Circe and the Cyclops by Homer

Monday 2 October 2017

'You must be Odysseus, man of twists and turns...' 

The tales of Odysseus's struggle with a man-eating Cyclops and Circe, the beautiful enchantress who turns men into swine.

I can't quite get over how simple this little black classic is, although I'm not going to complain about how easy it was to understand. Not at all. I'm just... baffled by the fact that I did understand it.

Granted, the Odyssey is probably much, much better and there are probably more accurate translations out there, but I didn't think this was too bad. It was simple, like I said, and it was enjoyable. I knew the first story featured and had a brief knowledge of the second, but I think I would have been okay even if I knew absolutely nothing about Odysseus or Greek myths as this little black classic is straight to the point with a clear beginning and ending.

My one complaint, however, is that the translation comes across as very fast and choppy. You get the impression that Odysseus is racing through his story, point after point, barely stopping for breath as the sentences are so short and bounce from idea to idea in the blink of an eye. Thanks to the simple English, though, it wasn't overly difficult to keep up.

If you have any interest in Homer's work - or none, I didn't until I read this - I would recommend giving this a go as it really doesn't take too long to whizz through.

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