Kalliope Muse speaks to me

Emigrée from GR

The Fall of Troy

The Fall of Troy - Peter Ackroyd I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. It felt like flying, may be because I practically read it in the course of two medium-length flights.As there are many good reviews of this book, I will not extend myself too much.Ackroyd is a master teller. He polishes the fascination that his amateur archeologist Heinrich Obermann (a.k.a. Henrich Schliemann) feels for anything Homeric to a degree of brilliance that it naturally reflects back from Obermann himself. Those people living around him, or visiting him or spying on him are drawn by his visions and enthusiasm. This fascination proves contagious to the readers too.The plot is also ingeniously handled. The development of Obermann’s personality simultaneously spins its own threads of destiny that will lead, necessarily, to his tragic fate. But I think the final brooch to Ackroyd’s abilities goes to his skill in giving different voices to different characters. Their speech portrays their personality. Not many writers have this chameleonic ability with their pen. Julian Barnes is one of them. Simone de Beauvoir, however, failed.The novel renewed my interest in the Troy and Schliemann excavations. I already have sitting on top of my piano a framed postcard of the so called “Agamemnon mask”, but as soon as I arrived back home after my flights/reading, I switched on my computer and browsed through the internet checking fiction with fact and looked for further readings. This is the Agamemnon that, poor thing, has to listen to my piano practice.Navigating through the web of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, it is immediately apparent what an extraordinary person Heinrich Schliemann was. Amongst other documents, some of his diaries are preserved. These are written in several languages, depending on where he was writing them. We have his texts in German, French, English, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Arabic, Russian, Dutch, Polish and Turkish. These multifaceted written records can be seen as a proxy to his multifaceted life, abilities and personality.But if one wants to check whether Ackroyd’s eccentric Obermann and his idiosyncratic understanding of Archaeological practices is an appropriate impersonation of Schliemann, the best is to look at the picture of Sophia (could she have had a better name?), wearing the beautiful and becoming treasures found by her husband in his excavations.Can one have any doubts?

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