In The Theater of the World Blog Review is where you post your comments, favorite parts of the novel or book cover, questions about the novel or map, and criticisms. Post them here! All questions will be addressed by the author promptly. You may also post ideas that the novel may have inspired in you. This space is reserved for you!
Friday, August 19, 2011
Yes, school is back in session for some and will begin very soon for others. Whether you are entering 8th grade, 11th grade, freshman or senior year in college, or like myself, teaching new and returning students, it's a big adjustment after a few months of summer recess. For Alexander fans, he, too, attended school. His childhood was daily tutoring, but when he turned age 13, his father King Philip sent him to be instructed by Aristotle. Yes, the famous philosopher! What was it like for a 13 year old to listen to the lessons of Aristotle? Did Alexander learn philosophy? Science? Math? History? Literature? Art? Did Alexander have gym class? The answers are: YES! The novel, In The Theater of the World, includes many scenes of Alexander's experience in the classroom with his friends and with the famous teacher. Here's an excerpt of a favorite scene a few readers enjoy: dissection scene with 14 year old Alexander and his friends Perdiccas and Hephaestion!
Aristotle encouraged Perdiccas to complete the analysis, but Perdiccas refused to complete it alone.
“I will join Seleucus and Marsyas,” said Perdiccas. As he sauntered past Hephaestion and me, he paused, returned to us, and asked me a question about my dissection. Perdiccas said aloud in a tone that alerted me to pray to the gods for intervention, “No, I will join the Dioscuri here instead.” I looked at him, and he smirked, ignoring my silent warning.
“Castor,” addressed Perdiccas to Hephaestion, calling him by the name of the mortal twin of the immortal Pollux. “The frog is dead, therefore, you do not need to stab at it, lest it is I and not the frog you are visualizing.” Hephaestion remained silent.“Perdiccas be still,” I commanded. "Retrieve your specimen and bring it here so as to work with us, not to annoy us...."
And a fight occurs between two of the three characters, leaving one very bruised, and the other feeling betrayed.
And so, as you re-enter the world of school imagine what it would have been like to be sitting for many, many hours, a sleep-over three year academy, learning everything with your classmates from the famous Aristotle.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Bucephalus, translated as "Oxhead", the warhorse of Alexander the Great, mentioned throughout history, literature, and even mentioned in the 1979 film "The Black Stallion", has deservedly earned the title of "Wondrous". 13 year old Alexander watched from a short distance the horse exhaust the grooms, for the steed was stressed. In my novel, just before he mounts the untamed horse, Alexander says to his concerned father, King Philip, "...I will manage [Bucephalus], and prove to all who witness here I am greater than Bellerophon himself, and I mounted on the stallion will sweep through air swift as a gale of wind!” And so begins the strong bond between youth and horse, riding across the known world until Bucephalus died in the year 326BCE in the location what is now Jhelum, Pakistan, once upon a time called 'Bucephala'.