Headshot for Helene Peet Foley

On May 1, 2022, Helene Peet Foley, Barnard’s Claire Tow Professor of Classics, published a book review on Anne Carson’s H of H Playbook. The review, titled “Reframing Tragedy,” examines Carson’s success in bringing conventional and novel approaches to generations of unremitting representation of the Greek mythological hero Herakles.

In combination with a comprehensive illustration of the classical background of Herakles, Professor Foley describes H of H Playbook’s strength as another translation of the classical Athens tragedian Euripides’ play. She also elaborates on Carson’s previous contributions in translation and literature and how they have shaped the formulation of H of H Playbook’s style. The review further manifests Playbook’s power to constantly merge past and present. This allows the translation to bear a self-consciousness about contradictory myths and tragic genres and generates shifts to possible links between Herakles’ story and modern, archetypal concepts such as capitalism, existentialism, Chernobyl-like disasters, and totalitarianism.