Here Christopher Logue highlights the sheer vital durability of Homer and the magnitude of such sustainability, kept alive through a hard core of ‘Unprofessional Ancient Greek Readers’.
I don’t know if I qualify, since the UAGR could refer only to those who can read ancient Greek or to those who read ancient Greek literature in translation. Since Logue himself did not know ancient Greek, I’ll assume it’s the more inclusive interpretation and proudly wear my UAGR badge.
With those caveats, Logue’s War Music is a powerful, muscular rendition of several books of the Iliad, awash with sparkling, surprising metaphors and similes, unsuspected from the slimness of the volume and simplicity of its cover design. See the bestellar review here, complete with quotation and metaphor mosaic.
‘Even though it owes its life to ridicule or to the power of bad taste, any poem that survives outside literary circles for more than one generation is noteworthy. For a poem of over 15,000 lines representing an age as remote from its own as it is from ours to survive the collapse of, not just one society (a critical test no poem in English has, as yet, had to pass), but two, could mean that those who have kept it alive are mad … Those whom we may choose to count among the hopelessly insane: the hard core of Unprofessional Ancient Greek Readers, Homer’s lay fans.’
Source: Christopher Logue, author’s note,War Music: An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer’s Iliad, London: Faber and Faber, 2001, p. viii
Photo credit: Evren Aydin at unsplash.com