By Christopher Logue
Picture the east Aegean sea by means of night,
And on a seashore aslant its shimmering
Upwards of 50,000 men
Asleep like spoons beside their deadly Fleet.
For greater than 40 years, the English poet, wit, and troublemaker Christopher Logue (1926-2011) was once at paintings on what got here to be considered as his masterpiece: an idiosyncratic modern model of Homer's Iliad. starting with the e-book of his first quantity in 1981 and celebrated as "the most sensible translation of Homer in view that Pope's" (The ny assessment of Books), Logue's venture used to be exact from traditional translation, for it got down to be a thorough reimagining of Homer's take of struggle, human folly, and the facility of the gods, in a language and elegance of verse that have been emphatically of Logue's period.
While sickness avoided him from bringing his model of the Iliad to of completion, adequate survives in notebooks and letters to permit his good friend the poet Christopher Reid to bring together a model of the unpublished ultimate installment, Big males Falling an extended Way. This has been further to the former elements of the poem, released as War Music (1981), Kings (1991), The Husbands (1995), All Day everlasting Red (2003), and Cold Calls (2005), to make one magisterial quantity. This version comes as close to as attainable to representing the poet's entire imaginative and prescient, an continually wonderful, witty, relocating, and uncanny functionality at the web page that's "possessed of a truly poor beauty" (Slate). right here Logue confirms what his admirers have lengthy recognized: War Music "is more likely to undergo as one of many nice lengthy poems of the 20 th century" (The occasions Literary Supplement).
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Extra resources for War Music: An Account of Homer's Iliad
35 If I suffered from the necessity of producing a systematic interpretation of these objects, I would never take the direction of any of the classical methods of exploring the unconscious, whose reducibility to Oedipus I would, in the best case scenario, presuppose, and would be much more tempted to resort to the somnambulistic method of Objectanalysis as I defined and utilized it in Two Invisible Women Knock on My Door, a Dying Woman Offers Them an Envelope on my Behalf (manuscript, 1944). But my lyrical-subjective and amorousobjective position before the five received objects necessarily prevents me from systematizing the voluptuous vertigo I experience in merely contemplating them and what necessarily is being suggested to me is to maintain and aggravate my vertigo to the fainting point, to allow myself to be passionately drawn towards all the lascivious and chaotic traps which are being set for me.
I am moved to tears by my metallic gaze and the corpse's sneer I sport upon my lips. I am calm and more certain of myself than if I had swallowed a lactating cow. I stroll about with a step of marble, listen with an ear of drums, I scrutinize with an eyeball shooting out of the middle of my forehead like a tree that would tint its leaves its own favorite hue. I challenge myself to a game of marbles, which I extract from my pockets and I am always the winner. Chance is on my side incessantly. It is fruitless to calculate probabilities in matters of chance, chance is nothing if not auspicious.
In light of these atrocious and sudden strikes, veritable alarm signals, the genial embraces that double them suddenly seem suspect to me, and my most urgent necessity alike, projecting the theoretical void that unravels me and paralyzes all of my mental activities, to create around me a corresponding void which, despite its suffocating and unendurable aspect, eliminates the cloying admixture of good and evil furnished to me by the exterior world and which for me is the image of the Oedipal double and the most sinister mask of error.