Author Archives: Stephanie Suh

About Stephanie Suh

I write stuff of my interest that does not interest anyone in my blog. No grammarians, no copy editors, no marketers, no cynics are welcomed.

It all started with an apple: ‘The Tale of Troy’, by Roger Lancelyn Green – review

The Tale of TroyThe Tale of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The father of western narrative history Herodotus defines the Heroic Age of the Five Ages of Man (which, by the way, Ovid interestingly omitted in his Roman version of the Ages of Men) as the last age of Heroes becoming Demi-gods in the afterlife. It was also the glamorous age of wondrous gala when divine immortals hobnobbed with and even made love with common mortals sired half-god, half-mortal. The Tale of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green bears a witness in your heart to the terrific Heroic Age disappearing into the mystic yonder of the Elysium Fields with vivid authorial accounts of evoking the fascinating images of the heroes, gods, goddesses, nymphs, and mythological beasts, all embroiled in the arena of historical war where Omega isn’t really the end but the beginning of a new Alpha in every sense of existence, life.

Drawn on a compendium of classical narratives of ancient writers, principally Homer’s Iliad, Green retells the beginning and end of Trojan War, reprises the scenes of the heroic characters and capricious Immortals, and remasters the thematic theater of dramas so appealing to our contemporary minds that the story collapses a great divide of realms of heaven and earth, of the ancient and the modern, with his genius story-telling skills as an erudite but affable raconteur. Green takes you to the farthest possible to the Christ-like titan Prometheus punished for his divine compassion for mankind to the wedding banquet of Menelaus and Helen in Sparta where the goddess of discord Eris first presented an apple of discord, to Paris of Troy happily living with Oenone, a mountain nymph, on Mount Ida, to the Greek Camp outside the Wall of Troy where Agamemnon and Achilles were having a row over their beautiful Trojan female captives, and to Odysseus’s proverbial 10-year journey back to his Ithaca. Then the tale of Troy regenerates more stories about the fates of the characters following the end of the epic war, which leads to the dawn of the Iron Age, the Age of Man, where history as what we are textually familiar with, which is still ongoing like Odysseus’s journey to the destined purpose.

The Tale of Troy, which is as a matter of fact focused on the last few weeks in the final year of the war, is a literary equivalent of Matryoshka, a frame story embedded in manifold stories that surprise you with a jolly expectation of ‘what next?” Thus, it has no occasion for boredom as a result of the pedantic display of archeological artifices, ostentatious authority of scholastic knowledge usually associated with classical texts. That said, you should not make a rash judgment to regard this book as an abridged version of the great classical literature to be found in the aisle of Children’s book section in booksellers. Instead, it is Green’s altruistic intention to propagate the legacy of Mankind and cherish it as a great cultural endowment to the posterity of the forefathers of human enterprise by sharing his erudition of the Classical in universally comprehensive language with extraordinary vividness and superb narrative skills.

This book puts Green on the same pedestal as William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson in the literary tradition of adapting source texts to works of their own. This book is a magical casement of the misty past told by a Homeric storyteller of our modern time who will take you to where the ancient ocean sends forth the breeze of the shrill Aegean Sun to let you sail an imaginary voyage with the Greek Kings and the Trojan refugees, while the Olympian gods are watching you from Mount Olympus.

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vertigo of words

Stokes_The-Passing-Train_WEB_cover

Words inviting, the eyes accepted

the spirit willing, the heart exalted

the mind laboring, the brain revolted

against the lust of learning to be learned;

Woe was to her as her will yet essayed

Amid the vertigo of cogitation whirled

Like a never-ending merry-go-around

Swiveling her head in pandemonium.

 

gentle giant

unnamed

 

A gentle giant in the maze of darkness

Sees the darkest corruption of the heart

alloyed in the putrid puss of proud violence

Writhing his pulsation of life like a serpent

Twisting the veins that carry life to his breath

Pounding the dome of his sovereign palace

In a morbid frisson of the ecstatic dance of death

Amid the cries of the man in a maze of disgrace

Unarmored, unguarded, unprotected, unheard

As the rampant madness of murder with passion

Possesses the man with the corrupt heart blinded

By outgrown white heat of hatred with unreason.

 

P.S.: It would have been my first day of returning to the office after the partial end of stay-home order in California had my brother not told me of a civil unrest situation in Downtown LA where my job was located; the subway station I always use was closed, and a curfew would be enforced in LA Counties starting from 6:00 PM, which would affect my returning home via trains.

Behind all this commotion lies another intermittently continuous police brutality exercised against the socially disenfranchised or marginalized – or to put it more blatantly –  invisible, and therefore ignorable. The demonstrations were egged on by the inhumanly aggravated handling by the police of George Floyd, a former promising college basketball student who had eked out living by working as a security guard until he was laid off due to Covid-19 lockdown.

I don’t care what Floyd’s past sins are. I don’t need to know his character assessment to reason the initiation of Floyd’s arrestment by the police in the first place. What I see from the video of his undignified death posted on the New York Times attests to the manifestation of how prejudice aided by the unbridled zealous passion of the heated moment can lead to the destruction of humanity. The more I watch the tragedy, the more I see the man’s pathos and the oppressor’s inhumanity.  How could you do that? This alone matters to me. Hence this poem is my elegy to Mr. Floyd. 

the shadow of a dream

Dear Reader,

Hey, there! Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my post. And if you express it by pressing the Like button into the bargain, my spirit will surely be uplifted from the rut of my so-called life. Also, if you are further intrigued by my e-book recently published on Amazon Kindle and drop just a few lines of your thoughts about the story upon reading (but no words of derision or sarcasm), I will feel like a millionaire without the actual sort of money in my bank account.

Well, it’s been two weeks or so since I published the e-book on Kindle, but a reception reminds me of the frightfully cold winter of New York City I have experienced. No one seems to read even the first page thereof according to my Kindle Direct stats. Surely, a good book will find its readers without eye-catching promotions or pitiful solicitations for readership based on sympathy. But honestly, I don’t feel comfortable canvassing readership by either of the means. And yet, since I am a girl of contrasts, my ambition for wide recognition of my work refuses to be humble and thus commands my unwilling spirit to write this letter to you.

It’s only 57 pages in total, so the book won’t take much of your precious time. Just click on the below book cover with one touch of your fingertip, and it will lead you to the place where the story begins via wondrous witchcraft. Many thanks for reading with my whole heart!

Best,

Stephanie 

wandering star

1

A puerile quest for a mirage, he rebukes

A pristine request of the heart, she decries

and begins a Ballard of a plain girl unknown;

Since her star in the Milky Way lost

its trail of Manifest Destiny shining the brightest,

the heiress bereft of her heavenly bequest

Without a speck of stardust has not been

As others were – she has not seen

As others saw – she has not known

As others knew- she still can not find

Where the tides of the ocean by wind

Arise, rush, roll, and reach with the surge

The silent silverly soil with the urge

When the lost high star finds her at last

And returns her overdue gifts of the best.

P.S. I feel intimately acquainted with Charlotte Bronte, her fictional alter ego Jane Eyre, and Janice Sessions, the plain girl created by Arthur Miller in their quiet deportment, delicate feminity, sentimental loneliness, and plaintive want of beauty. They are, in fact, my spiritual sisters in whom I can confide my inmost feelings, repressed emotions, and provocative thoughts guarded by my own conceptions against the acerbic opinions of the brutish, insensitive rabble. Nevertheless, the aforesaid sisters all had the breakthroughs that led them to fortune, luck, happiness however it might have lasted or whatever they might have been. I feel that I am kept away from anything wonderful or even remotely felicitous ever happening to me by some unseen forces of godly or evil beings. Alas, woe is to me! Shakespeare believed that our lives are governed by the stars above us and that there are tides in the affairs of man, which taken at the right time, they will lead man to fortune. What with such cold reception of my first published e-book and what with my regret of having published it at first, I wonder when I can meet my tides and sail away into the wide ocean to reach the land of my destiny.

Dear Reader: Hey, there! Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my post. And if you express it by pressing the button into the bargain, my spirit will surely be uplifted from the rut of my so-called life. And if you are further intrigued by my e-book recently published on Amazon Kindle and drop just a few lines of your thoughts about the story upon reading (but no words of derision or sarcasm), I will feel like a millionaire without the actual sort of money in my bank account. It’s only 57 pages in total, so the book won’t take much of your precious time. Just click on the below book cover with one touch of your fingertip, and it will lead you to the place where the story begins via wondrous witchcraft. Many thanks for reading with my whole heart! Best, Stephanie