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Surviving Greek Tragedy Paperback – 31 Mar 2011
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About the Author
Robert Garland is Professor of Classics at Colgate University in the State of New York. He is the author of many books including The Greek Way of Life, The Greek Way of Death, The Piraeus, Introducing New Gods and The Eye of the Beholder.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 1 reviews
7 people found this helpful.
An excellent survey of the topic
on 25 November 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
It's not just any person who will be easily absorbed by the story of how the Greek tragedies we possess have come to be in our hands. But for those who have been living with the plays for some time, and have at least begun to wonder about not only what was lost but why these particular 32 Greek tragedies (including one satyr play) have survived --- and also, to be sure. for the student who is grudgingly attempting to assimilate this information under coercion--- Robert Garland provides an extremely gratifying account. There is no question that it is an extraordinary tale of survival: we have less than 10% of the tragedies by Aeschylus and Sophocles, and only a little more than that from Euripides, and none at all (apart from fragments, very few of which are of much use, and one anonymous tragedy, Rhesus, a work that used to be attributed to Euripides) from any other playwright---so far. Garland doesn't rule out the possibility that other plays might be found; but he gives us a vivid impression of what an extraordinarily improbable event that would be. It seems likely, though, that there is a pun intended by the title, for Garland is not only telling us about how the greek tragedies we have came to be extant (i.e., telling us how they survived); he is also, to some degree, offering a guidebook to help those who feel intimidatingly crushed by the exotic and unfamiliar form of Greek tragedy (i.e., telling us how to survive them). In this latter respect, Garland is an excellent guide. Unlike some academics, he writes clearly and fluidly, and while he can boast what is undoubtedly a masterful grasp of the great breadth of literature on this subject, he maintains a sense of humour, and has a good instinct for telling enough about a particular area to sate curiosity while moving swiftly enough that his narrative remains vivacious. In short, if you have any interest at all in this topic, you are bound to find this book rewarding.