Reading Homer's Odyssey

Reading Homer's Odyssey

by Kostas Myrsiades


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Finalist for the 2020 PROSE Awards, Classics section

Homer’s Odyssey is the first great travel narrative in Western culture. A compelling tale about the consequences of war, and about redemption, transformation, and the search for home, the Odyssey continues to be studied in universities and schools, and to be read and referred to by ordinary readers. Reading Homer’s Odyssey offers a book-by-book commentary on the epic’s themes that informs the non-specialist and engages the seasoned reader in new perspectives. Among the themes discussed are hospitality, survival, wealth, reputation and immortality, the Olympian gods, self-reliance and community, civility, behavior, etiquette and technology, ease, inactivity and stagnation, Penelope’s relationship with Odysseus, Telemachus’ journey, Odysseus’ rejection of Calypso’s offer of immortality, Odysseus’ lies, Homer’s use of the House of Atreus and other myths, the cinematic qualities of the epic’s structure, women’s role in the epic, and the Odyssey’s true ending. Footnotes clarify and elaborate upon myths that Homer leaves unfinished, explain terms and phrases, and provide background information. The volume concludes with a general bibliography of work on the Odyssey, in addition to the bibliographies that accompany each book’s commentary.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684481361
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication date: 04/05/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 364
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

DR. KOSTAS MYRSIADES is a professor emeritus of comparative and Greek literature and a distinguished translator and Neohellenist. He is the recipient of the Gold Medallion from the Hellenic Society of Translators of Literature (Athens, Greece) and the author of twenty books. He was also the editor of College Literature a quarterly of literary criticism, theory, and pedagogy.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I From Ithaca to Wonderland

1 Telemachus' Journey (Od. 1-4) 3

2 Odysseus from Calypso to the Phaeacians (Od. 5-8) 61

3 Odysseus' Wanderings (Od. 9-12) 102

Part II From Wonderland to Ithaca

4 Odysseus and Telemachus at Eumaeus' Hut (Od. 13-16) 155

5 Odysseus and Telemachus Strategize at the Palace (Od. 17-20) 193

6 Revenge, Reunion, and Reconciliation (Od. 21-24) 240

Afterword 277

Acknowledgments 287

Notes 289

General Bibliography 303

Index 341

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