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Homer's Daughter and the Anger of Achilles
Edited by Neil Powell
ISBN: 978 1 857544 81 7
Categories: Ancient Greek and Roman, War writings
Imprint: Carcanet Fiction
Published: July 2001
216 x 135 x 38 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
We don't know who, or even if, Homer was. Given threads of internal evidence in the Odyssey, Robert Graves invents, or discovers, that the author of the poem was a woman, herself part of the epic action. He chooses the beguiling, clear-headed Nausicaa and re-visions the post-Trojan world through her eyes. This is the theme of Homer's Daughter, one of Graves' most daring fictional acts.
The Odyssey has been described as a 'women's' epic, full of female characters and different in kind and colour from the Iliad with its tight focus, its largely male world. Graves' Nausicaa is brilliant at telling stories and she recounts speeches with dramatic aplomb. The confrontations in the Council and between Aethon and the suitors are memorably evoked.
Nausicaa is a princess of mixed Greek and other ancestry, combining in herself the various cultures that inform the language and folklore of the epic. Graves makes it possible for us to believe that the epic's author told her own story, a true one, buried within the Homeric epic. There is adventure and intrigue; the book stands near the beginning of a tradition that includes Leonardo Sciascia's The Council of Egypt and Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.
Homer's Daughter is reprinted here with Graves' ambitious Homeric translation The Anger of Achilles, which culminates in the death of Hector, emblem of the doom of Troy itself.
Awards won by Neil Powell Short-listed, 2017 East Anglian Book Awards (Was and Is)
Praise for Robert Graves 'There is eloquence, wit and a formal shapeliness in abundance from first to last.'
Michael Glover, Financial Times 10/02/01 'While poetry schools came and went, Graves went on writing until his death in 1985, in an elegant, classically inspired style.'
Andrew Crumey, Scotland on Sunday 07/01/01 'No one else offers his precise combination of eroticism, nightmare and epigram.'
Sean O'Brien, The Guardian 13/01/01 'Graves experiences in the trenches of the First World War are most vivid and moving.'
Robert Nye, Scotsman on Sunday, 16/12/00 'In his attitude to verse he remained a Georgian, an eccentric one.'
Eric Hester, Catholic Times 20/02/00 'Graves enshrines his archetypal motifs of obsessive love in legendary contexts from which the contemporary world is resolutely excluded.'
Mark Ford, The London Review of Books 'One of the twentieth century's major writers.'
Richard Foster, Yorkshire Evening Press Graves is a poet and a visionary in his prose writings, always stimulating and frequently enlightening.
Patrick Reilly, The Herald Praise for Neil Powell 'Like ordinary people, poets long to be loved. But all that is necessary is that they should be understood.'
Roy Fuller 'His poetry has a rewarding range and depth, though memory and our ambivalent handling of memory is what he is best at. He is an elegiac poet, and in some ways a more valuable poet of loneliness than Larkin. Any younger reader who hasn't yet cottoned on to Powell should find this carefully considered 'Â€Â˜Collected' rewarding: his is a quiet insistent voice at the heart of the tradition.'
'Neil Powell's poems are lucid, elegant, formal and humane .'Â€Â™
'An exceptional poet of place, and of the East Anglian coast in particular: Neil Powell's Selected Poems thoroughly defines the peculiar atmospheres of that bleak landscape and seascape...'
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