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An Easy Lay

James Davidson: Greek tragedy

30 September 1999
Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy 
edited by Simon Goldhill and Robin Osborne.
Cambridge, 417 pp., £45, June 1997, 0 521 64247 7
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The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy 
edited by P.E. Easterling.
Cambridge, 410 pp., £14.95, October 1997, 0 521 42351 1
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Tragedy in Athens: Performance Space and Theatrical Meaning 
by David Wiles.
Cambridge, 130 pp., £13.95, August 1999, 0 521 66615 5
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... with their actors (‘hypocrites’) unmasked. The play that follows Medea is called Dictys, the name of the fisherman who rescued Danäe and Perseus from the floating chest. You wonder how the poet will make a whole drama out of that unexpected trawl, but you can be fairly sure it won’t fit with Medea to make a sequential three-part play – since Aeschylus has gone, no one seems much ...

Hellenic Tours

Jonathan Barnes

1 August 1985
The Cambridge History of Classical Literature. Vol. I: Greek Literature 
edited by P.E. Easterling and B.M.W. Knox.
Cambridge, 936 pp., £47.50, May 1985, 0 521 21042 9
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A History of Greek Literature 
by Peter Levi.
Viking, 511 pp., £14.95, February 1985, 0 670 80100 3
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... poetry is perfectly genuine, as crisp and light as a leaf.’ But such things are not unequivocally delicious. Leaves, I agree, are relatively light – but are they ordinarily crisp? Can a poem really be light as a leaf? (I take it that Mr Levi does not intend to hint that Simonides wrote on papyrus.) If poems can be light and crisp, are these really musical (as well as botanical) terms ...

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