I humbly declare this book to be the greatest literary work of mankind. If you don't learn Greek (worth it just to read this Meisterwerk, never mind the rest of the immortal trove of Greek literature) you can read it in so many translations that have become classics in their own use of the English language, Fagles and Murray, just to mention two. Oh, what the Hades, let's throw in a third, not just for its brilliant translation, but also owing to the exotic character behind it: no less than Lawrence of Arabia.
The Homeric poems were sung in a less-enlightened time, in comparison with the later Greek tragedies, and with the later epics too. Apollonius' Argonautica was composed, post Greek Tragedy, and his audience would have been, no doubt, familiar with Euripides' Medea. Questions such as how justice and revenge affect societies were addressed by Aeschylus in the Oresteia; likewise, the reception of the anthropomorphic gods, and their pettiness, was raised by Euripides in Hippolytus and the Bacchae. Furthermore, the real nature and brutality of warfare was also raised in the Trojan Women. Throw in how one state views another state, and questions of racial identity, and you have The Persians by Aeschylus, and Medea by Euripides. Additionally, if you include Philoctetes by Sophocles, and the issue of how youth should conduct themselves is also raised. If you consider, too, Ajax by Sophocles, and you find that the bloodthirsty myths of an earlier age are filtered through questions that C5 Athenian society faced. What is better, the brute force of an unsophisticated Ajax, or the sophistry and rhetorical arguments of Odysseus in Ajax? By the time we arrive at Virgil, and The Aenied, brutal events such as the death of Priam by Neoptolemus in Aeneid Book II, are tempered with a more enlightened approach. Neoptolemus is condemned for killing Priam, and rightly so, as mercy is important, and exemplifies the Romanitas of 'Sparing the humble, and conquering the proud'. However, Aeneas doesn't show mercy in his killing of Turnus at the end of Book XII.
If you're into Greek Literature, read on.
Genre: Animals / Birds / Inspiration / Drama / Friendship
Year Published: 1969
Year Read: 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
“Fly Homer Fly” is a brilliant children’s book from Bill Peet and it is about how a lonely pigeon named Homer finds a friend in Sparky the sparrow when he tries to see what life is like in the big city. “Fly Homer Fly” is a lovely story about true friendship that children will love for many years.
Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful, especially of the images of Homer and the other pigeons in Pigeon Plaza as the pigeons look different from each other since they have different colors and shapes and Homer seems to be the smallest pigeon out of all the other pigeons. The images that stood out the most were the images of Sparky the sparrow and the largest pigeon that Homer meets up with. Sparky the sparrow looks so small and cute and is the smallest bird in the entire book, while the biggest pigeon looks rough as its feathers are all ruffled up. Bill Peet’s story about Homer trying to adjust to the city life and meeting Sparky the sparrow is truly inspirational as Homer and Sparky bond with each other throughout the book and Sparky would try his best to help out Homer in the city, which proves that he is a true friend to Homer. Children can easily relate to Homer and Sparky’s friendship as many children have friends who would do anything to help them out of a difficult situation the best they can.
“Fly Homer Fly” is a great classic book for children who love reading books about friendship. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the length of this book might bore smaller children.
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
What can I possibly say about The Iliad that hasn´t been said by a whole bunch of other people before? It´s one of the great classics, an epic story about war, love, loyalties and heroics. All the emotions a human being can encounter in life are present in this work. And it´s so dramatic, the heroes and gods being either petty and childisch, brave and fearsome or simply being totally bonkers. It´s so much fun to read (I especially loved the Paris bashing episodes).
I absolutely loved The Iliad, it made its way into my "favorite books of all time" list and I can´t wait to read The Odyssey. Thankfully the German translator of the Iliad, Karl Ferdinand Lempp, has translated The Odyssey as well, so I´m sure I will be in for treat (the German prose translation has been excellent. I highly recommend it if you are capable of reading the German language).