Otto Steinmayer:

Classic Ground

A column on literature, especially classical, which appeared in the New Straits Times during 1991 and 1992. I am forever grateful to Mr. Kee Thuan Chye, distinguished playwright, poet, writer of fiction and all-round man of letters, who was literary editor of the New Straits Times and who invited me to write for him, and I give my warmest thanks to Fauzi for his drawings that added the grace of humor.

Otto Steinmayer's Homepage

E-mail OS.


  1. 7 Aug 1991: "Fresh from the morning of the world." [Introductory; Ptolemy on Malaya]
  2. 21 Aug 1991: "Love, death, and everything." [the Greek Anthology]
  3. 4 Sept 1991: "The best of the Akhaians." [Homer, Iliad .]
  4. 18 Sept 1991: "Seascape with monsters." [Homer, Odyssey .]
  5. 2 Oct 1991: "In the beginning was the word." [Sanskrit poetry.]
  6. 16 Oct 1991: "The music may be gone but the words live on." [lyric poetry]
  7. 30 Oct 1991: "One good reason to learn Latin." [Roman poetry, Catullus]
  8. 13 Nov 1991: "The goat-winning tragedies of Aeschylus." [Aeschylus]
  9. 27 Nov 1991: "Finding a common poetic language." [Chinese poetry]
  10. 11 Dec 1991: "The ancient art of 'painting white black.'" [rhetoric]
  11. 25 Dec 1991: "History and the disease called politics." [Thucydides]
  12. 8 Jan 1992: "The Greeks and their gods." [ancient religion.]
  13. 22 Jan 1992: "Crossing the barriers between the past and us." [general reflections on the appreciation of the past]
  14. 19 Feb 1992: "Time and the rhythms of life and literature." [differing perceptions of time in temperate and tropical area poetry.]
  15. 4 Mar 1992: "Fables tell us what life is really like." [Aesop]
  16. 18 March 1992: "The alternative to prettified words." [ancient prose.]
  17. 1 Apr 1992: "Feast of funnies from the ancients." [strange stories]
  18. 15 Apr 1992: "Feelings of the past by post." [letters]
  19. 29 Apr 1992: "The best things of life to the Greeks." [general, on the act of writing, and culture.]
  20. 13 May 1992: "The pity and terror of a great tragedy." [Sophocles, Oedipus the King .]
  21. 27 May 1992: "Sweet and bitter are the uses of satire."
  22. 10 June 1992: "The curling tendrils of Dayak poetry."
  23. 24 June 1992: "The beginnings of nature poetry." [pastoral]
  24. 8 July 1992: "National Literature a long time coming." [the concept of "national language and literature in antiquity]
  25. 22 July 1992: "Socrates' search for the Good in life." [Socrates, life and ethical philosophy.]
  26. 5 Aug 1992: "The most tragic of the poets." [Euripides]
  27. 19 Aug 1992: "The King of Old Comedy." [Aristophanes]
  28. 2 Sept 1992: "Learning life's whys and hows through literature." [poetry; Plutarch On the Daimon of Sokrates. final column.]