Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad

Overview

Fifty years of reading Homer — both alone and with students — prepared Eva Brann to bring the Odyssey and the Iliad back to life for today's readers. In Homeric Moments, she brilliantly conveys the unique delights of Homer's epics as she focuses on the crucial scenes, or moments, that mark the high points of the narratives: Penelope and Odysseus, faithful wife and returning husband, sit face to face at their own hearth for the first time in twenty years; young Telemachus, with his father Odysseus at his side, ...

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Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad

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Overview

Fifty years of reading Homer — both alone and with students — prepared Eva Brann to bring the Odyssey and the Iliad back to life for today's readers. In Homeric Moments, she brilliantly conveys the unique delights of Homer's epics as she focuses on the crucial scenes, or moments, that mark the high points of the narratives: Penelope and Odysseus, faithful wife and returning husband, sit face to face at their own hearth for the first time in twenty years; young Telemachus, with his father Odysseus at his side, boldly confronts the angry suitors; Achilles gives way to boundless grief at the death of his friend Patroclus.

Eva Brann demonstrates a way of reading Homer's poems that yields up their hidden treasures. With an alert eye for Homer's extraordinary visual effects and a keen ear for the musicality of his language, she helps the reader see the flickering campfires of the Greeks and hear the roar of the surf and the singing of nymphs. In Homeric Moments, Brann takes readers beneath the captivating surface of the poems to explore the inner connections and layers of meaning that have made the epics "the marvel of the ages."

“Written with wit and clarity, this book will be of value to those reading the Odyssey and the Iliad for the first time and to those teaching it to beginners.”—Library Journal

"Homeric Moments is a feast for the mind and the imagination, laid out in clear and delicious prose. With Brann, old friends of Homer and new acquaintances alike will rejoice in the beauty, and above all the humanity, of the epics." —Jacob Howland, University of Tulsa, Author of The Paradox of Political Philosophy

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for over forty years. Brann holds an M.A. in Classics and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Yale University. Her recent books include The Ways of Naysaying; What, Then, Is Time?; and The World of the Imagination. A volume of her selected essays, The Past-Present, was published in 1997.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
We might all wish that philosopher and classicist Brann had taught us Homer. Falling short of that, we can read Homeric Moments, a study of Homer's epics, the Odyssey and the Iliad, based on Brann's 40-year teaching experience at St. John's College in Annapolis, MD. Eschewing issues of contemporary theory or the technical concerns of classical philology, Brann instead focuses on a close reading of Homer's narrative and characters, with a concern for what makes them enduring and insightful. She draws attention to Homer's language, exploring the layers of verbal connotation, and she is especially interested in how Homer creates "delight," a pleasure that appeals to the senses and comes from the extended action and inward refiguring of the events narrated. Brann then contrasts this with the more intense pleasure of tragedy, where the purification of passions induces a more thoughtful response. Written with wit and clarity, this book will be of value both to those reading the Odyssey and the Iliad for the first time and to those teaching it to beginners. Recommended for public and academic libraries. T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967967578
  • Publisher: Dry, Paul Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Pages: 326
  • Sales rank: 854,015
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for over forty-five years. Brann holds an M.A. in Classics and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Yale University. Her recent books include The Ways of Naysaying; What, Then, Is Time?; and The World of the Imagination. A volume of her selected essays, The Past-Present, was published in 1997.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Accounting for the Title 3
1 The Gods 35
2 Odysseus: His Looks and Transformations 46
3 Odysseus: His Nature 51
4 Heroes 58
5 Odysseus at Troy 60
6 Ajax the Silent 70
7 Brief Achilles and Enduring Odysseus 75
8 Hephaestus' World: The Shield 79
9 Patroclus the Friend 88
10 Achilles the Unwitting Liar 90
11 Hector the Holder 95
12 The Plan of Zeus 98
13 Achilles as Hades and Achilles in Hades 100
14 Beginnings and Endings 107
15 The Returns 115
16 The Poet of the Odyssey 118
17 Naivete and Insight 122
18 Beauty and Craft 124
19 Visibility and Visuality 128
20 Simile: The Double Vision 134
21 Name Tags and Speaking Names 141
22 Telemachus and his Telemachy 145
23 Nestor at Home 150
24 Helen at Troy and Helen at Home 154
25 The Stations and Sightings of Odysseus' Odyssey 168
26 Asleep on the Watch 171
27 The Poet of the Odyssey 174
28 The Fame of Men and Women 178
29 Odysseus' Odyssey I: First Through Sixth Adventure 182
30 Odysseus in Hades: Seventh Adventure 197
31 The Wooers in Hades 201
32 The Treasure House of the Greeks 204
33 Odysseus' Odyssey II: Eighth Through Tenth Adventure 208
34 Calypso who Conceals: Eleventh Adventure 215
35 Phaeacia the Artist's Colony: Twelfth Adventure 219
36 The Locales and Settings of Homer's Odyssey 227
37 The Liar's Goddess 230
38 The Cretan Liar 237
39 Lying Tales Versus Fairy Tales 247
40 Telemachus Returns 250
41 Odysseus and Telemachus: Convergence 255
42 Penelope the Kingly Queen 257
43 Suitors and Servants 264
44 Crisis 270
45 At First Sight 274
46 Testing 285
47 Time Chasms 292
48 Twice Told, Thrice Dead 299
Picture Credits 304
References 305
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