In Homer’s account in The Odyssey, Penelope—wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy—is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan War after the a...more
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This has been my introduction to Atwood and I have to admit that I feel slightly underwhelmed. I went in with high expectations, wondering how Atwood will take the 'waiting widow' of The Odyssey and transform it into a full length novel. Turns out that she mostly indulges in recapitulating the bulk of the original with a few wild theories and speculations thrown in as supposed rumors that Penelope has gleaned in the after-life.
Which brings me to how ...more
In this installment, Margaret Atwood turns her hand to the story of Odysseus and tells the story of The Odyssey and The Iliad from the perspective of Penelope, Odysseus' wife.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to read an Atwood version of Homer's anthem to heroism, it was fun. I read this whilst waiting at the garage. Apparently, my chuckling along persuaded the elderly gentleman next to me to co-read while waiting ...more
There are some excellent moments -- the opening line is brilliant ('Now that I'm dead I know everything'); and the wordplay throughout is superb; the 'gilded blood pudding' simile (trust me, it's good); the relationship between the maids and Telemakhos (although she doesn't expand up ...more
- So this is a modern retelling of the story of Penelope and Odysseus which can be found in Homer's account in The Odyssey. Penelope and Odysseus are well known and their story is one that has been told many times - this time however we delve much deeper and Margaret Atwood shares the tale of Penelope and her aspiring suitors plus that of the twelve handmaids whom Odysseus executed upon his retu ...more
"Ora che sono morta so tutto". Così comincia questo breve romanzo in cui Margaret Atwood riscrive magistralmente il mito del ritorno di Odisseo nella sua Itaca. A parlare, però, questa volta è una voce femminile, Penelope, che finalmente libera dal timore di una punizione divina, può raccontare la sua storia e la sua verità e affrancarsi da quell'iconografia che da millenni la ritrae solo come moglie fedele e madre devota. Penelope ci racconta tutta la sua vita: dalle origini, ...more
حكاية بينيلوبي زوجة أوديسيوس بطل ملحمة الأوديسة لهوميروس, والتي انتظرت زوجها الغائب لمدة عشرين عام
تحكي بينولوبي من عالم الموتى عن حياتها قبل وبعد الزواج وعلاقتها بأهلها وزوجها وفترة انتظاره الطويلة
وبين فصول الرواية تعرض آتوود حياة خادمات القصور-اللي بيعيشوا حياة بائسة ويعانوا من معاملة السادة - لتحقيق العدالة للخادمات اللاتي قتلهن أوديسيوس بعد عودته
وجهة نظر جديدة لقصة قديمة ومشهورة, ومحاولة لمعرفة الحقيقة
فالجهل بالتفاصيل أو إخفاءه ...more
Homer was on to something when the he composed the most famous of all ancient works in the forms of the Iliad and the Odyssey. I doubt he even knew how long the story would last and how often his name would be invoked in despair by students the world over. Today, Troy and its related matter appear in a variety of forms from movies, video games, to various books.
This fame of the story h ...more
Presumably the author feels that Penelope deserves better than to be a secondary character. But since, when put on center stage, this universal-victim Penelope never asserts herself, and is chiefly worried about whether people like her and how she's not as pretty as Helen of Troy, I'd say the Odyssey did her a better turn than Atwood did.
Penelope is left behind when Odysseus goes off to the Trojan war. For ten years of war and then a further ten years of gallivanting around the Med, Penelope waits patiently at home for her man.
Odysseus gets to fight Cyclops, dodge sirens and sleep with goddesses, whilst Penelope brings up their son - and a ravenous set of youths circle around the rich "widow". She gets her maids to see to the amorous suitors whilst desperately seek ...more
Who is telling the truth? Is there only one truth? If so, can it be known? This may seem like a slight read, but underneath it has a lot to say about these questions, about the nature of silence and storytelling itself, including unexpected danger when perhaps you think you've got everything covered ...
I guess it's a classic Margaret Atwood theme that women are mean to each other. And I guess, it's an indictment? That if it's bad when men treat women poorly (and it is), that it's utterly inforgivable when women treat other women poorly. But, I don't know that shoving that theme onto these characters serves anyone very well. No ...more
تختار أتوود في هذه الرواية -وهو أول عمل أقرأه لها- قصة بينيلوب، ابنة إيكاروس وحورية بحر، الأميرة الإسبرطية،زوجة أوديسوس بطل الملحمة، وتتناول تلك القصة من وجهة نظرها هي، التي -طبقاً لمقدمتها- لا نراها كثيراً ولا تهتم الملحمة بإظهارها بالقدر الكافي.
تتنوع الفصول ما بين قص بينيلوب للرواية وما بين جوقتها الغنائية من خادماتها الاثن ...more
For those whose recollections of The Odyssey are cobwebby, a bit of background: After serving in the Trojan War, Odysseus sets sail for home but is sidetracked ...more
This is a very different perspective, not just in relation to gender but also setting, since Penelope is narrating from the Underworld ‘today’ (21st century). Indeed, her voice is very modern, simple, matter of fact, witty and not d ...more
I’m not the first to say that, even though I could hardly remember the episode of the twelve maids’ hanging in Penelope’s myth, after reading Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad I will never forget it again.
As you probably know, this novella was written as part of an ambitious and interesting project called “Canongate Myth Series” and started by the Scottish publishing house Canongate Books, which challenged over a hundred authors to rewrite universal myths. It is said that the first choice of the aut ...more
A short book, this is smart, funny and subversively clever as Atwood re-opens Homer's poems, especially The Odyssey, to give us a Penelope who speaks across time from a classical underworld but with a 21st century voice and hindsight to tell her own story.
At the disturbing heart of this tale is the hanging of the twelve maids after Odysseus kills the suitors: a minor incident in Homer, but one which expands in Atwoo ...more
Το παρόν βιβλίο περιγράφει το μύθο του Οδυσσέα και της Πηνελόπης από τη σκοπιά της Πηνελόπης. Μάλιστα, εστιάζει στη δολοφονία των Θεραπαινίδων, η οποία ακολούθ ...more
This story is from the perspective of “the other” - a marginalized female character in the myth. It is told in the first person by Penelope, wife of Odysseus and cousin to Helen of Troy.
Interestingly Atwood tells this in an unusual and layered way. Penelope is in Hades as she tell the story and pieces are conveyed in poem format at the beginning of each chapter, from the perspective of Penelope's 12 maids. These maids are sacrificed by Odysseus on his ...more
It's a great book. :)
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Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr ...more