ALL DAY PERMANENT RED: The First Battle Scenes of Homer's Iliad Rewritten

Christopher Logue, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $18 (64p) ISBN 978-0-374-10295-1

Set at no particular time and incorporating references to 2,000-plus years of Western history, this is the fourth installment from British poet and playwright Logue of his version of The Iliad (the significantly, even gratuitously, more violent of Homer's two epics). Logue began the series in the 1960s and last added to it with The Husbands in 1995. Like Anne Carson's updatings of myth, Logue's Homer is less a translation than a channeling, articulating its essences through terms like "a tunnel the width of a lipstick," "blood like a car wash" and "teenaged Athena." Logue (Prince Charming: A Memoir) strikes a terrific balance between poetic elevation and abject stupidity, conveying at once the terrible power and terrible banality of violence: " 'There's Bubblegum!' 'He's out to make his name!'/ 'He's charging us!' 'He's prancing!' 'Get that leap!'/ THOCK! THOCK! " This book's brilliant cover montage somehow makes three framed shots of the back of a police van spell out "Spoils" and "Polis"—an excellent introduction to the mordant puns and rapid-fire sonic play to be found within. (Apr. 15)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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FORMATS
Paperback - 39 pages - 978-0-571-21686-4
Paperback - 53 pages - 978-0-374-52929-1
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