This week our Reading the Classics with Paul Reading Group begins our reading of The Odyssey by Homer. I am reading the Samuel Butler translation but you're welcome to read whatever version you'd like.
If you'd like to join the group in this reading, get a copy of Homer's Odyssey (which should be very easy to do) and read through Book V this week (the V stands for Vendetta for those of you who have forgotten your elementary school class on Roman Numerals.) In my edition, that's through page 58.
In my experience so far this is a very easy read and very enjoyable. I really think that everyone is going to like this one an awful lot (and maybe we can finally put Walden behind us, please?), so I highly encourage everyone to read along with this. I think we're going to break it up into 5 or 6 weeks so we aren't rushed in our weekly reading but, as always, you're welcome to read ahead. Next week, everyone in the reading group will post our thoughts on this week's reading here, on their own blogs, on Google Wave, and in various cross postings of all three.
As always with these reminder posts, I like to add a little fun or interesting song or video related to the work. This time I'm reaching a bit. The Odyssey has had a very long time to work its way into our culture. Film, song, poem, and play are all saturated in the work. It is the posterboy for a classic work of literature.
In the 1950s there was a Broadway musical, which didn't exactly survive or, at the very least, awaits a revival as of the time of my writing this. It was called The Golden Apple and it featured music by Jerome Moross and lyrics by John Treville Latouche, whose work I am sure you are all intimately familiar with. As far as I can tell, only one song from the show went on to have a life of its own as a hit separate from the original musical, which if I understand correctly was an adaptation of The Iliad and The Odyssey set in the turn of the 20th century. The song "Lazy Afternoon" came from the show which, yes, you know was made very famous by Barbara Streisand. No, I'm not posting the Streisand version on my blog.
Grant Green did a fantastic jazz version of Lazy Afternoon. So enjoy this and we'll see all of you next week for our thoughts on the first section of The Odyssey!