Shaman Drum sponsors a reading (and signing) at East Hall (Room 1324), 530 Church Street, Thursday, November 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides (Alkestis, Hekabe, Herakles, and Hippolytos)
From the Shaman Drum Events Calendar:
“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; an 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 starred Publishers Weekly review:
"Writing with a pitch and heat that gets to the heart of the unforgiving classical world, Carson, a poet (The Autobiography of Red) and classicist (Economy of the Unlost), translates four of the 18 surviving plays by Euripides (485–406 B.C.): Alkestis, Herakles, Hekabe and Hippolytos. All feature characters trading single lines that somehow contain the essence of human tragedy. Alkestis blunderingly trades his wife's life for his own, then gets her back—but has to live with the embarrassment of having given her up. Herakles returns triumphant from the underworld, only to perform a fate-induced infanticide on his own children. Hekabe, a former queen now slave to the wily Odysseus, is reduced to a vengeful form of will to power. Hippolytos's uncomprehending state as the object of stepmother Phaidra's desire unravels all concerned. Carson is nothing less than brilliant—unfalteringly sharp in diction, audacious and judicious in taking liberties. In four separate prefaces, she introduces the plays succinctly, picking apart their structures and showing where flaws may be intentional. Worth the price of admission alone is Carson's blistering essay-afterword, written in Euripides's voice, which asks questions like "Is all anger sexual?" This amazing book gets very close to the playwright's enigmatic answers.”