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Gates of Fire
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AjK
The Spap Into Gam

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The strongest people I have had the honor of meeting in this life have all been women. For the wonderful women of the Watch:
Spoiler:
“’The city speculates and guesses’, Leonidas resumed, ‘as to why I elected those I did to the Three Hundred. Was it for their prowess as individual men-at-arms? How could this be, when among champions such as Polynikes, Dienekes, Alpheus and Maron I nominated as well unblooded youths such as Ariston and your own Alexandros? Perhaps, the city supposes, I divined some subtle alchemy of this unique aggregation. Maybe I was bribed, or paying back favors. I will never tell the city why I appointed these three hundred. I will never tell the Three Hundred themselves. But I now tell you.

“’I chose them not for their own valor, lady, but for that of their women.’

“At these words of the king a cry of anguish escaped my breast, as I understood before he spoke what further he would now say. I felt his hand about my shoulder, comforting me.

“’Greece stands now upon her most perilous hour. If she saves herself, it will not be at the Gates (death alone awaits us and our allies there) but later, in battles yet to come, by land and sea. Then Greece, if the gods will it, will preserve herself. Do you understand this, lady? Well. Now listen.

“’When the battle is over, when the Three Hundred have gone down to death, then will all Greece look to the Spartans, to see how they bear it.

“’But who, lady, who will the Spartans look to? To you. To you and the other wives and mothers, sisters and daughters of the fallen.

“’If they behold your hearts riven and broken with grief, they, too, will break. And Greece will break with them. But if you bear up, dry-eyed, not alone enduring your loss but seizing it with contempt for its agony and embracing it as the honor that it is in truth, then Sparta will stand. And all Hellas will stand behind her.

“’Why have I nominated you, lady, to bear up beneath this most terrible of trials, you and your sisters of the Three Hundred? Because you can.’

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Brinn
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huzzah!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, now that's a spoiler! Very Happy

That was one of the most poignant parts of the book for me. Tear-jerker moment for sure.

But dedicating it to the women of the Watch is just blatant female pandering. Razz
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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AjK
The Spap Into Gam

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
dedicating it to the women of the Watch is just blatant female pandering. Razz

I intended the post to be more "acknowledging" than "pandering" but to each his or her own. And I didn't dedica... er, I mean ... acknowledge the women of the Watch. I acknowledged the wonderful women of the Watch. That way if there were some KW women that you didn't feel were that wonderful you could exclude them and then you wouldn't be put off by my post. So if anything I was pandering to you. Wink Big Grin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HAH! good retort! Very Happy right on! Good Post
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AjK
The Spap Into Gam

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:36 pm    Post subject: Dienekes' Pre-Battle Speech Reply with quote

[pandering]Thanks, lucimay, that was very nice of you![/pandering]

All in good fun here at KW. Anywhooooo ... continuing:
Spoiler:
The men called for Dienekes. They wanted a quip, a wisecrack, something short and pithy as he was known for. He resisted. You could see he did not wish to speak.

‘Brothers, I am not a king or a general. I’ve never held rank beyond that of a platoon commander. So I say to you now only what I would say to my own men, knowing the fear that stands unspoken in each heart – not of death, but worse, of faltering or failing, of somehow proving unworthy in this, the ultimate hour.”

These words had struck the mark; one could read it plain on the faces of the silent, raptly attending men.

“Here is what you do, friends. Forget country. Forget king. Forget wife and children and freedom. Forget every concept, however noble, that you imagine you fight for here today. Act for this alone: for the man who stands at your shoulder. He is everything and everything is contained within him. That’s all I know. That’s all I can tell you.”

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm just busy rereading this, and I can see why they teach it at West Point etc. It's not the battles they're teaching, it's the bloody patriotism.

--A
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still one of the best reading experiences I've ever had. An absolute Tour-de-Force!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heh, I was looking for the facebook "like" button to "like" your post Brinn! Very Happy LOL!!!!

yeah I recommend this book (which was recommended to me here by you guys) to anyone who asks about historical fiction recommendations. even the ladies who most normally might not be interested in this sort of thing. (oh come on, it IS decidedly more appealing to men, don'tcha think? Razz )
I'm on a couple of grps on facebook where the subject comes up from time to time (malazan group, outlander group) and I absolutely always recommend it.
I'm not well versed in historical fiction but I truly loved pressfield's writing.
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you're more advanced than a cockroach, have you ever tried explaining yourself to one of them?
~ alan bates, the mothman prophecies


i've had this with actors before, on the set, where they get upset about the [size of my] trailer, and i'm always like...take my trailer, cause... i'm from kentucky and that's not what we brag about.
~ george clooney, inside the actor's studio


a straight edge for legends at
the fold - searching for our
lost cities of gold. burnt tar,
gravel pits. sixteen gears switch.
Haphazard Lucy strolls by.
~ dennis r wood ~
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Fist and Faith
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was surprised to see this thread! Laughing And, of course, delighted.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

Oh, I'm certainly enjoying it again. (Brinn must have notifications for this thread. Wink )

But there's an awful lot of "what makes us great is that we die for our people" isn't there? Very Happy

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump. For any newcomers to the forum who haven't heard of this masterpiece. Read it and thank me later!
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Linna Heartbooger
keeper of many stories

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, huh... this sounds like something I would enjoy / which would be good for me.
I know I'm prone to crying.

Ohhhhh... I think this would be a funny one for writing An Anti-Recommendation...
Anti-recommendations of your favorite books - a thread from which I have derived much pleasure.
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deer of the dawn's anti-recommendation of "Gilead"
My anti-recommendation of the same. (hers is shorter!)
Both are on the Watch's excellent "Anti-Recommendations of your Favorite Books" thread.

'"He will wipe the tears from all faces." It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.' -Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read this thread for reactions from others who have read the book. Not a single person has had anything less than rave reviews.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

🤔
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Skyweir
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice JSM quote btw 😏
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