This is perhaps the Greekest image I have ever seen.

12 Nov

I mean Greek Greek — not us Greeks/Romioi — I mean THOSE Greeks.

Zvezdan Monte 5

It’s not because the man in the photograph is Greek.  He’s actually Montenegrin judoka Zvezdan Djukić.  It’s not because he has such a beautiful body or such perfect Praxitelian proportions — wonderful how photo catches his back in the mirror.  It’s not because such dense muscles like his usually belong to shorter, stockier, endomorph types, and because such thick muscle bellies on such long limbs are relatively rare, except — maddeningly — in the western Balkans: Northern Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Serbia and yes…ok…Croatia.

It’s because Greek humanism would have been first in seeing the beauty in this fleeting moment: a young exhausted athlete taking a break from his exertions.  It’s why Nietzsche called the Greeks “the first cultural event in history.”


See: The full Nietzsche quote from “the Greekest image” post and Archaic torso of Apollo — a favorite Rilke poem that also came to mind with “the Greekest image” post


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