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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #90504
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Subject: "The origins of Homer's Odyssey?" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #90504 "The origins of Homer's Odyssey?"
Author Weird Jim     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 13th 2002
6262 posts
Date Sat Mar-03-12 06:13 PM
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Mon Mar-05-12 03:25 PMby Weird Jim

Just before Christmas I downloaded and read the histories of Heredotus. I did skip a lot, being mainly interested in events and less so in personalities and their antecedents etc. I found one of the early events interesting from another perspective other than event history. He tells about an unnamed leader of a group of what I will call seagoing pirates and robbers. Caught at the eastern end of the Mediterranean by a storm, their ship was blown to Egypt carrying a kidnapped woman and a large amount of stolen booty (treasure). The Egyptians seized the woman and the treasure and allowed the pirates to go free.

Then Herodotus mentions Homer's Odyssey and claims it was based on this story. Instead of Helen being a willing companion of Paris (Is that the name I want?) a woman is kidnapped, and her pursuing husband is not so much worried about her, but is after recovering the contents of his treasury that the pirates have stolen. He then goes on to claim that the thieves did not gain refuge in Troy because Priam would never have risked his city for them, and if they had been there would have turned them over to Menelaus. That's the way I remember it from one read.

So did Homer take that story as a base and turn it into a romance because the real story did not fit into the pattern of tales appreciated by everyday people?

Is there a pattern to fiction that thrills people? Rather than rapist robbers as main characters do people prefer romantic lovers being pursued by angry husbands who don't care so much for stolen wealth as for errant wives who run off with handsome lovers. Is this basic pattern of fiction still what people want and read, and will to great a deviation from it lead to rejection? Is this what authors prefer to write?

Any thoughts?

Weird Jim

"Good reading is the only test of good writing"
Robertson Davies. A voice from the attic 1960

  

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The origins of Homer's Odyssey? [View all] , Weird Jim, Sat Mar-03-12 06:13 PM
  RE: The origins of Homer's Odyssey?, l_clausewitz, Mar 07th 2012, #1
RE: The origins of Homer's Odyssey?, Weird Jim, Mar 07th 2012, #2
      RE: The origins of Homer's Odyssey?, l_clausewitz, Mar 14th 2012, #3
           RE: The origins of Homer's Odyssey?, Weird Jim, Mar 14th 2012, #4

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