Laurie Maguire


On her book Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood

Cover Interview of March 16, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“She is the literary equivalent of the Mona Lisa’s smile: absence is her essence.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Helen’s beauty is ‘excessive’ or ‘insufficient.’  These binaries are attributed to beauty but they are also, as it happens, properties of narrative.  Plenitude and lack are common to both, and the result is the same: desire.  In life we call it longing; in narrative it is called suspense.”

On the second:

“Narrative detail is the literary equivalent of the dermatological itch, where one scratch of inflamed skin is too many and one hundred is never enough.”