merlie

Anyway, if you’re interested in both Classics and LBGT literature, then I would very seriously urge you to put down The Song of Achilles and pick up An Arrow’s Flight by Mark Merlis. It’s a fantastic retelling of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, a tragedy in which the son of Achilles, Pyrrhus, is manipulated by the callous warmonger Odysseus into stealing a prophesied weapon from the incurably wounded Philoctetes so that the Greeks can conquer Troy. In Mark Merlis’ version, Pyrrhus is a young gay prostitute, the Trojan War is one of the many vague cruel expectations of heroic hypermasculinity, Odysseus is a ruthless 1980s politician who sees the gay community as political scapegoats, and Philoctetes’ incurable wound is HIV.

It’s not the sort of dreamily romantic fanfiction I think most of us expect from LBGT-revisionist retellings of the Classics (which stories I do enjoy! and which stories I think most definitely do have a place & a purpose!), but it is a frank and unflinching examination of the USA’s gay community during the AIDS crisis, as viewed through the clever lens of Greek tragedy. I seriously recommend that Classics students with an interest in LBGT history check it out. General content warnings include explicit sex, slurs, and homophobia & serophobia.

Bruno & Pol: Bruno moves to Rome

 Philip & Lukas: Lukas is shot 

 Mickey & Ian: Writers will ruin it 

Connor & Oliver: Still broken up

 Even & Isak: Too much stuff to even count 

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