Welcome to The Odyssey Readalong Check-in the First (Books 1-6).
It's not too late to sign up if you haven't already! I'm thrilled about the turnout and hope that you guys are enjoying your reading so far.
A Brief Synopsis of Books I-VI (note I am using the Fitzgerald edition so spellings may be different)
Several years after the Trojan war, Athena notices Odysseus still has not made it home to Ithaca. Odysseus is trapped by Kalypso's spell and cannot leave her island. The gods agree to free Odysseus from Kalypso's spell while Athena tends to Ody's son, Telemakhos. She encourages him to find word of his father to hopefully push out the suitors that are seeking his mother Penelope. Telemakhos journeys to Nestor's home then to Menelaus's home (he's married to Helen who started the whole bit) for word on Odysseus. Meanwhile Odysseus frees himself from Kalypso only to crash onto another island where the fair Nausikaa seems to find Ody suitable for a husband! I smell drama ahead!
|Ody and Kalypso|
Some Questions for you to Ponder
(These can be rhetorical but I'd love to hear your thoughts--either on your own post or in the comments below! If you have questions you'd like discussed for next week, I'd love to include them--email me by Sunday).
1. How does your reading of The Odyssey compare to your expectations? Any surprises?
2. What are your thoughts on the interaction between the Gods and Mortals? Specifically Athena's involvement in the story.
I'm surprised at how easy The Odyssey is to read! It still takes me some time to read each book and I've resigned myself to the fact that I probably won't get much else read this month, but the verse is very readable and easy to follow. I'm also surprised that Odysseus doesn't make a grand appearance until Book V--I had forgotten how Telemakhos gets involved through Athena's urging.
And what's up with Athena anyway? I feel like she's a meddler--sending Hermes to get Ody off the island with Kalypso and she sending Telemakhos on the chase to find word of Ody? And I have a feeling that nothing good can come of Athena getting Nausikaa involved!
Note: I found this great resource by Least Tern that gives a book by book synopsis as well as a character list. This resource is based on the Fagles translation.
If you have written a post (not required) about Books I-VI, please link to it in the Mr. Linky below. I hate to make this disclaimer, but please link directly to your post. I'll be deleting any links that do not go directly to a Odyssey post (sorry).
Happy journeys! I look forward to catching up with you all and meeting up again next Monday for Books VII-XII (7-12).
Question: Is the pace too quick? Let me know your thoughts on ending as scheduled on November 30th or pushing back to December 13th to give us two extra weeks??
Picture of Calypso found on the Newburn Wikispace