I Am Pan­darus

South African Country Life - - Books -

My knowl­edge of the story of Troilus and Cres­sida (Cri­seide or Criseyde de­pend­ing on whose do­ing the telling) is lim­ited. I know it’s a Greek mytho­log­i­cal tale of the Tro­jan Wars that Shake­speare and Chaucer, among oth­ers, opted to in­ter­pret each in his own way. So that Criseyde had an un­cle called Pan­darus and that he was a cham­pion archer had es­caped me. As it might you. But this need not im­pede your en­joy­ment of Heyns’ lat­est ti­tle – be­cause, while as a for­mer pro­fes­sor of English and an award-win­ning nov­el­ist, he has im­mersed him­self in lit­er­a­ture of all per­sua­sions and eras, and writes in a style that’s witty, ac­ces­si­ble and enor­mously ‘now’.

His Pan­darus, al­beit in a rather mer­cu­rial fash­ion, has made a reap­pear­ance back on Earth with a view to set­ting his story straight. He ap­pears, in a Lon­don gay bar of all places, to a jilted pub­lisher who he is de­ter­mined must pub­lish his book. Heyns de­scribes his ver­sion of the T&C story as ‘promis­cu­ously anachro­nis­tic’ tak­ing a ‘clas­si­cal-me­dieval-El­iz­a­bethan amal­gam and ap­ply­ing a twenty-first cen­tury per­spec­tive to it… of­fer­ing in all hu­mil­ity, a Troilus and Criseyde for a scep­ti­cal age.’ High­brow? Not re­ally, just en­joy the ride – and if you get lost there is thought­fully an al­pha­bet­i­cal char­ac­ter list for ref­er­ence from Achilles to Zeus. But you can make up your own mind about who Pan­darus re­ally was – or is. Au­thor: Michiel Heynes Re­viewer: Nancy Richards

Pub­lisher: Jonathan Ball ISBN: 978-1-86842-775-8 Price: R250 Give­away Code: PAN­DARUS

Au­thor: Ishay Goven­der-Ypma Re­viewer: Alma Loub­ser Pub­lisher: Hu­man & Rousseau Price: R400 ISBN: 978-0-79817-237-0 Give­away Code: CURRY

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