The Faults of Tim Rood
In Tim Rood’s
The Sea! The Sea! The Shout of the Ten Thousand in the Modern
, the author focuses on Xenophon’s and the Ten Thousand’s shout at the
ocean and its impact on society. Rood addresses the shout’s place in history, literature,
culture, and art by extensively analyzing what exactly Xenophon’s account has evolved
into. When the soldiers come upon the water, they shout,
for “The Sea! The Sea!”) as they feel limitless freedom and salvation from their toils.
Other writers, poets, and psychoanalysts have similarly noted that the ocean represents
eternity and deliverance. The sea is thought to have god-like resemblances that affect
one’s subconscious and the book attempts to comment on these notions. Rood, however,
does not adequately address the sea’s religious or psychological sensations.
Tim Rood fails to analyze sufficiently the profound writings that he references.
Within the span of six sentences, Rood cites one poet and three psychoanalysts in order to
make a point about psychology and the sea. While additional evidence is always
important, Rood does not sufficiently expand on the four authors he cites, especially
considering one of these is Sigmund Freud. Rood attempts to segue into psychoanalysis
when he writes, “The erotic attractions of the sea would naturally attract the attention of
Freud” (82). The jump from one topic to another is reasonable, but the following content
has little to do with eroticism. Instead, Rood comments on “the real source of religiosity”
as it pertained to Romain Rolland, a contemporary of Freud’s, and Sandor Ferenczi’s
notion that “the fate of the individual human being repeats the fate of the human race”
(82). Rood merely throws in these weighty, profound, and questionable ideas about
psychology and religion without actual examination of their relevance. Rood thus leaves
the reader feeling confused since the presented evidence was left without proper
explanation of its importance, yet he continues to make logical mistakes later on.
Rood wrongly believes he can incorporate sources on religion and psychology
merely because they contain the word
The Sea! The Sea!
relates to the
Ten Thousand, and
was the shout of the Ten Thousand, Rood should not
necessarily see this as an open invitation to reference the phrase. Rood comments on
Ferenczi’s “Thalassal regressive trend” (82), which is “the striving towards the aquatic
mode of existence abandoned in primeval times.”
Not only does Rood never again touch
on the “aquatic mode of existence” anywhere else in his book, but he never even travels
farther back in history than Xenophon’s shout in the fourth century, let alone to primeval
times. Rood would be allowed to talk about Ferenczi’s psychological and religious
findings if he were to fully connect and relate them within the context and purpose of his