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The House of Rumour
"Whenever he's got a new book out I drop everything." - David Bowie
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Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

Created: 04/19/13

Replies: 5

Posted Apr. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 368

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Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

For reference, the text below is from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book X11 which includes, among other things, the house of Rumour and the death of Achilles....

There is a place in the centre of the world,
between earth, sea, and sky, at the limits
of the three-fold universe where all things
which exist anywhere, even far away,
are seen and where all voices penetrate
attentive ears. In this place Rumour lives.
Here she has chosen herself a dwelling,
at the very summit of a citadel
with a thousand doorways and entrances,
but not a single gate to bar the way,
so the place stands open day and night.
Built all of echoing brass, it mutters,
repeating voices and echoing sounds
it has picked up. There is no quiet spot
inside, no silence anywhere. But still,
there is no loud din, only the subdued noise
of voices murmuring, the kind of sound
waves of the ocean often make when heard
from far away or the rumbling produced
by a final thunder roll when Jupiter
makes the clouds collide. An unruly crowd
fills up the halls, a fickle common throng,
which comes and go. A thousand rumours,
combining falsehood with the truth, wander
here and there, passing around misleading chat.
Some of these fill empty ears with gossip,
and some bear stories they have heard elsewhere.
The number of made-up tales keeps growing,
as every author alters what he heard
by adding something new. Here one can find
Credulity and hot-headed Error,
empty Joy, alarming Fears, instant Sedition,
and Whispers whose origin is unknown.
Rumour herself sees everything going on
in heaven, land, and sea, and asks about
events the whole world over.


Posted Apr. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 47

RE: Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

I was not familiar with the "House of Rumour". I do find the passage from the Ovid interesting to read and it is fascinating how it was compared to the use of spreading propaganda during the war by several countries. I thought that all of the different uses of propaganda used or described in the book was very interesting and helped me learn something new in how it was used.


Posted Apr. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
elizabethm

Join Date: 06/05/12

Posts: 35

RE: Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

Jeffs, I didn't really think much about how propaganda weaves throughout the book but you are right, it does. It is interesting to think about how propaganda is treated by those looking back on it. For example,the fifties monster movies which the creators were making in part to be propaganda for the american way of life are now just looked at as kitschy.

I wonder where the line is between propaganda and information? It seems to be thinner and thinner these days when everyone tends to get their news from sources which share their own ideological bent.


Posted Apr. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 47

RE: Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

I hadn't thought about what you said about people seeking out news from sources they agree with, but you are right. I don't like to watch much news on TV these days as it seems to me around 90% of it is opinion reported as fact or people picking and choosing which facts to report and which to believe. When they start asking the public if a person is guilty or innocent on a poll and then report it as news i just shake my head and turn the channel.
I love to watch old movies, but I probably will think about some of them differently now. I also listen to old radio shows from WWII time and there is a lot of stuff on there that was propaganda, but I never thought of it as such before.


Posted Apr. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
julietf

Join Date: 11/28/11

Posts: 3

RE: Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

I think that one of the most interesting aspects of the book was how "reality" and "truth" were dependent on whose point of view it was. Also, how the perception of truth changed even in a single person's point of view, when they move into a different time. I like the idea that each person only experiences their fraction of reality at a given time, and that "reality" is only what you are perceiving at that moment.


Posted Apr. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 200

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RE: Were you familiar with the "House of Rumour"? How does this old story from Ovid relate to what happens in the book?

The House of Rumour was all new to me. But like jeffs comment it was something that I appreciate being exposed to and its application throughout the book in all the various time periods was rather brilliant. This was not a favorite book for me but it made me think a lot rather than merely being entertained and related some aspects of history that I had not known and found terribly interesting. The above comments about current 'news' are also very good. I too am tired of what is considered news and that it is not just the facts and not all the speculation, hearsay (rumour), or interpretation. I tend to feel that so much of what we hear from politicians is just spin and rumour.


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