Tuesday 10.15 - 12.15
He is the supreme conman, a liar, a murderer and an adulterer – meet ‘resourceful Odysseus’, the first anti-hero of Western literature. Resourceful he needs be. He has left the heroes of the Iliad concerned with how to die. On his 10 years long return to Ithaca, Odysseus’s first preoccupation is how to survive. Homer’s poem charts the ‘twists and turns’ of his perilous journey home, striking out across the sea from war-torn Troy. Back home there is the devastation left by his absence, the torture of not knowing what has happened to him…. Through its cast of bewitching characters, the Odyssey tells us of a migrant’s challenges: the rebuilding of family after war, a woman taking on a man’s world, a man’s search for his wife, a son’s for his father. Behind the trickster, we recognise the displaced ‘man of constant sorrow’ who could be us, it sounds as relevant today as it ever was. We shall read it as Homer delivered it with his characteristic directness, power and simple nobility.
We shall use The Odyssey translated by Robert Fagles, 1997, Penguin Classics, ISBN-13:978-0140268867