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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Station Zero
Philip Reeve
Progress: 220/282 pages
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess
Progress: 749/997 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 8/160 pages
The Heptameron (Penguin Classics)
Marguerite de Navarre
Progress: 152/544 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 78/534 pages
Poems Selected
Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
Progress: 4/50 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 18/160 pages
The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse
Mick Imlah, Robert Crawford
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages
Phèdre - Jean Racine, Ted Hughes Greek families! Histrionics, rash reaction instead of considered response, inability to control emotion. Tragedy.

I don't know much about this play: what was Racine's source? It feels very Classical Greek and very Ted Hughes and not really French at all in this version. The language is not as extreme, stylistically, as in Hughes' version of Seneca's Oedipus put the trademark bluntness, abruptness and anachronisms are all present and correct. If Hughes achieved anything with his translations of Classics and material with Classical sources, it was making gripping reading of them. He really did rescue these plays from lecture theatres and put them in real theatres.

I like this less than Hughes' other Greek-based works but I think it's to do with the source material - it's not as nutty as Oedipus or as philosophically interesting as The Oresteia - but that's not to say I disliked it at all: it got devoured in two short sessions.

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