📕Ali Smith's 'The Story of Antigone' is luminously written for young readers. The plot follows Sophocles's version; the Oedipus's daughter, Antigone resists the tyrant Creon in order to bury her dead brother Polynices, who was left outside as a war criminal. In most of Smith's novels, she anatomises the reality, gets under the skin of our times and brings lights on our paths by employing impressive interplay of ideas and images between past and present; actual and hypothetical; classic literature and overly popular culture; collective and individual. And yet, in 'The Story of Antigone', she avoids kaleidoscopic complexity and directly spotlights one single figure, Antigone, who was 'born to join in love, not to hate'. ‘Love doesn't care about money, love is much hotter than heat. Whether the wars lost or won, it's love that'll never be beat. Love has no rhyme or no reason, love makes sane people go mad. Love is as wide as all seas, and its bigger than Mum or than Dad. Love wins all games and all wars, fought here or below or above. Nothings as forceful a source, not anything, nothing, like love.' (p.68.)
p.s. I recently learnt that Ali Smith started her career as a comedy writer at my dear 💚Cambridge Footlights, one of the funniest revue companies that I know.
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