Thursday, August 24, 2006
I was just assigned the Odyssey for school. Coincidentally I had just bought a new translation of the Iliad (Robert Fagles' translation) this summer and was about half way through it. So I put Achilles and Agamemnon down and picked up the sequel. Transitioning from one to the other is very jarring; the Odyssey is so much more like a novel and instantly engaging, while the Iliad is more clearly a spoken poem. I love the characters and the drive in the Iliad, but the story is more accessible in the Odyssey - part of the difference might be the translations (I'm reading Fitzgerald's Odyssey) but most is in the narrative and the pacing. I find myself enjoying both much more than I did as a child, which is the reverse of what usually happens when I reread a classic - often I was far more captivated when I was younger, and my older self is disappointed. Maybe this time I have a larger context to put it into and so I can connect to it more easily. Anyway, as I get deeper in to both books I'll write some more.