THE LIBATION by Edmund Keeley


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The past and present alternate for an indirect handling of an inverted drama-and if the theme has its ancestry in ancient Greece, the setting is modern Macedonia where the sins of a father, American Thomas Gammon, are visited upon his unacknowledged children. Now, as Helen and Timothy Gammon, who had made a childhood pact to marry, are together again after the war- the background to this forbidden relationship is cumulatively revealed. Helen is the child of Thomas Gammon and Cassandra, the wife of his caretaker- Achilles- and the result of a casual lust; while Timothy is also the son she bore him- to gratify his paternal pride, once his wife lay dying. The daughter he had permitted her to keep- the son he had appropriated as his own, and, in order to keep them apart, he had attempted to marry Helen off- to an older man. Murdered by Achilles- for money, not revenge, Gammon does not live to face the bitter judgment of his son- and it is Helen who redirects Timothy toward their mother with a new sense of obligation and affiliation.... Obliquely handled at times, this is a muddied drama of transgression and in a sense curiously interesting. Limited.

Publisher: Scribner