Riffs on the classics: The Odyssey (Part 2)

Last time, I looked at the Odyssey and some close-hewn translations and versions of the original epic poem.  Come along as we continue our wanderings through the text and beyond to see where it will take us.

From these rather straightforward threads of the original, things get a little weird, as the stories become more outlandish, more removed from the original. Continue reading “Riffs on the classics: The Odyssey (Part 2)”

Riffs on the classics: The Odyssey (Part 1)

What makes a classic a classic? A lot of definitions have been offered, but one that resonates with me is the influence a work exerts on other works that follow. How have other authors responded to it with their own versions, counter-versions, sequels, prequels, and completely alternate takes on the original? The more responses there are, the more influential the original, the more we can say definitively it is a classic.

One of my favorite stories ever is the Odyssey, an ancient Greek epic poem composed by a figure or figures known as Homer, traveling bards who would relate the long tale to paying audiences as they roamed the Mediterranean. There are of course two parts to the full tale of Odysseus: The Iliad and The Odyssey. While the Iliad is a fairly straightforward story of an awful war, the Odyssey is a unique homecoming, depicting the wandering path of Odysseus and his encounters with various nymphs, witches, Cyclops, Sirens, and more. Continue reading “Riffs on the classics: The Odyssey (Part 1)”