The death of the hero. Christopher Logue's Patrocleia: Orality, Writing, Performance
Starting from the comparison of three versions (1962, 1997, 2001) of the final part of Patrocleia - the second instalment of the radio adaptation of Homer's Iliad by the English poet Christopher Logue, War Music – I will show the path towards a musical version and an extreme conceptual compression of the Homeric text. War Music, in fact, lives its full potential only in a performative act. Through a stylistic analysis (close reading) I will highlight the stages of composition of the episode, and then I will demonstrate that the agony and death of the hero undergo a dramatization that makes Patroclus’ death a theatrical performance under Apollo's direction. Through a close comparison with the Greek text and with the academic translation by Richard Lattimore (1951) I explain in which way Patrocleia aims at the creation of a musical style and epic diction that fit mimetically to the means of oral transmission. This adaptation enters the folds of the Homeric text and amplifies its ambiguities.
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