CHARACTERS ó La caverna de las ideas

CHARACTERS ☆ PLANTHIREINBATH.CO.UK ¸ José Carlos Somoza

CHARACTERS ☆ PLANTHIREINBATH.CO.UK ¸ José Carlos Somoza In classical Athens one of the pupils of Plato's Academy is found dead Suspecting this. Wildly original Bizarre but hypnotic and enthralling on every page There are two plotlines one the Straightforward story of murder in ancient Athens right after the Peloponnesian War in an ancient Greek manuscript by an anonymous author COUPLED WITH periodic footnotes by never named Translator with his comments feelings and reactions He feels the strange metaphors and similes in each chapter point to SOMETHING hidden in text Somoza uses a device he calls eidetic imagery repetition of metaphors or words which calls up images independent of the original text but giving extra layers of meaning Each chapter presents one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules not necessarily in orderThe Decipherer of Enigmas Heracles Pontor note the similarity of name to a modern day fictional detective physical description is similar too and Diagoras a philosophy teacher from Plato's Academy investigate murders The first victim a student from the Academy is supposedly killed by wolves while out hunting and his heart torn from his body In some sense the novel is also philosophical; Heracles represents REASON and Diagoras the IDEAThe Translator becomes obsessed with finding a key secret message and finally enters the story physically; the two plotlines converge Now the book takes a frightening turn; two classmates of the first victim are murdered or in one case is it suicide as well as a slave Our intrepid duo sets out to solve all four murders There is violence and a final confrontation The novel's a balance between Reason and the Platonic Idea Plato's Theory of Forms There's some of the cave allegory cf second paragraphCharacterization wasn't as important as the whodunit and the philosophy I liked the way the book was set up; the footnotes led me by the hand; and the symposium in Chapter 7 was most informative Sometimes I thought Somoza had boxed himself in but manages to escape with ingenious twists The Spanish title La caverna de las ideas I felt expressed better the content than the bland The Athenian Murders I recommend this book highly but don't read it at night

SUMMARY La caverna de las ideas

CHARACTERS ó La caverna de las ideas Ó In classical Athens one of the pupils of Plato's Academy is found dead Suspecting this wasn't an accident his teacher asks Herakles the Decipherer of Enigmas to investigate A second plot unfolds in parallel through the footnotes of the translator of the text A second plot unfolds in parallel through the footnotes of the translator of the text. Mildly interesting effort to weave a debate about Dionysian mania vs Platonic forms into a 'postmodern' mystery novel set in Athens after the Peloponnesian War Involves a translation theme

José Carlos Somoza ¸ 1 CHARACTERS

La caverna de las ideasWasn't an accident his teacher asks Herakles the Decipherer of Enigmas to investigate. In a blurb on the back cover a reviewer compares this book to Pale Fire and The Name of the Rose I would agree with that but with the ualification that Somoza's book is a lot less demanding of the reader's work Moreover I'd add another couple of titles that came to mind while reading this If on a Winter's Night a Traveller and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter A Novel perhaps also The Mezzanine and Mulligan Stew A Novel Readers who liked these metafictional works will likely enjoy Somoza's novel as wellSomoza's narrative is supposed to be a modern translation of an ancient Greek murder mystery although some will argue that Oedipus Rex was the first detective story but let's allow the author some latitude and stylistically it is a fairly good pastiche of modern translations of classical Greek literature even though at one point one of the characters uses the word umpteenth which for me broke the illusion for a momentI thought the first half of the book was really entertaining; my attention began to wander in the second half of it Perhaps because as I mentioned it does not reuire as much work from the reader as Pale Fire The problem I think is that after a few chapters you get accustomed to the metafictional device Somoza deploys in this book; at that point a lot of the tension goes out of the narrative It is worth finishing however not only to learn whodunit but also to see how events play out on the metafictional level of the text