Tony Harrison: Poems


Richard Eyre calls Harrison's 1990 play, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus "among the five most imaginative pieces of drama in the 90s". Jocelyn Herbert, famous designer of the British theatrical scene, comments that Harrison is aware of the dramatic visual impact of his ideas: "The idea of satyrs jumping out of boxes in Trackers is wonderful for the stage. Some writers just write and have little idea what it will look like, but Tony always knows exactly what he wants."[8]

Edith Hall has written that she is convinced that Harrison's 1998 film-poem Prometheus is "artistic reaction to the fall of the British working class" at the end of the twentieth century,[9][10] and considers it as "the most important adaptation of classical myth for a radical political purpose for years" and Harrison's "most brilliant artwork, with the possible exception of his stage play The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus".[9]

Professor Roger Griffin of the Department of History at Oxford Brookes University, in his paper The palingenetic political community: rethinking the legitimation of totalitarian regimes in inter-war Europe, describes Harrison's film-poem as "magnificent" and suggests that Harrison is trying to tell his audience "To avoid falling prey to the collective mirage of a new order, to stay wide awake while others succumb to the lethe of the group mind, to resist the gaze of modern Gorgons".[11]

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