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Fall of Troy It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten year Trojan War2 In his absence it is assumed he has died and. I have read The Odyssey three times The first was not really a read but of a listen in the true oral tradition During embroidery class one of us young girls on the verge of entering the teens would read a passage while the rest were all busy with our eyes and fingers our needles and threads All learning to be future Penelopes crafty with their crafts cultivated patient and loyal And all wivesThe second read was already as an adult That time I let myself be led by the adventures and imagination of the ‘resourceful’ one Relishing on the literary rhythm of the hexameters I particularly enjoyed the epithets used by the bards to keep the attention of the listeners Dawn of the rosy fingers was my favourite By then my embroideries were far away from my mindThis third time I read it in preparation for tackling Joyce’s take on Homer And this time with a detached stance I have been surprised by the structure of the work the handling of time and the role of narration And those aspects I take with me in this third readingOf the twenty four books the first four or Telemachiad are preliminary Acting as an overture they take place not too long before the main action The following four are another preamble which take place roughly at the same time as the previous four The son and the father are getting ready to meet almost at the end of twenty years of their separation with ten at the war and ten coming backThen and this was my surprise what I always thought of as the core of the Odyssey the magical adventures with the Cyclops and Polyphemus the Lotus Eaters the Sirens Circe and the trip to the Underworld the Laestrygonias Scylla and Charybdis the Sun God etc forming what is called the Apologoi are a very small part of the book All of these eventful episodes take place along three years before the seven that Odysseus is amorously trapped by Kalypso And these are narrated after the fact by Odysseus himself in just four chapters chapters nine to twelve So to what in my mind was the meat of the Odyssey is only 17% of the book And if one recalls what a great deceiver Odysseus can be one could always wonder at these fablesThe rest the remaining twelve chapters or half of the book is the actual HomecomingWhat I have realized now is that The Odyssey is really about this Homecoming And that is what we witness directly All the enchanted adventures are told tales Odysseus as the bard chanting his own stories in the court of the Phaeacians A supreme teller since through his fables he has to build the image of the hero that his possibly dangerous audience see and do not see Odysseus as myth and myth maker No wonder his epithet of ‘the resourceful one’If the Homecoming had previously stayed in my mind as just an expected end in which all the invective and riveting elements are drearily put at an end as if one could already close the door and leave the one I have read now surprised me by its dramatization A different craft is at stageThe bard enacts the process of Justice performing through an act of Revenge There is no layered telling of the tale In the last half of the poem the pace and complexity of the various elements as they converge in the palace to play out divine retribution in which success does not seem assured not even to the great Odysseus who knows he has Athena’s support has seemed this third time round magisterialAnd it is Penelope the patient the apprehensive the one who for twenty years has protected her mistrust with her weaving the one who with her threads offers the needed opportunity that the resourceful hero is at pains to find When she announces that she is about to end to the tapestry that has become her life the beggar can then put also an end to the agonyCrafted Homecoming

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ὈδύσσειαHis wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors called Proci competing for Penelope's hand in marriage. The first line in Emily Wilson’s new translation of the Odyssey the first by a woman scholar is “Tell me about a complicated man” In an article by Wyatt Mason in the NYT late last year Wilson tells us “I could’ve said ‘Tell me about a straying husband’ And that’s a viable translation That’s one of the things the original language saysBut I want to be super responsible about my relationship to the Greek text I want to be saying after multiple different revisions This is the best I can get toward the truth” Oh the mind reels This new translation by Emily Wilson reads swiftly smoothly and feels contemporary This exciting new translation will surprise you and send you to compare certain passages with earlier translations In her Introduction Wilson raises that issue of translation herself How is it possible to have so many different translations all of which could be considered “correct” Wilson reminds us what a ripping good yarn this story is and removes any barriers to understanding We can come to it with our current sensibility and find in it all kinds of foretelling and parallels with life today and perhaps we even see the genesis of our own core morality a morality that feels inexplicably learned Perhaps the passed down sense of right and wrong of fairness and justice we read of here was learned through these early stories and lessons from the gods Or are we interpreting the story to fit our sensibilityThese delicious uestions operate in deep consciousness while we pleasure in learning about that liar Odysseus described again and again as wily scheming cunning “his lies were like truth” He learned how to bend the truth at his grandfather’s knee and the gods exploited that talent when they helped him out The skill served him well allowing him to confuse and evade captors throughout his ordeal as well as keep his wife and father in the dark about his identity upon his return until he could reveal the truth at a time of maximum impactThere does inevitably come a time when people react cautiously to what is told them even to the evidence their own eyes The gods can cloud one’s understanding it is well known and truth is suspected in every encounter These words Penelope speaks Please forgive me do not keep bearing a grudge because when I first saw youI would not welcome you immediatelyI felt a constant dread that some bad manwould fool me with his lies There are so manydishonest clever men Particularly easy to relate to today are descriptions of Penelope’s ungrateful suitors like Ctesippius who encouraged by extraordinary wealth had come to court Odysseus’ wife Also speaking insight for us today are the phrases Weapons themselves can tempt a man to fight and Arms themselves can prompt a man to use themThere is a conflicted view of women in this story Sex sways all women’s minds even the best of them though Penelope is a paragon of virtue managing to avoid temptation through her own duplicitousness She hardly seems a victim at all in this reading merely an unwilling captor She is strong smart loyal generous and brave all the ualities any man would want for his wifeWe understand the slave girls that Odysseus felt he had to “test” for loyalty were at the disposal of the ungrateful suitors who after they ate and drank at Penelope's expense often met the house girls after hours Some of the girls appeared to go willingly laughing and teasing as they went and were outspoken about their support of the men they’d taken up with Others we get the impression from the text felt they had no choiceRace is not mentioned but once in this book very matter of factly though the darker man is a servant to the lighter one Odysseus had a valet with himI do remember named Eurybatesa man a little older than himselfwho had black skin round shoulders woolly hair and was Odysseus's favorite our of all his crewbecause his mind matched his Odysseus’s tribulations are terrible but appear to be brought on by his own stubborn and petulant nature like his taunting of the blinded Cyclops from his own escaping ship Cyclops was Poseidon’s son so Odysseus's behavior was especially unwise particularly since his own men were yelling at him to stop Later that betrayal of the men’s best interests for his own childish purpose will come back to haunt Odysseus when the men suspect him of thinking only of himself greediness and unleash terrible winds by accident blowing them tragically off course in rugged seas We watch fascinated as the gods seriously mess Odysseus about and then come to his aid We really get the sense of the gods playing as in Athena’s willingness to give Odysseus strength and arms when fighting the suitors in his house but being unwilling to actually step in to help with the fighting Instead she watched from the rafters It’s hard not to be just a little resentful Wilson’s translation reads very fast and very clearly There always seemed to be some ramp up time reading Greek myths in the past but now the adventures appear perfectly accessible Granted there are some names you’ll have to figure out but that’s part of being “constructively lost” as Pynchon saysA book by book reading of this new translation will begin March 1st on the Goodreads website hosted by Kris Rabberman Wilson’s colleague at the University of Pennsylvania To prepare for the first online discussion later this week Kris has suggested participants read the Introduction If interested readers are still not entirely convinced they want this literary experience now some excerpts have been reprinted in The Paris Review

Homer  3 summary

Ὀδύσσεια review æ eBook or Kindle ePUB ì This poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus or Ulysses as he was known in Roman myths and his long journey home following the fall of Troy It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten year Trojan War2 In his absence it is assumed he has died and his wife Penelope This poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus or Ulysses as he was known in Roman myths and his long journey home following the. So my first “non school related experience with Homer’s classic tale and my most powerful impression beyond the overall splendor of the story wasHOLY SHIT SNACKS these Greeks were a violent bunch Case in point they hauled him out through the doorway into the court lopped his nose and ears with a ruthless knife tore his genitals out for the dogs to eat rawand in manic fury hacked off hands and feet then once they’d washed their own hands and feet they went inside again to join odysseustheir work was done here now Their work was done here now What a great line Want violence you say How about slaughtering over 100 house guests for over indulging in your hospitality Can you say overkill And for the true splatter junkies out there you can add in some casual rapes widespread maiming a score of people suishing crew members being chewed and swallowed healthy doses of mutilation and torture and one cyclops blinding That should make even the most discriminating gore hound leg humping happy Yesthat's meguilty However beyond the cockle warming violence and mayhem this is a rocking good story that I enjoyed as in smile on my face thinking this is genuinely cool” much than I expected to going into it There is nothing dry or plodding about the story Beautifully written and encompassing themes of love loyalty and heroism while commenting on many facets of the human condition As important as this story is to literature it is above all elseENTERTAINING In fact without its massive entertainment factor I'm pretty sure it's overall importance among the classics would be significantly reduced Thankfully there is no risk of that A NOTE ON THE TEXT Before I continue I want to comment on the version I readlistened to because I think can be critical to people’s reaction to the story There are a TRUCKLOAD of Odyssey translations out there and from what I’ve seen they range wider in uality and faithfulness to the original text than those of almost any other work of Western Literature These versions can differ so much that I believe two people with identical reading tastes could each read a different translation and walk away with vastly different opinions on the work The version I am reviewing and from which the above uote is derived is the Robert Fagles translation which uses contemporary prose and structure while remaining faithful to the content of the original I found it a terrific place for a “first experience” with this work because of how easy to follow it was Plus I listened to the audio version read by Sir Ian McKellen which was an amazing experience and one I HIGHLY RECOMMEND In addition to the Fagles version I also own the Alexander Pope translation as part of my Easton Press collection of The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written While listening to the Fagles version I would often follow along with the Pope translation and let me tell youthey are vastly different While the overall story is the same the presentation prose and the structure are nothing alike As an example here is the same passage I uoted earlier from the Pope translation Then forth they led and beganTheir bloody work; they lopp’d away the manMorsel for dogs then trimm’d with brazen shears The wretch and shorten’d of his nose and ears;His hands and feet last felt the cruel steel;He roar’d and torments gave his soul to hellThey wash and to Ulysses take their waySo ends the bloody business of the day Very different treatments of the same scene In my opinion the Pope language is beautiful and far poetic and lyrical than the Fagles translation However I am glad I started with the Fagles version because it provided me with a much better comprehension of the story itself No head scratching moments Now that I have a firm grounding in the story I plan to go back at some point and read the Pope version so that I can absorb the greater beauty of that translation In a nutshell I'm saying that you should make sure you find a translation that works for you That’s my two or three cents THE STORY So Odysseus master strategist and tactician not to mention schemer manipulator and liar extraordinaire travels home to Ithaca after the Trojan War Delays and detours ensue which take up the first half of the story Most of these travel snags are caused by Poseidon who is grudging on Odysseus for stick poking Poseidon’s son ie the Cyclops in the peeper Not to fear Athena goddess of guile and craftiness is a proud sponsor of Odysseus and along with some help for big daddy god Zeus throws Odysseus some Olympian help Odysseus’ travels are full of great summer blockbuster like entertainment and at the same time explore all manner of Greek daily life as well as touching on many of their beliefs and traditions It really is a perfect blend of fun and brain food From his time on the island homes of the goddesses Calypso and Circe who he gets busy with despite his “undying” love for his wife Penelopemen huh to his run ins with the giant Laestrygonians and the Lotus eaters ie thugs and drugs and his fateful encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemus Odysseus even takes a jaunt to the underworld where he speaks to Achilles and gets to listen to dead king Agamemnon go on an anti marriage rant because his conniving wife poisoned him to death Homer does a superb job of keeping the story epic while providing the reader with wonderful details about the life of the greek people during this period The man had story telling chops Meanwhile while Odysseus is engaged in the ancient greek version of the Amazing Race back on Ithaca we’ve got a full fledged version of the Bachelorette going on as over a hundred suitors are camped out at Odysseus pad trying to get Penelope to give them a rose This has Odysseus’ son Telemachus on the rage because the suitors are eating drinking and servant boinking him out of his entire inheritance while they wait on Penelope You might think that Telemachus could just kick the freeloaders out but the law of “hospitality” was huge for the Greeks and the suitor douches use it to full advantage Well Odysseus eventually makes it back to Ithaca alone and in disguise after all of this crew have been eaten suashed drowned or otherwise rendered life impaired Not an easy place to live is ancient Greece Odysseus proceeds to work a web of deceit and revenge against the suitors that is a wonder to behold I’ll leave the final climax to you but I will say that there was no free lunch in Homer’s time and the checks that people wrote with their bad behavior are paid in full MY THOUGHTS This was a fun fun fun read I want to start with that because this is not one of those classics that I think is worth while only to get it under your belt or checked off a list This was a great story with great characters and in a style that was both “off the usual path” but still easy to follow Going back to my comments on the various versions of the story I think this may end up being a five star read in one of the flowery densely poetic translations where the emotion and passion is just a bit in your face I am still thrilled to have listened to the version I did especially as read by Gandalf because I now have a firm foundation in the story and can afford to be a bit adventurous with my next version The tone of the story is heroic and yet very dark The gods are capricious and temperamental and cause a whole lot of death and devastation for nothing than a bruised ego or even a whim The pace of the story is fast and moves uickly with hardly a chance to even catch your breath It is a big epic storyit is THE BIG EPIC STORYand its reputation is well deserved A terrific read as well as one of the most important works in the Western canon Definitely worth your time 45 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION