My escalator incident yesterday triggered a whole range of thoughts, which on my return to the flat I had to commit to paper immediately. The feeling of forward thrust that I hypothesized might be a direct consequence of imminent disaster made me think about ‘catastrophe’ as a concept.
I have spent a great deal of my life working on Ancient Greece, in fact I’d had over eleven years of study of the classics when I left my incomplete doctorate aged 25. Since then my knowledge has decayed a fair amount, but I can still tell a word with a Greek root when I hear it and I was also expecting theatrical resonances because of the term ‘strophe’, which is often used to describe a type of choral ode. I was nonetheless fascinated by the results of a search on the web:
- A great, often sudden calamity.
- A complete failure; a fiasco: The food was cold, the guests quarreled – the whole dinner was a catastrophe.
- The concluding action of a drama, especially a classical tragedy, following the climax and containing a resolution of the plot.
- A sudden violent change in the earth’s surface; a cataclysm.