for the public games; hence ‘the contest for the prize at the games,’ and by extension, ‘any contest or struggle.’ The plural is usually in the Greek form ἀγῶνες, agones.

"'Wrestling Jacob' is a powerful image, particularly in Protestantism, where the agon is essential seen as a loving struggle between Jacob and God. But the nameless being who cannot overcome Jacob cannot be Yahweh, at least not Yahweh in all his power and will, and there is absolutely nothing loving about this sublime night encounter, which exalts Jacob to Israel yet leaves him permanently crippled, and which is fought between a mortal and a supernatural being who fears the break of day, almost as a vampire or a ghould would" (The Book of J, Harold Bloom, 2004).

(Jacob en de engel, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1659)

Hi, all. I'm in the middle of driving from Colorado to Princeton. Writing this from a hotel room somewhere. I hate semis! Thanks for reading!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm not familiar with "agon" as a noun but as a descriptive term, e.g., "Samson Agonistes."

"I kissed a boy and I liked it!" Tee hee!

Bibi said...

Good luck at Princeton mister, have fun there :) And be safe on the road!
^ overprotective

I like that quote, food for thought.

Jas said...

Be safe. Someone told me that mulling over philosophical points while driving (especially to Princeton) is dangerous!

D4 said...

No idea when I'd use this one, but I'd heard it before so I'm pretty sure I'll remember it.

jaykaydee said...

I love greek plays.
Good luck at Princeton!

Bibi said...

ryc: I'm such a nerd. Even my glasses matched my dress.

Stella Artois is indeed a fine beer, but Westmalle (or any other trappist-beer) is heavier, the taste is richer, and you don't drink it just to get drunk like you would with a regular beer. It's to be enjoyed like you'd enjoy wine. Cultural differences...

Bibi said...

ryc: I didn't realise.

So why do you have this "gift" of making me feel stupid eh?

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