Ann Aspell, University of Vermont
Ann Aspell is in her final year of the University of Vermont's English Masters program. Her primary research interest is in the news/novel discourse of the long seventeenth century; she is also interested in culture theory. A book designer, she is co-founder of Chapiteau Press, which publishes poetry chapbooks.
'Blind Mouth': Christopher Logue's Adaptations of Homer's Iliad for the Page
In his adaptations of the Iliad - War Music and All Day Permanent Red -Christopher Logue makes use of contemporary sensibilities honed by film and video storytelling, allowing them to inhabit and revitalize components of the oral tradition for the page. Using the forms, rhythms, and diction of film scripts and television, Logue taps into the readers' experiences as viewers and uses them to awaken the sense of performance within the reading experience. At the same time, he subverts those visual expectations, creating scenes only to dissolve them—continually reminding readers of the preeminence of Homer's voice. In essence, Logue merges the repetitive components of art "in an age of mechanical reproduction" with those of the oral tradition. In doing so, he turns "Blind Mouth," Agamemnon’s epitaph for the auger Calchas, into a metaphor not only for the blind poet, but also for the disembodied voice on the page, finally delivering Homer's story of human vulnerability in a distant past in terms our own tenuous moment can fully appreciate.