Masterpiece of drama concerns the revenge Electra takes on her mother for the murder of her father. One of the best-known heroines of all drama and a towering figure of Greek tragedy.
Every era needs the classics on its own terms, so Sophocles' Electra, translated by Anne Carson (The Beauty of the Husband; Forecasts, Dec. 18, 2000), should prove very popular among newcomers and seasoned readers of the sublime dramatist's brutal drama, as well as among Carson's many fans. While Carson renders the book in her signature free verse, her major innovation is the phonetic preservation of Electra's "far from formulaic" screams: "OIMOI," "O TALAINA" and "PHEU PHEU" among them. As Carson writes in her excellent translator's preface, they are not stock ejaculations like "Alas!" or "Woe is me!," but "bones of sound" emitted by the daughter who finds herself cheering her mother's execution. Though Oxford's stock existentialist cover looks like something from the height of '50s abstract angst and the book's paper is pulpy, expect strong sales. ( Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.