Tony Harrison : Poet of Radical Classicism ebook ISBN 9781474299336
This is the first book-length study of the classicism of Tony Harrison, one of the most important contemporary poets in England and the world. It argues that his unique and politically radical classicism is inextricable from his core notion that poetry should be a public property in which communal problems are shared and crystallised, and that the poet has a responsibility to speak in a public voice about collective and political concerns. Enriched by Edith Hall's longstanding friendship with Harrison and involvement with his most recent drama, inspired by Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris, it also asserts that his greatest innovations in both form and style have been direct results of his intense engagements with individual works of ancient literature and his belief that the ancient Greek poetic imagination was inherently radical.
Tony Harrison's large body of work, for which he has won several major and international prizes, and which features on the UK National Curriculum, ranges widely across long and short poems, plays, translations and film poems. Having studied Classics at Grammar School and University and having translated ancient poets from Aeschylus to Martial and Palladas, Harrison has been immersed in the myths, history, literary forms and authorial voices of Mediterranean antiquity for his entire working life and his classical interests are reflected in every poetic genre he has essayed, from epigrams and sonnets to original stage plays, translations of Greek drama and Racine, to his experimental and harrowing film poems, where he has pioneered the welding of tightly cut video materials to tightly phrased verse forms. This volume explores the full breadth of his oeuvre, offering an insightful new perspective on a writer who has played an important part in shaping our contemporary literary landscape.