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The Odyssey of Homer is fascinating in a number of aspects. The plot is remarkably modern in outline, pacing and development and the insight into the domestic life of (pre-) Dark Age Greece cannot be underestimated. Yet for all this I didn’t like the book and was glad to be finished and rid of it. Where the Iliad is grand in scope and deals with characters struggling with ethical and social conflicts, the Odyssey forces heroic characters to wallow in the tedious and the mundane.
I guess we need a couple of paragraphs to get my reaction to the story […]
We’ve all read The Iliad, right? If you haven’t, you should. It’s the first piece of western literature and sets the shape and style of pretty much everything which has been written since. At a little under 3,000 years old, this is something of an achievement. I’ve just re-read it as part of the Literature of Western Myth reading list I posted a couple of weeks ago.
Here’s a brief guide on how to read The Iliad, keeping the essentials of the story and cutting out lots of the waffle. While I love the book, it’s long (waaaay to long) […]