Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey: A Biography (Books That Changed The World)
Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey: 
A Biography 

"Every great work of literature is either the Iliad or the Odyssey"
- Raymond Queneau, Preface to Flaubert's Bouvard et Pecuchet, 1947

I have been rereading the Odyssey and last year reread the Iliad.  As background reading I found this collection of essays and commentary to be a valuable compendium of literary information.  Alberto Manguel's commentary is best read with the original works by Homer.  However, the commentary goes beyond the typical analysis of the text and includes references to and about the Odyssey and The Iliad that I found helpful. The influence of Homer's poetry on Virgil, Dante and religions from Christianity to Islam is valuable. Since this book is brief it can be used as a starting point for further investigation into any number of avenues in pursuit of understanding the importance of Homer for us today. Alberto Manguel is an excellent guide.

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