Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 49 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Flip-flopping

Emily Wilson: Can heroes hesitate and still be heroic?, 17 November 2005

Hesitant Heroes: Private Inhibitions, Cultural Crisis 
by Theodore Ziolkowski.
Cornell, 163 pp., £17.50, March 2004, 0 8014 4203 6
Show More
Show More
... Most of us, it seems, tend to think of the ‘hero’ as someone who never hesitates. As soon as he has made up his mind, he acts. But in Hesitant Heroes Theodore Ziolkowski identifies texts central to the Western canon – the Oresteia, the Aeneid, Parzival, Hamlet, Wallenstein – which show heroes who hesitate at the moment of decision. He argues that each of these works uses the personal hesitation of a single character to represent a broad cultural crisis, a shift in values from one ethical or social norm to another ...

So Caucasian

Emily Wilson: ZZ Packer, 1 April 2004

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere 
by ZZ Packer.
Canongate, 238 pp., £9.99, February 2004, 1 84195 478 0
Show More
Show More
... The epigraph to Drinking Coffee Elsewhere comes from Alex Haley’s Roots: ‘The histories have been written by the winners.’ The implication is that this collection will give us the voice of the losers. But ZZ Packer looks like an outsider only if you concentrate exclusively on racial identity. She went to Yale and then to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop ...

Tongue breaks

Emily Wilson: Sappho, 8 January 2004

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho 
by Anne Carson.
Virago, 397 pp., £12.99, November 2003, 1 84408 081 1
Show More
The Sappho History 
by Margaret Reynolds.
Palgrave, 311 pp., £19.99, May 2003, 0 333 97170 1
Show More
Sappho's Leap 
by Erica Jong.
Norton, 320 pp., $24.95, May 2003, 0 393 05761 5
Show More
Show More
... Some time around the ninth century, Sappho’s nine books were irrecoverably lost. We have some tantalising scraps, single lines and short quotations, but only one complete poem – the ‘Ode to Aphrodite’ (Fragment 1), which is quoted by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. A few longish passages from other poems have been preserved in other authors: the most famous is Fragment 31 (‘He seems to me equal to gods’), quoted at length in On the Sublime ...

Punishment by Radish

Emily Wilson: Aristophanes Remixed, 21 October 2021

Four Plays 
by Aristophanes, translated by Aaron Poochigian.
Norton, 398 pp., £29.75, March 2021, 978 1 63149 650 9
Show More
Show More
... When​ Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion released ‘WAP’ in August 2020, ‘conservative’ commentators such as Tucker Carlson expressed outrage that the song might corrupt ‘your granddaughters’; Alyssa Rosenberg in the Washington Post celebrated it as an ‘ode to female sexual pleasure’. The video featured the two long-lashed goddesses twerking their way through a gilded McMansion in fabulous candy-coloured outfits, like bethonged Disney princesses ...

Ave, Jeeves!

Emily Wilson: Rom(an) Com, 21 February 2008

Plautine Elements in Plautus 
by Eduard Fraenkel, translated by Tomas Drevikovsky and Frances Muecke.
Oxford, 459 pp., £79, November 2006, 0 19 924910 5
Show More
Plautus: ‘Asinaria – The One about the Asses’ 
translated by John Henderson.
Wisconsin, 252 pp., £13.50, December 2006, 0 299 21994 1
Show More
Terence: The Comedies 
translated by Peter Brown.
Oxford, 338 pp., £9.99, January 2008, 978 0 19 282399 1
Show More
Terence: Comedies 
translated by Frederick Clayton.
Exeter, 290 pp., £45, January 2006, 0 85989 757 5
Show More
Show More
... When the Romans won wars, they brought home large numbers of enslaved foreign prisoners, to work the fields, mills and mines of the countryside, and to provide an enormous range of domestic services for wealthy city-dwellers. Slaves did the hard labour, but they were also essential for all the things that made a rich Roman’s life comfortable. Most of the work we would classify as part of the ‘service industry’ or the ‘entertainment industry’ was done by slaves ...

Ah, how miserable!

Emily Wilson: Three New Oresteias, 8 October 2020

The Oresteia 
by Aeschylus, translated by Oliver Taplin.
Liveright, 172 pp., £17.99, November 2018, 978 1 63149 466 6
Show More
The Oresteia 
by Aeschylus, translated by Jeffrey Scott Bernstein.
Carcanet, 288 pp., £16.99, April 2020, 978 1 78410 873 1
Show More
The Oresteia 
by Aeschylus, translated by David Mulroy.
Wisconsin, 234 pp., £17.50, April 2018, 978 0 299 31564 1
Show More
Show More
... Aeschylus’​ Oresteia begins with the story of a grieving, righteously angry woman seeking justice for her daughter. The child was killed by her father, the woman’s husband, in order to enable a vast war. Each of the three plays is radically different in style, mood and action. But each centres on female anger and female grief at violent loss of life and the willingness of family members to kill one another ...

Into Extra Time

Deborah Steiner: Living too long, 23 February 2006

Mocked with Death: Tragic Overliving from Sophocles to Milton 
by Emily Wilson.
Johns Hopkins, 289 pp., £35.50, December 2004, 0 8018 7964 7
Show More
Show More
... So great was the Greeks’ concern with living too long – what Emily Wilson calls ‘overliving’– that they had a cautionary myth about it. The immortal rosy-fingered Eos, who is renewed each night by a therapeutic plunge into Okeanos, falls in love with the mortal Tithonos, abducts him, and bears him off to a life of everlasting love at the ends of the earth ...

Fratricide, Matricide and the Philosopher

Shadi Bartsch: Seneca, 18 June 2015

Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero 
by James Romm.
Knopf, 290 pp., £18.45, March 2014, 978 0 307 59687 1
Show More
Seneca: A Life 
by Emily Wilson.
Allen Lane, 253 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 1 84614 637 4
Show More
Show More
... warns his correspondent to stay out of politics altogether. The new biographies by James Romm and Emily Wilson explore the tensions generated by Seneca’s life and legacy without resorting to the reductive choice between saint and hypocrite, Stoic idealist or stony practitioner of realpolitik. Romm admits that his mission to make a convincing single ...

Light through the Fog

Colin Burrow: The End of the Epithet, 26 April 2018

The Odyssey 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 538 pp., £24, April 2018, 978 0 520 29363 2
Show More
The Odyssey 
translated by Emily Wilson.
Norton, 592 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 393 08905 9
Show More
The Odyssey 
translated by Anthony Verity.
Oxford, 384 pp., £7.99, February 2018, 978 0 19 873647 9
Show More
Show More
... girls immediately or allow them one more gaudy night? He tells himself to swallow his anger. As Emily Wilson has it in her sprightly rendering:       ‘Be strong, my heart. You were hounded by worse the day the Cyclops ate your strong companions. But you kept your nerve, till cunning saved you from the cave; you thought that you would die ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences