The Greek Generals Talk: Memoirs of the Trojan War

Phi Parotti, Author, Phillip Parotti, Author University of Illinois Press $14.95 (164p) ISBN 978-0-252-01304-1
From the perspective of the depraved present an old soldier looks back on the glory that was the epic Trojan War, when he and the world were young. Diomedes, one of the Greek field commanders who figure in this collection of 12 tales grounded in the play of their memory over events, sets out to recover that mythical time. Nothing, he laments, is what it once was: men are no longer heroic, women are not beautiful in the way of Helen and Hermione. The debauched old knave and ugly hunchback Thersites, still a liar and parasite cadging drinks, pimping, selling ""information'' to itinerant merchants, squats in the Isle of Lesbos, inventing a past that never was and offering to lead some seamen to the quarters of Helen's ``granddaughters'' for a price. It's a charming (if slightly mad) idea, this inventing of quasi-Homeric tales of Ilium and those wine-dark seas, and they make compelling reading. The staginess of the language slips now and again into present-day banality, but Parotti's unusual narrative is on the whole a notable achievement. (July 31)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1986
Release date: 06/01/1986
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