Reading Homer’s Odyssey is a book by book commentary on the epic’s major themes. Each of the epic’s 24 books are divided into sections to stress the length and the importance placed on specific topics and episodes. Footnotes are provided throughout to clarify and complete myths that Homer leaves unfinished, to explain certain terms and phrases, and to provide background information whenever necessary. Additionally, there is a bibliography on the Odyssey, as well as bibliographies that accompany each book’s commentary.
Homer’s Odyssey is the first great travel narrative in Western culture. A compelling tale about the consequences of war, and about redemption, transformation, and the search for home, the Odyssey continues to be studied in universities and schools, and to be read and referred to by ordinary readers. Reading Homer’s Odyssey offers a book-by-book commentary on the epic’s themes that informs the non-specialist and engages the seasoned reader in new perspectives. Among the themes discussed are hospitality, survival, wealth, reputation and immortality, the Olympian gods, self-reliance and community, civility, behavior, etiquette and technology, ease, inactivity and stagnation, Penelope’s relationship with Odysseus, Telemachus’ journey, Odysseus’ rejection of Calypso’s offer of immortality, Odysseus’ lies, Homer’s use of the House of Atreus and other myths, the cinematic qualities of the epic’s structure, women’s role in the epic, and the Odyssey’s true ending. Footnotes clarify and elaborate upon myths that Homer leaves unfinished, explain terms and phrases, and provide background information. The volume concludes with a general bibliography of work on the Odyssey, in addition to the bibliographies that accompany each book’s commentary.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.