Sunday, March 29, 2009

Transformation is the Key

“It is that that drives us on to what we must finally become. We have only to conceive of the possibility and somehow the spirit works in us to make it actual. This is the true meaning of transformation. This is the real metamorphosis” (64).
The Imaginary Life is all about transformation, as is our Classical Foundations of Literature class. We were asked to define “classic” the first day of class this semester. And what is it?? Is it not an entity that has experienced and withstood the some test of transformation, may it be time or some other unsolicited action, and still withheld its excellence? Or is the meaning of “classic” something that has rendered to a metamorphosis but is still viewed as a traditional art form despite its transformation?
One thing is certain; transformation plays a leading role in our Classical Foundations of Literature production. Every piece we have read deals with some form of change in character whether it be physical or psychological. This riveting piece of fiction written by David Malouf is centered upon the idea of metamorphosis. Ovid is transformed from a rich and, dare I say, ignorant poet, to a man of the universe. “Slowly I begin the final metamorphosis. I must drive out my old self and let the universe in” (96). Also, Ovid changed from being the teacher and protector to being the student whom needed to be protected. Or perhaps the Child was always the teacher, but Ovid’s mind hadn’t quite grasped the fact that it was the Child who could show him the way to his fate and destination. Ovid converted from being a man of no belief in gods to one that felt so connected to them that in his last moments he simply sat back and enjoyed the fullness and beauty of his passing. Ovid only believed in things he could see. He did not believe in gods, yet through his transformation through the Child and the barbaric village a spiritual awakening enveloped him.
I challenge you to look back at the classical readings we’ve read thus far in class and find one that doesn’t entail a transformation. Anything that is to be a classic must have beauty. And anything that is to be beautiful must hold some form of depth and change. A classic must grow and become transformed. Transformation, the key to Ovid’s peace, is also the key to this class.

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