Reading Homer’s Odyssey

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Rutgers University Press, Apr 5, 2019 - Literary Collections - 347 pages
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.
 

Contents

Part II From Wonderland to Ithaca
153
Afterword
277
Acknowledgments
287
Notes
289
General Bibliography
303
Index
341
About the Author
347
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

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.