sábado, 3 de dezembro de 2011

Christopher Logue - Obituário

"Now hear this" - the three words that the poet Christopher Logue, who has died [ontem] aged 85, used to open his epic poem War Music were aptly chosen. In his stark modern rendition of The Iliad, the ancient Greek poet Homer's account of the siege of Troy, the invocation to the muse commands the listener's attention with an insistence that points to familiarity with military life. 

That was one of the worlds that Logue encountered in his efforts to sustain an existence as a poet. He also wrote for the film director Ken Russell, for the Royal Court Theatre in London, jazz poetry ballads, columns for Private Eye and a pornographic novel. As a political activist, he protested with Bertrand Russell against nuclear weapons; but before then, he had served as a soldier in the Black Watch - and spent 16 months in an army prison. 

It was radio producer Donald Carne-Ross's invitation to re-imagine The Iliad for BBC radio that set Logue on the extended journey of creativity that was to be his principal legacy. Carne-Ross dismissed his lack of Greek as no hindrance to the task, and Logue set about using existing translations - or "cribs" as he called them – from Alexander Pope, George Chapman and others, as well as literal versions from Carne-Ross himself. The prototype War Music, then entitled Achilles and the River, was broadcast in 1959. It provoked interest and he tackled a second section, which he called The Death of Patroclus (1963) and got recorded on an LP with the help of Douglas Cleverdon - who had produced Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood for BBC radio – and actors Vanessa Redgrave and Alan Dobie. It bears all the marks of the work's eventual five print volumes - War Music (1981), Kings (1991), The Husbands (1995), All Day Permanent Red (2003) and Cold Calls (2005). Apart from a hiatus caused by depression in the 1970s, the work occupied the rest of his life.

ler o obituário completo aqui.

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