A Los Angeles Times Best Book
All Day Permanent Red is the fourth book in Christopher Logue's brilliant and ongoing translation of Homer's Iliad. Logue's work in progress, a free-ranging, decidedly modern version of the epic that has been unfolding for decades, has been called "the best translation of Homer since Pope's" (The New York Review of Books).
In this volume of rugged, intense, descriptive verse, we witness the first clashes of the two armies. Here we encounter the doomed Hector, a lion-warrior, "slam-scattering the herd" at the height of his powers. Here we find the Greek army rising to its feet with the sound of "a raked sky-wide Venetian blind." And here we glimpse a single arrow's tunnel-like wake, "the width of a lipstick," as it cuts through a man's neck. Much like Homer himself, Logue is quick to mix the ancient and new, the sacred and profane, the lyrical and gruesome. Moreover, Logue's narrative poem occurs, as does Homer's, in a Troy that exists outside of time—a classical, eternal terrain.
Like no other translator or scholar of The Iliad, Logue exhibits a truly Homeric interest in, and sensitivity to, the universal or mythic truths of battle—and the absurdity and sublimity of war.