Book #2 – It Made Sense at the Time by Ursula Vernon
I decided that with my birthday/Christmas Amazon gift certificates I would purchase some things by people whose work I usually enjoy for free. I’ve been following Ursula Vernon’s work via LiveJournal for almost as long as I’ve had a LiveJournal. Therefore, many of these stories are fairly known to me. But not all of them. And it’s fun looking at a snapshot of an artist at a certain point in her career. This book was produced before Vernon’s children’s books were published and before her divorce. In all, it’s a neat look at a very quirky artist. You can sample more of Ursula Vernon’s work at Red Wombat Studio.
Book #3 – The Cure at Troy, a version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes by Seamus Heaney
This is the companion to The Burial at Thebes. Okay, not really. The Cure at Troy was written in 1990 and The Burial at Thebes in 2004, but they are Heaney’s only plays and in some ways they do cover the same ground.
The Cure at Troy is about personal morality versus "good of country." How much should you sacrifice one for the other? Is it possible to balance the two successfully? These are questions that Heaney revisits in his version of Antigone nearly a decade and a half later.
Writing-wise, the voices didn’t seem as rich as they were in The Burial at Thebes. I’m going to guess that this is somewhat due to Heaney advancing as a writer, but also because Philoctetes is a lesser known work. In the introduction to The Burial at Thebes, Heaney describes the need to set a new version of Antigone apart, and that probably led to more interesting character voices.