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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Home comforts

The baby wrens have left the nest. I didn't see this coming. All day the parents have been in hyper vigilance, buzzing and chirruping at everything. I've heard the babies screaming from places other than the nest... I think in the hedge, but it was hard to tell. By this evening all the sounds had receded to the back of the garden, the nest bears a disconsolate and deserted appearance. But I am sure I could hear at least two of the little ones in the lilac tree. And I think I saw one. It seems to have happened so fast.

Aside from bird news, I have been watching a series called Troy - Fall of a City. It's very good. But honestly, Helen is a witch. The woman should have been assassinated. Selfish, cowardly, nasty bitch. Her beauty really was only skin deep. Irritatingly, women historians seek to redeem her. See here and here. To be fair, I suppose she might not have had much choice in the matter - but in this TV version, she is horrible. Hector, whom I think Homer tends to refer to as brave Hector, is amazing. A good man. The best of men, says his father Priam and his encomium for his son is enough to make Achilles weep.

This has made me want to read The Iliad. My father read it and I have a copy... You can get it on Audible too. Yes, I'll give it a go. Incidentally, and on this topic, Madeline Miller's Circe is SUPERB. Though that of course is related to The Odyssey. There's a rather good new translation of that - Emily Watson. You can get it on Audible. Back to The Iliad, and Miller's The Song of Achilles is sensational. While Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls is also brilliant. I really loved that one. But I didn't like Com Toibin's House of Names very much.

Look, they're not Vikings - but at least they're PAGAN. And there's some magic - the gods and goddesses make an appearance in Troy (very well done, too, in my opinion, though it looks as if I am one of the very few who enjoyed it).

Interestingly, they cast the excellent David Gyasi as Achilles. He is black - Zeus, Aeneas, Nestor and Patroclus are also played by black actors. This raised a whole storm about anachronisms. This doesn't bother me, at all: people are people, I don't care what colour they are but what their characters are like and Gyasi (whose role is important) brings out much that informs and inspires me when thinking of Achilles. I wonder, though, if some reactionary types objected to the production for that reason? There's a good article on this issue on Aeon - and the views of the Ancient Greeks on skin colour (if not on slavery or gender politics) are worth considering.

As for home comforts, well, Odysseus does finally get home and Aeneas founds the new Troy - Rome.

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Aug 03, 2021

Exciting about the baby wrens! And thanks for the links & recommendations. I read most of the Iliad a long long time ago. For whatever reason I don't think I quite finished it. Now I have a yen to listen to it on an audiobook. That Aeon article is interesting.

Aug 04, 2021
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It's a good article, isn't it? The series is worth watching, I think xxx

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