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Book Title: War Music: An Account of Homer's Iliad|
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The author of the book: Christopher Logue
Edition: Faber & Faber
Date of issue: November 17th 2015
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 32.82 MB
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For the second half of his long life, Christopher Logue (1926-2011) - political rebel, inventor of the poster poem, pioneer of poetry and jazz - was at work on a very different project: a rewriting of Homer's Iliad. The volumes that appeared from War Music (1981) onwards were distinct from translations, in that they set out to be a radical reimagining and reconfiguration of Homer's tale of warfare, human folly and the power of the gods, in a language and style of verse that were emphatically modern. As each instalment, from Kings to Cold Calls, was published, it became clear that this was to be Logue's masterpiece.
Sadly, illness prevented him from finishing it. Enough, however, of his projected final volume, Big Men Falling a Long Way, survives in notebook drafts to give a clear sense of its shape, as well as some of its dramatic high points. These have been gathered into an appendix by Logue's friend and one-time editor, Christopher Reid. The result comes as near as possible to representing the poet's complete vision, and confirms what his admirers have long known, that Logue's Homer is one of the great poems of our time.
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Read information about the authorChristopher Logue, CBE (born 23 November 1926 in Portsmouth, Hampshire) was an English poet associated with the British Poetry Revival. He also wrote for the theatre and cinema as well as acting in a number of films. His two screenplays are Savage Messiah and The End of Arthur's Marriage. He was also a long-term contributor to Private Eye magazine, as well as writing for the Merlin literary journal of Alexander Trocchi. He won the 2005 Whitbread Poetry Award for Cold Calls.
His early popularity was marked by the release of a loose adaptation of Pablo Neruda's "Twenty Love Poems", later released as an extended play recording, "Red Bird: Jazz and Poetry", backed by a Jazz group led by Tony Kinsey.
One of his poems, "Be Not Too Hard" was set to music by Donovan Leach, and made popular by Joan Baez, from her 1967 album "Joan". Donovan's version appeared in the film "Poor Cow"(1967).
His major poetical work was an ongoing project to render Homer's Iliad into a modernist idiom. This work is published in a number of small books, usually equating to two or three books of the original text. (The volume entitled Homer: War Music was shortlisted for the 2002 International Griffin Poetry Prize.) He also published an autobiography called Prince Charming (1999).
His lines tend to be short, pithy and frequently political, as in Song of Autobiography:
"I, Christopher Logue, was baptized the year
Many thousands of Englishmen
Fists clenched, their bellies empty,
Walked day and night on the capital city."
He wrote the couplet that is sung at the beginning and end of the 1965 film A High Wind in Jamaica, the screenplay for Savage Messiah (1972), a television version of Antigone (1962), and a short play for the TV series The Wednesday Play titled The End of Arthur's Marriage (1965).
He also appeared in a number of films as an actor, most notably as Cardinal Richelieu in Ken Russell's 1971 film The Devils and as the spaghetti-eating fanatic in Terry Gilliam's 1977 film Jabberwocky.
Logue wrote for the Olympia Press under the pseudonym, Count Palmiro Vicarion, including a pornographic novel, Lust.
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