Nancy Felson, Professor Emerita of Classics, UGA, will deliver a lecture entitled The Politics of Voice in Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, a contemporary British novel that retells the Iliad primarily from the perspective of Briseis, Achilles’ war prize, who recounts events she witnessed long after she experienced the sack of her city and her captivity in the Achaean camp at Troy.
Prof. Felson will present the 2018 novel and interpret its experimental narrative techniques, especially its juxtaposition, in Parts II and III, of a limited 3rd person narration with Briseis’ retrospective 1st person tale. What is the cognitive effect on the reader of such unusual narrative practices? Why did Pat Barker not allow Achilles a 1st person voice? And what does this 2018 novel of the #MeToo Moment offer readers and students of Homer’s Iliad? How do its perspectival shifts influence our assessment of heroism during the Trojan War and our evaluation of of Achilles and the other warriors?