Oct. 20, 2014

This Week's SFR Picks

Newsletters

Choose your newsletter(s):
* indicates required
September 23, 2014 by Joey Peters  
September 23, 2014 by Justin Horwath  
October 7, 2014 by Joey Peters  
September 24, 2014 by Enrique Limón  
September 23, 2014 by Robert Basler  

SFR Events

Special Issues

 

 
Home / Articles / Arts / Theater & Stage Reviews /  Read It: Postmodern Myth

Read It: Postmodern Myth

August 23, 2006, 12:00 am
By
***image1***



Classics, retold and revamped.



WEIGHT
Jeanette Winterson
Cannongate Books ($18)
Jeanette Winterson adds her trademark postmodern touch to the classic stories of Atlas and Heracles (better known in the West as Hercules). Atlas holds the world on his shoulders both in the world of gods and where humans have begun to travel into space. For Atlas, holding the earth is a punishment on the body but also a chance for the mind to sit, quietly reflecting on the world resting on him. When Heracles needs to gather fruit from the garden of Atlas' daughter, Heracles ends up taking the world on his own shoulders for a short time and discovers that his place and punishment in the world is far more suited to his personality.

AN ILIAD
Alessandro Baricco
Knopf ($21)
Everyone knows the basic story of the Iliad, Western literature's most famous tale and first epic poem. Alessandro Baricco has not only whittled the story down to a manageable 160 pages, but he has removed the two most fantastic elements: the gods and the repetitious quality of poetry. An Iliad is, instead of a poem, a narrative, told in first-person account by the characters, all of whom seem aware of the legendary Trojan War, in which they are in the midst. Baricco assumes that they know the end as much as we do and builds his story around particular events rather than context.

SAILING FROM BYZANTIUM
Colin Wells
Delacorte Press ($22)
Quickly sweeping the reader through history, Sailing from Byzantium is one of those books that could easily be quite the scholarly pursuit. Instead, its author, Colin Wells, leaves pretension behind and embraces the art of storytelling. Taking readers from the ancient world of the fifth century to modern Rome, Wells reminds us that the books we learn our history from have almost been lost time and time again. He asks us to wonder what our world would be like without the complete track of philosophy from Plato, through the ancient Islamic world and back to the West.

 

comments powered by Disqus
 
Close
Close
Close