Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
New Light on Tony Harrison$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Edith Hall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266519

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266519.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 03 April 2020

Lost in the Original: Tony Harrison as a Classicist Poet

Lost in the Original: Tony Harrison as a Classicist Poet

Chapter:
(p.29) 4 Lost in the Original: Tony Harrison as a Classicist Poet
Source:
New Light on Tony Harrison
Author(s):

Josephine Balmer

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266519.003.0004

How does a classical education benefit a contemporary poet and how might it impede their creative development? Tony Harrison’s engagement with classical literature is wide-ranging and diverse. He has translated many classical texts, both Greek and Latin, from Sophocles through Palladas to Martial. In addition, his own poetry is steeped in classical reference and reception, always ironically underscoring the paradox of a working-class scholar’s alienation from both the classical academy and his own class and family. Yet, as Josephine Balmer argues, these ‘divided voices’ are precisely what inform and elevate Harrison’s exceptional art as a classical translator, a form which thrives on ambiguity and slippage. Furthermore, his unparalleled skill in reversioning and reinterpretating canonical texts has led, in turn, to the maturity and confidence of his later collections, such as Laureate’s Block (2000) and Under the Clock (2005), bridging the gaps of time, class and memory. If Harrison’s dramatic works, such as The Trackers of Oxyrynchus, reveal how easily literary culture might be destroyed, then his poetry celebrates how, among the loss, there will always be gain.

Keywords:   Tony Harrison, Translation, Palladas, Martial, classical versions, contemporary poetry, classical reception

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.