ISBN: 1400133939 / ISBN-13: 9781400133932
Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey
A remarkable, wide-ranging introduction to The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two literary works at the heart of Western culture While we'll never know ... Show synopsis A remarkable, wide-ranging introduction to The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two literary works at the heart of Western culture While we'll never know if a man named Homer ever existed, there is no 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, brave Achilles, Ulysses and Penelope, the Sirens, the Cyclops, the beautiful Helen of Troy, and the petulant gods, are household names because they are so pervasive. From Plato to Virgil, Pope to Joyce, Dante to Wolfgang Petersen, the poems have been told and retold, interpreted and embellished. As Manguel writes, In a very real sense, The Iliad and The Odyssey are familiar to us prior to opening the first page. In this graceful and sweeping book, Alberto Manguel traces the lineage of the poems from their inception and their first recording. He considers the original purpose of the poems, surveys the challenges the pagan Homer presented to the early Christian world, and how this primordial spring without which there would have been no culture spread after the Reformation. Manguel follows Homer through the greatest literature ever created, and above all delights in the poems themselves. According to A.S. Byatt, Alberto Manguel is an expert explorer of what the French call the imaginaire a word that combines imagination, imagery and the formation of images in the mind'. He is the acclaimed author of several award-winning books, including A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading. He was born in Buenos Aires and lives in France.