Given Iokaste's considerable appeal to the curious, it is surprising that no one has hitherto attempted such a project to my knowledge. It may be that previous eras were too fastidious about this transgressive material, or that no writers had the sheer audacity to undertake the project Grossack and Underwood pull off so well. Although they retell the Oedipus story from Iokaste's first-person perspective, their approach has a classic restraint worthy, yes, of their illustrious predecessor Sophocles.
No doubt some readers will be disappointed that this is not bodice-ripping pornography, although they can and do go further into the bedroom than Sophocles could. But, like their dramatic predecessor, they prefer to explore the psychology of the characters. And even more, they share the Greek culture's obsession with Fate.
The character of Jocasta in Oedipus Rex from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
The picture of Iokaste that emerges from the novel is that of a woman who was the sport of the gods from her youth, when the Tiresias oracle gave her a misleading prophecy as she offered herself to Prince Alphenor. As in the case of Titanic , there are probably few perusers of this text who will not know how this story goes coming into it. For the writers, hen, the task becomes the narrative journey, not the catastrophic arrival.
Grossack and Underwood do not disappoint: Iokaste's main character is a lovable victim and emotional train wreck who elicits our sympathy and concern as the noose of the gods tightens around her neck with the luxurious slow free-fall more readily available in the novel form than the drama probably why Hamlet was Shakespeare's longest play.
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My favorite side characters are Laius and Kreon. Grossack and Underwood do a marvelous job of extrapolating their psychologies from the scant dramatic evidence they have to work with. As a result, Laius becomes significantly less sympathetic than we might have remembered him, while Kreon elicits a more positive appreciation than we might recall from his presence in Antigone. As these examples suggest, this is a wonderfully nuanced novel that repays any previous knowledge of its subject matter - but never requires it. Given the narrative template, this is a novel more driven by its characters than by its potentially familiar plot for the modern reader although, as noted, Fate is really and appropriately behind it all.
But there are some great dramatic and suspenseful set pieces here as well, my favorite being the authors' deluxe expansion of the riddle contest offered by the Sphinx here linked explicitly with the cult of Dionysus. Then there are all the lovely throwaway references to the material culture of Bronze Age Thebes which subtly give us a living, breathing vision of the past down to its tastes and smells.
In short, Grossack and Underwood have written a smart and delightful book, economically told and well worth any reader's precious time. It would also make for a fabulous film, but that's another story. Here's hoping someone in Hollywood picks it up and reads it. Meanwhile, enjoy for yourself. Iokaste combines impressive scholarship with a timeless story to bring the world of Greek mythology to life.
Told from the title character's point of view, and taking place from her privileged childhood, through her ascension to the throne of Thebes, to her marriage to Oedipus and their subsequent downfall, this novel explores the heart of the tale: what led this woman to marry her son? Grossack and Underwood pose an answer to this question, while at the same time painting a convincing portrait of life in ancient Thebes. From the wild, unpredictable Maenads to court ritual to the lives of ordinary people, we see a richly detailed world that, at its emotional core, bears a great similarity to our own.
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The details kept me turning pages-what was the giant Sphinx who asked the riddle Oedipus answered to claim Iokaste's hand? For Iokaste is shown as a true heroine, ruling Thebes as a mighty queen while dealing with the impediments posed against any woman of power.
Iokaste retells this story from a fresh perspective, providing an entertaining and provocative re-visioning of this ancient tale. This novel will appeal to readers looking for the combination of the feminine perspective and riveting story-telling in books such as The Mists of Avalon. To see our novels at Amazon, available in either hardcopy or electronic formats, click on the covers below.
The Tapestry of Bronze is a series of interlocking novels set in ancient Greece , starting several generations before the Trojan War. Our series forms a tapestry, because the books tie together, though each novel focuses on one strand of story. And more are in the works! Then electronically download a sample at Amazon. Return to Home for Tapestry of Bronze.
Do you wish to contact us? Victoria Grossack and Alice Underwood tell the story of Iokaste's life, which is full of dramatic events.
Synonyms and antonyms of Antigone in the German dictionary of synonyms
Unlike the Greek tragedy, this book is told from the point of view of Iokaste and takes the tale many levels higher, revealing psychological subtleties within the personas of Iokaste and the characters surrounding her. As the novel opens, Iokaste must accept her fate. Her unnatural marriage must be punished. While she waits for death and the dawn, she tells her story. Prophesied to be the next and greatest queen of Thebes, young Iokaste quickly learns that to survive and excel as Queen, she must be quick-witted and wary of the prophets and the fickle gods. Despite her struggle to escape prophecy, Oedipus is born.
On one level, the film is structured as a play within the play. With a voice-over, the actors Marty New as Jocasta and Michael Potts as Oedipus question their own characters motivations. The playwright, a modern Euripides also portrayed by Potts , struggles to finish the play.
The film shows the playwright in the midst of the creative act of writing and shows him finding an appropriate ending to the play that satisfies his own scholarship. The playwright decides that the traditional version of the Oedipus story must be reversed and that Oedipus, Jocasta and Antigone will be reunited in a dance.
Eventually, the proscenium falls and the cast and crew are revealed for who they really are behind the scene: mothers, sisters, sons, friends. She has presented her work nationally and internationally at venues such as The Kitchen, P. Barbara Kilpatrick is a visual artist whose recent work has related to dance and performance, where her sculpture functions as set, costume and installation. Her work has also been included in group shows in museums and galleries, including the Trisha Brown Dance Company benefit exhibition at the Pace Gallery. She has worked with a number of choreographers through the New York region, and received, with Vicky Shick, a New York Dance and Performance Award Bessie for their body of collaborative work.
Melli Hoppe is the Artistic Director of Susurrus, an Indianapolis based experimental performance group. Melli has lead Susurrus in numerous site-specific productions, including: Sacred Spaces , which was selected as the top dance performance of by the Indianapolis Star, and most recently, Waterways, presented on the canal in downtown Indianapolis in October In , Michael is appeared in Grey Gardens, which opened on Broadway with critical acclaim. He also appeared as Lennon on Broadway.
But has Jocasta and Oedipus done enough to appease the Gods - no they have not. Soon the prophecies forecast for both Jocasta and her husband Oedipus began to unravel at an alarming rate - and the sacrifice now demanded of the Gods can no longer be put off - and the consequences are tragic. Not once was I tempted to put this book aside due to lack of interest - the story of Jocasta gradually builds until it reaches its climax in the last few chapters.
Her last full-time position was as a Senior Vice President in New York City for a reinsurance company, but she is currently writing full-time and living with her husband who is a professor at the University of Arizona. She was a regular columnist for Fiction Fix, writing monthly articles that have been used in several writing classes. She teaches writing courses at Coffeehouseforwriters on historical fiction, creating characters, and the levels of structure in fiction.
She also tutors mathematics, as solving problems in algebra and geometry make a nice break from creative writing. In , Victoria and Alice tied for first place in an international short story contest. After collaborating on several nonfiction pieces, they decided to apply their complementary strengths and perspectives to a work of fiction. Our series forms a tapestry, because the books tie together, though each novel focuses on one strand of story.
Related Iokaste (German Edition)
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