The Magazine

The Beauty Part

Searching for Helen in a thicket of prose.

Jul 22, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 42 • By AMY HENDERSON
Widget tooltip
Audio version Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Ruby Blondell’s concluding sentence is one of the clearest in the entire volume, as she argues that Helen’s persistence “as a powerful but elusive force” can be credited to ever-changing cultural projections about beauty, women, sex, and power: “Demonized, idolized, allegorized, or humanized, Helen is still here.” I wish she were more readily apparent in the rest of this work.

Amy Henderson is a cultural historian and museum curator in Washington.