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by Euripides, Trans. By E. P. Coleridge
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From Publishers Weekly
Every era needs the classics on its own terms, so Sophocles' Electra, translated by Anne Carson (The Beauty of the Husband; Forecasts, Dec. 18, 2000), should prove very popular among newcomers and seasoned readers of the sublime dramatist's brutal drama, as well as among Carson's many fans. While Carson renders the book in her signature free verse, her major innovation is the phonetic preservation of Electra's "far from formulaic" screams: "OIMOI," "O TALAINA" and "PHEU PHEU" among them. As Carson writes in her excellent translator's preface, they are not stock ejaculations like "Alas!" or "Woe is me!," but "bones of sound" emitted by the daughter who finds herself cheering her mother's execution. Though Oxford's stock existentialist cover looks like something from the height of '50s abstract angst and the book's paper is pulpy, expect strong sales.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
In this edition of Sophocles’ Electra, one of the greatest tragedies in Greek or any literature, Mr Keels presents the play as a study in revenge, but a subtle whose meaning depends upon the continuous use of dramatic irony. He relates the confrontations of principle and character depicted to the social and political controversies of the period in which Sophocles was writing. The introduction describes the background to the play, explains some of the main features of Sophocles’ style, and outlines an interpretation which is fully worked out in the detailed commentary. There are appendices on metre and the text. The edition is intended for use by senior school and undergraduate students, and all those concerned to read and appreciate the play in the original.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek
ELECTRA: As a god's I count thy kindness to me, for in my distress thou hast never made a mock at me. 'Tis rare fortune when mortals find such healing balm for their cruel wounds as 'tis my lot to find in thee. Wherefore I ought, though thou forbid me, to lighten thy labours, as far as my strength allows, and share all burdens with thee to ease thy load. Thou hast enough to do abroad; 'tis only right that I should keep thy house in order.
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