This is a recreation of the life of Akhenaten, Nefertiti's husband, which tells the story of his reign from 1378 to 1362 BC. In spite of attempts to eradicate all traces of his reign, enough exists to tell a story of incest, heresy, androgyny and a massive cult of personality....
|Number of Pages||:||160 Pages|
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I like poetry but it really depends on the style and what the author is trying to convey as to whether I will enjoy it. Considering my rating it is easy to guess that I did not like the author's style or what she conveyed. Granted Akhenaten was likely a megalomaniac, I mean he started a singular deity religion in Ancient Egypt of all places. And yes many royal families throughout history, including AE, had incest and twisted family lines. But holy shit the way in which Porter wrote it all was disturbing. I can only imagine the faces I was making throughout the poems, which were crude and disturbed. It wasn't just merely the sex with his daughters (*vomit*) that was detailed, it was also the scenes between Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Porter's choice of vulgar language on top of an already disturbed focal character of Akhenaten was simply over the top and turned me off entirely. And on top of all this I did not find the poetry itself to be anything but mediocre the majority of the time.
if only I could write half as well! such a captivating writer!
I first read Porter for a university subject and I loved the visceral rawness and the sensuality of her poetry in The Monkey's Mask. Since then I've been collecting her five verse novels. I am a sucker for both Ancient Egypt and free verse poetry so this was a wonderful book to read.Porter uses a number of poems to tell of Akhenaten's obsessive love for Aten, his heretical decisions to oust the rest of the Egyptian pantheon, his love of Nefertiti and for his children. By the end of the novel his obsession has soured everything he touches and everything he has loved leading to incest, androgyny and failure as the Hittites advance. Porter claimed that Akenaten got under her skin and refused to let her go. By the last poem, some of that emotion gets to you;the workmen of the new kinghave arrived with chiselsand hammersthey have ordersto cut down my cityand cut out my namebut Rameses can't cut down the Sunor cut out all the birdsin the dawn skywho call and callmy nameand teach it to their gaping nestlingsAkhenaten. Akhenaten.Their wings ripple about my earsin raucous rainbows.Akhenaten. Akhenaten.Their eyes are pestering white prisms.Why does eternal lifemake us so ravenous?p155Like all of Porter's verse novels, Akhenaten gets better and better with rereads. What a dreadful loss to the literary world that Porter died so young.
This was the first verse novel I had ever read as a fresh faced 18 year old at Newcastle University, Australia in the mid 2000's. This work sunk under my skin, the words never left me; Porter became something of a literary hero of mine after this and I sometimes find myself rereading portions of this book all these years later since it reminds me, rather strangely, of the sameness of humanity, even across millennia and even when shrouded in strange ways of being.
This is possibly the weirdest book I have ever read.A telling of the life of Akhenaten in verse by Australian poet Dorothy Porter.Her arrangement of Ahkenaten's Hymn to the Aten is beautiful. But in her other poems I found the use of somewhat, and very obscene language, lessened my enjoyment of the poems.
I am a danceyou will learnI am the cliffyou will leapI am lover's breathyou will break offin my sweet handyou will come together on my hot breastyou will know meyou will know God. - p. 29 (By Royal Decree)*sigh* divine
I liked the verse novel format. Porter was a master of the long form poem.Many aspects of the story were interesting. I had some issues with the handling of the incestuous relationship between the pharaoh and his female relatives. (I believe this was commonplace in Ancient Egypt, but...)
This was Dorothy's first verse novel, and she maintained it was her best. I agree wholeheartedly.
Probably my favourite book. Beautiful, emotional, lovely.
I haven't thought about ancient Egypt in a while! Verse fiction is amazing, please recommend more verse fiction. Warning for child sexual abuse.