lunes, 2 de abril de 2012

April Reading Odysseys


I do so little reading/writing about poetry these days that I thought I'd mix things up in April and spend the better part of the month reading/thinking about The Odyssey, an old favorite that I haven't spent any time with in years.  No real plan at the moment--maybe a slow motion one book a day reading schedule with a short piece of literary criticism or two thrown in each week--but this is where you come in: I'd be grateful for any bibliographical assistance to be had if any of you have any can't miss secondary literature recommendations that might fit the bill.  Right now Eric Auerbach's "Odysseus' Scar" from Mimesis and something from the Robert Fowler-edited The Cambridge Companion to Homer are the only Homeric goodies I have lined up to accompany The Odyssey.  Suggestions?

18 comentarios:

  1. Love Fagles. Love Homer. In case you've never read it, I find Julian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" to be a nice companion to Homer, though granted Jaynes has a good deal more to say about Iliad than Odyssey IIRC.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Jeremy--wasn't familiar with Jaynes, but I read something interesting on that title of his online after you mentioned it. Loving Fagles' version of The Odyssey so far, of course. Cheers!

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  2. Personally, I would not "waste" the opportunity of reading The Odyssey to accompany it side-by-side with Ulysses. And then you could make it an even [sic] threesome by using an annotated guides to Ulysses, that will also contain many references to The Odyssey of course. The Guide I use is by Gifford and Seidman, if you are interested.

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    1. Love the advice, Jill, but I'm not sure I have time for an extra 1,500 pages of homework right now! That's why I won't be rereading The Iliad this month beforehand either. Anyway, I'll keep your Joyce guide in mind for future reference--thanks for that.

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  3. The chapter from Mimesis is very good.

    Glancing at my resource page, I remember liking several of the Odyssey lectures at Reed College. There's also some Fagles links and Ian Johnston's lecture on the work provide some jumping off points for further exploration.

    I highly recommend Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey after you've finished (with, of course, some additional links). That's what comes immediately to mind...

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    1. Dwight, thanks for all of this sage advice both from me and from Gavin below. Ironically, I had actually meant to mention your blog's resources in the original post and then promptly forgot to in an apparent early case of "old man syndrome" on my part! Anyway, look forward to reading your own posts on the poem and checking out some of these recommendations as well (am particularly heartened to hear the Auerbach article confirmed as "very good" since that piece is half the reason I decided to reread The Odyssey at this time in the first place).

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  4. I'm not sure I'd exactly call it "can't miss," as it's about 5 times longer than it needs to be and the general idea is communicated by the tantalizing title, but I certainly got a kick out of Samuel Butler's The Authoress of the Odyssey when I read it a million years ago.

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    1. Scott, thanks for bringing the Butler work to my attention--I enjoyed what I read about it although it's probably going to be a little too long for me for this month's purposes. It seems the male/female "authorship" of Homer is still being debated to a certain extent even today, though. Cheers!

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  5. I mentioned earlier in the week that I started reading The Lost Books of the Odyssey and then realized I needed to reread Homer first. I have too much going on in April or I'd join in...

    Please thank Dwight for the links and I'll keep an eye out for your lit crit.

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    1. Dwight has been thanked as requested, Gavin, but I'll have to swing by and check out your post soon--wow, two recommendations for The Lost Books of the Odyssey in back to back days! Must investigate further...

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  6. Ah, I finally thought of one, Moses Finley's The World of Odysseus.

    I haven't read it! But it is short & punchy & should be unusually readable.

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    1. I've read The World of Odysseus 2-3 times over the years, Tom, but thanks for the excellent reminder. It's been ages since I last read it, so it's probably due for a reread this month as well--great stuff as I recall and "unusually readable" for sure.

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  7. No suggestions, but I'll be following along with interest as I would like to (in an ideal world) reread The Odyssey later this year. I did notice an essay on The Odyssey in Italo Calvino's collection Why Read the Classics, but I haven't read it so I can neither recommend for nor against.

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    1. Amanda, thanks so much for the Calvino tip--will have to look into that! And good luck getting back to The Odyssey yourself later in the year (I've always considered myself more an Iliad man, but I've been really enjoying the narrative in The Odyssey early on this time around). Cheers!

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  8. Oh good luck ,I read this as a teen but was maybe to young to get it fully Richard ,all the best stu

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    1. Belated thanks, Stu--it's been fun revisiting the work but I've somehow fallen behind schedule once again. Cheers!

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  9. I have just tagged you.
    Now is the time to reblog your Margo Lanagan or classics list

    http://beautyisasleepingcat.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/7-x-7-link-award/

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