Reading Homer’s Odyssey (Paperback)

Reading Homer’s Odyssey By Kostas Myrsiades Cover Image

Reading Homer’s Odyssey (Paperback)


Special Order—Subject to Availability
Finalist for the 2020 PROSE Awards, Classics section

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.
DR. KOSTAS MYRSIADES is a professor emeritus of comparative and Greek literature and a distinguished translator and Neohellenist. He is the recipient of the Gold Medallion from the Hellenic Society of Translators of Literature (Athens, Greece) and the author of twenty books. He was also the editor of College Literature a quarterly of literary criticism, theory, and pedagogy.
Product Details ISBN: 9781684481361
ISBN-10: 1684481368
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication Date: April 5th, 2019
Pages: 364
Language: English

Kostas Myrsiades’ remarkably accessible and lively commentary comes as a great boost to readers who approach the Odyssey with great interest but little background in the world of the epic and the techniques of Homer. This book serves as a kind of museum guide through each portion of the Odyssey, giving us the benefit of the author’s wealth of erudition and knowledge in readily understandable prose. Myrsiades not only explains the peculiar features of the narrative and content but also offers many helpful interpretive approaches, including some recent controversial suggestions, that have arisen from his decades of teaching this epic. This commentary will be especially helpful in giving high school and college teachers with little formal classical training the information and tools that will make them authoritative in the classroom. A pleasure to read.
— Scott Richardson

"An eloquently erudite and insightful analysis of one of the world's most famous works of literature from Ancient Greece."
— Midwest Book Review

— Choice

"The book is a great pleasure to read....Reading Homer’s Odyssey is a book that does exactly what it promises: it helps its reader to read (and understand) the Odyssey. It will appeal to a broad readership as well as to scholars and students of Classics and other fields, and it may also be suggested as accompanying reading in Classical Civilization classes or similar courses."
— Bryn Mawr Classical Review