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The Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles' Antigone Paperback – October 13, 2005
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*Starred Review* There are many translations of Sophocles' Antigone but few with the understated power and spare beauty of Irish Nobel laureate Heaney's version. He has given the play a new title, The Burial at Thebes, that recalls both Antigone's punishment--to be walled up in a cave-- and the crime for which she is punished. He remains faithful to the letter and the spirit of the play, following the structure of Sophocles' fine storytelling beat-by-beat even as he finds words to make this classic story of conflict between an inflexible autocrat and an intransigent rebel legible to modern readers. Reading Heaney's achievement, it is hard not to think of the ongoing eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye debacle unfolding in Iraq. Written in a muscular but lively style, the translation, like Heaney's best poetry, finds music in the language of the streets and reveals the raw, primal power in the most carefully constructed rhetorical tropes. This is hardly surprising. In 1990 Heaney wrote The Cure at Troy, a translation of Sophocles' Philoctetes, for the Irish Field Day theater company, and met with great critical acclaim. His fine, new translation makes one wish he would don a translator's hat more often. Jack Helbig
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Heaney has created something imperishable and great that is stainless--stainless, because its force as poetry makes it untouchable by the claw of literalism: it lives singly, as an English language poem.” ―James Wood, The Guardian on Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf
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Top Customer Reviews
This version of the play “The burial at Thebes”, first preformed at The Abby Theater April 5, 2004 is one of the cleanest strait forward, easiest to get involved in versions.
You may even feel that you are infovlved or at least watching the evening news of today.
I have read Beowulf (Seamus Heaney) and look forward to reading his other works.
The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes