Eurydice never was the slightest use to anyone when she was alive. No poet, writer, or composer has ever succeeded in making the living Eurydice interesting. The entire point of her existence is to furnish Orpheus with an occassion for song -- to provide him with his most powerful inspiration, the source of a supreme masterpiece, a work of art stronger than death. But only the dead Eurydice can do that. Orpheus's mistake is to rescuscitate her; the revived Eurydice, querulous and uncomprehending, is nobody's idea of a good time. Fortunately for everyone, she doesn't last long.
I don't actually agree with the assessment, and think it likely speaks more about Halperin than Orpheus (surely the sadness of Eurydice fading from her husband's untrusting, backward gaze counts for something?), but I like the way he reverses the traditional reading of the loss. His essay is quite good, and I'll post more about it and the collection soon. Right now I'm reading the galleys in my role as blurbiste.