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Reading the Odyssey

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Reading the Odyssey

Postby Adelheid » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:36 pm

Ever since 2004 (when I first registered here) I have been reading the Iliad, in Greek. I finally (finally!) gave that up, after getting to book 8, being, in the end, totally uninspired by it and quite honestly disgusted by it too (too many brutal descriptions of killings to my liking).

I finished the Iliad in English (after six years, I did need some kind of closure ... couldn't just drop it) and I am now moving on to what was always my goal from the beginning: reading the Odyssey, in Greek.

I don't know if any reading groups still exist. I remember the experience of reading book I of the Iliad here on Textkit, in a study group. I liked that a lot.

Is anyone interested in making reading book I of the Odyssey a joint effort?

I have no plan, no educationally approved setup. Just probing the waters ...
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:20 pm

I'd be interested in something like that.
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby Auberon » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:57 pm

Adelheid wrote:Ever since 2004 (when I first registered here) I have been reading the Iliad, in Greek. I finally (finally!) gave that up, after getting to book 8, being, in the end, totally uninspired by it and quite honestly disgusted by it too (too many brutal descriptions of killings to my liking).


I agree: at times The Iliad appears to be an excuse to show all the different ways a man can die in battle. I remember reading it for the first time and just being shocked by the violence. Interestingly, one of the first portrayals of war is one of the most true in its depiction of violence.

Off the beaten path, if one reads Gerd Ledig's Vergeltung, available in English as Payback, one will see a fairly obvious effort to simulate the Homeric violence of the Illiad in this excellent novel about the bombing of German cities in World War Two. Not for the faint of heart, but very good.
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby Adelheid » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:03 pm

I think, being definetely faint of heart, I will let that one get away :)

I do think I will have to brace myself for at least the cyclops story in the Odyssey, because that one is probably also not too suited for the likes of me ...
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby Auberon » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:49 pm

Oh yea---I forgot about the part about good old Polyphemus and his habit of using the femurs and tibiae of men as toothpicks.

Yuck.

But I glad that no man pokes him in his one eye, but good!
Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest.—Eric Clapton
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby IreneY » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:46 pm

You most have to brace yourself for that one! A net-acquaintance of mine used to have the two most disgusting (in my opinion) line from Odyssey as his signature and most people, not knowing what it said of course, just that it was Homer, found it so classy :D

Lines follow, don't read if you haven't braced yourself yet :lol:

σὺν δὲ δύω μάρψας ὥς τε σκύλακας ποτὶ γαίῃ
κόπτ᾽: ἐκ δ᾽ ἐγκέφαλος χαμάδις ῥέε, δεῦε δὲ γαῖαν.
(Book 9 290-291)
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby Adelheid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:37 am

Yuk, Irene! That was just what I was dreading! Like puppies ... aaahh.
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby IreneY » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:22 pm

I'm sorry! I guess that was a bit cruel of me. But think of it this way: Now you've encountered the worst two verses of Odyssey and, as far as I can recall, nothing comes even close to these two.
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Re: Reading the Odyssey

Postby Adelheid » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:16 pm

Well, that's a relieve. I will happily start my Odyssey then.
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