Homer's stories of Troy are part of the foundations of Western culture. What's less well known is that they also inspired Ottoman-Turkish cultural traditions. Yet even with all the historical and archaeological research into Homer and Troy, most scholars today rely heavily on Western sources, giving Ottoman work in the field short shrift. This book helps right that balance, exploring Ottoman-Turkish involvement and interest in the subject between 1870, when Heinrich Schliemann began his excavations in search of Troy on Ottoman soil, and the battle of Gallipoli in 1915, which gave the Turks their own version of the heroic epic of Troy.
The power of legend is that it is never simply an old tale retold. Though the legend may be old, its meaning and influence is new in each retelling and for each new group of listeners.
Young provides here a “biography” of the greatest of the classical legends, the story of the fall of Troy. As he states in his book, the greatness of the legend does not depend on its relation to historical reality, but “lies rather in the beauty and variety it has called out of the creative imaginations of artists, from Homer down to modern times, artists who with varied skill and in many forms have expressed their individual genius.” Young's text is beautifully illustrated with examples of art inspired by the legend, from literature, painting, ceramics, tapestry, sculpture, and the opera, with fresh interpretations of their meaning. The legend of Troy has survived more than 3,000 years in the art of many-from Quintus of Smyrna to Tennyson to Christopher Morley, Guérin to Baroccio to Strauss-and archaeological excavations in our own time have only enriched the imaginations of contemporary artists and scholars.
In deepening our knowledge of classic texts and their changing interpretations over time, Young argues, we enhance our understanding both of the classics and of the successive civilizations they have influenced.
Francesca Abbate University of Chicago Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3601.B357T76 2012 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
A meditation on the nature of betrayal, the constraints of identity, and the power of narrative, the lyric monologues in Troy, Unincorporated offer a retelling, or refraction, of Chaucer’s tragedy Troilus and Criseyde. The tale’s unrooted characters now find themselves adrift in the industrialized farmlands, strip malls, and half-tenanted “historic” downtowns of south-central Wisconsin, including the real, and literally unincorporated, town of Troy. Allusive and often humorous, they retain an affinity with Chaucer, especially in terms of their roles: Troilus, the good courtly lover, suffers from the weeps, or, in more modern terms, depression. Pandarus, the hard-working catalyst who brings the lovers together in Chaucer’s poem, is here a car mechanic.
Chaucer’s narrator tells a story he didn’t author, claiming no power to change the course of events, and the narrator and characters in Troy, Unincorporated struggle against a similar predicament. Aware of themselves as literary constructs, they are paradoxically driven by the desire to be autonomous creatures—tale tellers rather than tales told. Thus, though Troy, Unincorporated follows Chaucer’s plot—Criseyde falls in love with Diomedes after leaving Troy to live with her father, who has broken his hip, and Troilus dies of a drug overdose—it moves beyond Troilus’s death to posit a possible fate for Criseyde on this “litel spot of erthe.”
Why have some working women succeeded at organizing in spite of obstacles to labor activity? Under what circumstances were they able to form alliances with male workers? Carole Turbin explores these and other questions by examining the case of Troy, New York, which in the 1860s produced nearly all the nation's detachable shirt collars and cuffs. Troy's collar laundresses were largely Irish immigrants; their union was officially the nation's first women's labor organization, and one of the best organized. Turbin's study develops new perspectives on gender and shows that women's family ties are not necessarily a conservative influence but may encourage women's and men's collective action.
"By going 'beyond the conventional wisdom' about gender, class, and ethnicity, [Turbin] has found ways to tell us more about the nineteenth-century collar workers of Troy than we possibly could have imagined discovering a decade ago." -- Choice