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Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (Books That Changed the World)

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Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Review:

"It's a great idea: a survey history of how Homer has been read throughout history, taking in Roman Homer, Christian Homer, Alexander Pope's Homer and Homer in Islam, among others. And Manguel (A History of Reading) is perfectly cut out for the job, armed as he is with a wealth of stories about scholars and translators through the ages. But most of his anecdotes, though engaging, are disconnected from any central argument. In one Arabic telling of the Trojan War, Agamemnon is made the 'secret protagonist,' we are told. But why? Specifics are scarce, while great claims are made — 'The epic of Gilgamesh and the stories of the ancient Egyptians stir in our prehistory, but Homer and his poems are the beginning of all our stories' — supported only with more bald assertions. Things pick up in a chapter examining Homer's imagery, but once again, Manguel trails off without taking his ideas anywhere. It's hard to imagine that this latest entry in the Books That Changed the World series will do much to excite further interest in the student or first-time reader of Homer." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The English novelist and essayist Maurice Baring is often credited with the quip that it wasn't Homer who composed the 'Iliad' and the 'Odyssey,' but another man of the same name. Regardless of who said it, we get the joke. Homer, the Ur-poet of Western civilization — and usually the first author listed on any Western Civ syllabus — has over two and a half millennia become a legend, not a personage... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

No one knows if there was a man named Homer, but there is no little doubt that the epic poems assembled under his name form the cornerstone of Western literature. The Iliad and The Odyssey, with their incomparable tales of the Trojan War, brace Achilles, Ulysses and Penelope, the Cyclops, the beautiful Helen of Troy, and the petulant gods, are familiar to most readers because they are so pervasive. They have fed our imagination for over two and a half millennia, inspiring everyone from Plato to Virgil, Pope to Joyce, Dante to Wolfgang Petersen. In this graceful and sweeping addition to the Books that Change the World Series, Alberto Manguel traces the lineage of the epic poems. He considers their original purpose, either as allegory or record of history, surveys the challenges the pagan poems presented to the early Christian world, and traces their spread after the Reformation. Following Homer through the greatest literature ever created, Manguels book above all delights in the poems themselves, the “primordial spring without which there would have been no culture.”

Product Details

ISBN:
9780871139764
Subtitle:
A Biography
Author:
Manguel, Alberto
Publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
Subject:
Folklore
Subject:
Fairy Tales, Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Ancient, Classical & Medieval
Subject:
Epic poetry, Greek
Subject:
Homer
Subject:
Classics-Medieval and Renaissance General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Books That Changed the World
Publication Date:
20071221
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5 in 13.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek and Roman
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance

Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Atlantic Monthly Press - English 9780871139764 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "It's a great idea: a survey history of how Homer has been read throughout history, taking in Roman Homer, Christian Homer, Alexander Pope's Homer and Homer in Islam, among others. And Manguel (A History of Reading) is perfectly cut out for the job, armed as he is with a wealth of stories about scholars and translators through the ages. But most of his anecdotes, though engaging, are disconnected from any central argument. In one Arabic telling of the Trojan War, Agamemnon is made the 'secret protagonist,' we are told. But why? Specifics are scarce, while great claims are made — 'The epic of Gilgamesh and the stories of the ancient Egyptians stir in our prehistory, but Homer and his poems are the beginning of all our stories' — supported only with more bald assertions. Things pick up in a chapter examining Homer's imagery, but once again, Manguel trails off without taking his ideas anywhere. It's hard to imagine that this latest entry in the Books That Changed the World series will do much to excite further interest in the student or first-time reader of Homer." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
No one knows if there was a man named Homer, but there is no little doubt that the epic poems assembled under his name form the cornerstone of Western literature. The Iliad and The Odyssey, with their incomparable tales of the Trojan War, brace Achilles, Ulysses and Penelope, the Cyclops, the beautiful Helen of Troy, and the petulant gods, are familiar to most readers because they are so pervasive. They have fed our imagination for over two and a half millennia, inspiring everyone from Plato to Virgil, Pope to Joyce, Dante to Wolfgang Petersen. In this graceful and sweeping addition to the Books that Change the World Series, Alberto Manguel traces the lineage of the epic poems. He considers their original purpose, either as allegory or record of history, surveys the challenges the pagan poems presented to the early Christian world, and traces their spread after the Reformation. Following Homer through the greatest literature ever created, Manguels book above all delights in the poems themselves, the “primordial spring without which there would have been no culture.”
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