Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: The Theater of War

The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today
Brian Doerries
Literature, psychology

Brian Doerries sees things in the classical tragedies that the authors never intended, and he ignores things that they would have thought crucial. That's not a knock on Doerries, much less on the playwrights. If anything, it's a compliment. Great literature is great, in part, because it transcends its original time and place.

Having said that, The Theater of War is a rather shallow book. It's interesting on the level of memoir, but it provides little in the way of either analysis or synthesis. Doerries is doing good work by presenting Greek tragedies to, among others, PTSD-vulnerable vets; surely there's something to say that surpasses the magazine-article level.

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