Book Group: Homer’s Odyssey

 

Event Details

This event is running from 25 January 2018 until 31 May 2018. It is next occurring on February 22, 2018 4:00 PM

  • Venue: Woods Hole Public Library
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Reading starts in early January.  The first discussion will be held on January 25th.

Meeting on the last Thursday of every month from January through May, the group will read and discuss the newest translation of the ancient poem, The Odyssey.  Originally composed by Homer about 2,700 years ago, the new translation is the first to be published by a woman, English scholar Emily Wilson.

The discussions will be led by librarian Kellie Porter, who not only has a Master’s degree in Victorian literature from the University of Chicago but also was an undergraduate at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Since St. John’s is dedicated to liberal education, and bases their curriculum on the study of the world’s “great books,” Kellie has been well trained to study, analyze, and discuss the world’s great literature, including the works of Homer. Kellie plans to break the book up into sections, stopping to compare translations of key passages along the way. Various well-respected translations will be read and compared, of course including Fagles and Fitzgerald, among others. 

400 years after the original Odyssey was written, Aristotle described the essence of the plot: “A certain man has been abroad many years; he is alone, and the god Poseidon keeps a hostile eye on him. At home, the situation is that suitors for his wife’s hand are draining his resources and plotting to kill his son. Then, after suffering storm and shipwreck, he comes home, makes himself known, attacks the suitors: he survives and they are destroyed.” That terse summary tells us the bare bones of this epic tale which has gripped the imagination of the world, surviving for literally thousands of years.

It is suggested that since library copies are limited and the group will be spending so much time on it, group members will want to consider purchasing a copy. The Library will be making a group order through Eight Cousins but needs a firm count, so those interested should call the Library to register and order a book as soon as possible.

People will want to start reading in early January to prepare for the first discussion. Interested participants may call the Library at 508-548-8961 or email whpl_mail@clamsnet.org.