Bardagin um Troyuborg
Theodor Kallifatides makes a connection between the invasion of Troy in the Iliad and the people of a small Greek town occupied by the Nazis during World War II.
While bombs rain down, a teacher brings her students to shelter and tells them the tale of Hector and the other Trojans that defended Troy from Agamemnon, Achilles and Menelaos, who wanted to invade the city to take revenge for Menelaos, whose wife, the beautiful Helena, had fled to Troy with her lover, Paris.
An entire people went to war all in the name of a man's right to his wife.
The battles are bloody and brutal. Pure madness.
The story is simple but has a lot of depth. A particularly pertinent description concerns three resistance fighters who have killed a German officer. Only one resistance fighter manages to escape. In order to force the Greeks to name the resistance fighter who fled, the Germans decide to kill three randomly chosen Greeks every day until the resistance fighter has been captured. This takes place at the same time as the villagers in the Greek town are forced to live alongside Germans. The mayor of the town frequents the same café as the leader of the German soldiers. Life must go on, despite people being at war with each other.
The novel, as well as the Iliad, depicts the unbelievable madness of war.
The narrator is a fifteen-year-old boy, who sees the events unfolding and reflects on what he sees. He faithfully accompanies Dimitra, a girl he has always known, to school. But he is in love with the teacher. Nevertheless, he understands that this kind of love is forbidden, and he sees and understands that the teacher is also in love, but not with him. Instead, she is entangled in a love affair that is far more forbidden.