Monday, May 18, 2020


Daily homemade dramatic mini-readings of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey translation.
  • Book 1 (May 15, 2020) Characters featured: Narrator; Athena, with mighty spear, and in disguise, with sunglasses; Telemachus, in Phillies hat.
  • Book 2 (May 16, 2020) Athena, in disguise, instructs Telemachus to board a ship, equipped with rations, to go in search of news about his long-absent father.
  • Book 3 (May 17, 2020) Telemachus, in Phillies hat, aided by Athena in disguise (sunglasses), goes to visit old king Nestor in Pylos (clad in geometric scarf), to learn what happened to the Greeks on the way back from Troy.
  • Book 4 (May 18, 2020) Helen, daughter of Zeus by Leda, clever wife of wealthy Menelaus, is back home with her husband and family after her 10 years in Troy with the Trojan prince Paris. She welcomes Telemachus hospitably.
  • Book 5 (May 19, 2020) This passage from Book 5 is the farewell scene between a miserable Odysseus, wearing hideous travel-friendly sunhat, and the goddess Calypso (whose name suggests "hiding" or "covering"; wearing a bright red wig), with whom he has spent 7 years.
  • Book 6 (May 20, 2020) After leaving Calypso's island on a home-made raft, Odysseus is shipwrecked and survives only thanks to the help of another goddess, Ino. He washes up on Scheria, home of the Phaeacians.
  • Book 7 (May 21, 2020) Odysseus has arrived on Scheria, land of the Phaeacians. Athena meets him, in the guise of a young girl with a water pitcher. She guides him to the magical palace of Queen Arete and King Alcinous, where delicious fruit is in season all year round.
  • Book 8 (May 22, 2020) Odysseus is feasting with the Phaeacians—King Alcinous, Queen Arete and others. Their in-house blind poet-singer, Demodocus, is ordered to entertain them.
  • Book 9 (May 23, 2020) Odysseus (wearing his usual ugly hat, narrating his own traveler's tale to the Phaeacians) tells how he and his men landed on an island inhabited by cave-dwelling shepherd people, the Cyclopes.
  • Book 10 (May 24, 2020) Odysseus and the surviving crew members come to another island inhabited by a mysterious goddess, who turns out to have the ability to turn men into animals. But the god Hermes gives Odysseus a magic plant, moly, which enables him to drink her potion without being turned to a pig.
  • Book 11 (May 25, 2020) Odysseus goes to the end of the world and digs a ditch, fills it with blood, and manages to speak to spirits of the dead. Among others, he meets his dead companions from the Trojan War, including, here, the great warrior who is central in the Iliad: swift-footed Achilles, who died young.
  • Book 12 (May 26, 2020) Odysseus' men row the ship away from Circe's island and, as the goddess has predicted, they encounter dangers en route: first the Sirens, who know and can sing of everything all over the world (with microphone, for their special voice; usually depicted in Greek art as bird-goddesses, hence the feathers in hair); then the narrow strait between, on one side, the female-identifying-whirlpool-goddess, Charybdis, who drinks down whole ships, and on the other, the 6-canine-headed-goddess Scylla.

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