Robin Rendle
• Oakland, California

The Loves of Achilles

Alberto Manguel in The Library at Night:

One of the lost plays of Sophocles is The Loves of Achilles, copies of which must have perished one after another, century after century, destroyed in pillaging and fires or excluded from library catalogues because perhaps the librarian deemed the play of little interest or of poor literary quality. A few words were, however, miraculously preserved. “In the Dark Ages, in Macedonia,” Tom Stoppard has one of his characters explain in his play The Invention of Love, “in the last guttering light from classical antiquity, a man copied out bits from old books for his young son, whose name was Septimius; so we have one sentence from The Loves of Achilles. Love, said Sophocles, feels like the ice held in the hand by children.”