Sunday, March 15, 2009

On the Literary Front #3

Wrapped up a day and a bit of Book Fair and spent the weekend recuperating from standing much more than is good for me. My ankle ached relentlessly from all the abuse and I had to wear a Tensor bandage all yesterday. Things are improved now, and I can actually walk without whimpering at every laboured step. This post is more about what I'm reading than what I'm writing, but it counts as literary in my book. I finished reading one version on Homer's 'Iliad' recently and I have a few things to meander through concerning this legended saga and its players. I didn't come across the Trojan Horse while I read, so I have to figure that it will come up elsewhere. Maybe in 'Aeneid', eh? I have a collection of works by Virgil warming up, and the 'Aeneid' is part of this collection. Anyway, I have another version of 'Iliad' waiting in the wings, which I will eventually pull out and read.
It's part of my plan to compare the two versions and see what difference and similarities come up. The first of the two I read was translated by a fellow by the name of Butler. It was set up in a prose format rather than a poetry format, which I found unusual. I enjoyed the story and characters, but it was the writing that I paid attention to. Well-written to say the least. Rich with details I don't recall from past readings, which I figure were added to flesh out the story. This is needed for prose compared to poetry, which does not always need many words to get its point across. This time I also paid closer attention to the characters. During past readings, I could rarely determine which heroes fought for which side. Were Aeneas and Achilles compatriots or something? They fought on opposite sides, to be honest with you. This was something I did not know. Now I'll probably never forget.
What really blew me away was Homer's treatment of the gods and goddesses. They prove to be as flawed as us foolish mortals, and this makes Them even worse than we are, in my considered opinion. Hera rooted for the Greeks, Aphrodite rooted for the Trojans, and Zeus had to play judge between the two warring factions. Reminds me of the gladiator games, where the wealthy figures had their favourites and bet big money on them. The gods and goddess of Olympus were just big shots playing with thousands of lives, which makes Them far worse than those wealthy figures of later years. Like pieces on a vast chessboard; or, to use a 20th century comparison, like warriors in a video game, battling for dominance in a pixellated universe. No wonder companies make video games, mining the myths and sagas for inspiration.
I'll be back before long, and maybe with more myths to discuss. BYE.

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