Answer one of the following:
1. Critically discuss the account of erotic desire in Sappho’s poems.
2. Discuss the manner in which Swann’s love for Odette is characterised by intense jealousy in Marcel Proust’s “Swann’s Way”. What does this account of jealousy tell us about love as Proust depicts it?
3. “To love is to relinquish everything for the benefit of a master” (de Beauvoir: The Second Sex). Discuss Simone de Beauvoir’s account of the place of love in the life of a woman in relation to Sartre’s characterisation of love as essentially sado-masochistic.
4. Carefully articulate the multiple replicas argument for the view that tele-transportion (in Derek Parfit’s sense) is lethal, even in ‘one in, one out’ cases. How might this argument be criticised?
5. Explain the voluntarist compatibilist view of freedom in terms that a typical first-year student would understand. (You should focus on the Hobbesian version discussed in lectures.) Then argue against this view by carefully describing a counter-example.
H.D.’s Collaborative Reception of Sappho’s Poetry Of all of the modernist poets who engage with texts from classical antiquity in various modes, such as T.S. Elliot, Ezra Pound, and E.E. Cummings, H.D. stands out for the way in which she collaborates with and indeed “constructs” the Hellenic.1 Perhaps one of H.D.’s most obvious engagements with ancient Hellenic texts is her work with the lyric poems of Sappho. While scholars have primarily paid attention to the way that H.D. receives, or rather expands upon Sappho’s lyrics in her poems that specifically evoke certain fragments in their titles, 2 many of H.D.’s other poetic projects engage in a similar kind of Sapphic revision and reconstruction. Indeed, a critical study of her collection Hymen (1921) reveals a kind of composite, collaborative reception of the various female voices and perspectives found in Sappho’s poems—specifically, those poems that have to do with marriage. In Hymen, H.D. inherits both the Sapphic construction of the woman-centered thiasos and the genre of the epithalamium. Much like her Lesbian predecessor, H.D. explores the homosocial and homoerotic bonds developed within the thiasos, particularly in the context of the marriage ritual, where such relationships would serve as a source of comfort and support for the bride and her companions. Sappho and H.D. both prioritize women’s experiences of the marriage rite and the various sexual and social transitions involved in that rite. Yet, unlike Sappho, H.D. reverses the original generic function of the epithalamium, using it as a means to criticize rather than celebrate marriage.