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Jun 14, 2003

Tonight Mom and I watched O Brother, Where Art Thou, that wonderfully corny film that’s loosly based on The Odyssey. Erin and Anna and I listen to the soundtrack often – Anna regulalry falls asleep to Down In the River To Pray.

In 1997, before I set off with Erin for our Peace Corps service, I purchased a copy of Robert Fagles’s translation of The Odyssey, and when we packed our two bags for the trip across the Pacific Ocean, I crammed in only a few books, including this one. But on Paama Island, the book sat on the bookshelf (a rickety old school bookshelf that Erin salvaged and painted Carolina blue, even before we knew we’d end up here for school). Two years later, when we packed to leave, I left most of the books with the school library that Erin had founded. The Odyssey went into my bag: I’ll read it on our around-the-world trip, I promised myself. I have yet to read more than 20 pages, and it still sits on my bookshelf. My quest to read Homer may drag on longer than the travails of Odysseus.

That said, see this New Yorker cartoon. And for a free download of an earlier translation of The Odyssey, see this.

Anton Zuiker

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