Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-27-2005, 01:47 PM
Tracy Lord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,780

Poems/literature based on The Odyssey?


Three that spring to mind immediately are Tennyson's Ulysses, Joyce's novel of the same name, and Cavafy's Ithaka. What other works of literature use the characters, settings, or events of the Odyssey as a jumping-off point?
  #2  
Old 11-27-2005, 01:50 PM
Hamish is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,677
I haven't read it, but Margaret Atwood just came out with The Penelopiad, which is the The Odyssey from Penelope's point of view.
  #3  
Old 11-27-2005, 02:10 PM
Scissorjack is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Auckland
Posts: 6,670
Cold Mountain
__________________
Detrimento malignitas; victoria ultio
  #4  
Old 11-27-2005, 02:11 PM
priapus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Virginia,near DC
Posts: 409
George Clooney's Brother,Where Art Thou? and
Cold Mountain come to mind
  #5  
Old 11-27-2005, 03:20 PM
Cunctator is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 11,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish
I haven't read it, but Margaret Atwood just came out with The Penelopiad, which is the The Odyssey from Penelope's point of view.
How would Penelope have known what was happening to Odysseus during his travels? Or is it her account of what was happening to her during all the years that he was away? It could be interesting. I must get hold of a copy.
  #6  
Old 11-27-2005, 05:03 PM
priapus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Virginia,near DC
Posts: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator
How would Penelope have known what was happening to Odysseus during his travels? Or is it her account of what was happening to her during all the years that he was away? It could be interesting. I must get hold of a copy.
what he said.I thought she just did a lot of weaving
  #7  
Old 11-27-2005, 05:17 PM
Scissorjack is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Auckland
Posts: 6,670
I'd also make a case - probably shared by no-one else - for G. M. Fraser's Flashman novels being an idiosyncratic retelling of The Odyssey, based on the many points of plot convergence. Although Flashy's a celebrated soldier {albeit a coward and a scoundrel}, like Odysseus he primarily survives through his wits and cunning. He just wants to go home to England, but is constantly waylayed and thwarted by monsters - played either by various 19th century figures such as Bismarck, John Brown or Lord Cardigan, or by slavers and Borneo head-hunters. In the process, he's constantly being ensnared {not unwillingly, it has to be said} by the wiles of temptresses who get him into more trouble: his entire life is devoted to trying to go home to lead a life of idle debauchery, but his military career, various indiscretions and plain bad luck constantly conspire against him. Meanwhile, his Penelope, in the form of the beauteous but dimwitted Elspeth, is anything but faithful while awaiting his return, rogering her way through half of Mayfair.
  #8  
Old 11-27-2005, 07:56 PM
Scissorjack is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Auckland
Posts: 6,670
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Three that spring to mind immediately are Tennyson's Ulysses...
Let's not forget Tennyson's The Lotos-Eaters, either.
  #9  
Old 11-27-2005, 08:16 PM
Steve Wright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 3,283
SF writer Brian Stableford, early in his career, produced the Dies Irae trilogy, the first two volumes of which (The Days of Glory and In the Kingdom of the Beasts) are very obviously the Iliad and the Odyssey transposed into a science-fictional setting.
  #10  
Old 11-27-2005, 08:31 PM
Larry Mudd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ass end of Alberta
Posts: 17,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by priapus
what he said.I thought she just did a lot of weaving
She also alienated her son by letting all those suitors have the run of the place and drink up daddy's wine cellar.
  #11  
Old 11-27-2005, 08:51 PM
Cisco is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 17,208
Cannibal! The Musical, if we're including films.
  #12  
Old 11-28-2005, 01:33 AM
amarinth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Emerald City, WA, USA
Posts: 9,868
Quote:
Originally Posted by priapus
what he said.I thought she just did a lot of weaving
That's what she told him ... especially when he dropped the news that he was about to take off again.
  #13  
Old 11-28-2005, 03:21 AM
lissener is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chicago
Posts: 17,198
James McManus's Chin Music, an overlooked minor masterpiece, was based on Joyce's Ulysses, so technically . . .
  #14  
Old 11-28-2005, 03:48 AM
Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Wheeeeee!sconsin
Posts: 2,592
An Ancient Gesture by Edna St. Vincent Millay

It's rather short, compared to say, The Lotos-Eaters.

I thought that Alvin Maker's weaving aunt-whatever-thing in The Tales of Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card had a Penelope element to her, but it's been so long since I've read it that I'm probably misremembering horribly. It was probably more of a Moirai element than anything else.

I'm interested in whether or not you want to limit this question. Will any character based on a character appearing in the Odyssey be enough? I mean, if someone has a scene in a story where a Calypso-character tempts the main character with something usually unattainable in return for his love, does that count? Will a journey to the underworld count? A son who resents his mother's suitors and searches for his father? With enough twisting, Hamlet could fit the requirements. As it stands now, this is an enormous question.
  #15  
Old 11-28-2005, 04:43 AM
Tracy Lord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,780
It is a rather enormous question. I've always been taken with the Joseph Campbell-style idea of a universal human myth, and after reading Cavafy's poem and having it resonate very strongly with me, I thought I'd poke around and see if Dopers could come up with more directly-related-but-still-widely-relevant creative works.

To narrow it down, the more directly tied into the plot/characters, the better: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which I can't believe I forgot!) and Joyce's Ulysses, for example, as opposed to, say, "Well, if you think about it The Lord of the Rings has sort of an Odyssey-like plot!" (which it totally does). Especially if the creator clearly was inspired by Homer, instead of just having similarities. It's a hard line to draw, but I'm interested in all responses -- this isn't a "I need examples of!", it's a "hey, that's cool!" discussion question.
  #16  
Old 11-28-2005, 06:49 AM
Jonathan Chance is online now
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 22,868
The current comic book series 'Age of Bronze' by Eric Shanower isn't so much inspired by as a straightforward adaptation of the Iliad with possibly a touch of the Odyssey. It's a great thing.
  #17  
Old 11-28-2005, 09:07 AM
BadBadger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brighton, England
Posts: 452
Theres Ilium by Dan Simmons. May get around to reading it one day.
  #18  
Old 11-28-2005, 10:35 AM
Cliffy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 7,931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance
The current comic book series 'Age of Bronze' by Eric Shanower isn't so much inspired by as a straightforward adaptation of the Iliad with possibly a touch of the Odyssey. It's a great thing.
The same thing can be said of the recent Brad Pitt film Troy (the Illiad, not really the Odyssey at all).

--Cliffy
  #19  
Old 11-28-2005, 12:02 PM
Quercus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: temperate forest
Posts: 7,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
"Well, if you think about it The Lord of the Rings has sort of an Odyssey-like plot!"
No, The Lord of the Rings is really The Heart of Darkness.

But as for the OP, your could argue that almost any wandering traveler tale is similar to the Odyssey : the voyages of Sinbad, or at a stretch Gulliver's Travels.
  #20  
Old 11-28-2005, 07:08 PM
Cisco is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 17,208
I just remembered another one. DuckTales did a version of The Odyssey, and I'd be willing to bet it was based off of an old Carl Barks comic book. Does anyone know for sure?
  #21  
Old 11-28-2005, 07:38 PM
Larry Borgia's Avatar
Larry Borgia is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 10,611
Nikos Kazantzakis wrote a sequel
  #22  
Old 11-28-2005, 07:44 PM
detop is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Posts: 3,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wright
SF writer Brian Stableford, early in his career, produced the Dies Irae trilogy, the first two volumes of which (The Days of Glory and In the Kingdom of the Beasts) are very obviously the Iliad and the Odyssey transposed into a science-fictional setting.
So is David Drake's Cross the Stars a retelling of The Odyssey, and part of John Moressy's Star Brat is a retelling of Ulysses return to Ithaqua.
  #23  
Old 11-28-2005, 07:54 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,716
What, no mention of the original rip-off of the Odyssey? I present to you Virgil's Aeneid.
__________________
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
Check out my dice in the Marketplace
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017