Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey by Alberto Manguel
A Biography (Books That Changed the World)

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Synopsis

No one knows if there was a man named Homer, but there is no little doubt that the epic poems assembled under his name form the cornerstone of Western literature. The Iliad and The Odyssey, with their incomparable tales of the Trojan War, brace Achilles, Ulysses and Penelope, the Cyclops, the beautiful Helen of Troy, and the petulant gods, are familiar to most readers because they are so pervasive. They have fed our imagination for over two and a half millennia, inspiring everyone from Plato to Virgil, Pope to Joyce, Dante to Wolfgang Petersen. In this graceful and sweeping addition to the Books that Change the World Series, Alberto Manguel traces the lineage of the epic poems. He considers their original purpose, either as allegory or record of history, surveys the challenges the pagan poems presented to the early Christian world, and traces their spread after the Reformation. Following Homer through the greatest literature ever created, Manguel’s book above all delights in the poems themselves, the “primordial spring without which there would have been no culture.”
 

About Alberto Manguel

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Alberto Manguel is the author of "A History of Reading" and (with Gianni Guadalupi) of "The Dictionary of Imaginery Places". His novel "News from a Foreign Country Came" won the McKitterick prize in 1992.
 
Published March 3, 2009 by Grove Press. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey

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Perhaps too dense for casual readers, but lotus to lovers of Homer.

Jan 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Homer's the Iliad and the Ody...

Kirkus Reviews

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“We don’t know anything about Homer,” bluntly declares prolific polymath Manguel (A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader’s Reflections on a Year of Books, 2004, etc.).

Oct 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Homer's the Iliad and the Ody...

Publishers Weekly

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It's a great idea: a survey history of how Homer has been read throughout history, taking in Roman Homer, Christian Homer, Alexander Pope's Homer and Homer in Islam, among others. And Man

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The Guardian

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Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey: A Biography, by Alberto Manguel (304pp, Atlantic, £12.99) An Iliad, by Alessandro Baricco, translated by Ann Goldstein (208pp, Canongate, £10.99) As a student of classics I was always struck and puzzled by the contrast between Homer's almost godlike stature amon...

Nov 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Homer's the Iliad and the Ody...

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