Grief Lessons

Grief Lessons

Four Plays by Euripides

Book - 2006
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Random House, Inc.
For much of Euripides life, the world was at war. The anguish and rage that resulted from a world given over to violence provoked the poet and playwright to create stunning tragedies, whose grief reverberates as accurately today as it did when democratic Athens succumbed to the Peloponnesian Wars.

Following an acclaimed translation of Sappho's poems and fragments, If Not, Winter, the acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson now turns to the plays of Euripides, chronologically the latest and certainly the most troubled of the major Greek tragedians. One of the most versatile, accomplished, fertile, and plain astonishing writers of our day, Carson is a poet with the acumen of an essayist; and essayist with the lyric gift of a poet; a scholar who is as daring as she is erudite. Euripides, Carson says, is the most unpleasant of the tragedians, which is to say the most tragic, and her bold new translation of his chronicles of superstition and despair offers a new view of his discordant and unsparing art.

The four plays included here are Alkestis, Hekuba, Herakles Mad, and Hippolitos. The book includes a general introduction by Carson, along with introductions to each of the plays, and a final "Address to Euripides."

Blackwell North Amer
Euripides, the last of the three great tragedians of ancient Athens, reached the height of his renown during the disastrous Peloponnesian War, when democratic Athens was brought down by its own outsized ambitions. His plays were shockers: he unmasked heroes, revealing them as foolish and savage, and he wrote about the powerless - women and children, slaves and barbarians - for whom tragedy was not so much exceptional as unending. Euripides' plays rarely won first prize in the great dramatic competitions of ancient Athens, but their combustible mixture of realism and extremism fascinated audiences throughout the Greek world.
Four of those tragedies are here presented in new translations by the contemporary poet and classicist Anne Carson. They are Herakles, in which the hero swaggers home to destroy his own family; Hekabe, set after the Trojan War, in which Hektor's widow takes vengeance on her Greek captors; Hippelytes, about love and the horror of love; and the strange tragicomic fable Alkestis, which tells of a husband who arranges for his wife to die in his place. The volume also contains brief introductions by Carson to each of the plays along with two remarkable framing essays: "Tragedy: A Curious Art Form" and "Why I Wrote Two Plays About Phaidra."

Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, c2006
ISBN: 9781590171806
Branch Call Number: 882.01 EUR
Characteristics: 312 p. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Carson, Anne 1950-


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Oct 29, 2007

This book is clear evidence to me that my Odyssey is working. Never would I have imagined reading this book, and yet I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me why I intend to go back to university when I retire and take Latin, Greek, and the Classics - all things I didn't have the opportunity to take in high school and chose not to take in university. Talk about making something remote accessible - Bravo Ms. Carson! Oh yes - and Euripides too. Go here to find humanity, morality, ethics, dilemmas, frailties and all those other good things!

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