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The Odyssey

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  8 reviews
With its inspired counterpointing of Homeric and Caribbean themes, Derek Walcott's new play, commissioned by Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company, springs from the same imaginative sources as his epic poem Omeros.

Episodes of the story of Odysseus' protracted wanderings from fallen Troy to his island home of Ithaca are pungently interspersed with a commentary by the blind s
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 1st 1993 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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I liked the twists on the traditional story of the Odyssey, but I especially liked that the bard, Billy Blue, spoke in an island dialect, as did the servants.
Walcott reinvents the Odyssey by breathing Caribbean language into Homer's epic, all the while remaining true to the story itself (at least the high points, as the stage version is dramatically shorter). I love the double meaning implied in lines such as that of Captain Mentes when he says of Odysseus's tricks: "I too saw the wooden horse blocking the stars." There a great declamations like that of Menelaus ("What are men? Children who doubt.") and the Philosopher ("The future happens. No matter ...more
Michael Pennington
Fantastic. I loved the interweaving of the st Lucian vernacular with Homer's mythology.
Asma Fedosia
This story parallels Homer's "Odyssey", the twenty-year, sea-going adventure of the Trojan hero and his reclaiming the kingship of Ithaca from the hundred-plus suitors intent upon it and upon wooing Penelope his wife. In this stage version of the epic, Walcott introduces Caribbean dialogue and plays with double word meanings. Well worth the reading by a Nobel Laureate.
I love this adaptation of the ODYSSEY. It is almost complete, it is stunningly beautiful, and having done it myself, it is also very stage-able, with lots of room for actors and directors and designers to move and play.
what can i say? every single line is a thing of utter beauty. every single line.
Apr 01, 2007 elsbeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Derek Walcott is amazing--but we all knew that already.
A beautiful version of the classic in the Caribbean.
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Derek Walcott is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist. Born in Castries, St. Lucia, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 "for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment."

His work, which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time
More about Derek Walcott...
Omeros Collected Poems, 1948-1984 White Egrets Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays Selected Poems

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“The future happens. No matter how much we scream.” 31 likes
“What are men? Children who doubt.” 14 likes
More quotes…