Saturday, 6 October 2012
Myths Not Retold
Iliad: the Trojan War.
Odyssey: what happened to one Greek afterwards.
Aeneid: what happened to one Trojan afterwards.
According to CS Lewis:
the Homeric poems are Primary Epics, set during the heroic age;
Virgil's Aeneid is Secondary Epic, about a historical turning point;
Paradise Lost is Ultimate Epic, about the central turning point, earlier history from before the Creation and subsequent history until after the Judgement.
Since Virgil's turning point is the antecedents of Rome, we can locate Anderson's vast body of work in relation to the epics. It covers:
the fall of a pre-Trojan civilisation;
the Roman Republic;
the Fall of the Roman Empire;
the subsequent Dark Ages;
later, alternative and future periods.
Thus, a worthy addition to earlier literature.