H.D. was a student of ancient cultures and myths. She draws on this background to challenge the generally accepted view of Helen of Troy as a mere pawn in events culminating in the Trojan War. H.D.'s Helen is no pawn! No longer is she just an object of beauty, no longer is she just another one of the spoils of war. H.D. releases her from the ancient tomes, and what has emerged is a strong, growing, intelligent, and complex woman. The love triangle that includes Helen, Paris, and Achilles allows Helen the right to name, speak, read, decode, and translate - she is making meaning as a woman. The effect of this is a cultural displacement, and a dominant female power. Helen is no longer an object, she is now subject.
In this marvelous work H.D. is redefining, offering another perspective to an old tale. Helen claims to never have been in Troy - that the sightings of her there were illusion. So she is not responsible for the war - she is not to be used as a scapegoat. Helen finally emrges as the Phoenix - symbol of rebirth, resurrection:
that ancient enemy Sphinx
(Helen In Egypt, pg 94)
What do you think about this book?
Write a review and give your opinion and analysis!