When his beloved wife, Eurydice, dies, Orpheus, the world's greatest musician, journeys to the Underworld to win her back, but when he loses her forever, his grief destroys his musical talents, in a beautifully illustrated rendition of the tragic Greek myth.
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Grade 9-12-- A masterly tribute to a timeless myth, this book is both visually stunning and undeniably problematic. There is nothing con troversial about the text, which employs opera lyrics and rises to poetic expression itself in places. Mikolaycak focuses on the poignant rather than the tragic possibilities of the story: this Orpheus loses Eurydice again through misjudgment rather than doubt, and his death is almost accidental, rather than the revenge of the gods. (Other interpretations are touched on in an instructive two-page note, followed by a bibliography and discography.) The volume is a triumph of art and design. Dusky matte pages set off white type and white-edged illustra tions. Both Maxfield Parrish and Caravaggio provide artistic precedents, while some uncon ventional color and composition underscore originality even in the allusions. The pictures are romantically beautiful, but also bold and striking. As befits the textual and artistic sources, however, the realistically rendered figures are all nude. While the warmly toned bodies are idealized and the nudity is ``taste ful,'' doubtless the presence of breasts and but tocks (not to mention the bloody death-scene) will banish the book from some shelves. That would be a shame: at the very least these mag nificent pictures might lure young adult read ers into the depth and resonance of Greek myth. --Patricia Dooley, University of Wash ington, Seattle
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1992. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110152588043
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J). LIBRARY BINDING. Book Condition: New. 0152588043 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0967934