Quando il mito perde i suoi dèi
La storia degli Atridi in House of Names di Colm Tóibín
Colm Tóibín’s novel House of Names proposes an engaging reinterpretation of the ancient myth of the Atreidae, which becomes an occasion for bitter reflections on political oppression and violence. It is at the same time a Bildungsroman of Orestes, whose childhood is protected against the violence of his mother and Aegisthus by his stay, together with two young friends, Leander and Mitros, in a totally isolated place, a house without time where ancient myths are still alive in the narrations of an old woman. This essay deals with Tóibín’s complex relationship with his ancient sources, that are sometimes directly referred to, while in other occasion they are freely manipulated with the introduction of new characters and a substantial redefinition of traditional ones, such as Iphigenia, Cytemnestra, Orestes, Electra and Aegisthus.