So, the other day kormantic asked me if I'd read The Secret History by Donna Tartt. When I said I hadn't, she convinced me to A. read the book and B. do a Classics beta for the fic she'd written about it.
I'm glad I did both. The novel is a seductive combination of exquisite prose and soap-opera-esque plotting about a class of Greek scholars at college. It's a mystery. It's a tragedy. It's a psychological thriller. It's nothing like my own uni Classics experience, but it made me long to be back in class, reading Homer and Euripides and Horace and even Cicero.
kormantic's fic, Artemis, Apollo, Orion, tells part of the story we see the shape of in the novel but never quite the whole picture. It must be read, but if you've not read the novel, read that first as the fic will spoil all the plot points.
I should note that kormantic's remark about my arduous beta labour is vastly overstated. Mostly, I said things like "use 'Athene' instead of 'Athena'" and gaped enviously at her staggering vocabulary, keen insight, and finely crafted prose.
As I'm now in a Greek frame of mind, here's a fragment of Sappho, both translated and transliterated by me.
Eros d'etinaxe moi
phrenas, os anemos kat oros drusin empeton.
Eros shook my heart, like the wind from the mountains rushing down through the oaks.
She had a way with words, don't you think?