52 Books: Persians, Seven Against Thebes, and Suppliants

In addition to Infinite Winter, I’m shooting to read 52 books this year.  We got so many books this year,* and we’ve got so many books filling our bookcase dedicated to unread books.  So why not clear the clutter?

To help keep track of my 52 Book status, I’m keeping a book journel journal.  As I finish a book, I’ll scratch in a little note in the journal, and then take a scan of the journal page and post it here.  Here’s the first one, AeschylusPersians, Seven Against Thebes, and Suppliants.

This is a book I got last November and started during Thanksgiving.  I found The Persians a bit too dry for my tastes, and kind of lost interest in Seven Against Thebes when I remembered how much the Greeks hated showing actual events in their plays.**  Of the three plays, Suppliants was my favorite.  Poor King Pelasgos: even though I haven’t read the next two plays in the trilogy (The Egyptians and The Danaids), I know that poor dude is destined to get boned.  Also, read that play and tell me it doesn’t make you think of this song.

* There are 14 books on that list.  It was composed just before we left Ohio with a 15th book: Bill Bryson’s The Road to Dribbling.

** Seriously, they were all “Tell, Don’t Show.”  Don’t watch any modern productions of their plays.  Just read translations of the plays and you’ll see that all the major events always happen off-stage.  Best example: the eye-gouging “scene” in SophoclesOedipus Rex.  It doesn’t actually happen on stage.  I mean, this is, like, a whole other thing.  The Greeks never showed anything in their plays that we would now deem necessary for plot advancement and audience interest,*** but their epic poetry is some of the most up-front and graphic stuff you’ll ever read.  Concerned about video games causing teens to act violently?  Shit, bitch, read Book 16 in The Iliad and realize this was written over 2800 years ago.  Patroclus for the win, yo.

*** Good god, imagine what Sophocles would’ve done if he’d written Rogue One?….I’d still read it though.

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