The University of Wisconsin Press
Classics / Literature & Criticism
Perfidy and PassionMark Buchan has taught classics at the University of Washington, Princeton University, and Columbia University. He has also published on a wide range of topics within Greek literature and philosophy. His main scholarly focus has been on the Homeric poems. He lives in New York.
Reintroducing the Iliad
Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Laura McClure, and Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, Series Editors
A new interpretation of Homer’s Iliad revealing that the secrets Homer’s characters cling to are as important as what they tell
Homer’s Iliad is often considered a poem of blunt truthfulness, his characters’ motivation pleasingly simple. A closer look, however, reveals a complex interplay of characters who engage in an awful lot of lies. Beginning with Achilles, who hatches a secret plot to destroy his own people, Mark Buchan traces motifs of deception and betrayal throughout the poem. Homer’s heroes offer bluster, their passion linked to and explained by their lack of authenticity. Buchan reads Homer’s characters between the lies, showing how the plot is structured individual denial and what cannot be said.
“Buchan shows that deception and betrayal play a fundamental role in the classic poems, confirming that what is unsaid, and even the lies told, are as important as what is said.”
“Original, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Buchan does not get mired in scholarly argument or in proofs of his own originality or authority. Instead he goes right to work, interpreting the Iliad with great perception and imagination.”
—Louise Pratt, Emory University
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LC: 2011047343 PA
192 pp. 6 x 9
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