The Odyssey
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ibsn13: 9780393356250

The Odyssey is a classic and there’s more stories that have been inspired by it than I can count. After reading it, you’ll be able to see it echoed everywhere you look.

I’ve never read the Odyssey, and so I chose to read a recent translation of it by Emily Wilson.

It’s written in modern English making it easy to read. There’s no reason to use archaic English, which apparently is the norm with these kinds of texts, when translating a text that was originally in Greek. It’s a poem with the same number of lines as the original which is just plain fun.

It’s an interesting text and now I understand why some people decide to spend their entire lives thinking about it.

Odysseus is a mass murderer and a villain… yet in the story he’s presented as a victim and a hero. It’s… complex.

I can understand why some people have spent their entire lives studying this story and Greek mythology in general (especially after also reading Robert Grave’s The Greek Myths).

Zeus rapes a lot and there’s a lot of murder, but if you can stomach it, Greek Mythology is a wild ride.

These stories keep being retold again and again in different forms and understanding where all these tropes come from is fun.

Sonic is Hermes.

One Piece is a retelling of Jason’s, and the Argonauts’s, quest for the Golden Fleece.

Odysseus is a superhero, with powers coming from Athena’s favor, straight out of a comic book (or Marvel movie). Normal humans can’t murder a hundred people with a bow in a dining hall, make anyone believe anything and wear some rags to perfectly disguise their identity.

But that’s in part what makes the story interesting.