Does a 2,500-year-old author still hold moral copyright on the main character?According to the back cover of my paperback, The Song Of Achilles is “an exciting, sexy, violent Superman version of the Iliad.” That sounds good to me. It sounds, in fact, just like the actual Iliad, but that’s not to say there isn’t room for a new version. Or so I thought until we started out on this month’s discussion of the book.Things started tamely enough with Mojorisingkc saying:”I read Homer in college and wonder always at what fiction writers can bring to his legacy. Certainly, Achilles wanders through The Iliad in something of a funk. It would be good to see a new take on his story.” But then, Ian Johnston replied: “Please no more Iliad. Homer’s epic is not a sick poem.”Taking things a stage further, El Quixote wrote: “Pre-empting hysterical propagandists, if it’s not in Homer, it’s not Achilles.”This I find surprising. I wouldn’t dare join the 2,500-year-old war about the authorship of the Iliad. But I don’t think I’m rocking the boat too much by going along with the consensus that the poem was handed down orally before it was written down. So whether or …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books