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    The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters (Hardback) By (author) Adam Nicolson

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    DescriptionWhere does Homer come from? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant? In this passionate and deeply personal book, Adam Nicolson sets out to explain why these great ancient poems still have so much to say about what it is to be human, to love, lose, grow old and die. 'The Mighty Dead' is a journey of history and discovery, sewn together by the oldest stories we have - the Iliad and the Odyssey, which emerged from a time before the Greeks became Greek. As nomadic tribes of the northern steppe, they clashed with the sophisticated cities of the eastern Mediterranean. These poems tell us how we became who we are. We witness a disputatious dinner in 19th-century Paris and Keats finding in Chapman's Homer the inspiration to travel in the 'realms of gold'. We go to Bosnia in the 1930s, with the god of Homer studies Milman Parry where oral poetry still thrived; to Spain to visit the possible site of Hades; to Troy, Ukraine, Syria and the islands of the Mediterranean; and to that most ancient of modern experiences, the open sea, in calm and storm. Reflecting on fathers and sons, men and women, on the necessity for love and the violence of warriors, on peace and war, youth and old-age, Homer is the deep voice of Europe, as dark as Mavrodaphne and as glowingly alive as anything that has ever been.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Mighty Dead

    Title
    The Mighty Dead
    Subtitle
    Why Homer Matters
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Adam Nicolson
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 336
    Width: 158 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 34 mm
    Weight: 740 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780007335527
    ISBN 10: 0007335520
    Classifications

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T3.7
    BIC E4L: LIT
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3D
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAG
    BIC subject category V2: DSBB
    BISAC V2.8: HIS010000
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA1
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002010
    BIC subject category V2: 3D, 1QDAG
    BISAC V2.8: HIS039000
    DC23: 883.01
    Thema V1.0: DSBB, NHD, NHC
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1QBAG
    Thema time period qualifier V1.0: 3C
    Publisher
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    William Collins
    Publication date
    22 May 2014
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Adam Nicolson writes a celebrated column for The Sunday Telegraph. His books include Sissinghurst, God's Secretaries When God Spoke English, Wetland, Life in the Somerset Levels, Perch Hill, Restoration, and the acclaimed Gentry. He is winner of the Somerset Maugham Award and the British Topography Prize and lives on a farm in Sussex.
    Review quote
    '[A] brilliant, passionate, world-wandering love letter to Homer ... If the only real test of any book about Homer is that it should make you want to go back to Homer, then 'The Mighty Dead' passes that test in a blaze of glory' Sunday Times 'Nicolson dusts down Homer for a new generation. Superbly written' Daily Telegraph 'The book that was waiting to be written ... a superbly written account of the poems' The Times 'Thrilling and unsettling ... [a] wonderfully expressive alloy of travelogue, scholarship and advocacy, which broods with heartfelt grace ... Nicolson's books always shine with the Homeric virtues of eloquence, passion, generosity, audacity and candour ... He does them proud' Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'A hosanna to Homeric wandering and wanderlust ... breathes new life into an ancient adventure' Observer 'A beautiful study: full of insight, generosity and unaffected passion. The writing is exhilarating' Guardian 'A thrillingly energised book ... it transmits a whole worldview at once decipherable and dramatically strange ... To read Homer is to be struck by what Nicolson calls 'time-vertigo' - and this book is one that holds your hand and encourages you to peer over the edge. To read it is to have a fat pair of Homeric jump-leads attached from Nicolson's sparkling and crackling faculties to your own' Spectator 'As gripping as a thriller and as delicately constructed as a sonnet ... an astonishing tour de force that reveals Homer to be at once as ancient as papyrus and as modern as MTV ... Not only does he have an inward understanding of how Homer's poetry works, his own prose also has the sharp glitter of a poet's eye' Telegraph 'Erudite, far-ranging in time and space, and provocative ...This rich and adventurous book is Nicolson's own odyssey ... [his] enthusiasm is enriching and his examination of the character of the two epics acute and fascinating. Homer matters because he can stimulate books such as this' Literary Review