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Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood / Edition 1
     

Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood / Edition 1

by Laurie Maguire
 

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ISBN-10: 1405126353

ISBN-13: 9781405126359

Pub. Date: 05/11/2009

Publisher: Wiley

Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood is a comprehensive literary biography of Helen of Troy, which explores the ways in which her story has been told and retold in almost every century from the ancient world to the modern day.

  • Takes readers on an epic voyage into the literary representations of a woman who has wielded a great influence on Western

Overview

Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood is a comprehensive literary biography of Helen of Troy, which explores the ways in which her story has been told and retold in almost every century from the ancient world to the modern day.

  • Takes readers on an epic voyage into the literary representations of a woman who has wielded a great influence on Western cultural consciousness for more than three millennia
  • Features a wide and diverse variety of literary sources, including epic, drama, novels, poems, film, comedy, and opera, and works by Homer, Euripides, Chaucer, Shakespeare
  • Includes an analysis of a radio play by the prize-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and a Faust play by a contemporary Scottish playwright
  • Explores themes such as narrative difficulties in portraying Helen, how legal history relates to her story, and how writers apportion blame or exculpate her
  • Considers the aesthetic and narrative difficulties that ensue when literature translates myth

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781405126359
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/11/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Preface ix

Source Acknowledgments xv

Conventions xvii

Introduction: Ab ovo 1

Beginnings 1

Stories and Contexts 2

Chapter 1 Narrating Myth 10

Whose Story" 10

Absence 12

Fragments and Narrative 15

Closure 17

The Textual Shudder 20

Myth and Repetition 23

Origins 26

Myth and Meaning 28

Causes 30

(En)Closure 33

Chapter 2 Beauty 35

Excess and Deficiency 35

Narrating the Absolute 39

Staging the Absolute 43

Detailing Helen 45

The Beauty Effect 49

Helen's Breasts 52

Androgyny 56

Helen's Scar 59

Relativizing the Absolute 65

Helen and Old Age 69

Beauty: Subjectivity and Objectivity 74

Beauty and Nostalgia 78

Chapter 3 Abducting Helen 83

Missing Moments 83

Homer, the Iliad 84

Herodotus, the Histories 86

Chaucer and Narrative Gaps 88

Helen and Cressida 93

The Law's Resolution of Women's Rights (1632) 97

Statute Change in 1597 100

The Rape of Lucrece (1594) 102

Helen (of Troy) 104

Rape as Revenge 107

Chapter 4 Blame 109

Accounts 109

Casting Blame: Helen, Paris, and the Gods 110

Sidestepping Blame: Sympathy in the Iliad 113

Competing Narratives: the Odyssey 115

"Twisting Eulogy / And Censure Both Together" 116

Voicing Helen: Euripides 118

Helen Among the Sophists 120

Agency (1) Joseph of Exeter 124

Agency (2) Middle English Troy Books 126

George Peele, The Tale of Troy (1589) 129

Deifying Helen: John Ogle, The Lamentation of Troy (1594) 131

Mimetic Desire, the Scapegoat, and Blasphemy 134

Naming and Shaming 138

Chapter 5 Helen and the Faust Tradition 142

Form and Appearance in the English Faust Book 144

Helen in the English Faust Book 147

Dr Faustus and Language 150

Dr Faustus and Boundaries 153

Goethe (1749-1832) 154

Goethe and Representation 155

Goethe and the Beauty of Language 158

The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships 160

Jo Clifford (1950-) 164

Clifford's Helen and Gender Politics 168

Chapter 6 Parodying Helen 173

Comedy 174

The Novel 185

Caribbean Helen: Derek Walcott, Omeros (1990) 198

Notes 207

References 231

Index 250

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