Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holiday reading...before the holiday

The guidebook I borrowed from the library informs me that the essential holiday reading for Kefalonia is Captain Correlli's Mandolin and The Odyssey.

The former was read long ago and I have no desire to re-visit it. The latter scared me half to death. Without opening the book to even peek at the pages I'd decided this was something I'd never manage. I had visions of lists of names that meant nothing to me - like in the Bible: the sons of Obed Edom - Shemaiah, Jehozabad, Joah, Sachar, Nethanel, Ammiel, Issacher and Peullethai or Russian literature - hang on, who's Bosoi? Is that the same fella as Nikanor Ivanovich?

However, having despatched all reading materials back to London by Parcelforce from the Lake District (along with the tent, sleeping bags and superfluous items of clothing; the hills!) I was in need of something to read on the train journey back from Newcastle.

Blackwell's provided me with The Odyssey. I'm wondering if, deep-down somewhere, the argument was put forward that having just cycled 160 miles in five days through the lakes and over the Pennines, wind-whipped and rain-lashed, I can now do anything. Including reading The Odyssey.

And, you know what? I can and I did and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm amazed.


Anonymous said...

Ah, you're using those Homeric epithets too 'wind-whipped and rain-lashed.' My favourites are Rosy Dawn and Wine-dark Sea. Pope's Homer is the best methinks. The Penguin Classics edition of his Iliad though pretty diffy to get hold of is brilliant.

theduckthief said...

I'm glad you liked "The Odyssey". If you don't like reading long lists of highly unpronounceable names then I suggest you avoid "The Iliad".

Ashley said...

I checked out The Odyssey from a Houston public library in 1988. I found it among my books in a box C packed when I moved to my new house in 2007. I can only imagine the late fees I owe!!!