The Ideal of The Odyssey

   The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer con­tinue to be touch­stones of the West­ern canon, with new trans­la­tions appear­ing it seems every few years, and an ongo­ing cot­tage indus­try of crit­i­cism and inter­pre­ta­tions, to which of course this essay belongs.  That this is true should not be a sur­prise, given the remark­able nature of these works, which pro­vide the same kind of jolt as find­ing an M16 in a dig at Troy.  I don’t claim the qual­i­fi­ca­tions to step into this stream of aca­d­e­mic crit­i­cism, but I do humbly offer an inter­pre­ta­tion of sev­eral themes in the Odyssey seen through the over­all theme of self-remembering that has been used in other essays in this series.  I don’t claim that this was in fact Homer’s intent in “writ­ing” it, but there are I think too many con­gruities for it to be an accident.

Link to the essay.

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