" asking me to translate an ode of Pindar's for our first class "
(c.522–443 BC) was an Ancient Greek poet, who is considered to be the best of the nine lyric poets of Ancient Greece (the others being Alcman, Sappho, Anacreon, Alcaeus, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Simonides, and Bacchylides). Among his poems are the famous Victory odes, composed to celebrate the triumphs of the athletes at events such as the Olympian Games.
" Then you are more of a stoic than I am "
is a branch of Ancient Greek philosophy and ethics which is commonly associated with the principle of endurance; a 'stoic' has come to mean a person who endures suffering or discomfort without complaint. Stoics believed in developing self-control to rule out destructive emotions such as self-pity or sorrow, and placed virtue, and the pursuit of a virtuous life, at the centre of their thought. Philosophers associated with Stoicism include its founder Zeno, Epictetus, Cleanthes, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
" I found a Raymond Chandler novel "
Another reference to classic crime writing. Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) was an American writer who had an enormous influence on the development of the private detective genre. Philip Marlowe, Chandler's famous detective, appears in seven novels and dozens of short stories which transcend the pulp fiction genre for which they were written. Chandler's work has often been adapted to film. His novel The Big Sleep became a famous 1946 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
" Hoi polloi. Barbaroi "
Hoi polloi refers to 'the masses' or 'the majority' in Ancient Greek; barbaroi means Barbarians; outsiders. Both have derogatory connotations in an English-language context.
" posters of the Fleshtones and suicidal epithets from Artaud "
The Fleshtones are an American garage rock band, formed in Queens, New York, in 1976. They consist of Keith Streng (guitar), Jan-Marek Pakulski (bass), Peter Zaremba (keyboards, vocals) and Lenny Calderon (drums).
Listen to The Fleshtones on Spotify.
Antonin Artaud was a French writer, actor and director, associated with the Surrealist movement, and especially the Theatre of Cruelty. He suffered from mental health problems and drug addiction, and spent much of the latter part of his life in different asylums in Ireland and France.
" played a disinterested bar of 'Träumerei' "
Träumerei (Dreaming) is a famous piece by the German Romantic composer Robert Schumann
(1810-1856). It is a part of his work Kinderszenen,
or 'Scenes from Childhood'. A talented pianist, he composed works solely for piano, or for piano and orchestra.
Listen to Träumerei on Spotify.