Chris Dietz's Reviews > The Iliad

The Iliad by Homer
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Jan 03, 11

Read from October 24 to December 28, 2010

This book was long. Not as long as some other books, but it felt longgg. Not much went on- people kept killing, people kept dying, gods got angry, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. The language was nice, even beautiful at some points, but I can't help thinking that if characters didn't trade their histories at every interaction it could be 300, maybe even 400 pages shorter. As good as a translation as it was, this seemed to enforce the idea that there's a pretty big disconnect in the experience of the written word versus orality i.e. if epic poetry is placed in book form, it's boring. It didn't even cover the Trojan horse- really? Even though I only finished this because I felt I had to, I'll still read the Odyssey- apparently, it's better. My advice would be to just rent the movie Troy- now that's entertainment!

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Reading Progress

10/31/2010 page 16
2.0% "Still in the introduction, which is basically an essay on the differences and disputes between the contemporary Homer and classic Homer, dealing mostly with the example of poetic meter."
11/07/2010 page 77
11.0% "Just read 66 pages worth of a single-spaced, small-font analytical essay about pronunciation of proper names according to Greek and Latin standards- that was painful. The real book starts now!" 3 comments
11/10/2010 page 110
16.0% "I'm finally in the real poem- it feels a lot more readable than it should be..."
11/28/2010 page 214
30.0% "I'm not as far into it as I would like, but the pace is picking up a bit (at least as much pace as a centuries-old epic poem can have)."
12/06/2010 page 250
36.0% "It's starting to drag a bit, because all fights scenes are basically a variation on 'and so ----, son of ----, was cut down by ----, son of ----, who had done ----, and his father had ----, and finally darkness swam across his eyes.' It can get a little bland."
12/27/2010 page 325
46.0% "It's not exactly the most varied experience, but the translation makes it feel pretty fresh. Do the characters really need to give somebody's biopic every time they address them?"
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