For the second book in my journey in ancient Greek literature, I’ll be tackling the second part of Homer’s books, The Odyssey. I’m reading the hard cover Barnes and Noble classic version of the book. Here’s what the inside cover states:
The Odyssey, Homer’s gorgeous sprawling epic, is widely considered to be the gold standard for tales or grand quests and heroic journeys. Crowded with characters (human and non-human) and crammed with action, The Odyssey details the adventures of Odysseus, King of Ithaca and hero of the Trojan War, as he struggles to return home to his ever-faithful, ever-waiting wife, Penelope.
Along the way he encounters the seductive Circe, who changes men into swine, the gorgeous water-nymph Calypso, who keeps him a “prisoner of love” for seven years; the terrible one-eyed, man-eating giant Cyclops, and a host of other ogres, wizards, sirens, and gods. But when Odysseus finally reaches Ithaca after twenty years away, his trails have only begun. There he must battle the scheming noblemen who, thinking him dead, have demanded that Penelope choose one of them to be her new husband–and Ithaca’s new king.
Often called the “second work of Western literature” (Homes Iliad, written earlier being the first), The Odyssey is not only a rousing adventure drama, but also a profound mediation on courage, loyalty, family, fate, and undying love. Over three thousand years old, it was the first story to delineate carefully and exhaustively a single character arc–a narrative structure that serves as the foundation and heart of the modern novel.
I’m definitely looking forward to tackling this book. It seems like it’s quite the adventure!