The Fourth Dimension

Yannis Ritsos, Author, Peter Green, Translator, Beverly Bardsley, Translator Princeton University Press $28.95 (348p) ISBN 978-0-691-02465-3
Written during the 1950s and 1960s, this volume is a prominent Greek poet's response to Euripides and other classic tragedians. Complex yet fascinating, it consists of 17 ``sustained dramatic soliloquies'' that present contemporary men and women who seem to inhabit the bodies of mythological figures: Agamemnon, Orestes, Persephone, Ajax, Electra and Phaedra. As in classic drama, each monologue begins and ends with a brief prose passage, setting the scene and recounting what happens after the speaker has exited. Detailed and vivid descriptions of people and places make the poems' mythological present seem a visionary future. Figures who died tragic deaths to fulfill legend are given new life, only to laugh at those who thought them dead. What is the past? all these speakers seem to ask, and the poet answers in the voice of Iphigenia: ``Murders, expeditions, reprisals, sunken ships, ruined regimes.'' Concise notes at the back of the volume remind us who these mythical figures are, show how they've been used in other literature and point out Ritsos's ( Selected Poems 1938-1988 ) often far-fetched groupings. While previous volumes of Ritsos's work have been rendered into English by such esteemed translators as Edmund Keely, two relatively unknown translators here take on this magnum opus and do an excellent job. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/17/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.