Day 1:Reading Introduction (pages xi-xxvii); Assignment: first reading journalentry. Day 2: Reading Introduction(finish) and Book 1; Assignment: second reading journal entry. Day 3: Reading Dictionary of LiteraryTerms; The Penelopiad start 38; Assignment: third reading journal entry ORworksheet on literary terms. Day 4:Reading Book 9 (Lattimore translation) AND Blindness (Mason short story);Assignment: Reading journal entry; Day 5:Reading Penelopiad 39-98; Assignment: Reading journal entry.
The parts of the introduction that I haveasked you to read for Day 1 can be broken into four parts. 1) A shortintroduction to the introduction itself; 2) A chronological synopsis of TheOdyssey; 3) An analysis of how the story of The Odyssey is not toldchronologically or in a straight line; 4) A summary/analysis of some of thecharacters.
Some thoughts/questions for consideration:
Which of parts 2-4 in the introduction did youfind most interesting and why?
How much, if any, familiarity do you have withthe story of The Odyssey? Where do you know whatever part of the story you knowfrom?
Part 3 focuses on how much flashbacks are usedin The Odyssey. Can you think of any other books, movies, TV shows that youenjoy or know well use flashbacks? If so, what are they? And do they seem tocompare to the use of flashbacks in The Odyssey?
Which of the characters detailed in part 4 ofthe introduction do you find most interesting and why?
Which character(s) described in the synopsisfrom part 2 of the synopsis that is not discussed in part 4 are you interestedin learning more about? Why?
What parts of the synopsis in part 2 confuseyou? Be specific about how you are confused.
(Forthe record, this is just over 300 words.)
Reading Log Entries Day 2
The first part ofyour reading assignment continues the Introduction. The first two sections arevery important (Oral Poetry and Homer and History), and I want you to makesure you read them carefully, and make sure you respond, at least in part to them.The sections afterwards are useful, but not required reading.
Somequestions to consider about Oral Poetry. What is your understanding of theidea that this book, which could take up to 30 hours to be read out loud wassomething that was NOT written, but instead something recited? Does that evenseem possible to you? If you find it impressive (I surely do), how do you thinkit was accomplished? What does that tell you about your understanding ofmemory?
Somequestions to consider about Homer and History. This section is perhaps mostuseful to me because Id never heard the historical details or facts aroundthe book and the story it tells (the context). Can you think of another text(book, movie, TV show) that you enjoy that like the Odyssey tells the story ofsomething that happened many, many years ago? What is it? Thinking about thattext after reading this section, how might you see how that text reveals asmuch about our culture now as it does about the culture of the time it isabout?
Thesecond part of your reading assignment is Book 1 of The Odyssey. I would saythere are four different scenes in this first book. How would you break thebook down and organize it? In terms of the elements of literature from todayslesson, the settings and themes of this book/chapter strike me as mostinteresting. What are the settings of this book/chapter? What do you think thethemes or ideas of this book/chapter are? How can you tell? Also, what do youmake of the scene with the poet telling/singing a story like The Odysseyitself, that poet being interrupted by Penelope AND then Penelope being told toleave it alone by her son Telemachus? (I find this to be a most interestingmovement.)
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