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The Penelopiad
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Greek Mythology > The Penelopaid - No Spoilers

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Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
A place to discuss the book without spoilers.


Jalilah | 4438 comments Mod
This is the one I will start with but not until next week.


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Katy (kathy_h) | 852 comments I have a copy of this one, so I should read it. Next week sounds good, as I just received a new book: The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier in the mail today. So that will become this week's read.


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Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments I'll be reading this one closer to the end of September.


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Margaret | 3661 comments Mod
I will join in on the discussion, though not reread. It's a fast read--I believe I read it in a single sitting.

Katy, I have a copy of The Harp of Kings too, but haven't read it yet. I may read it this month too!


message 6: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 852 comments Margaret wrote: "Katy, I have a copy of The Harp of Kings too, but haven't read it ye..."

I can hold off if you think you will read it this month. Maybe a buddy read? I have plenty else to read -- but don't want to put this one off too long.


message 7: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3661 comments Mod
Katy wrote: "Margaret wrote: "Katy, I have a copy of The Harp of Kings too, but haven't read it ye..."

I can hold off if you think you will read it this month. Maybe a buddy read? I have plenty..."


Hmm. I'm hesitant to commit because I have 2 posts I'm working on that are unrelated to this book, but I do really want to read it. I better not. If I do end up reading it, I can set up a folder to discuss it!


Emily M | 135 comments I'm a little over halfway through this and distinctly underwhelmed. I was already distinctly underwhelmed when the free sample ended, but curious enough to find out "what Penelope was really up to" to part with 7 euros. We'll see ...


message 9: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3661 comments Mod
I really enjoyed this one, but I think the modern voice puts some people off (or at least, I know some people that was the case for).


Jalilah | 4438 comments Mod
Margaret wrote: "I really enjoyed this one, but I think the modern voice puts some people off (or at least, I know some people that was the case for)."


I will be starting with this book first and I am curious to see how I'll like it. Margaret Atwood is hit or miss for me. Some of her books I really loved and others not at all.


message 11: by Emily (last edited Sep 08, 2019 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emily M | 135 comments I feel like Atwood has two registers. The one where she bends all of her knowledge and wit and sparkle to a theme she is actually being serious about, and the I'm-so-much-smarter-than-you-all-so-I'll-just-phone-this-one-in.*

This book for me was mostly the latter, though I felt it redeemed itself a bit towards the end.

It probably didn't help that I had encountered Penelope's voice before... years ago in an Atwood monologue I performed in drama class. Except that it was Hamlet's mother. I really loved the monologue...it was only a page long and contained lines like "I'm not wringing my hands, darling, I'm drying my nails."

Since then, I've found this voice, the sarcastic, modern spin on a classic character, more than once in minor Atwood. I find it's wearing a bit thin. Especially when the character doesn't say anything of much interest. I don't think anything here particularly changed my reading of the Odyssey.

I did like the maids parts. There were two in particular later on that I thought were excellent (particularly the moon goddess bit).

I feel like this could have been better. Atwood's introduction says she was always haunted by the maids. I think most women who have read the Odyssey agree, and I think this is strongest when it's giving them a voice and highlighting the injustice of what happened to them. I'm definitely not convinced Penelope had anything to say that added to the conversation though!

*I'm Canadian, so Atwood came up a lot.


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Margaret | 3661 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "I feel like Atwood has two registers. The one where she bends all of her knowledge and wit and sparkle to a theme she is actually being serious about, and the I'm-so-much-smarter-than-you-all-so-I'..."

I actually get what you mean, although I didn't feel that way with this particular one. Maybe because it was my first experience with this particular tone from her.

The first book I read by Atwood was The Handmaid's Tale. Then the Maddam Trilogy, which I loved and decided she was my favorite author. I also got to meet her at this time, when she came and visited the MA program I was in. I then read this one, followed by The Robber Bride (my favorite of hers), and some of her poetry. Most recently I read The Heart Goes Last, and it had a phone-it-in feel to it, to me at least. The humor fell flat. I feel like I read another of hers like that afterward, but I can't remember what it was.

However, the Maddam Trilogy and Robber Bride are SOOO good. I've collected many of her books and look forward to reading them slowly over the years.


message 13: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3661 comments Mod
Oh, meant to add that the maid section was definitely my favorite as well. The maids haunt me. I think Circe has a scene with the maids as well, that humanizes them.


Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 745 comments In her translation of The Odyssey, Emily Wilson uses the word "slaves" for the female servants, suggesting that, as slaves, they had little choice but to cooperate with those who yielded the most power at the time, i.e. the suitors.


Emily M | 135 comments I haven't yet read Emily Wilson's translation, though I have it, but I read a lot of interviews with her when it came out.

This one from the New Yorker is I think a wonderful companion piece to reading The Penelopiad. It deals with the original language surrounding both Penelope and the maids/slaves.

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-...


message 16: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3661 comments Mod
Emily wrote: "I haven't yet read Emily Wilson's translation, though I have it, but I read a lot of interviews with her when it came out.

This one from the New Yorker is I think a wonderful companion piece to re..."


That was a lovely article! Thanks for sharing!

Tamara wrote: "In her translation of The Odyssey, Emily Wilson uses the word "slaves" for the female servants, suggesting that, as slaves, they had little choice but to cooperate with those who yi..."

Ah, I wish I'd thought to nominate that. I haven't seen a copy come into work yet, but when it does, I'm buying it!


message 17: by Leah (new) - added it

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Margaret wrote: "Ah, I wish I'd thought to nominate that. I haven't seen a copy come into work yet, but when it does, I'm buying it!"

I was just gonna say I wish I'd even known about it because then I would've nominated it. :-)


Tamara Agha-Jaffar | 745 comments I was in a goodreads group last year where we spent several weeks reading and discussing the Wilson translation. I hope it's ok to add the link to the group because some of you might find the discussions and book recommendations interesting.

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


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