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The Bad Boy of Athens

The Bad Boy of Athens

Classics from the Greeks to Game of Thrones

by Daniel Mendelsohn
Hardback
Publication Date: 11/07/2019
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RRP  $49.99 $38.35

Over the past three decades, Daniel Mendelsohn's essays and reviews have earned him a reputation as 'our most irresistible literary critic' (The New York Times). This striking new collection exemplifies the way in which Mendelsohn - a classicist by training who writes extensively for popular publications - uses the classics as a lens to think about urgent contemporary debates.

There is much to surprise here. Mendelsohn invokes the automatons featured in Homer's epics to help explain the AI films Ex Machina and Her, and perceives how Ted Hughes sought redemption by translating a play of Euripides (the 'bad boy of Athens') about a wayward husband whose wife returns from the dead. There are essays on Sappho's sexuality and the feminism of Game of Thrones; on how Virgil's Aeneid prefigures post-World War II history and why we are still obsessed by the Titanic; on Patrick Leigh Fermor's final journey, Karl Ove Knausgaard's autofiction, and the plays of Tom Stoppard, Tennessee Williams, and Noel Coward. The collection ends with a poignant account of the author's boyhood correspondence with the historical novelist Mary Renault, which inspired his ambition to become a writer.

In The Bad Boy of Athens, Mendelsohn provokes and dazzles with erudition, emotion, and tart wit while his essays dance across eras, cultures, and genres. This is a provocative collection which sees today's master of popular criticism using the ancient past to reach into the very heart of modern culture.

ISBN:
9780007545155
9780007545155
Category:
Literary essays
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
11-07-2019
Language:
English
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
384
Dimensions (mm):
234x153x34mm
Weight:
0.61kg
Daniel Mendelsohn

Daniel Mendelsohn was born in Long Island and educated at the University of Virginia and at Princeton. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books as well as the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, and is contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. His previous books include the memoir The Elusive Embrace, a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and the international best seller ‘The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million’, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Prix Médicis, and many other honours. He teaches at Bard College.

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