Principe seems to be a writer for whom aesthetic considerations can, and should, be subordinated to political engagements, especially when the US is involved. Her small attempt at creating an early 1990s rendition of the Odyssey concentrates on the sudden eruption of the Persian Gulf War, but the perspective is fairly distant and relies in large part on the author's perceptions of the conflict as reported in the press rather than any real envisioning of the fighting itself. The Homeric framework is perfectly apt, of course, and Principe is able to use the rhetoric of the epic with some proficiency and a certain amount of grace (—I am Achilles / restless for a war. Unemployed. Wounded. Perhaps soon / to die a civilian death. This terrifies me—). But at no point is she able to make her subject appear worthy of the epic her work alludes to, and this discrepancy only heightens the sense—fairly clear from the start—that she has crafted a piece more out of a political than poetic attitude. "These boots were made for wartime, for mud, and piss, and trench lines, for weekend leave in the nearest town, for pillagin—. Well...they were cheap." We quickly get the idea; it's clear enough, and there's only one.
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