Saturday, November 08, 2008

Reading the Odyssey

The Odyssey The Odyssey by Homer

I'm about to read The Odyssey for the next in the series of Read the Classics: Greece and Rome at my library. I'm attempting to put myself on a schedule earlier this time so I won't be rushed near the end. I was impressed with the professor for this group when he led the discussion on The Iliad. He began with a small lecture on background history, much of which can be found on his web pages here. He led us in a recitation of the first line in Greek, somewhat as Homer (or one of those bards) might have done. That was neat. He built it syllable by syllable until we had the whole line. He then did a round robin, getting impressions from each person who attended, what stood out for us, etc. He sometimes made comments in response, but not in a lecture-y way. We still had time for discussion as a group after all that, and he was quite skilled in leading the conversation and tying threads together.

I asked him how much class time he would spend on this work, as there was just too much for us to cover in two hours. He said six hours...and that led to a conversation about a possible next time where it could be a series of three discussion groups rather than just the one. (This was so much better than the Hume discussion. I decided not to pursue that series further. The prof was much younger and not really aware, I thought, of what this could be. He lectured most of the time, regurgitating the bits of Hume we had just read. But that is a subject for another post. I have a bone to pick with Hume.)

So, starting Sunday, I will read one book a day, so I read at least 6 books a week. As I did with The Iliad, I'll write about it here so I can keep track of my thoughts. I'd love to have people read with me and make comments. A person could get it from their library and easily catch up with me. A person could also use these online sources: four translations from the Gutenberg project; or the Perseus project here. I'll be reading the Fagles translation, but linking to the Butler translation at the Perseus project.

I also got into the 1800s Novels Classics series, so I'll also be reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein during this time, and I'll be reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night for the library book group that I facilitate. Bizzzeeee.

Odyssey Schedule:
Books 1-6 by November 15
Books 7-12 by November 22
Books 13-18 by November 29
Books 19-26 by December 6

Have I bitten off more that I can chew? Oh, and did I mention I'm learning to do storytimes as done at my library? I'll be busy auditing youth librarians at their craft over the next several weeks, and piece by piece, practicing those skills myself. We read or tell a story with the six early literacy skills in mind. In fact we are to mention how the book expresses one of those skills to the parents attending. We also do songs, rhymes, and fingerplays. I also must create my own flannel board story. Finally, after doing each of the parts of a storytime, I must present a full storytime three times to get certified. If given the stamp of approval, I will be able to sub for storytimes. The goal is to accomplish all this by the end of February.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Book 1: the hoards of feasting suitors-what a mob scene! Go, Telemachus! And Athena's sparkling, flashing eyes everywhere...