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Sophocles' Elektra
rose garden
I never actually replied to [personal profile] maat_seshat's comment from, like, three months ago (sorry!) but I did go and see what I could find of the recommended translations. The local college library has a surprising amount of them, and I am reading them all (though very slowly).

The only one I've finished so far is Electra, the Anne Carson translation -- from the Greek Tragedies in New Translations series, though I picked it up because I like her poetry. I'm so glad I went straight for that one, because my favorite lines here are positively dull in the other translations I've looked at.

I feel very much for Elektra herself; she has all this anger, all this burning rage and grief, but she's trapped; all she can do is scream. I don't know that I like her, but her feelings are so raw and clear that I want to reach out to her. Elektra, my heart, my dear. I am sorry about your father.

Clytemnestra, here, is so much less sympathetic than in Aeschylus'Agamemnon (which I am in the middle of) I scarcely recognize her. But looking at what I have seen of her Agamemnon self, I do wonder how much Orestes takes after her in attitude.

Orestes reveals to Elektra that he is alive:
Elektra: oh voice, have you come out of nowhere?

Orestes: nowhere but where you are.

shortly before the death of Clytemnestra, about Orestes:
Chorus: Look where he comes grazing forward,
blood bubbling over his lips: Ares!
As a horizontal scream into the house
go the hunters of evil,
the raw and deadly dogs.
not long now:
the blazing dream of my head is crawling out.

Here he comes like a stealing shadow,
like a footprint of death into the rooms,
stalking the past

with freshcut blood in his hands.
It is Hermes who guides him
down a blindfold of shadow—
straight to the finish line: not long now!

after the death of Clytemnestra:
Chorus: The curses are working.
under the ground
dead men are alive
with their black lips moving,
black mouths sucking
on the soles of killer's feet.

Here they come,
hands soaked with red: Ares is happy!
Enough said.

Those are the only quotes I have saved; I returned the book a week ago, and wish I had my own copy. Ah well. | comment count unavailable comments | Feel free to comment at Dreamwidth


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