Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Fri Feb 14 16:14:30 EST 2003

Jennifer said...

> (The Iliad. Unabridged Penguin translation. I liked it a lot better then
> than I do now, too. It's so "and then he killed him, and then *he* killed
> *him*, and then *he* got in a snit and didn't want to kill anyone, so *he*
> went out to kill him instead..." I wouldn't mind if it wasn't held up by
> classicists as containing everything that's great about humanity.
> It's about nasty armed bullies murdering people. With good descriptive
> bits.)

Mm.  I read the Iliad around that age too - though I *think* the copy my
local library had must have been abridged.  Or translated specifically for
children, or something.  Certainly, when I reread it recently (the Butler
translation), I was mildly startled to find a fairly explicit description of
just *why* Achilles was sulking in his tent instead of fighting; I'm sure
that wasn't in the version I read as a kid!

I agree, incidentally, with your last couple of sentences.  After about the
4th book I got rather tired of the graphic descriptions of people getting
killed.  I do like the gods though.  They're like bickering children. :-)

Perhaps I shall reread the Odyssey now.  I seem to remember that it was more
fun (well, had more variety, anyway) than the Iliad.

I know I read a *lot* of Greek myth as a child (loved the Argonauts and
Theseus), but aside from Homer (can still see the black-and-orange covers of
those books!), I can't at all recall *where* I found the stories.  What
books I had, who they were by...none of it!  Except Roger Lancelyn Green's
"The Luck of Troy" which is a great retelling of the end of the siege.  I
still have that.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

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