Spring 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 2 Nonfiction |

Two Cities: On the Iliad

And, through the palace, mothers wild with fright Ran to and fro or clung to doors and kissed them. VERGIL, Aeneid (Fitzgerald) Far from fishing, far from the cutting of timber to build, far from hunting and from the raising of stone walls, far from the tending of flocks, far from plowing and irrigation and the buzzing of flies over pails of spring milk, far from the washing of clothes and the weaving of cloth and the tending of children—as Simone Weil put it, far from hot baths—the action of the Iliad takes place. It takes place also far from us in time; but as Homer's similes lock together the gaffing of a fish and the spearing of a man, flies over milk and soldiers over a corpse, Robert Fagles in his recent translation (1990) holds us very close to Troy and its blood-soaked plain and will not let us go. Homer's audience is not made up of soldiers; the similes are for its benefit, so that someone who knows what a dazed fawn is may also know what twelve young men d

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To Peace

By Suzanne Gardinier

And, through the palace, mothers wild with fright Ran to and fro or clung to doors and kissed them. VERGIL, Aeneid (Fitzgerald) Far from fishing, far from the cutting of […]

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