I end by talking about my favourite book. I have mentioned it in some of the other posts, so I won’t do a big build up. It’s The Odyssey. I always loved historical mythology as a child and in my third year of college I decided to do a course about the Greeks and Romans. For one of the classes I had to read The Odyssey and I ended up reading through it around five times that year. Since then I try to read it bi-annually. Studying it really helped me appreciate it and see the richness embodied in the text, so I’m glad I read it so many times so I could actually explore the depths.
I loved reading about it and examining why Homer chose that phrase. I also like it as a historical text, obviously it’s mythology but you can learn a great deal about the way society work and how their belief system was structured. One of the first lessons was about how Calypso commented on the unfair state of the world, in that the male gods could roam down to Earth and make love to mortals but when a female god tried to do it, it was a huge deal.
I love Homer’s writing style as well. It’s not for everybody, and some of my friends have found it long-winded, but I just love it. I enjoy how the different character complement and contrast with Odysseus, I like all the stories, I also like how Odysseus is heroic but in a different sense than the modern concepts of heroism. He’s cunning and devious and sometimes he’s selfish too, but that makes him compelling to read. There’s so much drama and emotion bulging from the pages that any review won’t do it justice, and I don’t have time to write a scholarly essay (and I’m sure there are many more intelligent people who could do a better job at that than I!) but I fell in love with it when I first read it and that hasn’t dimmed since then.