Homer and the Odyssey

Homer and the Odyssey


By (author) Suzanne Said, Translated by Ruth Webb

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 33mm | 635g
  • Publication date: 15 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199542848
  • ISBN 13: 9780199542840

Product description

Who was Homer? This book takes us beyond the legends of the blind bard or the wandering poet to explore an author about whom nothing is known, except for his works. It offers a reading of the ancient biographies as clues to the reception of the Homeric poems in Antiquity and provides an introduction to the oral tradition which lay at the source of the Homeric epics. Above all, it takes us into the world of the Odyssey, a world that lies between history and fiction. It guides the reader through a poem which rivals the modern novel in its complexity, demonstrating the unity of the poem as a whole. It defines the many and varied figures of otherness by which the Greeks of the archaic period defined themselves and underlines the values promoted by the poem's depictions of men, women, and gods. Finally, it asks why, throughout the centuries from Homer to Kazantzakis and Joyce, the hero who never forgets his homeland and dreams constantly of return has never ceased to be the incarnation of what it is to be human. This translation is a revised and much expanded version of the original French text, and includes a new chapter on the representation of women in the Odyssey and an updated bibliography.

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Author information

Suzanne Said is Professor of Classics at Columbia University, New York.

Review quote

Said carefully guides the reader between the classic's history and fiction, demonstrating its astonishing complexity and unity ... Highly recommended. R. Cormier, CHOICE

Table of contents

PREFACE ; NOTE ON TRANSLATIONS ; 1. From 'Homer' to the Homeric Poems ; 2. The Art of Homer: Between Tradition and Innovation ; 3. Homer and History ; 4. The Odyssey: narrations, narrators, and poets ; 5. The Adventures of Telemachus ; 6. Odysseus' Travels ; 7. Odysseus on Ithaca ; 8. The Human World ; 9. Women in the Odyssey ; 10. The World of the Gods ; 11. The Ideology of the Odyssey ; CONCLUSION ; BIBLIOGRAPHY